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Posted by Harvey on December 24, 2003 14:15:57 UTC

But, I also have to be straightforward to you, and that puts me in the unfortunate position of appearing to be rude.

"and mentally ill people"
"will continue to be diagnosed"
"and symptoms"
"will continue to receive medications"

The way you broke down every half sentence of mine, in itself strikes me as somewhat autistic in it's concern for inconsequentials. You don't realize it, but these are symptoms that something is wrong in Denmark. Taken by themself, that is an absurd statement, but taken together with all the other bizarre and lengthy posts that you have posted, and this statement of mine is no longer absurd.

Correct; but "addiction to drugs" is not a medical illness; it is a claim about behaviour. While it is possible that physical medicine can become involved (the body may become accustomed to certain balances of hormones after adjusting itself to influence of drugs; this may generate a craving like a thirst for water.) But the responsibility remains that a person chose to take drugs; Gandhi's hunger-strike reminds us that even taking of food is a free choice influenced by bodily state but not solely determined by bodily state.

It depends on who you ask. Research indicates that some people have a higher proclivity to addiction than others, not much different than some people have a higher proclivity to certain diseases. Besides, what really is the difference between neurons that are developing 'out of control' with respect to the rest of the mind and cells that are out of control with respect to the rest of the body's cells? One kills the body the other kills the mind. Ultimately it is a value judgement to say that just because one series of developments afflicts the body is a disease, whereas another series of developments that afflict the mind is merely behavior. You cannot so easily divide the body and mind into such neat categories as psychosomatic illnesses suggest. The mind can afflict the body, and the body can inflict the mind.

He talked to "imaginary person" if you like; and knew he was doing so. In this case there was a physical factor involved; oxygen deprivation at altitude. But his "talking to imaginary person" IS NOT AN ILLNESS. It points to a physical phenomenon in this case: the real "illness" was oxygen deprivation.

That's just a subtle eliminativism of the mind argument, and I don't buy into that physical reductionist philosophy of mind. The brain, if treated as an organ, has particular functions. The difference between the mind and brain is a confusing one at best, but what is clear is that affecting the brain affects the mind AND affecting the mind also affects the brain, physically speaking. Yes, we can always find physical conditions to effect the mind (e.g., LSD), BUT we also find a way of behavior that causes changes to the brain over a period of time as MRI images of certain mentally ill brains have observed. Someday it might be possible to identify all mental illnesses (e.g., AS) with such kind of brain imaging technology, it is certainly not outside the abilities of imaging technology.

Now, just as abnormal behaviors can effect the brain's chemistry, it is also clear that normal behaviors also effect the brain as well. And, not just the brain, but the body. You're argument is not rational since it acts as if there are no mind-body dependences. The mind and body are interdependent on each other, and diseases can afflict both.

top physicist Stephen Wolfram (highly respected!) has ben reported as saying that physics will turn out to be mind-numbingly gobsmackingly simple! (or similar adjectives)

It is common for a mental illness such as Asperger's syndrome (AS) to make a patient become focused on a pet theory to the point to where it leads to abnormal interaction with others. Yes, physics might come down to simple principles, no one disputes that possibility, but when that leads to completely bizarre thinking (e.g., an infatuation with infanthood, nursery rhymes, etc) that is completely out of touch with society and obviously afflicting the individual. It is leading to an illness of the mind.

As I say; you do not have enough information. I do not like psychiatric rape of human beings. I do not want to be denied my moral agency.

This is the tough aspect of getting a cure for an illness of the mind. In the case of a bodily illness, the mind decides if the treatment is sound. As long as the mind is healthy, it can see the logic in getting treatment. In the case of the mind, it is the mind that needs treatment, but if the mind is ill, then it is an ill mind that must decide to get treatment for itself. Unfortunately an ill mind is ill because it wants to pursue the thoughts that make it ill, so treatment is not an option. Instead the mind will seek out to undermine psychological science in an attempt to remain untreated. This is perhaps why society ignores mental illness since it does seem to be interferring with people's rights. That's why we have paranoid schizophrenics allowed to roam society until they inflict huge consequences and perhaps criminal behavior. If our society would just realize that mental illness is an illness, and should be treated even by force if necessary, then thousands of incidents per year could be avoided. And, the most important thing, millions of lives would be benefitted, including people with AS.

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