Bonhoeffer‘s Theory of Stupidity *Important*

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Feb 4, 2009
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it will always boil down to faith.

I remember well having the same conversation with a leader or two, and they said the same thing.

My reply would be “of course he does tricks, shows of strength are talked about throughout the Bible.”

The crux of religion always comes down to interpretation of texts. Leaders of denominations are really just guides for a specific interpretations of religious texts.


anyways, of the topic here. My problem with religion is general is how easily the OP is applies to it. Countless atrocities have been committed in the name of religion throughout human history
Fair enough
 

ivwshane

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it will always boil down to faith.

I remember well having the same conversation with a leader or two, and they said the same thing.

My reply would be “of course he does tricks, shows of strength are talked about throughout the Bible.”

The crux of religion always comes down to interpretation of texts. Leaders of denominations are really just guides for a specific interpretations of religious texts.


anyways, of the topic here. My problem with religion is general is how easily the OP is applies to it. Countless atrocities have been committed in the name of religion throughout human history[/b



But that’s because the wrong person was interpreting the Bible wrong./eyeroll
 
Feb 4, 2009
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Point is we all have different Journeys to make. Our paths will never be the same.
Going full theological we all can amend our ways and amending part can be radically different from person to person. One can accept all in life is not equal or simply put bad things can happen to good people or the reverse good things can happen to bad people it is all part of the journey.
 

Moonbeam

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I have no doubt that is a major cause of depression. A prominent real world example is why everyone feels they have to make tons of $$$$ in this society. Because we as a culture have decided that is the yardstick of human worth and value. If we see ourselves as a failure it is because of what others are telling us is expected of us.
But it isn't just the 'FAILURE' to meet expectations that is the crux of the matter, but the emotional implications and the origin of those implications that I am trying to stress. Why do we fear failure and how did we acquire a yardstick that is essentially useless in curing the problem at an unconscious feeling level. It is because we were taught that to fail is to be worthless when the whole way children mature emotionally is based on an inborn will to learn competence that the fear of failure destroys.

I would point out, however, that depression is also rooted in neurochemistry, and is somewhat hereditary. So two people receiving exactly the same negative stimuli, which is what you described as a sort of real or perceived social rejection, one could become quite depressed, while the other, not so much. I think your world view tends to leave out things that make us different as individuals, in favor of one-size-fits all explanations. Which is why I pointed out in that other thread that not everyone had the same experiences as children. This BTW is meant to be constructive.
I understand this. I have frequently said that there may be a branch of depression based on genetic biochemical traits. You have to remember that knowing we hate ourselves is the very last thing anybody wants to realize and the genetics thingi always comes up when the universality of self hate is mentioned. I would advise a minimum of focus in that area as I suspect that subject is mostly brought up to avoid self reflection. I myself was warned about this by my teacher in my early twenties and that was a some time ago when I was a biochemistry major, a field I abandoned to get a job to pay for therapy. I know the biochemical argument pretty well, I think.

We have not all had the same experiences as children but there is one commonality we all share and that is having been verbally put down. Children can't survive a constant awareness of the pain that creates. It is pushed out of conscious awareness hidden behind a wall of ego, bravado, and pretense.


Since I'm on the subject of constructive criticism, I want to point out that not all hate springs from self-hate. A ton of it does, more than people realize, but not all of it.
The only way a person can actually know they hate themselves is to do the very very difficult work of getting in touch with ones feelings, feelings we would rather die sometimes than face. The only suggestions I can offer to imply that truth is via what about our natures it would illuminate that is true. In my opinion it explains everything in the world we see including our left handed, unconscious slide toward extinction. It isn't very fair, then, that I ask you to tell me what kind of hate it is you see that isn't the product of self hate but I will.

Perhaps you refer to what I would categorize as the Wrath of God, a subject I prefer to avoid as psychologically dangerous.
 
