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MickeyTong
03-12-2009, 16:37
"A middle-aged Virginian man with no history of any misdemeanour began to stash child pornography and sexually molest his 8-year-old stepdaughter. Placed in the court system, his sexual behaviour became increasingly compulsive. Eventually, after repeatedly complaining of headaches and vertigo, he was sent for a brain scan. It showed a large but benign tumour in the frontal area of his brain, invading the septum and hypothalmus - regions known to regulate sexual behaviour.
After removal of the tumour, his sexual interests returned to normal."

Did he have free will? Was he responsible for his actions?

The Big Questions: Do we have free will? - life - 18 November 2006 - New Scientist (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19225780.070-the-big-questions-do-we-have-free-will.html?page=1)

Ian G
03-12-2009, 16:50
Tragic- but no, he clearly had no control over this change in his behaviour. The word 'compulsive' means just that.

It's a bit like the situation with dopamine therapy for Parkinson's disease- the dopamine stops the Parkinson's syndrome but can cause obsessive gambling and other extreme behaviour changes.

"The story opens with Bruce, an anesthesiologist from Memphis, Tennessee who retired on disability because of Parkinson's disease in 1997. He says he was always a frugal person, and gambling never held any interest for him. On a 1998 trip to Las Vegas, his family was surprised and a little troubled to find him glued to a video poker machine. Bruce, who didn't want us to use his last name, says that once he won that first jackpot, all he could think about was winning again. Over the next five years, Bruce lost between $150,000 to 200,000 on video poker and slots."

The Infinite Mind: The Dopamine Connection (http://www.lcmedia.com/mind330.htm)


And just to prove it's not just an American thing, here are some cases from Scotland:
http://www.ropinirole.com/news_article.html?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=18&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=69&cHash=98f178d3ba

LadyB
03-12-2009, 17:05
The article says “large but benign tumour in the frontal area of his brain, invading the septum and hypothalmus - regions known to regulate sexual behaviour.” The man still had a choice not to “stash child pornography and sexually molest his 8-year-old stepdaughter”.

When we are hungry or want to eat some particular food we don’t usually overcome the mountains just for the sake of obtaining that food. If we can find it we have it, if not we don’t travel from Moscow to Zimbabwe to get it.

Even if person has a huge desire he/she can still have self-control of actions he/she takes. I think there is always a choice. Even under the pressure of strong desires there are several ways a person can choose to go.

Viola
03-12-2009, 17:05
Did he have free will?

As far as nature allows us :5387:

Viola
03-12-2009, 17:10
Even if person has a huge desire he/she can still have self-control of actions he/she takes. I think there is always a choice. Even under the pressure of strong desires there are several ways a person can choose to go.

These "several ways" are socially/culturally indoctrinated to him/her. Nature has only one way and when it dominates s/he just follows instincts.

rusmeister
03-12-2009, 21:11
The danger here is in taking something that is or may be a major exception, and positing it as a rule. It is critical to remember that it IS an exception.

The idea of free will does not include the extraordinary exceptions, any more than a person born with no legs has a "right to walk". An epilectic may do something extraordinary in a fit, but that would fall into the same category - an extraordinary physical or physiological condition preventing the exercise of will. This in no way negates the idea of free will in general.

Also, what LadyB said. Simply having a desire, even a powerful one, does not mean that we have no choice. (Anyone remember Spock from the original series?: "I am a Vulcan! There is no pain..." (From the episode with the critters on Deneva (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation:_Annihilate!).) It is the concept of being able to set will against a powerful stimulus, which illustrates free will at its strongest.

The same unexpressed assumption (lack of free will) is used today to justify satisfaction of the sex drive no matter what. Thus, celibacy is seen as insane and unhealthy and same-sex attraction is a desire that must be fulfilled - as if nobody had the choice to be able to resist their desires. (I suppose alcoholics will soon join that list...)

(Edit) Interesting that that is evidently a science journal attempting to answer a philosophical question. Perhaps science will also answer our religious questions soon. It's no less ridiculous than the idea of religion trying to answer scientific questions...

rusmeister
03-12-2009, 21:29
These "several ways" are socially/culturally indoctrinated to him/her. Nature has only one way and when it dominates s/he just follows instincts.
This simply says that there is no free will and we are all programmed to behave certain ways and that there is no such thing as choice. It also anthropomorphizes nature, something that I think simply replaces God with a goddess - and the one you seem to be describing sounds far more cruel a goddess than a God Who actually allows us choices.

You have no free will to even read this page. It has been caused. You must read it. It is your destiny!

To the man of common sense, denial of free will (causality, or determinism) is simple nonsense; or more accurately, hopelessly complicated nets which sophists cast and catch themselves in.

17334

As Calvin says, "Que sera, sera..."

MickeyTong
04-12-2009, 13:51
Even if person has a huge desire he/she can still have self-control of actions he/she takes. I think there is always a choice. Even under the pressure of strong desires there are several ways a person can choose to go.

Ian G mentioned that the word "compulsive" means just that.

I have worked with numerous people who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which has a variety of manifestations - cleaning, counting, checking, hoarding - all characterised by repetitive, ritualised behaviour which the individual knows is absurd and deleterious but still must do. The compulsions are promted by obsessive thoughts (which won't go away) provoking extreme anxiety, in fact, mortal dread. The compulsive behaviours are undertaken to get rid of the anxiety. OCD presents on a continuum of severity: it can be mildly inconvenient and seen as "just a quirk", through to being totally debilitating.

For example:- A person with OCD, on his way to work, sees a puddle on the pavement a few metres away. He instantly "knows" that this is a puddle of urine and, despite being distant from it, is absolutely convinced that he has been contaminated by it (wind-born droplets, other people having walked through it to where he is standing....). Contaminated, not just dirtied. He believes this contamination will lead to his death and/or the death of anyone he encounters. For a while, he is paralysed into inaction by enormity of his dreadful situation but will soon make his way home, abandoning any other plans he had and in great dilemma about using a bus, train or taxi (in case he contaminates other people).

Returning home, as soon as he is inside his front door he fears that he will contaminate his entire home. Having faced this situation many times before, he has prepared for this - he has plastic refuse bags just inside his door. He strips naked and puts his clothes into a rubbish bag. He then puts this bag into another bag. He puts his shoes (no hope of getting them clean) into two bags and will throw them away later. Maybe months' later.

Being very careful not to touch anything unnecessarily, he goes to his bathroom and takes a shower. He washes himself, in a ritualised sequence, for 3 hours. The towel he dries himself with will be thrown away. Still naked, he disinfects the bathroom. Then he has another shower for an hour.

After this he wonders whether he may have contaminated other parts of his home, and frets about having to clean the clothes he had worn and how to dispose of his contaminated shoes. He knows that everything he has done has been irrational, he is ashamed about it, mortified that he has let people down (again) and will probably lose his job (he is too embarrassed to tell his boss why he, so often, doesn't turn up at work). He knows that this condition ruins his life, but he can't change it.

I'll get back later with treatment options (and their efficacy) for OCD.

Ian G
04-12-2009, 17:10
Interesting questions - the new scientist article focuses on the question of free will. Something in that man's brain caused his behaviour. But was he free to choose otherwise?

"The problem is that choices are made by brains, and brains operate causally; that is, they go from one state to the next as a function of antecedent conditions. Moreover, though brains make decisions, there is no discrete brain structure or neural network which qualifies as "the will" let alone a neural structure operating in a causal vacuum. The unavoidable conclusion is that a philosophy dedicated to uncaused choice is as unrealistic as a philosophy dedicated to a flat Earth."

Another question is what is the 'self'. This man had a tumor in his brain. Was that tumor some alien body- a parasite that decided to turn his life upside down? No- the tumor was part of his brain, and part of himself. Another part of himself could have struggled against the alarming change in his behaviour. We don't know. It's impossible to say whether the behaviour really was compulsive.

