Life is an unending series of choices and, therefore, “problems in living.” Ordinary choices—what to have for breakfast—we ignore as trivial. Extraordinary choices—whether to kill ourselves (or worse)—we dismiss as the symptoms of mental illness. The profession of psychiatry rests on, and caters to, the ubiquitous human desire to avoid, evade, and deny the very possibility of morally “unthinkable” choices. We use the rhetoric of psychiatry to transform such choices into medical-technical problems and “solve” them by appropriate “medical treatments.” This is why deception and prevarication are intrinsic to the principles of psychiatry, and fraud and force are intrinsic to its practices.
We humans are choice-making animals. The freedom to make choices is both a blessing and a curse. Depending on age, temperament, information, and alternatives, some people experience the opportunity for choice as exhilarating, others as tormenting. Traditionally, it was one of the functions of religion to relieve people of choices. Today, psychiatry and the therapeutic state perform the same job.
Quarta-feira, Setembro 12, 2012
Thomas Szasz 1920-2012
The Burden of Responsibility por Thomas Szasz: