Thread: Paranoid?
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Old 09-18-2005, 01:49 PM
Arjuna Arjuna is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 109
Default Re: Paranoid?

You make some very good points. Your input on these definitions clarifies the issues.

The big issue I see here is that every definition of paranoia I have found describes it as a pathological condition. I have decided to view paranoia as pathological and try to determine why some students of conspiracies might be paranoid.

You apparently view paranoia as a non-pathological condition. I suspect that a clear statement of your definition would differ from all of those I found.

Arjuna: Sheeple tend to not be wary at all. Conspiracy theorists tend to be paranoid. These extreme states of mind are both unrealistic. A healthy state of mind lies somewhere in between.

Draken: I, personally, do not deal with theory. Extreme? Healthy? According to whom?
If you never theorize, then you are indeed rare among students of conspiracies. I, as I believe most students do, often form tentative conclusions and speculative opinions regarding evidence of what appears to be conspiratorial behavior. Regardless, the theoretical nature, or lack thereof, of our conpiracy studies is irrelevant to the discussion of paranoia.

Arjuna: Jesus spoke of the wheat and the chaff coexisting in the same field, and that, at some future date, they would be separated and the chaff burned.
Jesus also said, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God..." When I said that conpiracy theorists tend to be paranoid, I mean that many of them tend to focus on the chaff, to the exclusion of the wheat. Someone who does that would clearly be missing out on the Kingdom of God, which no doubt is part of the wheat. I view such a condition as pathological, and I think Jesus would agree. On the other hand, someone who focuses exclusively on the wheat is unable to deal effectively with the hazzards posed by the greedy, jungle-minded chaff. This is why I believe that a healthy state of mind lies somewhere between these two extremes.

Draken: Is it even possible to be "excessively" concerned about one's own well-being?
I believe the answer is yes. If someone is so concerned with real and perceived threats to his well-being that it impairs his ability to act in ways that serve his and others best interests, then those concerns are pathological.

somebody's definition: an irrational fear, suspicion, or distrust of others.
I agree that it is natural for humans to be irrational. An irrational person has a pathological condition when the irrationality impairs his ability to act in ways that serve his and others best interests. A better definition of paranoia than the one quoted would include this condition.

Draken: All the rest of these definition are equally questionable, so I won't comment on all.
I agree. These definitions are all questionable. But since the word paranoia gets tossed around a lot, I think it is worthwhile to discuss what it means.

Draken: Call me paranoid if you want.
Based upon my current definition of the term, I hope that you are not paranoid. Likewise, I hope that I am not paranoid either.
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