Philip K Dick had an experience towards the end of his life that had a profound effect on him and transformed his writing:

"On February 20, 1974, Dick was recovering from the effects of sodium pentothal administered for the extraction of an impacted wisdom tooth. Answering the door to receive delivery of extra analgesic, he noticed that the delivery woman was wearing a pendant with a symbol that he called the "vesicle pisces".... After the delivery woman's departure, Dick began experiencing strange visions. Although they may have been initially attributable to the medication, after weeks of visions he considered this explanation implausible. "I experienced an invasion of my mind by a transcendentally rational mind, as if I had been insane all my life and suddenly I had become sane," Dick told Charles Platt.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Dick

The question is the same- a disturbance occurs at the level of brain chemistry and we experience it in metaphysical terms: the self, the soul, free will, or God.
The difference of course is that in Dick's case no-one looked insde his brain to see what the disturbance was, if any.

rusmeister-re. your edit:
Yes- I believe science, philosophy, and religion - insofar as they are open-minded disciplines that are prepared to question previously accepted dogmas-are all aiming at answering the same questions. With different tools, certainly, but a truth is a truth whatever tools were used by the truth-seeker who discovered it.

is4fun
04-12-2009, 18:49
I am wondering whether those who are mentally insane today are still mentally insane when they reach a so called heaven? LOL Are people who are crazy actually cured once in heaven? Are they suddenly a part of the crowd of other angels and all are happy and able to get along just fine? Y'all must forgive my prose as this thread is beyond belief.

rusmeister
04-12-2009, 20:42
Ian G mentioned that the word "compulsive" means just that.

I have worked with numerous people who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which has a variety of manifestations - cleaning, counting, checking, hoarding - all characterised by repetitive, ritualised behaviour which the individual knows is absurd and deleterious but still must do. The compulsions are promted by obsessive thoughts (which won't go away) provoking extreme anxiety, in fact, mortal dread. The compulsive behaviours are undertaken to get rid of the anxiety. OCD presents on a continuum of severity: it can be mildly inconvenient and seen as "just a quirk", through to being totally debilitating.

For example:- A person with OCD, on his way to work, sees a puddle on the pavement a few metres away. He instantly "knows" that this is a puddle of urine and, despite being distant from it, is absolutely convinced that he has been contaminated by it (wind-born droplets, other people having walked through it to where he is standing....). Contaminated, not just dirtied. He believes this contamination will lead to his death and/or the death of anyone he encounters. For a while, he is paralysed into inaction by enormity of his dreadful situation but will soon make his way home, abandoning any other plans he had and in great dilemma about using a bus, train or taxi (in case he contaminates other people).

Returning home, as soon as he is inside his front door he fears that he will contaminate his entire home. Having faced this situation many times before, he has prepared for this - he has plastic refuse bags just inside his door. He strips naked and puts his clothes into a rubbish bag. He then puts this bag into another bag. He puts his shoes (no hope of getting them clean) into two bags and will throw them away later. Maybe months' later.

Being very careful not to touch anything unnecessarily, he goes to his bathroom and takes a shower. He washes himself, in a ritualised sequence, for 3 hours. The towel he dries himself with will be thrown away. Still naked, he disinfects the bathroom. Then he has another shower for an hour.

After this he wonders whether he may have contaminated other parts of his home, and frets about having to clean the clothes he had worn and how to dispose of his contaminated shoes. He knows that everything he has done has been irrational, he is ashamed about it, mortified that he has let people down (again) and will probably lose his job (he is too embarrassed to tell his boss why he, so often, doesn't turn up at work). He knows that this condition ruins his life, but he can't change it.

I'll get back later with treatment options (and their efficacy) for OCD.

This doesn't address the point I made about confusing the exception - an extraordinary case - with the rule, and it assumes that a compulsion cannot be refused (even though it may require a great struggle. This is will vs conditions or circumstances. LadyB is still right. In Orthodoxy we call the struggles that we each must face the struggle with our passions, whether it be alcoholism - the compulsion to take another drink, sexual sin - ranging from masturbation to adultery to same-sex sexual relations (the point being that we all experience a desire of some sort), compulsive gambling, or whatever.

I have nothing to say to extreme and awful cases that you may describe - it is granted that there might be some things in which free will may actually be denied - as long as you don't use those cases as a case to say that there is no such thing as free will. Then we have to turn from the exceptional to the rule.

rusmeister
04-12-2009, 21:06
For another blow against the determinists:

Some Determinists fancy that Christianity invented a dogma like free will for fun — a mere contradiction. This is absurd. You have the contradiction whatever you are. Determinists tell me, with a degree of truth, that Determinism makes no difference to daily life. That means that although the Determinist knows men have no free will, yet he goes on treating them as if they had.

The difference then is very simple. The Christian puts the contradiction into his philosophy. The Determinist puts it into his daily habits. The Christian states as an avowed mystery what the Determinist calls nonsense. The Determinist has the same nonsense for breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper every day of his life.

The Christian, I repeat, puts the mystery into his philosophy. That mystery by its darkness enlightens all things. Once grant him that, and life is life, and bread is bread, and cheese is cheese: he can laugh and fight. The Determinist makes the matter of the will logical and lucid: and in the light of that lucidity all things are darkened, words have no meaning, actions no aim. He has made his philosophy a syllogism and himself a gibbering lunatic.

It is not a question between mysticism and rationality. It is a question between mysticism and madness. For mysticism, and mysticism alone, has kept men sane from the beginning of the world. All the straight roads of logic lead to some Bedlam, to Anarchism or to passive obedience, to treating the universe as a clockwork of matter or else as a delusion of mind. It is only the Mystic, the man who accepts the contradictions, who can laugh and walk easily through the world.

– Blatchford Controversies (1904).

is4fun
04-12-2009, 21:35
Interesting questions - the new scientist article focuses on the question of free will. Something in that man's brain caused his behaviour. But was he free to choose otherwise?

Which article? I did a search and found dozens... Please, when quoting something please provide a reference and, better yet, a URL directly to the page so as others may follow up on your assumptions... We need not disillusion our readers into believing that free will does not exist.

MickeyTong
05-12-2009, 12:12
Which article? I did a search and found dozens... Please, when quoting something please provide a reference and, better yet, a URL directly to the page so as others may follow up on your assumptions... We need not disillusion our readers into believing that free will does not exist.

This article:
The Big Questions: Do we have free will? - life - 18 November 2006 - New Scientist (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19225780.070-the-big-questions-do-we-have-free-will.html?page=1)

MickeyTong
05-12-2009, 16:08
This doesn't address the point I made about confusing the exception - an extraordinary case - with the rule, and it assumes that a compulsion cannot be refused (even though it may require a great struggle. This is will vs conditions or circumstances. LadyB is still right. In Orthodoxy we call the struggles that we each must face the struggle with our passions, whether it be alcoholism - the compulsion to take another drink, sexual sin - ranging from masturbation to adultery to same-sex sexual relations (the point being that we all experience a desire of some sort), compulsive gambling, or whatever.

I have nothing to say to extreme and awful cases that you may describe - it is granted that there might be some things in which free will may actually be denied - as long as you don't use those cases as a case to say that there is no such thing as free will. Then we have to turn from the exceptional to the rule.

I was replying to Lady B's comment that there is always a choice.

In its less severe forms OCD can be readily treated by a cognitive-behavioural technique called Exposure-Response therapy. This involves presenting a person with an anxiety-provoking situation and stopping them from doing what they usually do. This proves to them that the distress goes away without their usual ritualised responses.

In more extreme cases, the person cannot even contemplate changing his behaviour without concurrent treatment with high doses of a class of antidepressants called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) which affect the brain's basal ganglia dysfuntion.

