Accountability and agency
By they_speak
9/20/2012 11:39:18 AM
I'm studying neurology and a friend told me of a man they are studying (when I get more details maybe i'll post links) who got a tumor that literally gave him pedophilia. Surgeons removed the tumor and the man returned to normal. Incredible! This is not new. Most of us have hear of Phineas Gage who had a bar go through his head in the eighteen hundreds. His personality was changed dramatically as a result. It is known that Charles Whitman, the TX bell tower sniper, had a tumor that could have contributed to his actions. Broca discovered lesions on the left frontal lobe of people who had lost the ability for speech. These are obvious and currently observable phenomena. Are these people accountable? Why? We know, or we are taught, that those with mental retardation or not accountable. Yet we also know that a lot of mental retardation is as simple as underdeveloped or mal-developed dendritic spines that interfere with normal synaptic communication. How is that so much different than the causes and effects of these other, what we may call, evils? What about the more subtle aberrations like addiction. One (myself -forever judging myself) could easily say "Oh now you are just making, and searching for, excuses for yourself. You are perfectly accountable and able to make choices." An agent unto myself if you will. So cowboy up right. Yet, one who says that would say that with nothing more than a judgment call based completely on effects with no consideration of cause or assuming they understand the cause of lacking scruples. For one the causes are not totally understood or observable in their entirety. So, how can we be so caviler and audacious to make such claims about agency and accountability without reliable evidence to support such claims? This whole moral land scape seems rather unfair. Yet, did Nephi, justifiably, excuse himself because of the flesh: "And now, if I do err, even did they err of old; not that I would excuse myself because of other men, but because of the weakness which is in me, according to the flesh, I would excuse myself." So are we justified in excusing ourselves because of the weakness of the flesh??? Why? Or why not? Just because the effects of my weakness is certainly more hellish and devilish than Nephi's what's difference? Please tell me? Certainly, and I believe more substantially as more evidence comes to light, we will find that addiction is nothing more than a huge weakness of the flesh. Not some evil. Not some failure to make proper moral decisions. A malfunction of an machine. Do we get mad at a broken down car and scorn it for moral weakness. As if it should have tried harder? No. We fix it. And on we go on. Yet though sound as this logic seems I'm sure I will continue to string myself up to the whipping post of victorian morality, archaic psychology, and the relics of Christian understanding. Society seems to demand it and I shall obey because I'm a total sell out sissy. Sucks.


"I believe we all fall varying degrees. What you said about pedophilia, man made a perfect argument for not judging other people. I hate being judged by others for my "disease" and yet I feel more enlightened than those that judge me because I know it really is a malfunction in my machine. I didn't ask for this addiction, and yet I am accountable for a dis-ease, largely inflicted upon me by a pedophile in my youth. And yet, it has also been my greatest and most humbling blessing to have this thorn. I can only imagine the prideful prick I would have been otherwise. So, I suppose God in His wisdom let the disease follow the sin, knowing that it would be the catalyst that brought me down into the pits of despair and humility. And what about the victims of MY infidelity? I pray that they will reap the same reward. In the end, I believe every machine will receive a new program."
posted at 17:24:03 on September 20, 2012 by Anonymous
"I really like your brain. Irs fun, it doesn't take the usual (which is boring) and actually thinks. You mentioned logic in there. I'm a big fan of logic and reason. Simple concepts I think that can help people make decisions based on the reality of a situation. Of course faith is important, but who am I to know where another persons faith stands and judge how well they are in that process of enlightenment. That's a big part of my comments, which usually dont go well with people here who seem to know all the answers.

haha I keep re-reading your post. I dont know why but I love it. I'm not sure if your saying that just because we have an addiction, it doesn't mean we should put our hands up in the air and cry victim. If it is, I agree, I think.

You suggest we should fix the problem and move on, which I also agree. But it seems like these sites and programs want us to submit. Like, stop fighting the fact that your an addict because that's what you'll be for life and there's nothing you can do about it. Your life is defined by addiction. I reject that notion. We always have choice, even if our weakness if the flesh (addiction) makes it harder.

Idk if I even u derstood your post correctly but I enjoyed it."
posted at 20:11:47 on September 20, 2012 by moronidenovo
Thanks dude    
"p.s. I see you are on. You may be reading it now. I call you out a little bit on another post. Don't take offense. I say those things because A) I know you can handle it. And also, you remind me a little of myself and I know you (we) have the brain to think even smarter/wiser/meeker than we already do. :)"
posted at 20:26:17 on September 20, 2012 by they_speak
thanks man    
"I didn't take offense. You are one of the few people that actually thinks about what I write. Instead of turning around and attacking me, so I appreciate that."
posted at 20:36:40 on September 20, 2012 by moronidenovo
"No you're right I don't think we should cry victim. We should call a duck a duck. Which I think is something you're into. If a man has a tumor that causes him to make advances on his young step daughter (I found links about this guy - you can google tumor causes pedophilia - although I'm not sure it's the same dude my friend told me about) that when removed the behavior stops. Then when it grows back (It grew back!) his pedophilia comes back. Then when it gets removed again it goes away. I think it's safe to say, simply, this man has a tumor that causes pedophilia. Not, he is an evil doer. Not, he will be judged and punished eternally for ephemeral deeds he had no control over. One could argue he has control. But I'd say that's on par with believing you can steer a car with a broken steering wheel. Why add all the extras of morality and choice and blah blah to the story? We tell ourselves these terribly scary stories that have nothing to do with what is actually happening. Do the blind have a choice to see? Should they lie awake at night and worry about hell fire or wonder why they just can't CTS (choose to see). No!, he had a tumor that shut off the mechanism, not molesting kids (not an lol matter I know sorry) and when the tumor was removed his mechanism for higher executive function returned. I just take that a step further in suggesting that neuroscience is overwhelmingly in it's infancy and I believe, it is my faith, that as we find better tools for observing the brain and collecting data the results will prove that though most of us probably don't have tumors our mal-adaption is nearly as sever and it will literally re-write the way we have to look at decision making, consequences and, for those of us in the church, how God judges (or does not judge us) and how we should judge ourselves and each other. Also, the understanding we gain should hopefully provide better solutions to the dilemma. Already scientists are attaching cameras to a processor and then the occipital lobe and the blind are seeing (a little). It's no Jesus spitting in mud but it's still pretty bad ass. It's impossible for me to think there are not similar solutions for all the problems of the mind from schizophrenia to, I only intended to write a sentence or 2."
posted at 21:12:10 on September 20, 2012 by they_speak
RE-read your post    
"Have to disagree with you on one point. [Edit: I say disagree but maybe I really mean just emphasize another way of looking at the same elephant] You may have already figured it out. We don't have a choice (you said we always have a choice). Believing we do is why I believe we all hate ourselves and each other so bad. The pedophiliac (son of God) I referenced is a perfect example. He absolutely unequivocally in my opinion did not have a choice. And should be treated as such. As a mentally retarded person who murders his parents. Because the part of the brain responsible for making those kinds of choices was compromised. I literally believe it is the same as saying even though someone has severed the nerves running through their spine that are responsible for motor function in the legs "they can still kind of walk." And we should hold them to that. "Oh, oh!, but they can move their arms! Certainly they can move their legs?! Those lazy idiots!" No. They can't. Like my steering wheel example. Just because the gas pedal works doesn't mean the steering wheel does. It's same for us. Just because you and I aren't retarded doesn't mean we can just choose not to be addicts. That I think is the magic of the 12 steps. There is sort of a work around choice. Surrender. This choice thing we're always freaking out about and judging ourselves and each other for for no justifiable evidence based reason. But we can surrender. A third choice of sorts. So they say. And until I win the nobel price for building nano-bots that reconstruct the defective neuronal pathways from the limbic system to the frontal lobe...i'm gonna work on surrender. Because like the blind...I too am a blind man. Make sense?"
posted at 21:43:03 on September 20, 2012 by they_speak
"My sister killed herself in 2008. Worst thing that ever happened to my family. My parents got a letter from Jeffery R. Holland that says something to that tune. Basically that we do not believe that it is automatic hell like they did back in the day or anything of the sort at all whatsoever. I guess it's really comforting. I've never read it."
posted at 22:06:21 on September 20, 2012 by they_speak
"I feel like you (They_Speak) gave two completely opposite opinions. I dont think that's necessarily bad, but are you firm on a statement if you take both positions?

I agree of course with both statements haha, to an extent. I hate the word addiction. Do we even understand what that is. Is it the equivalent of a tumor? Can we give ourselves tumors (addictions)? This guy, he didn't chose to have a tumor. Choice is huge. I believe, its everything, because we are here to be tested by our choices. Isn't that what we are taught in church, agency.

With these diseases, tumors, mental Illnesses, our agency is taken away. I think that's the heart of what your saying they_speak. Of course when I say "we always have a choice" I'm not referring to them. But then comes the debate. Is an addiction a tumor, an illness? how do we even know if we are addicted. Do we know, is a simple list of questions the church provides on their website or is it deeper that a professional needs to be called in to let us know if we have an addiction. But then, that professional may not have our moral standards, especially regarding masturbation, porn, and even sexual relations. I hate the word addiction, it does nothing but makes us stop thinking. It makes it seem like we're all the same, like the kid who started looking at nude pics last spring has the same "addiction" as the middle aged man who can't go a day with out Video chatting.

