Ghost Not Ethics

Just a little true story that illustrates the difference between "All theories are contingent", and "There is no such thing as reality". When things don't add up in Ghost Not psychology, sufferers really will adopt the position that there is no such thing as reality - and then deny that they have made this statement!

When I first found the ADHD link, I was shocked. Here was a bunch of kids whose situation I could completely understand, since I recognised myself and my effective colleauges in the distorted descriptions given in the literature. I recognised the distortions too! The descriptions ranged from ADHD as debilitating disease that renders the victim mentally handicapped, to others that doubted if there was really a disease at all - just a variant of normal human psychology with some benefits. The "mental handicap" fraternity were drugging children with powerful stimulants, and I knew that to do this to a developing mind with properties like mine would be more likely to induce burnout than anything beneficial. How could they be doing this when the medic down the corridor doesn't even think there's anything to treat?

I asked a clinical psychologist about it. First she denied that my question was meaningful, arguing with herself about the "definition" of ADHD. Eventually I got her to agree that there is a certain group of kids, with a well documented personality type (or set of symptoms, depending), that she and her colleauges didn't even agree that had a disease (yes... those kids...), commonly referred to as ADHD.

I asked her if it was really true that some medics drugged the kids to combat their terrible disease, while others said there was nothing wrong with them at all. She told me that she had two such medics where she worked - and didn't seem worried about it. I asked her how this state of affairs could be, and she didn't seem to understand. I protested that these were real kids, being fed real drugs. Wouldn't it behove her mob to at least find out if the drugs were doing harm or good?

Then she "explained" to me in a very high handed manner that this was a matter of "ethics", nothing that mere mortals such as myself could be expected to understand!

In the end the conversation became pretty bizarre. Either the disease exists or it doesn't, I protested. Are these kids diseased, or are they not diseased? Either the drugs are appropriate or they are not. Why didn't her mob even try to find out? It is a disgrace. That was when she "explained" that there are no facts. There is no reality. There is only "opinion". So-called "ethics" have no bearing on the patients, since they, their state, all data appertaining to them, are as unreal as anything else that might or might not exist. So-called ethics simply involve the "accomodation" of one's colleauges and nothing more. There is no professional duty of care - only "legal concepts" of professional duties, which are not connected to anything in the real world. Which itself does not exist.

It's a pattern of behaviour that is worse in some people than others. Causal origins for the pattern are proposed in "2: The Ghost Not". It includes the insistance on spending their time chop, chop, chopping arbitrary definitions of arbitrary categorisations that they have made up themselves, without regard to whether the categories correlate to anything observable. Cheerfully basing their entire worldview on key ideas, even though they have no clue what those key ideas actually are. Being unable to see the dividing line between observed data and their own fantasies when doing this. The complete absense of any need to find internal consistency in the observable world, as a verification of hypotheses. The belief that key guiding concepts exist in a fictional world that has no relation to the world in which they perform actions. The inversion of "ethics" to mean always backing down before one's equally feckless and cynical colleauges' contempt/threat displays. The utter disregard for the damage being done. The pompous arrogance. The conviction that they are so very clever and trendy. Always, the enabling the bottom line without which all this nonsense would be exposed for what it is, is the mantra that there is no such thing as reality. And always, when one points out the fallacy of even getting up out of bed on that basis, they simply deny that they have said what they have said - and then say it again! Round and round and round forever...

That's why I assert there is a difference between "Theories are contingent" and "There is no such thing as reality". People who maintain the latter can rationalise any act, no matter how foul. And do so, especially when in positions of trust. See also the tale from last week about what happens to kids with ME. And there will be plenty of tales amongst the readers of this list, I'm sure.