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Moonbeam

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But that’s because the wrong person was interpreting the Bible wrong./eyeroll
Indeed. God has changed His mind on a number of things since He wrote the Bible via the help of men full of their opinions of His opinions at the time in my opinion which is more up to date. :)
 

woolfe9998

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But it isn't just the 'FAILURE' to meet expectations that is the crux of the matter, but the emotional implications and the origin of those implications that I am trying to stress. Why do we fear failure and how did we acquire a yardstick that is essentially useless in curing the problem at an unconscious feeling level. It is because we were taught that to fail is to be worthless when the whole way children mature emotionally is based on an inborn will to learn competence that the fear of failure destroys.
I don't disagree with this, nor is it inconsistent with what I already said.

I understand this. I have frequently said that there may be a branch of depression based on genetic biochemical traits. You have to remember that knowing we hate ourselves is the very last thing anybody wants to realize and the genetics thingi always comes up when the universality of self hate is mentioned. I would advise a minimum of focus in that area as I suspect that subject is mostly brought up to avoid self reflection. I myself was warned about this by my teacher in my early twenties and that was a some time ago when I was a biochemistry major, a field I abandoned to get a job to pay for therapy. I know the biochemical argument pretty well, I think.
No one who has studied and researched depression would refer to biology as a "branch of depression." While not all depression is hereditary, it all has a biological component. Studies of depressed people show they have smaller hypocampuses and lower serotonin levels than non-depressed people. What causes that may vary from person to person. It may be hereditary in some cases, in others it could be a predisposition caused by genetic drift. In still others it could even be caused by exposure to certain toxins. May be influenced by what we eat. It's very complex. But biology is never out of the equation, because those feelings are directly caused by neurochemical imbalances.

We have not all had the same experiences as children but there is one commonality we all share and that is having been verbally put down. Children can't survive a constant awareness of the pain that creates. It is pushed out of conscious awareness hidden behind a wall of ego, bravado, and pretense.
I think you are rejecting variations in experience much like you are rejecting contributions from biology. It's neither nature nor nurture with you. It's more like a pre-determined psychodrama that we all experience. Which is why I made an analogy with Freud in another post. Freud had his own psychodramas (i.e. the Oedipus Complex) that supposedly everyone goes through.

As for your psychodrama, the fact is, lots of things can be considered "put downs." But whatever they are, there are vast differences in how much, how often, and all the other particulars of this experience, from one person to the next. If this is such a pivotal experience as you say, then it would make sense that large variances in the experience will produce very disparate outcomes.

The only way a person can actually know they hate themselves is to do the very very difficult work of getting in touch with ones feelings, feelings we would rather die sometimes than face. The only suggestions I can offer to imply that truth is via what about our natures it would illuminate that is true. In my opinion it explains everything in the world we see including our left handed, unconscious slide toward extinction. It isn't very fair, then, that I ask you to tell me what kind of hate it is you see that isn't the product of self hate but I will.

Perhaps you refer to what I would categorize as the Wrath of God, a subject I prefer to avoid as psychologically dangerous.
I don't know what you mean by "Wrath of God" in this context. I purposefully didn't give you an example because I wanted you to test your own hypothesis that "all hate is self-hate." So consider a hypothetical. Say someone murders your spouse, child, parent, sibling or best friend right in front of you, and you respond with hatred and rage, then kill that person, even though it wasn't in self-defense. Think carefully about this and explain how the hate which produced your violent response is self-hate turned outwards.

I think it's natural, possibly even instinctive, to hate those who take away something, or more likely, someone, who is important to them. Chimpanzees, who are both social and tribal (surprise surprise that our genetically closest living relatives are tribalistic!) are more likely to become aggressive and hostile if you kill a member of their tribe than if you kill a chimp who is not a member of their tribe. Pretty sure chimps were never put down as children, and are not afflicted with self-hate.

Hate in a political context, where you hate someone for the type of person they are (.e.g liberal, conservative, black, white, etc.) where you don't even know the person in question, is largely self-hate. But hate towards those who personally wrong you, may depend on the nature of the wrong, but I'm not convinced all that can be put down to self-hate.
 
