Re: Extropian Psychotherapy & Supersanity.

Paul Hughes (
Fri, 21 May 1999 01:27:13 -0700

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

> I'll have to disagree on several points here. First, I
> think is possible to be completely sane and irrational.

Actually I agree with you to a certain extent, and I would go further by saying I also think its possible to be completely rational and also insane. It all depends on how we are defining the terms. Despite Hanibal Lecter's fictional status, it could be argued that the he is not sane, but very capable of rational thought.

> A person who knowingly chooses a noncritical epistemology
> and metphysics--a devout Christian, for example--is not
> rational, but otherwise functions adequately according to
> eir own sub-optimal choices, can interact usefully with
> others, and is otherwise not "insane", in the sense that
> ey is competent to make eir own choices, even if they are
> bad ones.

I would argue that a person who makes better decisions than another is more sane. In the context of my previous post, I'm attempting to develop a definition of sanity that's determined as much by a persons emotional well-being, as it is on rational thought and action.

> I've always seen E-prime as a gimmick vaguely
> related to clarity of thought and expression, but it is
> so easy to come up with murky E-Prime and precise English
> that I'm not convinced it's a good thing in general.

Like any tool, E-prime has its niche. I personally find it quite useful in clarifying my perception of the relativity of subjective experience.

> Finally, I'm not yet entirely convinced that optimism is
> optimal. I do see some of Max's points as valuable, but
> most of them are just rational. I can't think of a single
> decision I have made in my life on the basis of optimism
> that wasn't just a rational choice for other reasons, and
> even if there were a connection, I wouldn't call a
> pessimist "insane", even if ey was unpleasant to be around.
> Indeed, I might seek eir advice before embarking upon some
> risky venture to see if ey had better ideas about what
> might go wrong.

I agree with you completely here. Sorry if my post led you to believe otherwise.

Paul Hughes