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Of well-meaning people and the damage done by bad ideas
Posted: 10 November 2006 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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I am in the unfortunate position of being a witness to the damage done by people with unshakeable bad ideas in their heads.
This is not a request for suggestions or help but I thought this story may be of interest to some of you.

My wife suffers from an undiagnosed mental affliction.
She has been unhappy and off-balance for several months and the reason why her condition has not been diagnosed is because of her parents.

My parents in law are of the conviction that:

1/ Modern medicine is bad.
2/ Doctors are all out to fuck you over and take your money.
3/ Psychiatrist want to give you drugs which are bad for you.
4/ All drugs are bad.
5/ No one should ever be vaccinated against anything.
6/ Your immune system can deal with anything, therefore it is not necessary to ever go to a doctor ( unless said doctor will proscribe herbal medication.)
7/ All illnesses come from either a bad diet or toxins in the environment.
8/ You can ask the 'universe' whether today is a good or bad day to get on a plane.
9/ It is possible for people to talk to ants ( I am not making this up)
10/ The plague in medieval Europe killed off half the population because these people had bad hygiene.

You get the picture.


My wife is close to her parents and sees them a few times per week and during these visits she gets spectacularly bad advise about how to feel better.
The advise is either herbal supplements but also include the 'cleansing' of our house.
I have finally been able to convince her to go seek professional help, but this took me 3 months and came at the price of basically making her choose between me and her parents and after I called her parents irrational and accusing them of harming their daughter.

My analysis of these 2 people whom I rather like ( They are very kind and mean well and they love their daughter ) is as follows:

They were raised Catholic, but have abandoned their faith in adolescence.
They have found a new religion in their 'new age ' beliefs.
Even though they are fanatically anti "regular" religion, they are religious in every other way.
Nothing I say can make them change their ideas no matter how ridiculous their answers to my questions get.

I feel bad for them, because I know they care deeply about their beliefs ( which I think are all total nonsense) but since the health of my wife is now negatively affected by their bad advise, I took my stand and in doing so have deeply offended them and ruined our relationship.


What I find most sad about their situation is the isolation in which they live and how that isolation shields them from reason.
They have few friends and all of these friends are like-minded lunatics.

I am under no illusion that they will ever change their minds, they are simply too far gone.

To me this is a painful illustration of what can happen to people who no longer want to have their ideas questioned.

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“You know I’m born to lose, and gambling is for fools.
But that’s the way I like it baby, I don’t want to live forever.”

From the autobiography of A.A.Mills, ‘The passage of time, according to an estranged, casual tyrant.’

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Posted: 10 November 2006 11:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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To me, this is an illustration of how many people just need to believe. Believe something, anything. They just don’t have the mental or emotional stability to live without a security blanket of meaning and control. Just because your in-laws shook free of catholicism, they couldn’t remove this craving.

Almost everyone inserts their own interpretation of cause and effect when faced with an unknown. That interpretation can grow to absorbe and overpower even the things that should be known.

That’s why I don’t try to hard to shake anyone’s faith in my circle of friends and family. As long as what they cling to is relatively benign, it is likely better than the next thing they might fall into.

If they have the capacity to come around on their own, then bully for them.

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Posted: 10 November 2006 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Evening Sander,
I feel for your situation. I am a physician and dealt with a fair number of these people. May I simply suggest that you arm yourself with all the information you can. http://www.quackwatch.org may be helpful. A good history taken in one visit to a physician may be enough to nail down at least a ballpark diagnosis. Then there are plenty of Internet sites dealing with various problems. You say your wife is unhappy, and though this is fairly nonspecific, make sure you are familiar with the basics of depression and its symptoms….it’s a very common problem.

Rod

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Posted: 10 November 2006 09:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I recently had a conversation with a coworker who I seemed to be in accord with on matters of religion. He suggested to me that it was astounding that people believe all the silly fables and myths of the Bible.  We went on this track of conversation for a few minutes. I guess he felt I earned his trust, becuse he then veered into how it was obvious that aliens were the cause of advances in civilization over the past few thousand years. Furthermore he asserted as if it were obvious, that aliens still live amongst us, and that he found it quite easy to pick them out of the crowd so to speak.

How can people follow the path of logic and reason, and reject mainstream faiths, only to arrive at something even more fanciful and logic defying?

