Friday, January 28, 2011

Slipping into Darkness

In Canto IV, Dante and Virgil cross the river Acheron to hell proper, the "abyss of woe." Of the nine precincts of hades, the first five are reserved for the more self-indulgent -- one might also say impulsive -- sins, while the next two are for those who willfully hurt and inflict violence upon innocent others.

The last two are for the truly malicious who not only hurt others, but sin against God and goad others into doing so. How many demons has Karl Marx converted? The figure is incalculable, but he might be Satan's greatest recruiter.

Note that many of our elite universities forbid recruitment by the United States military, one of the greatest forces of good in human history. But it is unthinkable that these leftist seminaries would ever forbid their Marxists, neo-Marxists, pseudo-Marxists, and crypto-Marxists from recruiting fresh demons into their ranks, since this is their central mission. This tells you all you need to know about the moral perversion -- and inversion -- of academia.

I don't know how many literature departments still discuss Dante, but if they do, it can only be in a faux-sophisticated spirit of withering irony, narcissistic temporo-centrism, and narrowly childish superiority -- or the usual combination we see on the left of cynical contempt and credulous gullibility. It's what makes their intellectual world go 'round and then flat.

The three levels of hell reminds me of three levels of psychological illness: the neurotic, the personality disorder, and the sociopath. As we have mentioned before, the neurotic mostly suffers from internal conflicts, and in many ways is just a "normal" human being. We all have conflicts, but only when they seriously interfere with happiness do we generally seek treatment for them.

The personality disorders are much more serious and much more difficult to treat, the reason being that they generally involve damage to the container as opposed to conflictual "content." It's like the difference between a house in need of routine repairs vs. one with a seriously compromised foundation. In order to repair the foundation, you might have to tear down much of the structure and rebuild from the bottom up.

If you don't appreciate the pervasiveness of personality disorders, then you cannot understand Man. You might think that these are relatively rare, but they are quite common. These people are generally quite resistant to change, because they have no insight into their condition. This is because insight requires critical distance in order to see how one part of the self is in conflict with another.

But in the case of the personality disorder, you might say that the pathological part has taken over, so they are often aware of no internal conflict at all. Instead of understanding their conflicts, they act them out with others (or with society, as in the case of certain political activists). People with personality disorders not only live in hell, but inevitably make the lives of people around them a living hell (at least the "extroverted" types).

Over the last couple of decades, the Narcissistic Personality Disorder has gotten a lot of attention, but there are actually about ten varieties of personality disorder. Furthermore, these may be subdivided into levels of intensity. In my view, what is called the Borderline Personality Disorder is not so much a distinct entity as a more primitive level of development, so that, say, a narcissistic personalty can be closer to neurotic or to borderline, along a continuum, depending upon the health of the underlying structure. (Keith Olbermann, for example, would be a prime example of a borderline narcissist, in that no matter where he goes, he cannot help inducting others into his psychodrama and making those around him miserable.)

One of the classics of psychoanalytic literature is Neurotic Styles, by David Shapiro. For example, the impulsive style has a distinct mode of cognition and behavior which may superficially appear to be "active," but is in fact quite passive. Specifically, they are passive in the face of their own impulses, like a child. An immature child is not necessarily "willful," just unable to suppress impulses and resist temptations.

Subjectively, the passive/impulsive person has the experience "of having executed a significant action, not a trivial one, without a clear and complete sense of motivation, decision, and sustained wish." Thus there is action, but not "completely deliberate or fully intended." "These varieties of experience -- whim, urge or impulse, and giving in -- are essentially similar from the standpoint of their formal qualities."

It is critical to note that these people may appear to be self-confident and uninhibited, especially to the inhibited and unconfident. They can radiate a kind of infectious charisma, often on a very primitive level. They can be charming and playful, until one realizes that they cannot be sober or deliberative.

I think this is the secret of certain gifted actors who are completely crazy in their personal lives, e.g., Marlon Brando. Now, there was a man with no boundaries. You might say that he was a saint of the lower vertical. Lower than that would be an Adolf Hitler, whose primitive aggression was completely uninhibited. I suppose this is why men on death row are never without love letters from adoring females, or why Yasser Arafat was such a heartslob on the left.

But this is getting a little academic. Back to the Inferno. Upton notes that the first souls Dante meets in Limbo are similar to the neurotics described above, in that they are capable of insight and self-understanding: "They are better than all others in Hell because they alone understand what spiritual loss really is." While it is a sightless realm, "In this particular circle of the 'blind world,' however, the inmates are conscious of their blindness." And because they are aware of their blindness, they can ultimately be helped.

As I have mentioned before, there are three types of atheists (similar to the above schematic): the lazy/indifferent, the willful, and the obligatory. The obligatory atheist has thoroughly cut himself off from spiritual reality, in such a way that there is no helping him outside a serious implosion of grace (and even then, he will probably reject it). Their spiritual foundation is so compromised that nothing can be built upon it. Such a person is "spiritually insane" or autistic.

Note also that these are the activists who feel compelled to recruit and enlist others into their condition, à la PZ Myers and all the rest. They are anything but passive and indifferent, like those in the first circle of atheism. They cannot leave God alone.

Which, ironically, can, in a few cases, result in an eventual breakthrough, as in the case of Anthony Flew. One must be careful about spending one's life pondering God's absence, because one might accidentally run into him. This is somewhat how it happened with me. ʘO¶s!

The souls in limbo can progress spiritually, but it is a rather slow struggle, since they cannot actively participate in the process. This is not much different from psychotherapy, which is difficult enough to conduct with someone who seeks it, but impossible to impose upon someone who doesn't want to be there. It is not like performing an operation on an unconscious individual. Rather, you need full conscious participation, because ultimately the person is learning how to operate upon himself. You can't do it for him.

Note that there is a portion of salvation even for those atheists who nevertheless have lived their lives in service to truth, to those who honor every art and science. These are upright and dignified souls who speak rarely, and in quiet tones. One might say that they have ascended as close to God as it is possible to do in the absence of a conscious participation in Christ (and Dante understands Christ in a deeply meta-cosmic and even meta-Christian way).

The One Cosmos waiting room:

49 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

...the passive/impulsive person has the experience "of having executed a significant action, not a trivial one, without a clear and complete sense of motivation, decision, and sustained wish."

Heh. Reminds me of the time when I was about four and decided to give my baby brother a reverse mohawk. I remember it fairly well because it was weird - or rather, I remember being caught. The weird part was that while I knew I had done it, I didn't have any conscious memory of having done it, even though I was still sitting there with the scissors in my hand and his hair all over the floor. I had been acting entirely thoughtlessly, on pure autopilot. When my mom asked what got into me, I told her I didn't know, and that my fingers just went and did it.

Funny when you're four. Not so much when you're fourteen or forty...

1/28/2011 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

>>The obligatory atheist has thoroughly cut himself off from spiritual reality, in such a way that there is no helping him outside a serious implosion of grace (and even then, they will probably reject it). Their spiritual foundation is so compromised that nothing can be built upon it. Such a person is "spiritually insane" or autistic.<<

Ah! how cheerfully we consign ourselves to perdition!

The Anchoress linked to an illuminating essay, which opens with:

"The pope's recent comments on purgatory were extremely helpful. His statement on purgatory helped to clarify the reality of purgatory not as a place but as a process, but also, simply, any comment on the reality of purgatory is helpful. From a news report on the pope's comments we receive the following words:

The pope reflected on the saint's writings, saying that "in her mystical experiences, Catherine [of Genoa] never received specific revelations on Purgatory or on the souls being purified there." St. Catherine, he underscored, did not see Purgatory "as a place of transit in the depths of the earth" or as "an exterior fire." Rather, she saw it as "an interior fire." Her insights do not "recount the torments of Purgatory and then show the way to purification and conversion," he added. Instead, "she began from the interior experience of man on his journey towards eternity." For St. Catherine, the soul in Purgatory "is aware of God's immense love and perfect justice; as a consequence, it suffers for not having responded to that love perfectly, and it is precisely the love of God Himself which purifies the soul from the ravages of sin," he said.

Continued at Purgatory: Feel the Burn.

1/28/2011 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Of the nine precincts of hades, the first five are reserved for the more self-indulgent -- one might also say impulsive -- sins, while the next two are for those who willfully hurt and inflict violence upon others.

