Where is the Evidence for my Point of View?

[Written in June, 2011.]

Over the years I have received emails from people (and had face-to-face conversations with many) who feel I present no evidence for the radical sides of my point of view.

These words provide a good challenge for me, and have inspired this essay.  What evidence do I have?  How have I arrived at my conclusions?  Why am I so confident, for instance, when I say that all parents, to varying degrees, are traumatizers?

I would like briefly to share my methodology, because this is how I arrive at my conclusions.  I have spent decades observing human dynamics, all the while testing my hypotheses against the realities of life. Yet I know that my ability to be aware of objective reality is limited by my remaining areas of unresolved trauma.  Where I am traumatized I am blind; where I have resolved my traumas I can see.

Naturally, given this awareness, I have engaged in a massive devotion to heal myself, which kills two birds with one stone:  not only does it make me a less subjective observer, but it affords me an unparalleled opportunity to become intimately acquainted with myself.

But why, someone might ask, should anyone accept anything I have to say, if I, by my own account, am partially traumatized and thus a partially untrue observer?

My answers are twofold, and, at face value, might seem contradictory:  1) I agree!  No one should take any of my conclusions as gospel truth, and should test them for himself or herself.  I don’t want blind followers, and don’t ever again want to become one myself.  Blindly following my parents as a kid was enough for me.  My hope is that if someone wants to gain from my ideas, let him or her do so with eyes wide open.  Let them experiment for themselves.  But:  2) Part of my exploratory process has given me deep, conscious clues about my areas of remaining trauma, and these allow me to correct for my observational weaknesses and arrive at more accurate conclusions.  For that reason I stand by what I write.

Meanwhile, when I have found my hypotheses disproven I’ve scrapped them, modified them, or formed new ones outright, and return to testing.  For instance, when I first started this website, in 2004, I wanted to believe that I was fully enlightened, and I wrote as if I were.  I learned quickly that that was false, and I rewrote my website accordingly.  On the other hand, when I’ve had some of my hypotheses confirmed, I share them as publicly as I can, all the while continuing to test them in new ways and from new angles, just in case my data pool, or my own perspective, was too small.  Although there is an inherent limit in testing the ideas of this website in a quantitatively scientific fashion, I continue to run and rerun everything I write — even the humorous or speculative material — through the logical mill of the scientific method.

Of course, certain types of people will not accept this logic as evidence, because my logical leaps contradict the illogic that arises from their denial.  Thus they either reject my broader conclusions as irrational, messianic or simply offensive, or they continue to demand harder proof.  To me the hardest proof for my point of view is the incredibly disturbed post-traumatic state of our modern world.  But still they want more evidence.  I fear this is impossible to provide successfully, because I have come to realize there is no evidence you can provide someone who is absolutely closed to considering the potential validity of your conclusions.

But still I would ask (and have asked) them this, and not without curiosity:  what kinds of evidence might I provide them that would hypothetically satisfy them?  I have never received a good answer to this.

Meanwhile, ultimately I adhere to one basic litmus test for posting things on this website:  “Is it true?”

I attempt to ignore the conventional litmus tests of “is it politic?”, “will it offend people’s sensibilities?”, “will some people hate it?”, “will it hurt my career?”, “will my family of origin feel threatened by it?”, “will it cause me anxiety?”, “will it put a dent in my bank account?”, and “will I lose allies over this?”, because I know that the truth tends to fail these tests.

10 thoughts on “Where is the Evidence for my Point of View?

  1. I would still like to see a real presentation of the ideas in a structured way that includes all the unspoken assumptions that underlie your ideas.
    For instance:
    – The value of life – human,animal, plant – is it absolute? Are humans equal to other life forms? Equal to animals? To plants? Insects? Trees?
    – The purpose of creation – is there one? What might it be? (Do you even believe in creation?)
    – Is all pain suffering? Is all suffering bad? Is all pain bad?
    – Is there absolute good or bad? Who decides?
    Without touching on these issues, there’s really not much point discussing all the things that logically follow from them.
    When people argue, sometimes getting very heated, often they don’t even realize that they are coming from such opposite preconceptions that there is absolutely no way they can ever find common ground. It’s worth the time and effort to clarify.
    Furthermore – and a lot of people never get this far, especially when they are very heated – many people argue passionately about all sorts of things and never figure out where they are actually coming from, nor do they realize what are the logical conclusions of their very own arguments that seem so clear – until they examine their unspoken, unconscious preconceptions, and are then often shocked at what they find.
    “Look at the world” is a ridiculous answer to the question of proof because everyone sees something different! One person sees nuclear power plants, wars, starvation – another sees Mother Theresa feeding the poor with no thought of recompense – another looks at Mother Theresa with a cynical eye… What people “see” is very much colored by what they WANT to see, even if they don’t realize it.

  2. I contend that your basic points are correct and that you have provided a great community service with your films and other works; thank you!

    I appreciate your anti-psychiatry position and was surprised that your Ode to Biological Psychiatry on the Mad in America website drew some push-back. I enjoyed your humor and know others did as well because psychiatry often produces that level of counter-productivity. More generally, I am anti-psychiatry because emotional distress is the natural, normal biology of distressful experiences. Psychiatry harms the mental health of the community by: 1) falsely convincing the public that natural emotional distress is a mental disorder, 2) falsely stigmatizing emotional sufferers as having a mental disorder, 3) pushing drugs as a solution to personal problems, and 4) pushing coercive treatments as if they were therapeutic.

    Biological Psychiatry is based on pseudoscience at its foundation; it is inconsistent with the most basic principles of biological reductionism, general science theory, natural science theory, physiology theory and the philosophy of science.

    Elementary neurobiology supports your point of view; it explains emotional distress. Psychiatrists and their researchers can’t understand their own empirical neuroscience because they’re trying to prove that normal neurobiology is a mental disorder. Please consider the real science of emotional distress at NaturalPsychology.org; I would appreciate any criticism.

    Thanks again, Steve

  3. We fight wars that kill up to 100 million of us for no reason other than profit for war profiteers who construct the macabre genocides of attrition. Is that not proof enough?

    ~100% of the world is lying and nearly as many are miserable, in denial of their denial of their misery. People want proof?

    We happen to be the only deity species in the known universe. With no threats, we race to extinction and people want proof that something is wrong?
    “The oceans are dying in our time. By 2048 all our fisheries will be dead.

    We torture and kill 2 billion sentient living beings every week. 10,000 entire species are wiped out every year because of the actions of one and we are now facing the sixth mass extinction in cosmological history. If any other organism did this a biologist would would call them a virus.

    Water…is the new oil. Nations will soon be going to war for it. Underground aquifers that took millions of years to fill are now running dry. It takes 50,000 liters of precious drinking water to make one kilo of beef.

    Today 1 billion people are hungry. If everyone ate a western diet, we would need two planet earths to feed us. We’ve only got one and she is dying. The earth can produce enough food for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”
    – former Citibank VP Phillip Woollen

    The proof is coming.

  4. Where is the evidence? Do they look at the world around us? That is the evidence. I stand by and reached the same conclusions as you. Simply wonderful. Truth is truth, is simple and self evident. Look at our society and its pityful state. That is self evident. You do not need to prove your case. The world does it for you. Thank Tou!

  5. I can relate to your ideas and your stance immensely. I am a person who tries to just “understand” everything in a way that makes things simple yet logical and consistent. I would add that “proof” is impossible as the person who is convinced of a proof was convinced of the truth it proves, even before the proof had happened. People are generally attracted to theories because of their beauty, and perhaps their practical implications. Someone who is interested in personal healing might be drawn to a theory that provides a clear vision about how he/she might heal. As people we instantly recognize the potential some idea might have in our lives. We form a theory about how reality is constructed that falls in line with this recognized potential. Such is the process that leads us to arrive at a personal truth that we might become very sure about. People do not get turned over by way of “proof”. Their scrutinizing eye will always invalidate the proof. The proof, after all, is just a rational exercise that doesn’t give the nonbeliever any personal recognition as it does the believer. The proof doesn’t make the theory come alive. It is the beauty of the theory that does, when recognized.

    • dig it — thanks bart. i wish i had time to reply more, but i’m going on a long hike, off the grid for 2 days. leaving in a moment!! but good to hear what you share — thank you!

  6. The problem of the biased observer also occurs in Quantum Physics. Under the microscope, we see that ALL things are possible. Yet, when we observe them, they collapse into a single event.

    I also have a legal background, and I was trained to search for best evidence. I like your techniques of finding deeper truths,

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