Philosophy Psychopathology

I’m partway through

this book. And it is pretty good. I recommend it.

Still, the author has to show he’s not one of THOSE. You know, the back-woodsey, knuckle-headed Trump supporters.

Yet HE is the one who comes off as a bit of an intellectual lightweight, at least in this area. He should have just stayed with his subject. But he has insisted on revealing himself to be a bit short on knowledge in this area.

Justin, there is a real difference between a delusion and a bizarre delusion. I may believe I need the house to be clean with delusional intensity. Or that an emblem actually turns into the body of Christ at Communion. Sure, maybe those beliefs are wrong, but they are not bizarre beliefs. Nor are they indicative of mental illness.

On the other hand, if I believe that the CIA has joined up with space aliens to put a chip in my brain and through that chip they monitor my thoughts and control my behavior, that is a BIZARRE delusion. And that is a whole different animal.

So believing that Trump was cheated in 2020 may (or may not) be correct. But it is not bizarrely delusional in any sense of the word. You may or may not think it is true, but it’s possible—it is not a bizarre delusion.

So the bizarreness is an issue, here. And the author totally ignores that. It may or may not be true that Trump had the election stolen from him. But it is not bizarre to think that, like thinking that men can turn into women or vice-versa or that monkeys are gonna fly out my butt would be.


Meat-Sack Morality

(my own term) That is the reductionistic view, and the dominant view of our time, academically speaking. And many people follow it without really thinking about it–it is as transparent to us as the air that we breathe. But let’s define it:

It is this: Whatever you do is some form of stimulus-response. Just as a hammer is not intrinsically “bad” for missing the nail, there is no human morality, either. Just like the hammer, whatever YOU do is merely metaphysically necessary–you are just more complex than a hammer (well, some of you ). So there can be no right or wrong–only fully environmentally determined preferences and innate reflexes.

Sure, you have the sense that you chose, but that is an illusion–you no more chose than did that hammer when it hit the nail. You simply do not exist as a moral agent. You did not choose to love your spouse, you just are necessarily responding. You are merely a sack of meat, and you react to input in just the way a sack of meat necessarily does.

You are a man on the beach, under a hot sun (Albert Camus, The Stranger). We can talk about Camus’ effort to redeem that line of thought (The Myth of Sisyphus), but that effort totally does not work. So Camus hides that fact (as do all those philosophers, like Foucauld and Derrida) by taking logical refuge in “absurdity” or sheer incomprehensibility (“The fact that what I say is not meaningful to you is in itself meaningful”).

But many even today claim that very same enlightenment-through-ignorance so they don’t have to defend their positions (see: “Democrats“)

At heart is a moral-agency-denying biological reductionism. THAT is also the (often unspoken) basis for ALL Post-Modern approaches. Biological reductionism and Post-Modern thought are just two sides of the same coin. BOTH deny Truth and moral agency.

And neither one buys much…

But it’s hard, if not logically impossible, to buy moral agency and NOT have some species of Theism. THAT is why Post-Modernism and Scientism deny agency.