Ok I am new to this site, and I am not familiar with some of the science that may back up his claims:
but Dr. Robert sounds to me like a fatalist. ( in the taped interview about "the end of suffering")he says whether he tells his client or not ( if suffering ends or not) she will be the one to decide and judge whether he is right or wrong. and somehow this is all predetermined.
I disagree. I think she asks people whom she feels might be an expert, (not unlike how he quotes socrates) and she then makes an informed choice whether to believe he has the answer right or not..
the fact that his answer lead back to herself, may have changed her, or kept her say from becoming a budhist to becoming an athiest- and from that decision others would follow, ie. whether or not to be vegetarian etc...
as for liking vanilla ice cream or not - it is or it isnt' your taste, well what about an "aquired taste"
what if you go to India, and they give you some food you would have hated before, but now you love it because of your fresh understanding, because your latest experiences transformed you enogh so you can now enjoy it? ( kind of like there is pain and there is pain of pain) maybe the icky flavor was still just icky flavour but the understanding of it on top made it taste better)
He is essentially saying he believes that we don't have free will/ choice because it is all predetermined by our genes- I think? I disagree completely with this. Our brains are plastic, and continuously changing along witht the environment- and whether i take a right instead of a left is not pre-determined, what if it was an accident?
He is saying our judgement too is predetemined- but I think it is not just an issue of genes- although that plays a part in it- it think it is ongoing more like phenomenology.
I think it is weak minded to just say- oh you are born like this you cant help it it is how you are, you just ARE. well that is very nice and very YIN and all, but where is the YANG, like i really think it is both, I think the fatalist mentality is dangerous, why bother do anything at all if everything is predetermined i will just sit at home and watch tv until something happens!
Secondly he diagnosed the Clinton(s) as psychopathic- how on earth can you really make a diagnosis of someone you never met, based on television appearances and simply because he may have has lied a few times ?
Dr. Robert sometimes we don't even see that our statements are fully egotistical ( because this was) and less so when we are trying hard to be good and spiritual ( not unlike your concerns with meditation)
finally regarding meditation. How can you say we can be deluded by meditating? um sure you can get a bit of an ego i suppose, worst case you end up one of those annoying yoga hippy teachers that act like gurus.
but going by his logic, they would have been that way anyway! meditation or no meditation. maybe the flipside is another donald trump!
i also think that is what happens when we see meditation as a means to an end, not just an end in itself.
I meditate infrequently now lol, but sure i have felt self righteous at times, but more often than not it humbles me and centers me- and like i said i happen to lean towards egoism anyway. who doesn't right?
I don't at all see meditation as an escape,I feel like I am going within, healing or calming my mind.
I do agree that these ideas of enlightment are no better than Christian Heavens, and budhism really is just another religion with its hypocrisies and mysticism ( well tibetan budhism) and I totally agree that it is dettached from Budha himself. did budha ever really say you have to do 111 1111 prostrations?? the kagyu budhist believe in this stuff.
funny in all the budha movies i never saw budha doing that lol!
anyway.. You have my full respect dr. robert, I just was a little disappointed by a few of your responses, I would love for you or anyone to maybe clear it up for me, in case I am missing the point.
I belive he means that the choices WE make can be molded to follow a path chosen by others. Even if we think WE want to do something, somoene could have easily shaped our view so that we do what THEY want and not what we would have done if we weren't exposed to this view. Also, it's idiotic to think that the world is predetermined, just our thought processes can be MOLDED into a certain path. You can take anyone who declares that everything in life is predetermined and i can bet you anything that he/she will still look left and right before crossing the road.
In short, we have the free will to act and react according to your experiences BUT those experiences can be manipulated, quite easily infact.
Brodyn, here is Dr. Robert himself responding to a poster named Decka on January 3, 2010:
wait one more thing- he said somewhere that he cannot morally judge..( i think he said this about psychopaths, as they are this way NOT due to decisions...just formed) .
i am sure he said that- but if he said that, that is ridiculous!
first using his own logic, that his experiences made him who he is, and if they made him judgemental then so be it right?
also, what do we do with the criminal element? someone kills your dog, are you just going to try and understand him, hold his hand and hope he changes for the better???
I don't think so. when you do something morally repugnant, we judge the actions.
we have laws for that reason also which serve to judge the morality - if someone breaks the moral socital code of ethics- ie kill someone- they go to jail.
if someone abuses a dog, or is a serial killer, therapy might be part of the solution, but really would you not want to sequester these individuals from harming others for the safety of the many....???
anyone kills a dog, i say put them on an island with all the other dog killers, let them abuse eachother for all i care.
that is MY moral judgement.
So you judge a baby that has no concept of right or wrong in the same manner? Like a child, right and wrong means NOTHING to me. the only thing that matters is if i can get away with what i want to do, if the chances are low i will most likely not do it. You can declare a sentence but judging, objectively, is impossible no? Also, before you ask "why are you afraid of prison" i will quickly respond with "why don't you eat poo? Are you afraid of it?"
no i just don't agree.
BECAUSE you are not a baby!
and because you know the difference from right and wrong, you just choose not to give a **** !
if we had no jail, you even admitted in the other post you would be violent.
you are not violent because you dont want to go to jail.
jail is a detterent duh! probably the reason my dog isn't torn apart and eaten by psychopaths that decide they want to give in to their fantasies- why the hell not if there is no law to stop them)
If you violate someone else's body by rape, or violence, **** yeah you should go to jail and for one hell of a long time!
( i like my alcatraz idea more, just ship all of your kind to your own private island,where you can be free to act anyway you like, then we would all be happy, of course you would be dead lol, just think of that...we might even have world peace!)
the laws are a moral judgement our society as a whole has made to judge what is criminal and what isn't and who is a criminal and who isn't.
i cannot believe I am even having to discuss what is so ridiculously obvious. i thought sociopaths were smart, your disappointing me!
So the woman who is about to be stoned to death for adultry in Iran will learn a moral lesson now I guess.
Moral judgments are social constructions, and are no better than the culture which constructs them. Yes, prison is a deterrent, and I suppose you are happy about all the marijuana smokers who are rotting in jail now. After all what they did--getting high on some vegetable matter--is a horrible violation of morality.
You are so angry and so judgmental. With that attitude you don't have a prayer of understanding the subtlety of Dr. Robert's ideas, nor Daniel's either.
They are people who have thought deeply about this question. You don't even want to think. You just want to parade your ignorance.
Good one, Doug. This person is just another demonizer, who wants to make psychopaths into criminals. Dr. Robert's point was that many non-psychopaths are criminals, and many psychopaths are not. Each person must be seen in his or her individuality, not as part of a group judgment.
Broyden, get you head out of your a** and try to understand the non-judgmental heart of this forum. As the Doc says, when judgment begins, intelligence ends.
Maybe I was too hard on you. Since you are new here, why don't you read this:
Try to understand it without agreeing or disagreeing--just understand it. Then tell us what you think.
Brodyn, you obviously miss the point. I don't like the sentence but i don't give a **** about the judgement of my peers. Try to let that sink in for awhile as that is what is being meant. Judging morally is condemning others actions on a basis of right and wrong, there is no such thing when it comes to psychopaths/sociopaths.
Also, if you think laws have ANYTHING to do with morality... you truely are ignorant.
You are just dying to find an excuse to disagree with dr. robert. I guess something in his point of view frightens you. Maybe you are afraid that if all your actions are not decisions, but just expressions of your genetic makeup and your past influences that would mean that you are out of control.
You said that he "diagnosed" Bill Clinton as psychopathic and asked how he could do that without ever meeting him. He never said Clinton was a psychopath, and what he did say was very far from a "diagnosis." It was speculation, which he clearly stated, so you are lying. Here is what he said:
For example, although I imagine that some of my visitors will disagree, as I now watch the American presidential campaigns in progress (today is January 26, 2008), I suspect that Bill Clinton is at least somewhat psychopathic--perhaps more than just somewhat. Recall his straight-faced, finger-wagging claims that, "I never had sex with that women, Ms. Lewinsky, not a single time," and his recent ruthless attacks on Mr. Obama, including all kinds of nasty racial innuendo, although both Clintons always claim to be "on the side of black people." A psychopath does not have to sound violent and demented like Phillip. He or she might also be charming, attractive, and even charismatic. My suspicion of psychopathy in Clinton finds some evidence in his obvious intense drive to get what he wants, and his apparent lack of remorse, guilt, or shame for the rather nasty methods, such as racial innuendo, to which he will stoop to get it. Obviously, because they feel no guilt, many psychopaths are top-notch liars who can convince almost anyone of almost anything. Again, Clinton.
If you don't see the difference between what he really did say and what you accused him of saying you need to smarten up before your next attempt at a comment.
I suspect that Bill Clinton is at least somewhat psychopathic--perhaps more than just somewhat. Recall his straight-faced, finger-wagging claims that, "I never had sex with that women, Ms. Lewinsky, not a single time," and his recent ruthless attacks on Mr. Obama, including all kinds of nasty racial innuendo, although both Clintons always claim to be "on the side of black people." A psychopath does not have to sound violent and demented like Phillip. He or she might also be charming, attractive, and even charismatic. My suspicion of psychopathy in Clinton finds some evidence in his obvious intense drive to get what he wants, and his apparent lack of remorse, guilt, or shame for the rather nasty methods, such as racial innuendo, to which he will stoop to get it. Obviously, because they feel no guilt, many psychopaths are top-notch liars who can convince almost anyone of almost anything. Again, Clinton.
As for Clintons, I would never as a psychologist write on a website your views on strangers you have never met, "suspecting "them as sociopaths, and then act like this is not a form of judgment? i mean read over what you wrote! who is being inconsistent with their logic now?
I think you might be kidding yourself now with this holier than thou non -judgemental persona, because it certainly comes out when you get angry about a post you don't like.
Also you judged me by an email to be an angry fear based person,without realizing I am Greek and I am of a passionate personality, we tend to debate more in order to get to the bottom of things, a totally valid method.
I read it over and I could see how it could be construed as angry what i wrote, maybe i was somewhat frustrated by the confusion, because I deeply wanted to understand what you were getting at, but not angry.
It is also possible you will change my mind, as I do posess a very open mind, despite that you decided / judged/ I have poor logic. ( oh and fear and anger)and if those aren't moral judgements then maybe i am just too stupid to get this ...
furthermore these ideas are not new to me at all, i already believe 100 percent in the study which i read over a year ago that you cited- BUT i never read much about it, I had completely forgotten it until you brought it up, so I was glad for you bring it to my attention, as for the judging issues, well yes I have trouble with that.
BUT the part that was unclear, which i think you are clearing up is that we should just not judge as we implement the law? Just do it kind of like you train a dog. I know what you mean but to me this just sounds great in theory : this is why:
Take a judge in a courtroom- the judge has no personal motivation, YET he or she takes in not simply the criminal's behaviour, but also the motivation, and they call in character witnesses etc..
this implies to me that at present we do use judges to judge the behaviour as moral or immoral right?
judges have to judge the action as immoral ( stabbing you wife to steal her wallet) or moral ( you stabbed her in self defense)
motivations are a big part of it. and i don't know how we can avoid looking at and judging that !
So maybe I am still not "smart enough" to grasp your " logic" but next time do, you might want to use less adjectives while clearly judging me! I am no better than a dog after all! ps. i still respect your judgements on everything else you wrote.
i posted a message above somewhere in response...
also just to add to that: regarding someone going to jail, yes i do follow you that jail adds to the person's experience, but when you add something like that, a person can change due to that experience.
this makes sense, but we are still human beings and everyday we make choices and i do agree with trying not to be judgemental, but to think we can simply erase it does not seem possible or wise - I mean honestly if Dalai Lama or some other unjudgemental person had to judge a murder trial, I do not see how he he could not take into account whether the person intended to kill someone out of self -defense or out of malice. this is what i mean by moral judgement and I just cannot fathom how all the meditation in the world can change what is human nature.
Thanks for writing again with more information. I certainly was not accusing you of anything, and if you are not angry or upset, fine. So much the better.
I disagree with your idea that a psychologist should not discuss the psychology of public figures. This is done all the time. Once again, I did not ever say that Clinton is psychopathic. I said that I suspect him of it, and I gave reasons. Actually, many powerful people are psychopathic. Their psychopathy is responsible for their ability to get their way as easily as they do.
I think you should try to understand that laws may be based in part on morality, but that does not mean that an individual human being cannot be non-judgmental or even apply such laws without judging in terms of morality.
I don't know if the Lama is non-judgmental or not, but if he is, he could certainly apply laws without making moral judgments.
If my comments do not apply to you, or do not make sense, just forget them. I certainly can be mistaken. It happens often.
I get the feeling that either you do not understand anything about psychopathy or you intentionally wanted to misunderstand what the doc wrote about Clinton. Are you a major Bill Clinton fan? He could certainly be a total manipulator, and maybe you are one of his victims.
In reading this entire thread, I see that Brodyn has really misunderstood entirely the idea of "choice," and "decision." I think it would help if she read this ask doctor robert page called Is It OK To Wonder What People Look Like Naked?". Obviously, Doctor Robert is accustomed to looking deeply into human drives and compulsions, and having done so has come to understand that "choice"is largely fantasy. I know Brodyn hates this idea, and seems afraid of it, but that might change if she opens her mind a bit.