Quote of the week

My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?

Nathaniel P.Morris
Scientific American
28 February 2011

If moral outrage had a face, it would be that of Pierre de Vos. For many years now he has grown fat gnawing and chewing on the corpse of political correctness. Often, his outrage compromises his judgement, certainly his logic, as it has again done in this case. Relying on those poorly reported stories which suggested the DA’s decision was based on an isolated incident, he builds his entire case around the single Majavu story the DA took to the Press Ombudsman. Based on that story, he argues, the DA should have investigated the public representative implicated in it, rather than complain about the journalist. Its failure to do so reveals the party as hypocritical, he says. But does he apply that same logic to the DA’s complaint? Of course not. – Gareth van Onselen, the “DA’s executive director of special projects”, defending the action taken by the DA against Sowetan journalist Anna Majavu

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