The certainty epidemic: everyone knows they’re right!

ertainty and similar states of “knowing what we know” arise out of primary brain mechanisms that, like love or anger, function independently of rationality or reason. Feeling correct or certain isn’t a deliberate conclusion or conscious choice. It is a mental sensation that happens to us. The importance of being aware that certainty has involuntary neurological roots cannot be overstated. If science can shame us into questioning the nature of conviction, we might develop some degree of tolerance and an increased willingness to consider alternative ideas — from opposing religious or scientific views to contrary opinions at the dinner table.

UPDATE (part 2 now here) — Psychiatry’s response to Robert Whitaker’s “Anatomy of an Epidemic”

Robert Whitaker speaks at the ISEPP convention in Los Angeles 2011. He's a wonderful speaker. This is well worth listening to. Instead of talking just about the data he presents in Anatomy of an Epidemic he speaks of how psychiatry is responding to his work.

No such thing as a true story

In Taoism there's a famous saying that goes, "The Tao that can be spoken is not the ultimate Tao." Another way you could say that, although I've never seen it translated this way, is, "As soon as you begin to believe in something, then you can no longer see anything else." The truth you believe... Continue Reading →

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