"The only way out of a psychological hell, as opposed to genuine mental disease, is to find your own will to be free of your demons."
You're right. Everything else is bullshit rationalization.
Now, some people MAY BE genetically predisposed to alcoholism.
If someone decides to drink themselves to death, it is NOT my concern.
If they get behind the wheel of a car or get violent when they are drunk, punish them for their conduct.
If they are trying to kick the habit, have compassion for them. It IS moral and admirable to strive to better yourself, and people with health self-esteems have no problem patting their fellow man on the back over it.
"Dealing with sexual predators and chronic substance abusers are subjects that carry a lot of breadth and depth, and there are no silver bullets, obviously."
I disagree. There's a silver bullet for both. If the drunk uses the bullet imappropriately, punish him the same as you would a sober man. And, use the silver bullet on the brain of the pedophile. Problems solved.
Interesting fact: there are SOLOists, even prominent ones, who tangentially support pedophilia.
I dont care if it is a preference, a disease, a taste.
I don't care if Greeks and Romans fucked little boys or girls all the time.
I do not know much about sexual predators, other than it is about the highest recidivist crime--they do it over and over.
I do seek your learned instruction, as I know so little about such things.
I see once again this issue starting to become muddled because of group-think. (That's one hell of an addiction too.) I am not a religious zealot and that characterization is pretty far out there - pure group-think once again.
I am not defending pedophiles or alcoholics or addicts. I am defending the medical treatment of them.
I am not the one screaming, "Off with their heads!" I hear that scream from group throats directed at very specific categories of people with problems - ones who can and do recover with medical treatment.
Whoever has eyes, just look. People do recover after serious addictions, etc., with specialized help. It's not rocket science. Look at them.
Why do they recover? (blank out - gottta be will power) What is working? (blank out - gottta be will power) Do they actually recover? (blank out - gottta be will power)
What's the real issue here? Why the prejudice against those who need help getting it?
Why deny their problems exist and treatments that work exist?
Then expect KASS right back in your face on this issue.
Edit - our posts crossed and you changed your "Yes it is." to "That's true."
?????? (If that's the case, I will change mine, but I don't understand yet.)
Let's make something clear. The Oprah/Jerry Springer style therapeutic culture does exist - it does a tremendous disservice to addiction recovery - and it is not what I am talking about. Serious specialized medical and psycholoigical care (including some group treatments) for these issues do exist. They are what I defend.
You don't have to be concerned if a person drinks himself to death. No one is asking you to be either. My issue is merely to let those who do have such concern do their jobs and get the loudmouth know-nothings out of their way.
There is nothing to be gained from ignoring facts - especially in denying the existence of them.
Also, once again, I do not support, not even obliquely, pedophilia - especially not the acts committed by pedophiles. I support medical attention for those with this problem who seek it - not your bullet in the brain solution, which violates the right to life.
(As an aside - I wonder about the many people this addiction/alcoholism "disease" issue touches a deep nerve in - I wonder if they like to drink or use drugs and think I support taking their candy away. LOLOLOL... I have no interest in them, really - let them enjoy. Personally, I can't anymore. My issue is those who are sick and how to help them get better from an Objectivest viewpoint.)
"People do recover after serious addictions, etc., with specialized help. It's not rocket science. Look at them.
"Why do they recover? (blank out - gottta be will power) What is working? (blank out - gottta be will power) Do they actually recover? (blank out - gottta be will power)"
The psychologist Jeffrey Schaler reviews the available scholarly literature on "addiction" and "treatment" in his outstanding book Addiction Is a Choice (Open Court, 2000).
He concludes about the proposition that "addiction" to alcohol or anything else is a biochemically based "disease" that this claim is a "scientificlly worthless fantasy."
He concludes further that "treatment generally doesn't work. I'll repeat that: addiction treatments do not work. This doesn't mean that individuals never give up their addiction after treatment. It's simply that they don't seem to do so at any higher rate than without treatment. One treatment tends to be just about as effective as any other treatment, which is just about as effective as no treatment at all."
As to AA, according to Schaler, it's best understood as a "religious cult." Show me another "disease" that can be "treated" by ordering the patient/sufferer to attend meetings of a religious cult.
P.S. I too have a history of "addiction," which I'll be happy to go into if anyone is really interested. Since I doubt anyone is, I've said nothing about it so far. I mention it now only to defuse the predictable bleating that since I've never been an "addict" and never experienced "recovery," I can know nothing about the subject.
Before the bleating starts, please await my article - I have been putting overtime in it because of the present bombast (and I got a couple of days off).
Mr. Shaler is entitled to his opinion and I will not go with defending one type or another of the different treatments, merely some of the things that work, since my view is that terms like "addiction" or "alcoholism" are like heart disease, a generic term to cover a variety of diseases. The only common denominator in all "heart disease" is that all types make the heart stop functioning properly, but that doesn't tell you much about what to do about them.
To me it's no wonder the "one size fits all" type treatments don't have a high rate of recovery - but then again I don't have much faith in statistics of this nature. Both sides always manipulate the figures to suit their agendas, at least in the works I have seen. I can't say about Mr. Shaler.
And yes, I would be highly interested in your experiences, principally in how you came out of addiction, as I am putting together an idea for a body of serious work on this from the Objectivist perspective - which is woefully lacking and usually superficial and dismissive.
The "you can do it yourself" message so common in Libertarian circles was very destructive in my own life. My ex-wife had post-partum depression after the birth of our daughter. Under the influence of Libertarian "you can do it yourself" ideology she self-medicated with stimulants. As often happens when depression is self-medicated with stimulants, she became paranoid and abusive. I stayed in the abusive situation for 10 years, until my daughter was old enough to survive staying with her mother without me - American courts do not recognize wife-on-husband abuse, and automatically give custody to the mother. In those 10 years of abuse, I aged 30 physical years: by the time I was 50, I looked like a 70-year-old.
She did eventually recover, without therapy, from the depression so that she no longer used stimulants - but the paranoid ideations that she developed while self-medicating lasted much longer. So I don't have much use for the "you can do it yourself" ideology any more.
Adam, I am very sorry for what you and your wife went through, but she acted like she was her own doctor and treated herself medically for a disease of questionable authenticity. Qua doctor that made her especially incompetent. Doing it yourself does not mean doing it wrong is the way to salvation.
You don't look so old anymore, unless you have posted a very old photograph, and I hope the best for you and yours.
I am griting my teeth with this moderation thing. In the meantime, hoping to get this thread back on track (so it can die a natural death) here's more Ayn Rand via Barbara Branden (where would we be without her?):
As Ayn and Frank made their plans to leave California, they asked Ruth and Buzzy Hill if they would move into the house; Ayn did not want to leave it unattended, nor rent it to strangers. In exchange for a nominal rent, the Hills agreed to care for the ranch and the grounds. They were to remain in the home they came to love for almost twenty-five years. Once again, Ayn and Frank drove across the country. This time they shared the ride with a passenger: a six-week old gray-and-white kitten, which a neighbor's cat had given birth to in the back seat of their car; they named the kitten "Frisco," in honor of Franscisco d'Anconia.
I've just received PARC. I'm up to p 66 & am not yet bored rigid in the way I was assured I would be. Au contraire. I have taken a break from the book to play the video, Ideas in Action. It's an interview with Leonard Peikoff. I'm playing it because the penny just dropped as to where I had heard the name James Valliant before. He's the interviewer!