Szasz Quotes

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Two wrongs don't make a right, but they make a good excuse.
Thomas Szasz
The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.
Thomas Szasz
The proverb warns that, 'You should not bite the hand that feeds you.' But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself.
Thomas Szasz
People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.
Thomas Szasz
In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined.
Thomas Szasz
When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him..
Thomas Szasz
If you talk to God, you are praying. If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia
Thomas Szasz
The plague of mankind is the fear and rejection of diversity: monotheism, monarchy, monogamy and, in our age, monomedicine. The belief that there is only one right way to live, only one right way to regulate religious, political, sexual, medical affairs is the root cause of the greatest threat to man: members of his own species, bent on ensuring his salvation, security, and sanity.
Thomas Szasz
Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence.
Thomas Szasz
Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one's self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily; and why older persons, especially if vain or important, cannot learn at all.
Thomas Szasz
Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.
Thomas Szasz
It taught me, at an early age, that being wrong can be dangerous, but being right, when society regards the majority’s falsehood as truth, could be fatal.
Thomas Szasz (The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct)
Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.
Thomas Szasz
Classifying thoughts, feelings and behaviors as diseases is a logical and semantic error, like classifying whale as fish.
Thomas Szasz
Parents teach children discipline for two different, indeed diametrically opposed, reasons: to render the child submissive to them and to make him independent of them. Only a self-disciplined person can be obedient; and only such a person can be autonomous.
Thomas Szasz
Punishment is now unfashionable... because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.
Thomas Szasz
In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults.
Thomas Szasz
Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults.
Thomas Szasz
Doubt is to certainty as neurosis is to psychosis. The neurotic is in doubt and has fears about persons and things; the psychotic has convictions and makes claims about them. In short, the neurotic has problems, the psychotic has solutions.
Thomas Szasz
Insanity is the only sane reaction to an insane society.
Thomas Szasz
A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.
Thomas Szasz (The Second Sin)
Why don't you have a right to say you are Jesus? And why isn't the proper response to that "congratulations"?
Thomas Szasz
Suicide is a fundamental human right. This does not mean that it is desirable. It only means that society does not have the moral right to interfere, by force, with a persons decision to commit this act. The result is a far-reaching infantilization and dehumanization of the suicidal person.
Thomas Szasz
Is psychiatry a medical enterprise concerned with treating diseases, or a humanistic enterprise concerned with helping persons with their personal problems? Psychiatry could be one or the other, but it cannot--despite the pretensions and protestations of psichiatrists--be both.
Thomas Szasz
The young and the old are defenseless against relatives who want to get rid of them by casting them in the role of mental patient,and against psychiatrists whose livelihood depends on defining them as mentally ill.
Thomas Szasz (Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted)
Men love liberty because it protects them from control and humiliation from others, and thus affords them the possibility of dignity. They loathe liberty because it throws them back on their own abilities and resources, and thus confronts them with the possibility of insignificance.
Thomas Szasz
It seems to me that-at least in our scientific theories of behavior-we have failed to accept the simple fact that human relations are inherently fraught with difficulties and that to make them even relatively harmonious requires much patience and hard work.
Thomas Szasz (The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct)
Psychiatrists look for twisted molecules and defective genes as the causes of schizophrenia, because schizophrenia is the name of a disease. If Christianity or Communism were called diseases, would they then look for the chemical and genetic “causes” of these “conditions”?
Thomas Szasz (The Second Sin)
He who does not want to understand the Other has no right to say that what the Other does or says makes no sense.
Thomas Szasz (Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted)
The proverb warnes you'',''dont bite the hand that feeds you,''but maybe you should,''if it prevents you from feeding yourself.
Thomas Szasz
The maliciousness of psychiatry is that it promotes itself as a medical discipline, although it is actually only part of the state authority."24 Therein
Thomas Szasz (Psychiatry: The Science of Lies)
Malcolm X and Edmund Burke shared an appreciation of this important insight, this painful truth--that the state wants men to be weak and timid, not strong and proud.
