February 22, 2010

"The medicalization of kind of what used to be called moral... you know... uh... or immoral... the medicalization of what used to be called immorality is certainly a topic that a lot of people, I'm sure, especially conservatives, have given... have given... devoted some ink to."

Isn't it strange how uncomfortable Bob Wright is talking about the subject of religion and morality? It almost seems that an alarm goes of in his head saying: Don't go there! That's what conservatives talk about! Watch the whole clip. The context is Tiger Woods, and I'm intent on enlarging into a more general critique of addiction therapy as a religion substitute. Does Wright cut off the conversation at the point where he can't see how to avoid sounding like a conservative?



And it's particularly odd since Bob was so intent on characterizing the discussion of Tiger Woods as frivolous. I'll limit myself to one clip, but the idea that we were stooping to talk about this subject came up a few times.

42 comments:

Titus said...

You look fabulous. You really are beautiful, you know that don't you?

Titus said...

The male law students must love you. If I walked into a class and saw you I would be floored...and I am gay.

I hope Meade appreciates you, I am sure he does.

Titus said...

This is my last post gushing about your beauty.

You have great taste too. Clothes, hair, make up etc. Totally fabulous.

chuck b. said...

Lol. Those were not the first three comments I predicted I'd find.

traditionalguy said...

Ditto, Titus. The need to get ones head on straight again after the "Old man of the Flesh" has had his way is admitting to a common weakness. The traditional religions have always offered that service like weight watchers offer weight loss help. Where is the power to save us from ourselves? Learning the vocabulary of feelings and the vocabulary of boundaries is a big part of the answer for men. Without a vocabulary, one cannot think straight...not even Bob Wright. Therefore poets rule, like the poets that wrote the religious revelations. Current research has added to our skills. I have been helped by reading Daniel Goleman' two books called Emotional Inlligence and Social Intelligence.

Jason said...

Man, Althouse just has it in for Buddhists this week!

Is it because they're bald? Is it like the antipathy towards men in shorts?

Titus said...

And smart and witty too. A combustional combination.

Titus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Titus said...

Is cumbotianal is a word?

Kakashi said...

A good point.

garage mahal said...

Man, Althouse just has it in for Buddhists this week!

Just what that is we're left to wonder I'm afraid. Just something about it.

SteveR said...

Does Bob think the camera is up in the corner?

veni vidi vici said...

"Does Wright cut off the conversation at the point where he can't see how to avoid sounding like a conservative?"

Well, judging by this and other bloggingheads stills of him, he certainly can't avoid looking like a douchebag.

david7134 said...

At the height of his power, Huey Long was caught coming out of his mistress's house. A newspaper man came up to him and asked what he was going to do now. His response, "nothing". He continued his activities as he desired and his popularity increased. He did not claim addiction or problems with morals. Basically with him you got what you saw. This is what a man should do. If he feels compelled to screw around, then own up to it and tell everyone else that they don't really care. After all, you are selling your political agenda or your golf ability. Not your morals and the two have little to do with each other. For the record, I did not agree with Long.

As to addiction, that is a joke. Addiction is a personality disorder and has little to do with physicial dependence on a drug, alcohol or sex. As to morals and religion, a joke. Religion is just another power play. I know more amoral preachers than those that are truly religious people.

pduggie said...

He doesn't want to say conservatives have 'given some thought' to something? So they devote ink instead?

Trooper York said...

Bob Wright does for liberals what Dr. Amy Bishop does for professors.

ricpic said...

Poets rule! Not sure about those that abjure rhyme.
Tennis without a net. Bouillabaisse without thyme.

Synova said...

The way I figure it... if you have to lie and keep secrets about who you are, you should probably stop what you're doing. Be the same person you are in private as you are in public and you just won't have those problems.

As far as medicalization goes... we medicate all the time to treat men (and women, too, I suppose) for a lack of interest... why not take meds for too much interest?

I think that there are two sides of the same quack-medicine issue though. There seems to be a whole lot devoted to excusing and enabling behavior that is unhealthy as just another way to be... because on those issues we want so badly not to be seen as judgmental. But to do that they have to be seen as something other than behavior. They have to be conditions.

So it's a paradox. In order to make the claim that something is not willful and wrong it has to be seen as a condition that a person can not control.

Synova said...

And I suppose what I mean to get at about that is... if it's a condition...

...why not cure it?

Trooper York said...

Bob Wright does for liberals what Snookie and the Situation do for Italian Americans.

halojones-fan said...

Looks like he's run up against the old problem that antireligionists always have. That is, "how do I make an objective moral statement when my fundamental philosophy is that there is no provably objective morality?"

gbarto said...

I recently skimmed Maté's In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. I think there's something to be said for the idea of addiction as a personality disorder. It looks like the brain physiology actually changes as addiction progresses. The thing is, who knows where you're going to get your kicks? Or, more to the point, which behavior/feeling you're going to find just a bit too rewarding.

There are plenty of Christian addicts. There might as well be Buddhist addicts too. The problem for both of them is that it's not just a question of straightening up and flying right. It's a question of unlearning behaviors and building new neural pathways for the actions you take when confronted with stimuli that make you think of your "fix," be it a line of coke, a six-pack or, for the workaholic, knowing that nothing remains to be done and the boss will see you as indispensable again tomorrow.

I think in this context, morality ceases to be about the transgression per se and becomes a matter of stopping behaviors that harm others or yourself. Which is the real reason why most immoral behaviors are judged immoral to begin with.

Trooper York said...

Bob Wright does for liberal what Mountain Dew does for quality beverages.

ricpic said...

Down in Loosiana where the swamp grass grow
And the big river ramble and meander real slow
Huey Long said, "I yam what I yam,
I came for the wimmens and I came for the dough,
And if y'all don't like it you can kiss my grits,
Wherever I'm standing is where the shoe fits!"

Ron said...

Althouse looks very French with that shirt! You needed a beret!

traditionalguy said...

Random thoughts:Addictions are usually growths off of frustrations. Drying out as the Alcoholics Anonymous say does not cure the frustrations, and the addictions will migrate into tobacco and caffeine. Still addiction that destroy men are defeatable with help that a loving person can offer the addict, AND that the addict takes. In the end the Will of the man is what repents or what gives in and dives back into the hole. That is why religion can often succeed when counselors alone cannot. The man's will (Soul) can be strengthened by the spiritual help that strengthens his spirit. Incidentally, a high proteine diet also strengthens the soul. I suspect that is actually why the vegen cults oppose eating beef.

Guesst said...

Growing the bangs out....!

Ann looks like she has pigtails....young!

Very Heidi.


Would like to see a boobs-thrust-forward shot just once though-and I'm not gay.

(She hides herself beneath loose clothing. But why?_

phx said...

Incidentally, a high proteine diet also strengthens the soul. I did not know that! Interesting information!

phx said...

Incidentally, a high proteine diet also strengthens the soul. I did not know that! Interesting information!

Trooper York said...

Bob Wright does for liberals what Pauley Shore does for the Actors Studio.

Meade said...

Guesst said...
(She hides herself beneath loose clothing. But why?_

Message? She cares.

She does not wish to inflame immoral temptations nor to create medicalized crises in her male law students, Titus, and others who could become dangerously aroused and, ultimately, addicted.

I could give this far more ink but I think I'll stop here and just repeat the basic truth:

Althouse cares.

EDH said...

Titus said...
You look fabulous. You really are beautiful, you know that don't you?

Althouse has a pinkish hue.

Wright's only claim: "I am Cadaverous Yellow."

Ralph L said...

Did she post so many clips because Wright has his tongue out on every one? What a wingnut!

Ann Althouse said...

BHTV is responsible for the still frame that keeps showing up. I assume it's random and not chosen. I have no control over it. Funny, though. I agree. Love Chip's rendition of it.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wright's only claim: "I am Cadaverous Yellow.""

He looks yellow, and I look really pink because I'm using 100% natural light and he's got incandescent.

Richard Dolan said...

"Isn't it strange how uncomfortable Bob Wright is talking about the subject of religion and morality? It almost seems that an alarm goes of in his head saying: Don't go there!"

Since Wright wrote a book about the relationship between religion and morality, this doesn't make a lot of sense. I've only skimmed his book, but he starts with a reductionist thesis about religion (various evolutionary factors supposedly fostered the development of the moral imagination, which gave rise to and found expression via a religious idiom). Later in the book he seems to say that religion is causing the moral imagination to expand and grow. That's pretty much the opposite of his original thesis explaining religion away as a kind of secondary phenomenon.

Since I've only skimmed the book (and don't plan to go back to it), I may have gotten his approach completely wrong. But the point is that a fellow who can write a long book on the relationship between religion and morality is unlikely to be "uncomfortable ... talking about the subject of religion and morality," don't you think?

Rather than reflecting any degree of discomfort in the subject, his hemming and hawing seemed par for the course for him on these BHtv episodes.

Titus said...

I am not "dangerously aroused".

I just think she is pretty...that's all.

Titus said...

Actually I have never been dangerously aroused. Is there something wrong with me?

edutcher said...

What is termed sex addiction, if there is no hormonal issue, is all mental. Drugs or booze, I think is physical, as well. Anyone who has come off either has distinct withdrawal symptoms to overcome. That there is an addictive personality trait does not preclude that a person without it can be addicted to a substance. So I have to disagree with David.

Guesst said...

...

(She hides herself beneath loose clothing. But why?_

Perhaps because she's a married lady and a professional woman?

Marriage obviously agrees with her, though, as many here have noted.

Meade said...

Titus said...

I am not "dangerously aroused".

I just think she is pretty...that's all.

Actually I have never been dangerously aroused. Is there something wrong with me?


In all honesty, I don't think there is a thing wrong with you. In fact, you sound like a fine young lad. I'm sure all her students are too. I was just messing with you.

Penny said...

Another great Bloggingheads. Frankly, I am pretty well burned out on the Tiger Woods' saga, but I had to listen to this because it was Althouse and Wright. They're great together. Althouse is so animated and Wright, so laid back. It just works so much better that way.

Skippy said...

Ann, you are beautiful, but please, please stop wearing these hideous striped tops! Hideous striped t-shirts in the summer, now hideous striped turtleneck in the winter. That and the bizarro skirts that look like curtains from a horse-drawn hearse -- I've never seen anything as awful, and they seem to show up in many of your pictures...skiing, touristing...