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Old 8th January 2013, 12:03 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by RussDill View Post
First, I'll ignore what happens to people when they are given doses of various drugs, then, I'll claim if something in neurology doesn't have a very simplistic x causes y, I'll claim it doesn't count.

Were you aware that any communication between two neurons involves neurotransmitters?

You are making the mistake I described. You are saying that chemicals are "involved" or "causes" our experience. You go against your own idea. Now it seems you think that there we aren't just chemicals. Now it seems that there is a ghost in the machine that is caused by chemicals and that chemicals are involved in its experience.
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Old 8th January 2013, 12:05 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by Halfcentaur View Post
Are psychedelics and amphetamines and opiates just placebo then? Wouldn't that be "chemical possession"?

We know for a fact that chemicals effect consciousness, are you claiming everyone has the exact same balance of basic chemicals and someone could not have anomalies in their production of these chemicals which could be manipulated via medication no matter how well we understand them?
If we say that "chemicals affect consciousness" then we can't say that "we are our chemicals". WE can't be affected by the very thing that we are. You are disagreing with me, and with at least one other person here.
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Old 8th January 2013, 12:08 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
Huh, I wonder if there might be some different systems in the brain, some that regulate moods, some that regulate attention, some that regulate circadian rhythms?



But citing that Guardian as a source, that truly is new high.
Here's another "ghost-in-the-machine" man. Someone who believes that we are affected by our chemicals.
And not just a ghost-in-the-machine man, but someone who thinks that we are affected by what we are.

These are the contradictions I am drawing atention to. The problem with moden skepticism is that it's as stupid in the modern age as it ever was.
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Old 8th January 2013, 12:13 PM   #124
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Old 8th January 2013, 12:17 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
You need to be more certain of what you are not sure about. None of the phrases and assumptions of psychiatry and neurochemistry about the chemicals they describe are found in standard chemical discourse. They are all social inventions, chemistry in drag.

And the evidence for any of these wild a**ed statements is?
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Old 8th January 2013, 12:18 PM   #126
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These things can be tested by removing, blocking or augmenting specific chemicals.

Different ratios cause different conditions.

What is so hard to understand?
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Old 8th January 2013, 01:05 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
If we say that "chemicals affect consciousness" then we can't say that "we are our chemicals". WE can't be affected by the very thing that we are. You are disagreing with me, and with at least one other person here.
We are our atoms. Atoms affect atoms.
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Old 8th January 2013, 01:24 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
THis precisely what I am talking about.

You are saying that some chemicals ("neurotransmitters") affect us, or have "a significant impact" while other chemicals by exclusion do not.
You realize neurotransmitters occur naturally in our brains, right? And that our brains wouldn't work without them?
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Old 8th January 2013, 01:26 PM   #129
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It is true that the idea of a "chemical imbalance" is a very imprecise term for what's going on in a brain suffering from low serotonin or low dopamine. I suspect some doctors use it when trying to explain it to their patients, but I don't think it's helpful.
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Old 8th January 2013, 01:31 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
If we say that "chemicals affect consciousness" then we can't say that "we are our chemicals". WE can't be affected by the very thing that we are. You are disagreing with me, and with at least one other person here.
That is just nonsensical semantic bickering.
Where I choose to use the word "we" does not demote such a literal interpretation of what identity is. Using the word "we" for an emergent process like consciousness does not mean I'm saying we aren't made up of simple processes. There is no ghost in the machine, consciousness is an illusion in that it is only a frame of reference for sensory data and how we behave.

Last edited by Halfcentaur; 8th January 2013 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 8th January 2013, 01:45 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by godless dave View Post
It is true that the idea of a "chemical imbalance" is a very imprecise term for what's going on in a brain suffering from low serotonin or low dopamine. I suspect some doctors use it when trying to explain it to their patients, but I don't think it's helpful.

