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Reload this Page Psychiatry: is it nonsense? (Split from How the world appears to me)
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Psychiatry: is it nonsense? (Split from How the world appears to me)

 
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 09:37 PM (21:37)     151        18484
Moriah Conquering Wind
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Smile No splitsies! This one bes still on topic. :)

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Originally Posted by Don Alhambra View Post
Fair enough Moriah. But, assuming that the test is always accurate (never something that is 100%, regardless of how good it gets), and it was administered correctly, and there was no way the results could have been switched or mixed up...

...what would you do if it did come back positive? Would you change your mind?
Hmmm. How do you assess the reliability of a test unless you have another test against which to calibrate it?

I think there is some circularity here....

Interesting you should bring this up Febble, and it thanks you as you have filled in the gaps on the Vortex for this one. At some indeterminate point in time earlier than the present (this morning? last night?) it determined to weigh in on this very point and counter-challenge Don's challenge. So here goes:

Don, you have challenged Moriah that IF it bes going to regard the negative test result as "vindication" (or verification that it does not suffer from merely psychosis--laying aside, of course, all controversy over whether inhabitants could produce this condition) it should likewise regard the positive test result as confirmation of the condition for which the test bes administered. So now it counter-challenges you in that regard. Given that a negative result would indicate a lack of biochemical-based mental illness or disorder, and given that you advocate regarding a positive result as evidence thereof, would you likewise be willing, if Moriah took this test and it came out negative, to accept that as evidence that it bes indeed inhabited as it has contended? Or would you then simply waffle the negative result away with some other explanation such that surely it bes merely affectating, or prone to overactive imagination, or outright fabricating or some other such thing to explain the matter "away"?

In other words if you wish to challenge this one to accept a positive test result as some sort of objective verdict upon its condition, bes you equally willing to accept a negative test result as just as objective a verdict in the opposite direction, namely, as validation that Moriah's paradigm to describe itself bes the fact of the matter?
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 09:51 PM (21:51)     152        18490
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Good points Moriah!

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Don, you have challenged Moriah that IF it bes going to regard the negative test result as "vindication" (or verification that it does not suffer from merely psychosis) it should likewise regard the positive test result as confirmation of the condition for which the test bes administered. So now it counter-challenges you in that regard. Given that a negative result would indicate a lack of biochemical-based mental illness or disorder, and given that you advocate regarding a positive result as evidence thereof, would you likewise be willing, if Moriah took this test and it came out negative, to accept that as evidence that it bes indeed inhabited as it has contended? Or would you then simply waffle the negative result away with some other explanation such that surely it bes merely affectating, or prone to overactive imagination, or outright fabricating or some other such thing to explain the matter "away"?
I object to the contention that I 'waffle', especially coming from you.

But no, I wouldn't accept that as evidence. You've set up a false dichotomy, and asserted that there are only two things that could possibly be the case: either you are inhabited by demons, or you are mentally ill. Even if the test comes back negative, all that is evidence for is that the test has come back negative.

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In other words if you wish to challenge this one to accept a positive test result as some sort of objective verdict upon its condition, bes you equally willing to accept a negative test result as just as objective a verdict in the opposite direction, namely, as validation that Moriah's paradigm to describe itself bes the fact of the matter?
The issue is that there are several factors with tests like these that have to be taken into account. First you have to assume that the test was administered properly, and was analysed correctly, etc. I think we can take that as a given for the sake of argument. Second you have to look at how well the test works in detecting what it is designed to detect - i.e. what is the probability of a false positive or false negative. The two quantities are different, and this is really important. I specified a false positive rate of 0% above, but I didn't specify a false negative rate. So without knowing the probability of a negative result, we can't possibly make any inferences as to whether you are not Inhabited if the test fails.

If you think this argument is a bit specious, I would direct you to this page on Bayesian theory that specifically uses as an example a test for breast cancer as a way of looking at the probability of a test being correct or not. See if you get the answer right (it's the second and third paragraph).

