RE: Evil ? (was: Hypostases (was: Natural Order & Belief)

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 00:37:42 +1100

Brent Meeker writes:

> > It's a strange quality of delusions that psychotic people are even more
> > certain of their truth than non-deluded people are certain of things
> > which have reasonable empirical evidence in their favour.
> Yet this seems understandable. The psychotic person is believing things because of some physical malfunction in his brain. So it is easy to see how it might be incorrigble. The normal persons is believing things because of perception, hearsay, and logic. But he knows that all of those can be deceptive; and so he is never certain.

Sure, it's a defect in the brain chemistry, but the delusional person will give
you his reasons for his belief:

"Someone entered my home while I was out yesterday and shifted a CD from
the desk to the coffee table.

"Is it possible that you moved it yourself and forgot?

"No, I'm certain I didn't move it myself.

"Was there any sign of someone breakung in?

"No, they must have had keys.

"Had you given anyone the keys?

"No, but they might have copied them without my knowledge, or maybe they're
just good at picking locks.

"Was anything else taken or disturbed?

"Not that I could tell, but I can't be certain.

"Why would anyone do such a strange thing?

"I agree it's strange, and I have no idea why anyone would go to such lengths
to annoy me. There are some crazy people out there, you know!

"Would anything convince you that you had made a mistake? For example, if you
had video evidence showing that nothing strange had happened on the day of the

"I'm absolutely certain the CD was moved, and I don't believe in ghosts! Someone
who went to such lengths to annoy me would probably be able to alter video recordings,
so no, that wouldn't convince me I was crazy, as you seem to be implying.

This is very similar to the arguments of people with religious convictions, who will cite
evidence in support of their beliefs up to a point, but it soon becomes clear that no
matter how paltry this evidence is shown to be, they will still maintain their belief.
The difference is that these people do not change their way of thinking in response to
antipsychotic medication.

Stathis Papaioannou
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Received on Thu Dec 28 2006 - 08:38:00 PST

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