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Posted: 10 November 2006 11:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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[quote author=“Sander”]I am in the unfortunate position of being a witness to the damage done by people with unshakeable bad ideas in their heads.
This is not a request for suggestions or help but I thought this story may be of interest to some of you.

My wife suffers from an undiagnosed mental affliction.
She has been unhappy and off-balance for several months and the reason why her condition has not been diagnosed is because of her parents.

My parents in law are of the conviction that:

1/ Modern medicine is bad.
2/ Doctors are all out to f*** you over and take your money.
3/ Psychiatrist want to give you drugs which are bad for you.
4/ All drugs are bad.
5/ No one should ever be vaccinated against anything.
6/ Your immune system can deal with anything, therefore it is not necessary to ever go to a doctor ( unless said doctor will proscribe herbal medication.)
7/ All illnesses come from either a bad diet or toxins in the environment.
8/ You can ask the ‘universe’ whether today is a good or bad day to get on a plane.
9/ It is possible for people to talk to ants ( I am not making this up)
10/ The plague in medieval Europe killed off half the population because these people had bad hygiene.

You get the picture.


My wife is close to her parents and sees them a few times per week and during these visits she gets spectacularly bad advise about how to feel better.
The advise is either herbal supplements but also include the ‘cleansing’ of our house.
I have finally been able to convince her to go seek professional help, but this took me 3 months and came at the price of basically making her choose between me and her parents and after I called her parents irrational and accusing them of harming their daughter.

My analysis of these 2 people whom I rather like ( They are very kind and mean well and they love their daughter ) is as follows:

They were raised Catholic, but have abandoned their faith in adolescence.
They have found a new religion in their ‘new age ’ beliefs.
Even though they are fanatically anti “regular” religion, they are religious in every other way.
Nothing I say can make them change their ideas no matter how ridiculous their answers to my questions get.

I feel bad for them, because I know they care deeply about their beliefs ( which I think are all total nonsense) but since the health of my wife is now negatively affected by their bad advise, I took my stand and in doing so have deeply offended them and ruined our relationship.


What I find most sad about their situation is the isolation in which they live and how that isolation shields them from reason.
They have few friends and all of these friends are like-minded lunatics.

I am under no illusion that they will ever change their minds, they are simply too far gone.

To me this is a painful illustration of what can happen to people who no longer want to have their ideas questioned.

With all due respect: advise is a verb and advice is a noun.

[ Edited: 12 November 2006 12:07 AM by ]
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Get with it. Millions of galaxies of hundreds of millions of stars, and a speck on one in a blink. That’s us, lost in space. The cop, you, me… Who notices?
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Posted: 11 November 2006 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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[quote author=“Sander”]With all due respect: advise is a verb and advice is a noun

Hey bub, you need a period at the end of that sentence!  :wink:

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Posted: 12 November 2006 12:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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[quote author=“Andrew_S”][quote author=“Sander”]With all due respect: advise is a verb and advice is a noun

Hey bub, you need a period at the end of that sentence!  :wink:

Verbalising a substantive is truly a grammatical error. There are valid phonological differences that are being obscured by the poster. Punctuation is not an issue of genuine grammar. Phonological difference: advice (aedvais), advise (aedvaiz)...

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Get with it. Millions of galaxies of hundreds of millions of stars, and a speck on one in a blink. That’s us, lost in space. The cop, you, me… Who notices?
-Vincent

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Posted: 12 November 2006 02:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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[quote author=“stardusk”][quote author=“Andrew_S”][quote author=“Sander”]With all due respect: advise is a verb and advice is a noun

Hey bub, you need a period at the end of that sentence!  :wink:

Verbalising a substantive is truly a grammatical error. There are valid phonological differences that are being obscured by the poster. Punctuation is not an issue of genuine grammar. Phonological difference: advice (aedvais), advise (aedvaiz)...

And anyway, Sander did not verbalize/verbalise any substantives whatsoever. AndrewS lacks competence in using the “Quote” widget.

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Posted: 12 November 2006 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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English is not my first language, but I fail to see why people find it necessary to highlght spelling errors.

To all others, thank you for your replies.

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“You know I’m born to lose, and gambling is for fools.
But that’s the way I like it baby, I don’t want to live forever.”