The Virginian man may have been deeply disgusted with himself by his uncharacteristic and ego-dystonic behaviour, and mortified by his inability to stop it. Fortunately for him science has lead to the development of computerised tomography (CT scans) which proved that there was a compromise of his material brain functioning beyond his personal control, otherwise he would have been condemned as a vile pervert.

I do not generalise from exceptional and extraordinary cases (how exceptional and extraordinary is the Orthodox perspective - relative to The Rest of Us?) Despite my daily and chronic experience of pathology I don't have a jaundiced view normal reality. I know a young Christian woman (very Protestant, so perhaps lacking validity from the Othodox perspective) whose mother, a prostitute, rented her out from the age of three. Is her exceptional case invalid? (There are issues which remain to be addressed...)

My personal take on free will is...yes, and no, and sometimes (depending).

GaNozri
05-12-2009, 18:22
If a person does have free will, then it is the will to overcome one's evil nature.
Otherwise, we're just animals.
As for the OP, I have 2 words: chemical castration.

rusmeister
06-12-2009, 07:09
I was replying to Lady B's comment that there is always a choice.

In its less severe forms OCD can be readily treated by a cognitive-behavioural technique called Exposure-Response therapy. This involves presenting a person with an anxiety-provoking situation and stopping them from doing what they usually do. This proves to them that the distress goes away without their usual ritualised responses.

In more extreme cases, the person cannot even contemplate changing his behaviour without concurrent treatment with high doses of a class of antidepressants called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) which affect the brain's basal ganglia dysfuntion.

The Virginian man may have been deeply disgusted with himself by his uncharacteristic and ego-dystonic behaviour, and mortified by his inability to stop it. Fortunately for him science has lead to the development of computerised tomography (CT scans) which proved that there was a compromise of his material brain functioning beyond his personal control, otherwise he would have been condemned as a vile pervert.

I do not generalise from exceptional and extraordinary cases (how exceptional and extraordinary is the Orthodox perspective - relative to The Rest of Us?) Despite my daily and chronic experience of pathology I don't have a jaundiced view normal reality. I know a young Christian woman (very Protestant, so perhaps lacking validity from the Orthodox perspective) whose mother, a prostitute, rented her out from the age of three. Is her exceptional case invalid? (There are issues which remain to be addressed...)

My personal take on free will is...yes, and no, and sometimes (depending).

You speak of the Orthodox view as being exceptional. Perhaps it is, compared to the modern mind, but that has nothing to do with what I was speaking of as exceptional.

I still feel that you are mixing and matching here, based on your own experience - you seem to have worked with some serious exceptions - people who really could not control their actions. (Such professional experience could be narrowing - if it leads one to see those situations as the rule. It's good that you see that.) Certainly, no one (with any sense) is going to argue that something is extremely unjust in the situations you describe.

You also use the word "in/valid" - which is a very imprecise word. The woman you mention is in no way deprived of free will, however depraved her upbringing was. Many of us find ourselves brought up in circumstances that out to be changed and with habits that ought to be broken. The Orthodox view is that this world is in the power of Satan, so everything you describe fits/makes sense. It is the individual that must realize that, regardless of their circumstances, they need to come to repentance - metanoia - a change of mind, a turning around and rejection of those circumstances and habits. Are you familiar with the story of Mary of Egypt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Mary_of_Egypt.gif" class="image"><img alt="" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dc/Mary_of_Egypt.gif"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/d/dc/Mary_of_Egypt.gif? (seems kind of relevant to the story of the lady you describe, and one that she might find inspiring).

MickeyTong
06-12-2009, 17:49
The young lady was fostered from age 12 by two Presbyterian spinster sisters, who compounded her belief that sex is disgusting. A problem often faced by people who were sexually abused as children is how to perceive the development of their own sexuality post-puberty. St Mary of Egypt sounds (to me) like a typical case: although I've not yet met anyone who has gone on to develop clairvoyance and walk on water, there have been many who believe they must be purer than pure if they are to be acceptable in "decent" company.

Despite having some sympathy for the anti-psychiatry movement, I regard most of the people I meet in a clinical setting as "ill", definitely deviations from the norm: a healthy ego is capable of exercising its will.

Ian G
07-12-2009, 11:57
GaNozri-
If a person does have free will, then it is the will to overcome one's evil nature.

As for the OP, I have 2 words: chemical castration.
Why resort to 'chemical castration' when brain surgery - removal of the tumor- solved the problem and probably saved the man's life as well.


Otherwise we're just animals
Are you saying that humans are the only species with (rather limited) 'free will'? The problem with statements like that is that we have inside first-hand experience of the human mind- but not that of any other species. So of course the human mind seems special to us. Elephants probably think much the same thing about the elephant mind.

is4fun
07-12-2009, 20:31
We need not disillusion our readers into believing that free will does not exist.

It should have read: "We need not disillusion our readers into believing that free will exists".

Free will indeed does not exist. My apologies, as the cognac had overcome my prose. Example in hand...

I apologize to those who may have been offended by this stupid mistake. I shall take care to be more careful in the future.

rusmeister
07-12-2009, 21:27
The young lady was fostered from age 12 by two Presbyterian spinster sisters, who compounded her belief that sex is disgusting. A problem often faced by people who were sexually abused as children is how to perceive the development of their own sexuality post-puberty. St Mary of Egypt sounds (to me) like a typical case: although I've not yet met anyone who has gone on to develop clairvoyance and walk on water, there have been many who believe they must be purer than pure if they are to be acceptable in "decent" company.

Despite having some sympathy for the anti-psychiatry movement, I regard most of the people I meet in a clinical setting as "ill", definitely deviations from the norm: a healthy ego is capable of exercising its will.

The only thing I would say to this is to not rush to the conclusion that you grasp the Orthodox view - it looks to me like you are reducing St Mary's situation to one that you are familiar with. I would really attempt to understand how she is seen inside the Faith before writing her off as "a typical case" of the sort you have encountered.

PS - I see from your sig that we have at least some common ground! :)

MickeyTong
07-12-2009, 21:40
The only thing I would say to this is to not rush to the conclusion that you grasp the Orthodox view - it looks to me like you are reducing St Mary's situation to one that you are familiar with. I would really attempt to understand how she is seen inside the Faith before writing her off as "a typical case" of the sort you have encountered.

PS - I see from your sig that we have at least some common ground! :)


I am fully aware that my view doesn't coincide with the Orthodox view. Since I don't have an Orthodox faith you surely can't expect me to see things in anything other than ways with which I am familiar, agree and understand.

is4fun
07-12-2009, 23:15
PS - I see from your sig that we have at least some common ground! :)

Something in common? Had C.S. Lewis or G.K. Chesterson (aka your avatar) had the ability to communicate as did Roger Penrose I would be compelled to actually believe you, however, not the case.

MickeyTong
08-12-2009, 01:13
Again, regarding St Mary: her story seems to illustrate the psychological process of "splitting" whereby people, things, self (or parts of self), are perceived as all-good or all-bad. This is not a mature psychological perspective, and leads to the process of "scapegoating", where the"all-bad" people (or parts of self) are shunned, castigated or denied conscious recognition - "our society would be perfect if we got rid of the Jews/Blacks/foreigners/sexual degenerates...", "I would be perfect if I got rid of these memories/lost this fat/didn't have these feelings..."

For such people the pass mark (for themselves and others) is 100%, perfection.
Good enough just isn't good enough. Another related process is "destructive idealisation" - others are put onto pedastals from which they must fall, and will then be seen as betrayers and deceivers.

