Saturday, January 8, 2011

Liberals – Essential Beliefs Mercy 128

If I were abused as a child and forced to torture and abuse others, I would still unconditionally accept myself and my family members who tortured me. The principles of rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, which I started practicing in 1955 and have promoted here and all over the world since that time, teach three main principles:

  1. You unconditionally and fully accept yourself despite your distinct limitations and failings.

  1. You accept and forgive other people even though they behave very badly.

  1. You unconditionally accept the world with its exceptionally bad conditions and do not condemn it as a whole.

“My main reasons for this kind of unconditional acceptance are:

  1. All humans are fallible and therefore will definitely do wrong and bad acts during their lifetime. That is the way humans almost invariable (sic) act. Therefore, they are not to be condemned, as a whole, for their actions.

  1. As Alfred Korzybski, the found(er) of General Semantics, wrote in Science and Sanity, all people do thousands and thousands of acts during their lifetime – some good, some bad, some indifferent. Therefore, they cannot logically be given a global rating for their numerous acts. They are not what they do*, even though they unquestionably do, sometimes very often, evil deeds.

  1. Unless we humans learn to teach ourselves this kind of unconditional acceptance of other people, the world, and us, we will endlessly hate ourselves and also fight with other people. Hateful thoughts and feelings help create hate in others, and one of these days the human race is likely to obliterate itself with this kind of hatred. If we educate all children from nursery school to graduate school to accept the principles of unconditional acceptance, we may eventually eliminate holocausts, wars, terrorist acts, and other disastrous events.

“For realistic reasons, for logical reasons, and for practical self-preservative reasons, we had better embrace a philosophy of unconditional acceptance and forgiveness.”

--Dr. Albert Ellis, PhD
Forgiveness and Child Abuse, by Lois Einhorn and Asrun Gandhi, ppg. 48-49

* “they are not what they do” means “reality doesn't count” and “forget Aristotle and logic.”
= = = = = = = = = = =

A problem with this sugary solution to the problem of human cruelty is that the prideful pretense of forgiveness snaps when the pressure is on. There are many examples, of course, so we might as well use Imogen Clark, the author of Saving Jessie. This bitchy, demanding woman puts so much pressure on her daughter that she drives the girl to the regimen of self-medication through heroin. The mother never even begins to understand her role in the problem, but she easily accepts martyrdom as a wronged mother. She even writes a book. It is likely that the reviewers and publishers of this manuscript, themselves, follow the “unconditional acceptance” mantra above.

It doesn't work. No one is helped. The net result in the long run is harm to the innocent. “It flunks.”

Dr. Albert Ellis thinks, fabulously, that “unconditional acceptance” is so marvelous a thing that “we may eventually eliminate holocausts, wars, terrorist acts, and other disastrous events.”

I want to stop this nonsense cold right here and now. Holocausts, wars, terrorist acts and other disastrous events” are caused by psychopaths or are generated as necessary conflict to stop the victory of a psychopath. And here we are dealing with a mental illness which, I assure you, is immune to and manipulative of “unconditional acceptance.” Cruelty causes personal crises and pain. Psychopaths cause mass casualties and wars when they can.

I attended part of the Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress in Boulder, Colorado, on August 8, 2010. The lecture I attended dealt with Psychopathology and was presented by an expert in this area, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, PhD, of Duke University. From my notes of his lecture, I read that Sinnott-Armstrong was uncertain about the applicability of the insanity defense for psychopathic criminal acts. Psychopaths, he told us, “only pretend to make moral judgments.” They exhibit no disconnect from reality (the normal definition of insanity)./ Game theory is their morality.

He reminded us, if we didn't already know this, that psychopaths think through their crimes more than other criminals.

What I learned from and had confirmed by Sinnott-Armstrong made me feel profoundly that Albert Ellis was stunningly naïve in his panacea of “unconditional acceptance.” I say this though I believe that the appearance of unconditional acceptance is a requisite for white collar modern liberals.

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