Charlotte Philosophy Discussion Group Message Board › HUMANIANITY: The Most Important Religion

HUMANIANITY: The Most Important Religion

vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 88
- Looking into a persons past can in some occasions provide us with insights into how they are. Sometimes it provides us with none. Even if it does provide us with some explanations all we are doing is assuming we know more then we do.

*I don’t know why you say this.
Give it a little thought and it should appear obvious. The brain is designed to make models and representations of the world. Its a very natural human tendency to fill in the gaps when it comes to things we dont have information on. Every person does it. When idolizing someone, you fill in the blanks with qualities you may like that they might not possess. When hearing about some accident but not being there for it, your imagination creates a depiction of what probably happened. The same will go for every attempt to understand a persons past. Because you were not there, and on top of that because memory is not a true replay of what happened but instead a reconstruction of what happened or a recreation of what happened, then there is no accuarate understanding of a person's childhood. Not only for the person digging for accurate descriptions, but the person doing the describing.
- Out of all of the schools of psychology the overall assertions of Gestalt psychology ring the most true to me. The whole is greater then the sum of its parts. People must be viewed as whole entities when talking about behavior, its a completely unfair position to consider them as the victims of punishment, the harbingers of revenge, the products of childhood, or entities whose behavior must be modified.

*What if it is so? I think the evidence is strongly in favor of those statements, except that you would always have to add “among other things.”
No you would not. Among other things is meaningless. Its a given, but the other things are impossible to assess because we dont understand what influences cause a person to behave in a certain way because every individual is different. Thats why they must be seen as causes and ends in themselves. Treated as whole and complete entities. Influences and their assessments are usually meaningless because they are impossible to prioritize, we will only make assumptions about their importance.
* The most prevalent problem with psychology's influence is the concept that behaviors in and of themselves could possibly be deseases.

Who asserts this??\
The entire field is based off of this. If we were studying malfunctions of the body then these problems would be treated in neurology or some brain science. Psychology is the study of neurosis and behaviors. Is there a biologically traceable cause for narcissism? Can we trace ADD to a part of the brain or body? What chemicals are out of balance during depression? These are categories describing behaviors. They are not based off of the body or its biology. Psychiatry and psychology are businesses involved in large part to behavior modification.
*If a person repeatedly engages in behavior that causes himself and/or others PSDED, the odds are high that he or she has a mental illness. The behavior is not the illness; it is a manifestation of it.
If a person repeatedly engages in behaivor that causes himself PSDED then it is none of your or my business. We dont own their life. We own our lives, and if PSDED is bad then you yourself should refrain from it, but unless someone asks for or suggests that they want your help then their lives are their own to fix or destroy. As far as others go, if someone causes PSDED to others, then they must be stopped. The only time I think that a person could be stopped for causing PSDED to themselves is in cases where it can be fairly well demonstrated that their actions take part somehow outside of the boundaries of their "will". Such situations are rare, but can happen.
*I think he tried to make a contribution to the effort to understand ourselves better so that we can make our lives better. None of us get it all right (except perhaps for me).
What he did was try and kill off responsibility, poke holes in the cheeks of children, and lock his daughter up in a cage. In his own words : "as scientific explanation becomes more and more comprehensive, the contribution which may be claimed by the individual himself appears to approach zero. Man's vaunted creative powers, his achievements in art, science and morals, his capacity to choose and our right to hold him responsible for the consequences of his choice-none of these is conspicuous in the new scientific self portrait." Now that is complete and utter nonsense. So Shakespear is not responsible for his plays, but the England of his time is? I just today read this quote of Skinner in Aldous Huxley's Brave new world revisited. It is a book on politics and even though there is a great deal of it which I do not agree with, when it comes to this topic he is spot on. I am going to steal his words, because its like listening to a more poetic version of myself. I consider Aldous Huxley to be one of the greatest novelists in history, and was surprised that something which he wrote sounded so much like my own contentions. Here is what he says: "In real life, life as it is lived from day to day, the individual can never be explained away. It is only in theory that his contributions appear to approach zero; in practice they are all-important. What a piece of work gets done in the world, who actually does it? Whose eyes and ears do the perceiving, whose cortex does the thinking, who has the feelings that motivate, that overcomes obstacles? Certainly not the social enviornment, for a group is not an organizm, but only a blind unconscious organization. Everything that is done within a society is done by individuals. These individuals are, of course, profoundly influenced by the local culture, the taboos and moralities, the information and misinformation handed down from the past and preserved in a body of spoken traditions or written literature; but whatever each individual takes from society(or, to be more accurate, whatever he takes from other individuals associated in groups, or from the symbolic records compiled by other individuals, living or dead) will be used by him in his own unique way- with his special senses, his biochemical make-up, his physique and temperament, and nobody elses. No amount of scientific explaination, however comprehensively, can explain away these self evident facts." He also states this which is relevent and illustrates almost exactly what I mean, "A science of human behavior is like a science of motion in the abstract-necessary, but, by itself, wholly inadequate to the facts. Consider a dragonfly, a rocket and a breaking wave. All three of them illustrate the same fundamental laws of motion; but they illustrate these laws in different ways, and the differences are at least as important as the identities. By itself, a study of motion can tell us almost nothing about that which, in any given instance, is being moved. Similarly a study of behavior can, by itself, tell us almost nothing about the individual mind-body that, in any particular instance, is exhibiting such behavior." I dont agree on a great deal of Aldous Huxley's politics, but as pertains to these statements, AMEN!!
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 89
- I have a problem (and I'm not saying you do this yourself) with psychologists and psychiatrists who want to act like they are authorities on how people should be behaving.