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MrSquished

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I don't disagree with this, nor is it inconsistent with what I already said.



No one who has studied and researched depression would refer to biology as a "branch of depression." While not all depression is hereditary, it all has a biological component. Studies of depressed people show they have smaller hypocampuses and lower serotonin levels than non-depressed people. What causes that may vary from person to person. It may be hereditary in some cases, in others it could be a predisposition caused by genetic drift. In still others it could even be caused by exposure to certain toxins. May be influenced by what we eat. It's very complex. But biology is never out of the equation, because those feelings are directly caused by neurochemical imbalances.



I think you are rejecting variations in experience much like you are rejecting contributions from biology. It's neither nature nor nurture with you. It's more like a pre-determined psychodrama that we all experience. Which is why I made an analogy with Freud in another post. Freud had his own psychodramas (i.e. the Oedipus Complex) that supposedly everyone goes through.

As for your psychodrama, the fact is, lots of things can be considered "put downs." But whatever they are, there are vast differences in how much, how often, and all the other particulars of this experience, from one person to the next. If this is such a pivotal experience as you say, then it would make sense that large variances in the experience will produce very disparate outcomes.



I don't know what you mean by "Wrath of God" in this context. I purposefully didn't give you an example because I wanted you to test your own hypothesis that "all hate is self-hate." So consider a hypothetical. Say someone murders your spouse, child, parent, sibling or best friend right in front of you, and you respond with hatred and rage, then kill that person, even though it wasn't in self-defense. Think carefully about this and explain how the hate which produced your violent response is self-hate turned outwards.

I think it's natural, possibly even instinctive, to hate those who take away something, or more likely, someone, who is important to them. Chimpanzees, who are both social and tribal (surprise surprise that our genetically closest living relatives are tribalistic!) are more likely to become aggressive and hostile if you kill a member of their tribe than if you kill a chimp who is not a member of their tribe. Pretty sure chimps were never put down as children, and are not afflicted with self-hate.

Hate in a political context, where you hate someone for the type of person they are (.e.g liberal, conservative, black, white, etc.) where you don't even know the person in question, is largely self-hate. But hate towards those who personally wrong you, may depend on the nature of the wrong, but I'm not convinced all that can be put down to self-hate.
You mean I can't hate a Nazi just for being a Nazi without knowing the person in question without that being mostly self-hate?
 
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woolfe9998

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You mean I can't hate a Nazi just for being a Nazi without knowing the person in question without that being mostly self-hate?
No I'm not saying that. I said I think most hate in a political context is motivated by self-hate, not all. Your interpretation of this as "if I hate a Nazi, that is mostly self-hate" is not correct. No further explanation is necessary. A little more thought will reveal your error.

Incidentally, I don't think none of the hatred of "those who personally wrong you" is self-hate either. If someone "wrongs" you in a sense of real or perceived social rejection, your hate might well be motivated by self-hate.

So neither proposition is an absolute. If you're looking for absolutes, look no further than the poster I was debating.
 

ImpulsE69

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A piece of this that has always intrigued me is that who determines what is 'good' or 'bad'? I do not think it is an individual. It's all group think. That is why things change over time. At one time people married in their teens. At one time alcohol was illlegal. At one time slavery was acceptable. These are all things that groups of people determined should change in one way or another over time. At a high level it doesn't really matter why, so much as that the majority group think ruled.

The general rule everyone should live by is just to be nice to others. However this concept differs greatly between classes,and races, regions. This is further blurred by perspective of the individual or group you are talking to. Most people think they are doing the 'good' thing, regardless of which side of the fence they are on. From one perspective you could be helping others, but in some perspectives you are taking away from others. (just as a broad example)

In this age, there is no way anyone can be knowledgable about everything or even most things. Too much information from too many sources and things happening constantly. Unlike just 50 years ago we are bombarded by never ending information. We don't have the capacity to sift it all. Simply stating seek out truth, or check your facts is not a reasonable request of the average person. They are too busy just trying to survive. This goes back to my statement about being nice to others. If in doubt, choose the option that is nice simply be nice. Don't go out of your way to oppress or otherwise offend others. This is easy to say, but again some people seem to need to live in fear to even consider being a decent human being. This is human nature though. Compete, hoard, survive.
 

Moonbeam

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A piece of this that has always intrigued me is that who determines what is 'good' or 'bad'? I do not think it is an individual. It's all group think. That is why things change over time. At one time people married in their teens. At one time alcohol was illlegal. At one time slavery was acceptable. These are all things that groups of people determined should change in one way or another over time. At a high level it doesn't really matter why, so much as that the majority group think ruled.

The general rule everyone should live by is just to be nice to others. However this concept differs greatly between classes,and races, regions. This is further blurred by perspective of the individual or group you are talking to. Most people think they are doing the 'good' thing, regardless of which side of the fence they are on. From one perspective you could be helping others, but in some perspectives you are taking away from others. (just as a broad example)

In this age, there is no way anyone can be knowledgable about everything or even most things. Too much information from too many sources and things happening constantly. Unlike just 50 years ago we are bombarded by never ending information. We don't have the capacity to sift it all. Simply stating seek out truth, or check your facts is not a reasonable request of the average person. They are too busy just trying to survive. This goes back to my statement about being nice to others. If in doubt, choose the option that is nice simply be nice. Don't go out of your way to oppress or otherwise offend others. This is easy to say, but again some people seem to need to live in fear to even consider being a decent human being. This is human nature though. Compete, hoard, survive.
The point of view I have been actively suggesting we consider is that what we define as human nature is dependent of unconscious assumptions we hold below the level of awareness and that what we are actually calling human nature is conformation bias.

I often express this as: "We don't believe what we see, we see what we believe.
 

Moonbeam

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I don't disagree with this, nor is it inconsistent with what I already said.
I was drawing attention to a different emphasis I find of relevance



No one who has studied and researched depression would refer to biology as a "branch of depression." While not all depression is hereditary, it all has a biological component. Studies of depressed people show they have smaller hypocampuses and lower serotonin levels than non-depressed people. What causes that may vary from person to person. It may be hereditary in some cases, in others it could be a predisposition caused by genetic drift. In still others it could even be caused by exposure to certain toxins. May be influenced by what we eat. It's very complex. But biology is never out of the equation, because those feelings are directly caused by neurochemical imbalances.
I didn't know how to describe depression caused by hereditary neurotransmitter differences and depression caused by traumatic experience. I used the word branch. Perhaps field or something else might have been better. The point was that I know there are differing reasons that are suggested for the cause of depression. Probably I should emphasize that I am not impressed very much by theories as to causation owing to the profound need I see not to see our own depressed state. We will readily jump on anything as a cause other than we are also ill because of our own self hate. I am familiar with all the rational under consideration while the real elephant in the room is self hate.

I think you are rejecting variations in experience much like you are rejecting contributions from biology. It's neither nature nor nurture with you. It's more like a pre-determined psychodrama that we all experience. Which is why I made an analogy with Freud in another post. Freud had his own psychodramas (i.e. the Oedipus Complex) that supposedly everyone goes through.
I understood what you were getting at. It happens that I believe Freud was profoundly insightful as to the fact we are driven by hidden emotions but he was wrong about what they are. Sexual issues are just a subset of generalized self hate. Sex just happens to be one area we are easily fuck up about since we all imagine we will be well if we are loved. Not going to happen. The left hand of darkness will destroy the love.

As for your psychodrama, the fact is, lots of things can be considered "put downs." But whatever they are, there are vast differences in how much, how often, and all the other particulars of this experience, from one person to the next. If this is such a pivotal experience as you say, then it would make sense that large variances in the experience will produce very disparate outcomes.
The do.



