So here's a picture of my kitty.
Penelope kept me company while I was sick all day. Good kitty.
The overall theme I gathered from Eberhard’s speech was that the atheist/skeptic community needs to move on from disproving religious claims and instead needs to help teach to the world that mental illness is not something to dismiss or take lightly."Move on" from religion? At what point did JT say that? Approximately 4 minutes into his speech, JT starts talking about his speech from last year about how he debated Christians. He follows that with,
"But our movement is evolving. The way we approach things is changing, and to come in here and do a talk on how to defeat a bunch of religious arguments....isn't really something we need anymore. You guys know how to beat the 'first cause' argument, you know how to beat the 'fine tuning' argument. And if you don't, there are people who do it a lot better than me."So at what point does he say we no longer need to work on disproving religious claims? To me, it seems like he's saying we could work on more than one thing at a time? Woah, dude. Crazy concept.
However, I disagree with JT’s statements that seem to say that SSRI’s are all that are needed for treatment. He said nothing about the importance of therapy.When did he say that? He does talk about the importance of SSRI's. They are very important. He also talk about his therapy and going to a therapist. He talks about the need for a social support network. Almost every disease has more than one thing you need to do to treat it (many times a change of diet and exercise, plus medication).
One issue I have with this whole thing is the fact that he specifically chose the issue of mental illness. I believe that he chose this because he himself suffers from a mood disorder; it’s what’s on his mind. Maybe he has been shunned in the past by people who didn’t understand that a mood disorder can’t be fixed by simply willing it to be so. I don’t think it’s okay just to pick a topic simply because you believe it should be focused on. What about other issues? What about focusing on uncovering social issues in undeveloped countries? What about focusing on other medical illnesses? I don’t think it’s okay to take on the issue of mental illness simply because someone fairly well-known in the skeptic community believes that the issue should be taken on.So....what? Well, shame on him for speaking from experience! In that case, PZ shouldn't have talked about science education...I mean, he works with students, he's obviously too close to the issue to see it clearly. And why does he get to decide what topic to give?! I mean, it's just his speech!
"I don’t think it’s okay for people who are not trained in the treatment of mood disorders to take on this issue just because 25% of the US population (according to JT) suffers from a mood disorder."
I strongly disagree with JT telling the audience that they MUST be there for their family and friends who are suffering from mental illness. You can’t make anyone take on anything. What if they don’t want to take on this issue?If someone doesn't care enough about other people (1/5 of Americans) to educate themselves on mental illness and treat those people with dignity, then they are an asshole. It doesn't need to be the main focus of their attention, but if they can't take the time to realize, "huh, people with mental disorders are really sick, and they can't just cure themselves in a day," then not only are they a bad skeptic, they are also a jerk.
Another issue I have is the fact that JT readily believes that it’s okay for people to suffer from mental illness, while it is not okay for people to believe in and follow a religion.Wow. This comes across horribly. I really hope the author didn't mean it in the way it sounded, because it sounds pretty bad. Yes, JT (and myself) believe it is okay to suffer from a mental disorder. If you don't think it's okay, then you are an asshole. It's not a choice to have a mental disorder. It is a choice to believe in religious dogma. The fact that you even compared those two things is appalling to me.
Well, what about the fact that mental disorders are founded on un-provable beliefs and thoughts? Why not apply the same type of logic to this claim? Just present enough evidence to someone that their thoughts do not accurately represent actual reality, and they should immediately accept the fact that they are a good person and should be happy. Mental illness does bad things to the people suffering from them. Seems fair to expect people suffering mental illness to just disprove its validity, right?
I'm going to push back a little because I feel that polite feedback and disagreement is a healthy thing. If you feel i'm being impolite or too pushy say so and I'll back down.
I firmly believe that G-d does answer prayer. I think he uses police, doctors, ect to answer prayer. Sometimes it might seem easier for him just to swoop down and make things right, but he doesn't. I don't have all the answers, and I'm learning to be okay with that. I guess that's where faith comes in, believing in what we cannot understand. Just over 3 years ago, the doctors told me I was going to die. Blood vessels in my brain were getting ready to explode. They had no answers. There was no surgery they could do, no medicine they could give me. My faith community rallied around me and we prayed. I'm alive today. The doctors have no answer for it. Not every prayer is answered that way, but sometimes they are. Other times, G-d uses people.Anyway, you are definitely not too pushy, Joy. :) I do appreciate you commenting and opening this discussion. However, I am going to have to disagree with you.
Paul Rinzler said...Yay! Thanks for being the first commenter...you will always hold a special place in my heart. I do have a blog! Also, many thanks to Adam Lee over at Daylight Atheism for giving my blog its first boost. :) (Plus, Adam is a great guy/writer, so you should really be reading his stuff.)
Allow me to be the first to comment on your blog.
Hey, you've got a blog!
(I was sent her from Daylight Atheism)
Frank Bellamy said...Yay, Frank! I feel so famous, with two whole comments. Anyway, thank you for commenting (and reading, which I feel is implied by commenting). I also love my sarcasm, and I will try to keep it up. You know why? Because I care about your brain, Frank. And recent studies show that sarcasm "appears to stimulate complex thinking and to attenuate the otherwise negative effects of anger." So, really, I'm doing it for you, Frank. I just can't help but be a selfless person.
I'll be the second to comment on your blog.
I love your sarcasm.
Where does the name of your blog come from?
Young Jenny: Pray with me, Forrest. Pray with me. Dear God, make me a bird, so I can fly far, far far away from here. Dear God, make me a bird...
Forrest: Mama always said that God is mysterious. He didn't turn Jenny into a bird that day. Instead, he had the police say that Jenny didn't have to stay in that house no more. She went to live with her grandma, just over on Greekmore Ave. Which made me happy 'cause she was so close. Some nights, Jenny's sneaked out and come on over to my house, just 'cause she said she was scared. Of what? I don't know, but I think it was her grandma's dog. He was a mean dog. Anyway, Jenny and me was best friends all the way up through high school. [Emphasis mine.]This makes me so mad, because it's so true. How many abused children pray for a god they're told loves them to give them a safe place to live? Or gay children who try to 'pray away the gay?' Or people with terminal diseases who pray to be healed or take away the pain? And how often does he answer? (hint: never)