Amor fati

This is a response to a comment of Joseph Walsh (here).

Try to tell a child who was burned alive by her parents in Carthage that the whole universe is not a mistake. Obviously from her point of view it is a mistake. Only theists try to solve the problem of Evil by claiming that the ways of god are mysterious. But for non-theists like us it should be obvious that the universe is imperfect. Even Spahn Ranch has said that the phrase ‘In the beginning god created the heavens and the earth’ has been recognised by some as a mistake.

But metaphysical dissertations lead to nothing.

I am not just arguing that Nietzsche became insane, partly, because of his philosophy of amor fati. It is a human defence mechanism to idealise reality when reality hits you hard. I’ll try to explain it with a couple of examples.

When Saint Thérèse of Lisieux was totally unprotected and left alone in a personal tragedy, she ‘jumped into madness’ so to speak: she asserted to herself that god protected and cared for her: a compensatory fantasy for her desolate situation. Decades ago an acquaintance of mine, a great reader of Nietzsche, went to work in London and only found work as a street sweeper. The poor devil, being close to the psychological breakdown, embraced a huge pile of garbage telling himself ‘What does not destroy me makes me stronger!’ His brother literally became a schizophrenic (both had a schizogenic mother).

Nietzsche wanted to protect himself from the tragedy of his loneliness through an utterly unhealthy way: denying that tragedy existed. That led to insanity because it’s what I call an ‘idiotic defence mechanism’ (cf. the three chapters on the idiotic defence mechanisms of my father in my second book). In the course of a tragedy, this is a very crazy way of trying to give cohesion to the inner self: washing one’s own brain with claims that tragedies simply do not exist, that the world is perfect. If the personal tragedy is acute, it is a form of what psychologists call ‘negation’ of reality, like those cancer patients who deny that they’re sick (again, cf. my second book). In the words of Zweig:

Nietzsche never tried to evade the demands of the monster whose grip he felt. The harder the blows, the more resonantly did the unflawed metal of his will respond. And upon this anvil, brought to red heat by passion, the hammer descended with increased vigour, forging the slogan which was ultimately to steel his mind to every attack. ‘The greatness of man; amor fati; never desiring to change what has happened in the past; what will happen in the future and throughout eternity; not merely to bear the inevitable, still less to mask it, but to love it’.

But as life continued to hit the poor philosopher, and hit him hard, his defence mechanism (that is to say, the artificial security operation for his inner self) led him to a downward spiral that ended in the psychotic breakdown from which he never recovered, from January 1889 to 1900 when he died. His mom had to take care of him at home.

Playing mind games with artificial defence mechanisms is dangerous business, whether the player is a pious Christian (Thérèse) or an anti-Christian (Nietzsche). Loving fate is a desperate, existential cry of someone who’s suffering, and suffering a lot: a hug to the trash heap like that friend whose bro became schizo; an insane biography like that of many saints that only Catholics idealise.

32 Comments

  1. I think that the biggest mistake we human beings make is trying to give “meaning” to anything on the macro level. Not in the sense that nothing at all has no meaning, but in the sense that one forms an idea that his circumstances are “due to Providence”… or that “this is happening to me for a reason”, that kind of thing. In truth, at least from my perspective, when we try to overlay the ragged, jagged and uneven (natural) universe with our carefully-cultivated (unnatural, man-made) frames-of-reference, we will always be very disappointed by the “fit”. And even when we accept that the universe is ragged, jagged and uneven, that, too, is a perception based upon yet another frame-of-reference or imagining, another disappointment ultimately. That’s why the Siddhas and other yogis stress emptying oneself of all preconceived notions… and simply living one’s life within a state of attention, or awareness-without-judgement. The greatest gift that I ever gave to myself was my 13 years with the SYDA Foundation, to be honest. Well, that, my wife and my little Dachshund.

    • Yes but yogis also flee from reality. That’s why I sort of liked the Islamic conquest of India: an extremely brutal shock back to reality as they committed a holocaust of millions of ‘aware’ Indians, some of whom didn’t dare to ‘judge’ the conquerors.

      Fleeing from reality through ideological psychoses is an all too human frailty.

      • No, yogis don’t “flee from reality”, C.T., although I do acknowledge that, like with any other “path” or whatever, there are people who, to one degree or another, understand things on a superficial level. And not all of those Indians that were butchered by the Islamics were yogis to begin with… just like not Americans who die in car wrecks, during war, or in bank robberies are Christians. India is a huge place with many different religions and “psychological” disciplines, many of those having vastly differing sects and variations. For instance, my particular yoga was centered around Kashmir Shaivism.

        Anyway, I’m not going to belabor the point. My main input in this section was, like I said above, just to point out how we human beings filter everything through our minds, our preconceived notions about any given thing, our frames-of-reference… and how that itself removes us from the actual reality of things as they truly are.