Addiction: its just a word. We have control of our own lives. If you truly believe you are losing control, visit a professional. But for the rest of us, I think we handicap ourselves by giving into the addiction. That's not yr same thing as giving into the gospel. Submitting to the Lords help; I think that's necessary. But accepting or submitting to an addiction is like giving up. It's like saying we have a pre-destined life and we are following it. That's not gods plan, we have a choice even when we think we dont have a choice."
posted at 22:42:30 on September 20, 2012 by moronidenovo
"We do understand what addiction is. It's not just a word. It's not a philosophical or religious debate. It's an actual physical reality. It's science. When a person takes cocaine, for example, it binds to the dopamine transporter protein (a protein that sucks the neurotransmitter back into the pre synaptic terminal). So what happens? The receptors on the other side are flooded and re-flooded with dopamine which gives one the feeling of all things that are awesome. Great right? Wrong. Because the brain, in it's wisdom, recognizes that it is getting to much dopamine and literally physically eliminates the receptors it binds to. So lets say you had 5 dopamine receptors that when functioning properly make you feel how you should about skydiving or surfing. Now you only have 2 so when you go surfing and the neurotransmitter flows through the synaptic cleft it's only met by 2 receptors. So on a scale of 1 to 5 of feeling all things that are awesome and radical where you used to feel a 5 you now can only feel a 2. Solution, more crack of course. Most drugs only play on a specific neurotransmitter. The theory is that pornography and sex addiction play on many. So lets say you start out with 2 receptors where a normal functioning brain has 5. And you look at porn or do coke or take that first drink. BAM! You. Are. Hosed. I mean if you want to talk choice that first time we drank or our brother showed us porn then...pff, talk choice all you want. But the truth is hardly any us if any at all choose the brain we got nor did we choose how it would respond physiologically to certain stimuli. I'm not talking philosophically or ideologically or spouting church jargon here. I'm talking about physiological reality. You can play Aristotle all you want. But I prefer Galileo. Empirical. <---look it up - logic, and even our limited understanding of the gospel, can suck it :)

That's just one facet of the sure to be many and many coming of addiction. How do we know if we have it? How does a person know if they have depression (not just feeling blue but clinical depression) with out going and getting their head checked? How does a person know if they are schizophrenic? How does a person know if they are OCD? They fit the criteria. Does the criteria get more refined and defined as we go along? Sure. But if you want to quit a destructive behavior but can't what are you, weird? You can hate the word addiction all you want and debate all you want for the rest of eternity. I'll rap with you about how you don't know shit from pudding all day ;) But I honestly see it the same as hating the word schizophrenia or depression or even cancer. It is what it is. And if you feel your brain is hard wired different than the rest of us; that you don't, yet, fit the mold. Thank Buddha! What are you doing here? For you are the captan of you soul. The truth is I think you could care less about the word addiction. What you hate is not having control and anyone suggesting or proving maybe you don't. Do you have any clue how little control you actually have? I bet you can't hardly control your breathing right now. You control your life little more than the weather.

And who in the hell told you to give into the addiction? Admitting you are an addict is not giving into the addiction. Admitting your an addict or weak or powerless or whatever you want to call it is giving into the gospel. It's a prerequisite for needing a Savior. That being as you put it a necessary thing. Again, it's like Christ approaching the blind dude and he's like:
Blind dude: "Who, me? No I'm not blind."
Christ: "Let me heal you."
Blind dude: "I don't know what you're talking about sir I have the situation under control."
Christ: "Dude, you can't see."
Blind dude: "I'm not blind."
Christ: "But you can't see."
Blind dude: "Whatever man I'm not blind. That's just a word. My daughter is a little near sighted you wanna call her blind too smarty pants?"
Christ: "Are we really going to split hairs over this?"
Blind dude: "I'm just sayin..."
Christ: "..."
Blind dude: "I'm just sayin..."

Anyway, I think I know what you're talking about in saying I'm pitching 2 opinions but your going to have to explain what you mean if I am to clarify.

p.s. I have visited a professional. Lots of um. They all agree, I'm messed if I needed to pay them a hundred bucks an hour to tell me what I already know."
posted at 01:46:43 on September 21, 2012 by they_speak
Another good one!    
"I think that is beautiful that Elder Holland sent a letter to that sentiment. I agree with him. It does not make sense that someone is judged for eternity for a decision they made while under the influence of depression. I liked your post. Denial really IS about retaining that last bit of control. or at least the illusion of it."
posted at 07:53:20 on September 21, 2012 by Anonymous
"I can see why you find it hard to accept being "an addict for life" but maybe you should think of it as being "a recovering addict" for life. There's a big difference."
posted at 07:55:30 on September 21, 2012 by Anonymous
I've wondered this myself...    
"I got in a train wreck and had some head injuries. I wonder if this lent to my inclination to being an addict--realizing that despite this, I am free to choose."
posted at 08:47:09 on September 21, 2012 by g1rlie
"Recovering addict. Dig it. Call it being a repentant person from the ravages of chemical dependence cause by physiological changes or mal-adaptions in the brain that may or may not exist for the rest of one's life depending on the plasticity of said brain and new physiological changes made...if you want to get technical Moroni.

I get what you're are saying by the way. Where do people fall on the continuum of tumor guy -who's one day away from a jail sentence goes into the emergency room for a head ache and can't stop himself from hitting on nurses - to kid that's jerks off every once in a hoot. I don't know. But, I do know there are those of us on this site that have lost total control. We are comparable to tumor guy in my opinion and like I said it is my faith that as more data comes to light we will be able to prove the depth to which addiction robs us of agency (whether were born with it or give it to ourselves) and treat it more medically than morally. Thats all i'm saying.