Sorry, Rusmeister, but moving from the deliberate self-harm of indiscriminate promiscuity to the opposite extreme of total self-abnegation is not something a competent psychotherapist would support.

rusmeister
08-12-2009, 05:59
Again, regarding St Mary: her story seems to illustrate the psychological process of "splitting" whereby people, things, self (or parts of self), are perceived as all-good or all-bad. This is not a mature psychological perspective, and leads to the process of "scapegoating", where the"all-bad" people (or parts of self) are shunned, castigated or denied conscious recognition - "our society would be perfect if we got rid of the Jews/Blacks/foreigners/sexual degenerates...", "I would be perfect if I got rid of these memories/lost this fat/didn't have these feelings..."

For such people the pass mark (for themselves and others) is 100%, perfection.
Good enough just isn't good enough. Another related process is "destructive idealisation" - others are put onto pedastals from which they must fall, and will then be seen as betrayers and deceivers.

Sorry, Rusmeister, but moving from the deliberate self-harm of indiscriminate promiscuity to the opposite extreme of total self-abnegation is not something a competent psychotherapist would support.

Two things -
One, you seemed to see St Mary as an abused child - whereas according to the Life (of St Mary) she actually began herself at the age of 13, and it was her "nymphomania" that was specifically noted. That's just one part of possibly misunderstanding how we see St Mary.

The other thing is just to recognize that your view - which seems to place psychology as the ultimate authority here, is by no means an obviously true view. If the Christian view is correct, psychology has a place in it - but within the correct understanding of what human nature is. An incorrect understanding is useless, however otherwise "well-educated" the psychologist may be. It is even worse than useless. If you incorrectly understand the nature of what man's nature is, and what sin is, all of your experience with psychology is useless. And that's what I maintain to be the case. IOW, I don't accept a psychotherapist as competent at all if they do not recognize the Fall of man and under no circumstances would I trust myself to such a one.


The Fall is a view of life. It is not only the only enlightening,
but the only encouraging view of life. It holds, as against
the only real alternative philosophies, those of the Buddhist
or the Pessimist or the Promethean, that we have misused
a good world, and not merely been entrapped into a bad one.
It refers evil back to the wrong use of the will, and thus declares
that it can eventually be righted by the right use of the will.
Every other creed except that one is some form of surrender to fate.
A man who holds this view of life will find it giving light
on a thousand things; on which mere evolutionary ethics have not
a word to say. For instance, on the colossal contrast between
the completeness of man's machines and the continued corruption
of his motives; on the fact that no social progress really seems
to leave self behind; on the fact that the first and not the last
men of any school or revolution are generally the best and purest;
as William Penn was better than a Quaker millionaire or Washington
better than an American oil magnate; on that proverb that says:
"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance," which is only what
the theologians say of every other virtue, and is itself only a way
of stating the truth of original sin; on those extremes of good and
evil by which man exceeds all the animals by the measure of heaven
and hell; on that sublime sense of loss that is in the very sound
of all great poetry, and nowhere more than in the poetry of pagans
and sceptics: "We look before and after, and pine for what is not";
which cries against all prigs and progressives out of the very
depths and abysses of the broken heart of man, that happiness
is not only a hope, but also in some strange manner a memory;
and that we are all kings in exile.
http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/The_Thing.txt
"The Outline of the Fall"

MickeyTong
08-12-2009, 20:06
Two things -
One, you seemed to see St Mary as an abused child - whereas according to the Life (of St Mary) she actually began herself at the age of 13, and it was her "nymphomania" that was specifically noted. That's just one part of possibly misunderstanding how we see St Mary.

The other thing is just to recognize that your view - which seems to place psychology as the ultimate authority here, is by no means an obviously true view. If the Christian view is correct, psychology has a place in it - but within the correct understanding of what human nature is......I don't accept a psychotherapist as competent at all if they do not recognize the Fall of man and under no circumstances would I trust myself to such a one.



It would be a truly incompetent therapist who met a woman currently practising extreme "austerities" who had been highly promiscuous from puberty, and didn't enquire into prepubertal sexual experiences.

I have met people who found me unsuitable as a therapist because of my not sharing their religious faith, of whatever persuasion. But I don't think I've met anyone who would accept my work if I began by telling them that Orthodoxy is The Way. Or Buddhism, or Islam, or Mormonism, etc....(unless they already subscribed to that faith, and I demonstrated that I followed the correct form of it).

My work to facilitate the repair of highly damaged egos goes no further than that: it would be unethical for me to try to convert anyone to a specific doctrine. A healthy ego would be capable of making its own decisions in that respect, and be comfortable with that decision.

A couple of books (which I'm sure you won't read because of their heathen overtones) are The Origins and History of Consciousness by Erich Neumann and Return of the Goddess by Edward Whitmont. Whitmont is a much easier read.

The Origins and History of Consciousness - Google Books (http://books.google.com/books?id=gOJNLT4_yc8C&dq=origins+of+consciousness&printsec=frontcover&source=in&hl=en&ei=oIUeS63BHoKr4QbI5OzbCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=11&ved=0CDYQ6AEwCg#v=onepage&q=&f=false)

Return of the goddess - Google Books (http://books.google.com/books?id=YfA9AAAAIAAJ&pg=PP1&dq=return+of+the+goddess&ei=UIceS_bRDaXsNdTf_YYJ&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false)

Kind Regards
Mick

rusmeister
09-12-2009, 05:49
It would be a truly incompetent therapist who met a woman currently practising extreme "austerities" who had been highly promiscuous from puberty, and didn't enquire into prepubertal sexual experiences.

I have met people who found me unsuitable as a therapist because of my not sharing their religious faith, of whatever persuasion. But I don't think I've met anyone who would accept my work if I began by telling them that Orthodoxy is The Way. Or Buddhism, or Islam, or Mormonism, etc....(unless they already subscribed to that faith, and I demonstrated that I followed the correct form of it).

My work to facilitate the repair of highly damaged egos goes no further than that: it would be unethical for me to try to convert anyone to a specific doctrine. A healthy ego would be capable of making its own decisions in that respect, and be comfortable with that decision.

A couple of books (which I'm sure you won't read because of their heathen overtones) are The Origins and History of Consciousness by Erich Neumann and Return of the Goddess by Edward Whitmont. Whitmont is a much easier read.

The Origins and History of Consciousness - Google Books (http://books.google.com/books?id=gOJNLT4_yc8C&dq=origins+of+consciousness&printsec=frontcover&source=in&hl=en&ei=oIUeS63BHoKr4QbI5OzbCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=11&ved=0CDYQ6AEwCg#v=onepage&q=&f=false)

Return of the goddess - Google Books (http://books.google.com/books?id=YfA9AAAAIAAJ&pg=PP1&dq=return+of+the+goddess&ei=UIceS_bRDaXsNdTf_YYJ&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false)

Kind Regards
Mick

Thanks, Mickey,
I should clarify my remarks by saying that your line of work, like all of human activity, is dependent on a worldview - in the case of your profession it is has a greater impact, imo, than most - because in dealing with "damaged egos" you are already coming from a world view, which, if wrong, is actually likely to be harmful and even disastrous - and you wouldn't wouldn't even be aware of that, if that were so and you didn't see it.

There's a lot I could say, but I fear the Upton Sinclair principle is more powerful than any words of mine, however true:
"It is difficult to get someone to understand something if their job depends on their not understanding it."

It should be obvious that any scholarly works, however erudite, would be invalid if their starting assumptions about human nature were wrong. (Everything that logically follows from their base assumptions would not have a valid base.) So that has to be dealt with first. (IOW, I think this conversation is about to dead-end.)

MickeyTong
09-12-2009, 12:51
One of the consultant psychiatrists I work with is an evangelical Christian, and there are other Christians working in the field (none of them Orthodox, so maybe you would discount them as being misguided).



(IOW, I think this conversation is about to dead-end.)

You could be right. St Mary's behaviour can be admired only from an Orthodox perspective, and you probably don't see any similarity with Hindu sadhus.

