Bonhoeffer‘s Theory of Stupidity *Important*

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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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. . . . Stupidity is the belief in the bull shit of the ego. . . .
That's a good one. Definitely.

For the rest, this thread is becoming rich with insights. Too bad, those who might benefit most will have closed a door to it. How do you get it into the True Believer's thoughts surreptitiously? Or how to you justify sharing it so that such an audience remains unaware that you're telling them they are stupid?
 
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pmv

Lifer
May 30, 2008
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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."



Have worked for me but in my case the side effects were too much. I use strenuous exercise these days.



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.

Saying "Personal anecdotes are irrelevant" seems like a great way to excuse treatments not working. Makes them unfalsifiable.

And I've seen a few studies reported that found SSRIs (and talk therapy also) to be no more effective than placebo.

Also, if this 'placebo effect' is so good, how come it never kicked in for all the treatments that I _did_ believe in? I only came to doubt SSRIs after having umpteen different ones for extended periods with no effect. How come the placebo effect only kicks in when it's useful to explain away a treatment not working?
 
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Perknose

Forum Director & Omnipotent Overlord
Forum Director
Oct 9, 1999
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4-ish minute simple video worth a watch.
All should watch this video and I agree people who demand video views are asses. I’ll own being an ass, regardless it is good content.

Bonhoeffer‘s Theory of Stupidity
Thank you for that, Mr. Meat!
 
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Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
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That's a good one. Definitely.

For the rest, this thread is becoming rich with insights. Too bad, those who might benefit most will have closed a door to it. How do you get it into the True Believer's thoughts surreptitiously? Or how to you justify sharing it so that such an audience remains unaware that you're telling them they are stupid?
The most important thing that comes to my mind first off is that I personally do not know because I have the disease. But I believe I have been exposed to one person who was deeply awake, and to some sources or teachings that impressed him. From that I have acquired some ideas.

1. Nobody is in trouble who goes straight ahead. 2. Like calls to like. 3. The sayings of Mulla Nasrudin. 4. A sense of humor. 2. Need, as in seek and you will find. 5. Speak to the wall when you want the door to hear. 6. Self observation. 7. Knowing what you feel. 8. Knowing we do not know and do not want to know we do not want to know. Honesty. 9. Knowing that there is nothing wrong with us other than believing at our deepest level that we do believe there is. 10. Knowing that everything had to happen exactly as it did and does because we are asleep, that there is nobody to blame for anything, acceptance of our crucifixion, that love is born of grief.

The big one then, I think, is to know that while we live as though we are unworthy of love, what that hides from us is that love is what we really are. We just don’t believe it.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
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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.
I think this is the important point. One very widespread technique used in teachings oriented around the pursuit of enlightenment involve withdrawal from society, hermitage and meditation, monasticism, etc.


"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.

The question I would ask you here is whether you can actually use the word deliberate to describe the kind of incentivized vested interests choices we make. A conscious choice to act out delusional behavior would imply that a person so engaged would not be engaged in any self deception which I think is obviously wrong. The whole thing is based on self deception, in my opinion, without any awareness that is actually what is happening. That leaves me to ask you what then, other than the vague terms incentives and vested interest, those phenomena actually are. I believe the incentive is preservation of ego status where the vested interest is to preserve ego identification with something out there in the world to hang onto as a substitute for the self worth we once had naturally and innately as children before being made to feel worthless by being put down. As a thinking person this should be obvious to you especially when explained, were it not that you also have a vested interest in not seeing it.


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.
Indeed, that is exactly the feeling you fear to be true. In my opinion you are completely wrong here. It may, also, and again in my opinion, account for the depression you have suggested you suffer. It isn't so much a matter, IMO, of being rational as it is of being free of the need to believe anything that is the product of thinking. In short it isn't the realization of answers but the cessation of a need for them. There is a switch that can be magically flipped from no to yes, from struggle to surrender, from thought to presence. Then one may suffer in reality, but not existentially. Two different things.