*You have quite a striking image of such people.
Such people present quite striking images.
- Your average person is as much of a source of knowledge of others actions as the most schooled of the psychologists.

I wonder how one would demonstrate this to be so.
You have it backwards. In order to justify psychiatry it would need to be shown how psychiatrists are more of an expert then your average person. How could you demonstrate that? If you cant demonstrate it, then it seems unreasonable to assert it. The burden of proof lies not on me, but on psychiatry.
-This statement is against what I believe because it involves trying to find rotten presumptions about concepts in a persons beliefs or flaws in their characters which if corrected can be used to mold that person into a better individual who wont want to cause others pain.

*I don’t follow that.
How have I misunderstood you then? Suggesting how people should be behaving sounds to me like self righteous molding of behavior. What is the difference in your view between advocation and behavior modification. If you advocate that a person should be different from what they are, is that not the same as advocating for behavior modification.
*I see many who want to change and have difficulty doing so. And some of them I can help to some extent.
I have stated over and over, i see nothing wrong with helping people who want to change. I see something very wrong in trying to get people who dont want help to accept help.
*I don’t know what you mean by “absolutes.” Our behavior (actions) is determined by our beliefs and our motivational states.
Can we substitute the word emotions for motivanal states? To use that phrase is to basically say emotions. Its a typical psychiatric way of trying to make ideas sound way more complex then they really are. Our beliefs and our emotions are who we are. There is no logic involved in trying to nitpick in that manner when all that matters is the actions. Peoples actions matter, you cant know for certain another persons beliefs or emotions, because people can lie and decieve on both cases.
*Yes, the processes (human interactional processes, especially communicative processes) that cause such problems may be very subtle and difficult to spot and understand unless the family is worked with by someone who understands these processes. Statistical studies would have a hard time identifying the important causes of such problems.

-Someone who understands these processes? No one understands these processess.

*No one understands them at all??
Absolutely no one understands them to the extent that they should be placed in the kind of position your talking about. How could someone from outside the family who doesnt know the childs personality know more then the parents themselves on how the child should be raised. Such an idea screams of arrogance.
*I tell people that they should always do what they believe in, what makes sense to them. I also recommend that they look at any of their assumptions with the recognition that there may be better ones, i.e., that they keep an open mind. I notice how frequently you paint the picture of someone “telling others what to do.” I don’t see myself as ever doing that. Is it possible that you have a tendency to view situations as being this way more than they actually are? I don’t see why you consider advocacy to be the same as evilly telling people what to do.
Then what is the diffference between advocacy and telling people what to do? You explain it to me. In my view if you say things pertaining to how other people out to be raising their children, and that we shouldnt punish them, that is exactly the opposite of telling people they should make up their own minds in the situation. You are in fact advocating that they dont punish their children. So you are advocating that they change, not that they should do what they themselves think is best. You cant have your cake and eat it to. You are trying to paint yourself in two different colours, but you can be all red and all green at the same time.
- I am an atheist. A christian could very well make the assertion that their belief in a God is rooted in the personal experience of helping others by asserting Gods existence and watching their reactions and how such a belief improves their life. Lifes improvement based off of comforting words does not make those words true. You yourself didnt raise those children did you? Shouldnt you be searching for contradictory evidence before asserting these claims. I would point you in the direction of Martin Seligmans book authentic happiness. He covers this subject in his book. He claims that literally hundreds of studies completely contradict your assertions. I'm not going to look to find these hundreds of studies, but if you want this information you could pick through the book and he mentions these findings in the section on child rearing.

*If you could give me one example of an assertion of mine and one example of evidence to the contrary, I would appreciated it.
You have stated that punishment is not effective in raising kids. I literally just told you the author and the book where this information is contained. Maybe I'll let you borrow it. Before making assertions you should look into what he's saying. If psychiatrists could have found a way to relieve parents of the ability to punish, so that they themselves could have modified behavior, they would have found contradictory evidence a long time ago.
-This concerns psychiatry doing more harm then good. How about the fact that when psychiatry has been in the wrong they have disabled people to the point where they can no longer function as a person.

*That is true of all branches of medicine.
Not to the degree or in the same way that psychiatry has. In other branches of medicine sometimes things can go very wrong, but the procedures are based off of an actual understanding of the body. They dont proclaim harmful treatments which have no basis in biology.
-That lobotamies have led to people being brain dead. (which is practically dead)

*That is not the usual result of lobotomy.
That is not a comforting rebuttel to those who are braindead.
-That they have consistently broken the hypocratic oath by prescribing medications that turn people into zombies and addicts, or that they have electroshocked people into a stupor. If someone goes to a psychologist and comes away feeling good about their life and condition that is a sure victory. If someone goes to a psychiatrist and they have portions of their brains cut out, or they are locked away and not permitted to leave the psychiatric hospital how much more damaging is that then someone who comes away feeling better?