The last two are for the truly malicious who not only hurt others, but sin against God and goad others into doing so. How many demons has Karl Marx converted? The figure is incalculable, but he might be Satan's greatest recruiter. '

Brought to mind a story from a month or so back, wondering where the Professor professing marxism and practicing incest would fit in?

1/28/2011 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I suppose that would depend upon the nature of his worst offenses. It's probably fair to presume he's a corrupter of minds, all things considered, and one who willfully works to turn people away from God. I'd guess somewhere in the 8th circle, with the pimps, frauds, political hypocrites, etc. I could certainly be wrong, though.

1/28/2011 08:45:00 AM  
Anonymous The Unseen Who Opines on Things said...

Dante's Divine Comedy is indeed discussed in university literature departments. It is required reading for all students.

It is held in reverence by many of us in academia. We are not all insensitive to spiritual force.

There are some, alas, who are cynical, and really must say something bad or nothing at all when confronted with Dante's work.

Most chilling are the indifferent students. To get the passing grade they learn to mouth the rote platitudes of past term papers, but do not enter into any form of thought about the Divine Comedy. They focus wholly on whom they will cohabit with next, and which beverage they shall consume of an evening.

Barbarians at the gate, they are. Only a few really "come alive" as it were.

Worst are the academics who rise to eminence only in order to reap the monetary or social benefits and not to honor the discipline of Literature.

Despite these vile being, a helpful cadre at the core of the discipline keep it alive and evolving. All is not lost.

Come to us...you will not be harmed if you do. Perhaps you are needed in the field of education.

Any of the CSU will do.

1/28/2011 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Unseen:

It gives me some small measure of hope for academia that there are people like you there after all.

1/28/2011 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Just the most recent iteration of Grant/Black Hole.

1/28/2011 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

Who cannot be sober or deliberative.

1/28/2011 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

...butt likes the sound of it....


wv:nossew
Not so, you do sew what you reap

1/28/2011 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Great PostTM

There's another way to read Dante's work than the way Upton's doin it?
For the special effects?

1/28/2011 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I agree with Rick. I am surprised to hear you say that personality disorders are not rare. It makes sense given the parallels you draw with the circles of hell. And it makes sense given the state of the world.

1/28/2011 10:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The purpose of the 'big bang' is to set the spirit free from material by means of evolution ~ so go with the flow.

1/28/2011 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

"Just the most recent iteration of Grant/Black Hole"

Ugh. Sorry to hear that. Then again, I guess it was pretty unrealistic of me to imagine the existence of spiritually sane wackademics in this day and age.

One can dream...

...that the Left loses the death grip on our institutions of learning before my little girl gets exposed to it (early on she'll be emulating FL -- Catholic private school from the get go).

1/28/2011 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

To educate the mind and ignore the soul is a crime against children. The state's hostility to religion is unconstitutional but understandable, since a spiritually awakened populace is its biggest threat.

1/28/2011 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous The Unseen Who Opines on Things said...

Bandit of the North, thank you for your vote of confidence.

I seem to have been conflated by Bob with other readers, who I am familiar with because I have read their comments here.

But does it really matter who we are? Aren't we all just tongues of a common flame shooting through holes in a brazier?

Why not just take comments as they come, with no thought to the individual standing behind them?

I could be anyone, even the blog author himself.

Anyway, NB, academia is not a lost cause just yet. And that is the truth.

1/28/2011 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Agreed. It all comes out of the same Hole.

1/28/2011 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"I could be anyone, even the blog author himself. "

Not likely. You aren't even remotely funny. Sadly, no matter how hard you try to pretend otherwise, you're still you.

"Why not just take comments as they come, with no thought to the individual standing behind them?"

Because context matters.

1/28/2011 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger philmon said...

"It is critical to note that these people may appear to be self-confident and uninhibited, especially to the inhibited and unconfident. They can radiate a kind of infectious charisma, often on a very primitive level."

I ran into this a lot when I was young. Somewhat in high school, then a lot in college.

I didn't think much of myself, so anyone who expressed themselves with confidence appeared to me to be WITH it or on top of things.

