Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

Oh my this one got the commentators responding!

Studies of mental functions, behaviors and the nervous system.

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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#41  Postby epepke » Jul 18, 2014 4:03 pm

DavidMcC wrote:It seems like you have been watching Lexx! :lol:


I haven't thought about that show in years.

The solution to the problem you mention above is for such people (the ones who "just like to punish people") to be kept out of the justice system.


The problem being that the only people who get into the justice system in the first place are those who are like that. Well, maybe not all, but way preferentially.

This was the idea behind the Sanity Clause in Pogo. It's been stated elsewhere, most famously by Douglas Adams, that nobody who wants to be in charge should on any account be allowed to do it. Which simply raises the question of who is going to be in charge to enforce it?
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#42  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 18, 2014 4:17 pm

epepke wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:It seems like you have been watching Lexx! :lol:


I haven't thought about that show in years.

But do you remember enough about it to realise what I was referring to? Lexx painted a distopian future, based partly on the perversion of justice (plus considerable cyborg design skills).
The solution to the problem you mention above is for such people (the ones who "just like to punish people") to be kept out of the justice system.


The problem being that the only people who get into the justice system in the first place are those who are like that. Well, maybe not all, but way preferentially.

That implies that the justice system is self-policing. If that is the case, that is the first thing that needs to be changed.
This was the idea behind the Sanity Clause in Pogo. It's been stated elsewhere, most famously by Douglas Adams, that nobody who wants to be in charge should on any account be allowed to do it. Which simply raises the question of who is going to be in charge to enforce it?

Nobody who is actually involved it it! In the UK, the police authorities aren't policemen, they are political representatives (for better or worse ).
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#43  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 18, 2014 5:37 pm

Whist I acknowlege that I played a part in creating the conditions for this major derail onto justice systems, I have to point out that it IS a derail, nevertheless. :naughty:
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#44  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 19, 2014 6:08 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:...
Guilt and innocence are a matter for the law, and for judging what you think of somebody. Like I said, people need to be held accountable for their actions, even though ultimately they are not.

...

The bit I've bolded for you needs attention. Please justify this strange claim. It seems to come back to your claim that we make decisions as if we were ants.


The perceiving indevidual is a flicker of consciousness. It is that consciousness, that perceiving being which suffers as a result of bad decisions. We make decisions based purely on environmental and biological influences beyond our control. If one eats too many mars bars it is because greed got the better of the desire to be healthy - the factors which influenced that decision are entirely beyond consciousness's control - therefore people aren't responsible for their actions.

It's so fucking blatantly obvious I can hardly believe an adult with so much as a glimmer of introspective hypothetical philosophical insight would call it a "strange statement".
You're only conscious when you're thinking about consciousness.
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#45  Postby epepke » Jul 19, 2014 7:00 pm

DavidMcC wrote:But do you remember enough about it to realise what I was referring to? Lexx painted a distopian future, based partly on the perversion of justice (plus considerable cyborg design skills).


Yes, I remember it well. I do prefer Joe's Garage as a dystopia.

The solution to the problem you mention above is for such people (the ones who "just like to punish people") to be kept out of the justice system.


A difficult problem. My father thought that it would be best to get rid of elections entirely and just appoint people. I always wondered who would appoint the appointers.I just pissed them off.

But there's a bit of that with the ostensible separation of powers in the US. It just doesn't work very well.

Nobody who is actually involved it it! In the UK, the police authorities aren't policemen, they are political representatives (for better or worse ).


Yeah, it's the worse part that gets me. Nobody knows the cure for political stupidity.
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#46  Postby Mr.Samsa » Jul 20, 2014 6:46 am

orpheus wrote:I question a lot of what you've written here, but I'm extremely busy today, so for now I'll just ask this: do you think genes play any role here? If so, then how much of a role do they play?


Edit: clarity


What is there to question? And yes, genes come under the "bio" part of biopsychosocial and their role changes depending specifically on what disorder we are talking about. For some they can arguably play no role at all, for some they may play an indirect role in that some genes protect against certain disorders, for some they may play an indirect role in the form of a predisposition towards a certain disorder, and for some they may be the direct cause of the disorder.

epepke wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:Even though this is going a little off-topic, you can still accept the concepts of responsibility and blame as a hard determinist - they just don't necessarily carry the full implications of the terms as they're normally used. In other words, if someone breaks the law due to some determining factors, then they are still responsible (i.e. to blame) for that crime, in the same way that if a faulty wire burns down my house it is responsible (i.e. to blame) for the damage caused.


