[ExI] A Small Request

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Tue Feb 12 10:56:13 UTC 2008

On 12/02/2008, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:

> > You see, if you sign such a contract you are effectively allowing that
> > *right now* you might be delusional.
> Is this the sort of thing people complain about as "logic-chopping"?  :-)
> Well, here is a counter-chop:  If we replace the individual volition of
> me deciding what should happen to me, with a government inflicted
> "one-size-fits-all" arrangement, then we are presuming that right now
> the government *isn't* delusional.  But I think that it is!

No, I think you are missing the point. It has nothing to do
specifically with the government, or professionals, or family. You
contract with entity X that if you become mentally ill, a risk to
yourself and insightless, X will treat you against your will. X will
decide if you are mentally ill and require involuntary treatment; or
perhaps X with a second opinion from Y plus a trusted family member Z,
or whatever you choose to put in the contract. Now, if you do become
mentally ill it will seem to you that you have come to your conclusion
or formulated your plan for sound and logical reasons. The only hint
that there is something wrong will be that X, Y and Z will come to you
and explain that they think you're crazy. So if, say, after very
careful consideration you decide to sell your home and move to another
state, X, Y and Z may come to you and tell you that you're crazy and
force you to have psychiatric treatment, for as long as the allegedly
psychotic thinking lasts and perhaps indefinitely thereafter to
prevent it returning. And you can't put a clause in the contract
allowing you to revoke it in case you decide that X, Y and Z are
obviously misinterpreting perfectly reasonable behaviour as psychotic,
since that would make the whole thing worthless.

You are thus in the position where either you have to accept that
someone else is better able to judge than you if you are being
rational, or (in a perfect libertarian society) accept the risk that
you may become mentally ill and be left untreated.

The lifetime incidence of illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar
disorder is around 1 - 2%, but as Rafal pointed out, if you include
organic disorders such as Alzheimer's the incidence approaches 50% and
continues to rise once you are into your 80's.

Stathis Papaioannou

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