I can also relate to hating the word addiction. Most people don't like to be labeled be it pedophile or schizophrenic or depressant or ADD. Because sometime there is some ambiguity with defining a person into a general psychological category. It's not a tightly packaged box with a bow. It's kind of messy a lot of times. I used to call ADD the modern day hysteria because, having it, I really thought it was BS. It's not. My whole life is a testament. On top of that every one of those label carries certain connotations that cause people shame to feel they are that ugly broken thing...who doesn't have control like the rest of humanity. But that's also what I'm saying. Those connotations like schizo's being crazy and scary is just stupid and I think it's spawns from ignorance. Like addiction connotes a weak person with low morals. Bull shit. Total bull shit. Some addicts are the most genuine loving people I know that deserve exaltation way before the smooth face at the pulpit who with mist in his eyes confesses by deed and tone that, he himself is awesome. Addiction or whatever. It's a broken computer. That's it. A broken computer. Nothing scary or shameful about that."
posted at 11:15:12 on September 21, 2012 by they_speak
"I knew a man, a good man, on my mission who had been excommunicated from the church. He got in a car wreck and there was demonstrable damage done to his nervous system. He had to learn to walk again. He would talk about some of the bazaar things that happened like feeling like the front of his tongue was in the back and the back of his tongue was in the front. Another interesting thing happened. He started beating the wholly living piss out of his family. He became very violent. He applied all the classics. More praying. More temple. Etc. Eventually it got real bad. Like sad bad. His wife who obviously still loved him deeply (we met with both sides of the family often) and was broken over the whole thing had to leave. Literally had to. She was in danger. He got excommunicated. They still attended to same branch. He lived alone at his cute catholic mothers. I even saw him sit with them at church once. He was a good man. One of the most intelligent men I'd ever met. I still tease his kids via Facebook that he taught me half my vocabulary.

point and case - it's possible Girlie. I've seen it before."
posted at 11:28:59 on September 21, 2012 by they_speak
"sorry i'm posting so much. My wife has been on vacation. My dog is gone. And I've had 3 exams in a week. It's been a hell of a week. Thanks for letting me talk to myself everyone."
posted at 11:30:04 on September 21, 2012 by they_speak
"I, and probably a lot of others, love you and love to read your rants."
posted at 15:12:47 on September 21, 2012 by Anonymous
"I propose that what makes us "accountable" is that although we are machines, there is a "spirit" driving each machine."
posted at 15:45:47 on September 21, 2012 by Anonymous
Thanks man    
"Thats good cause I'm pretty sure there are some folk here that see posts by me and just cruse on by lol :D

I don't mean to be difficult anonymous but why then are mentally retarded people not accountable? Do they not have a perfectly in tact spirits operating their faulty hardware too? I'm curious to follow your line of thought."
posted at 20:58:58 on September 21, 2012 by they_speak
Their loss.    
"No, I totally agree with your line of reasoning. It just makes me think. Like, "How could I be accountable for something that I did not have the agency to defend against?" I guess what I came up with was that I still had the choice in each instance to turn my will over to God and lean on His power for the next 5 seconds or 5 minutes. Instead, I took the easy way out and reacted with my own sin. Of course, this is understandable and forgivable especially for an 8 year old child but I believe it has always been within my power to call on and borrow Gods grace for the power to resist for the present moment only. Because I can't live my life on my knees in a meditative trance, perhaps I was always bound to fall, once again, but there is that element of choice provided by the fact that I am not JUST a machine. I am a "spirit" driven machine, even though the machine seems to go into overdrive and agency seems lost, there has always been within my power the ability to call on God to override my faulty programming in the immediate. It never occurred to me that he would keep me clean IN THE PRESENT if I turned the controls over to Him. It was always my choice, in those milliseconds, not to. Maybe I was always worried about "ten minutes from now" or "the rest of my life" so I have not bothered to ask at all. I have usually KNOWN when I was sinning and made something that resembles a "choice" that I just don't care right now. When maybe all I needed to do was care about "right now".

I don't think the mentally retarded person necessarily KNOWS how to distinguish between the two. I think their spirit is "perfectly innocent" but I don't know about "perfectly intact" For some reason they are protected from sin. Maybe they've already learned good from evil somewhere else and are just here to add variety to our experience. Or maybe they're spared the ability to sin because their spirits were already perfectly obedient."
posted at 00:43:37 on September 22, 2012 by Anonymous
Ok Ok Ok    
"Here here they_speak. We are taught in our church, that mentally retarded people and babies that die, have an automatic ticket to heaven. No questions about that. So we dont need to discuss that, we already know that.

I just dont accept your linking. Saying our addictions, make us just as handicapped as a mentally retarded person, who has no conscious choice of their moral behavior. I just dont accept that. We have these few and very wild cases, like the tumor dude, where our choice is taken away. But just because we have an addiction, does not mean our choice is taken away. It just means we have to work harder!

Can't any of our aims become addictions, in our moral standards anyway. If I start smoking, but only once a week, is that considered an addiction in medical terms? No. But in our church, if we dont choose to stop very soon, it is considered an addiction. Our moral standards are higher, that makes things harder and we slap the addiction label on things that society would consider moderate use. Oh well, but it does not mean we have our choice taken away. Its just harder."
posted at 04:18:38 on September 22, 2012 by moronidenovo
"I don't think we call "moderate" use "addiction" in our church. I don't think we label everyone who plays with themself an addict. It just so happens that in the church the drug of choice is an extremely addictive one-pornography. It is like heroin. If you give ANYONE heroin every single day for an extended period of time, they will become physically addicted. It is similar with pornography. One way to look at it is that an "addict" is someone who has forfeited their agency.