But that's not all! Even if the false negative rate was also 0% - that is, if there was a 100% probability that a negative result meant that you didn't have elevated levels of the chemicals being tested for - all it shows is that you didn't have elevated levels of those chemicals. It doesn't give one iota of evidence for what the actual explanation is for what you describe. I mean, it could be aliens beaming ideas into your brain, or the CIA drugging your tea, or whatever.

You see the problem?

The bigger problem, of course, is one that applies to all of us, equally. if any of us are actually crazy... how would we ever know?
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 10:12 PM (22:12)     153        18495
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Given that a negative result would indicate a lack of biochemical-based mental illness or disorder, and given that you advocate regarding a positive result as evidence thereof, would you likewise be willing, if Moriah took this test and it came out negative, to accept that as evidence that it bes indeed inhabited as it has contended?
Well, I think we need to get real here. The most likely kinds of "test" we might end up with for psychiatric disorders would be tests that showed what the brain was doing - using EEG, or fMRI, for instance. But that in itself won't tell you that the person is ill. If you were to go into a scanner, Moriah, and we were to find that the parts of your brain that are used for listening to voices was active, even though no voice was apparent to the people outside the scanner, all it would tell us is that you were hearing voices, which you could have told us anyway.

It wouldn't tell us whether the voices were from "real" demons or not. It's like those experiments on nuns that show that particular parts brains are active when they pray. All it tells us is that that is the part of the brain they use when they pray. It doesn't tell us whether the source of the experience is God or not. However real God is or isn't, we aren't going to be able to experience God without our brains being active.
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 10:21 PM (22:21)     154        18498
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I think Grumpy, for one, might disagree on that last point.

But generally, yes, you're right about this.
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Old 07-Mar-2008, 11:49 PM (23:49)     155        18511
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That bes all you gots???

Moriah can find its own way into existentialist subjectivism quite fine without invoking a single statistical study or for that matter a single rational thought.

If in the end we both end up in the same place, who cares what route gets us there? You like the one with that scenery, it likes the one with this scenery.

As for the false dichotomy, it thought YOU set that up. You bes the one(s) insisting Moriah must be experiencing something other than what it experiences simply because its language for it falls outside the boundaries of your acceptable parameters for reality. Moriah has duly explored your alternatives and found them wanting and incapable of addressing the matter satisfactorily. Have you done the same in the other direction? Have you bothered to explore why Moriah's "constructs" (or model or map or paradigm or whatever) for its experience bes more fitting and comprehensive to encompass its full range of experience than the models you favor? It hardly thinks so.

p.s. will have a go at your link in a bit when its mind bes more focusy.
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Old 08-Mar-2008, 12:54 AM (00:54)     156        18529
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That bes all you gots???
Terribly sorry to disappoint you.

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Moriah can find its own way into existentialist subjectivism quite fine without invoking a single statistical study or for that matter a single rational thought.

If in the end we both end up in the same place, who cares what route gets us there? You like the one with that scenery, it likes the one with this scenery.
Well... yes and no. You see, I want to know what's really going on. Leaving aside solipsism, we can assume that there is some kind of objective reality out there, however subjectively we perceive it. We can measure bits of it, and corroborate the measurements by comparing them to other people's measurements. We can build up an objective picture of how the world works.

The brain is part of the world, so it must work the same way as the rest of the world. The key thing is that a) we don't know exactly how the rest of the world works yet; and b) the brain is massively complicated so it's hard to infer how it works at all. But that's good, because it means there is more work to be done, partially by me with any luck.

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As for the false dichotomy, it thought YOU set that up.
Yeah, maybe, sorry about that. I've been a bit distracted lately.

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You bes the one(s) insisting Moriah must be experiencing something other than what it experiences simply because its language for it falls outside the boundaries of your acceptable parameters for reality. Moriah has duly explored your alternatives and found them wanting and incapable of addressing the matter satisfactorily.
Understandable. Note that in my post above I wasn't really going into why I thought that you couldn't possibly be possessed by demons. I was merely talking about the test, and how careful one has to be in interpreting such things.