I don't know what you mean by "Wrath of God" in this context. I purposefully didn't give you an example because I wanted you to test your own hypothesis that "all hate is self-hate." So consider a hypothetical. Say someone murders your spouse, child, parent, sibling or best friend right in front of you, and you respond with hatred and rage, then kill that person, even though it wasn't in self-defense. Think carefully about this and explain how the hate which produced your violent response is self-hate turned outwards.
I have been testing that hypothesis for years and have been challenged to do so also for years. I have experienced what it is like to open the door to the feeling what I feel and being overtaken by a sudden realization that this had its origin in an ancient experience when I was a kid. I have seen others open that door and I had a teacher who said he had opened it all the way and was 99.999% sure he had seen it all to have been a lie. He who tastes knows, to borrow a phrase. There are billions of psychodramas and they all have at their root the phenomenon of being made to feel worthless by being put down.

I think it's natural, possibly even instinctive, to hate those who take away something, or more likely, someone, who is important to them. Chimpanzees, who are both social and tribal (surprise surprise that our genetically closest living relatives are tribalistic!) are more likely to become aggressive and hostile if you kill a member of their tribe than if you kill a chimp who is not a member of their tribe. Pretty sure chimps were never put down as children, and are not afflicted with self-hate.
Our closest chimp relatives are bonobos who in this way are different than chimps. But you brought up the wrath of God and I don't want to go there. Also I am not free of my own self hate and have no idea what divine love looks like except for certain altered states of consciousness I have experienced.

Hate in a political context, where you hate someone for the type of person they are (.e.g liberal, conservative, black, white, etc.) where you don't even know the person in question, is largely self-hate. But hate towards those who personally wrong you, may depend on the nature of the wrong, but I'm not convinced all that can be put down to self-hate.
Like I say, the only way anybody would know is if they experienced something that some people say is real and some people seem to manifest depending on your openness to seeing.
 
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Moonbeam

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No I'm not saying that. I said I think most hate in a political context is motivated by self-hate, not all. Your interpretation of this as "if I hate a Nazi, that is mostly self-hate" is not correct. No further explanation is necessary. A little more thought will reveal your error.

Incidentally, I don't think none of the hatred of "those who personally wrong you" is self-hate either. If someone "wrongs" you in a sense of real or perceived social rejection, your hate might well be motivated by self-hate.

So neither proposition is an absolute. If you're looking for absolutes, look no further than the poster I was debating.
I would hardly call the notion that we have all been insulted in one way or another an absolute any more that we have all probably experienced the sun shining on our skin. It's just a universal fact seems to me.
 

Vic

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I find this topic very intriguing. I was raised in Protestant indoctrination, group think was paramount. But deviously, as you were “allowed” to question things. The leaders were prepared with their logical fallacies to keep you on track. Much of it never really sat very well with me, and in this scenario it’s quite noticeable. So that put me in the “out” crowd. The select few of us who didn’t buy it all, and really at all.

but, the indoctrination is very effective, and very difficult to shake thought processes that were taught from a young age.

my point here is that I understand the groupthink scenario and how hard it is to break out of it. It’s extremely emotionally taxing.
I grew up in the Mormon church, got pushed out around 17 for much the same reason, so I feel your pain.
 
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Moonbeam

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it will always boil down to faith.

I remember well having the same conversation with a leader or two, and they said the same thing.

My reply would be “of course he does tricks, shows of strength are talked about throughout the Bible.”

The crux of religion always comes down to interpretation of texts. Leaders of denominations are really just guides for a specific interpretations of religious texts.


anyways, of the topic here. My problem with religion is general is how easily the OP is applies to it. Countless atrocities have been committed in the name of religion throughout human history
If we read the story of the origin of evil as the eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge to be an analogy for being born in a state of perfect undivided awareness where the self and the universe are one and the same thing, then the learning of language and the acquisition of thought providing the capacity to separate that unity into named different things, coupled with the capacity of language to create dualities like good and evil that can attach positive and negative emotions to life experiences, then the tools are in place that create a new conscious reality. We no longer experience the self as undifferentiated and whole, but as the ego as a separate being who now passes judgment on the value of things. We were ejected from the garden by the acquisition of knowledge, but a trace of the reality of that earlier state remains creating a form of loneliness and longing not unlike what sometimes music can awaken.