imbalance and low are not being used as chemical terms, was my point. So we must say in what way they are being used. And that way is the way of arbitrary behavioural social expectations and demands.
Science tries to make it look as though there are inherently good and bad levels of serotonin etc. But good and bad are social criteria, not chemical.
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Old 8th January 2013, 01:47 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by godless dave View Post
You realize neurotransmitters occur naturally in our brains, right? And that our brains wouldn't work without them?
The brain carries on like any physical object, no matter what you do to it. Nothing can be missing from it, like any material object.
Don't say the brain "works" because that looks like animism or humanculism.
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Old 8th January 2013, 01:49 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
Science tries to make it look as though there are inherently good and bad levels of serotonin etc.
Evidence, please.
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Old 8th January 2013, 01:51 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by Halfcentaur View Post
That is just nonsensical semantic bickering.
Where I choose to use the word "we" does not demote such a literal interpretation of what identity is. Using the word "we" for an emergent process like consciousness does not mean I'm saying we aren't made up of simple processes. There is no ghost in the machine, consciousness is an illusion in that it is only a frame of reference for sensory data and how we behave.
We aren't made up of simple processes? We are made up of complicated processes then. Why would they be complicated, and how do they get attached to consciousness?
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Old 8th January 2013, 01:53 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by godless dave View Post
Evidence, please.
That's so easy. Any time the word serotonin is used in a psychiatric mien we find a non-chemical description of it, such as low, correct, in balance, etc.
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Old 8th January 2013, 01:55 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
These things can be tested by removing, blocking or augmenting specific chemicals.

Different ratios cause different conditions.

What is so hard to understand?
You are saying that some chemicals cause conditions that affect us. That's chemical possession, a supernatural force of chemistry.
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Old 8th January 2013, 01:56 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by Mashuna View Post
We are our atoms. Atoms affect atoms.
Atoms affect other atoms. If we are alll the atoms that make us up we aren't affected by them.
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Old 8th January 2013, 01:58 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
And the evidence for any of these wild a**ed statements is?
I was a chemist. Chemists talk about completed reactions, and types of reaction, like methylation, hydrogenation, hydrolysis.
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Old 8th January 2013, 02:00 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
That's so easy. Any time the word serotonin is used in a psychiatric mien we find a non-chemical description of it, such as low, correct, in balance, etc.
We do?
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Old 8th January 2013, 02:01 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
You are saying that some chemicals cause conditions that affect us. That's chemical possession, a supernatural force of chemistry.
So the claim that ingesting ethylene glycol will cause death is a supernatural claim?
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Old 8th January 2013, 02:26 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
You are saying that some chemicals cause conditions that affect us. That's chemical possession, a supernatural force of chemistry.
I'm pretty sure that if you stuck your hand in a vat of sulfuric acid there might be an effect.
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Old 8th January 2013, 02:27 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
I was a chemist. Chemists talk about completed reactions, and types of reaction, like methylation, hydrogenation, hydrolysis.
I note the past tense and can't really say that I'm surprised.
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Old 8th January 2013, 02:31 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
I was a chemist. Chemists talk about completed reactions, and types of reaction, like methylation, hydrogenation, hydrolysis.

That's not evidence. That's just hand waving.
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Old 8th January 2013, 02:53 PM   #144
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I was also once a synthetic chemist. I had reactions that did not go properly because I had the wrong pH in the solution. Was my pH level "bad"? Yes- because the excess acidity prevented the correct product forming in high quantities, and gave me vast quantities of side products. Would the correct pH level be "good"? Yes, because it would have given me the product I wanted instead of a bunch of crap.

Similarly, some reactions didn't work because the temperature wasn't right- I'd get a flask full of crud because I did the reaction at RT instead of cooling to -40oC before adding the second reactant. The temperature I used was too high. Not a value judgement, or social criterion, just simply too high.

And it was not "acid possession" or "spectral haunting by thermal energy".
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Old 8th January 2013, 07:56 PM   #145
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This is awesome!

Thanks Jonesy, I just called my father-in-law and told him he can stop taking that nasty chemical......insulin.

That should cheer him up.
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Old 8th January 2013, 09:05 PM   #146
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As someone who just smoked some (legal) weed, I find this thread hilarious.
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Old 8th January 2013, 09:28 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
The media tries to keep up with the latest scare on which chemicals possess or control us. "Decreasing serotonin in humans can lower your mood" writes the Guardian recently, and serotonin is still popular as the chemical that can force us to become depressive zombies against our will. "Correct" or "balanced" serotonin levels appeal to a public needing science intrigue. But "correct" and "balance" have never been chemical descriptions. They are social descriptions that appeal to the idea that chemicals are agencies that can sometimes affect our will.

Shocking tales of satanic ritual obuse and various religion-steered judgements on wayward children and mental issues must take something of a back step in comparison to this burgeoning, populist movement of chemical possession.

For the idea of possession never went away. WE have a choice, it would appear, between wicked diagnoses of satanic possession by witch-doctors, or backward, and still malevolent diagnoses of chemical possession by doctors and psychiatrists. More harm has been dome to vulnerable groups by the latter than the former. But then, it's "our" harm, and not some African picanini's, so it gets a pass.

The strange thing in this age of skepticism is that nobody asks how a diagnosis can determine that some people are controlled by their brain chemicals while the rest of the population are not. This is the cult of chemical possession.

If forced, I would much prefer the idea of satanic possession. It makes more sense than a chemical possession - for I used to be a synthetic chemist, and hate to see chemistry mauled in this way by the chemical zombie-cult of psychiatry.
The Guardian article you quoted also said a lot more - which you conveniently ignored in your search for a question to your answer.

If anybody's interested in the full article, here it is (from 2010):

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/bl...n-neurogenesis

The tl:dr version is that serontonin can affect mood - but not always - and there are other factors in play as well.
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Old 8th January 2013, 09:38 PM   #148
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Hmmm.

Psychiatry and The cult of chemical possession

Isn't this basically the same thing that Scientologists believe?

Could that be where Jonesboy gets his ideas?
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Old 8th January 2013, 10:14 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Hmmm.

Psychiatry and The cult of chemical possession

Isn't this basically the same thing that Scientologists believe?

Could that be where Jonesboy gets his ideas?
Yes, and that may be the basis behind the OP. But there are also many (other) religions who find their concept of a metaphysical soul is endangered if our thoughts and feelings are just biochemical processes in the brain. Also individuals who have had bad experiences with the treatment of emotional disorders can come away rejecting the science behind the treatment.

These views are so odd to me, because it can be so easily shown that we are, in fact, the product of hormones and neurotransmitters, and that mental or emotional illnesses are caused by abnormalities in these processes. This realization was an enormous breakthrough for the treatment of these diseases.
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Old 9th January 2013, 12:02 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
Atoms affect other atoms. If we are alll the atoms that make us up we aren't affected by them.
This is trivially incorrect.
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Old 9th January 2013, 12:54 PM   #151
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Sorry folks. I'm going now on this thread. I can't find out who needs a response without doing extensive backtracking.

Hey Randall, get a tree view.

Bye all.
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Old 9th January 2013, 12:56 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
Sorry folks. I'm going now on this thread. I can't find out who needs a response without doing extensive backtracking.

Hey Randall, get a tree view.

Bye all.
When in doubt, abandon ship.
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Old 9th January 2013, 01:53 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
When in doubt, abandon ship.
Off with his tail between his legs, thoroughly trounced.
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Old 9th January 2013, 04:39 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
Atoms affect other atoms. If we are alll the atoms that make us up we aren't affected by them.
We are not all made of one atom each. We are an assemblage, and if all those atoms affect each other, then why would not that effect be manifested in the assemblage? If what we are does not affect what we do, what does?
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Old 9th January 2013, 05:35 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
We are not all made of one atom each. We are an assemblage, and if all those atoms affect each other, then why would not that effect be manifested in the assemblage? If what we are does not affect what we do, what does?
Jonesboy is definitely not affected by atoms of logic.
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Old 9th January 2013, 05:48 PM   #156
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No, officer, lemme explain again: I'm not affected by the alcohol in my system, the alcohol is just part of the shystem. See? I. I.. am the system. The alcohol is is me. Gedddit?

You. You're my best mate. Offisher. I bloody love you.


I'm gonna be a little bit sicky now.. Scuse me.
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Old 9th January 2013, 07:20 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
I'm pretty sure that if you stuck your hand in a vat of sulfuric acid there might be an effect.
Yeah, but the vat isn't you, man, it's affecting you because those atoms aren't yours. Now, if you were to stick a finger into an open wound that led into your stomach, you would be just fine. Or just poke yourself in the eye. Impossible to affect your atoms with your atoms.
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Old 9th January 2013, 09:36 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
Jonesboy is definitely not affected by atoms of logic.
Some logics don't have atoms.
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Old 10th January 2013, 03:09 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by Jonesboy View Post
That's so easy. Any time the word serotonin is used in a psychiatric mien we find a non-chemical description of it, such as low, correct, in balance, etc.

There are others that make the point that there are no evidence for the "chemical imbalance" statement at all and that low Serotonin levels does not neccesarily cause depression.

The fact that some patients find relief from an increase of Serotonin, by means of being given a SSRI, is little more proof that low Serotonin levels CAUSE depression as the notion that "an imbalance" in Aspirin causes headaches and that dosing Aspirin then cures the headache.

http://chriskresser.com/the-chemical-imbalance-myth

This argument is eloquently made with ample references and a call for anyone to demonstrate otherwise.

I can only but speculate that the OP was attempting to communicate something similair, albeit in a non effictive manner.

Jonesboy, a well presented case like this would make for a much more balanced discussion . . .
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Old 10th January 2013, 03:16 AM   #160
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Nice post, Libra.

Jonesboy, if the above was what you meant, isn't it a pity it wasn't what you said?
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