Sadhus, Holy Men of India (http://www.adolphus.nl/sadhus/)

MickeyTong
09-12-2009, 14:44
I should clarify my remarks by saying that your line of work, like all of human activity, is dependent on a worldview - in the case of your profession it is has a greater impact, imo, than most - because in dealing with "damaged egos" you are already coming from a world view, which, if wrong, is actually likely to be harmful and even disastrous - and you wouldn't wouldn't even be aware of that, if that were so and you didn't see it.

Would you recommend this as an efficacious alternative?

"O God of gods and Lord of lords, Creator of the fiery ranks, and Fashioner of the fleshless powers, the Artisan of heavenly things and those under the heavens, Whom no man has seen, nor is able to see, Whom all creation fears: Into the dark depths of Hell You hurled the commander who had become proud, and who, because of his disobedient service, was cast down from the height to earth, as well as the angels that fell away with him, all having become evil demons. Grant that this my exorcism being performed in Your awesome name, be terrible to the Master of evil and to all his minions who had fallen with him from the height of brightness. Drive him into banishment, commanding him to depart hence, so that no harm might be worked against Your sealed Image. And, as You have commanded, let those who are sealed receive the strength to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all power of the Enemy. For manifested, hymned, and glorified with fear, by everything that has breath is Your most holy Name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and into ages of ages. Amen."
Exorcism - OrthodoxWiki (http://orthodoxwiki.org/Exorcism)

rusmeister
10-12-2009, 13:41
One of the consultant psychiatrists I work with is an evangelical Christian, and there are other Christians working in the field (none of them Orthodox, so maybe you would discount them as being misguided).

You could be right. St Mary's behaviour can be admired only from an Orthodox perspective, and you probably don't see any similarity with Hindu sadhus.

Sadhus, Holy Men of India (http://www.adolphus.nl/sadhus/)
Hi again!
Courtesy is like a drink from a mountain stream!

Actually, if you read the Wikipedia article, you'll note that St Mary of Egypt is admired well outside of Orthodox circles.
On non-Orthodox psychiatrists, I would say that it depends to what extent they depart from the Orthodox world view. When you get to the point where they do not acknowledge sin at all (something probably badly in need of definition) then they are actively dangerous to the Christian. It's like a doctor not acknowledging bacteria and prescribing "cures" for an injury or illness based on that denial of bacteria.


Would you recommend this as an efficacious alternative?

"O God of gods and Lord of lords, Creator of the fiery ranks, and Fashioner of the fleshless powers, the Artisan of heavenly things and those under the heavens, Whom no man has seen, nor is able to see, Whom all creation fears: Into the dark depths of Hell You hurled the commander who had become proud, and who, because of his disobedient service, was cast down from the height to earth, as well as the angels that fell away with him, all having become evil demons. Grant that this my exorcism being performed in Your awesome name, be terrible to the Master of evil and to all his minions who had fallen with him from the height of brightness. Drive him into banishment, commanding him to depart hence, so that no harm might be worked against Your sealed Image. And, as You have commanded, let those who are sealed receive the strength to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all power of the Enemy. For manifested, hymned, and glorified with fear, by everything that has breath is Your most holy Name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and into ages of ages. Amen."
Exorcism - OrthodoxWiki (http://orthodoxwiki.org/Exorcism)

This is easy. Your (evidently rhetorical) question is really, "Do spirits exist? If so, do specifically evil ones exist?" If they do, as recognized by traditional Christianity, then there is nothing irrational at all about exorcism - which is not the exercise of magic at all, but intense prayer generally accompanied by fasting. Modern reactions are based on a certain assumption of a universal negation - surely an irrational thing to depend upon.

Wodin
10-12-2009, 15:07
On non-Orthodox psychiatrists, I would say that it depends to what extent they depart from the Orthodox world view. When you get to the point where they do not acknowledge sin at all (something probably badly in need of definition) then they are actively dangerous to the Christian. It's like a doctor not acknowledging bacteria and prescribing "cures" for an injury or illness based on that denial of bacteria.


Now I'm a bit confused. I have been following this discussion, but have not felt that I have anything to add (being neither an analyst nor a religious person).

However the quote above is surprising. I always thought that the primary, in fact sole, objective of psychiatrists is to heal the patient's illness. I fail to see how a mental illness can be linked to a religion (other than incidentally). Therefore I don't see how a parctitioner with a world view that does not acknowlede sin is dangerous to a christian, unless you mean that this might lead to the Christian patient losing his or her faith...as opposed to meaning dangerous medically.


As an aside:
As to St Mary of Egypt (5th Cent) was a prostitute turned hermit who stayed in the palestinian wilderness, it is said, for 47 years, before going to Provence in France (village of Sainte Baume). Old habits obviously die hard as, tradition has it, she financed the jurney by providing certain services to the crew...and was judged extra holy for doing that.

MickeyTong
10-12-2009, 18:10
Hi again!
Courtesy is like a drink from a mountain stream!

Actually, if you read the Wikipedia article, you'll note that St Mary of Egypt is admired well outside of Orthodox circles.
On non-Orthodox psychiatrists, I would say that it depends to what extent they depart from the Orthodox world view. When you get to the point where they do not acknowledge sin at all (something probably badly in need of definition) then they are actively dangerous to the Christian. It's like a doctor not acknowledging bacteria and prescribing "cures" for an injury or illness based on that denial of bacteria.

This is easy. Your (evidently rhetorical) question is really, "Do spirits exist? If so, do specifically evil ones exist?" If they do, as recognized by traditional Christianity, then there is nothing irrational at all about exorcism - which is not the exercise of magic at all, but intense prayer generally accompanied by fasting. Modern reactions are based on a certain assumption of a universal negation - surely an irrational thing to depend upon.

I did read the article and I am aware that St Mary of Egypt is venerated by Roman Catholics, too. Not that such an endorsement gives the story any more credibility from my non-orthodox (small "o") perspective.

Re: non-Orthodox psychiatrists...seriously, how many Eastern Orthodox psychiatrists do you think there are in the UK? And "departure from the Orthodox world view" - isn't that the rest of us? Incidentally (germane, really), Protestant Christians (the ones who give me "the message", anyway) have a robust concept of sin, and I have spent time as a co-therapist with people of that persuasion and cringed at their doctrinaire bludgeoning of the therapeutic encounter.

"Do spirits exist?" Well, I'd say "archetypes" (which, according to the strictly neurophysiological materialist-reductionist cadre, have no more credence than "powers" and "principalities"). And, yes, there are therapeutic techniques which are not "rational" - rationality being a characteristic of being human, and a thin veneer/gloss at that. An exorcism will be effective for people firmly immersed and centred within a specific milieu.

Just to blow my own trumpet - I'm very good at what I do :soccer: :mml:

rusmeister
11-12-2009, 06:37
Now I'm a bit confused. I have been following this discussion, but have not felt that I have anything to add (being neither an analyst nor a religious person).

However the quote above is surprising. I always thought that the primary, in fact sole, objective of psychiatrists is to heal the patient's illness. I fail to see how a mental illness can be linked to a religion (other than incidentally). Therefore I don't see how a parctitioner with a world view that does not acknowlede sin is dangerous to a christian, unless you mean that this might lead to the Christian patient losing his or her faith...as opposed to meaning dangerous medically.

As an aside:
As to St Mary of Egypt (5th Cent) was a prostitute turned hermit who stayed in the palestinian wilderness, it is said, for 47 years, before going to Provence in France (village of Sainte Baume). Old habits obviously die hard as, tradition has it, she financed the jurney by providing certain services to the crew...and was judged extra holy for doing that.
Hi, Wodin,

Of course the objective of healers of any sort is to heal their patients. No argument. the question is whether they have a correct view of the true nature of man, physically, mentally and spiritually. If they do not, then any intelligent person should be able to see that wherever their view is wrong, their efforts can be ineffective, or worse, definitely damaging.