This could be called the longing of separation and the divider the capacity to think thoughts that create the concept of evil and the internalization of sin.

In this scenario God is the state of undivided conscious awareness, while the devil becomes the illusion of duality created by thinking in words that create concepts and beliefs to which are attached all manner of feelings and taboos.

In this way childhood becomes a series of traumatic childhood events involving self identification. The experience of perfection that was our birth right become no longer our conscious state but just another concept with a name, in our culture, God, not a lost state of awareness but a ridiculous story out there, a crutch, and a cross and a matter of faith.

And it persists in all human culture because the conscious state of awareness that gave birth to religion was once all of our homes. Once we were God and sometimes the state of conscious awareness we lost as children returns.

One commonality of all the various ways that awakening can happen is via humility, the unlearning of dualistic beliefs, acceptance and surrender of self, modesty of belief.

One way there is faith, brainless but truly humble simplicity. Another way is doubt so complete all bitterness at the forced deception we underwent as children dies along with it.

Is any of this real? Does anyone ever awaken and there a conscious state that goes along with it?

Perhaps the answer is easier if you start with the assumption that you actually know so little that you don’t actually know the answer.

Does it hurt that the innocent suffer. That might be a hint. Does anger arise out of pain? What is the origin of suffering?
 
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woolfe9998

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I didn't know how to describe depression caused by hereditary neurotransmitter differences and depression caused by traumatic experience. I used the word branch.
You don't know how to describe it because you have inadvertantly posed a false dilemma between the two. When I was undergrad in pscyh, I learned about the "diathesis stress model." It isn't complicated. Just read the definition.

.

This is the prevailing theory of most mental illness, including depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. This is why I said that two people can experience the same negative stimuli, and one becomes severely depressed, while the other, perhaps not at all.

I'll leave the rest as I've made my points.
 

Captante

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This thread reminds me of conversations I had while tripping when I was a kid.... no wonder most people are so confused.
 
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BonzaiDuck

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Outstanding. It confirms my own humility-grounded enlightenment -- not having found an opportunity to make sampled readings of Bonhoffer in a life of otherwise voracious reading.

I had often said -- sometimes here at these forums -- that we are all ignorant of many things, and knowledgeable about some limited number of them. So I had defined stupidity as a failure to admit one's own ignorance. This has some connection to the enlightened recognition of facts and logical inference, and an acknowledgement that one may not have all the facts. The notion that there are "alternative facts" is a defense lawyer's cop-out to a prosecution's shortfall of this or that fact. More facts are better.

So, Kaleigh McEnany, a Harvard graduate, is likely stupid. But in addition, if one fails to commit to being a Truth Seeker, all the Ivy League credentials in the world fails to neutralize the Stupidity. This goes hand in hand with an attribute of the Stupid population: an assumption that a person can be "smart" and still be deceptive. By definition, willful deception points in a direction of Malice, and also by definition, one cannot be Smart without being a Truth Seeker.

Other remarks considering the urban and rural environments are generally useful in understanding the phenomenon. Populations in sparser density are more likely to seek whatever social life they can find, but with less opportunity to acquire more second-hand fact and more likely to succumb to myth and nonsense in small groups.

The discussion could be expanded to add concepts of "positive" and "normative". Positive understanding is a fact-based set of conclusions about how things are. Normative views are a wishful assertion of how someone wants things to be. I can expound on this further, but I leave it to others.
 
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Moonbeam

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So, Kaleigh McEnany, a Harvard graduate, is likely stupid. But in addition, if one fails to commit to being a Truth Seeker, all the Ivy League credentials in the world fails to neutralize the Stupidity. This goes hand in hand with an attribute of the Stupid population: an assumption that a person can be "smart" and still be deceptive. By definition, willful deception points in a direction of Malice, and also by definition, one cannot be Smart without being a Truth Seeker.
Such a wonderful post. I wanted to comment on the selection above, particularly on what I believe ties stupidity, willful deception, and malice together, summed up in the notion that the so called wise people can be fools. I believe that if you attribute these three things to a simple underlying emotional need their etiology becomes clear. Simply put, what I see at cause is the need not to be aware of our deeply repressed feelings of worthlessness acquired in childhood by being traumatized by verbal put downs, in other words self hate. I claim that the pain the pain for children under such stress can't be consciously born and becomes deeply repressed by a surrogate self, the fine beautiful, well integrated, normal, and ethically proud ego.

