Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Must Be Deluded

I was listening to a talk on delusion the other day.  The speaker made the following points when outlining psychiatry's meaning of delusion:

[1]  An individual is deemed to be deluded when he believes something which is considered to be untrue or unreal by his group, religion, society, or culture.

[2]  The beliefs and realities of a group, religion, society, or culture are exempt from being labelled deluded.

Discuss.

6 Comments:

Blogger AndrewM said...

Hmmm. Seems I must, yet again, start the responses.

The majority is always sane, by definition. There is no other possible definition of sanity that works. Thus, if what you believe does not accord with the majority view, your sanity can be questioned. And if EVERYTHING you believe does not accord with the majority view, then of course you should be locked up and sedated.

We in the West tend to make heroes out of those who oppose the majority view, for example Galileo Galilei. But if the Pope was going to tie me to a twig and incinerate me for saying the Earth orbits the Sun, I'd recant. I mean, does it really matter? You get sunrise and sunset either way.

June 14, 2012 10:47 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

"The majority is always sane"???

Really, Andrew?

If that's true, it doesn't say much about what we're having the word "sanity" mean, does it?

Then again, I've often said "I've seen what sane people are capable of, and I don't want to be anything like them."

It makes me sad that you've bought into such an illogical definition of sanity, Andrew.

Tragic.

And just a tad ultra-conservative.

June 15, 2012 9:25 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Andrew, I'm reminded of the late USSR's erstwhile human rights abuses.

In the 70's the USSR came under a lot of pressure from the international community for its penchant for locking up political dissidents.

So, to appease the West, the USSR changed the reasons for which dissidents got locked up.

No longer were they put in prisons for having dissident views, they were now declared mentally ill (not sane) and put in "psychatric institutions" for "treatment".

I worry that it was your definition of sanity which was used to justify such insanity.

June 15, 2012 9:34 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

And another thing, Andrew:

That definition of sanity is clearly based upon fallacies of logic, namely, argumentum ad numerum, and argumentum ad populum.

Surely we need a more logically sound definition of sanity.

I would argue that a logically unsound definition of sanity is no definition at all, unless we are prepared to add the caveat "this definition of sanity is logically unsound - caveat emptor".

So, we should scrap that definition as being a meretricious piece of sophistry, make the psychiatrists drink hemlock, and work on a better definition of sanity. ;-)

June 15, 2012 12:12 PM  
Blogger AndrewM said...

Wow, must have hit a nerve! 3 Gerry responses.

Let's go back to tors. To be 'deluded' can take many meanings, including being mistaken at one end of the spectrum to being certifiably insane at the other. Your speaker went to the latter meaning, so I did too.

Your speaker offered a technical definition of delusion which boiled down to "the majority is always sane', which I therefore used as well.

It's not argumentum ad anything. If you think you can come up with a better definition, go for it. However, don't waste your time going to dictionaries for alternatives, because all you get is variations on the 'ordered/disordered mind' theme, which is ultimately meaningless.

Insanity (or delusion) is comparative, not absolute, and you can't trace sanity back to a Prime Cause.

June 18, 2012 11:39 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

I give up. As I said, I must be deluded.

June 19, 2012 2:03 PM  

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