I am no expert in psychology or psychiatry (so will accept correction), however, I do know, in general what they are based on.


It has been described as an intermediary between the world from a social context and the world from the perspective of those who are mentally ill.[9]
Those who practice psychiatry are different than most other mental health professionals and physicians in that they must be familiar with both the social and biological sciences.
...
While the medical specialty of psychiatry utilizes research in the field of neuroscience, psychology, medicine, biology, biochemistry, and pharmacology,[14] it has generally been considered a middle ground between neurology and psychology.[15] Unlike other physicians and neurologists, psychiatrists specialize in the doctor-patient relationship and are trained to varying extents in the use of psychotherapy and other therapeutic communication techniques. Psychiatry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:American_Lady_Against_The_Sky.jpg" class="image"><img alt="" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/72/American_Lady_Against_The_Sky.jpg/200px-American_Lady_Against_The_Sky.jpg"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/7/72/American_Lady_Against_The_Sky.jpg/200px-American_Lady_Against_The_Sky.jpg

Psychology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Rodin_The_Thinker_Laeken_cemetery.jpg" class="image"><img alt="" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4f/Rodin_The_Thinker_Laeken_cemetery.jpg/220px-Rodin_The_Thinker_Laeken_cemetery.jpg"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/4/4f/Rodin_The_Thinker_Laeken_cemetery.jpg/220px-Rodin_The_Thinker_Laeken_cemetery.jpg

There certainly are many valid things in those fields. However, they do touch on what goes on in both our minds and souls, and wherever treatment is based on denial of what Christians know to be true, then the treatment is ultimately destructive of the soul. Since some in those fields deny the soul, they say, "So what?" and merrily go on "treating". I was really speaking to Mickey's comment about "damaged egos". Understanding what the ego is is a philosophical question, one that people of different beliefs have different answers for. If the understanding is actually, objectively wrong, then the treatment is useless as applied to the soul. If, for example, a non-believing therapist believes that "there is no sin" and starts from the assumption that a sense of guilt is generally a bad thing, then he is already offering 'treatment' that, from the Christian standpoint, does not treat spiritual ills at all.

Again, I'm not speaking about the thousand things in those fields that the Christian wouldn't argue with. I'm speaking specifically about approaches, theories, etc, that conflict with Christian teaching. For the Christian, treating the body at the expense of the soul is destructive and even potentially suicidal in the spiritual sense, just as approaching a quack for medical treatment is taking serious risks with one's physical health. A scientist can be thoroughly scientific in his methods, but if he starts from the wrong first principles, first assumptions about the nature of the universe, then his results will be skewed, however thorough all of his following logic and methods are.

On St Mary:
"It is said". The passive voice is so nice as a vehicle to allow one to say things without naming the speakers.
That sort of comment on St Mary is baseless (and actually insulting for Christians).
It appears that you are confusing St Mary of Egypt (whom you acknowledge as 5th century) with the quack 'historian' Dan Brown's ideas about Mary Magdalene (who is admittedly first century). I would not take Dan Brown any more seriously as a historian than I would George Lucas.
I'd ask you to provide your sources if you really do believe such an unreasonable allegation. A miracle can be reasonable, if you understand the nature of miracles correctly. Claims of human behavior that defy what we definitely know about human behavior (such as a woman in her late seventies "providing services") is not reasonable.

rusmeister
11-12-2009, 07:21
I did read the article and I am aware that St Mary of Egypt is venerated by Roman Catholics, too. Not that such an endorsement gives the story any more credibility from my non-orthodox (small "o") perspective.

Quite understandable.


Re: non-Orthodox psychiatrists...seriously, how many Eastern Orthodox psychiatrists do you think there are in the UK? And "departure from the Orthodox world view" - isn't that the rest of us? Incidentally (germane, really), Protestant Christians (the ones who give me "the message", anyway) have a robust concept of sin, and I have spent time as a co-therapist with people of that persuasion and cringed at their doctrinaire bludgeoning of the therapeutic encounter.
On the first question - not many.
On the second - yes, that's exactly what it means.
On your encounters with Protestants: I'd be willing to bet that, where they weren't actively proselytizing, such "bludgeoning" likely arose from the very problem I am talking about - the conflict of worldviews - which is at the heart of everything, and makes impossible the idea of healing, teaching, or performing any reasoned human activity without applying a worldview. (Thus, the claim of public schools to do so, for example, is shown to be nonsense, with the immediately following conclusion that they are operating on an unstated philosophy beyond anything that they state.)


"Do spirits exist?" Well, I'd say "archetypes" (which, according to the strictly neurophysiological materialist-reductionist cadre, have no more credence than "powers" and "principalities"). And, yes, there are therapeutic techniques which are not "rational" - rationality being a characteristic of being human, and a thin veneer/gloss at that. An exorcism will be effective for people firmly immersed and centred within a specific milieu.
And there you go - if you deny that spirits exist, then the very effectiveness of your treatment depends on your being right - and if you are not, then the possibility of damaging treatment raises its head. If there ARE spirits that do have an interest in destroying human souls, if for nothing else, out of spite to their Enemy, and you actually fail to realize that a particular case may actually require an exorcism (again, an appeal to God to directly intervene to block or drive out said spirits) then at best, you accomplish only an appearance of healing, and at worst contribute to the destruction of your patient's soul. Thus, everything depends on your being not only right, but dogmatically right.


Just to blow my own trumpet - I'm very good at what I do :soccer: :mml:

Yeah, I like to do that, too. Unfortunately, that generally happens only when my pupils go on trips abroad. (Then they come back, or their parents, as believers in the efficacy of my teaching.)

Sasha girl
11-12-2009, 15:37
Ian G mentioned that the word "compulsive" means just that.

I have worked with numerous people who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which has a variety of manifestations - cleaning, counting, checking, hoarding - all characterised by repetitive, ritualised behaviour which the individual knows is absurd and deleterious but still must do. The compulsions are promted by obsessive thoughts (which won't go away) provoking extreme anxiety, in fact, mortal dread. The compulsive behaviours are undertaken to get rid of the anxiety. OCD presents on a continuum of severity: it can be mildly inconvenient and seen as "just a quirk", through to being totally debilitating.

For example:- A person with OCD, on his way to work, sees a puddle on the pavement a few metres away. He instantly "knows" that this is a puddle of urine and, despite being distant from it, is absolutely convinced that he has been contaminated by it (wind-born droplets, other people having walked through it to where he is standing....). Contaminated, not just dirtied. He believes this contamination will lead to his death and/or the death of anyone he encounters. For a while, he is paralysed into inaction by enormity of his dreadful situation but will soon make his way home, abandoning any other plans he had and in great dilemma about using a bus, train or taxi (in case he contaminates other people).

Returning home, as soon as he is inside his front door he fears that he will contaminate his entire home. Having faced this situation many times before, he has prepared for this - he has plastic refuse bags just inside his door. He strips naked and puts his clothes into a rubbish bag. He then puts this bag into another bag. He puts his shoes (no hope of getting them clean) into two bags and will throw them away later. Maybe months' later.

Being very careful not to touch anything unnecessarily, he goes to his bathroom and takes a shower. He washes himself, in a ritualised sequence, for 3 hours. The towel he dries himself with will be thrown away. Still naked, he disinfects the bathroom. Then he has another shower for an hour.

After this he wonders whether he may have contaminated other parts of his home, and frets about having to clean the clothes he had worn and how to dispose of his contaminated shoes. He knows that everything he has done has been irrational, he is ashamed about it, mortified that he has let people down (again) and will probably lose his job (he is too embarrassed to tell his boss why he, so often, doesn't turn up at work). He knows that this condition ruins his life, but he can't change it.

I'll get back later with treatment options (and their efficacy) for OCD.

Even though this thread has gone far away from this remark. I always thought that if person understands (realizes) his state of mind it means that he is responsible for further actions taken, (in religion and law at least).
What is the difference here? In the example given it says that person “instantly knows” his disease (OCD) and then keeps on falling into this. Isn’t that because he doesn’t have a strong will and that is why cannot overcome it by himself and need assistance to support this will? Or it cannot be cured by the person itself? Why then? And where self-blame coming from? If he doesn’t identify his actions to be wrong he would have that. At least I understand it as his self-blame exists for not having enough of will power to overcome the state of mind.
And in the original article, person failed in this condition because of the trauma, but he didn’t lose the values. So that should be a struggle for him in choosing desires or values. Of course he had will, but was tempted. IMHO.

Wodin
11-12-2009, 17:55
On St Mary:
"It is said". The passive voice is so nice as a vehicle to allow one to say things without naming the speakers.
That sort of comment on St Mary is baseless (and actually insulting for Christians).
It appears that you are confusing St Mary of Egypt (whom you acknowledge as 5th century) with the quack 'historian' Dan Brown's ideas about Mary Magdalene (who is admittedly first century). I would not take Dan Brown any more seriously as a historian than I would George Lucas.
I'd ask you to provide your sources if you really do believe such an unreasonable allegation. A miracle can be reasonable, if you understand the nature of miracles correctly. Claims of human behavior that defy what we definitely know about human behavior (such as a woman in her late seventies "providing services") is not reasonable.

Appologies for any offence, Totally unintended. The source for that statement is Clive Prince and Lynn Picknett quoting a tradition that exists in the Catholic Church (the parish itself) at Sainte Baume. Apparenetly the same church also holds that the Magdalene also lived there a few centuries earlier (at what was then a Isian shrine). Incidentally...i doubt anyone at all would describe Dan Brown as a historian. I would at best descibe him as a mediocre author of fictional novels.

rusmeister
11-12-2009, 22:39
Appologies for any offence, Totally unintended. The source for that statement is Clive Prince and Lynn Picknett quoting a tradition that exists in the Catholic Church (the parish itself) at Sainte Baume. Apparenetly the same church also holds that the Magdalene also lived there a few centuries earlier (at what was then a Isian shrine). Incidentally...i doubt anyone at all would describe Dan Brown as a historian. I would at best descibe him as a mediocre author of fictional novels.
Thanks, Wodin.
Your earlier post sounded as if you were describing what you believed to be the case. St Mary of Egypt never left the desert, according to our common Tradition (with the Catholics) - she died there.
The Catholic tradition on Mary Magdalene is quite a different thing.

I am aware of a lot of people who have swallowed Dan Brown, hook, line and sinker, and I think it is because of a desire to discredit the Christian faith by any means possible, even slander and falsehood.

MickeyTong
12-12-2009, 04:57
....I think it is because of a desire to discredit the Christian faith by any means possible, even slander and falsehood.

Zionists and their Masonic lickspittles?

MickeyTong
12-12-2009, 05:55
....a desire to discredit the Christian faith by any means possible, even slander and falsehood.

But seriously, don't all bellyfeel doubleplusgood duckspeaking ideologues have a paranoid perception of outsiders? The "other", the "not us" which is seen as a threat to the sublime purity of Christian orthodoxy, sahih Islam, True Communism, the justice of a Free Market, et cetera ad infinitum.









Dan Brown....the tabloid version of Umberto Eco.

MickeyTong
12-12-2009, 07:04
There certainly are many valid things in those fields. However, they do touch on what goes on in both our minds and souls, and wherever treatment is based on denial of what Christians know to be true, then the treatment is ultimately destructive of the soul. Since some in those fields deny the soul, they say, "So what?" and merrily go on "treating". I was really speaking to Mickey's comment about "damaged egos". Understanding what the ego is is a philosophical question, one that people of different beliefs have different answers for. If the understanding is actually, objectively wrong, then the treatment is useless as applied to the soul. If, for example, a non-believing therapist believes that "there is no sin" and starts from the assumption that a sense of guilt is generally a bad thing, then he is already offering 'treatment' that, from the Christian standpoint, does not treat spiritual ills at all.

Again, I'm not speaking about the thousand things in those fields that the Christian wouldn't argue with. I'm speaking specifically about approaches, theories, etc, that conflict with Christian teaching. For the Christian, treating the body at the expense of the soul is destructive and even potentially suicidal in the spiritual sense, just as approaching a quack for medical treatment is taking serious risks with one's physical health. A scientist can be thoroughly scientific in his methods, but if he starts from the wrong first principles, first assumptions about the nature of the universe, then his results will be skewed, however thorough all of his following logic and methods are.

Psychiatry doesn't claim to treat the soul. We deal with damaged egos: ego being the executive "free will" part of a human being, the part that discriminates, makes value judgements, does the reality testing: a historical accretion of individual experience and judgement (accurate and misgiven), emotions, aptitudes, drives....the "me" and its sense of agency, vital for effective social functioning; the consciousness of personal, individual pride, shame, embarassment, hope, fear, despair, fantasy, thoughts.....

'Since some in those fields deny the soul, they say, "So what?" and merrily go on "treating". I was really speaking to Mickey's comment about "damaged egos".'

There is nothing merry about the human distress I work with. The loss of identity and personal agency experienced by anyone swamped by the waking nightmare of schizophrenia is truly horrific: bizarre beliefs resulting from chop-logic and disordered perceptions, and a realistic despair that valid aspirations like work, marriage, friendship, respect are probably unattainable. I feel no delight from my work with spoiled existences - the successes do not compensate for an awareness that the s!!t goes on and on and on.

'For the Christian, treating the body at the expense of the soul is destructive and even potentially suicidal in the spiritual sense, just as approaching a quack for medical treatment is taking serious risks with one's physical health. A scientist can be thoroughly scientific in his methods, but if he starts from the wrong first principles, first assumptions about the nature of the universe, then his results will be skewed, however thorough all of his following logic and methods are.'

Yes....it's a great pity that so many needy people don't get proper Christian treatment that will lead them to an eternity of bliss, but the Orthodox are thin on the ground where I am, so they just have to make do with what I can do. Heaven is not within my capacity to give, but I can give relief from torment for 10 minutes, a few days or years. My assumption that this has some value may be skewed in your eyes but, hey, I wonder what the Samaritan thought of The Faithful....

Kind regards
Mickey

Bogatyr
12-12-2009, 08:03
But seriously, don't all bellyfeel doubleplusgood duckspeaking ideologues have a paranoid perception of outsiders? The "other", the "not us" which is seen as a threat to the sublime purity of Christian orthodoxy, sahih Islam, True Communism, the justice of a Free Market, et cetera ad infinitum.

Dan Brown....the tabloid version of Umberto Eco.

From the standpoint of Orthodox Christianity, the answer is "no." In fact, Orthodox Christianity (I believe) stands alone in the acknolodgement of the existence and intrinsic worth and value of "the other" -- persons.

IMO no group of ideologues has a more paranoid perception of "outsiders" than secular scientists.

is4fun
12-12-2009, 18:03
This thread is just like all the others in the religious section. One challenges and the other has not a shred of empirical (it need not even be empirical) evidence to back his/her statements. Common sense would have it that this Forum must be deleted from Expat.ru.

is4fun
12-12-2009, 18:09
Better yet, we can start a new Forum dealing with mysticism such as vampires, werewolves and zombies.