  2. “But metaphysical dissertations lead to nothing.”

    Mind/body dualism is inherently metaphysical. It’s certainly not a scientific hypothesis. It’s just a backdoor way of preserving the Christian worldview; of positing that people aren’t really their bodies, but exist as disembodied “souls”.

    My view is the state of Nietzsche’s brain had more to do with his insanity than his philosophy. He was suffering from brain damage, not amor fati.

    • Forget interactionism. I cited Popper’s book in the other thread because of his quoting a philosopher that there are two universes, the objective and the subjective. This is easily recognised when thinking about our own deaths (I don’t believe in post-mortem survival either).

      One of the most exasperating things I’ve encountered among white nationalists is their gross ignorance about some pseudosciences taught at universities. They are very good at pointing out that gender studies are bunk, or that history departments promote the religion of Holocaustianity. But in other areas they are amazingly ignorant.

      One such area is psychiatry, or more precisely, biological psychiatry. I have a whole WordPress blog—:

      https://biopsiquiatria.wordpress.com

      —that demonstrates that it is a classical pseudoscience. Most of it is in Spanish but a single chapter has been translated for Day of Wrath.

      There is zero evidence that Nietzsche’s psychosis had a biological cause. Actually there’s zero evidence that schizophrenia, bi-polar ‘illness’ or depression are somatogenic (see my above-linked essay).

      I have read the most scholarly biographies about Nietzsche and even translated a few paragraphs of them for this site (see the categories Werner Ross and Curt Paul Janz on the sidebar). In these books there’s plenty of evidence that the cause of Nietzsche’s breakdown was psychogenic.

      • It seems to me you are predicating your entire argument upon dualism. I agree that biological psychiatry is mostly bunk, but that doesn’t mean that damage to the brain won’t cause behavioral symptoms. It is crystal clear that mental function is dependent in an intimate and fine-grained way on brain function. Doctors on the scene diagnosed him with tertiary syphilis, which is known to cause brain damage manifesting as hallucinations, personality changes, dementia, and so on. Whether syphilitic infection could account for all his symptoms is open to debate, but an a priori assumption that the condition of his brain played no role in his breakdown is unwarranted.

      • It seems to me you are predicating your entire argument upon dualism.

        Not in the sense that I believe in a ‘soul’ as independent from the brain (what an interactionist like John Eccles, Nobel prize in brain neurology, believed). Unlike me, dualists like Eccles believe in post-mortem survival.

        I agree that biological psychiatry is mostly bunk, but that doesn’t mean that damage to the brain won’t cause behavioral symptoms.

        A hundred percent of biopsych is bunk. Don’t confuse biopsych with the legit field of neurology (of course there are brain diseases!). Have you read my translated article linked above, ‘Why Psychiatry is a False Science’?

        As to the rest of your comment see Jake’s link below. The syphilis claim was a slander of someone who really hated Nietzsche’s philosophy (as the slanders of the Jews about Hitler). I knew about the slander decades ago, after reading Janz and Ross.

        Magazines are full of shit. Janz and Ross were very serious biographers of Nietzsche (the German Wikipedia has articles on them: here and here).

      • The newspaper article is simply inaccurate. Dr. Sax doesn’t say that the syphilis diagnosis was an anti-Nazi smear made up long after his death, but repeatedly states it was a diagnosis of Nietzsche’s own doctors, writing for example:

        “It was an open secret that the doctors in Basel and Jena had diagnosed Nietzsche as having paretic syphilis.”

        You can read Sax’s paper here:

        http://www.leonardsax.com/Nietzsche.pdf

      • Doctors love to pathologize the genius, especially Jewish shrinks love to pathologize Aryan males. All sort of theories have been postulated about the breakdown of poor Nietzsche: syphilis, bi-polar ‘illness’ with periodic psychosis followed by vascular dementia (Cybulska). Yes, Sax has suggested the slow growth of a right-sided retro-orbital meningioma as an explanation of Nietzsche’s dementia. Poisoning by mercury has also been suggested, but Orth and Trimble postulated fronto-temporal dementia while other researchers have proposed a hereditary stroke disorder called Cadasil. The original diagnosis was progressive paralysis which is now an obsolete category in the medical profession (see for example: here).

        I consider all of it bunk because there was no medical tests left for future researchers for the simple reason that no neurology test was performed on the poor philosopher in 1889. All of the above is speculation.

        If you read my paper linked above about psychiatry you will find two criterions to distinguish good from bogus science. One is unfalsifiability and the other Occam’s razor. All of the above hypotheses are unfalsifiable for the simple reason that Nietzsche’s brain is no longer available to run a battery of tests. But the crux here is Occam’s parsimony principle: a biomedical entity should not be invoked if the psychological explanation makes perfect sense.

