Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A couple relevant quotes

Bret Stephens, in today's Wall Street Journal:

None of these outfits are per se corrupt, in the sense that the monies they get are spent on something other than their intended purposes. But they depend on an inherently corrupting premise, namely that the hypothesis on which their livelihood depends has in fact been proved. Absent that proof, everything they represent -- including the thousands of jobs they provide -- vanishes. This is what's known as a vested interest, and vested interests are an enemy of sound science.

(Apply this to every state department of mental health, and every mental health association, professional specialty or clinical practice: The hypothesis that insanity, emotional trouble and everything else dubbed "mental illness" is brain disease which should be dealt with according to a medical model has not been proved!)

Lord Acton (quoted by Thomas Szasz in Liberation by Oppression):

It takes a gentleman to live on terms of hearty friendship and kindness and intimacy with men whose ideas and conduct he abhors and when he well knows that they view with contempt and horror the principles on which he shapes his own character and life.

(I aspire to this kind of gentlemanliness, after Tom Szasz's supreme example.)

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