Saying "Personal anecdotes are irrelevant" seems like a great way to excuse treatments not working. Makes them unfalsifiable.

And I've seen a few studies reported that found SSRIs (and talk therapy also) to be no more effective than placebo.

Also, if this 'placebo effect' is so good, how come it never kicked in for all the treatments that I _did_ believe in? I only came to doubt SSRIs after having umpteen different ones for extended periods with no effect. How come the placebo effect only kicks in when it's useful to explain away a treatment not working?
Excellent questions, I think. In my opinion, and as I tried to suggest to @woolfe9998 earlier, I think the pharmacological treatment of some forms of mental issues may have a scientific validity. But like the rest of the world, I do not think that psychotherapists, generally speaking are aware they have the same disease they are trying to treat. I think also that the scientific study of the human population is the study of people who are sick, and the the aim of psychiatry isn't to heal but to help people cope with their illnesses. The cure is enlightenment not adjustment to being insane.

I believe I had a real therapist once long ago, from whom I learned a lot before he died, for me a staggering loss. His methodology was group and individual psychotherapy with one single aim, to feel what we really feel. If all you did was only talk in individual therapy he would fall asleep. :) I don't know anybody practicing like that today. Hopefully somewhere someone is.

PS: I forgot that I wanted to ask you about your depression that drugs don't seem to help. I am going to assume that being depressed is not something that is pleasant, that you probably wish you didn't have it. If so, the question that drove me is , Why do I suffer? Why do I suffer. Why why why! Why do you suffer? Not asking you to tell me only, "Is that a question you have?
 
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hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
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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.

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.
Don't get me started. Just got over an aborted try at something that was supposed to help my sleep issues (made them worse, with the added bonus of anorexia). 3 days of pills, almost crying over the prospect of taking the forth. I could not do it. One week later, as it took that long for the shit to get out of my system. I feel like my old pathetic self at least. I'm done with General MD's playing shrinks! (and the pharma industry). Anyone want a bunch of Lexapro!
 
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JEDI

Lifer
Sep 25, 2001
28,625
2,035
126
4-ish minute simple video worth a watch.
All should watch this video and I agree people who demand video views are asses. I’ll own being an ass, regardless it is good content.

Bonhoeffer‘s Theory of Stupidity
in the video:
- only an act of Liberation, not instruction, will overcome stupidity.
- a genuine internal liberation of the stupid sheepie zealot is possible only when external liberation has preceded it.
- Until then, we must abandon all attempts to convince the stupid person :eek:


Explain external liberation?
for our current situation, we have to wait till Trump dies?
 

MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
16,192
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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.
I can throw in my meager personal experience, but Prozac has changed my life this year. It has made the lows so much more bearable than anything I tried in the past, which were numerous mood stabilizers.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
15,084
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Don't get me started. Just got over an aborted try at something that was supposed to help my sleep issues (made them worse, with the added bonus of anorexia). 3 days of pills, almost crying over the prospect of taking the forth. I could not do it. One week later, as it took that long for the shit to get out of my system. I feel like my old pathetic self at least. I'm done with General MD's playing shrinks! (and the pharma industry). Anyone want a bunch of Lexapro!
Lexapro was a chemical castration for me from the first pill.

Have you checked to see if you have sleep apnea? At least a quarter of men over 50 have it. If so, you might want to try a cpap machine.
 
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Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
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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.
Something I should probably mention is that when you try to suggest there is more to a discussion than I suggest as critical to its understanding, I do so not because while there may be more to it than I focus on it is exactly the things I would de-emphasize as subjects of focus that are the general categories I have observed over time to be the ways most people will deflect from what is important. The genetic basis of mental illness is one of them. Everybody who hates himself is going to go for the notion that fate gave them bad genes. We will often die rather than know what we feel because we did die psychically and to relive it is just like dying all over again, at first, and until the connection with memory kicks in.
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
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I briefly tried several SSRI's when my mom was prescribed them years ago and for me they might as well have been "genuine 100% placebo".... they literally did nothing positive at all.