        Any honest researcher of Nietzsche’s life who actually reads the two professional biographies I mentioned above (plus Zweig’s lyric essay I may add, also linked above), cannot escape the conclusion that Nietzsche suffered horrible existential problems that he could not resolve.

        In the other thread I spoke about my two books, and also said that there are theses that cannot be explained in a few paragraphs. In Nietzsche’s life you really need to become acquainted with the man, the hundreds of anecdotes about the sufferings of this man, the Ecce homo so to speak—behold the scourged man!—before dispatching the psychogenic hypothesis of his crucifixion (in search of biological mirages).

        Curt Paul Janz’s biography of Nietzsche is no less than four volumes.

        If I remember correctly, the Ross biography (that’s at the other side of the garden where I am presently writing) is about 800-page length. Long ago I read it all and made copious notes of it.

        I am not asking you guys to read those thick volumes (I also read a Miller study form the psychogenic POV that reinforced my belief that the basic aetiology of his 1889 breakdown was the hell he was suffering). I made it easy for you with my excerpts of Zweig.

        Some visitors of this site read those excerpts a few years ago. I’d recommend any researcher of Nietzsche’s biography to start from this point as the other biographical studies are too lengthy, professional and academic—and too boring for the casual reader.

      • “But the crux here is Occam’s parsimony principle: a biomedical entity should not be invoked if the psychological explanation makes perfect sense.”

        That’s a bit hasty. Just because someone has had a rough life doesn’t mean he can’t get syphilis, or have some other biological factor going on that might pertain to personality changes or bizarre behavior. I’m including such maladies within biological psychiatry, hence my qualifier “mostly”. But as, in my monistic view, the mind is nothing apart from the body, I can easily see the superficial validity of such a thing as “mental illness”. Niggers, for example, are statistically more prone to schizophrenia and psychopathy than whites, probably for genetic reasons, and I can see why certain people might want to label that an illness, even if the exact genetic mechanism hasn’t been proven yet. Likewise with other behavior patterns such as depression or alcoholism, which seem to run in families. For me, the problem with psychiatry in general, not just the bio- variant, comes because there is no definition of “mental health” that isn’t normative and arbitrary, nor is there usually any vector of disease, so “illness” seems to me to be the wrong word — deceptive advertising, if you will. Because of that I agree it’s a pseudoscience.

      • Just because someone has had a rough life doesn’t mean he can’t get syphilis…

        We are talking about Nietzsche’s life. The claim he got syphilis from prostitutes is probably slander: no scientific proof.

        or have some other biological factor going on that might pertain to personality changes or bizarre behavior. I’m including such maladies within biological psychiatry…

        You are again confusing the legit science of neurology with biological psychiatry. The lead paragraph of the Wikipedia article on biopsych contains this sentence: ‘While there is some overlap between biological psychiatry and neurology, the latter generally focuses on disorders where gross or visible pathology of the nervous system is apparent, such as epilepsy, cerebral palsy, encephalitis, neuritis, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis’ (my bold emphasis).

        Psychiatry—biopsych—deals with mental disorders (or sometimes purely invented diseases like the one used to drug healthy children with Ritalin!) that have no biological markers whatsoever. (I guess that you still have not read my translated chapter in Day of Wrath.)

        Niggers, for example, are statistically more prone to schizophrenia and psychopathy than whites, probably for genetic reasons,

        ‘Probably for genetic reasons’ is Big Pharma’s propaganda, as there’s zero evidence that the schizo conditions are biomedical (again, cf. my translated chapter).

        even if the exact genetic mechanism hasn’t been proven yet.

        You definitively have not read it! Let’s link it again: ‘Why psychiatry is a false science’. (Psychiatrists’ claim that their bio-reductionist hypothesis will be proven in the future is exactly what gives the lie that their central hypothesis is scientific.)

        Likewise with other behavior patterns such as depression or alcoholism, which seem to run in families.

        ‘If it runs in families, it must be genetic’ is the fallacy ignoratio elenchi, or fallacy of the irrelevant conclusion. Scientifically, a pattern of family transmission is neutral with respect to genetic versus environmental aetiology.

      • “We are talking about Nietzsche’s life.”

        I think you have to admit that it’s possible for anyone to get syphilis. Even Nietzsche.

        “The claim he got syphilis from prostitutes is probably slander: no scientific proof.”

        Again, that was the diagnosis of Nietzsche’s own doctors who examined him. Why would they want to slander their patient?

        “You are again confusing the legit science of neurology with biological psychiatry. ”

        Here are some biological psychiatrists who wrote an article on neurosyphilis. Evidently they think its within their domain. Are confused too?

        https://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(96)00060-1/fulltext

        “Scientifically, a pattern of family transmission is neutral with respect to genetic versus environmental aetiology.”

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3919201/

        Studies showing that MD (major depression) aggregates within families date back to the early decades of the 20th century (reviewed in Tsuang and Faraone, 1990). Meta-analysis of the highest-quality family studies produced an estimated odds ratio for increased risk for MD in first-degree relatives of MD probands of 2.84 (Sullivan et al., 2000). Surprisingly, no high-quality adoption study of MD has been performed, so our evidence of the role of genetic factors in its etiology comes solely from twin studies. While the first of these also date to early in the 20th century, only six high-quality studies were identified in the Review completed in 2000 (Sullivan et al., 2000). Meta-analysis estimated heritability for MD to be 37% (95% confidence intervals 31–42). There was no evidence from these studies that shared environmental factors contributed meaningfully to the familial aggregation for MD. One particularly large-sample twin study of MD estimated the heritability of MD at 38% (Kendler et al., 2006).

        Epidemiological studies of MD have consistently shown a higher prevalence rate for women (Weissman et al., 1993, 1996). Therefore, twin researchers have been interested in asking whether the heritability of MD differs across sexes and, more interestingly, whether the same genetic factors impact on risk for MD in men and women. The two major studies that have addressed this question found reassuringly similar answers (Kendler et al., 2001, 2006). In both studies, MD was appreciably more heritable in women than in men (40% versus 30% and 42 versus 29%, respectively) and clear evidence was found for sex-specific genetic effects with genetic correlations estimated at +0.55 and +0.63. A substantial proportion of genetic risk factors for MD appeared to be shared in men and women. However, these results also predict that when the individual genetic variants that impact on risk for MD are definitively characterized, an appreciable proportion of them will be relatively sex specific in their effect.

        “Psychiatrists’ claim that their bio-reductionist hypothesis will be proven in the future is exactly what gives the lie that their central hypothesis is scientific.”

        One man’s science is another man’s pseudoscience. The science of race, for example, is frequently called a pseudoscience by its detractors. According to your statement here, if, before he did any studies, Art Jensen had predicted that niggers would have, on average, lower IQ’s than whites, he would have been practicing pseudoscience. Further, if bio-reductionism is wrong, how do you account for race differences in intelligence? If intelligence is heritable, and it is, then why not depression? We don’t yet fully understand the genetics of either one. A prediction that we’ll one day understand the genetics of depression is no more a pseudoscientific statement than that we’ll one day understand the genetics of intelligence.

      • I’ve responded at the bottom of the thread (here).

  3. Cesar, please delete my other comment. The post autofilled my whole name.

    • No problem. Sometimes I hate computers or rather, computer-induced inefficiency ☺

      Belief in a wholly benevolent (and personal) God or gods creates the “problem of evil” in the first place. Aryan polytheism (and monism), modern dystheism, and non-Abrahmic religion in general rarely suffer from this false conundrum. Semitic psychology has really done a number on us.

      Likewise, by what measure(s) should the universe be judged (im)perfect? The jews certainly believe that this world is broken – in need of mending by their hand. Maybe we need that colossal arrogance or hunger for ourselves?

      Recent evidence points to Nietzsche succumbing to brain cancer. Depending upon the observer, that is either all the more tragic, underwhelming, or the ultimate triumph over his most callous detractors. I personally subscribe to the third option.

      > “Recent evidence points to Nietzsche succumbing to brain cancer”.

      Gross pseudoscience of course: you cannot examine a brain of someone who died in 1900! (see what I said above).

      • Well Cesar, the same source alleging a brain tumor also refuted the smear of syphilitc madness. I’ll leave it here for you to confirm or debunk: LINK

      • The article you linked reminds me one of my cousins—very blond and blue-eyed, presently a M.D. but as children we shared the same class in Grammar School.

        He had a crisis in adult life and was involuntarily committed to the Fruit Cake Hospital. After that horrible experience he liked my criticism of psychiatry and changed his doctor habits: from an absolutely orthodox doc to a naturist.

        Presently he treats autistic children with natural medicine, etc. Basically, after his experience he changed his views from pseudoscientific psychiatry to pseudoscientific alternative medicine.

        This was a phony paradigm shift. Apparently many people have great difficulties to face the fact that some parents drive their children, literally, mad (the 2018 ed. of Day of Wrath where I explain this thesis is still dedicated to you).

        When I showed him the very first book of my Hojas Susurrantes he did not say a word. He’s one of those persons who freaks out before the trauma model of mental disorders. He’s afraid to confront his past life, especially the way he was treated at home. (By the way, I started the wiki article on the trauma model long ago, though other editors have edited it since then.)

  4. 1. Maybe, a distinction should be made – loving your fate is indeed as irrational and pathetic as forgiving your wrongdoers, but accepting the fate is essential. “Loving your fate” is schizophrenically making up a different universe that you can love (a universe where you love pain and try not to fight it?). But you have to accept reality before you can change it.

    [Successful] chess players are not bickering about the rules of chess, they go and try to win. If they turn to the past, it’s only to draw lessons.

    2. @JimB “this is happening to me for a reason”

    It is only bad if you do nothing while waiting for the fate to make her move. But it can be a source of great hope if you need a perspective that anything can happen, and that the world’s immense randomness can never be calculated.

    Now that I think of it, the belief in Providence is the only way you can justify NS’s fighting in 1945 – honour and glory are schizophrenic concepts if your country is destroyed, and if the very memory of you is lost, but struggling til the end always has higher chance of victory than surrendering.

    3. Determinism does not take away our will to fight – we simply cannot know the whole of reality, so free will effectively exists.

    4. @César How can you argue against the post-mortem survival if the only knowable thing is that something (Yahweh? I?) is thinking? How does my death change that fact? The objective world does die for an individual, and the subjective world effectively lasts forever.

    Of course, it’s a degenerate view on existence, and nothing good (or nothing at all, if being honest) can come out of it, but it’s true.

    5. “The Jews certainly believe that this world is broken – in need of mending by their hand. Maybe we need that colossal arrogance or hunger for ourselves?”

    Funnily enough, the stated conclusion of Judaism is not evil, according to this blog’s morality. Isaiah 11:7.

    “The cow will graze with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.”

    • No Adunai: I have written precisely against that Isaiah verse in my private blog Hojas Eliminadas (in the context of my critique of William Walter’s cult ‘Eschatology’).

      But you absolutely hit the nail in #1, which is precisely what I believe.

  5. I think you have to admit that it’s possible for anyone to get syphilis. Even Nietzsche…

    That is not the point. The point is that it is unproven that he got syphilis.

    Again, that was the diagnosis of Nietzsche’s own doctors who examined him. Why would they want to slander their patient?

    Reliable source for this claim? This is from Jake’s link in this very thread: ‘The doctor who has carried out the study claims that the universally-accepted story of Nietzsche having caught syphilis from prostitutes was actually concocted after the Second World War by Wilhelm Lange-Eichbaum, an academic who was one of Nietzsche’s most vociferous critics. It was then adopted as fact by intellectuals who were keen to demolish the reputation of Nietzsche, whose idea of a “Superman” was used to underpin Nazism’.

    Here are some biological psychiatrists who wrote an article on neurosyphilis. Evidently they think its within their domain. Are [they] confused too?

    Of course psychiatrists can write about neurosyphilis. Every shrink has a MD degree and can publish in neurology journals.

    The long quotations you copied and pasted don’t refute what I wrote above, that a pattern of family transmission is neutral with respect to genetic versus environmental aetiology. In fact, with these words I’m only paraphrasing what psychiatrist Colin Ross wrote in his book Pseudoscience in Biological Psychiatry (Incidentally, not as a patient, but as a researcher, I talked with Ross personally at Dallas twenty years ago, at his Ross Institute of Psychological Trauma.)

    One man’s science is another man’s pseudoscience.

    Nope. I subscribed The Skeptical Inquirer for many years and attended a couple of its conferences. There exist several litmus tests to distinguish between bogus and genuine science. A couple of the main tests are unfalsifiability and Occam’s razor. The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry has developed these criterions since 1976 and although they have used them to debunk paranormal pseudosciences, one of them, the late Robert Baker (that I met in 1994), used these sceptical criterions to debunk psychiatry in his book Mind Games, that I read.

    The science of race, for example, is frequently called a pseudoscience by its detractors. According to your statement here, if, before he did any studies, Art Jensen had predicted that niggers would have, on average, lower IQ’s than whites, he would have been practicing pseudoscience.

    What do you mean? IQ studies are one of the most reliable, if not the most reliable scientific field in psychology. It has nothing to do with pseudosciences.

    Further, if bio-reductionism is wrong, how do you account for race differences in intelligence?

    I forgot to add that bio-reductionism is likely wrong in the field of mental disorders. Or rather, that there are no biological markers for any of the major psychiatric disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the ‘bible’ of the pseudoscientists that common people call ‘shrinks’.

    If intelligence is heritable, and it is, then why not depression?

    Occam’s razor. Despite the familiarity with depression as a natural response to problems of the living (read Zweig’s lyric essay on Nietzsche for example), the public has been bombarded since the 1950s with medical explanations for depression. The media has been filled with claims for the discovery of a gene of it.

    Blaming the Brain by neurologist Elliot Valenstein, that I read in 2003, explains how Big Pharma promoted drugs and chemical theories (e.g., lack of the neurotransmitter serotonin as causative of depression) only to do business; when there’s no biomarker for the condition. Of course: the public is unaware that, as psychiatrist Peter Breggin says, the American Psychiatric Association has become de facto a business partner of Big Pharma (Breggin has talked to the Congress about the problems of psychiatry).

    We don’t yet fully understand the genetics of either one. A prediction that we’ll one day understand the genetics of depression is no more a pseudoscientific statement than that we’ll one day understand the genetics of intelligence.

