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Harv, I Think You Have Been Out-debated

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Posted by Paul R. Martin on December 20, 2003 23:06:02 UTC

Hi Harv,

Sorry for being judgemental. I usually try to restrict my comments here to content and ideas and not to comment on individuals or their peculiarities. But in this case, you seem to be relentless in your judgement of Alan's mental health while at the same time systematically ignoring the content of his posts.

I feel compelled to weigh in on the issue. I think Alan is correct, that there is no such thing as mental "illness", that you did not address his well-articulated defense of your "diagnosis" of him, and that you exposed gaping holes in how both science and religion deal with the question of behavior differences among people.

When it comes to dealing with human questions (other than mechanical aspects like physiology and anatomy), science and religion are nearly the same. They each have a not-very-well defended paradigm of what is good, true, and correct, and they both sit in judgement of any deviation from their paradigm.

Together, you and Alan conjured up a vision in my mind of a situation that I think illuminates the weakness of both science and religion in this respect. Imagine a hapless inmate in one of Hitler's slave labor camps about the time Aspberger was defining his "disease" in Hitler's Austria. If the poor soul was too weak to do the required labor, he was shot. So I am sure he would do all in his power to conceal any weakness simply in order to stay alive. Now, is his weakness a disease? Is it a sin that deserves death? Using the standards of the DSM, and set in the circumstances of that time, and with the power in the hands it was at that time, the answers are yes, weakness is both a disease and a sin.

The only difference between then there, and now here, is that most people holding power now aren't quite so ruthless. But it's only a matter of degree as Alan's questionaire so clearly points out.

Warm regards,

Paul

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