If one is going to do social engineering, though, it would be nice to be honest about it. If one is going to use the concepts of responsibility and blame, then what is the point of doing so? What are you trying to accomplish?


The point would be to isolate the most immediate cause of a specific problem. If the environment has caused an individual to become a killer then it's useful knowledge to know that there's something in the environment to change but, equally so, we need to be able to place the responsibility on the individual so that we can deal with them. Either we fix their problem or remove them from society.

epepke wrote:Your earlier comment about not believing in something because it's inaccurate is very interesting. It seems a bit different from what I thought your earlier position was. If I got you wrong, I apologize. I generally find it best to get accuracy nailed down pretty early in the thinking process.


I may need reminding on what my earlier position was - I may have changed my mind or just not explained myself very well.

epepke wrote:I do have to say that the construction of mental orders, not only socially by the laity but by the professionals, smells very strongly of mythology. My observations of patients in short-term psychiatric facilities is that they follow a rule of 3. About a third have something that would be difficult to explain without recourse to some actual medical problem, however poorly understood. About a third are coming down off of a serious drug problem. About a third are pretty squarely within the normal range, even boringly mundane and well adjusted, but have had some bad shit going down. Or they were taken in by a cop who didn't want to deal with the paperwork at the station, or something like that.


Interestingly, I bet we could sit in an ER and say the same thing about medical patients there. Another big problem with mental disorders is that people are generally very very bad at identifying them in others, with depression being a main one. A lot of people can be surprised when someone tells them that they have depression - but he's also so happy when I see him! The obvious problem is that of selection bias, you only see him when he has the energy or power to get out of bed and unless you're a family member or a really good friend, you don't see the days where they are crying for no known reason on the kitchen floor all day. And, of course, many people are receiving treatment so they don't seem like they have a disorder because they are (all things going well) getting better.

epepke wrote:In a way, I think that the category of mental disorders is quite bugged. I'm not sure why there's a category like this. You've got hundreds of disorders, along six axes, divided into numerous subcategories. It's not clear at all that there's much obvious commonality to them, except the observation that people sometimes behave funny without an obvious etiology. That latter part is important; when conditions get etiologies they aren't called mental disorders any more and fall out of the realm of psychiatry. It all seems very medieval to me. We know that some drugs work, sometimes staggeringly well, in the case of schizophrenia (if you're lucky enough to hit the right combination), and sometimes not very well, hovering around the level of placebo at best. There's not enough research about the effects of the belief in drugs IMO.


There is some debate over whether an axis system of classification is best or an etiological one but I don't see why an etiological one would be inherently better.

And what makes you think disorder with known etiologies aren't considered mental disorders any more? That would suggest that we don't know what the cause of any mental disorder is which simply isn't true.

epepke wrote:And then there's this, where some model isn't chosen because it works particularly well or at all or whether it describes reality, but on the basis of some sort of psychological guess about how it will affect social engineering. This I find very shaky, in particular because if one arrogates to know so much about psychology as to do effective social engineering, then surely it should be easier to cut to the chase and just treat people appropriately. Unless it's claptrap, of course, in which case the meta-psychology is almost tediously obvious.


Can you give an example? I'm not too sure what you mean.
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#47  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 20, 2014 12:56 pm

epepke wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:But do you remember enough about it to realise what I was referring to? Lexx painted a distopian future, based partly on the perversion of justice (plus considerable cyborg design skills).


Yes, I remember it well. I do prefer Joe's Garage as a dystopia.

...

I am not familiar with "Joe's Garage", but you can't get much more dystopian than a society in which the justice system is used to supply a charnel house of human flesh, for the construction of a giant living spaceship (the Lexx)!
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#48  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 20, 2014 1:25 pm

Keep It Real wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:...
Guilt and innocence are a matter for the law, and for judging what you think of somebody. Like I said, people need to be held accountable for their actions, even though ultimately they are not.