Thomas Szasz (Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts and Pushers)
If you have strongly held opinions, you are opinionated; if you don't, you lack conviction: either way, there is something wrong with you.
Thomas Szasz
There are two kinds of 'disabled' persons: Those who dwell on what they have lost and those who concentrate on what they have left.
Thomas Szasz (The Untamed Tongue: A Dissenting Dictionary)
The concept of disease is fast replacing the concept of responsibility. With increasing zeal Americans use and interpret the assertion "I am sick" as equivalent to the assertion "I am not responsible": Smokers say they are not responsible for smoking, drinkers that they are not responsible for drinking, gamblers that they are not responsible for gambling, and mothers who murder their infants that they are not responsible for killing. To prove their point — and to capitalize on their self-destructive and destructive behavior — smokers, drinkers, gamblers, and insanity acquitees are suing tobacco companies, liquor companies, gambling casinos, and physicians.
Thomas Szasz
Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence.
null
It is the lot of mankind to feel not only insecure but also bored. To combat that experience, people long to be passively entertained, which requires less effort than assuming responsibility for self-improvement.
Thomas Szasz (Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted)
Men are rewarded and punished not for what they do, but rather for how their acts are defined. This is why men are more interested in better justifying themselves than in better behaving themselves.
Thomas Szasz
Anyone who seeks to help others—whether by means of religion or by means of medicine—must eschew the use of force.
Thomas Szasz (The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct)
People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds. It is something one creates.
Thomas Szasz
The cruelty intrinsic to the workhouse system was excused by the need to discourage idleness, much as the malice intrinsic to the mental hospital system has been excused by the need to provide treatment.
Thomas Szasz (Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted)
Institutions, no less than persons, may need to be socialized.
Thomas Szasz
The War on Drugs and the War on Homelessness are on a collision course that no one in the media or in public life are willing to acknowledge. Ostensibly aimed at decreasing the use of illegal drugs, the War on Drugs succeeds only in increasing homelessness.
Thomas Szasz
Modern Western democracies no longer engage in such despotic assaults on freedom, Instead, they deprive people of liberty indirectly, by relieving them of responsibility for their own (allegedly self-injurious) actions and calling the intervention "treatment.
Thomas Szasz (Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted)
Although both home and mental illness are complex, modern ideas, we have fallen into the habit of using phrases such as "housing the homeless" and "treating the mentally ill" as if we knew what counts as housing a homeless person or what it means to treat mental illness. But we do not. We have deceived ourselves that having a home and being mentally healthy are our natural conditions, and that we become homeless or mentally ill as a result of "losing" our homes or our minds. The opposite is the case. We are born without a home and without reason, and have to exert ourselves and are fortunate if we succeed in building a secure home and a sound mind.
Thomas Szasz (Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted)
The fatal weakness of most psychiatric historiographies lies in the historians' failure to give sufficient weight to the role of coercion in psychiatry and to acknowledge that mad-doctoring had nothing to do with healing.
Thomas Szasz (Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted)
Permissiveness is the principle of treating children as if they were adults; and the tactic of making sure they never reach that stage.
Thomas Szasz
In a secular democracy, a person is supposed to be punished only when he breaks the law; never because he is evil. That is, after all, what distinguishes a democracy from a theocracy.
Thomas Szasz (Law, Liberty and Psychiatry)
The ethics of psychiatric therapy is the very negation of the ethics of political liberty. The former embraces absolute power, provided it is used to protect and promote the patient's mental health. The latter rejects absolute power, regardless of its aim or use.
Thomas Szasz
Our legal system does not grant adults a right to liberty, because they already possess that right; it only revokes the right to liberty (for certain offenses) or restores it (if the deprivation did not conform to due process).
Thomas Szasz
If you talk to God, you are praying; If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.
Thomas Szasz
Scientific knowledge does not contain within itself directions for its humanitarian use.
Thomas Szasz (Law, Liberty and Psychiatry)
We cannot institutionalize helping the "victims" of personal disasters.
