Friday, May 08, 2009

The Difference Between Evidence And Dogma

Ordinarily, I don't pay much attention to what other bloggers write, but since "Cardinal Pole" (whoever it really is) seems to insist on not just misquoting me, but deliberately misunderstanding what I write, it's time to take his little charade to task here.

Firt up, we find Cardinal Pole going off on a half baked dismissal of transsexuality: A Herald Letter On "Trans" Matters:

In a nutshell it’s this, apparently, judging by MgS’s approving quotation of it:

In Schizophrenia, there may rarely be delusions of belonging to the other sex. Insistence by a person with Gender Identity Disorder that he or she is of the other sex is not considered a delusion, because what is invariably meant is that the person feels like a member of the other sex rather than truly believes that he or she is a member of the other sex.
(her bold type and italics,
...)

MgS highlights the part before the comma, but it’s the part after the comma that I find remarkable: G.I.D. is not a delusion because its sufferers feeeeeeeeel, not think, that they belong to the opposite sex. Got it.


Few things in the world irritate me more than some half baked attempt to quote me by taking things completely out of context. The quoted phrase Cardinal Pole references is in fact a direct quote from the text of the DSM IV-TR category for Gender Identity Disorder.

That particular point is key to addressing the often-heard "it's a delusion" argument from a variety of sources who are critical of actually providing transsexuals (in particular) with the only known effective treatment available.

Clinical delusion is quite distinct from the symptoms that are descriptive of delusion. Particularly key is recognizing that transsexuals are usually very, very aware of the reality of their situation. They fully understand that their biology is at odds with their emotional sense of themselves.

From the eMedicine article on Delusional Disorder, is the following very important paragraph:
Patients usually have little insight and impaired judgment regarding their pathology. Police, family members, coworkers, and physicians other than psychiatrists are usually the first to suspect the problem and seek psychiatric consultation. Seeking corroborative information, when permitted by the patient, is often crucial.


This is an important differentiation between clinical delusion and transsexualism. The transsexual is quite conscious of their status at all levels. There is no lack of insight or impairment of judgment involved.

In fact, if one spends any amount of time paying attention to the clinical literature relating to transsexuals, it quickly becomes clear that the attribution of delusion is at best ill-informed, if not simply the product of downright sloppy thinking.

I've addressed the myriad problems that "gender as pure construct" reasoning suffers from in numerous other posts on this blog.

In parting, I leave Cardinal Pole with the following thought, in direct response to his intellectual dishonesty and typically circular reasoning:

10 comments:

Cardinal Pole said...

It would've been fair, courteous of you to let me know that you were going to write this so that I could respond (as I've done for you in the past, even when you've blocked me from the combox) but, as I've said on another occasion, I know to expect neither fairness (a metaphysical concept) nor courtesy (too bourgeois, I suppose) from you.

"... not just misquoting me, but deliberately misunderstanding what I write"

I didn't misquote you (as it says in the very quotation you provide!, it is a quotation, not your own words), and it is utterly preposterous of you to accuse me of misunderstanding you (let alone deliberately so), because as you say--in your own words this time--in this latest post,

"They fully understand that their biology is at odds with their emotional sense of themselves."
(my emphasis)

!!!!!!!!!!

"his intellectual dishonesty and typically circular reasoning"

Hilarious!!!! All you have done in this new post is to reinforce the point I made in my own post! And where, precisely, is the dishonesty and circular reasoning?!

(Obviously I don't expect you to publish this comment--I know how delicate your ego is--but you're always welcome to comment at my own blog, and, as always, uncensored.)

matthias said...

Sorry but i find Cardinal pole to be the opposite-Intellectually rigorous,honest and with integrity for a young man of 24. I find you to be rude,crude and bitter

MgS said...

Cardinal: You haven't addressed the fundamental point of my post in the first place.

There is an important distinction between delusion and the diagnostic characteristics of Gender Identity Disorder. You quoted me, and then blithely make some snide, sneering comment about things without even so much as bothering to understand or address the distinction that I am drawing upon.

What I'm quoting from (the DSM) is actually based on research - several decades worth of it. You, on the other hand seem to have it thoroughly stuck in your head that you know better than the rest of us what is or is not real.

As for your logic being circular, I've argued topics enough times with you to see you start going in circles on a subject, without addressing the points being raised.

If you don't like what I write on my blog about you, then I suggest you don't snidely quote from my blog and distorting my point and argument.

MgS said...

Matthias:

I figured Pole was somewhere in his twenties. He still thinks he has all the answers.

If you don't like how I write, you're welcome to go somewhere else.

matthias said...

My last comment MgS,out of interest which edition of the DSM are you citing for evidence based research?Hope it is DSM-IV TR

MgS said...

Mattias: Read the article closely, you'll find I actually cite my sources.

Cardinal Pole said...

"Cardinal: You haven't addressed the fundamental point of my post in the first place."

Er, you're fundamental point was the allegation of me

"misquoting [you], [and] deliberately misunderstanding what [you] write"

and I've refuted it pretty amply.

"There is an important distinction between delusion and the diagnostic characteristics of Gender Identity Disorder."

Where have I disputed that, the way clinicians define "delusion", G.I.D. is not a delusion?

"... without even so much as bothering to understand or address the distinction ...."

Round and round we go, and I'm the one accused of 'circular reasoning'. The sentence that sums up my (allegedly mis-)understanding, in my own words, was this:

"G.I.D. is not a delusion because its sufferers feeeeeeeeel, not think, that they belong to the opposite sex."

Now I understand "feel" to mean just what you describe (your own words now): an "emotional sense of themselves". So how have I misunderstood you?! Or (at the risk of being accused of further circularity), do you dispute that the following is a fair, if brief, formulation of the distinction:

Delusion: a man (woman) thinks he (she) is a woman (man). [The round brackets just mean that the sentence can be re-written to pertain either to a deluded woman or to a deluded man.]
G.I.D.: a man (woman) feels ['feels' is defined, as one would expect, as an emotional sense of oneself] that he (she) is a woman (man).

???

"What I'm quoting from (the DSM) ..."

Thanks for clearing that up--now I know that I'm not relying on the authority of some blogger or of a mental health website, but on the authority of the official psychiatric handbook!

"You, on the other hand seem to have it thoroughly stuck in your head that you know better than the rest of us what is or is not real."

'What is real or what is not'? What the ...? Your own words again, with my emphasis:

"Particularly key is recognizing that transsexuals are usually very, very aware of the reality of their situation."

Amazing how a materialist like you is so comfortable with accepting an "emotional sense" over the undisputed reality of a given person's body (undisputed because we're not talking about intersex or whatever here, we're talking about pure types--presumably full biological men who feel that they're women, or vv.)

"As for your logic being circular, I've argued topics enough times with you to see you start going in circles on a subject, without addressing the points being raised."

Give me a single example. Any one will do. In fact, what you resent is that I show up how, all too often, your conclusions are based on false, absurd and contradictory premises, or when you refuse to accept that your premises lead logically to what you regard as an undesirable conclusion, yet you refuse to abandon the premises.

"If you don't like what I write on my blog about you ..."

I have no problem with you criticising my opinions; criticise them all you like and I'm happy to discuss them with you. I do, however, have a big problem with being attacked personally with accusations of "intellectual dishonesty" and "deliberately misunderstanding [you]".

"... distorting [your] point and argument"

I ask again: how, in the post in question (or in any post) have I distorted your point? Your point was that delusion=think, G.I.D.=feel, and I conveyed that faithfully (as your post here only reinforces by making clear that it's an "emotional sense"!).

MgS said...

Start with this phrase:

G.I.D. is not a delusion because its sufferers feeeeeeeeel, not think, that they belong to the opposite sex
It's pretty obvious that you don't buy the distinction by the way that you extend the word "feel".

Second, if you actually spent some time doing real research instead of sneering at people, you might have figured out that there's a little more to GID than just "feel" - it goes a lot further than that, and is a lot more complex than can reasonably be reduced to the level that you have tried to reduce it to.

I have cited the DSM and WPATH SOC on this blog numerous times with respect to GID and its treatment - go read them.

Your point was that delusion=think, G.I.D.=feel, and I conveyed that faithfully
Once again, you fail to understand that the world doesn't reduce conveniently to the kind of absolutism you seem to favour.

Amazing how a materialist like you is so comfortable with accepting an "emotional sense" over the undisputed reality of a given person's body
I'm not some kind of absolute you can simply pigeonhole into a box, neither is GID. When you attempt to reduce it to a single word attribution, you miss the point entirely. ... and yes, I consider that very habit of yours to result in misrepresentation of my point.

By the way, if you actually spent some serious time doing research on the subject, you would have long ago realized that the transsexual is all too aware of the reality of their physical condition. This is one of the key reasons that a transsexual is not considered delusional.

matthias said...

MgS this is my last post.
secondly i take it you do not understand my other post as it is missing so i have put it in com box on Pole's blog.
Thirdly, i am currently teaching someone who certainly has GID and who exhibits variance between their biological and emotional states as emphasised by Pole's posting Their behaviour in class is a reflection of that variance' But no sneering,just a sense of sadness. I leave the sneers to others like YOU

MgS said...

Matthias,

(1) I'm not generally in the habit of publishing comments that are purely localized vernacular. That comment might have made sense to someone living in Australia, but not to anybody else. As far as I am concerned it was off-topic.

(2) So you've at least had some real life experience with a transsexual. Good for you.