...

The bit I've bolded for you needs attention. Please justify this strange claim. It seems to come back to your claim that we make decisions as if we were ants.


The perceiving indevidual is a flicker of consciousness. It is that consciousness, that perceiving being which suffers as a result of bad decisions. We make decisions based purely on environmental and biological influences beyond our control. If one eats too many mars bars it is because greed got the better of the desire to be healthy - the factors which influenced that decision are entirely beyond consciousness's control - therefore people aren't responsible for their actions.

It's so fucking blatantly obvious I can hardly believe an adult with so much as a glimmer of introspective hypothetical philosophical insight would call it a "strange statement".

:roll:
This is ridiculous! Of course we have some conscious control of our important decisions, even if we often give into the unconscious when it comes to how many Mars bars we eat! :roll:
I can hardly believe an adult would say what you just said!
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#49  Postby epepke » Jul 20, 2014 3:19 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:The point would be to isolate the most immediate cause of a specific problem.


You mean what's called the proximate cause, I guess.

The problem here is that the proximate cause is not guaranteed to be (and usually isn't) the most effective way of dealing with or preventing a problem. There is even a folk saying, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

For example, in the US, some people have noticed that imprisoning someone is hugely more expensive than public assistance which is hugely more expensive than educating them. They have suggested that it's bass-ackward for us to spend so much on imprisonment and that it would be better to move to causes that are not as immediate or proximate.

A rational analysis, of course, would require a lot of probability and statistics, such as Bayesian analysis of how likely it is for someone with poor education is to wind up a criminal. These are, at best, extremely hard and require a model of human behavior that is not very well known. Still, the cost of incarceration is so huge that a rough idea might be held. And there are other things to consider. When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, there was about a 40% drop in murders. Yeah, I know post hoc ergo propter hoc and all that, but there are ways to handle that scientifically, at least to some degree.

However, just starting this process presupposes that the goal is to reduce crime. I think it should be, because I dislike crime, but that's just me. Few people listen to me.

The goal may instead be to maximize the number of private prisons for economic purposes, such as making money by investment. It might even be phrased in a less obviously greedy way, by pointing to places where the prison is the main employer.

If so, I'd find it refreshing if people advocating this would just admit it, rather than dress it up in rational- or moral-sounding rhetoric. Then again, that's just me.

If the environment has caused an individual to become a killer then it's useful knowledge to know that there's something in the environment to change but, equally so, we need to be able to place the responsibility on the individual so that we can deal with them. Either we fix their problem or remove them from society.


I don't have a problem with removing people from society, even to a point that may shock you. I could quite easily kill someone who is committing a violent felony. However, when we are talking about social problems, I would prefer to solve them as effectively as possible (or at least reasonably effectively) than try to extrapolate from individuals. There are patterns to human behavior, however difficult they may be to suss out.

WRT the topic, when it comes to psychiatry, we're not dealing with individuals. We could, and to some degree we used to. There used to be a psychoanalysis culture, or even a listening to the patient culture, but it's gone. (It was admittedly expensive and not very effective.) Now, there is explicitly a culture of not listening to patients and instead just sorting them into categories as quickly as possible. It doesn't seem to work very well, either, though. It's time, I think, to do some serious reconsideration of the categories, the psychiatric assumptions about groups of people, and how they are sorted.

Some of this is in fact happening. There is some recognition that talking therapy and things like CET can help a lot of depressed individuals. Ten years ago, there was none, and there was great hostility toward the idea.

Interestingly, I bet we could sit in an ER and say the same thing about medical patients there.


Yes, and I know where to start: the ER of University College Hospital on Gower Street.

Another big problem with mental disorders is that people are generally very very bad at identifying them in others, with depression being a main one.


They aren't so hot at identifying them in themselves, either.

This is why Newton invented science, so to speak. Sure, it's difficult, but we know some things. We know the Cartesian model is fucked. We also know, because of meta-knowledge, that the insight and intuition that results in what you just claimed is fucked. Now, I think we should look at how this fucked insight and intuition leads to rational- and moral-sounding policies, open to the policy that they may, unsurprisingly, be fucked. Cognitive Science is beginning to give us some pretty good tools to do this, but how long will it take before psychiatry notices?

