Egypt and the Iraqi Crusade

It would appear to have gang seriously agley:

It’s an irony almost too bitter to bear that George W. Bush, an evangelical Christian fired by a vision of freedom with religious overtones, waged a war of liberation in Iraq that led to the uprooting of the country’s Christians. And did almost nothing to prevent it, or even remark upon it. Iraq’s Christians are the collateral damage of the country’s post-Saddam revolution….

Before the invasion, roughly 1.4 million Christians lived in Iraq. About half of them have fled, with many more sure to follow. For a community that dates back almost to the inception of Christianity, this is nothing short of a historic cataclysm.

Once more there are reports circulating that Hosni Mubarak has stepped down again and this time they are apparently correct. There are also 8 million Coptic Christians now living in Egypt. Will the world demonstrate even a tenth of the concern for them that it still shows – or at least feigns to show – for six million Jews who died more than 60 years ago?

Scientific proof by analogy

In case you ever wondered why I harbor such complete scorn for psychiatry and consider it to be intrinsically less scientific than astrology or even evolutionary biology, here is a pair of illuminating examples provided by Dr. Hervey Cleckley:

“I have become increasingly convinced that some of the popular methods presumed to discover what is in the unconscious cannot be counted upon as reliable methods of obtaining evidence. They often involve the use of symbolism and analogy in such a way that the interpreter can find virtually anything that he is looking for. Freud, for instance, from a simple dream reported by a man in his middle twenties as having occurred at 4 years of age drew remarkable conclusions. The 4-year-old boy dreamed of seeing six or seven white wolves sitting in a tree. Freud interpreted the dream in such a way as to convince himself that the patient at 18 months of age had been shocked by seeing his parents have intercourse three times in succession and that this played a major part in the extreme fear of being castrated by his father which Freud ascribed to him at 4 years of age. No objective evidence was ever offered to support this conclusion. Nor was actual fear of castration ever made to emerge into the light of consciousness despite years of analysis

Faithfully following Freud’s method of establishing proof by analogy, a prominent psychiatrist in his well-known book Beyond Laughter has given us a remarkable interpretation of the drum majorette. Most of us are likely to think that the average man’s pleasant reaction to these well-built, sparsely clad young ladies who prance happily and often somewhat sexily before the band at football stadiums can be pretty well accounted for by tastes and impulses quite obvious in nearly anyone’s consciousness. Such tastes and impulses, according to the interpretation in Beyond Laughter, must be considered as superficial or perhaps even as the result of reaction formation. The lissome girl, we are solemnly told, stands out before the grouped band just as an erect penis stands out before the larger mass of the body. This analogy is taken as evidence that interest and excitement about the provocative lass do not lie primarily in the fact that any ordinary man would find her attractive. In our unconscious she is said to be equated with the erect male organ, and it is maintained that men really feel toward her, as she stands projected before the group, as they unconsciously feel toward the penis of another male. Our positive reactions toward her, we are told, arise from our unrecognized and unaccepted homosexuality. No corroborative evidence is offered, nor any doubt expressed, about this interpretation. It is soberly offered as a fact, presumably discovered by science.”
The Mask of Sanity pp 407-408

Keep in mind that this pseudo-scientific analogical “proof” is not only the sole basis for much atheist speculation about theistic mental health, but is also the conceptual foundation underlying Keynesian General Theory as well as Paul Samuelson’s statistical perversion of it. It is also remniscent of the quality of empirical evidence that has been gathered in support of the natural selection mechanic.

No psycho

Since Zoegirl seemed surprised at my comment that I tend towards narcissism rather than psychopathy, I thought it perhaps a modicum of evidence might be in order. So, I took an online version of the psychopathy test to see if the results on the Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist-Revised were in harmony with my admittedly biased observations. As with all tests of this sort, it is transparently easy to direct the results, but I gave honest answers that my friends and family would generally be able to confirm. The result was as follows:

Narcissus: You scored 12 on Emotional Detachment and 9 on Chaotic Lifestyle. You are not quite a psycho, but you have problems in one of the aspects of psychopathy: emotional detachment.

What I find amusing about the test is that I simply don’t see a reasonable amount of emotional detachment as any sort of problem at all, considering how many problems are observably caused by the way in which so many make use of emotion in the place of reason in their decision-making. It’s not as if I don’t have the same emotions everyone else does, I simply have the ability to take them into account or not most of the time rather than being ruled by them. What one calls emotional detachment another might as reasonably call self-control. Of course, one of my biggest challenges in relating to others over the years has been dealing with what I tend to see as a complete inability to grasp what is quite clearly in their own interest, which was why I had to construct a non-judgmental MPAI philosophical framework before I was able to find any success in convincing people of even the most obvious things.

What I’ve learned that until you can ensure that the clear-cut logical path is not in direct opposition to someone’s emotional inclinations, (or better yet, is at least somewhat in line with them), you will find it nearly impossible to convince them of what a less-biased party would consider irrefutable. This is hardly news, for as it has long been said, “one convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” But it is one thing to be familiar with the aphorism and another to actively account for it as a regular practice.

It’s almost a pity I’m not a psychopath, though, as it appears I am Incredibly Well-Read: “Your level of Well-Readliness is 100 %! *Applause* You. Are. Amazing.” If only I’d scored higher and could cook, I might have been a Hannibal Lector. On the other hand, I don’t think much of chianti. Also, note that notwithstanding the reported results, it is a 30+ score that indicates genuine psychopathy, not 20+.