Skeptic Friends Network

Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?
Home | Forums | Active Topics | Active Polls | Register | FAQ | Contact Us  
  Connect: Chat | SFN Messenger | Buddy List | Members
Personalize: Profile | My Page | Forum Bookmarks  
 All Forums
 Our Skeptic Forums
 General Skepticism
 Delusion!
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Previous Page | Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 4

GeeMack
SFN Regular

USA
1093 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  09:54:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send GeeMack a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kil...

I would substitute delusional for irrational. Delusional has only one proper context and that is in the clinical setting. You just don't get to willy nilly broaden the definition to include everyone with an irrational belief out of convenience. It is a mistake to hijack scientific terms with a definite meaning and move them to other areas (like the arm chair) to make a point. That is, in fact, what pseudo-scientists do all the time. And we call them on it.
I see what you mean here, but I would contend that "delusion" also has a reasonable common usage, and shouldn't necessarily be reserved for use as a proper clinical term. Where we might think of someone who is delusional as being irrational, I don't think irrational is as succinct in many cases.
From Wikipedia...

A delusion is commonly defined as a false belief, and is used in everyday language to describe a belief that is either false, fanciful or derived from deception. In psychiatry, the definition is necessarily more precise and implies that the belief is pathological (the result of an illness or illness process).
If a guy is driving home from work and takes a somewhat random route, unnecessarily turning here and there for no apparent reason, rather than taking a fairly direct route, that could be considered irrational. (Of course there also might be rational reasons, but bear with me.) If we ask him why he does that and he says he doesn't know, he just does it, even though it sometimes takes him an extra hour to get home, we would probably think of him as being irrational. But what if he says he does it because gremlins are waiting for him on certain streets, so he takes the oddball turns and detours to avoid being captured by the gremlins? While certainly irrational, I think he could also be described, even by non-scientists, as delusional.
Go to Top of Page

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13470 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  10:08:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
skepticpsychic:
Even though it very well may have been the placebo affect, the person receives the help they seek and this actually allows them to experience greater mental health because they have cured their ailment. How do we measure how "right" our statistical information is against how "wrong" the cure was for them?

In the case of the New Age and homeopathy, “It worked” is almost the gold standard for assessing efficacy. (And that goes for most cures the New Age offers up. The scientific method is of little use to them. They are operating from a different paradigm in terms of efficacy assessment. While we reject anecdotal evidence, the New Age embraces it.) There can be many reasons why a person might think a homeopathic did, indeed, work. One possibility is a placebo effect. Another is that the illness would have run its coarse, regardless of the treatment, but the “drug” is given credit for the cure. Medical doctors sometimes hand out antibiotics for viral infections. They shouldn't do that but they do. Worse, they sometimes do it at the patient's request because the patient is convinced that they “need” something. They get better. The person taking the, in this case useless, antibiotic is going to credit the drug for the recovery.

There is no scientific basis for either treatment. None. Homeopathics can't work unless we count a placebo effect. There is no medicine in that medicine to work. Homeopathy is a fraud, end yet I am not willing to call those who think they got better because they took the homeopathic, regardless of my pointing out to them that there is no medicine in that medicine, delusional. That they don't look at the evidence the way I do is not enough reason to hang a clinical diagnosis of delusional on them. Irrational, yes.

GeeMack, okay, so we use the word delusional sometimes for effect. But again, I would not go so far as to defend that use as valid in terms of its having any clinical meaning. In our discussion last night in chat, Dude seemed to be arguing that the people he sees as delusional are indeed crazy.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
Go to Top of Page

Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  12:20:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
In our discussion last night in chat, Dude seemed to be arguing that the people he sees as delusional are indeed crazy.



If you persist in a false belief, in the face of indisputable evidence that demonstrates the falsity of your belief, then you are delusional.

If your particular false belief is dangerous to yourself or others, then it rises to the level of mental illness.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
Go to Top of Page

astropin
SFN Regular

USA
970 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  13:08:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send astropin a Private Message
I'm with Dude on this one. See my sig.

I would rather face a cold reality than delude myself with comforting fantasies.