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Have you done the same in the other direction? Have you bothered to explore why Moriah's "constructs" (or model or map or paradigm or whatever) for its experience bes more fitting and comprehensive to encompass its full range of experience than the models you favor? It hardly thinks so.
I think there are several reasons. First, the brain seems to be wired up to approach the world in a dualistic fashion. I can say more about this if you're interested, but in another thread. Second, exposure to huge amounts of Christian myth and culture have trained your brain to be particularly receptive to this kind of imagery. I bet there are people brought up in Muslim societies who believe they're possessed by demons too, but I suspect the demons are quite different.

(Ok, I know another argument you could use is that all these demons exist, and that each goes for the mind/brain/soul of an individual from whichever culture it feels fits it best, but that is definitely on the territory of special pleading.)

But really, the reason I think you're so set on the demon idea is that it's part and parcel of what you call your experiential reality. You live with it, day in, day out. It's as much a part of you as anything. But the brain is very good at making things up, for whatever reason* and yours is firmly convinced that there are demons in there, and that there is no other possible way to interpret the evidence of your experiences.

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p.s. will have a go at your link in a bit when its mind bes more focusy.
Ta muchly. I like it; Bayesian theory explains a lot, especially in neuroscience terms.

*N.B. I don't mean I think you're making up your experiences, but that I think your brain is generating them.
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Old 09-Mar-2008, 04:22 PM (16:22)     157        18612
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p.s. will have a go at your link in a bit when its mind bes more focusy.
Ta muchly. I like it; Bayesian theory explains a lot, especially in neuroscience terms.
What link? Can't find it....
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Old 09-Mar-2008, 10:41 PM (22:41)     158        18650
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Don if you or anyone could have witnessed the transitions and experiences of the past 48 hours you would no longer believe Moriah bes just makesy this shit up. It could not make this shit up if it tried. For fucks sake it wishes like hell that could be the answer, it really does....
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Old 09-Mar-2008, 11:24 PM (23:24)     159        18656
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p.s. will have a go at your link in a bit when its mind bes more focusy.
Ta muchly. I like it; Bayesian theory explains a lot, especially in neuroscience terms.
What link? Can't find it....
http://yudkowsky.net/bayes/bayes.html

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Don if you or anyone could have witnessed the transitions and experiences of the past 48 hours you would no longer believe Moriah bes just makesy this shit up. It could not make this shit up if it tried. For fucks sake it wishes like hell that could be the answer, it really does....
This is the thing, though. You are not voluntarily making it up, at all. Your brain is. Brains are very good at that sort of thing. I think there's something wrong with yours, and in order to make sense of what's wrong it has constructed this intricate, structured, internally self-consistent world in which you are caught.

That's the view from my side of the fence, anyway. To reiterate: the view is not that you're making stuff up; it's that your brain is. But I suspect you disagree.
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Old 11-Mar-2008, 03:42 AM (03:42)     160        18721
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Second, exposure to huge amounts of Christian myth and culture have trained your brain to be particularly receptive to this kind of imagery. I bet there are people brought up in Muslim societies who believe they're possessed by demons too, but I suspect the demons are quite different.
You MIGHT have a point there IF Moriah's inhabitants fit the usual descriptions and expectations of "Christian demons" but as a point of fact, They do not. OK, admittedly perhaps some of Them share some working parameters in common. For example, certain of Them interact with Moriah sexually and as we know the legends of incubus and succubus have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years. Moriah has also had classic night-terror type experiences (and way beyond mere "sleep paralysis" all the way to divided consciousness with simultaneous experience of dream-state, awareness of 3-d "real" world, what might be termed "nocturnal hallucination" layered into that awareness, and awareness of some kind of alternate dimension all simultaneously, combined with various physical experiences whether being sexually engaged or having something attempt to strangle or suffocate it). However, to its credit, or rather the credit of the veracity of its experience, Moriah began having all these experiences before it had ever ONCE read ANYTHING about them or heard about them from anyone else. Moriah also experienced direct communication with these entities -- specifically the one what answered to a certain Name -- instructing it in certain things with regard to magick and making contact with Them and such, again which things it had no knowledge about originally and later as it began to read and study occult traditions in books discovered the things it bes told bes correct.