Lexapro made me a little tired, Prozac made me feel like crap physically and Zoloft might as well have been sugar-pills.

None had any effect whatsoever on my mood.... the only drugs (other than weed) that actually made a difference in how I felt were benzo's and the harm resulting from taking those long-term far outweighs the good for anxiety.
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
27,193
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Have you checked to see if you have sleep apnea? At least a quarter of men over 50 have it. If so, you might want to try a cpap machine.
A little over two years ago I was diagnosed with AFIB directly resulting from severe sleep-apnea and at this point I've become a 100% CPAP believer.

I was always told that I snored "like a freight-train" and both my ex-wife and GF's have all told me that I "stopped breathing frequently and sounded like I was choking" when sleeping.

:oops:


At this point the CPAP treatment has been LIFE-CHANGING for me. :D

No exaggeration I was getting at MOST 2-3 hours of "quality" sleep a night and in between I was literally suffocating! (or getting up to pee)

If anyone has EVER told you that you snore go ASAP and get checked for apnea.... sleeping with a CPAP machine does require some adjustment but once made you won't believe the results! (and anyone you sleep WITH will absolutely LOVE you for it since it eliminates snoring!)
 
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Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
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This thread and the one on the unavailability of mental health treatment are painful for me to read. They are subjects about which I have talked about for more than 20 years, that we don't know what we feel and the result is suffering. And what has the medical community offered but pills pills pills. And all of them to dull our suffering.

What is anxiety? What is depression? What is suffering? Why are we anxious, why depressed? Why do we suffer? What are we feeling?

What I see is that it is all about belief:

What is the problem about being anxious other than we do not want to be anxious. Why?

The problem with depression is that we do not want to be depressed. Why?

The problem about suffering is that we don't want to suffer? Why?

Isn't a big part of the problem that there is NO EXIT. But who is it that can't escape? Isn't it YOU?

Who are you? Who wants out? Isn't it the thinker, a fragment of self that speaks for the whole who says I am the whole. I think therefore I am?

But there is no exit for the fragment of self that assumes it speaks for the whole. It is only the part that thinks. Thought leads to thought leads to thought leads to a sense of permanence tied to memory. Thought is time. Thought is fear, fear that thought will end. But while we are alive without thought there is only presence and the joy of being.

All that died when when thought became belief.

Did you but suffer you would not suffer because we suffer with the whole of our being.
 
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hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
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Don't get me started. Just got over an aborted try at something that was supposed to help my sleep issues (made them worse, with the added bonus of anorexia). 3 days of pills, almost crying over the prospect of taking the forth. I could not do it. One week later, as it took that long for the shit to get out of my system. I feel like my old pathetic self at least. I'm done with General MD's playing shrinks! (and the pharma industry). Anyone want a bunch of Lexapro!
That's where this ended up. Anyway, I had my phone visit with my MD today and told him the reaction to the med he prescribed and that I stopped the medication. He was surprisingly apologetic and noted in my record not to prescribe this type of drug for me in the future. I told him that the recommended melatonin really has extended my sleep time, and even having to get up to pee at night, I can easily get back to sleep. I also explained that the major source of my anxiety was pretty resolved by the fact that my ex with Altheimer's, is no longer staying with me, and my daughter (who is a psychotherapist) came yesterday and collected my ex to live in an apartment just one floor down from where she is living in Minnesota. I wish her and my ex luck. She has not seen a doctor in a few years, so she going to finally get a proper diagnosis. Sadly, she was kind of force retired due to her not remembering her passwords on the computer to do her work right at the beginning of the pandemic and fell though the cracks. She hadn't even signed up for SS or Medicare. Don't even go to that place of what my son was doing about it at the time. He's now my problem.
 
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