-Do you think that is happening today?
I think in a way psychiatry is almost worse today. The behavior modifications are more subtle, anti psychotic medications can erect the bars of Bedlam into the minds of the patients. Drugs are where the control is now.



vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 90
*But I did not say that it did. I believe that religion should become more rational.

-Religion is not a rational thing. It cant be. Religion is about comfort, its not about facts. Its about personal conduct, not observations concerning how the universe operates.

*Now this statement I agree with.
You just contradicted yourself.
*Have you read the book “On Certainty”?
I have never heard of it.
- First of all, what does the age of the species have to do with anything? Tyrannosaurus Rex was around much longer as a species, however, I dont think that it at any point developed a strong ethical sense.

*I don’t know how social it was, how much of a group animal it was.
Its irrelevent. Birds fly around in flocks, they are groups animals. They have been around longer then us. I dont think they have a strong moral sense.
-Your ignoring all of my examples and asserting your beliefs on child rearing based only off of what you want to believe regardless of all else. What do you say about these examples? What explains a child who doesnt punish his children when his father punished him?

*There are all sorts of adaptations to punishment. And the child has multiple relationships with others who are in complex systems of interaction with each other.
Thats a roundabout way of saying that everyone is different. Your on the one hand talking about how indescribably complex the results stemming from punishment are, and then in the next breath saying that none the less you know enough to assert that your sure that punishment is wrong. You dont know what punishment wil result in, but it doesnt matter, because its wrong. This is a flaw in logic.
-Or a serial killer who grew up in a happy loving family?

*You have to look more deeply than that.
How convenient. Whenever something contradicts your assertions, you simply assert that the case is complex and that there are some hidden details which would have to be assessed. I have a feeling that if something backed up your claims you would refer back to it again and again, but if something refutes your claims its because the situation is complex, we dont know all the details, you have to look more deeply.....these are evasions.
*Again, I don’t tell them how to do so, but instead they and I put our heads together to try to follow certain principles that seem correct to them. You certainly must see me as a controlling person (perhaps even with evil motives), rather than as someone who tries to help. But I know you are not alone. This is a widespread phenomenon. I see it as a widespread presence of anger about having been repeatedly punished, resulting in an anti-authoritarian attitude and a wish to gain “freedom” from any kind of “control.” (I’m not just talking about you, remember.) If you read the chapter on “Rational-Ethical Child Rearing” you will understand more of what I am saying.
If you advocate against all punishment, then you advocate against all punishment. If the parent believes in punishment and you dont, then I cant imagine that you will say "alright, well then you should punish half the time." You dont compromise on a position such as all punishment should be abolished. I wholeheartedly think that you have a great deal of empathy and an admirable instinct to help others. I admire and appreciate it. I think however that you do sound like someone who to me would tend to lean towards control of others, not through direct force, or through evil intentions, but with the desire to help. However, the desire to do good does not equate to actually doing good. Awful things are done by people who just want to help. i most certainly have an anti authority attitude. In that judgement you are most certainly correct. I dont want to take away all control. I am not an anarchist. I think that statements talking about abolishing punishment sound to me much more in line with taking away all control then the statements that i am making.
Mandy O.
user 34070152
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1
This is a short essay I wrote this past year in reference to religion. It is not in response to a post but I thought I would share.


Upon examination of all major world religions, there is not a single belief system that encourages the destruction, maltreatment, and intolerance that is existent among the human species; nevertheless, violence in the name of faith is ever present in society. The name in which deplorable acts are preformed is not significant, as the root cause of such action inevitably trickles down to the absolutist nature of belief itself. As human beings, it is often difficult to accept the reality that the mind, in its endless stream of thoughts and feelings, is unique in every individual. A person’s experiences, no matter how small, mold the conscious in such a way that is inalterable by external influences. In spite of this, humanity has often adopted an attitude of absolute truth; an opinion, which is considered fact, that is reflected as unconditionally valid and completely superior over all other differing opinions. This exclusivist conviction has resulted in the deaths of innumerable human beings, and continues to do so at the expanse of brotherhood, love, and unity. To escape this endless cycle of blood, it is essential that humanity comes together in understanding, respect, and empathy; as sentient beings, this requires the mind to open and recognize the beautiful, unique nature that is present in each and every one of us.

