I have no problem with agreeing to disagree with people; live and let live O.K. But how about spare a thought for those who are victimised by a system that does not practice "agree to disagree".
It is precisely the RIGHT to "agree to disagree" that I am defending against those who would deny it.
I disagree with lots of opinions and behaviours; but I defend the right of those people to disagree with me! No matter how crazy someone's views or behaviour; they must have the right to ownership and authorship of themselves.
If necessary, society can protect itself from danger; but leave compulsory religious conversion out of it! The prisoners held at Guatanimo Bay in Cuba are not being forcibly converted to another belief system. If they can be treated with respect (note they are prevented from attacking people by being detained); why not treat one-person religions with similar respect?
The "right to responsibility" or "moral agency" is at the very core of accepting that a person even exists. For example, if you vote for a political party; and then someone claims that you didn't really make that choice but that some chemical imbalance made you vote for them: how on earth do you defend yourself against that?
It's like your very existence has been denied. Yet this is what goes on. People are stripped of ownership of their behaviour. And many are encouraged to deny ownership of their behaviour, which just encourages them to do more stupid things.
Sickness either passes the test of real medical science, like neurology; with cellular pathology etc.; or it is metaphorical, wishful thinking or speculation. Suppose a medical expert who does not believe in psychological 'illness' were one day to behave strangely in old age and cause a social disturbance. Why should they be coercively assaulted by chemicals by the very professionals they spent their career opposing? Why shouldn't they be allowed to be regarded as party to a dispute, with the right to reject the theories and practices of their colleagues?
Why stop at psychiatrists? If it is good enough for them to defend themselves from being coerced in old age by the practices they opposed in their careers; it's good enough for everyone to reject psycho-theories and be protected from coercive drugging.
Please note: I do not deny the possibility that as yet un-named and un-identified cellular pathology may manifest itself in some of the bizzarre behaviour attributed to schizophrenics. But given the non-medical, ambiguous, and heads-I-win-tails-you-lose way that schizophrenia is imposed on people and how it is 'defined'; if there were any un-discovered neurological condition out there then many people currently identified as shizophrenic would not have it and many currently missed would have it.
If anyone did have some undiscovered neurological condition, it is their choice whether to leave it as is or not. They own their body and personality, the State does not own them.
In a free society no-one should be forcibly subjected to having cosmetic surgery to alter their facial appearance, or forced into chemical cosmetic manipulation to forcibly alter their emotional appearance. That's assault. A society where people are forced to 'appear not-depressed' is a dictatorship that denies social conflict so authority can pretend its citizens are supportive. (Read the torture scene of O'Brien in Orwell's "1984"; the authority says "we are trying to cure you")
Actually real neurology conditions have a very different style to the fake ones of psychiatry; disability is specific in a very different way.
Ramachandran (neurologist) talks of someone who was "crazy but not crazy on the phone"- he regarded his parents as imposters when he could see them, but recognised them when he could only hear them. Classic neurological detective story: it involved pattern-recognition and the emotional-pattern-matching component of vision.
The key clue to finding the structural neurological nerve break or whatever was that the pattern-matching was working in audio but not visual.
In contrast, from a scientific point of view psychiatry makes no sense; how come these alleged chemicals always make people behave BADLY? If it was physics and chemistry at work; you wouldn't expect such a bias.
Given the idea that self-responsibility and freedom are essential elements of existence; interesting to note that physicist Roger Penrose finds that atomic-micro-world objects seem to exist only when free! (when have options).
I once met someone in the street acting crazy, yelling at passers-by etc. I went up to them to speak to them. They seemed to think they were shizophrenic. Their behaviour was weird enough to suggest they had ben identified as such. I tried to debate with them.
What I found was this: their behaviour strongly suggested that the effect of being indoctrinated into thinking they were sick had eroded their willingness to care about their behaviour. The 'sickness' theory just encorages people to be idiots and not take ownership of their actions.
It was possible to debate with them. When they started losing the debate, they adopted a strategy of extreme repititiveness (reminded me of the movie 'Rain Man') and stubborness.
I have also read some really weird stuff written by so-called sufferers, quoted in a book.
It seems that: there are some people who use strategies of behaviour that are taken for granted in toddlers but look weird in adults. The explanation is thus: strategy.
Also, it appears that some people use poetic ways of speaking with lots of metaphors. No illness; just need to realise that not just poets talk poetry, not just movie stars use theatrical strategies.
Further, the idea that some people experience 'waking dreams', given the 'crazy logic' than can occur in dreams, readily explains many very bizarre perceptions some people have.
Some people might be re-experiencing: the way thoughts are constructed, the sub-layers of consciousness at work, the growth of the bodily capabilities when unborn, toddler and younger age fears and sensations; etc. etc. - plenty of ways to make sense of crazy behaviour I think.
The main explanation though s that there is nothing to explain; its just two parties in dispute, perhaps each trying to impose their view of reality on the other (like two national cultures). Anthropologists, linguists, strategists, code-breakers, dispute-mediators,etc. would serve society better in dealing with these social problems than the medicalised-coercive psychiatrists who only conceal or make things worse.
As I support liberty and freedom of thought, I don't think people generally will explore consciousness boldly enough in a society containing thought policemen. And I think society would benefit if people started to explore consciousness boldly and deeply. Seek and you shall find!
Well, that was a bit long! Fun battle of wits though. Have fun