Thomas Szasz (Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted)
The term 'deinstitutionalization' conceals some simple truths, namely, that old, unwanted persons, formerly housed in state hospitals, are now housed in nursing homes; that young, unwanted persons, formerly also housed in state hospitals, are now housed in prisons or parapsychiatric facilities; and that both groups of inmates are systematically drugged with psychiatric medications.
Thomas Szasz (Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted)
When and why do we attribute a person's behavior to brain disease, and when and why do we not do so? Briefly, the answer is that we often attribute bad behavior to disease (to excuse the agent);never attribute good behavior to disease (lest we deprive the agent of credit); and typically attribute good behavior to free will and insist bad behavior called mental illness is a "no fault" act of nature.
Thomas Szasz (Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted)
Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one's self-esteem.
Thomas Szasz
Thousands of years ago--in times we are fond of calling "primitive" (since this renders us "modern" without having to exert ourselves further to earn this qualification)...
Thomas Szasz
The sense of national emergency engendered by war transforms the destruction of dissident opinion into patriotism.
Thomas Szasz (A Lexicon of Lunacy: Metaphoric Malady, Moral Responsibility & Psychiatry)
The judge punishes lawbreakers as a burning house injures its occupants. A person may be burned to death while robbing a home or saving a friend. Similarly, from a moral point of view, the judge's work is good or evil, depending on whether the laws he enforces are good or evil.
Thomas Szasz (Law, Liberty and Psychiatry)
Once a person has made some sort of stable, symbolic connection between two things, the connection will influence his subsequent behavior and will generate its own 'proof.' This is why it is idle and foolish to try to 'refute' religious, political, and similar beliefs with empirical arguments about referents that are symbols to the believer but not to the non-believer.
Thomas Szasz
Szasz opposed any involuntary psychiatric intervention and, along with the Cuckoo’s Nest portrayal, paved the way for the disastrous dismantling of U.S. mental health facilities. But more generally they helped make popular and respectable the idea that much of science is a sinister scheme concocted by a despotic conspiracy to oppress the people. Mental illness, both Szasz and Laing said, is “a theory not a fact”—now the universal bottom-line argument for anyone, from creationists to climate change deniers to antivaccine hysterics, who prefer to disregard science in favor of their own beliefs.
Kurt Andersen (Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History)
It is mainly by resisting authority that the individual defines himself. This is why authorities--whether parental, priestly, political, or psychiatric--must be careful how and where they assert themselves; for while it is true that the more they assert themselves the more they govern, it is also true that the more they assert themselves the more opportunities they offer for being successfully denied.
Thomas Szasz (Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts and Pushers)
Of course, I do not believe that there is such a thing as a 'value-free' science, much less a value-free 'social science.' Hence, I do not urge anything so naive as a value-free observer or observation; on the contrary, what I urge is that the observer's aims and values be as clear and explicit as possible.
Thomas Szasz (Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts and Pushers)
For the libertarian, the state is a guardian entrusted with a monopoly on the legitimate use of force, and hence a permanent threat to individual liberty. Whereas for the (modern) liberal, the state is a social apparatus for protecting people from destitution, discrimination, and disease. Those who distrust the state, believe the government should provide only those services that individuals or informal groups cannot provide for themselves. Those who trust it, believe the government should provide as many services as people in need require.
Thomas Szasz (Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted)
The medical profession's classic prescription for coping with such predicaments, Primum non nocere (First, do no harm), sounds better than it is. In fact, it fails to tell us precisely what we need to know: What is harm and what is help? However, two things about the challenge of helping the helpless are clear. One is that, like beauty and ugliness, help and harm often lie in the eyes of the beholder--in our case, in the often divergently directed eyes of the benefactor and his beneficiary. The other is that harming people in the name of helping them is one of mankind's favorite pastimes.