The majority of religions preach of love and compassion, but alas, they also breed the mind-set of absolutism in belief. In the declaration of concrete truth, the human being is vulnerable to the mentality of a single reality; as a result, the belief that one’s religious ideas are exclusively true is a common trend within society. The origin of this conviction may lie with the way the mind functions or perhaps with the natural tendency of human beings to amalgamate. An evolutionary function for the belief in divinity is still unknown; but it appears to cause greater societal damage then the perceived benefits. I suspect that the ideal of absolute truth could rest with the social nature of humanity itself. In order to survive, the ancient human quickly discovered the power of the pack. The larger groups of people were provided with greater protection, increased food supplies, and ample mating opportunities. In these groups, there must have been a social tie that linked them together; imaginably, this may have been in the form of nature worship. The tribe functioned as a whole, and the beliefs they shared allied them together. In the evolution of these communities, adversity between differing tribes was certainly an issue. In the fight for survival and resources, an “us vs. them” mentality may have emerged, thus pitting groups against one another; religion becoming a convenient excuse for hate.

Wherever the concept of absolute truth originated, the fact remains that it is an on-going problem in society. Every day, violence upon innocent people is taken out with the belief in performing God’s duty. As history has a tendency to repeat itself, it is only a matter of time before the sacrifice of one evolves into the sacrifice of millions. To alter this dejected fate, humanity must step outside the prison of our minds and see each other as brothers and sisters in a life of suffering and chaos. Acceptance and tolerance to the unique nature in each human being is essential to the transformation of this species. It is no longer endurable to continue our lives of separation and distrust; we will eventually come to a point where we must evolve into something better; a society without the ills of righteous animosity and mindless dogma; a society in which every individual is free to think and imagine beyond the realm of restrictive intolerance. Each person must release the alleged control they hold over life and see beyond the box of the personal mind. The Buddha once said, “Ruin in the world is caused by ignorance; friendships are broken off by envy and selfishness; the most violent fever is hatred . . .” (Carus). The simple solution to the madness in the world: to love truly, deeply, and without condition. It is only then that we, all living beings, can finally come together and share life as the complex, magnificent and beautiful journey that it deserves to be.
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,536
Vincent,

-Looking into a persons past can in some occasions provide us with insights into how they are. Sometimes it provides us with none. Even if it does provide us with some explanations all we are doing is assuming we know more then we do.

*I don’t know why you say this.

Give it a little thought and it should appear obvious. The brain is designed to make models and representations of the world. Its a very natural human tendency to fill in the gaps when it comes to things we dont have information on. Every person does it. When idolizing someone, you fill in the blanks with qualities you may like that they might not possess. When hearing about some accident but not being there for it, your imagination creates a depiction of what probably happened. The same will go for every attempt to understand a persons past. Because you were not there, and on top of that because memory is not a true replay of what happened but instead a reconstruction of what happened or a recreation of what happened, then there is no accuarate understanding of a person's childhood. Not only for the person digging for accurate descriptions, but the person doing the describing.
I was talking about your statement that even if it does provide us with some explanations, we are assuming we know more than we do. I could imagine that to be true in some cases, but why am all cases?

-Out of all of the schools of psychology the overall assertions of Gestalt psychology ring the most true to me. The whole is greater then the sum of its parts. People must be viewed as whole entities when talking about behavior, its a completely unfair position to consider them as the victims of punishment, the harbingers of revenge, the products of childhood, or entities whose behavior must be modified.

*What if it is so? I think the evidence is strongly in favor of those statements, except that you would always have to add “among other things.”

No you would not. Among other things is meaningless. Its a given, but the other things are impossible to assess because we dont understand what influences cause a person to behave in a certain way because every individual is different. Thats why they must be seen as causes and ends in themselves. Treated as whole and complete entities. Influences and their assessments are usually meaningless because they are impossible to prioritize, we will only make assumptions about their importance.

The fact that we cannot arrive at a complete explanation as to why someone does something does not mean that we have to respond in a hostile, vengeful, punitive fashion. It seems that you are saying that because we cannot understand a person fully, we should just condemn them and punish them, since that's a simpler thing to do.


The most prevalent problem with psychology's influence is the concept that behaviors in and of themselves could possibly be deseases.

Who asserts this??

The entire field is based off of this. If we were studying malfunctions of the body then these problems would be treated in neurology or some brain science. Psychology is the study of neurosis and behaviors. Is there a biologically traceable cause for narcissism? Can we trace ADD to a part of the brain or body? What chemicals are out of balance during depression? These are categories describing behaviors. They are not based off of the body or its biology. Psychiatry and psychology are businesses involved in large part to behavior modification.

Brain biochemistry/physiology and psychology are 2 ways of studying the same reality. It is the brain that is doing it. We see the same changes toward normalization of obsessive-compulsive disorder on brain imaging following treatment with either an SSRI or an appropriate psychotherapy.


*If a person repeatedly engages in behavior that causes himself and/or others PSDED, the odds are high that he or she has a mental illness. The behavior is not the illness; it is a manifestation of it.

If a person repeatedly engages in behaivor that causes himself PSDED then it is none of your or my business. We dont own their life. We own our lives, and if PSDED is bad then you yourself should refrain from it, but unless someone asks for or suggests that they want your help then their lives are their own to fix or destroy. As far as others go, if someone causes PSDED to others, then they must be stopped. The only time I think that a person could be stopped for causing PSDED to themselves is in cases where it can be fairly well demonstrated that their actions take part somehow outside of the boundaries of their "will". Such situations are rare, but can happen.

