>From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] >So you believe these people are insane, that they are mentally ill. >You believe that they perhaps would benefit from consulting a doctor. >Perhaps they are even a danger to themselves or others?
Yes. Themselves primarily, but possibly others too. >What category of mental illness would you attribute to those who >believe in quantum immortality? Looking at the list of disorders at >http://www.mentalhealth.com/, the most likely possibility seems to be >Delusional Disorder, http://www.mentalhealth.com/dis1/p21-ps02.html, >or perhaps Schizophrenia. These are the ones which mention delusions, >which is apparently what you consider this belief to entail. Delusional of grandiose type, perhaps. Shared Psychotic Disorder (http://www.mentalhealth.com/fr20.html) seems a better fit. But I'm no doctor and even a doctor would need to learn a lot more about people's personal lives than I would care to to make a diagnosis. But I'll tell you what I do know. I have had many encounters with crackpots on the internet. I'm talking about people who believe in perpetual motion (free energy), that relativity is wrong, that quantum mechanics is wrong, etc. These people do not simply hold mistaken beliefs. They hold them religiously. At first the problem seems simple: they need someone to explain some physics to them and correct their misconceptions. Explaining the physics to them doesn't work, though. They rationalize their way around anything you can say to them. I know I'm personally somewhat ineloquent and tend to be overly frank, but I've seen many other people try to help out as well. The observing crowd is firmly on the side of accepted science, so someone will often help. I don't know if there is a medically accepted disorder that covers crackpots, but there should be. Perhaps their ego is so much on the line that it blinds them. It doesn't help that the arguments end up getting bogged down deeper and deeper into technical issues simply because the rationalizations they use get more complicated. Well, I would say that I've seen a similar phenomenon with the FIN crowd. You may not agree, but at least you should believe that I do think they aren't rational, and am not just saying that as a rhetorical device. >Despite the difficulty of the concepts, the slipperiness of the reasoning, >the many alternative interpretations, you are so convinced of your own >correctness that you think someone must be insane to disagree with you? On the matter of FIN, yes. Of course I do not think that anyone who merely entertains the idea is insane, just those who hold to it. For example, Don Page at one time thought "quantum suicide" would work. Another person (and I) explained the problems with it, and he soon realized that it wouldn't. I have no problem with that. (see http://www.escribe.com/science/theory/m592.html, ironically with a comment by James Higgo that presumably he would have later disclaimed.) In the case of James Higgo, I actually think that the fact that there was a long pause at a certain time in the activity of this list, and especially in my posts, allowed him time to come to his own rational conclusions (and thus reject FIN) without the ego-problem of losing a heated argument. Perhaps my posts do more harm to the anti-FIN cause than good you might then say, but on the other hand the alternative of letting the FIN go unchallenged and presumably be likely to snare new recruits seems a larger risk. - - - - - - - Jacques Mallah ([EMAIL PROTECTED]) Physicist / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate "I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum My URL: http://hammer.prohosting.com/~mathmind/ _________________________________________________________________ Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp