[ExI] addiction

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 6 22:53:57 UTC 2022

Will, I don't see any interruption in an addict's ability to control
voluntary behavior - do you?  Aphasia, ataxia etc. - all inabilities we
understand somewhat and all not amenable to voluntary changes.  Those are
not good comparisons to addiction.  As for willpower, that is a circular
concept:  if a person can do something or stop something, we say he has
willpower.  If he doesn't we say he has little will power.  Totally
circular.  If you are suggesting that willpower can be measured some other,
valid, way, and that can be traced to brain changes, then we have a
different discussion.  bill w

On Wed, Apr 6, 2022 at 12:12 PM Will Steinberg via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> 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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