I turn around and look at some of the same folks around me whom I used to look up to, figuring they understood things I didn't, and it is clear to me that it was all a show. Sadly, it is also clear that many of them had been seduced by Charlatans of the Snark -- those who use witicisms to mask a lack of depth.

Those people are struggling in life now, and it appears that my foundation was much stronger than I thought it was. Some of them who seem to have realized this too late now actually seem to look up to ME ... which is an ironic turn of the tale. It is as if our roles have reversed as our lives have unfolded.

The only "satisfaction" I get from this is that it means that they have woken up and have a chance to get their lives back on track, which is a good thing. The ones who have remained addicted and distracted by the quick high of snarkiness have only gotten worse, like hopeless drug addicts, and I pity them.

Me, when I awoke I was standing on a pretty sturdy foundation that had been built for me by others -- largely thanks to my parents.

This is ultimately what brought me back around to the value of my Christian upbringing. I did not understand ... I did not even understand that a foundation was being built. Children do not understand these things, but there has to be a mechanism to accomplish it, regardless.

In "our" quest to get past some of the apparent idiosyncracies of the practice and the metaphors of religion, "we" as a society, I'm afraid, have been literally throwing the babies out with the bathwater.

1/28/2011 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I was the same way back in college. I did my best to appear as barbarous as the uncivilized friends I idolized, but ended up sane in spite of myself. Losers every one.

1/28/2011 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger SippicanCottage said...

I used to live in Massachusetts. In the little town of Fairhaven, HH Rogers, a partner of Rockefeller, built all the public buildings. He built a beautiful little library in honor of his daughter, who died very young. Mark Twain was his friend, and opened it with him. Right there in terracotta, right on the front of the place, was Dante. He used to matter, I'm told.

Cool story, bro

1/28/2011 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Charlatans of the Snark

If that's not a Comedy Central show, it's only because it cuts too close to the bone.

1/28/2011 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger anon said...

Look, here's a perverted university (Yale, can't get much worse than that) offering to share its evil callow interpretation of Dante with you for free: Check it out.

1/28/2011 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I like The University of Texas' version, myself. Nifty and interactive, and quite helpful for the historically challenged. Also a very horizontal treatment, and has no lack of pc assumptions. They can be easily overlooked by the casual reader who doesn't need to pay attention in order to earn a decent grade, but for a student at the mercy of an agenda'd professor, it would be quite a different experience.

1/28/2011 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Dante understands Christ in a deeply meta-cosmic and even meta-Christian way

This sentences intrigues me, but I can't say I am sure I know what it means, exactly.

Any clarification would be appreciated...

1/28/2011 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Cousin Dupree said...

"Agreed. It all comes out of the same Hole."

'Cause troll is just a GIGOhole, Cuz.

1/29/2011 12:29:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Bob-

Have you ever encountered a born sociopath/psychopath? Can that disorder ever be caused (or partially caused) due to physiological reasons?

Also: can it possibly be cured?

I know a lot of leftist psychiatrists like to blame it on outside influences: abusive father/mother/relatives, no discipline, too much discipline, no nurturing, poverty, bullying, etc., which, I'm sure can be an influence to some extent, but obviously that doesn't cause most people to become psychopaths.

Some Christians would call it demonic possession, which I don't rule out as a possible influence but also don't think it's an all purpose "cause" per se.

It's apparent to me that the "causes" of this disorder (and many other disorders) are much more complex than that and there's much still to learn about the root causes of them (which includes one's own choices as well even if this mostly occurs at a young age to a varying extent).

Do most personality disorders occur at a young age or only socio/psychopathic ones?
At any rate they all seem to be severe emotional problems (or a lack of particular emotions and empathy in the case of sociopathy).

Is there any other cosmonaughts besides you that have written about where the "lines" are between the psycho and spiritual illnesses, psycho-spiritual? (for want of a better phrase at the moment because I know that's not entirely accurate) and more info on them?
I believe you mentioned Bion before but not sure if he delves that deeply or not in this subject.

Thanks, great post!

1/29/2011 01:12:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Jack:

At the end of the chapter on Canto IV, Upton notes that "Christ's advent is not strictly limited to the world of time." The point about the Incarnation is not that the Word suddenly appeared, but that it appeared in the flesh.