You are free to believe what you want to believe and I am free to ridicule you for it.

Atheism:
The result of an unbiased and rational search for the truth.

Infinitus est numerus stultorum
Go to Top of Page

Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  13:15:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
I wonder if it would fall closer to the category of mental disorder rather than mental illness.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



Edited by - Gorgo on 01/19/2006 13:16:00
Go to Top of Page

Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  14:08:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:
If you persist in a false belief, in the face of indisputable evidence that demonstrates the falsity of your belief, then you are delusional.


When is there ever indisputable evidence? It may be indisputable to you, but that position is entirely subjective. There are also a large variety of factors, depending on what you're talking about, which could make that evidence invalid.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Go to Top of Page

Subjectmatter
Skeptic Friend

173 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  14:56:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Subjectmatter a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dude

People believe all kinds of crazy stuff. That is just a sad fact of reality. Even the best of us, from time to time, fall into that trap.

The distinguishing difference between being just wrong (or irrational) and being delusional is that you maintain your belief despite indisputable evidence to the contrary.



I'm not sure if you are saying that being wrong is identical to being irrational here... if you are then I must disagree. One can certainly be wrong without being irrational.

Aristotle suggested that that it requires energy to maintain a constant speed. He was wrong, but his conclusion was based upon the rational, empirical procedure of observing event and drawing conclusions. He was not being irrational.

Sibling Atom Bomb of Couteous Debate
Go to Top of Page

H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  15:25:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Subjectmatter
Aristotle suggested that that it requires energy to maintain a constant speed. He was wrong, but his conclusion was based upon the rational, empirical procedure of observing event and drawing conclusions. He was not being irrational.

There also was no indisputable evidence to the contrary at the time Aristotle made that observation. It certainly would be irrational for someone else to hold Aristotle's conclusions now, especially if they've been introduced to the evidence which proves it wrong.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 01/19/2006 15:32:58
Go to Top of Page

Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  15:26:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
Posted byRicky:

When is there ever indisputable evidence?


All the time. You are confusing conclusions with evidence.

How old do you think the earth is Ricky?

quote:
Posted by subjectmatter:

I'm not sure if you are saying that being wrong is identical to being irrational here... if you are then I must disagree. One can certainly be wrong without being irrational.

Aristotle suggested that that it requires energy to maintain a constant speed. He was wrong, but his conclusion was based upon the rational, empirical procedure of observing event and drawing conclusions. He was not being irrational.


You bolded the specific part of my post that uses "indisputable evidence" as a qualifier.... then you post that?

(Edited to add: Refusing to evaluate evidence is irrational, refusing to alter a false conclusion when confronted with evidence to the contrary is delusional, which I'm pretty sure I said in this thread already)

What part of "if you persist in a false belief, despite indisputable evidence to the contrary, you are delusional." is unclear to you?

What part of me saying that refusing to examine evidence, when it is presented, is irrational... is unclear to you?

And yes, Aristotle was wrong. I'd bet you just about anything that if you showed him evidence to demonstrate his error to him that he would have acknowledged it and changed his conclusion.

But so what? We are talking about people who REFUSE that step, or are immune to that step.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
Edited by - Dude on 01/19/2006 15:31:14
Go to Top of Page

dv82matt
SFN Regular

760 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  16:36:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dv82matt a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by H. Humbert
"Loss of contact with reality" pretty much sums it up, though.
I agree on this point.
quote:
"Derangement of personality?" Absolutely. Have you never spoken with a creationist?
I don't have a lot of experience debating creationists, mostly just Hippy and I don't regard him as having a deranged personality.
quote:
"Deterioration of normal social functioning." Ok, this is the only trait they don't necessarily have. Creationists can hold down jobs and maintain families.
Agreed.
quote:
Still, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.
I also don't see them as having a 'severe mental disorder', so from my perspective that's 1 out of 4 for psychosis.
quote:
And that's going by the super exact clinical definition. I still don't see how one can argue they aren't delusional in common parlance. I don't think any of us are pretending to make a medical declaration when we refer to Creationists as delusional.
I pretty much agree. I'd just caution against using the term 'delusional' pejoratively.
Go to Top of Page

Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  18:50:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dude

quote:
Posted byRicky:

When is there ever indisputable evidence?


All the time. You are confusing conclusions with evidence.

How old do you think the earth is Ricky?



I'm not quite sure what that has to do with anything, but 4.6 billion years approximately.

Evidence isn't "It supports the theory or it doesn't." There is a huge gray area. Also, there are many reasons why a particular piece of evidence could be invalid. One of these in all cases is human error.

All evidence is theory laden. That is, to gather evidence, you must rely on a theory. When looking through a telescope or microscope, you must rely on theories of light. If there is some unknown phenomena of light, you could see something that isn't there. Am I suggesting that's what's going on? Absolutely not. But it's a possibility.

When observing things on the quantum level, you must rely on a vast amount of theories about particle and wave behavior. When looking at fossil evidence and dating it, you must rely on the theory of radioactive decay.

Scientific theories aren't prefect, nor should we expect them to be. And when we use them to gather evidence, how can you then say that the evidence is indisputable?

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Go to Top of Page

H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  19:03:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ricky
Scientific theories aren't prefect, nor should we expect them to be. And when we use them to gather evidence, how can you then say that the evidence is indisputable?

We don't use theories to gather evidence. We form theories from the evidence which has been gathered.

The existence of light does not depend upon the theory of light, and our instruments depend upon the existence of light, not the theory of it.

The evidence always comes first. It is explained in different ways by different theories, but the evidence itself, however, never changes.

quote:
If there is some unknown phenomena of light, you could see something that isn't there. Am I suggesting that's what's going on? Absolutely not. But it's a possibility.
For the record, I believe we can all agree we are limiting this discussion to reasonable possibilities. We are talking in terms of reasonable standards of evidence when we say "indisputable evidence." Any evidence can be "disputed" if one is completely unreasonable. Big Brain is delusional in his belief that man never walked on the moon because he rejects all reasonable evidence. But that isn't to say he doesn't dispute the validity of that evidence.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 01/19/2006 19:14:17
Go to Top of Page

Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  19:21:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
I'm not quite sure what that has to do with anything, but 4.6 billion years approximately.



Why do you think the earth is approx 4.6 billion years old?


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
Go to Top of Page

Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  19:35:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
Let me guess your answer....

Because the evidence says, across multiple scientific fields, that the earth is that old.


Then I ask you, is there ANY way that the earth could possibly be 6000 years old?

Again, I'll take the liberty of guessing your answer. No.

It is indisputable, according to the evidence, that the earth CANNOT be only 6K years old.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
Go to Top of Page

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13470 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  19:37:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
Dude:
If you persist in a false belief, in the face of indisputable evidence that demonstrates the falsity of your belief, then you are delusional.

Do you realize how many people the above quote covers? And as I said, what seems indisputable to you may not matter to those who operate from a different paradigm. Just because we don't agree with how they evaluate evidence, do you honestly believe that we can then call them delusional? I'm willing to call them wrong. I'm willing to say that they hold an irrational belief. To call them crazy, and that is what calling them delusional is saying about them, because they don't think the way I do, does not work for me. (And yes, I may say they are crazy in a causal conversation, but they are often saying the same thing about me. Does that make me crazy? Exactly when did our small t, critical thinking and the scientific method, become a big T?)

quote:
Dude:
If your particular false belief is dangerous to yourself or others, then it rises to the level of mental illness.

I would add to that if your belief causes you persistent or debilitating discomfort.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 4 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page | Next Page
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Jump To:

The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.


Home | Skeptic Forums | Skeptic Summary | The Kil Report | Creation/Evolution | Rationally Speaking | Skeptillaneous | About Skepticism | Fan Mail | Claims List | Calendar & Events | Skeptic Links | Book Reviews | Gift Shop | SFN on Facebook | Staff | Contact Us

Skeptic Friends Network
© 2008 Skeptic Friends Network Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 1.4 seconds.
Powered by @tomic Studio
Snitz Forums 2000