Sunday, August 12, 2007

What's happening. . .

I would like to apologize for the dearth of posts lately, especially those pertaining to human rights. Things have just been very chaotic for me lately. Actually, they usually are, it's just been worse than usual lately, what with almost ending up homeless. On top of that, the youth minister at my church recently fell off a ladder and broke his back. It wasn't a bad break and it will heal with minimal permanent damage, but it does mean that he is unable to finish getting his house ready for painting and the paint on. I have been helping him build his house over the last year and a half. As such, I know better than anyone, exactly what needs to be done, so I am coordinating the final steps to make sure it's painted before winter. As I am unable to climb ladders, this is a rather complicated, inefficient process.

I would also like to thank those who emailed and commented on my situation. I would especially like to thank those who offered to help us keep a roof over our heads. It was really appreciated. I meant to move the post about it below the denialism posts, but accidentally backdated it by several months instead of several days.

I am almost finished with my own posts on ADHD and neurological disorder denialism. I am still hoping to get more posts up by others and will undoubtedly have more of my own thoughts on the subject, but after I get the last two parts of my story up, I will definitely be taking a break from writing on this topic.

I am also almost done with my reading list for the post on morality, torture and the neurology of violence. It will probably take a bit for me to finish writing that post though, I may even split it up into multiple posts. There is a lot of information that I want to get out there. I would like to take this opportunity, to direct you to a short post at Nuerophilosophy, about torture. Actually, Mo's got several really cool posts up that are worth checking out.

Having gotten through a lot of the reading, my opinion about morality has not really changed. I am realizing though, that this is very much a semantic discussion, more than anything else. This is not to imply that framing it thus makes it any less important, language in many ways defines social interaction. However, I think it's important to realize most people have very different ideas about what defines morality. Indeed, many people use more than one definition of morality, depending on the context or axioms being discussed.

At first, I was trepidatious about getting into the discussion of morality. I didn't really think it was particularly relevant to the discussion of human rights. But after receiving a couple emails admonishing me to consider it's relevance more, I realized that not only is it topical to the discussion of human rights, it's fundamental. A large part of my desire to start this blog (aside from whim) was to explore the foundations of human rights, to get to the fundamentals. So not only do I feel more comfortable with bringing morality onto the table, it is my intention to focus on morality quite a bit in the near future.

This brought me to consider the relevance of my recent foray into neurological disorder denialism, and neurological disorders in general. On several different levels, this is also relevant to the discussion of human rights.

First, I think it's important to recognize that neurodiversity is a very good thing. For every negative aspect of most neurological disorders, there are positives that need protection and fostering. The main reason I am so excited about all the advances we are achieving in neuroscience, is that I believe this will lead to a greater understanding of how to preserve the richness of neurodiversity, while compensating for the negatives that accompany it. The status quo is focused on elimination of the symptoms, rather than compensating for them. The problem with that is that we lose something on the process, something of immeasurable value. The goal should be finding ways for us to fit into the structure of society. The goal should most assuredly not be to turn us all into neurotypicals.

Second, this touches on a discussion that was discussed very briefly here. That is, the rights of children, versus the rights of their parents. There are very few contexts for this discussion more important and more ambiguous than the context of mental health. Having suffered as a direct result of my parent's denial of my neurological disorders, this is a topic that hits close to home, obviously.

Finally, this touches on the very real problem of persons with neurological disorders that seriously compromise their ability to reasonably function in the framework of society. Where is the line drawn, where should it be drawn? What restrictions are appropriate and where are they appropriate?

As always, I welcome cross-posts and guest posts. If you have something to add to the discussion, I would be happy to check it out and probably put it up. Even, maybe especially, if you disagree with me on something. I would appreciate dissenting points of view. I would also welcome some relief from the pressure of trying to keep posts flowing. In any case, thank you very much for stopping by. I hope to hear from you, as I really appreciate feedback.

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