Thursday, November 12, 2015
WHAT WE FUND IS WHAT WE FIND
In the November 11 Opinion section of the New York Times, Professor of Psychiatry, George Makari, laments the fact all of the research money is going to discover how the physical brain is responsible for our psychological states - emotions, reactions, and even how we vote:
"Unfortunately, Dr. Kane’s study [revealing that our psychology is a product of other factors besides brain chemistry] arrives alongside a troubling new reality. His project was made possible by funding from the National Institute of Mental Health before it implemented a controversial requirement: Since 2014, in order to receive the institute’s support, clinical researchers must explicitly focus on a target such as a biomarker or neural circuit. It is hard to imagine how Dr. Kane’s study (or one like it) would get funding today, since it does not do this. In fact, psychiatry at present has yet to adequately identify any specific biomarkers or circuits for its major illnesses."
Makari laments the inevitable - what we fund is what we will find, and this will take us no further than the biological brain. This is because they will assuredly find what they are looking for. Just spend enough money along with the understanding that any positive findings will be welcomed by the most prestigious journals, and the researchers will be fighting for their place in line.
Funding buys results, and this is not only true in the area of psychiatry. There has been a mad dash by evolutionists scurrying to find natural and physical explanations for just about everything - religion, the origin of life, consciousness, and, of course, moral behavior. And they have the grants to do it!
As a result, behaviors like alcoholism or even rape and murder, are now regarded chemically and not morally. They are regarded exclusively as diseases or pathologies at the expense of any consideration of moral failure.
Just recently, Governor Chris Christy talked about a gifted associate who had everything but lost it all to the disease of alcoholism.
The story was related without any moral considerations, apart from Christy's own moral angst, but it too is just another bio-chemical reaction.
Ironically, as Christy was trying to show compassion for his associate, he was indirectly laying blame on his wife. How? It is one thing to leave your husband, which she did, because of repeated moral indiscretions, but it is reprehensible to leave him because of a disease over which he had no control.
Naturalistic philosophy - and this is where the West is devoting all of its research money - is an empty lot overrun by weeds. Sadly, sound structures, like moral accountability, are being demolished to make more room for empty lots.