Thomas Szasz
Honoring the value of competence and steadfastness requires a generosity of spirit and a curbing of the passion for envy, traits that few people value and fewer still cultivate and acquire. Not until there is more of Smith and less of Hobbes in the human heart, will the majority of people prefer peaceful and boring market relations to the violent and exciting relations between coercer and coerced, predator and victim
Thomas Szasz (Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted)
If we regard the state as the father, and the citizens as children, there are three alternatives. First, the father may be bad and despotic:this, most people will agree, was the case in Czarist Russia. Second, the father may be good, but somewhat tyrannical; this is the way the Communist governments in Russia and China picture themselves. Third, the father may not act as a father at all, for the children have grown up, and there is mutual respect among them. All are now governed by the same rules of behavior (laws): this is the Anglo-American concept of nonpaternalistic humanism and liberty under law.
Thomas Szasz
If a man loses his money through unwise market speculation or by playing the horses, he has been punished in a manner which we may call passive. By this I mean that another person has not taken special, socially overt steps to harm the "offender." This phenomenon has not received the attention it deserves.
Thomas Szasz (Law, Liberty and Psychiatry)
Thomas Szasz called mental illness a “myth” and said that the concept of mental illness was “scientifically worthless and socially harmful.” The opening of his most famous book, The Myth of Mental Illness, reads, “There is no such thing as mental illness,” and the book relegates psychiatry to the realm of alchemy and astrology.
Susannah Cahalan (The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness)
A vast amount of psychiatric effort has been, and continues to be, devoted to legal and quasi-legal activities. In my opinion, the only certain result has been the aggrandizement of psychiatry. The value to the legal profession and to society as a whole of psychiatric help in administering the criminal law, is, to say the least, uncertain. Perhaps society has been injured, rather than helped, by the furor psychodiagnosticus and psychotherapeuticus in criminology which it invited, fostered, and tolerated.
Thomas Szasz (Law, Liberty and Psychiatry)
The pressure to reduce health care costs is aimed only at the treatment of real diseases. There is no pressure to reduce the costs of treating fictitious diseases. On the contrary, there is pressure to define ever more types of undesirable behaviors as mental disorders or addictions and to spend ever more tax dollars on developing new psychiatric diagnoses and facilities for storing and treating the victims of such diseases, whose members now include alcoholics, drug abusers, smokers, overeaters, self-starvers, gamblers, etc.
Thomas Szasz (Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted)
People may be constrained in two basic ways: physically, by confining them in jails, mental hospitals, and so forth; and symbolically, by confining them in occupations, social roles, and so forth. Actually, confinement of the second type is more common and pervasive in the day-to-day conduct of society’s business; as a rule, only when the symbolic, or socially informal, confinement of conduct fails or proves inadequate, is recourse taken to physical, or socially formal, confinement…. When people perform their social roles properly – in other words, when social expectations are adequately met – their behavior is considered normal. Though obvious, this deserves emphasis: a waiter must wait on tables; a secretary must type; a father must earn a living; a mother must cook and sew and take care of her children. Classic systems of psychiatric nosology had nothing to say about these people, so long as they remained neatly imprisoned in their respective social cells; or, as we say about the Negroes, so long as they “knew their place.” But when such persons broke out of “jail” and asserted their liberty, they became of interest to the psychiatrist.
Thomas Szasz (Ideology and Insanity: Essays on the Psychiatric Dehumanization of Man)
Neither he [Ferenczi] nor Freud believed that a person should be exempted from legal punishment--or worse, that he should be punished by compulsory psychiatric "treatments"--because of psychoanalytic information about him. In the light of current thought, this is a startling and sobering fact.
Thomas Szasz
The principal differences between law and science are as follows: 1. In the administration of the law, facts are necessary to enable the umpire (jury, judge) to decide whether rules have been broken and, if so, the type of penalty to apply. In science, facts are necessary to form new or better theories and to develop novel applications (for example, drugs, machines). Novelty is not a positive value in law. Instead, the lawyer looks for precedent. For the scientist, however, novelty is a value; new facts and theories are sought, whether or not they will prove useful. 2. If we endeavor to change objects or persons, the distinction between law (both as law making and law enforcing) and applied science disappears. In applying scientific knowledge, one seeks to change objects, or persons, into new forms. The scientific technologist may thus wish to shape a plastic material into the form of a chair, or a delinquent youth into a law-abiding adult. The aims of the legislator and the judge are often the same. Thus, legislators may wish to change people from drinkers into nondrinkers; or judges many want to change fathers who fail to support their dependent wives and children into fathers who do. This [is a] "therapeutic" function of law.
