Re: PSYCHOLOGY: Healing Pathological Belief System Addiction

Eric Watt Forste (
Fri, 17 Jan 1997 15:13:40 -0800

Lee Daniel Crocker writes:
>I used "dangerous" to mean "destructive of reason, and counter to the
>goal of human progress". Perhaps "destructive" would have been a
>better word.

This doesn't get you out of your contradiction. Certainly if words can
be destructive of reason and counter to the goal of human progress, then
words can hurt people.

>Please don't misinterpret me--I'm not say such reactions are bad,
>or that they should be supressed. I've reacted negatively to certain
>ideas myself (I remember the words "I'm moving in with Kevin" with
>particular attachment). I merely suggest that we give credit where
>it is due. My emotions are mine, dammit. You don't cause them, and
>I don't cause yours.

I think I'm being careful to reply only to what you have actually
said, and not to my interpretation of it. Your last sentence above
seems like a drastic oversimplification to me. Psychological
causality is still very poorly understood, and I wouldn't be
comfortable making such definite emphatic statements about it
(unless I were trying to stir up controversy). It might be helpful
here to distinguish between causation and responsibility. I can
cause you to have certain emotions without relieving you of the
primary responsibility for those emotions, and vice versa. If A
goads B into a screaming fit of rage, we can hold B responsible
for the screaming fit while still having reason to reproach A for
A's verbal goading.

I think I get the gist of what you are trying to say. The only reason
I'm objecting is because I think you are overstating your case.

Eric Watt Forste ++ ++