Stupidity is the belief in the bull shit of the ego. Willful deception isn't actually willful at all but the product of an unconscious need not to feel our original pain ever again. Only the preposterous degrees to which we will go to avoid the last thing on earth we want to remember makes it seem to have to be willful. And the malice, of course is the hatred we feel for having our natural organic inborn love of being stolen from us. We become the new exponents of the very hate that was used to cause our psychic deaths. And yes, only the truth seeker, the one with the sense that something is wrong, will seek to find what it is.

Do you know the story of the Princess and the pea, the girl who could not sleep in comfort bothered by a pea that rested under the 39th mattresses of her royal bed?
 
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Moonbeam

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You don't know how to describe it because you have inadvertantly posed a false dilemma between the two. When I was undergrad in pscyh, I learned about the "diathesis stress model." It isn't complicated. Just read the definition.

.

This is the prevailing theory of most mental illness, including depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. This is why I said that two people can experience the same negative stimuli, and one becomes severely depressed, while the other, perhaps not at all.

I'll leave the rest as I've made my points.

Can we step back a moment and try to clarify what you are trying to say? What I am hearing is this: You are saying that I am oversimplifying the nature of mental illness by attributing it to a single cause whereas the data on three or so forms of it suggest a much more complex situation. What you are describing is the study of mental illness as theorized by psychologists whose business is to diagnose and understand the phenomenon scientifically, that is to say objectively, and that is to say from a point of view of those who themselves are not tsubject to the bias that mental illness can create, that they themselves are not mentally ill. Furthermore their study involves looking at external data, not from any particular knowledge of themselves, but rather from the assumption they are have no skin in the matter and are just looking at facts.

But I am saying something completely different. I am saying that you, I, the psychologists studying mental illness, the healthy normal of the world, the mentally ill, apart from those who may actually have some rare form of genetic issue that affects their cognition and may actually benefit from drugs more than therapy, are all mentally ill, you, me, and all but the truly healed, are mentally ill in the sense that we are divided against ourselves internally, that we see the world out there and the self as separate things, that we have fallen from Grace, that we inhabit the world of Maya, I think it is, the world of delusional belief, 'knowingness', unconscious unexamined assumptions, naive dreams, and self flattering tons of cabbage.

The diathesis-stress-model is just another of those things

Furthermore, I am saying that only the truth-seeker has any chance at all of find his or her way out of this, and that the methodology for doing so will come as a result of self-knowledge and introspection that can benefit from external observations but which will never alone lead to enlightenment. A fragment of the self sets itself up to observe what alone can be perceived we the observer and the observed are one and the same thing.

I am saying that we can't know the truth without knowing what we feel and that is the last thing we will allow to happen. In your world, then, only the severely mentally ill have a chance at knowing the truth as they are the least among us, the ones that Jesus came to save, the ones for whom the price of ego death is cheap, having been stripped of most of it by their own self contempt.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
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All this talk about population but how do you explain the majority of Florida and Texas?
 

pmv

Lifer
May 30, 2008
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Only thing I think that didn't make sense was that people who live in solitude are more likely to be less stupid. I disagree. Look at the voting for dumbfucks like Trump, they do best in lesser populated areas including the most isolated rural ones.
Low population density - which usually goes hand-in-hand with lack of diversity - is not the same as solitude.

In my opinion those enduring actual solitude are less likely to exhibit the kind of mass stupidity Bonhoeffer was talking about, but they are still liable to develop their own idiosyncratic forms of madness or eccentricity. It just doesn't have much social effect because it isn't a mass phenomenon.

