[ExI] addiction

Will Steinberg steinberg.will at gmail.com
Wed Apr 6 17:10:42 UTC 2022

I heartily disagree with this.  Would you say someone with aphasia won't,
not can't, speak?  You act as if voluntary action is a given.  Voluntary
action requires a neurological event to take place.  If the event cannot
take place because the brain is broken, the motion CAN'T happen.  Human
will is not magic, it's a neurological action and it can be broken or slow
or wonky just like any neurological action.

On Wed, Apr 6, 2022, 11:35 AM William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Addiction is not the same as having an irresistible impulse, a term
> created by defense lawyers).  Such an impulse doesn't not exist, in my
> opinion.  Yes, you can't stop things like vomiting.  Truly that is
> involuntary.
> But can't stop lifting your arm to your mouth to eat or smoke?  Nope.  Not
> involuntary.  Not close.
> So addicts are acting through voluntary behaviors.  They can stop them any
> time they want to, as I did for smoking and drinking alcohol, but of course
> they don't want to.  (Let's not even bother with 'gumption' and
> 'willpower').
> I agree that withdrawal can be nasty.  I had that once for Tramadol when
> the doctor screwed up (more likely his nurse).  It was bad but not
> terrible.  Ditto for smoking.  I had no withdrawal from alcohol.
> So my point is that attaching the word 'addict' to a person seems to make
> us think that he is quite different from us, and he simply isn't.  He can
> quit at any time.
> And calling a person a shopping addict or sex addict is simply absurd.
> The psychotics I have known were in full control of their behavior, but
> not their thinking (delusions and hallucinations).  No irresistible
> impulses here though the disorder we used to call hebephrenic schizophrenia
> might qualify.
> I am not sure that there is a good use for the term addict.  Maybe to
> describe people who do something too much, and that's all.
> So - let's call addictive behavior what it is.  Voluntary.  Addicts are
> people who won't, not can't, quit.   bill w
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