A lot of people can be surprised when someone tells them that they have depression - but he's also so happy when I see him!


Of course, and it also follows that a lot of people can be surprised when someone tells them they do not have depression. This causes a lot of problems. If one thinks certain thoughts or addresses certain subjects (without even listening to the thoughts), then there is a tendency to place people into pigeonholes. This is an anti-therapeutic process, but it's done in psychiatry as a matter of course.

This is fairly complicated, and it's too early in the day for me to write lots of paragraphs. Maybe later.

There is some debate over whether an axis system of classification is best or an etiological one but I don't see why an etiological one would be inherently better.


Well, you wouldn't, would you? Let's lay it on the line here. You think you are in a position to be able to figure it out, just like that. That's what everyone does. That's what everyone has done forever, and it hasn't worked. Cognitive science has also come, within only a couple of decades, to explain why it doesn't work. I don't know if it will come to provide a means of constructing something that does work, beyond the small amount that it has, but it seems to me more promising.

And what makes you think disorder with known etiologies aren't considered mental disorders any more?


One word: epilepsy. Once very much psychiatric, now not at all psychiatric. It took more than an instant, and we're not going to be able to settle every disorder today, on this forum, but it happens.

Can you give an example? I'm not too sure what you mean.


This whole thread is an obvious example. It's all about what model reduces the stigma.

So people can say, "ah, this isn't a character defect; it's a chemical imbalance."

It wasn't too long ago that people could say (and some still do), "ah, this isn't a character defect; it's demonic possession." Or "ah, this isn't a character defect; it's original sin."

Those aren't very good models for treating people. They are, however, great models for social engineering. You convince people of something (say, "Jesus will help you") for some social purpose, such that it will calm people down and make them more docile, most of the time. Until they go postal, but then you have a prison.

It is worthy of note that the first, and I still think the only, Nobel Prize in psychiatry was given to the inventor of the lobotomy. It was originally sold and promoted simply as a way to make a patient more docile and easier to take care of, "like a cat." Arguments that it was actually good for the patient rather than the caretaker didn't start appearing until much later, after it was in fairly widespread use.

Under that kind of history, I have a hard time seeing clearly that the later arguments reflect reality rather than simply serving as a way to make people who do and order lobotomies feel better about themselves as benefactors. They might very well be true, but I get a bit skeptical, though it seems to be frowned upon on rational skepticism.

This seems to me to happen a lot, not just within psychiatry but within all medicine and, well, pretty much everything else.

A procedure or drug or something comes around for Purpose A, and studies get done, maybe even good studies. It gets used. Then people become a bit uncomfortable with Purpose A, and so the mindset switches to Purpose B. Then studies come out showing, well, it's not so good for Purpose B. By this time, nobody even thinks about them, because everyone is invested in the procedure or drug or something, and they don't want to stop.

Then they tack on more and more and more assumptions to make it work, not realizing or acknowledging that this process makes it less, not more likely that it works.

I could probably come up with scores of examples or provide an in-depth explanation of the probability and statistics that are involved, if it would do any good (though it might not). But, as I said, it's too early in the morning.

I did read this last night. It made me a bit sleepy. I think it's about as close as I can come to coherence at this hour, though. And, yeah, FTB and all that, and I hadn't been too impressed with Carrier before, but the work he's done on Biblical texts and History has been pretty good.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/5481
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#50  Postby Asta666 » Jul 21, 2014 6:43 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:...
Guilt and innocence are a matter for the law, and for judging what you think of somebody. Like I said, people need to be held accountable for their actions, even though ultimately they are not.

...

The bit I've bolded for you needs attention. Please justify this strange claim. It seems to come back to your claim that we make decisions as if we were ants.


The perceiving indevidual is a flicker of consciousness. It is that consciousness, that perceiving being which suffers as a result of bad decisions. We make decisions based purely on environmental and biological influences beyond our control. If one eats too many mars bars it is because greed got the better of the desire to be healthy - the factors which influenced that decision are entirely beyond consciousness's control - therefore people aren't responsible for their actions.

It's so fucking blatantly obvious I can hardly believe an adult with so much as a glimmer of introspective hypothetical philosophical insight would call it a "strange statement".