I guess I don't disagree with the OP argument.

"Stupidity" has always seemed to me to involve a very large element of deliberate choice. It's usually about incentives. People fail to reason correctly because they have a vested interest in doing so.

It's reflected in that (Upton Sinclair) quote about “It's difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it." Or in the research that shows people's mathematical ability deteriorates if the math they are engaged in relates to a topic they feel politically invested in.

On the other hand, it's probably impossible to live in an entirely 'rational' manner, like a Vulcan. Life would probably be unendurable without delusions.
 

pmv

Lifer
May 30, 2008
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No one who has studied and researched depression would refer to biology as a "branch of depression." While not all depression is hereditary, it all has a biological component. Studies of depressed people show they have smaller hypocampuses and lower serotonin levels than non-depressed people. What causes that may vary from person to person. It may be hereditary in some cases, in others it could be a predisposition caused by genetic drift. In still others it could even be caused by exposure to certain toxins. May be influenced by what we eat. It's very complex. But biology is never out of the equation, because those feelings are directly caused by neurochemical imbalances.
Lord, I find that a vexed and confusing topic. Though I thought they had recently concluded that Serotonin levels aren't involved in depression after all?
 
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woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
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Lord, I find that a vexed and confusing topic. Though I thought they had recently concluded that Serotonin levels aren't involved in depression after all?
Yes, I've read that in some places as well. But then I have to wonder why Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI's), which increase seretonin levels in the brain, are still the mainline treatment for depression. I won't believe that serotonin isn't involved with depression until they stop prescribing SSRI's. And also explain why research shows SSRI's to be significantly more effective then placebos if serotonin is irrelevant. Until then, I'll keep assuming that serotonin is a major factor.
 

pmv

Lifer
May 30, 2008
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Yes, I've read that in some places as well. But then I have to wonder why Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI's), which increase seretonin levels in the brain, are still the mainline treatment for depression. I won't believe that serotonin isn't involved with depression until they stop prescribing SSRI's. And also explain why research shows SSRI's to be significantly more effective then placebos if serotonin is irrelevant. Until then, I'll keep assuming that serotonin is a major factor.
Well, it seems to me that the continued use of SSRIs - and the defensive reaction of the psychiatric profession to this recent research, apparently fighting a rear-gaurd action to sustain their belief in their drugs - just reflects the extent to which psychiatry is a faith-based activity rather than a scientific one.

As it happens I've had been prescribed pretty much every single SSRI there is over the decades, and none of them did anything useful.

I've even had a psychiatrist tell me I should try harder to believe in them, as they work better if you believe. As if it's faith-healing or something.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
15,078
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Well, it seems to me that the continued use of SSRIs - and the defensive reaction of the psychiatric profession to this recent research, apparently fighting a rear-gaurd action to sustain their belief in their drugs - just reflects the extent to which psychiatry is a faith-based activity rather than a scientific one.
Then why do dozens of studies show SSRI's being significantly more effective than placebos? When you can answer the science, then I'll listen when you say "the psychiatric profession" is "faith based."

As it happens I've had been prescribed pretty much every single SSRI there is over the decades, and none of them did anything useful.
Have worked for me but in my case the side effects were too much. I use strenuous exercise these days.

I've even had a psychiatrist tell me I should try harder to believe in them, as they work better if you believe. As if it's faith-healing or something.
No, it isn't faith based. He is telling you this because placebos make a noticeable difference in depression. As I said, the SSRI's work better than placebos, and also placebos are better than no treatment at all. Because plecebos have some effect, it stands to reason that part of the effectiveness of anti-depressants is in fact a placebo effect. So if you don't believe in it, it diminishes the effectiveness. You seem to have interpreted his statement as an admission that the plecebo effect is the only effect of the drugs. But this is not true because the research says it isn't true.

Also, individual reactions to AD's vary quite a lot. Some people get a ton of effect, some none at all. Which is why personal anecdotes are essentially irrelevant. The same is also true for talk therapy and all other kinds of treatments.
 

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