Author Topic: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...  (Read 5748 times)

En_Route

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2012, 12:26:19 AM »
With mine, it was easy enough to understand the chemical piece behind it, as well as the social.  I don't know about the evolutionary processes behind it, but I went through some huge hormonal upheavals in the course of 8 months, so it's not really any wonder I got out of whack.  Kind of like having PPD.  

PPD is horrible and I'm convinced it's one of those "side-effect" things that have no evolutionary purpose.

Yes, I can't imagine what purpose it would serve.  


If I could gently remind you- evolution has no purpose. That there is theist talk, which it is our unflagging endeavour to expose and rebut.

Yes, purpose was a poorly chosen word. "Function" would probably be better.  Edit: As Ali explained.

I don't think anyone who used it in this context meant it in a theistic "evolution is guided by the hand of God" kind of way.


Evolution is a blind watchmaker.No aspect of our being serves an evolutionary function. Evolution determines  how we function. Sorry to be so snotty but I think the distinction matters.
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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #31 on: February 21, 2012, 12:41:44 AM »
Yes, or to put it another way, you would think that women pre-disposed to PPD would be less likely to pass that on, as their babies would have historically had more challenges to survival.  PPD can make it that much harder for women to care for their newborns, which in turn would have made it that much easier for their newborns to fail to thrive.  So from an evolutionary standpoint, it seems PPD would be a disadvantage, rather than an advantage.  Better?

So maybe this is a recent thing, something that was free to crop up only at a time or in places where women had other resources to care for newborns?  Or maybe it's the flip side of that, it's always existed but is only now becoming obvious in places where extended families are no longer common and women lack other resouces in caring for newborns?
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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #32 on: February 21, 2012, 01:00:27 AM »
With mine, it was easy enough to understand the chemical piece behind it, as well as the social.  I don't know about the evolutionary processes behind it, but I went through some huge hormonal upheavals in the course of 8 months, so it's not really any wonder I got out of whack.  Kind of like having PPD.  

PPD is horrible and I'm convinced it's one of those "side-effect" things that have no evolutionary purpose.

Yes, I can't imagine what purpose it would serve.  


If I could gently remind you- evolution has no purpose. That there is theist talk, which it is our unflagging endeavour to expose and rebut.

Yes, purpose was a poorly chosen word. "Function" would probably be better.  Edit: As Ali explained.

I don't think anyone who used it in this context meant it in a theistic "evolution is guided by the hand of God" kind of way.


Evolution is a blind watchmaker.No aspect of our being serves an evolutionary function. Evolution determines  how we function. Sorry to be so snotty but I think the distinction matters.

You are splitting hairs. I meant that some "attributes" are more functionally related to evolution than not. My ability to have a baby is more evolutionarily functional than my ability to grow an appendix. So yes, you are being a bit snotty when everyone here agrees that the intentions behind the related comments were generally understood.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 01:07:27 AM by DeterminedJuliet »
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

DeterminedJuliet

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #33 on: February 21, 2012, 01:19:43 AM »
Yes, or to put it another way, you would think that women pre-disposed to PPD would be less likely to pass that on, as their babies would have historically had more challenges to survival.  PPD can make it that much harder for women to care for their newborns, which in turn would have made it that much easier for their newborns to fail to thrive.  So from an evolutionary standpoint, it seems PPD would be a disadvantage, rather than an advantage.  Better?

So maybe this is a recent thing, something that was free to crop up only at a time or in places where women had other resources to care for newborns?  Or maybe it's the flip side of that, it's always existed but is only now becoming obvious in places where extended families are no longer common and women lack other resouces in caring for newborns?

I read an interesting article the other day (I wish I could remember where) about the existence of post-partum psychosis throughout history and different cultures. Many cultures have some form of "demon" allegedly responsible for harassing new mothers; the author was arguing that this was an example of how societies that didn't know what post-partum depression or pyschosis was came to deal with/understand it. Considering the fact that post-partum pyschosis can lead women to literally see demons, this makes a lot of sense.

I do also think the rise of the "nuclear" family has a lot to do with how PPD manifests. I think it's probably always been around in one form or another, but it's easier for a kin group to "absorb" any problems that might arise vs. one or two parents relatively on their own.
 
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #34 on: February 21, 2012, 01:45:27 AM »
I agree ^^  I live 9 houses down from my parents ad I was still almost entirely on my own when T was born because that's the expectation, that the new family needs "some time to themselves."  Which in my experience means "stay awake as long as it takes because you're the only one in the house that can breastfeed the new baby."

Amicale

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #35 on: February 21, 2012, 02:07:00 AM »
I haven't commented yet because I've just appreciated reading everyone's responses, so far.

For those who talked about medication: yes, it certainly can and does help you to just be able to function enough to want to do other things that might also help your depression, such as exercise, joining a social group, etc. My own issue with depression is pretty specific but it's also 'different' enough that I wouldn't mention it on a public forum per se, but let's just say aside from the depression there are a few other factors involved that make it difficult enough to function sometimes, or to join a regular social group in public, etc. Exercise definitely does help, and I've got home exercise stuff that works decently. I also love going outside on good days. Sunshine's wonderful, getting more of that Vit D really helps also. :) And one thing I try and make myself do is be silly or goof off -- I never FEEL like doing it, but I love making others laugh or smile, so I try to spend time with family and friends and joke, laugh, enjoy company when I can manage it.

I've never had PPD, and I can imagine that's really difficult, to be caring for an infant (or older children as well, at the same time) and to have to deal with it. My hats off to the strong, stubborn mommies here who kept going and didn't give up. :) It inspires me to deal with my own issues the best way I can while I also try to raise my little girl.


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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2012, 02:40:01 AM »
Amicale - You are wonderful and funny, and I hate that you are in pain.  Many, many hugs.  

Love,
Your friend, Ali

Edited because having that much personal info out there for the world to see is painful and embarrassing. 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 02:32:28 PM by Ali »

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2012, 09:51:49 AM »
With mine, it was easy enough to understand the chemical piece behind it, as well as the social.  I don't know about the evolutionary processes behind it, but I went through some huge hormonal upheavals in the course of 8 months, so it's not really any wonder I got out of whack.  Kind of like having PPD. 

PPD is horrible and I'm convinced it's one of those "side-effect" things that have no evolutionary purpose.

Yes, I can't imagine what purpose it would serve. 


If I could gently remind you- evolution has no purpose. That there is theist talk, which it is our unflagging endeavour to expose and rebut.
I agree that evolution has no purpose, as in a target or goal. However natural selection forever passively shapes the gene pool towards the traits of those individual organisms that have successfully reproduced. Now in the case of the vast majority of organisms successful reproduction can be considered the production of a seed or egg that will never again require input of effort from its parents/progenitors.

But in the case of that minority of organisms that provide any type of care to their offspring successful reproduction includes the successful completion of the nurturing stage over and above the birth of the organism. I think humans have by far the longest nurturing stage of any organism on the planet. Our nurturing behaviours are selected for and as such do have a purpose in that they allow successful reproduction; where reproduction is producing an offspring that can survive long enough to reach reproductive maturity.

I would contend that in the case of humans simply giving birth to a child is not successful reproduction. It is not until that child has themselves reproduced that the total reproductive cycle can be considered successful.
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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2012, 01:00:36 PM »
Yes, or to put it another way, you would think that women pre-disposed to PPD would be less likely to pass that on, as their babies would have historically had more challenges to survival.  PPD can make it that much harder for women to care for their newborns, which in turn would have made it that much easier for their newborns to fail to thrive.  So from an evolutionary standpoint, it seems PPD would be a disadvantage, rather than an advantage.  Better?

There are theories that suggest that a parent with a particular mental disposition will inadvertently 'programme' their children in such a way as to predispose them to the same mental make-up. Similar to the cycle of child abuse whereby abused children often go on to abuse others. This can be very subtle, but perpetuates nonetheless.

I read a book called 'They F**k you up' which is a blameless analysis of this process, not just about disorders, but mainly about character traits - both good and bad - which are passed on unconsciously down the generations. I'd very much recommend it for those people who are keen (like me) to understand their own mental idiosyncracies. It was extremely useful for me in understanding how and why I act and react in certain ways with my own children - it answered a lot! (the effects of an unyielding mother and an emotionless father - traits I have inherited and which I strive to mitigate). Some other issues are much more subtle and intricate, but nonetheless evident and obvious on investigation.

So, these seemingly disadvantageous flaws could consequently be seen to be just an unfortunate bi-product of the human condition. And the lines that historically prospered are the ones with the least detrimental of them. In days gone by, the children of afflicted parents would not prosper to themselves perpetuate the malfunction, but with medical/social intervention today the engrams continue and thrive - hence an increase in cases of mental dysfunction.

...Maybe...

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Amicale

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #39 on: February 21, 2012, 06:33:58 PM »
Amicale - You are wonderful and funny, and I hate that you are in pain.  Many, many hugs.  

Love,
Your friend, Ali

Edited because having that much personal info out there for the world to see is painful and embarrassing. 

Ali, thanks. *hugs back* you're wonderful and funny too, and I'm really glad I'm here on this forum and that I met you and several others here.

I did read your post before it was edited, I just couldn't respond then. PM me anytime, if you'd like to talk. I've 'been there'.

Your friend, Amicale


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En_Route

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #40 on: February 21, 2012, 07:08:47 PM »
With mine, it was easy enough to understand the chemical piece behind it, as well as the social.  I don't know about the evolutionary processes behind it, but I went through some huge hormonal upheavals in the course of 8 months, so it's not really any wonder I got out of whack.  Kind of like having PPD. 

PPD is horrible and I'm convinced it's one of those "side-effect" things that have no evolutionary purpose.

Yes, I can't imagine what purpose it would serve. 


If I could gently remind you- evolution has no purpose. That there is theist talk, which it is our unflagging endeavour to expose and rebut.
I agree that evolution has no purpose, as in a target or goal. However natural selection forever passively shapes the gene pool towards the traits of those individual organisms that have successfully reproduced. Now in the case of the vast majority of organisms successful reproduction can be considered the production of a seed or egg that will never again require input of effort from its parents/progenitors.

But in the case of that minority of organisms that provide any type of care to their offspring successful reproduction includes the successful completion of the nurturing stage over and above the birth of the organism. I think humans have by far the longest nurturing stage of any organism on the planet. Our nurturing behaviours are selected for and as such do have a purpose in that they allow successful reproduction; where reproduction is producing an offspring that can survive long enough to reach reproductive maturity.

I would contend that in the case of humans simply giving birth to a child is not successful reproduction. It is not until that child has themselves reproduced that the total reproductive cycle can be considered successful.

Our nurturing behaviours don't serve any purpose; they are adaptive, no more or less.
Some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them (Orwell).

En_Route

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #41 on: February 21, 2012, 07:13:52 PM »
With mine, it was easy enough to understand the chemical piece behind it, as well as the social.  I don't know about the evolutionary processes behind it, but I went through some huge hormonal upheavals in the course of 8 months, so it's not really any wonder I got out of whack.  Kind of like having PPD.  

PPD is horrible and I'm convinced it's one of those "side-effect" things that have no evolutionary purpose.

Yes, I can't imagine what purpose it would serve.  


If I could gently remind you- evolution has no purpose. That there is theist talk, which it is our unflagging endeavour to expose and rebut.

Yes, purpose was a poorly chosen word. "Function" would probably be better.  Edit: As Ali explained.

I don't think anyone who used it in this context meant it in a theistic "evolution is guided by the hand of God" kind of way.


Evolution is a blind watchmaker.No aspect of our being serves an evolutionary function. Evolution determines  how we function. Sorry to be so snotty but I think the distinction matters.

You are splitting hairs. I meant that some "attributes" are more functionally related to evolution than not. My ability to have a baby is more evolutionarily functional than my ability to grow an appendix. So yes, you are being a bit snotty when everyone here agrees that the intentions behind the related comments were generally understood.

One woman's hair-splitting is another man's  linguistic precision.
I really don't know what "evolutionarily functional" means. I'm also at a loss how you are so confident that "everyone"agrees with you.Did they write to you?
Some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them (Orwell).

DeterminedJuliet

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #42 on: February 21, 2012, 07:16:06 PM »
pur·pose/ˈpərpəs/
Noun:   
The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. (my emphasis)

Nurturing behaviour exists because it is a trait perpetuated by natural selection. I think you are quibbling about semantics, really.

Edit: Oh, I see, it is your intent to quibble. Very good then. And yes, everyone wrote me a "Dear DJ, We all agree with you! Well done!" letter. They're secret though, so I can't show you.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 07:22:04 PM by DeterminedJuliet »
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

DeterminedJuliet

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #43 on: February 21, 2012, 07:26:36 PM »
Regarding your inquiry as to what "evolutionarily functional" means:

Definition for evolutionarily:
in an evolutionary way; from an evolutionary point of view; "the mutation has been evolutionarily successful".

Definition for func·tion·al/ˈfəNGkSHənl/
Adjective:   
Of or having a special activity, purpose, or task; relating to the way in which something works or operates.

Structural functionalism is a valid methodology and isn't something I just "made up". Granted, it's generally used within the social sciences, but denying that function has anything to do with evolution seems silly to me.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 07:28:30 PM by DeterminedJuliet »
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

DeterminedJuliet

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Re: When you're a not-so-happy atheist...
« Reply #44 on: February 21, 2012, 07:34:49 PM »
Never mind the fact that your choice to enforce your "linguistic precision" in a thread that is supposed to be about depression, especially when members of our community are giving personal accounts of their difficulties, leaves a little tact to be desired.

Edit: I apologise for the multiple posts and I promise I won't derail any more. Maybe En_route and I should start a separate thread. Sorry everyone.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 07:36:27 PM by DeterminedJuliet »
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.