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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Apr > Apr 15

Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary

From: William Treurniet <wtreurniet.nul>
Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2012 10:52:26 -0400
Archived: Sun, 15 Apr 2012 12:02:39 -0400
Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary

>From: David Rudiak<drudiak.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2012 11:29:10 -0700
>Subject: Re: Ufology and Psychiatry - Summary

>>From: Eugene Frison<cthulhu_calls.nul>
>>Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 12:01:05 -0500
>>Subject: Re: Ufology And Psychiatry - Summary

>>>From: Ray Dickenson<r.dickenson.nul>
>>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto<post.nul>
>>>Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 18:51:34 +0100
>>>Subject: Ufology And Psychiatry Summary

>>>I hope, in future, that anyone thinking of accepting _any_
>>>dictum from the psychiatry/psychology camp would think again.
>>>Their words are about as reliable as politicians' promises - and
>>>IMHO for the same reason: they are self-interested professional
>>>liars (or fools, of course).

>>This statement displays the same miserbly shallow understanding
>>of Psychiatry and Psychology as your posts did regarding your
>>understanding of the physiology and functioning of the eye and
>>brain in the human perception process (so much more accurately
>>described by David Rudiak) earlier on.

>I suspect Ray belongs to the European postmodernist movement,
>which drove my youngest son berserk when he was at Oxford
>(apparently the universities there are overrun with
>postmodernists). Basically it is a form of nihilism, arguing
>that there is no absolute knowledge, all knowledge is
>interpretation filtered through our minds, therefore (in the
>most extreme versions), absolutely nothing can be trusted and
>there are no truths.

Back when I was in school, it was called direct or naive realism
vs indirect realism. The direct variety argued, if I recall
correctly, that what we perceive is 'out there'. The object does
not require interpretation, it just is and the representation of
it in our brains is a direct reflection of the object. Indirect
realism, on the other hand, argues that our brain is like an
anthropologist, building up a representation of the object from
a lot of little clues. This is not nihilism because the object
is still said to have a real existence. It's just that the
interpretation of it is subject to error. So yes, what we
perceive cannot always be trusted and truths are always suspect.
The scientific method helps to counter errors in perception, but
experimental results must themselves be interpreted.

>While there is some "truth" in all this (it is rather hard to
>argue that what we consider knowledge stands apart from our own
>brains), it is often used to create sweeping indictments of all
>knowledge and all experts. Thus we get posts from Ray that all
>scientific theories are suspect or wrong, all our perceptions
>are wrong or not to be trusted, or in this case, all
>psychologists/psychiatrists are liars or fools or both. (Part of
>this may derive from an overreaction to the arrogance and
>rigidity of thinking that many experts in their field may

Ray did go a bit overboard with his indictment of psychiatry.
Or, in the context of indirect realism, maybe he didn't go far
enough. Without being so harsh, one can make an argument that
all sciences can suffer occasionally from the problem of
selective perception or "inattentional blindness", where one
sees only what one expects to see (e.g., when watching a movie
of people playing basketball, few people remember seeing the
woman with the umbrella walking across the playing field). For
example, modern cosmology suffers from that by ignoring data not
consistent with the Big Bang theory, adding stuff like dark
matter and energy so that existing theories continue to work,

>The irony in all this is that the validity of postmodernist
>philosphy itself can be questioned on the same grounds, i.e.,
>hung from its own petards. I'd like to think in the last few
>thousand years that even with our own obvious mental limitations
>and human deficiencies of character we have actually learned a
>few truths, such as the Earth isn't flat and resting on the back
>of a giant turtle. Isn't our present views of cosmology and
>physics a bit more valid than that? The very fact that humans
>have not gone extinct instead of becoming food for saber-tooth
>tigers is some sort of testament to the accuracy of our
>perceptual apparatus.

>Ray doesn't strike me as a bad guy and often posts interesting
>ideas, but he really needs to come off it a bit and not take his
>own philosophical underpinnings too seriously. _Good_ scientists
>have a certain degree of humility, realizing the limitations of
>their own knowledge and theories and realize there may always be
>a need for modification should the evidence justify it. No need
>to accuse them of all being fools and all theories totally

The inability of scientists to recognize the limitations of
their own knowledge, etc. is what I remember from many of Ray's
contributions. I think you may be misrepresenting him a bit. Is
this a manifestation of inattentional blindness? Indirect


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