In “Admirable Evasions: How Psychology Undermines Morality” (2015), psychiatrist and essayist Theodore Dalrymple has written that it does:
· Theodore Dalrymple explains why human self-understanding has not been bettered by the false promises of the different schools of psychological thought. Most psychological explanations of human behavior are not only ludicrously inadequate oversimplifications, argues Dalrymple, they are socially harmful in that they allow those who believe in them to evade personal responsibility for their actions and to put the blame on a multitude of scapegoats: on their childhood, their genes, their neurochemistry, even on evolutionary pressures.
Psychology not only regards us as a product of social and genetic causation, but it also communicates a materialistic worldview in which our values have no objective basis. Instead, we are told that our values are relative to the material causes that have produced us.
With these materialistic assumptions in place, we are doomed to see ourselves as nothing more than materials and the result of material causes. How degrading!
Dalrymple reveals that:
· The fashionable schools of psychoanalysis, behaviorism, modern neuroscience, and evolutionary psychology all prevent the kind of honest self-examination that is necessary to the formation of human character. Instead, they promote self-obsession without self-examination, and the gross overuse of medicines that affect the mind.
How does clinical psych cause self-obsession? Simple – it claims that you have the resources within yourself to change. You just have to learn how to unlock these resources. One way is to believe in yourself by building your self-esteem, and this requires a lot of self-obsession and self-reconstruction.
Why? Life is difficult. We need hope to get out of bed in the morning. Without God, hope inevitably centers on the self, and this will cause us to obsess on whether or not we can bear the weight of this hope. This turns out to be a costly hope.
In contrast, Jesus taught:
· Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Consequently, I no longer have anything to prove to myself. This is because I am no longer the source of my hope. A great relief!