:roll:
This is ridiculous! Of course we have some conscious control of our important decisions, even if we often give into the unconscious when it comes to how many Mars bars we eat! :roll:
I can hardly believe an adult would say what you just said!

I don't think it's ridiculous. It merely means that attempting to assign responsibility beyond agency (like guilt) is unsupported. Even a "consciously controlled" decision (whatever the fuck that means) is the result of a combination of genetic, developmental (historic) and variables in the current physiology and environment. Every behaviour is, even if we don't precisely know all the variables in a particular instance.

epepke wrote:WRT the topic, when it comes to psychiatry, we're not dealing with individuals. We could, and to some degree we used to. There used to be a psychoanalysis culture, or even a listening to the patient culture, but it's gone. (It was admittedly expensive and not very effective.) Now, there is explicitly a culture of not listening to patients and instead just sorting them into categories as quickly as possible. It doesn't seem to work very well, either, though. It's time, I think, to do some serious reconsideration of the categories, the psychiatric assumptions about groups of people, and how they are sorted.

Some of this is in fact happening. There is some recognition that talking therapy and things like CET can help a lot of depressed individuals. Ten years ago, there was none, and there was great hostility toward the idea.

I don't think that only the psychoanalytic culture was worried about designing treatments according to the individual patient. The behaviour analytic one too (see for a review of some of these issues from that pov http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22477707) and also practically all the psychotherapy trends I know of.
I think that sorting people into categories might be mainly useful for administrative purposes like counting how many people need insurance and the like, for constituting groups for research and not so much for determining treatment (at least not for psychotherapy).

epepke wrote:This whole thread is an obvious example. It's all about what model reduces the stigma.

So people can say, "ah, this isn't a character defect; it's a chemical imbalance."

It wasn't too long ago that people could say (and some still do), "ah, this isn't a character defect; it's demonic possession." Or "ah, this isn't a character defect; it's original sin."

Those aren't very good models for treating people. They are, however, great models for social engineering. You convince people of something (say, "Jesus will help you") for some social purpose, such that it will calm people down and make them more docile, most of the time. Until they go postal, but then you have a prison.

It is worthy of note that the first, and I still think the only, Nobel Prize in psychiatry was given to the inventor of the lobotomy. It was originally sold and promoted simply as a way to make a patient more docile and easier to take care of, "like a cat." Arguments that it was actually good for the patient rather than the caretaker didn't start appearing until much later, after it was in fairly widespread use.

Under that kind of history, I have a hard time seeing clearly that the later arguments reflect reality rather than simply serving as a way to make people who do and order lobotomies feel better about themselves as benefactors. They might very well be true, but I get a bit skeptical, though it seems to be frowned upon on rational skepticism.

This seems to me to happen a lot, not just within psychiatry but within all medicine and, well, pretty much everything else.

That is certainly a valid concern, but given also the much more limited role syndromes can also take suggests to me that whether this is happening or not has to be assessed in more specific terms. (btw sorry for meddling in)
The behavioral account sets the task for the physiologist. Mentalism on the other hand has done a great disservice by leading physiologists on false trails in search of the neural correlates of images, memories, consciousness, and so on. Skinner
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#51  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 21, 2014 7:01 pm

Asta666 wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
The bit I've bolded for you needs attention. Please justify this strange claim. It seems to come back to your claim that we make decisions as if we were ants.


The perceiving indevidual is a flicker of consciousness. It is that consciousness, that perceiving being which suffers as a result of bad decisions. We make decisions based purely on environmental and biological influences beyond our control. If one eats too many mars bars it is because greed got the better of the desire to be healthy - the factors which influenced that decision are entirely beyond consciousness's control - therefore people aren't responsible for their actions.

It's so fucking blatantly obvious I can hardly believe an adult with so much as a glimmer of introspective hypothetical philosophical insight would call it a "strange statement".

:roll:
This is ridiculous! Of course we have some conscious control of our important decisions, even if we often give into the unconscious when it comes to how many Mars bars we eat! :roll:
I can hardly believe an adult would say what you just said!