I think theyspeak is pretty close to the truth when we think about how completely doomed many of us addicts are to our particular addiction. (For many of us, it almost seemed predestined) In science we talk about the diathesis-stress model which leads to addiction. The diathesis is our biological or genetic predilection that's already written into an addicts code, even before they take that first hit. The stress part is what happens in the addicts environment to trigger the whole avalanche. I have to agree with theyspeak...there is a difference in the brain of an addict and the non-addict. We are finding that to be true the deeper we dissect the brain. Isn't the great equalizer the fact that we ALL have access to redemption? OK, so retarded people don't NEED grace, but for the rest of us, WE HAVE access to it. We aren't some doomed faction of the handicapped community."
posted at 10:00:20 on September 22, 2012 by Anonymous
"Right now"    
"...I like that. Good stiff.

Moroni. Have you ever been to a meeting? What do you mean work harder? Every true addict I've ever met has fed themselves "work harder" lines for years till they finally get licked. They finally reach step 1. The good news for you and all of us who would strong arm you into understanding what we're telling you is that you will ether "work harder" and pull yourself out of a naughty/normal little habit or you'll get your ass beat so badly by addiction you'll finally be forced to admit you're powerless. It (step 1) is not just something you are "suppose to do". It's something that either is or isn't in some area. You just have to be honest about it. You will come to it empirically. NOT by pure logic. Empirical evidence > pure logic :) You know why I mentioned Aristotle right? Using pure logic he thought the brain was a cooling system for the blood. Boogers were brains. The heart was the center of reason adn the human soul. Smart dude. WAY off. He also had some what we now look at and think are absurd theories about gravity. Because he was the king of logic we just accepted it for 2000 years. Till someone (Galileo) actually put it to the test. Are you or anyone outside of myself powerless over porn or whatever Moroni? I don't know. Do we throw the word addiction around to freely and ascribe it without enough due diligence to often? Probably. But concluding that I am powerless by my own repeated experience and understanding scientifically what is going on in my brain for me is humiliating and liberating. So, think it out all you want. Your experience will teach the truth either way.

Now I'm gonna flip the switch. I get that we are obviously different than mentally retarded folk on some level. What i'm saying is that in certain parts of our brain function we are just as handicapped. Perhaps like this girl ( ) we can over come...with "hard work" ;) But out the gates prior to recovery/proper-therapy I do not think we have agency. In the garden of eden learning by our own experience came before choosing the good. Just a thought."
posted at 11:33:26 on September 22, 2012 by they_speak
one more thing    
"All the above made me realize something. Admitting I'm an addict has not made me stop thinking. It's caused me to think broader and about better solutions more applicable to my problem. For me, pretending I'm not an addict and just "working harder" with scripture study, praying, and church attendance is the most mind deadening non thinking paltry farce I can imagine. It's a misdiagnoses and a bull shit prescription. I don't follow you at all with the not thinking line. I feel like the opposite couldn't be more true. In my case."
posted at 11:55:52 on September 22, 2012 by they_speak
cute video    
"Not sure how that has anything to do with this. I dont believe the majority of us, can really say we had no choice just like this little girl with 10 seizures a day had no choice. no offense, but why are we talking about so much science? It honestly doesn't mean much to me when all those fancy words are thrown around because not only do I not know what they mean, I don't know how actually apply them. I'm not saying your wrong, but are any of us even certified to be making these hypothesis? If you are great, tell me. But if we just saw it those one time on a tv show where they had this example, can we really start throwing it around and connect it to other issues, like addiction.

Responding to anonymous. Let me clear that up. I have a lot of friends, that look at porn. Are they addicted? Heroin is universaly addictive, but are my friends, who look at it a few times a month, addicted? I would say no. But let's say one of my friends is Mormon. Same situation few times (3-4) a month, is he addicted? How the hell do people know if they are addicted. Sure, we can find out just how addicted we are when it's too late. We are married, have 5 kids and a calling. But just last night we were at the strippers club because when you were younger you started looking at playboys and then videos and hardcore videos and then tried petting and then sex and a lot of sex but right before your mission you stopped for a while the when you came back from your mission you got married and then started hour secret life again until now, you realize you have a problem.
yes, that is addiction. But are we ALL, even outside this site, say we have an addiction where our choice is "taken away"

My idea of "work harder" came from one of the speakers at general conference. their was about homosexuality. He said some of us, for one reason or another, have stronger temptations than others. In the case, it would be same-sex attraction. Yes, you may have these feelings and thoughts, but you are not cursed for them. Strive "work hard" to do the right and dont act on those temptations. In ge afterlife, we will find it why we were challenged with those thoughts, but never give into them. That's kinda a paraphrase of the talk.i bet you anything that if the people gave in to their thoughts they would be very unhappy.

All I'm saying is we have to be careful with what your saying about not having choice just because we are addicted. If we took that attitude, does that mean we can do whatever we want? Because technical, we dont know better so we won't get punished. At what point does our choice come back, because I would love to know so I can get started with living again. This life is a test, we can't write any part of it off."
posted at 12:37:39 on September 22, 2012 by moronidenovo
"Cute video"    
"You know what I don't get about your condescending remark? Is how you then go on to admit total if I'm the silly one posting "cute video[s]". Are you serious? I'm not offended just confused.

Maybe I just failed to communicate the point of the video. The point of the video is brain plasticity. Functional parts of the brain can compensate for dysfunctional parts of the brain. BUT, we have to get the right treatment. 12 steps, surgery, drugs, striving, whatever. Thats all. Nothing to complex.

We don't have to be certified to talk about the hypothesis', conclusions adn reliable evidence found by certified others and apply them to our own experience. Do you have to be a physicist to talk about rudimentary components of special relativity? Do you have to be a prophet to talk about Jesus? And yes we can apply it to addiction. My 3'rd response to you was addiction. My cute video was about a malfunctioning brain a solution (a drastic one) and the brain capacity to compensate because of it's plastic nature. Brain plasticity is not just a remedial factor in one malady. Thus, it applies to addiction. I can explain it for you. But I can't understand it for you. And I'm not trying to reciprocate condescension. You said you didn't get it. I'm just trying to convey my point.

Why am I talking about science? Because!, it disabuses me personally of ignorance, self judgment, and the lies and the stories I feed myself when taking account of my behavior only and apply it to localized moral principle, church dogma and doctrine incompletely understood. It better shows me the whole proverbial elephant player. That was my most original point."
posted at 14:55:16 on September 22, 2012 by they_speak
"Ok, I think I get what you're saying. Apparently, in your experience, the leadership or membership in your area is labeling a lot of "casual" users as "addicts". If that is so, I would agree with you because I think that is dangerous. If you send every masturbator to ARP there are going to be A LOT of failed 12 Steppers. Not because you have to be an addict to benefit from the 12 Steps but because Step One does not apply to non-addicts. It waters down the fellowship. Being an addict is not a gray area to me. You either are or are not. If you OBSESS on the object of your addiction to the point of your life becoming unmanageable and losing the power to escape that obsession, then you may qualify as an addict. If you've tried EVERY known remedy... worked harder, prayed harder, willed yourself to the point of insanity and still failed, then you may qualify as an addict. If you look at porn 3-4 times a month and can take it or leave it, You're probably not an addict. Addicts don't outgrow their sexual experimentation. Maybe the difference between an addict and a non-addict is that only one of them KNOWS they're sick.

Separate point..."Are any of us certified to make these points?" Hell yes, who knows addiction better than the addict?"
posted at 15:54:16 on September 22, 2012 by Anonymous
AGREED and worth repeating...    
""Admitting I'm an addict has not made me stop thinking. It's caused me to think broader and about better solutions more applicable to my problem. For me, pretending I'm not an addict and just "working harder" with scripture study, praying, and church attendance is the most mind deadening non thinking paltry farce I can imagine. It's a misdiagnoses""
posted at 16:01:47 on September 22, 2012 by Anonymous
"I was not being sarcastic or condescending. I actually thought it was cute. Its a feel good story and I'm glad the family turned out happier with risky decision. The reason I said it doesn't relate, which you disagree, is because she was born directly into that awful situation. Don't all of us, addicts, start out slow. Our moral boundaries are slowly eroded until we find ourselves in situations we thought we never would be in. How is that the same as a child who was born with a bad brain?? I know you make the connection but I dont understand all those science words, I didn't study in it how am I supposed to. I can look up the definition, but if I dont understand the brain and how it works and why some things happen etc, can I really appreciate the true meanings of those words? I can't, and that's why I'm not going to point to all these neurological and chemical things that go on in our brain to explain other people's humans behavior. I can't say I truly understand it. I wasn't trying to offend you, or be condescending.
I see how you link the girl to addiction, and I guess we simply have a disagreement.

@anon agree agree agree thank you. That's all I was trying to say about addiction. Its grown around waayyayayayayaya too easily. How many teens, and adults, have came to this site and said "am I addicted?" The majority of the responders will say, well your probably addicted but just in denial. I've had it happen to me on another site! The person said, no matter what you think you'll do, you will probably struggle with porn you whole life and live as an addict. This was like 2 months after i started porn, so i was amazed someone would say that. And so to him, i was an addict. So i was like ok im addicted, and i believed what he said and made excuses for my behavior saying "it's because im addicted" I gave in and accepted, that's what i don't want people to do. How do you know if your addicted if you really dont know. At that point, what if you have a choice to say "im not addicted, i can get better BEFORE i become addicted"
That's all i was saying and that's why i say that."
posted at 16:18:31 on September 22, 2012 by moronidenovo
"It's almost more offensive that cute was actually genuinely the adjective you felt to use for a girl with half a brain that is functioning normal. I would have expected something more along the lines of "astonishing!" "miraculous!" "the english language is not adequately equipped with words to describe A NORMAL FUNCTIONING GIRL WITH HALF A BRAIN!" But instead you choose, cute. Okay, fair enough. Miraculous things are cute to you. Kids these days, impossible to impress. Glad you clarified. Hope you can see why I misunderstood.

I'm not one to say I'm impossible to offend but I'm pretty hard to seriously offend and especially for more than a few minutes. You didn't offend me.

I'm still a little confused though. In your first paragraph you again openly admit you don't understand but that you disagree? How can you disagree with something you don't understand before you seek to understand it? I think you're better than that. You often complain that people don't understand your point of view. A teens point of view. Yet you're, at least in this thread, quick to disagree and argue apparently without understanding. Any bets you find people understand your point of view as you start to seek understanding theirs?

@anonymous - Well put. Agreed. I'm normally a pretty welcoming guy but when an old lady starts talking about her addiction to Reese's Pieces I sometimes wanna freak out. Who knows maybe i'm marginalizing a very serious situation. I shouldn't discriminate...but it does feel watered down. It becomes...cute :)"
posted at 23:10:14 on September 22, 2012 by they_speak
"I can't help but laugh in my head when I hear how much you actually get angry over the word cute. The girl is cute, I think it's really nice how her outlook on life is so happy, its cute. Sorry for focusing and remembering the positives. My bad?

ok here let me clean it up:
What i dont truly understand, which i think most of us dont unless we studied in the field, is the neurological and biological junk that's thrown around here. I dont get it, how can i if i haven't discovered it for myself when researching in college or through experience. I dont think reading something online or reading in a book gives us true appreciation for the science. So, the story you threw on my with all those fancy words, i dont get the science part.

But, i understand the connection. You are saying this guy, got a tumor. It gave him attraction to children, so he became a pedophile. His choice of right and wrong, was essentially taken away. This is where you say, we as addicts are the same. Our addiction is like his tumor, we dont have a choice and therefore should not be held accountable for the choices we make while we have this "tumor" That's what i understand, ok. And i simply disagree. That's all. I dont believe we all know how addicted we are. Some of us might, but i think most of us dont. So how can we just say, our addictions are just like his tumor. I just dont see it that way.

So, i hope you kinda get what i meant. Cuz if not idk how else to put it. As far as you saying i complain about people not understanding me, People dont understand my points because they dont want to. They think im embracing sin or something. Idk, but I've heard a lot of harsh comments, just mean not even constructive. At least your "meanest" comments are aimed to help or construct."
posted at 00:12:44 on September 23, 2012 by moronidenovo
"If you don't understand the science, how can you have an opinion on it. If you don't understand the proof that theyspeak is proposing you're not really adding to the argument; you're just saying, "I don't understand all those big words but that's ok because they don't matter anyway because you're wrong!" I think you missed the whole point. TS was saying something to the effect of "Isn't it interesting that we've discovered this about the brain, and doesn't it make you wonder this, this, and this..." and your reply is something like "No, what you are saying does not fit what I've been taught so it doesn't matter that I don't understand your evidence because black will always be black and white will always be white" This thread was never about who's "right". I thought it was more about how much we still don't know.

And Don't be afraid to question the truth. Truth can withstand the questioning. Don't be afraid of what you'll uncover. It's usually more truth."
posted at 00:39:34 on September 23, 2012 by Anonymous
"If you don't understand the science, how can you have an opinion on it. If you don't understand the proof that theyspeak is proposing you're not really adding to the argument; you're just saying, "I don't understand all those big words but that's ok because they don't matter anyway because you're wrong!" I think you missed the whole point. TS was saying something to the effect of "Isn't it interesting that we've discovered this about the brain, and doesn't it make you wonder this, this, and this..." and your reply is something like "No, what you are saying does not fit what I've been taught so it doesn't matter that I don't understand your evidence because black will always be black and white will always be white" This thread was never about who's "right". I thought it was more about how much we still don't know.

And Don't be afraid to question the truth. Truth can withstand the questioning. Don't be afraid of what you'll uncover. It's usually more truth."
posted at 00:49:01 on September 23, 2012 by Anonymous
Yeah dog,    
"Way pissed.

What I've been laughing at is how for 3 post now you claim or act like you get what I'm saying. You see the connection. But, then you go on to say how you don't understand the exact stuff i'm using to make the connection. If you don't have even a contemporary grasp of neurology how can you claim you understand the connection I'm using neurology to make? It's making you look like an idiot. And it's not helping that you're acting confident about it. Sorry

And of course we don't know "how addicted" everyone is. What does that have to do with those who are addicted by neurological/psychological definition that i've been talking about this whole time? You're not staying focused you're extending the argument. I'm not talking about those who aren't addicted. I don't give a damn about um. If that's you sorry it had nothing to with you. Scrap it. But then you have me attacking straw men by saying these non addicts or only so so addicted non addicts have choice even though I'm saying they don't. No, again if you understood any of the junk I'm talking about you'd know I was talking about real addicts. Who are they? Me.

I'm done arguing with you unless you want to argue the point and not split hairs about definitions and straw men. Or if you want to start another discussion about who actually has addiction and who doesn't by all means. But that is not nor has it ever been what I was discussing in this feed. And if my memory serves me, every time I addressed the whole some people aren't addicts even though we to easily define them as addicts...I agreed with you."
posted at 01:10:19 on September 23, 2012 by they_speak
"How much we don't know. Love it. Hence, I will withhold judgment based on the agency to choose.

p.s. anon who talked about the diathesis-stress model, just wanted to say I really dug that post. Thought it was really profound but it kind of got steam rolled in the conversation. The diathesis-stress model is a perfect example of what I'm talking about and what I'm suggesting mainly to myself is that maybe in light of these observations there are things I don't understand about the great equalizer. I'm so quick to condemn myself and maybe its because I don't understand what's really going on with myself and how the atonement is applied to it. That's all I'm saying."
posted at 01:20:27 on September 23, 2012 by they_speak
nah I'm done    
"This conversation is getting nowhere. And at least I kept you doing something, I believe you said you were commenting so much because you were more vulnerable because your wife is gone. I could've easily just ignored your comment where you seemed "offended" (apparently you weren't) but you and I are the only ones here who can defend ourselves. A lot of people so stupid things but dont back it up, they just leave it there.

So, like I said I'm done on this post. Maybe some other people will do more to keep a conversation going idk but I didn't know having a different opinion caused so much trouble. you say you dont get offended but by your words, you obviously did."
posted at 11:36:57 on September 23, 2012 by moronidenovo
Differing opinions cause trouble and offense    
"More straw men (not even a good one's either). Congratulations. You're a horrible lawyer...or actually maybe that'd make you a good one..? I know it would make you a good politician. Being able to throw around garbage and attack it as if it was valid. Like I said, stick to the point. I'm done beating up teen agers.

p.s. there are a lot of people here who can defend themselves. Maybe unlike me they just aren't foolish enough to indulge/engage a kid."
posted at 12:53:35 on September 23, 2012 by they_speak
Differing opinions cause trouble and offense    
"More straw men (not even a good one's either). Congratulations. You're a horrible lawyer...or actually maybe that'd make you a good one..? I know it would make you a good politician. Being able to throw around garbage and attack it as if it was valid. Like I said, stick to the point. I'm done beating up teen agers.

p.s. there are a lot of people here who can defend themselves. Maybe unlike me they just aren't given to tomfoolery enough to indulge/engage a kid."
posted at 12:54:50 on September 23, 2012 by they_speak
"Haha you say I'm condescending?"
posted at 14:20:00 on September 23, 2012 by moronidenovo
Yeah but I'm good at it    
"Sorry, Neurology? Addiction? You were saying?"
posted at 14:37:12 on September 23, 2012 by They_Speak
"You seem genuinely bothered. This whole time I've been kinda neutral, I mean it's just a blog. But wow you are actually flustered. Look back at your comments, are you proud of how wild you get. I wasn't sure if you were serious but I guess you are haha, jeez."
posted at 14:48:45 on September 23, 2012 by moronidenovo
You really don't    
"have any idea what a straw man fallacy is do you? Wiki it. While your a at it look up ad hominem. You're into logic. You may find it interesting. Everything your are presenting at this point is laughable and a waist of time outside of amusement. I like you. You're an earnest kid. When you've done some home work and have something to contribute to the topic. I'm all ears.

p.s. "genuinely bothered" lulz do you know what tomfoolery means? Wiki that too."
posted at 15:12:44 on September 23, 2012 by They_Speak
At this point,    
"We are talking about nothing. We're talking about talking. We're commenting about comments. I'm writing this while I'm at a grocery store, there are a lot of people here. I'm not sure if i need to "present" anything that's relevant right now because I stopped talking about the post a while ago. Right now, we are two kids at a park bickering because we have nothing else to do, lol. Uh I'm tired. Think I'll take a nap when I get home."
posted at 15:35:36 on September 23, 2012 by moronidenovo
Aloof but enlighten    
"Finally. Agreed. Thank you. Enjoy your nap little brother."
posted at 16:05:00 on September 23, 2012 by They_Speak
The grocery store?    
"Dude, do you swype your posts? Cause that would explain the typos. Which by the way is one thing umong others that makes it obvious it's you when you post anonymously."
posted at 16:15:30 on September 23, 2012 by They_Speak
now im at the stupid mall    
". I've only posted anonymous twice on that blog because someone keeps trying to get a hold of me. Its annoying. Kinda weird too. But ya can't wait to sleep. Good luck with keeping busy"
posted at 16:56:35 on September 23, 2012 by moronidenovo
Relevant comment    
"There has been a lot of talk about knowing when we are truly addicts. From my experience, I knew I was really an addict when I went through the lds ARP book the first time. It just became obvious that I was addicted. Going to my first 12 step meeting made it even more clear.

My group hans out a new-comer packet that has a list of 20 questions which help you decide if you are an addict. If you listen to the stories of other addicts at group and they resonate with you then that can help you know you're an addict.

@MORONI - I'm sorry some weirdo is stalking you. If I had known, I would not have called you out when you posted anonymously."
posted at 23:34:52 on September 23, 2012 by ette
In sum    
"We are all a bunch of happy go lucky retards each with our fair share of loose skrews.

posted at 20:24:09 on September 26, 2012 by ruggaexpat

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"In a decaying environment, the mind is the last redoubt of righteousness, and it must be preserved even amid bombardment by evil stimuli. Christ is competent to see us through, “for in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” As promised, He will make either “a way to escape” or a way “to bear it”."

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987