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Gedrene
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10 Jul 2011, 7:31 am

Have you heard of Theory of Mind? I sure have. It’s where people imprint their psyche on others as a basis on how other people should work. When your mind works along similar lines then you are able to understand what other people want or intend without verbal communication or from incomplete orders. It allows us to plan when someone wants to attack us or help us, when a baby wants care and whether you are annoyed about what someone is doing and want them to stop but explicit verbal communication would be inappropriate. Among the most ancient of Human peoples, many forgotten in time, it was crucial in helping us to predict the movements of animals during long hunts when tracks were obscured and it certainly helped as can be seen with the San bushmen today. In psychopathology circles it’s wheeled in as a way of describing how people with Aspergers lack this vaulted Empathy. Empathy that allows us to regard other people’s desires, beliefs, thoughts and actions with clarity and accuracy and feel like they do, the Empathy that so binds out world together in love and harmony and that not having it means you’ll burn out someone’s eyes with a cigarette for fun because you’re a retard. The Empathy that people like Simon Baron-Cohen have been blathering on about is like a sight in to each other’s minds like a telescope that is perfect from birth. The Empathy that gives America a divorce rate of 50% presumably and also helps fuel the pointless war, murder and violence that ravage our word with so many deep wounds and also helps the people whose chosen politicians cause most of this violence live without any stain on their conscience. Yet, we must dive into an article I saw not long ago wherein once again the Theory of Mind and this Empathy were stapled together like babies whose father badly wanted Siamese twins.

Recently I have seen an article on the Scientific American about the Theory of Mind that explained why people with Aspergers were less likely to see purpose behind the events in their lives. Having read through the article I can clearly see that these scientists had no idea what they were talking about. It certainly had nothing to do with a lack of purpose. What it really said was that people with Aspergers were less likely to invoke a religious agent (teleological reasoning) as an explanation for events in their lives. With all the charm and consideration of a young girl dissecting a cockroach with a spade, it proposed that people with Aspergers were more likely to ‘invoke’ a natural cause or give a descriptive response for important events such as why they caught a disease. Apparently descriptive must mean faulty in cognitive faculty, rather than letting the listener judge for themselves as it does in reality.

What really made it seem so baleful was the statement beforehand that ‘teleological thinking is a by-product of social cognition’. So to them invoking God as a reason for disease is not a sign of intellectual laziness but of social intelligence. If God is a by-product of social intelligence then atheists must have good trash detail, not that they really treat atheists in this article that well either. It claims that Atheists try all they can to try and avoid the supernatural as a cause as if they’re trying to fight away the love of Jesus with a broom or something but that it is just advancing like a randy facehugger that can't be shaken off (or a Mormon missionary, which would be more appropriate). This seems like a classic case of scientists not thinking too hard about what they are seeing. Maybe the reason why it appeared like our standard Atheists seemed like they were just trying to play opposites was because they hadn’t put much thought in to it. Saying God did it is about as much of a substantial answer. I can say one thing; people with Aspergers are always trying to find answers about why something good happened to them because they often don’t expect anything good to happen.

Really what it tells me is that religious people, who say God was why their car was stolen or why they caught tuberculosis, are egotistical, presumptuous and feel powerless in the face of a reality that they want to control and can’t accept that they don’t. It’s as if God is their personal day care supervisor who just happens to spray acid in their face once in a while. They are people who give up a little intellectual liberty to gain a little emotional security and we should all know the outcome of that equation. I can clearly remember now the papers that discussed the theory of mind in chimpanzees, who with no knowledge of meteorology get frustrated when that chimp mind in the sky lets rain falls on their heads. If only they could think that without rain their whole species would be extinct, maybe they would actually solve their frustrations and feel more alive or find a creative solution?

The only conclusion I came away with was that our standard Human Being is a lazy thinker, and that feels like an ugly lie.



[I’ll get to Empathy later, when I finish flapping my hand randomly]



Last edited by Gedrene on 10 Jul 2011, 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

memesplice
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10 Jul 2011, 9:40 am

I think we all need to find a way to move on from where we are now. I think NT's, us , we require a new cognitive state ,a mixture of huge objectivity and compassion.

One off the wall related question is: Buddhists believe in "no mind" , so how can they have a theory of it ?

I think I could get into one hand clapping as long as no one objects to me being out of time.



Gedrene
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10 Jul 2011, 10:32 am

memesplice wrote:
I think we all need to find a way to move on from where we are now. I think NT's, us , we require a new cognitive state ,a mixture of huge objectivity and compassion.


I certainly think we do. Is cognitive change the best phrase? We certainly need more a change of Ideas. One example is the word NTs. It just sounds patronising. Neurotypical. It's like we expect them to act like most of them do now. Not only is that an insult to the slow evolving nature of most societies but it is also a dangerous idea thinking they will simply never understand.

memesplice wrote:
One off the wall related question is: Buddhists believe in "no mind" , so how can they have a theory of it ?


I am unsure what you mean, so I shall answer both ways. If you mean how can buddhists believe in no mind I think it's a religious dogma that could be wrong or may be mind is figurative for a specific definition, or it could be the closest the Buddhists could get to describing it. As for why scientists call it the Theory of Mind, you would have to ask them. It doesn't even sound grammatically correct to me. :D

memesplice wrote:
I think I could get into one hand clapping as long as no one objects to me being out of time.


Lawl naah. You can be in time. Practice makes perfect. Also, I thought it would make a nice snarky ending.



memesplice
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10 Jul 2011, 11:21 am

You know what, I'm going to go find a class and learn to do that clapping to music thing . No fear, right.:)

Snark:)



Gedrene
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10 Jul 2011, 12:25 pm

memesplice wrote:
No fear, right.:)


No fear, brother



1mutant
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14 Jul 2011, 8:00 pm

Hi!

I enjoyed you post and think you are sort of correct.

Gedrene wrote:
So to them invoking God as a reason for disease is not a sign of intellectual laziness but of social intelligence.


Um maybe. I think though that the point was rather people misuse social intelligence to explain or try to explain things that can't be explained that way.

Keep in mind though, if you tell people that using God to explain nature is silly, that people will feel very threatened because in a way you are seeming to question their social intelligence. That they are misusing their social intelligence is a fact, but it can be very uncomfortable for NTs to not rely on it. I've made that mistake with co-workers I thought were open-minded and who I could talk to. Big mistake.

Anyway, as for Buddhists theory of non-mind, (I am a NT Buddhist) -- don't get confused. Buddhism doesn't teach there is no such thing as TOM. Buddhism teaches that we shouldn't get hung up on saying this is good and this is bad. In other words, we can't say NT is good and Aspergers is bad. If we do that, then we will interpret out experience to confirm what we believe. Instead we need to allow our minds the freedom to function without constant labeling.

NTs have some useful qualities and Aspies have some useful qualities. Maybe some people would choose to be one over the other, but really what we need to do is understand the nature of each without viewing them through preconceived filters. That is what the Buddism theory of no-mind is -- that we shouldn't always view things through pre-conceived filters because if we do, those filters will cause us suffering. We need to take a little time to consider things without our typical filter.



ci
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15 Jul 2011, 12:12 am

This topic has less to do with so called N.T thinking and more so of a newly or newer societal world-view likely contrived of atheism devised as some kind of neurological way of thinking. There are those with autism that believe in god and those that do not. This kind of thinking outside of the box insights constructive dissociation so as to view beyond the perimeters of ones own conditioning. It has little to do with an "autism" way of thinking.


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Gedrene
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15 Jul 2011, 4:11 am

ci wrote:
This topic has less to do with so called N.T thinking and more so of a newly or newer societal world-view likely contrived of atheism devised as some kind of neurological way of thinking. There are those with autism that believe in god and those that do not. This kind of thinking outside of the box insights constructive dissociation so as to view beyond the perimeters of ones own conditioning. It has little to do with an "autism" way of thinking.


The only contrivances here are your attempt to see arguments that are not there. I was arguing that the theory of mind deficiency we apparently have is a false phantom and are criticizing the grounds on which these people are proving it. Then I felt like defending atheism because the article was giving an unjustified attack. At that point I talked about the religious way of excusing every action they cannot explain with God as lazy. Of course I know there are religious people like me. Stop making assumptions.



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15 Jul 2011, 4:18 am

1mutant wrote:
That they are misusing their social intelligence is a fact, but it can be very uncomfortable for NTs to not rely on it. I've made that mistake with co-workers I thought were open-minded and who I could talk to. Big mistake.


Thankyou, I have been waiting for a comment about them that doesn't involved hate.

1mutant wrote:
Anyway, as for Buddhists theory of non-mind, (I am a NT Buddhist) -- don't get confused. Buddhism doesn't teach there is no such thing as TOM. Buddhism teaches that we shouldn't get hung up on saying this is good and this is bad. In other words, we can't say NT is good and Aspergers is bad. If we do that, then we will interpret out experience to confirm what we believe. Instead we need to allow our minds the freedom to function without constant labeling.


And I am saying that this autism label is just a badly build house that if someone opened the doors and checked inside then they would find they had shoved all sorts of unrelated crap in there. Furthermore it's nice to see that buddhism has as usual its group of sane doctrines that expect people to go out with a fresh perspective.

1mutant wrote:
NTs have some useful qualities and Aspies have some useful qualities. Maybe some people would choose to be one over the other, but really what we need to do is understand the nature of each without viewing them through preconceived filters. That is what the Buddism theory of no-mind is -- that we shouldn't always view things through pre-conceived filters because if we do, those filters will cause us suffering. We need to take a little time to consider things without our typical filter.


Thanks. Though I don't want to talk about special things so much. I just wish we actually got out there and in practice were just as good. Proof matters to me.



ci
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15 Jul 2011, 4:20 am

I thought the post was good but like some others the us and them thinking styles it was simply not subjective enough. The whole N.T thinking vs. the Aspie thinking portrayals other do is more so a political molding processes rather then a stark reality of truth. I find that many of those kinds of posts are simply quite politically driven and not true. As far as theory of mind and your posts goes it would seem ultimately a theory of mind in of itself is flawed. Everyone has assumptions and to assume then test it to find fact is science.


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Gedrene
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15 Jul 2011, 4:22 am

ci wrote:
I thought the post was good but like some others the us and them thinking styles it was simply not subjective enough. The whole N.T thinking vs. the Aspie thinking is more so a political molding processes rather then a stark reality of truth. I find that many of those kinds of posts are simply quite politically driven and not true. As far as theory of mind and your posts goes it would seem ultimately a theory of mind in of itself is flawed. Everyone has assumptions and to assume then test it to find fact is science.


Subjective enough? Why are you using that word? Subjective means it is down to opinion. You mean objective don't you?



ci
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15 Jul 2011, 4:26 am

To detail all possibilities other then one that is formulated for a specific agenda. Like for instance you believe and have an agenda thus bias autism the label is not credible as applied collectively. The assumptions you have made have no scientific basis nor proof. Though it does sit well politically with a desired view of autism by otherwise very high functioning people who "feel" stereotyped. That's the essential bias in thought.


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15 Jul 2011, 4:42 am

ci wrote:
To detail all possibilities other then one that is formulated for a specific agenda. Like for instance you believe and have an agenda thus bias autism the label is not credible as applied collectively. The assumptions you have made have no scientific basis nor proof. Though it does sit well politically with a desired view of autism by otherwise very high functioning people who "feel" stereotyped. That's the essential bias in thought.


I would argue it goes deeper than this, many reserearched articles, theories and public statemets describe us as a pathology or a disease. It's casual , arrogant and ignores the valuable human being it is trying to describe.
That is no way to address or describe any group of people. If they change their marketing and brand image of us (their subject matter and meal ticket ) I think we would all feel more comfortable with this.



ci
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15 Jul 2011, 4:46 am

When thinking of that matter specifically I find that there are two important factors to consider.

1. Autism is a disorder label describing certain symptoms and not the whole person. Though some people it would seem purposely call themselves a disorder label.

2. A disability label traditionally is perceived as in of itself something to understand within the modality of pathology. Even typical human behavior is perceived without emotional sensitivities.


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Gedrene
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15 Jul 2011, 4:50 am

ci wrote:
When thinking of that matter specifically I find that there are two important factors to consider.

1. Autism is a disorder label describing certain symptoms and not the whole person. Though some people it would seem purposely call themselves a disorder label.

2. A disability label traditionally is perceived as in of itself something to understand within the modality of pathology. Even typical human behavior is perceived without emotional sensitivities.


THe second sentence there makes no sense at all.