This is a fully orthodox belief, e.g., Augustine and other early fathers. She quotes Justin Martyr, who wrote that "All who have lived in accordance with the Logos are Christians, even if they have been reckoned atheists," and St. Iraneaus of Lyons, who said that the Word "has been present in humanity from all time, although by diverse positions and manifold operations he has from the beginning been saving those who are saved, that is, those who love God and follow his word, each in his own age."

One could cite many other examples. Thus, in the Divine Comedy there are examples of non-Christians who are saved -- or at least to whom salvation is a possibility -- not the least of whom being our pal Virg.

Bottom line: if one must choose between the two, it is preferable to be conformed to the living Christ than to merely believe what others have said about him.

1/29/2011 05:26:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Ben:

I haven't seen enough sociopaths to make a determination. They're pretty rare -- or at least one rarely encounters them in the mental health racket, for the same reason one doesn't encounter a lot of wanted criminals at the policeman's ball. So I have no general theory of sociopathy. I'd have to take it on a case-by-case basis.

Just free-associating here, but I recently read the Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism -- good book, btw -- which made a point I'd never thought of before. The author asks if it is merely a coincidence that all the famous monsters of the 20th century just happened to emerge in socialist systems, e.g., Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, et al. He believes that socialism not only creates monsters, but makes them inevitable. Conversely, there is a reason why the US has never had a true monster as its leader.

Jonah Goldberg made a similar point in LIberal Fascism. He felt that there was no danger of the US actually becoming fascist, because of our deeply liberal (i.e., conservative) traditions. We would recognize and expel such an individual before they got close to the reins of power.

Clearly, Obama is the most far left president we've ever had, so he's about as close as I want to get to testing the hypothesis. But in any event, look at the pronounced counter-reaction he has provoked, which kind of proves Goldberg's point. It's as if the American immune system has recognized Obama for what he is, even though there are a frightening number of dupes and losers that will support him to the end. But take away special interests such as public employee unions and anyone else who is dependent upon the state, and I would guess that his support is quite low, mostly consisting of the 20% of Americans for whom leftism is their religion.

1/29/2011 05:45:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

The author asks if it is merely a coincidence that all the famous monsters of the 20th century just happened to emerge in socialist systems

I would only broaden that point slightly by noting that the exceptions happened in places that were non-Christian, generally speaking - Hussein and his family being the first that springs to mind. Then again, there's so much about the Muslim world that explicitly breeds real monsters, they tend to be considered somewhat mundane over there. I can't think of much that a Muslim could do in a Muslim country that would raise eyebrows, provided it was done by a man and permitted under sharia law.

1/29/2011 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger sehoy said...

"I can't think of much that a Muslim could do in a Muslim country that would raise eyebrows, provided it was done by a man and permitted under sharia law."

Boy is that the truth. "Sanctioned derangement."

I was lucky, during my short time at a university. I had Dr. C, who had us read Job, Dante's Inferno, and the Cantebury Tales. He could read CT in the older english and would do so during class.

I realize I've lucked out again, in that we have landed in a place with a small country school where everyone speaks openly about God and prays before games and other activities.

1/29/2011 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

GB-

I believe I understand. The "Cosmic Christ" would be the view taking in say, "Christ the Eternal Tao".

Thank you.

1/29/2011 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Or, just think of the cosmic Christ as the second Person of the Trinity. The first Person is radically transcendent, while the second is immanent, or maybe even immanence as such. God's immanence is its own form of transcendence, which is why the world has that "metaphysical transparency" we love so much, and why the landscape has so many d'lightful inscape hatches for us to leap through.

1/29/2011 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Bob says:

"Just free-associating here, but I recently read the Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism -- good book, btw -- which made a point I'd never thought of before. The author asks if it is merely a coincidence that all the famous monsters of the 20th century just happened to emerge in socialist systems, e.g., Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, et al. He believes that socialism not only creates monsters, but makes them inevitable."

It's not a conincidence.

I think the reason it occurs is that there is a resonance that is created at the apex of certain spiritually inverted systems.

Those who are potential apex monsters are naturally drawn to that position.

They feel the (-≈) and are drawn to the position. Of course being drawn to (-≈) just lets you fall further into hell, particularly when you have to get around to killing all possible competitors.

It doesn't apply to socialism, but can also apply to other politically insane times. The French Revolution is wonderful example of a non socialist system that. It certainly explains Robespierre.

There's lots of examples of (-≈). I understood that long before I could articulate it in a symbol.

1/29/2011 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's why the leviathan state is so dangerous, because it attracts power-hungry losers and mediocrities, and has no means whatsoever to take in feedback and correct its own errors. It's why we're stuck forever with economically crazy stuff that FDR came up with over 70 ago, or LBJ over 40 years ago.

It's not left vs. right, but statism vs. free market liberalism. A monster can only be so monstrous without a state, irrespective of whether one calls the state "right wing" or "left wing." Conservatism opposes both.

1/29/2011 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

OT, a bit of verbal history. The Anchoress today linked to a few articles on the movie The Rite, one of which had a reference to a miracle I'd never heard of but which sounded interesting (and made me wonder why it's so unknown), and came across the word "Raccomandati." Near as I can tell, it even means something along the lines of "those who recommend," though I get the impression that if one ignored their recommendations one was asking for trouble. Perhaps re-command is more appropos.

Anyway, of course my brain saw it first as raccoomendation, which was a bit of a surprise given that the passage was about events in the 1600s...

1/29/2011 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks Bob. That explains a lot.
Also thanks for the book recommendation.

It makes sense that a hive-like ideological mentality would create an atmosfear wherein sociopathy could grow n' thrive.

Another end result of the envy n' bitterness that socialism/neo-communism encourages (re: class warfare and blaming successful folks for their problems).

This also explains why the new DSM will not include NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) as an illness, essentially condoning it or at least saying it's "normal."
Which, to a leftist it is I reckon.

Having gone down that road myself I can say there's few things more destructive.
In my case it was primarily self destructive but it does hurt anyone that's close and taken to extremes...well, we all know where that leads (Dante explains it well).

For a segment of society to actually encourage this, among several other destructive behaviors leaves me aghast in disgust.
They confuse abnormal mental illness (and evil itself) with uniqueness and actually give weight to the idea that there is anything good in these behaviors they encourage and accept (hey let's take out NPD because it hurts the feelings of those that have it. Are you kiddin' me?).

Thankfully most folks ain't buyin' it. We have our work cut out for us to be sure, but it ain't utterly hopeless.

1/29/2011 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'm sure people don't realize the extent to which activists have hijacked the APA, the result being that these leftists have the power to define normality, just as in the Soviet Union. This means that if you want to treat someone with a narcissistic personality disorder, insurance won't pay for it, since it "no longer exists."

1/29/2011 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"They feel the (-≈) and are drawn to the position. Of course being drawn to (-≈) just lets you fall further into hell, particularly when you have to get around to killing all possible competitors."


Seeking to impose what you want to be, over and in place of what is, separates you from truth and morality and leaves you with nothing to stand on - what else can you possibly do but fall?

And if you've built a political system explicitly upon that... 32 ft per second, per second, is a speed limit you'll blow through in nihil flat.

1/29/2011 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Strange that they find that narcissism has been increasing from generation to generation AND that it no longer exists.

Paging Dr. Orwell.

1/29/2011 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Homosexual activists have long been lobbying to remove pedophilia from the DSM. As it stands, they were successful in changing its diagnostic criteria so that it cannot be diagnosed unless it is subjectively distressing to the pedophile. In other words, so long as the pedophile is okay with his pedophilia, it's not a mental condition.

They were also successful in removing Self-Defeating Personality Disorder, because it would have applied to too many liberals.

And they removed an important criterion of Antisocial Personality Disorder, failure to be responsible for one's children, again, because it would pathologize too much of the Democrat base.

I'm guessing they'll soon banish Histrionic Personality Disorder because it's too insulting to women, not to mention the rest of the sexual disorders.

1/29/2011 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

...unless it is subjectively distressing to the pedophile.

Wow. So whether it's subjectively distressing to the pedophile's victims is moot?

Touches on something I was reading earlier today, again one of the Anchoress's links, this time to an interview with the priest who inspired the movie. He noted at one point that "Demons are always looking for people who have no relationships or broken relationships: they want to attach themselves to people with a history of sexual abuse. I’d say eight out of ten people who come to see me with concerns of demonic attachment have been sexually abused, usually by a parent, sibling or family member."

While its certainly true that most people don't need any help whatsoever in creating their own hells, I have to wonder whether normalizing decidedly deviant behavior won't have more truly sinister effects than the purely horizontal ones (which will be bad enough anyway).

1/29/2011 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

I have friends who espouse the incoherent new-agey pomo view that we "all have our own truth" and that the one no-no is to "judge" anyone else's "truth" (forgetting for a second that judging those who judge thus is okay....but I digress).

One tactic I have taken is bring up areas that most, yes even a soft-headed lefty, would find obviously offensive and therefore hopefully a limit on behavior regardless of whether or not one personally thinks it is "true" in the sense outlined above.

One such example would be pedophilia, or even more extremely a parental incest (the abhorrent example brought up in yesterday's comment section). Surely *these* would be places the vast majority of us would agree are immoral and WRONG regardless of the perpetrators personal belief to the contrary.

It seems that complacency towards even those examples are becoming more common. The examples given of defining pedophilia etc out of existence is a more directly troubling example of this.

Like a heroin addict, will our culture ever hit bottom and realize that this direction is the path to Hell?

1/29/2011 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You're sadly wrong about pedophilia. Again, the activists have successfully de-pathologized it, in the sense that it is no longer objectively pathological.

Another particularly cruel change in the DSM was the removal of ego-dystonic homosexuality, which involves homosexual impulses that a person isn't happy about. Now one is supposed to "help" the person come to terms with their "homosexuality" instead of actually helping them understand where the impulses are coming from. It's really a way to help sexually confused teens become even more confused.

1/29/2011 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Jeepers. This is bringing me down. I don't think all the raccoons know that my son will be starting college this coming fall as a psychology major. At least for now that will be his major.
Some one mentioned that they thought there would be a backlash to how fallen the institution has become. And that we might be seeing a righting wave beginning. I hope so. Have to hope that maybe my son might be a part of that.
I feel like I'm sending him into the lion pit. Or at least like allowing. I don't want to discourage him. Just preparing him slowly, with things like "you're going to hear some whacky stuff, you'll just have to get through it".
I think being a bit naive can be a good thing -- you are strong at least, and of course what do I know about all this. I've never gone to psychology school. I've only read about it. And heard things.
He seems pretty strong and to have the right head and heart for it. He may do good work some day.

Anyway, I wouldn't think of asking you to stop talking about the problems. That's not what I mean. I'd rather be informed.
I want to ask you for your prayers, is all, for my son. If he turns out half as good at this as his Uncle Bob, I'll be very happy.

Rick

1/30/2011 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

He's just starting as a freshman, right? Chances are, his major will change, maybe even a few times. No matter what, though, knowing his father I'm sure he'll be alright. I'll be praying, anyway - for him, and for you. Now that I'm older, I think college is often probably tougher on the parents than on the kid ;)

1/30/2011 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Thank you, Julie. Yes, as a freshman.
You are right about the potential for changing majors. It seems to be a very very popular major, though these days. By that I mean, there doesn't seem to be a trend for changing from it. Although I've heard a few times now that the first year is very difficult. Maybe there is a lot of attraction but not much staying. Whether that's true, I don't know.

1/30/2011 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Rick, not to bum you out further, but I don't think our WashU is unique in this: Freedom of Speech or Freedom from Speech? At Washington University, it's the latter.

1/30/2011 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Rick-

I'll be praying for him. Our youngest daughter became a psychologist and for the first few years she bought into the leftist crapola.
She didn't talk to us much at all during that time and when she did it was like we were talkin' to a stranger. An angry stranger.

That was a rough time, however, she became disillusioned by all that BS and made a hard right turn back into reality, thank God.
And she's not angry and bitter no more. :^)

I hope n pray your son isn't fooled at all. It's the hardest party of bein' a parent during those kind of situations because we know how insidious this lefty BS is.
So prayers for you and your wife my friend. Try not to worry so much, you were and are an outstanding father.

1/30/2011 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Thanks, Ben, for the prayers. And for sharing that about your daughter.

1/30/2011 05:22:00 PM  

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