Thomas Szasz (Law, Liberty and Psychiatry)
İnsanlar; belli bir kişi, meslek ya da “dava”nın hayranlık uyandıran özelliklerine –estetik, erotik, etik, entelektüel– vurulduğumuz için âşık olduğumuza inanırlar. Daha sıklıkla öbür türlü olur. Kendi sevgi ihtiyacımız, bir başka insana, misyona veya inanç sistemine yakından bağlanma ihtiyacımız yüzünden âşık oluruz.
Thomas Szasz
Men often have grievances against prominent and powerful persons. Historically, the grievances of the powerless against the powerful have furnished the steam for the engines of revolutions. My point is that in many of the famous medicolegal cases involving the issue of insanity, persons of relatively low social rank openly attacked their superiors. Perhaps their grievances were real and justified, and were vented on the contemporary social symbols of authority, the King and the Queen. Whether or not these grievances justified homicide is not our problem here. I merely wish to suggest that the issue of insanity may have been raised in these trials to obscure the social problems which the crimes intended to dramatize.
Thomas Szasz (Law, Liberty and Psychiatry)
The faith in body mass index and the existence of mental illness is unquestioned, like the Christian belief in the Holy Trinity. And like in the Church, there is a rule of infallibility: any attempt at questioning these dogmas meets with an anathema and excommunication. Extra medicinam nulla salus preaches the new religion. There is nor can be any alternative to medicine. Consequently, the medical heresies which question the truth of the new gospel of health: the anti-vaccination movement (James 1988), AIDS (Duesberg 1996) and cancer (Efron 1984) denialists, the critical psychiatry (Szasz 2003) and alternative medicine (Piątkowski 2008) are the source of the same fears as Medieval witches, quacks and sects and are persecuted and punished alike
Anonymous
What, then, are psychotherapists and what do they sell to or impose on their clients? Insofar as they use force, psychotherapists are judges and jailers, inquisitors and torturers; insofar as they eschew it, they are secular priests and pseudomedical rhetoricians. Their services consist of coercions and constraints imposed on individuals on behalf of other persons or social groups, or they consist of contracts and conversations entered into by individuals on their own behalf.
Thomas Szasz (The Myth of Psychotherapy)
The primary problem with modern psychiatry is its reduction of mental illness to bodily dysfunction. Objectification of those identified as mentally ill, by insisting on the somatic nature of their illness, may apparently simplify matters and help protect those trying to provide care from the pain experienced by those needing support. But psychiatric assessment too often fails to appreciate personal and social precursors of mental illness by avoiding or not taking account of such psychosocial considerations. Mainstream psychiatry acts on the somatic hypothesis of mental illness to the detriment of understanding people's problems.
Thomas Szasz (The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct)
Not until "human nature" itself progresses morally will the majority of people prefer peaceful and boring market relations to the violent and exciting relations between coercer and coerced, predator and victim.
Thomas Szasz (Faith in Freedom: Libertarian Principles and Psychiatric Practices)
Psikiyatrda [aliénist] olduğu gibi rahipte de, her zaman sorgu yargıcından bir şeyler vardır. –Marcel Proust (1871-1922),
Thomas Szasz
Yaşam, bitmez tükenmez seçimlerden ve dolayısıyla “gündelik hayattaki problemler”den oluşan sonu gelmez bir silsiledir. Kahvaltıda ne yiyeceğimiz gibi sıradan seçimleri önemsiz bulup aldırış etmiyoruz. Kendimizi öldürüp öldürmeyeceğimiz gibi olağandışı seçimleri ise akıl hastalığı semptomları olarak görüp başımızdan savıyoruz. Psikiyatri mesleği insanın ahlaksal açıdan “düşünmesi bile hoş olmayan” seçimlerden kaçınmaya ve yakayı sıyırmaya, hattâ aslında bunların olanağını bile yadsımaya yönelik sık rastlanan arzusuna dayanır ve ona cevap verir.