    This latest statement means that you still have not read my paper ‘Why Psychiatry is a False Science’ as it is precisely these sort of pronouncements that are debunked in my paper. I would recommend reading it.

  6. “Reliable source for this claim?”

    Already gave it above. It’s Sax’s paper about Nietzsche and syphilis that your newspaper article purports to summarize. But the article is simply wrong, and that science writer ought to have been fired for incompetence. Sax doesn’t say the claim about syphilis was invented after WWII to slander Nietzsche. He says more than once that Nietzsche’s own physicians originally diagnosed him with syphilis in 1889.

    It was an open secret that the doctors in Basel and Jena had diagnosed Nietzsche as having paretic syphilis. […]

    Having no medical training herself, [Elisabeth] had neither the ability nor the credentials to challenge the diagnosis of syphilis. […]

    Möbius quickly decided that the Basel and Jena psychiatrists had been correct in diagnosing Nietzsche with paretic syphilis …

    Again:

    http://www.leonardsax.com/Nietzsche.pdf

    ” … Wilhelm Lange-Eichbaum …”

    Sax says WL-E popularized the diagnosis of syphilis for Nietzsche, but he didn’t invent it.

    “The long quotations you copied and pasted don’t refute what I wrote above, that a pattern of family transmission is neutral with respect to genetic versus environmental aetiology.”

    The authors seem to think it does. They seem to think they’re discussing meaningful genetic markers for major depression.

    “What do you mean?”

    You said that “Psychiatrists’ claim that their bio-reductionist hypothesis will be proven in the future is exactly what gives the lie that their central hypothesis is scientific.” You’re making a claim that saying something will be borne out in future research makes something a pseudoscience. So I asked you about Jensen predicting the future result of his IQ studies. If he’d done so, would that have made him a pseudoscientist?

    “… it is precisely these sort of pronouncements that are debunked in my paper. ”

    Do you actually think there are no genes for intelligence?

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2163484-found-more-than-500-genes-that-are-linked-to-intelligence/

    • Are you reading your own sources? This is Leonard Sax’s conclusion at the end of the medical paper you linked:

      Conclusion

      When examined closely, every aspect of the syphilis hypothesis fails. In my view, there is no convincing evidence that Nietzsche ever had any form of syphilis. The time course of Nietzsche’s illness is incompatible with even the most extraordinary presentation of syphilis. The details of Nietzsche’s clinical presentation are inconsistent with syphilis. Other diagnoses are more plausible.

      By the way, have you read a biography of Nietzsche? Although I am not a fan of psychiatric labels, from a purely phenomenological POV Nietzsche’s megalomania in the last months of 1888, which culminated in the breakdown of January 1889, is identical to what shrinks call florid psychosis. If someone with exactly the delusions of grandeur that Nietzsche had that January was diagnosed today, he would be labelled as schizophrenic.

      The authors seem to think it does. They seem to think they’re discussing meaningful genetic markers for major depression.

      Yes: psychiatry is plagued with such sort of claims. But the devil is in the details. People who look closely at the ‘evidence’ find holes in this line of research. I used to correspond with Dr Jay Joseph. This is a chapter-by-chapter summary of The Missing Gene: Psychiatry, Heredity, and the Fruitless Search for Genes. Keep in mind that Joseph is only debunking biopsych. In other areas, genetic studies are truly scientific.

      You’re making a claim that saying something will be borne out in future research makes something a pseudoscience.

      Regarding this and your last sentences, I’ll rather make a pause to give you the time to read my paper. I’m not sure if you’ve actually grasped the thrust of my ‘unfalsifiability’ argument: something that never happened in IQ studies.

      • re Sax:

        We were discussing where the original diagnosis of syphilis came from, not Sax’s conclusion that it was invalid; and also whether we should automatically rule out organic causes for a mental “breakdown” in anyone who’s had a rough emotional life. To do so still seems hasty to me.

        re Joseph:

        All of these same objections have been made to IQ studies. Even if granted, such arguments aiming to discredit genetic links don’t prove that genetic links will never be found, only that they haven’t been so far.

        If you want to argue that nigger IQ is genetically linked but it’s impossible that their higher rates of schizophrenia and psychopathy have genetic causes, I think that’s a tough argument to make. Both intelligence and psychosis are complex human behaviors, and all behavior of any animal, according to current biological understanding, must result from an interaction of genes and environment. However, you retrenched with your above statement “I forgot to add that bio-reductionism is likely wrong in the field of mental disorders.” That’s quite a different matter. But in that case, biopsych isn’t a pseudoscience, at least on that basis, since it’s possible that links will be found, even if we say that they haven’t been so far.

        re unfalsifiability:

        In your paper you wrote “… the hypothesis that schizophrenia and the other major mental disorders are biological and that this “will likely be proven,” the words of the American Psychiatric Association, cannot be refuted …”. In theory, it could. All you have to do is find a set of identical twins, both raised in exactly the same environment, with identical life histories, where one becomes schizophrenic and one doesn’t. That would prove schizophrenia doesn’t have a biological cause. Unfortunately, that’s probably impossible.

      • re Sax: We were discussing where the original diagnosis of syphilis came from, not Sax’s conclusion that it was invalid; and also whether we should automatically rule out organic causes for a mental “breakdown” in anyone who’s had a rough emotional life. To do so still seems hasty to me.

        It’s the other way around. The ones violating Occam’s razor are the bio shrinks. If you already read my paper you’d have noted that the very editor of the most financed journal in psychiatry conceded in a book that (unlike neurology) her profession lacks biomarkers. Invoking a biomedical entity when a victim is telling you he has suffered hellish conditions at home violates the economy principle.

        Nietzsche’s original diagnosis was not syphilis but a diagnosis no longer in use in the medical profession, a diagnosis that in the 19th century not necessarily meant syphilis: progressive paralysis.

        Most people have ‘rough emotional lives’ but we are talking here about mental crucifixions.

        Of all scholars about Nietzsche’s life, no one was more erudite that Curt Paul Janz, the author of the four volumes on Nietzsche’s biography. In the very last lines of the third volume (and this was before Nietzsche’s breakdown, the subject of the fourth book), Janz wrote: ‘…it means the path from a solitude so badly endured to belonging to the community of martyrs of the spirit that is much greater than what we normally are willing to admit’. End of volume 3. For a literary description of Nietzsche’s solitude see: here.

        re Joseph… That’s quite a different matter. But in that case, biopsych isn’t a pseudoscience, at least on that basis, since it’s possible that links will be found, even if we say that they haven’t been so far.

        You frame the above with IQ studies. It is the first time in my life that I see someone comparing IQ studies with biopsych.

        You have to educate yourself in the incredible history of psychiatry since 1656, when King Louis XIV inaugurated the General Hospital of Paris to incarcerate sane people, all the way to the ‘biologization’ of this process in 19th century psychiatry, to the manufacture of psychiatric drugs in the 1950s. I cannot explain three centuries of history of psychiatry in a mere comment. But the YouTube videos of humane commentator Robert Whitaker are very didactic for the newbie on this subject (he won the Pulitzer in medical subjects).

        Biopsych is pseudo not only for my unfalsifiability & parsimonious principle critique, but for other criterions as explained by psychiatrist Colin Ross in a book published by Wiley & Sons: Pseudoscience in Biological Psychiatry, that I read. The gulf between IQ studies and biopsych is enormous if you also take into account these other criterions.

        re unfalsifiability: In theory, it could. All you have to do is find a set of identical twins, both raised in exactly the same environment, with identical life histories, where one becomes schizophrenic and one doesn’t.

        Problem is that (I guess) you have not talked to psychiatrists who do research (I have). In no way they try to submit their hypotheses under the falsifiability protocol. They do exactly the opposite always ignoring the counter-hypothesis: the trauma model. Why they do this? Because psychiatry is big business.

        Examples of avoiding the counter (psychogenic) hypothesis:

        In 1884 Johann Thudichum, the founder of modern neurochemistry, believed that the cause of madness were ‘some poisons that were fermented in the body’. Some time later the allegation of Thudichum was ruled out by his colleagues. Subsequently, throughout the 20th century the most diverse and mutually exclusive assertions were proposed as the supposed discovery that caused schizophrenia: from every vitamin, hormone and enzyme imaginable in the decades before the 1950s, to exotic substances and neurotransmitters such as serotonin, taraxein, ceruloplasmin, adrenaline-adrenocrome and later endorphin. The neurotransmitter that is currently in fashion as ‘the scientific discovery’ that causes schizophrenia is dopamine but even some psychiatrists have disputed it.

        As I said, the trick in more than a century of ‘research’ is to ignore the most parsimonious hypothesis, the community of martyrs of the spirit that is much greater than what we are normally willing to admit, as Janz put it above. Psychiatry is a field of only-one hypothesis: the biological, just as UFO buffs work in a field of only-one hypothesis: the extraterrestrial to explain UFOs, never, ever (God forbid!) more prosaic explanations.

        My paper is just a paper. The best book in English to illustrate all of this is John Modrow’s How to Become a Schizophrenic: The Case Against Biological Psychiatry. I used to correspond with Modrow and still have his letters, written in pencil by the way. He passed through a brief schizophrenic experience and then researched psychiatry for the next half a century.

        Highly recommended book, together with Robert Whitaker’s videos mentioned above.

  7. “Invoking a biomedical entity when a victim is telling you he has suffered hellish conditions at home violates the economy principle.”