But there bes other manifestations of the Inhabitants what does not fit any known schema of monotheistic mythology (or any other mythology for that matter of which Moriah bes aware), such as various ones named for "states" they create, such as "Black Solidity" and "Ramrod Axle Core" and (don't laugh) "Vacuum Genesis". It would bank fairly certainly upon the solid fact that you will not find a great deal of Moriah's personal experience corresponding to things tabulated or recorded in books or other sources of Judaeo-Christian lore whatsoever. Not to mention the fact that Moriah's experience with its Inhabitants typically exceeds and surpasses what bes found in literature available from those traditions. In fact a large percentage of the body literature out there bes utterly nonsensical, and Moriah having a REAL experience (unlike some of these jokers who want to attribute a "demon" to every freaking uncontrolled human impulse or stray/intrusive human thought for fuck's sake ) ends up oftentimes needing to correct a lot of the stupid misconceptions floating around out there about how the state of inhabitation operates, the differences between symbiosis and subjugation, the so-called faculty of "volition" and matters cognate, etc.

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(Ok, I know another argument you could use is that all these demons exist, and that each goes for the mind/brain/soul of an individual from whichever culture it feels fits it best, but that is definitely on the territory of special pleading.)
Well we both bes in luck then because Moriah has no intention of going there nor would it. It does not believe such things. From what it has experienced it does not matter whether the individual bes culturally primed or not, not when it comes to authentic experiences of this nature. Obviously for those still chasing "demons" of nicotine or masturbation, their cultural pump has already been well beyond primed into being actively flooded. But Moriah does not number itself among that ilk.

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But really, the reason I think you're so set on the demon idea is that it's part and parcel of what you call your experiential reality. You live with it, day in, day out. It's as much a part of you as anything.
Well that and when a cat jumps in your lap and begins to purr the brain registers "cat" unless you have been previously brainwashed to perceive a cat as a frog or a weasel or something other than a cat.

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But the brain is very good at making things up, for whatever reason* and yours is firmly convinced that there are demons in there, and that there is no other possible way to interpret the evidence of your experiences.

*N.B. I don't mean I think you're making up your experiences, but that I think your brain is generating them.
Again it bes reminded it has to come back to the 1994 story. It does not think you have any clue how much work it has put into investigating alternative methods of interpreting its experiences. As great as the pleasures thereof and therein have been and continue to be, just as intense and disruptive has been the suffering and torment, and not just spiritually and emotionally, either, though the more visceral things would be severely difficult to explain or describe indeed without sounding stark raving mad.

More to come! Eventually. & thanks for chatting peer to peer & not being patronizing.
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Old 13-Mar-2008, 01:14 PM (13:14)     161        18802
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Ta muchly. I like it; Bayesian theory explains a lot, especially in neuroscience terms.
What link? Can't find it....
http://yudkowsky.net/bayes/bayes.html

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Don if you or anyone could have witnessed the transitions and experiences of the past 48 hours you would no longer believe Moriah bes just makesy this shit up. It could not make this shit up if it tried. For fucks sake it wishes like hell that could be the answer, it really does....
This is the thing, though. You are not voluntarily making it up, at all. Your brain is. Brains are very good at that sort of thing. I think there's something wrong with yours, and in order to make sense of what's wrong it has constructed this intricate, structured, internally self-consistent world in which you are caught.

That's the view from my side of the fence, anyway. To reiterate: the view is not that you're making stuff up; it's that your brain is. But I suspect you disagree.
More dualism from the good Doctor!

So "you" are different from "your brain"? How?

What would it mean if "I" made something up? Or do I not exist?
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Old 13-Mar-2008, 01:20 PM (13:20)     162        18804
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I'll get back to you. Or something will.
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Old 13-Mar-2008, 01:43 PM (13:43)     163        18806
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I'll get back to you. Or something will.
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