Thomas Szasz
Onlar yanlış yapmaz şeklindeki lehte bir karineyle, Papa’yı ve Kral’ı diğer insanlardan farklı olarak yargılayacağımızı söyleyen kanonunuzu kabul edemem. Eğer bir karine olacaksa tam tersi, yani iktidar sahiplerine karşı olmalı ve iktidar gücü arttıkça genişlemeli. Yasal sorumluluk bulunmadığından tarihsel sorumluluk oluşturulmak zorundadır. İktidar yozlaştırır, mutlak iktidar mutlak olarak yozlaştırır.
Thomas Szasz
Birçok insan hastadır. Fakat yalnızca psikanalistler bunu gurur duyulacak bir şey olarak görür.
Thomas Szasz (Anti-Freud: Karl Kraus's Criticism of Psychoanalysis & Psychiatry)
Yetersizce bastırılmış cinsellik bazı aileleri sarsıyor; iyice bastırılmış cinsellik ise bütün dünyayı.
Thomas Szasz (Anti-Freud: Karl Kraus's Criticism of Psychoanalysis & Psychiatry)
In the history of the twentieth century, the principal dramatis personae were National and International Socialisms, better known as Nazism and Communism. Their citizens evaded the duty of self-responsibility by claiming to be "following orders." Following orders -attributed to or issued by God, the State, Science, Medicine-is always the easy way out. Refusing to do so requires self-reliance and resisting temptations and threats.
Thomas Szasz (Faith in Freedom: Libertarian Principles and Psychiatric Practices)
But it seems that it is modern medicine in particular that reflects best the religious heritage of our culture: its ideology, myths, dogmas, symbols, beliefs, gestures, practices, hopes and fears. Although it presents itself as rational, i.e. scientific, objective and neutral, its organisation and functioning are typical of religion. Thus, while defining itself as a secular enterprise, medicine is deeply waterlogged with the spirit of the old religion. Even more, for many, medicine becomes a new, secularised religion (Berger 1991; Clerc 2004; Dworkin 2000 [2008]; Szasz 1977; Szczeklik 2012; Tatoń 2003) and takes up its social functions. It is present in people’s life from the womb to the tomb, provides a response to the same fears and angsts of humanity as the Church, and the pursuit of ‘eternal’ health, youth and beauty has substituted the religious zeal for salvation. Medicine’s war on diseases and death is similar to a religious war against sin, as viruses and bacteria have replaced devils and demons, and the structure and functioning of the World Health Organization (WHO) is similar to that of the Church. Physicians have replaced priests and old, religious morality is being substituted by a new moral code: healthism; even though the object of faith and its expression are different, their religious nature persists.
Anonymous
The structure of this new religion is similar to that of traditional religions, as WHO is similar to the Catholic Church. 6 Both are highly bureaucratic, hierarchical and lack transparency; they are centralised and possess a worldwide network of local departments. To maintain their integrity, both organise synods and congresses guarded by special associations. Both are ruled by their own juridical systems and claim monopoly over its services. And just as before the Reformation laymen were not supposed to communicate with God without an expert as a mediator, individuals today should avoid self-treatment and should follow their medical leaders. For this reason, Szasz
Anonymous
Thorazine’s reputation was done in primarily by its link to tardive dyskinesia, combined with the rampant antipsychiatry movement that started in the 1960s—initiated in part by books like Thomas Szasz’s Myth of Mental Illness and in part by the rise of the civil rights movement and feminism, both of which employed a rhetoric later adapted by the antipsychiatry movement to insist that mental patients were another oppressed minority, “their psyches manipulated by therapists.” Thus the drug once hailed for saving the minds of many madmen and -women the world over is rarely prescribed anymore, so out of fashion has it fallen.
Lauren Slater (Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds)
Gerçek kudretlidir ve hüküm sürecektir. Bunda hiçbir sorun yok, doğru olmaması hariç. –Mark Twain (1835-1910), Notebook (1898)
Thomas Szasz
İnsan “bilimleri” fizik bilimlerinden sadece farklı değil, birçok bakımdan onların zıddıdır. Doğa ne yalan ne doğru söyler, oysa insanlar alışkanlıkları üzere ikisini de yapar.
Thomas Szasz
Psikiyatri –burada bu terimi psikanalizi, psikolojiyi ve bütün akıl sağlığı mesleklerini içine alacak şekilde kullanıyorum– modern toplumların en önemli kurumlarından biridir ve “akıl hastalığının diğer hastalıklar gibi bir hastalık olduğu” şeklindeki postulat-önermeye sıkıca bağlıdır. Bu önerme bir yalandır.
Thomas Szasz
Anglo-Amerikan çelişmeli hukuk sisteminde, aksi ispatlanmadıkça sanığın suçsuz olduğu varsayılır ve suçu ispat sorumluluğu suçlayana düşer. Psikiyatrik-tahkike dayalı [engizisyonel] “tıp” sistemindeyse, bu ilişki tersinedir: Akıl hastalığı tanısı konan kişi aksi ispatlanmadıkça deli varsayılır ve deliliğin aksini ispatlama sorumluluğu “deli” olarak töhmet altında bırakılan (genellikle aciz durumdaki) bireye düşer.
Thomas Szasz
Teşhisin hastalık olmadığını akılda tutmalıyız. Modern toplumlarda, herkes teşhis yapabilir ve yapar: Teşhis koymak demokratikleştirilmiştir, farklı farklı çoğunluklar teşhis koyar ve teşhis değiştirir. Buna “konuşma özgürlüğü” diyoruz. Fakat “hekimler” denilen sadece bir grup insan resmen, usulen geçerli, hukukî sonuçları olan teşhisler yapmaya yetkilidir ve bu teşhisler elbette olgusal olarak yanlış olabilir ve sık sık da öyledir.
Thomas Szasz
Tıbbîleştirme sekülerleştirmenin bir yanıdır, terapötik devlet (tıp ile devletin ittifakı) teolojik devletin (kilise ile devletin ittifakı) yerini alır. Geleneksel olarak, günah diye sınıflandırılan belli davranışlar hastalık şeklinde yeniden tanımlanır, böylece bunların zor yoluyla “tedavi”leri gerekçe bulur.
Thomas Szasz
Büyük fizikçi Richard Feynman’ın bilgece gözlemlediği gibi; “Bir kuşun adını dünyadaki tüm dillerde öğrenebilirsiniz, ama öğrenme işini bitirdiğinizde, o kuş hakkında kesinlikle başka hiçbir şey biliyor olmazsınız. Sadece farklı farklı yerlerdeki insanlar hakkında bir şey ile onların kuşu nasıl adlandırdıklarını bilirsiniz. O halde kuşa bakalım ve ne yapmakta olduğunu görelim – önemli olan budur. Bir şeyin adını bilmek ile bir şeyi bilmek arasındaki farkı çok erken yaşlarda öğrendim.”[
Thomas Szasz
Olağanüstü iddialar olağanüstü kanıtları gerektirir,” uyarısında bulunmuş olan Marquis de Laplace’ı (sık sık “Fransız Newton” diye adlandırılan matematikçi ve astronom Pierre-Simon Laplace [1794-1827])
Thomas Szasz
Mutsuzluk, çaresizlik, hayal kırıklığı ve intihar insanlık halinin ayrılmaz parçasıdır. Bunların sebebi ne iblisleri olmak ne de akıl hastası olmaktır. Herkesin bildiği bu gerçeği iddia etmek şöyle dursun, ona inanma cesaretine bile herkes sahip değildir.
Thomas Szasz
It is conceivable, of course, that significant physicochemical disturbances will be found in some “mental patients” and in some “conditions” now labeled “mental illnesses.” But this does not mean that all so-called mental diseases have biological “causes,” for the simple reason that it has become customary to use the term “mental illness” to stigmatize, and thus control, those persons whose behavior offends society—or the psychiatrist making the “diagnosis.
Thomas Szasz (The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct)