Saturday, January 10, 2009

Irrefutable

Suppose I were to assert the theory that everyone, deep down, is gay. You answer that you have never been the least bit interested in relations with the same sex, in fact, you are married and have nine kids, and make love to your spouse on a very regular basis. I reply "See how hard you are working to deny your own homosexuality!"

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaction_formation

where it is noted that the concept of reaction formation is hard for many to understand. The example you give would be of someone who misapplies the concept of reaction formation to the point that he asserts an absurdity.

In fact, one might wonder if asserting "everyone is gay" would not itself be some kind of reaction formation to gay impulses :).


Reaction formation as a concept in psychopathology is not like turning on a light as a reaction to the dark; it would be more like burning down one's house as a reaction to the dark :).

Ilíon said...

Then I would say that you'd make a perfect Freudian, or Marxist ... or Darwinist.

Ilíon said...

My point being that your hypothetical response (I reply "See how hard you are working to deny your own homosexuality!") is employs the same sort of My_Big_Idea_Explains_Everything_And_Its_Denial "logic" for which Freud, and Marx, and Darwin are noted.

Ilíon said...

This is not to say that Christians do not sometimes fall into the same ditch (and do not even quote Scripture to justify it) ... but you can sometimes get the Christian to crawl out of the ditch; he generally remains a Christian. However, if one ever manages to get a Freudian (or Marxist or Darwinist) to crawl out of the ditch, he begins to stop being a Freudian (or Marxist or Darwinist).

Matthew said...

Let's speculate:
Is Vic trying to hide something with this entry?

Blue Devil Knight said...

A good parody Victor.

Blip said...

I'd say you'd have good reason to think that you are not gay, but it is surely a defeasible reason. If a psychiatrist had been watching your activities and claimed that you exhibited behaviour which he was taught was characteristic of supressed homosexual tendencies, I think you'd take him seriously.

So if God tells me that atheists really do believe in him deep down then, well, he's the expert. :)

Ilíon said...

There is quite a vast difference between "Your denial that you are a homosexual is proof that you are" on the one hand and "Your claim that you do not belive God exists (or have no opinion on the question) is inconsistent with your other stated beliefs *and* with your express behaviors."

Mike Darus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Darus said...

This reminds me of the dilemma between those who profess a belief and those who posses a belief. It does not take long to conclude that not all those who profess belief in God actually posses the type of belief that causes them to act in a way consistent with their profession. Jesus told a parable about wheat an tares (weeds) related to this concept.

Now life becomes even more complex. We have to think about professing homosexuals and professing heterosexuals and professing atheists. We won't be able to believe what anyone says they believe!

There will be heterosexuals hiding in gay bars and atheists going to church and maybe even believers at Democratic Conventions (I have gone too far.)

Ilíon said...

Is a belief that gets no further than the tongue really a belief?


MD: "... and maybe even believers at Democratic Conventions (I have gone too far.)"

Should we not first establish that it's *possible* to go too far in this regard?

Ilíon said...

If someone claims to be an atheist, but then behaves as though anything at all matters, can it truly be said that he is indeed an atheist?

If someone claims to be an atheist, and even states some of the truth-claims which logically inescapably follow from atheism, and then denies those truth-claims (which he's simultaneously trying to induce *you* to believe to be true), then can it truly be said that he is indeed an atheist?

If someone claims to be an atheist, but cannot (or will not) see the inescapable logical entailments of atheism, but rather denies them ad hoc having no principle consistent with atheism by which to deny them, then can it truly be said that he is indeed an atheist?

Similarly with the so-called agnostic.