    Fine, but if you miss a case of neurosyphilis and treat your patient as if there’s no organic cause instead of administering the recommended treatment, penicillin, then you’re going to kill people and pay a lot of hefty malpractice settlements.

    “You frame the above with IQ studies. It is the first time in my life that I see someone comparing IQ studies with biopsych.”

    Intelligence tends to run in families too, and IQ studies rely intensively on twin studies, so the same objections Joseph makes to them would apply to both areas of research.

    • Fine, but if you miss a case of neurosyphilis…

      Which according to Dr Sax was not the case of Nietzsche (again, his symptoms, as described by Overbeck in January of 1889, suggest a case of florid psychosis rather than a somatic disease).

      Intelligence tends to run in families too, and IQ studies rely intensively on twin studies, so the same objections Joseph makes to them would apply to both areas of research.

      We live in a totally inverted world. While common sense tells us that intelligence is hereditary, the System tries to convince us that it is a hundred percent environmental. On the other hand, while common sense tells us that mental stress is environmental, the System tries to convince us that it is a hundred percent hereditary. Sometimes I see the current worldview of the West as a photographic negative where every grade of gray, black and white is exactly inverted.

      Take for example the biopsych claim that ‘alcoholism is a disease’. This doctrine has been adopted with ‘photographic negativity’ passion despite the fact that it has no scientific foundation. The search of the gene of alcoholism is based on faulty logic. Although it is a leading example of marketing in biopsych, there cannot be a gene for alcoholism because there would be no way for such a gene to evolve prior to the invention of alcohol.

      When I was active debunking biopsych I contacted several researchers and exchanged some correspondence with them (in the case of Ross I visited him in Dallas). Only one them contacted me by email, John Read, the editor of Models of Madness. He wanted that I promoted his recently translated book for a Spanish-speaking audience. In the below video Read explains the trauma model but alas, the presentation is marred by an idiotic quotation at the end of some PC dude.

      The gulf between IQ studies and biopsych in this inverted West can only be grasped through the history of psychiatry. I am tempted to do some translation from my page in Spanish where I expose the history of this pseudoscience, and post the translation here.

      • Rather than a gene “for” types of mental “disorders”, in the way that there is a gene “for” blue eyes, these people have come up with a different way of looking at such problems as alcoholism, schizophrenia, etc.

        https://www.nature.com/articles/tp201429#f5

        According to this conception, there are gene complexes that predispose people to various forms of “disorders”, but only in the presence of certain environmental stressors. This makes a lot more sense to me, and would explain the failure to find such genes up to this point.

      • Wait for the fifth installment of my new series ‘From the Great Confinement of Louis XIV of France to a Chemical Gulag’ for a reply to such psychiatric claims, which still are bio-reductionistic. For the moment I can only remind you a paragraph in my paper:

        As Thomas Szasz has observed, in real medical science physicians observe the pathological alterations in the organs, tissue, and cells as well as the microbial invasions, and the naming of the disease comes only after that. Psychiatry inverts the sequence. First it baptizes a purported illness, be it schizophrenia or any other, but the existence of a biological marker is never discovered, though it is dogmatically postulated.[12] A postulate is a proposition that is accepted without proof. Only by postulating that these disorders are basically genetic and that the environment merely plays a “triggering” role can psychiatrists justify to treat them by physical means. On the other hand, if neuroses and psychoses are caused by poor parenting and extreme parental abuse respectively, to treat them with drugs, electroshock or lobotomy only “re-victimizes” the victim.[13]

        Emphasis added. Regarding “…can psychiatrists justify to treat them by physical means”, keep in mind that psychiatry is the only medical profession that can ‘treat’ its ‘patients’ involuntarily.

      • As I mentioned previously, under the current biological paradigm, all behavior results from the interaction of genes and environment. If you don’t think so, all you have to do is find a single instance in which something changes while both are held constant, as in the example I gave before of identical twins, one schizophrenic and one not, who have identical environments. I don’t think you can, though I could be wrong (i.e., it’s possible the paradigm itself might be wrong). I don’t read Szasz as denying the paradigm, but rather as one who sees that human beings exhibit a range of behavior, and that what we call “madness” is essentially a normal response to an abnormal situation. E.g., if someone throws acid in your face, you will be badly scarred. This is normal, not a disease process. The physical scarring isn’t an “illness”, nor is the emotional scarring that may occur in reaction to events a mental “illness”. However, susceptibility to scarring is in both cases genetically conditioned. Some will scar worse than others in response to the same insult, either physical or mental. I think that’s the gist of the above-linked paper.

      • Neither Szasz nor I are denying that genes + environment formula, only the misapplication of it by psychiatrists. He wrote more than twenty books debunking it, even biological psychiatry, in Pharmacracy: Medicine and Politics in America (2001).

      • C.T. and Spahn: you girls need to get a room! (LOL)


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