I don't think it's ridiculous. It merely means that attempting to assign responsibility beyond agency (like guilt) is unsupported. Even a "consciously controlled" decision (whatever the fuck that means) is the result of a combination of genetic, developmental (historic) and variables in the current physiology and environment. Every behaviour is, even if we don't precisely know all the variables in a particular instance.

...

Ha! So, you think that you might, for example, buy a house unconsciously, would you? :roll:
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#52  Postby Asta666 » Jul 21, 2014 7:54 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
Asta666 wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:

The perceiving indevidual is a flicker of consciousness. It is that consciousness, that perceiving being which suffers as a result of bad decisions. We make decisions based purely on environmental and biological influences beyond our control. If one eats too many mars bars it is because greed got the better of the desire to be healthy - the factors which influenced that decision are entirely beyond consciousness's control - therefore people aren't responsible for their actions.

It's so fucking blatantly obvious I can hardly believe an adult with so much as a glimmer of introspective hypothetical philosophical insight would call it a "strange statement".

:roll:
This is ridiculous! Of course we have some conscious control of our important decisions, even if we often give into the unconscious when it comes to how many Mars bars we eat! :roll:
I can hardly believe an adult would say what you just said!

I don't think it's ridiculous. It merely means that attempting to assign responsibility beyond agency (like guilt) is unsupported. Even a "consciously controlled" decision (whatever the fuck that means) is the result of a combination of genetic, developmental (historic) and variables in the current physiology and environment. Every behaviour is, even if we don't precisely know all the variables in a particular instance.

...

Ha! So, you think that you might, for example, buy a house unconsciously, would you? :roll:

What I think is that whether I'd do it consciously or not doesn't change the fact that it would be an action/decision caused by a combination of genetic, developmental (historic) and variables in the current physiology and environment.
The behavioral account sets the task for the physiologist. Mentalism on the other hand has done a great disservice by leading physiologists on false trails in search of the neural correlates of images, memories, consciousness, and so on. Skinner
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#53  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 22, 2014 1:37 pm

Asta666 wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Asta666 wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
:roll:
This is ridiculous! Of course we have some conscious control of our important decisions, even if we often give into the unconscious when it comes to how many Mars bars we eat! :roll:
I can hardly believe an adult would say what you just said!

I don't think it's ridiculous. It merely means that attempting to assign responsibility beyond agency (like guilt) is unsupported. Even a "consciously controlled" decision (whatever the fuck that means) is the result of a combination of genetic, developmental (historic) and variables in the current physiology and environment. Every behaviour is, even if we don't precisely know all the variables in a particular instance.

...

Ha! So, you think that you might, for example, buy a house unconsciously, would you? :roll:

What I think is that whether I'd do it consciously or not doesn't change the fact that it would be an action/decision caused by a combination of genetic, developmental (historic) and variables in the current physiology and environment.

How are decisions "caused" by the enviromment? It is better to regard them as being influenced by the environment. The idea that we never have choice when making decisions (because the environment made it for us?) is an inadequate one, only applying to unconscious decisions, because we sometimes actually have to think, as when making important decisions when time is not short. I note that your list does not include what is in in your mind!
No doubt the vote for you was from KeepItReal! :roll:
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#54  Postby NuclMan » Jul 22, 2014 1:58 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
Asta666 wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Asta666 wrote:
I don't think it's ridiculous. It merely means that attempting to assign responsibility beyond agency (like guilt) is unsupported. Even a "consciously controlled" decision (whatever the fuck that means) is the result of a combination of genetic, developmental (historic) and variables in the current physiology and environment. Every behaviour is, even if we don't precisely know all the variables in a particular instance.

...

Ha! So, you think that you might, for example, buy a house unconsciously, would you? :roll:

What I think is that whether I'd do it consciously or not doesn't change the fact that it would be an action/decision caused by a combination of genetic, developmental (historic) and variables in the current physiology and environment.

How are decisions "caused" by the enviromment? It is better to regard them as being influenced by the environment. The idea that we never have choice when making decisions (because the environment made it for us?) is an inadequate one, only applying to unconscious decisions, because we sometimes actually have to think, as when making important decisions when time is not short. I note that your list does not include what is in in your mind!
No doubt the vote for you was from KeepItReal! :roll:


Caused, influenced, what difference does it make?
The idea that we can start from a clean slate (free of the "combination of genetic, developmental (historic) and variables in the current physiology and environment") when considering choice options is absurd.
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#55  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 22, 2014 2:05 pm

NuclMan wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Asta666 wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Ha! So, you think that you might, for example, buy a house unconsciously, would you? :roll:

What I think is that whether I'd do it consciously or not doesn't change the fact that it would be an action/decision caused by a combination of genetic, developmental (historic) and variables in the current physiology and environment.

How are decisions "caused" by the enviromment? It is better to regard them as being influenced by the environment. The idea that we never have choice when making decisions (because the environment made it for us?) is an inadequate one, only applying to unconscious decisions, because we sometimes actually have to think, as when making important decisions when time is not short. I note that your list does not include what is in in your mind!
No doubt the vote for you was from KeepItReal! :roll:


Caused, influenced, what difference does it make?
The idea that we can start from a clean slate (free of the "combination of genetic, developmental (historic) and variables in the current physiology and environment") when considering choice options is absurd.

Missing the point completely! The "clean slate" debate is about something else entirely - it is a false model of the mental development of a baby. I am not talking about that, OK.
May The Voice be with you!
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#56  Postby NuclMan » Jul 22, 2014 2:21 pm

DavidMcC wrote:Missing the point completely! The "clean slate" debate is about something else entirely - it is a false model of the mental development of a baby. I am not talking about that, OK.


How are decisions "caused" by the enviromment? It is better to regard them as being influenced by the environment. The idea that we never have choice when making decisions (because the environment made it for us?) is an inadequate one, only applying to unconscious decisions, because we sometimes actually have to think, as when making important decisions when time is not short. I note that your list does not include what is in in your mind!

I don't think anyone is claiming the bolded bit, :doh:. What are you talking about then?
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#57  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 22, 2014 3:45 pm

NuclMan wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:Missing the point completely! The "clean slate" debate is about something else entirely - it is a false model of the mental development of a baby. I am not talking about that, OK.


How are decisions "caused" by the enviromment? It is better to regard them as being influenced by the environment. The idea that we never have choice when making decisions (because the environment made it for us?) is an inadequate one, only applying to unconscious decisions, because we sometimes actually have to think, as when making important decisions when time is not short. I note that your list does not include what is in in your mind!

I don't think anyone is claiming the bolded bit, :doh:. What are you talking about then?

I thought it was obvious - decisions made by individuals who have been through the baby phase, and can make conscious decisions. Babies do not think, or make conscious decisions until a certain age - they rely initially on instincts to determine their behaviour. They do not theorise, etc. These instincts end when they become conscious/sentient, and can think.
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#58  Postby NuclMan » Jul 23, 2014 1:58 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
NuclMan wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:Missing the point completely! The "clean slate" debate is about something else entirely - it is a false model of the mental development of a baby. I am not talking about that, OK.


How are decisions "caused" by the enviromment? It is better to regard them as being influenced by the environment. The idea that we never have choice when making decisions (because the environment made it for us?) is an inadequate one, only applying to unconscious decisions, because we sometimes actually have to think, as when making important decisions when time is not short. I note that your list does not include what is in in your mind!

I don't think anyone is claiming the bolded bit, :doh:. What are you talking about then?

I thought it was obvious - decisions made by individuals who have been through the baby phase, and can make conscious decisions. Babies do not think, or make conscious decisions until a certain age - they rely initially on instincts to determine their behaviour. They do not theorise, etc. These instincts end when they become conscious/sentient, and can think.

What's obvious is you arbitrarily creating stages of human development to which your point applies. But, as this is the P&N sub-forum I'll save making a fool of m'self and get back to :popcorn: .
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#59  Postby Federico » Jul 23, 2014 2:49 pm

kennyc wrote:
Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances – How Explanations Of Mental Illness Affect Stigma

July 14, 2014 | by Nick Haslam

Depression, schizophrenia and other psychiatric conditions are increasingly linked to abnormalities in the brain and in our genes. Many professionals believe these developments hold the key to better treatments and their enthusiasm has spread. The public now endorses biogenetic (biological and genetic) explanations for mental health problems much more than in previous decades.

