Professor Thomas Szasz on Restoring Free Will & Personal Responsibility

  • “We have to restore the idea of responsibility, which is corrupted and confused by psychiatry, by the idea that something happened to you when you were a child and therefore you are not responsible thirty years later.”
  • “Modern psychiatry dehumanizes man by denying …the existence, or even the possibility, of personal; responsibility of man as a moral agent… (the psychiatric mandate) is precisely to obscure, and indeed deny, the ethical dilemmas of life, and to transform these into medicalized and technicalized problems susceptible to ‘professional solutions.'”
  • “Psychiatrists and other behavioral scientists continue to pour out an uninterrupted stream of articles and books allegedly demonstrating that man has no free will. By debunking free will and responsibility, professionals in the mental health discipline seek to legitimize themselves as bona fide scientists; at the same time, they also try to endear themselves to the politicians and the public by promising to control crime, which they call excessive violence….”
  • “The materialistic interpretation of nature, as the term implies, entails viewing all signs as the manifestations of physiochemical processes, such as human beings observe when they look at nature. Joy and sadness, fear and elation, anger, greed—all human aspirations and passions—are thus interpreted as the manifestations of unintentional, amoral, biochemical processes. In such a world, nothing is willed; everything happens.”
  • “Men love liberty because it protects them from control and humiliation by others, thus affording them the possibility of dignity; they loathe liberty because it throws them back on their own abilities and resources, thus confronting them with the possibility of insignificance.”

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