Your replying demonstrates how important the mind-body problem in philosophy is to our functioning as a species. Also, you seem to define all efforts to help someone who has not requested help as simply being efforts to control him or her, an evil motive.

(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,537
(Continued from previous post)

*I think he tried to make a contribution to the effort to understand ourselves better so that we can make our lives better. None of us get it all right (except perhaps for me).

What he did was try and kill off responsibility, poke holes in the cheeks of children, and lock his daughter up in a cage. In his own words : "as scientific explanation becomes more and more comprehensive, the contribution which may be claimed by the individual himself appears to approach zero. Man's vaunted creative powers, his achievements in art, science and morals, his capacity to choose and our right to hold him responsible for the consequences of his choice-none of these is conspicuous in the new scientific self portrait." Now that is complete and utter nonsense. So Shakespear is not responsible for his plays, but the England of his time is? I just today read this quote of Skinner in Aldous Huxley's Brave new world revisited. It is a book on politics and even though there is a great deal of it which I do not agree with, when it comes to this topic he is spot on. I am going to steal his words, because its like listening to a more poetic version of myself. I consider Aldous Huxley to be one of the greatest novelists in history, and was surprised that something which he wrote sounded so much like my own contentions. Here is what he says: "In real life, life as it is lived from day to day, the individual can never be explained away. It is only in theory that his contributions appear to approach zero; in practice they are all-important. What a piece of work gets done in the world, who actually does it? Whose eyes and ears do the perceiving, whose cortex does the thinking, who has the feelings that motivate, that overcomes obstacles? Certainly not the social enviornment, for a group is not an organizm, but only a blind unconscious organization. Everything that is done within a society is done by individuals. These individuals are, of course, profoundly influenced by the local culture, the taboos and moralities, the information and misinformation handed down from the past and preserved in a body of spoken traditions or written literature; but whatever each individual takes from society(or, to be more accurate, whatever he takes from other individuals associated in groups, or from the symbolic records compiled by other individuals, living or dead) will be used by him in his own unique way- with his special senses, his biochemical make-up, his physique and temperament, and nobody elses. No amount of scientific explaination, however comprehensively, can explain away these self evident facts." He also states this which is relevent and illustrates almost exactly what I mean, "A science of human behavior is like a science of motion in the abstract-necessary, but, by itself, wholly inadequate to the facts. Consider a dragonfly, a rocket and a breaking wave. All three of them illustrate the same fundamental laws of motion; but they illustrate these laws in different ways, and the differences are at least as important as the identities. By itself, a study of motion can tell us almost nothing about that which, in any given instance, is being moved. Similarly a study of behavior can, by itself, tell us almost nothing about the individual mind-body that, in any particular instance, is exhibiting such behavior." I dont agree on a great deal of Aldous Huxley's politics, but as pertains to these statements, AMEN!!

It seems to me that you are saying that because we can't understand the causes of behavior completely, we should take the simpler route of simply punishing individuals who manifest behavior this is not optimal, on the basis of holding them responsible for their behavior. We can take either a “free will” frame of reference or a “deterministic” frame of reference and use it in order to arrive at an “explanation.” It seems that we make that choice depending upon what we want to do with or to the individual who has behaved non-optimally.


-I have a problem (and I'm not saying you do this yourself) with psychologists and psychiatrists who want to act like they are authorities on how people should be behaving.

*You have quite a striking image of such people.

Such people present quite striking images.

I think the image is in the eye of the beholder.


-Your average person is as much of a source of knowledge of others actions as the most schooled of the psychologists.


I wonder how one would demonstrate this to be so.

You have it backwards. In order to justify psychiatry it would need to be shown how psychiatrists are more of an expert then your average person. How could you demonstrate that? If you cant demonstrate it, then it seems unreasonable to assert it. The burden of proof lies not on me, but on psychiatry.

Studies show that psychiatrists help people, through medication and psychotherapy.


-This statement is against what I believe because it involves trying to find rotten presumptions about concepts in a persons beliefs or flaws in their characters which if corrected can be used to mold that person into a better individual who wont want to cause others pain.

*I don’t follow that.

How have I misunderstood you then? Suggesting how people should be behaving sounds to me like self righteous molding of behavior. What is the difference in your view between advocation and behavior modification. If you advocate that a person should be different from what they are, is that not the same as advocating for behavior modification.

You are advocating, just as I am. Each of us is trying to make the world a better place, I am assuming. I know that I am.


*I see many who want to change and have difficulty doing so. And some of them I can help to some extent.

I have stated over and over, i see nothing wrong with helping people who want to change. I see something very wrong in trying to get people who dont want help to accept help.

It will probably be best for you to avoid the field of suicide prevention.


(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,538
(Continued from previous post)
*I don’t know what you mean by “absolutes.” Our behavior (actions) is determined by our beliefs and our motivational states.

Can we substitute the word emotions for motivanal states? To use that phrase is to basically say emotions. Its a typical psychiatric way of trying to make ideas sound way more complex then they really are. Our beliefs and our emotions are who we are. There is no logic involved in trying to nitpick in that manner when all that matters is the actions. Peoples actions matter, you cant know for certain another persons beliefs or emotions, because people can lie and decieve on both cases.

See, some of the difficulty is that you and I use a different lexicon. If you were to read my book, we could have a more fruitful discussion. It is not true that my term “motivational state” can be replaced with “emotion.” There are many motivational states that would not be considered emotions. Hunger, itching, the wish to do the right thing, and wanting to understand something are not usually referred to as “emotions.” When you say that all that matters is the actions (behavior) of individuals, I would say that what matters varies from person to person and situation to situation. Whether or not a person suffers is something that matters to me. My whole life has been involved in things that are important because that matters to me.


*Yes, the processes (human interactional processes, especially communicative processes) that cause such problems may be very subtle and difficult to spot and understand unless the family is worked with by someone who understands these processes. Statistical studies would have a hard time identifying the important causes of such problems.

-Someone who understands these processes? No one understands these processess.

*No one understands them at all??

Absolutely no one understands them to the extent that they should be placed in the kind of position your talking about. How could someone from outside the family who doesnt know the childs personality know more then the parents themselves on how the child should be raised. Such an idea screams of arrogance.

So a parent who is abusing a child, causing serious physical and psychological injury, knows more than a child psychiatrist or psychologist who has spent decades helping parents to improve the lives of their children?


*I tell people that they should always do what they believe in, what makes sense to them. I also recommend that they look at any of their assumptions with the recognition that there may be better ones, i.e., that they keep an open mind. I notice how frequently you paint the picture of someone “telling others what to do.” I don’t see myself as ever doing that. Is it possible that you have a tendency to view situations as being this way more than they actually are? I don’t see why you consider advocacy to be the same as evilly telling people what to do.

Then what is the diffference between advocacy and telling people what to do? You explain it to me. In my view if you say things pertaining to how other people out to be raising their children, and that we shouldnt punish them, that is exactly the opposite of telling people they should make up their own minds in the situation. You are in fact advocating that they dont punish their children. that they change, not that they should do what they themselves think is best. You cant have your cake and eat it to. You are trying to paint yourself in two different colours, but you can be all red and all green at the same time.

In advocacy, one is asking another or others to think more deeply, or rethink, about certain belief that he, she, or they have had up to this point. We humans need to do a lot of deep thinking about the way that we live and the things that we do, if we want to achieve a far better life then has been true so far. Your reaction to advocacy is to define it as “being told what to do.” There are many people who would be grateful for advocacy, because of the opportunity for improvement.


-I am an atheist. A christian could very well make the assertion that their belief in a God is rooted in the personal experience of helping others by asserting Gods existence and watching their reactions and how such a belief improves their life. Lifes improvement based off of comforting words does not make those words true. You yourself didnt raise those children did you? Shouldnt you be searching for contradictory evidence before asserting these claims. I would point you in the direction of Martin Seligmans book authentic happiness. He covers this subject in his book. He claims that literally hundreds of studies completely contradict your assertions. I'm not going to look to find these hundreds of studies, but if you want this information you could pick through the book and he mentions these findings in the section on child rearing.

*If you could give me one example of an assertion of mine and one example of evidence to the contrary, I would appreciated it.

You have stated that punishment is not effective in raising kids. I literally just told you the author and the book where this information is contained. Maybe I'll let you borrow it. Before making assertions you should look into what he's saying. If psychiatrists could have found a way to relieve parents of the ability to punish, so that they themselves could have modified behavior, they would have found contradictory evidence a long time ago.

I never said that punishment was not effective. I do say, however, that it has awful side effects, and that we are insufficiently aware of those awful side effects because we look at them as being simply a part of normal life. I do also say that there are better ways than punishment to promote more optimal behavior.


-This concerns psychiatry doing more harm then good. How about the fact that when psychiatry has been in the wrong they have disabled people to the point where they can no longer function as a person.

*That is true of all branches of medicine.

Not to the degree or in the same way that psychiatry has. In other branches of medicine sometimes things can go very wrong, but the procedures are based off of an actual understanding of the body. They dont proclaim harmful treatments which have no basis in biology.

-That lobotamies have led to people being brain dead. (which is practically dead)

*That is not the usual result of lobotomy.

That is not a comforting rebuttel to those who are braindead.

I am not trying to provide a comforting rebuttal to people who are brain dead.
(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,539
(Continued from previous post)


-That they have consistently broken the hypocratic oath by prescribing medications that turn people into zombies and addicts, or that they have electroshocked people into a stupor. If someone goes to a psychologist and comes away feeling good about their life and condition that is a sure victory. If someone goes to a psychiatrist and they have portions of their brains cut out, or they are locked away and not permitted to leave the psychiatric hospital how much more damaging is that then someone who comes away feeling better?

-Do you think that is happening today?

I think in a way psychiatry is almost worse today. The behavior modifications are more subtle, anti psychotic medications can erect the bars of Bedlam into the minds of the patients. Drugs are where the control is now.

I don't think that I will be able to change your mind.


*But I did not say that it did. I believe that religion should become more rational.

-Religion is not a rational thing. It cant be. Religion is about comfort, its not about facts. Its about personal conduct, not observations concerning how the universe operates.

*Now this statement I agree with.

You just contradicted yourself.

I don't know how.


*Have you read the book “On Certainty”?

I have never heard of it.

The feeling of certainty is a neurological state that is not dependent upon the belief that feels certain being accurate. The feeling of certainty it is no good evidence of the correctness of the belief.


-First of all, what does the age of the species have to do with anything? Tyrannosaurus Rex was around much longer as a species, however, I dont think that it at any point developed a strong ethical sense.

*I don’t know how social it was, how much of a group animal it was.

Its irrelevent. Birds fly around in flocks, they are groups animals. They have been around longer then us. I dont think they have a strong moral sense.

Actually, they probably do, but they are unable to do what we are able to do, namely, to put our ethical beliefs into words. Also, our criteria of legitimization of ethical beliefs are more complex, just as is our behavior.


-Your ignoring all of my examples and asserting your beliefs on child rearing based only off of what you want to believe regardless of all else. What do you say about these examples? What explains a child who doesnt punish his children when his father punished him?

*There are all sorts of adaptations to punishment. And the child has multiple relationships with others who are in complex systems of interaction with each other.

Thats a roundabout way of saying that everyone is different. Your on the one hand talking about how indescribably complex the results stemming from punishment are, and then in the next breath saying that none the less you know enough to assert that your sure that punishment is wrong. You dont know what punishment wil result in, but it doesnt matter, because its wrong. This is a flaw in logic.

Your representation of my set of beliefs is inaccurate, primarily because of oversimplification.


-Or a serial killer who grew up in a happy loving family?

*You have to look more deeply than that.

How convenient. Whenever something contradicts your assertions, you simply assert that the case is complex and that there are some hidden details which would have to be assessed. I have a feeling that if something backed up your claims you would refer back to it again and again, but if something refutes your claims its because the situation is complex, we dont know all the details, you have to look more deeply.....these are evasions.

I see my statement as a truthful statement. You are painting a picture of me that I don't believe is accurate.


*Again, I don’t tell them how to do so, but instead they and I put our heads together to try to follow certain principles that seem correct to them. You certainly must see me as a controlling person (perhaps even with evil motives), rather than as someone who tries to help. But I know you are not alone. This is a widespread phenomenon. I see it as a widespread presence of anger about having been repeatedly punished, resulting in an anti-authoritarian attitude and a wish to gain “freedom” from any kind of “control.” (I’m not just talking about you, remember.) If you read the chapter on “Rational-Ethical Child Rearing” you will understand more of what I am saying.

If you advocate against all punishment, then you advocate against all punishment. If the parent believes in punishment and you dont, then I cant imagine that you will say "alright, well then you should punish half the time." You dont compromise on a position such as all punishment should be abolished. I wholeheartedly think that you have a great deal of empathy and an admirable instinct to help others. I admire and appreciate it. I think however that you do sound like someone who to me would tend to lean towards control of others, not through direct force, or through evil intentions, but with the desire to help. However, the desire to do good does not equate to actually doing good. Awful things are done by people who just want to help. i most certainly have an anti authority attitude. In that judgement you are most certainly correct. I dont want to take away all control. I am not an anarchist. I think that statements talking about abolishing punishment sound to me much more in line with taking away all control then the statements that i am making.

I believe that is so because you did not really understand what I am saying. Your view of my views is, I believe, very oversimplified and perhaps stereotyped (by an anti-psychiatry orientation). Is you were to read my chapters on rational-ethical anger prevention, child rearing, and belief management, you would have a much more in-depth understanding. (They are in the 1st free book at homorationalis.com.)­ And if you read the chapters before those chapters, you would really understand what I am advocating to a much greater extent.

I wish to apologize for having taken so long to respond. I have been very busy. It takes me a very long time to reformat your posts so that they can be followed adequately by other readers. I cannot be certain that I have avoided mistakes in doing so, but hope that I have been successful.
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,540
Mandy,

I appreciate your post. It sounds to me like you are indeed Humanian. I think you would really like exploring Humanianity.

When you say, “Upon examination of all major world religions, there is not a single belief system that encourages the destruction, maltreatment, and intolerance that is existent among the human species;” I think that may be somewhat mistaken. I recommend listening to the following speech by Bishop Spong: Burke Lecture: John Shelby Spong

http://www.youtube.co...­

Also, I think that the pursuit of increasingly accurate beliefs is absolutely essential for our species. “Absolute truth” might stand as a symbol for the asymptote that our opinions should hopefully increasingly approach. What you are calling attention to, and what I think is extremely important, is our need to develop our ability to engage in friendly debate to a much greater extent than has developed so far, as the alternative to hostile attack when there is difference of opinion.
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 93
*I was talking about your statement that even if it does provide us with some explanations, we are assuming we know more than we do. I could imagine that to be true in some cases, but why am all cases?
Because of the way the left hemisphere of our brain works. It fills in the picture when we dont have solid data on matters. Its a human and unavoidable thing to fill in the blanks with assumptions that hold no basis. A person's personal memories are nothing more then reconstructions of past events, so even coming from the person themselves they are not reliable.
*The fact that we cannot arrive at a complete explanation as to why someone does something does not mean that we have to respond in a hostile, vengeful, punitive fashion. It seems that you are saying that because we cannot understand a person fully, we should just condemn them and punish them, since that's a simpler thing to do.
You always equate punishment with justice and I dont feel that they are the same. We place some people away to preserve the safety of others. That is not revenge. People I believe should be punished, but we would have to have a context of what a person did and the circumstances involved. A person shouldnt be punished in every single case. It would depend on what they did and the circumstances.
*Brain biochemistry/physiology and psychology are 2 ways of studying the same reality. It is the brain that is doing it. We see the same changes toward normalization of obsessive-compulsive disorder on brain imaging following treatment with either an SSRI or an appropriate psychotherapy.
I dont feel that is quite true. Isnt it the case that usually when a mental illness is shown to have a neurological cause it is usually treated through neurology because neurology concerns the neuronal structure of the brain and psychology simply deals with unfavorable behavioral patterns?
*Your replying demonstrates how important the mind-body problem in philosophy is to our functioning as a species. Also, you seem to define all efforts to help someone who has not requested help as simply being efforts to control him or her, an evil motive.
If someone insists they dont want help or need help and you force help on them then to me that is an evil motive. Or if not evil then I do believe it is arrogant. To take that position it seems to me you must have to say that you know better for what someone should want then the person themselves. To me that position is rip for abuse.
*It seems to me that you are saying that because we can't understand the causes of behavior completely, we should take the simpler route of simply punishing individuals who manifest behavior this is not optimal, on the basis of holding them responsible for their behavior. We can take either a “free will” frame of reference or a “deterministic” frame of reference and use it in order to arrive at an “explanation.” It seems that we make that choice depending upon what we want to do with or to the individual who has behaved non-optimally.
More extensive damage to me has come from treating humans with the deterministic model then has come from treating people with the free will model. If people are nothing more then causes, why is it immoral to do what we want to them? You dont worry about harming a force of nature (deterministic). You shouldnt force yourself on a person who is an end in themselves, or who is self made. (free will)
* Studies show that psychiatrists help people, through medication and psychotherapy.
I have nothing against people going through counseling. I dont think a person should have to look hard to find plenty of examples of psychiatric abuse. Why do you quote these vague studies, and then ignore the numerous studies which contradict skinner and say that punishment works? Arent you just believing whatever you want regardless of evidence?
*You are advocating, just as I am. Each of us is trying to make the world a better place, I am assuming. I know that I am.
The world will be as it is. The universe unfolds as it wishes. We can do good works to those we run into. We cant make the world a better place in the abstract.
-I have stated over and over, i see nothing wrong with helping people who want to change. I see something very wrong in trying to get people who dont want help to accept help.
*It will probably be best for you to avoid the field of suicide prevention.
People who call suicide prevention are seeking help. I would be proud to try and help such people. I dont think you are getting what I'm saying.
*See, some of the difficulty is that you and I use a different lexicon. If you were to read my book, we could have a more fruitful discussion. It is not true that my term “motivational state” can be replaced with “emotion.” There are many motivational states that would not be considered emotions. Hunger, itching, the wish to do the right thing, and wanting to understand something are not usually referred to as “emotions.” When you say that all that matters is the actions (behavior) of individuals, I would say that what matters varies from person to person and situation to situation. Whether or not a person suffers is something that matters to me. My whole life has been involved in things that are important because that matters to me.
I see the difference. I will keep this in mind in the future.
*So a parent who is abusing a child, causing serious physical and psychological injury, knows more than a child psychiatrist or psychologist who has spent decades helping parents to improve the lives of their children?
A parent who abuses a child should have the child removed from their custody immediately. In those types of situations I would say that a psychiatrist or psychologist or social worker would be better then the parents themselves. However, those situations are far more rare then common. We have social workers for just such bothersome situations.
*In advocacy, one is asking another or others to think more deeply, or rethink, about certain belief that he, she, or they have had up to this point. We humans need to do a lot of deep thinking about the way that we live and the things that we do, if we want to achieve a far better life then has been true so far. Your reaction to advocacy is to define it as “being told what to do.” There are many people who would be grateful for advocacy, because of the opportunity for improvement.
But what in your opinion is the difference between advocacy and telling people what to do?
*I never said that punishment was not effective. I do say, however, that it has awful side effects, and that we are insufficiently aware of those awful side effects because we look at them as being simply a part of normal life. I do also say that there are better ways than punishment to promote more optimal behavior.
I'm not in conflict with this statement. I feel it would depend on the situation. It would depend on whos getting punished and for what.
*I don't think that I will be able to change your mind.
Perhaps I come off as closed minded, but I really dont think that I am.
*The feeling of certainty is a neurological state that is not dependent upon the belief that feels certain being accurate. The feeling of certainty it is no good evidence of the correctness of the belief.
I completely agree. It seems that you are accusing me of being closed minded to the point of not hearing you.

Powered by mvnForum

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy