I’ve recently been thinking a lot about my opinions on mental illness. You can ascertain plenty about a person’s belief about life, as well as philosophy, and perhaps even religion when listening to them speak about mental illness. Unfortunately though, that is another essay entirely that I’ll have to rewrite, that was lost in the great harddrive failure of quite a while ago. Perhaps you can see what I mean in an example of the logical flow of such a conversation.
As an example: It came to mind that if somebody believes that mental illness is not able to be overcome by will, then whatever causes the mental illness is a limitation of free will. If who you are is in your mind, and some piece of your mind has the power to limit your free will, then what are we? Are we slaves to the wiring we happened to get during childbirth? A rebuttal could then simply be to say that we made choices in childhood, and many of these illnesses are caused by experiences during childhood. Thus we are the cause of our own mental illness, in essence choosing to have something block our free will, and thus our free will is not actually stopped, but exercised. If a valid argument is to say that choices and who we are is not based on our mind, but the soul, then why might something in our mind limit the soul? …etc.
This circular style of argument could take branches and ultimately go on forever, while always coming back to the statement; “Ultimately, nobody knows for sure.” I think you can learn more about a person’s belief system by asking them about their opinion on mental health, than asking the common questions about religion. This also would be a more advisable topic if you wish to discover that information, as I have seen more eyes glaze over on the topic of religion than I am able to count.
It shows how much they have truly sat down and thought about who they are and where their thoughts come from. Where their sense of self truly resides. I believe it is a pursuit that all should take. Sit down and think about how you’re thinking.
-Ramblings of a nerd