Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Psychology

Reject the Fat Acceptance Movement

As waistlines have expanded in the western world, we’re seeing a push for “fat acceptance”. This movement takes the view that society unfairly discriminates against fat people on arbitrary grounds, that being fat is a legitimate way of being that should be no more open to criticism than being gay or being black. As the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) puts it, “we come in all sizes”. While the Fat Acceptance Movement identifies some genuine problems in our society, its answers to these problems are wholly inadequate.

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Why I Don’t Use Trigger Warnings

In recent years, it has become increasingly popular among Millennial social justice activists to put trigger warnings ahead of material that might be “triggering” to a person who has had a traumatic experience or has other kinds of anxiety issues. There is a wide array of things that are deemed potentially triggering, ranging from rape scenes to war violence to alcohol use and on and on.While I sympathize with those who suffer from anxiety disorders, trigger warnings are the wrong way to solve this problem. Here’s why.

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How Babies Learn Philosophy

Often, when subjectivists and nihilists claim that human beings construct their own conceptions of morality, they ignore the manner in which those constructions arise in the first place. How do people develop their moral beliefs? I argue that we acquire our initial beliefs through a process of social learning that all babies in all times and social contexts participate in. This kind of learning implies an inherent belief in the primacy of the objective, of the external world, and is inconsistent with the subjectivist view.

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Sex, Adolescence, and the Power of Desire

One of the most common arguments used to advance the cause of gay rights is the thought that individuals do not choose their own sexualities. Some people are naturally disposed to be gay, some to be straight, some somewhere in between. The argument goes that we ought not to blame individuals for behaviors that arise from desires they do not choose, at least insofar as those desires do not result in harm being done to others (the desire in pedophiles to have sex with children also arises naturally, but pedophilia harms children, while homosexuality is not in and of itself harmful). I’m not here today to contest this argument–I broadly agree with it–I’m here to explore the possibility that it might have significant moral, legal, and philosophical implications outside the LGBT issue. What other desires arise in the same way the sexual desire does?

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Mental Health: Parents vs. Professionals

In recent days, much has been said of the need to bolster the quality of mental health care in America, given that the recent mass shooters have, for the most part, been victims of mental illness. While such a policy cannot be a substitute for controlling the weapons that, statistically, lead directly to violence, it is nonetheless very much the case that improving our collective mental health would also be helpful, not only in reducing the number of violent incidents, but in improving the quality of life for the millions afflicted with the wide array of mental disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. How might such an improvement begin to be made?

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