Monday, February 23, 2009

It isn't my fault if this post is false

This article is a review of a new book on addiction. The book sounds quite interesting. Not having read it, I can only comment on the book author's perspective from the second-hand view of the author of the book review. Still, just a couple comments about the book author's perspective. He claims that most families of addicts:
"erroneously believe that willpower is their loved one’s main problem” and that this belief indicates “cultural confusion and apathy..."
So, to believe that an addict's problems are, at least in part, the result of a lack of willpower is erroneous and indicative of confusion. For it to be true that this belief is erroneous, that would require objective evidence that the problems are not a function of will power. But the issue of will power is simply the issue of free will. And the question of free will in nowhere near answered. To believe that people have free will and to consequently believe, then, that peoples' behaviors are, at least in part, the result of free will is neither accurate nor erroneous.

I understand that many in the therapeutic, psychiatric, political, etc. communities want us to believe that addiction is a medical condition like cancer, such that once we acquire it we can only be cured by paying someone with extensive skills to fix us. But it is not "true" to say that, nor is erroneous to say otherwise. It is an unanswered, and potentially unanswerable, question.

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