One possible side effect of these developments is a reduction in stigma. If the cause of psychiatric misery is in our brain chemistry or our DNA, then the miserable cannot be blamed for their symptoms. Advocates argue that stigma will diminish if we come to see mental health problems as biologically caused diseases, no different from diabetes or cancer.


http://www.iflscience.com/brain/brains- ... ect-stigma


Never mind stigma and stigmates, IMO the most interesting windfall of these findings is the birth of Neurolaw, and the finding that, in the eternal conflict between Nature and Nurture, Nature is four times more important than Nurture in shaping human behavior.

In this respect, this is what I wrote for the Thread The Cognitive Brain:

"
Federico wrote:Neurolaw - The Brain on the Stand

I believe discussions about the causes of aggressive behavior in humans are emblematic of the old and somewhat discredited controversy on the respective roles of Nature vs. Nurture.

Actually -- as previously shown for musical and mathematical talent -- it's probably a combination of both in various percentages.
In any case, whatever contribution Nature and Nurture may make to the induction of people's aggressive behavior, two conclusions may be anticipated:
  • Drastic therapeutic interventions, such as pre-frontal brain lobectomy, are not done anymore
  • They have been replaced by Behavior Modification and/or Pharmacological Therapies.

The birth of Neurolaw , as reviewed by Jeffrey Rosen in the NYT Magazine,can be traced to the early 1990' when the lawyer of Herbert Weinstein -- a 65-year-old ad executive who was charged with strangling his wife, and then, in an effort to make the murder look like a suicide, throwing her body out the window -- suggested that his client should not be held responsible for his actions because he had a brain defect — namely, a cyst nestled in his arachnoid membrane.

The implications of the claim were considerable. To suggest that criminals could be excused because their brains made them do it seems to imply that anyone whose brain isn’t functioning properly could be absolved of responsibility.


If that really happens, then the most common excuse given in a Court of Law by criminals for their evil doings will be: "It' not my fault your Honor: my brain made me do it!"

Actually the birth of Neurolaw is but one of many changes which will give form and substance to a new Psychiatry, much more "biological" than the old one. As an example, i'll quote a post I wrote in 2012 for my Thread Is Psychiatry Going Crazy?:

"....The Brain is an organ of the Body which happens to produce Memories, Moods, Feelings, Emotions, and Behaviors etc.
These, in turn, are not metaphysical concepts like the Soul, but the resultants of physico-chemical interactions of Neurons in various Brain areas which sometimes can be evidentiated by EEG, fMRI, Neurotransmitters' uptake, turnover, and/or transport through a membrane or some other technique still to be invented. What is needed now is a compendium of all these parameters during the functioning of a normal Brain in order, later on, to be able to compare them to what is found in the Brain of a person suffering (e.g.) from Grief or from Depression and diffentiate one from the other, or even to confirm or not the diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome. They won't be essential but very helpful for establishing or confirming a diagnosis made the old way, and help Neuroscientists better understand brain functioning."
In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.(Martin Luther King Jr)
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Re: Brains, Genes And Chemical Imbalances

#60  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 23, 2014 3:04 pm

NuclMan wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
NuclMan wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:Missing the point completely! The "clean slate" debate is about something else entirely - it is a false model of the mental development of a baby. I am not talking about that, OK.


How are decisions "caused" by the enviromment? It is better to regard them as being influenced by the environment. The idea that we never have choice when making decisions (because the environment made it for us?) is an inadequate one, only applying to unconscious decisions, because we sometimes actually have to think, as when making important decisions when time is not short. I note that your list does not include what is in in your mind!

I don't think anyone is claiming the bolded bit, :doh:. What are you talking about then?

I thought it was obvious - decisions made by individuals who have been through the baby phase, and can make conscious decisions. Babies do not think, or make conscious decisions until a certain age - they rely initially on instincts to determine their behaviour. They do not theorise, etc. These instincts end when they become conscious/sentient, and can think.

What's obvious is you arbitrarily creating stages of human development to which your point applies.

:scratch: No, I am not. It is known that new-born babies do not have conscious thoughts. My point is valid, and you need tom study the subject more. GrahamH might be able to help you.
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