From the autobiography of A.A.Mills, ‘The passage of time, according to an estranged, casual tyrant.’

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Posted: 12 November 2006 09:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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[quote author=“Sander”]English is not my first language, but I fail to see why people find it necessary to highlght spelling errors.

To all others, thank you for your replies.

It’s your thoughts that are important, not your spelling. Your thoughts, Sander, are quite a bit more eloquent than those brought by several native-English speakers on this site. Don’t sweat it.

I really only ride people’s asses about language when neither their mechanics nor their content are worthy. You do not fit into the latter category.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 01:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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[quote author=“Sander”]English is not my first language, but I fail to see why people find it necessary to highlght spelling errors.

To all others, thank you for your replies.


I’m sorry, I thought it was your first language; hence my anal retention. Your English is exellent….what is your mother tongue?

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Get with it. Millions of galaxies of hundreds of millions of stars, and a speck on one in a blink. That’s us, lost in space. The cop, you, me… Who notices?
-Vincent

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Posted: 13 November 2006 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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[quote author=“stardusk”][quote author=“Sander”]English is not my first language, but I fail to see why people find it necessary to highlght spelling errors.

To all others, thank you for your replies.


I’m sorry, I thought it was your first language; hence my anal retention. Your English is exellent….what is your mother tongue?

No worries.

My native tongue is Dutch.

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“You know I’m born to lose, and gambling is for fools.
But that’s the way I like it baby, I don’t want to live forever.”

From the autobiography of A.A.Mills, ‘The passage of time, according to an estranged, casual tyrant.’

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Posted: 13 November 2006 05:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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[quote author=“Sander”][quote author=“stardusk”][quote author=“Sander”]English is not my first language, but I fail to see why people find it necessary to highlght spelling errors.

To all others, thank you for your replies.


I’m sorry, I thought it was your first language; hence my anal retention. Your English is exellent….what is your mother tongue?

No worries.

My native tongue is Dutch.

Nederlands is en van de mooieste taalen van de wereld…

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Get with it. Millions of galaxies of hundreds of millions of stars, and a speck on one in a blink. That’s us, lost in space. The cop, you, me… Who notices?
-Vincent

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Posted: 14 November 2006 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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[quote author=“stardusk”][quote author=“Sander”][quote author=“stardusk”][quote author=“Sander”]English is not my first language, but I fail to see why people find it necessary to highlght spelling errors.

To all others, thank you for your replies.


I’m sorry, I thought it was your first language; hence my anal retention. Your English is exellent….what is your mother tongue?

No worries.

My native tongue is Dutch.

Nederlands is en van de mooieste taalen van de wereld…

Man, if you are saying that Dutch sounds pretty then you are a unique individual.
I concur with an American friend of mine when he said,after he heard me speak Dutch: ” That’s not a language, that’s a speech impediment.”
:D

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“You know I’m born to lose, and gambling is for fools.
But that’s the way I like it baby, I don’t want to live forever.”

From the autobiography of A.A.Mills, ‘The passage of time, according to an estranged, casual tyrant.’

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Posted: 14 November 2006 12:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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[quote author=“Sander”]

No worries.

My native tongue is Dutch.

[quote author=“Nigel Powers”]
There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.

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Posted: 15 November 2006 12:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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[quote author=“Sander”][quote author=“stardusk”][quote author=“Sander”][quote author=“stardusk”][quote author=“Sander”]English is not my first language, but I fail to see why people find it necessary to highlght spelling errors.

To all others, thank you for your replies.


I’m sorry, I thought it was your first language; hence my anal retention. Your English is exellent….what is your mother tongue?

No worries.

My native tongue is Dutch.

Nederlands is en van de mooieste taalen van de wereld…

Man, if you are saying that Dutch sounds pretty then you are a unique individual.
I concur with an American friend of mine when he said,after he heard me speak Dutch: ” That’s not a language, that’s a speech impediment.”
:D

Ik houd eigenlijk veel van de ruwheid van de taal. Ik houd in het algemeen veel van Germaanse talen.

I never learned Dutch formally, just by listening but have not spoken it in a long time…like I said great language :D

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Get with it. Millions of galaxies of hundreds of millions of stars, and a speck on one in a blink. That’s us, lost in space. The cop, you, me… Who notices?
-Vincent

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