MickeyTong
12-12-2009, 19:34
Even though this thread has gone far away from this remark. I always thought that if person understands (realizes) his state of mind it means that he is responsible for further actions taken, (in religion and law at least).
What is the difference here? In the example given it says that person “instantly knows” his disease (OCD) and then keeps on falling into this. Isn’t that because he doesn’t have a strong will and that is why cannot overcome it by himself and need assistance to support this will? Or it cannot be cured by the person itself? Why then? And where self-blame coming from? If he doesn’t identify his actions to be wrong he would have that. At least I understand it as his self-blame exists for not having enough of will power to overcome the state of mind.
And in the original article, person failed in this condition because of the trauma, but he didn’t lose the values. So that should be a struggle for him in choosing desires or values. Of course he had will, but was tempted. IMHO.

Despite the fact that OCD afflicts 2 - 3% of the population the average time from onset of symptoms to a diagnosis being made is 18 years. Most sufferers don't think of it as an illness that can be treated, but see it as just how they are. Most people are ignorant as to what psychiatric treatments are like and sufferers often share the general public's stigmatising attitude towards mental illness - not many people are comfortable with the idea of needing their heads examined.

rusmeister
12-12-2009, 20:12
Psychiatry doesn't claim to treat the soul. We deal with damaged egos: ego being the executive "free will" part of a human being, the part that discriminates, makes value judgements, does the reality testing: a historical accretion of individual experience and judgement (accurate and misgiven), emotions, aptitudes, drives....the "me" and its sense of agency, vital for effective social functioning; the consciousness of personal, individual pride, shame, embarassment, hope, fear, despair, fantasy, thoughts.....


Thanks, Mickey,
I think that here you should not say "psychiatry doesn't claim", but rather that "(some or many) psychiatrists do not claim".
Again, such a claim would not be made if one does not believe in the soul at all, so I'm not speaking about what some psychiatrists claim. That was the point of my quote from wikipedia above, where I bolded terms that do touch on the spiritual. Granted, wikipedia is not a completely trustworthy source, but if you do not disagree with its definitions, then my point stands. There are definite things in thoughts and feelings that are not merely connections between synapses in the brain, but that really do express an individual personality; what we call "the soul". It is unavoidable that some aspects of psychiatric work would touch on what is generally called the spiritual.
Your own comment shows this up, too. Free will is a part of what we call the soul, whether you do or not. "Ego" is merely the Greek word for self, which is what the soul is.
From Webster online:

1 : the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life
2 a : the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe
3 : a person's total self

And the aspects you describe are mostly those of the soul. Thus, worldview is critical in interpreting any understanding whatsoever of problems relating to those things. It is necessary to keep the medical where it belongs, and to not let its claims spill over into the spiritual, but this is something that I suspect happens with a great many psychiatrists.


'Since some in those fields deny the soul, they say, "So what?" and merrily go on "treating". I was really speaking to Mickey's comment about "damaged egos".'

There is nothing merry about the human distress I work with. The loss of identity and personal agency experienced by anyone swamped by the waking nightmare of schizophrenia is truly horrific: bizarre beliefs resulting from chop-logic and disordered perceptions, and a realistic despair that valid aspirations like work, marriage, friendship, respect are probably unattainable. I feel no delight from my work with spoiled existences - the successes do not compensate for an awareness that the s!!t goes on and on and on.

A poor choice of word as far as precise speech goes. I did not mean that psychiatrist's work is merry, as such. But your ability to evaluate what kind of existence is actually spoiled depends on your worldview and is something that is not really objective.


'For the Christian, treating the body at the expense of the soul is destructive and even potentially suicidal in the spiritual sense, just as approaching a quack for medical treatment is taking serious risks with one's physical health. A scientist can be thoroughly scientific in his methods, but if he starts from the wrong first principles, first assumptions about the nature of the universe, then his results will be skewed, however thorough all of his following logic and methods are.'

Yes....it's a great pity that so many needy people don't get proper Christian treatment that will lead them to an eternity of bliss, but the Orthodox are thin on the ground where I am, so they just have to make do with what I can do. Heaven is not within my capacity to give, but I can give relief from torment for 10 minutes, a few days or years. My assumption that this has some value may be skewed in your eyes but, hey, I wonder what the Samaritan thought of The Faithful....

Kind regards
Mickey


In your reference to the Samaritan, the point of Christ's parable (which is merely a form of parallelism) is that many of the so-called "faithful" are not really faithful. This is true, including of Orthodox Christians. It's not an appropriate analogy here. I imagine that where your work is actually medical as such, it can be, and no doubt is, effective. I think, though, that it would be good to think about the distinction between the medical and the spiritual and where for someone whose beliefs differ from yours, treatment touching on things like pride and shame may be actually harmful for them.

Sasha girl
14-12-2009, 23:05
Despite the fact that OCD afflicts 2 - 3% of the population the average time from onset of symptoms to a diagnosis being made is 18 years. Most sufferers don't think of it as an illness that can be treated, but see it as just how they are. Most people are ignorant as to what psychiatric treatments are like and sufferers often share the general public's stigmatising attitude towards mental illness - not many people are comfortable with the idea of needing their heads examined.

Yes, but it is just like with any other illness. It can live inside for a long time. I agree, I don’t know anyone who likes visiting doctors, especially for head examination.

Medical help is assistance to recovery.

Any disease has got the history of its development. And if doctor can find the origins then he can cure it. And this is what “cognitive-behavioural technique” does? Brings a patient into the condition he suffers again so to cause his different reaction towards it and fight it back may be successfully.

I hope same can be dome for physical conditions too in a future.

But people always have got a choice, just in simple ways by living healthy to escape physical illnesses and by resisting mental affections, even when the illness is terminal (of course not granted but some succeed in this too).

Fastening is a tool for discovering the will. Because when person refuses himself in what he likes, he sees is outside of himself, and distinguish himself (his body and ego too) from the food, drinks and desires, as they seems.

I still think everyone has got the opportunity for free will exercise, and this even means that people have got a choice of accepting it or denying. (IMHO)

MickeyTong
16-12-2009, 00:37
Yes, but it is just like with any other illness. It can live inside for a long time. I agree, I don’t know anyone who likes visiting doctors, especially for head examination.

Medical help is assistance to recovery.

Any disease has got the history of its development. And if doctor can find the origins then he can cure it. And this is what “cognitive-behavioural technique” does? Brings a patient into the condition he suffers again so to cause his different reaction towards it and fight it back may be successfully.

I hope same can be dome for physical conditions too in a future.

But people always have got a choice, just in simple ways by living healthy to escape physical illnesses and by resisting mental affections, even when the illness is terminal (of course not granted but some succeed in this too).

Fastening is a tool for discovering the will. Because when person refuses himself in what he likes, he sees is outside of himself, and distinguish himself (his body and ego too) from the food, drinks and desires, as they seems.

I still think everyone has got the opportunity for free will exercise, and this even means that people have got a choice of accepting it or denying. (IMHO)

Cognitive behavioural therapy does not involve seeking any "primal cause" of a problem and reframing the patient's response to that trauma. It focuses on the patient's current reality: by making progressive, small changes in behaviour and thinking patterns people can move from what they know and feel is actually harming them and from which they get no pleasure at all: nobody enjoys spending 10 hours every day in the bathroom, but they really can't stop it without help. There really are some dysfunctions of neural networks which undermine the strongest of wills. People with OCD are very well aquainted with being told to "sort themselves out".....

Ghostly Presence
17-12-2009, 11:46
I am wondering whether those who are mentally insane today are still mentally insane when they reach a so called heaven? LOL Are people who are crazy actually cured once in heaven? Are they suddenly a part of the crowd of other angels and all are happy and able to get along just fine? Y'all must forgive my prose as this thread is beyond belief.

I read about several cases of people who were blind all their life and yet were able to see clearly when they experienced what is called a near-death experience and found themselves out of their bodies. That leads me to believe that our brains might be broken, like a radio or a TV set but that does not mean that the signal that they receive is broken too. So, I think insanity is just a result of a "broken" brain - not a broken soul, if such thing indeed exists.