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How Bernardo Kastrup reckons without the drug war

a philosophical review of 'Why Materialism is Baloney'

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher




August 11, 2023

This is Brian's philosophical review of "Why Materialism Is Baloney: How True Skeptics Know There Is No Death and Fathom Answers to life, the Universe, and Everything" by Bernardo Kastrup. This review was posted on Scribd for the audiobook version.

This book is said to uncover the absurd implications of materialism. Unfortunately, Kastrup misses the most absurd implications of all: 1) We live in an age when we prefer to shock the brains of the depressed rather than to let them use godsend medicine that would cheer them up. 2) We live in an age when we will let the depressed kill themselves with drugs but we will not let them cheer themselves up with drugs. 3) We live in an age when 1 in 4 American women are dependent upon Big Pharma's "scientific" drugs for life. These downsides are all due to the myopic reductionism of the modern materialist, who ignores the obvious in favor of the microscopic. Such scientists want objective proof that drugs work and are deaf to glowing user reports about drugs (not to mention the historical accounts which credit some of these drugs with inspiring entire religions!). Dr. Robert Glatter was typical of such materialist blindness when he asked in Forbes magazine in June 2021: "Can laughing gas help people with treatment resistant depression?" Answer: He's not sure!

What?! Of course laughing gas could help. But reductive materialism makes Glatter indifferent to all the laughter he hears from users, nor does he consider the fact that mere anticipation of occasional use would improve attitude. Presumably such evidence just comes from consciousness, which to the materialist is "just" an epiphenomenon, after all.

Such downsides appear whenever the Drug War ideology of substance demonization meets the materialist's disdain for conscious states of mind. Unfortunately, critics of materialism are either unaware of these connections or afraid to point them out. In fact, when I tried to make these points on Kastrup's discussion page, I was told to beat it. The moderator told me that I should find a "drugs" forum to discuss such things. That's how we normalize the Drug War and ghettoize its opponents. And so Kastrup takes the credo of materialism to court while refusing to use the most damning evidence against it: namely, the reductio ad absurdum that results from our society's current anti-patient drug policy. Not only does he thereby weaken his own thesis, but his silence about drugs helps to further normalize the Drug War by implying that the outlawing of mind-aiding medicines has no negative implications. He thereby joins the vast majority of other scientific and philosophical writers of our age who reckon without the Drug War, thereby implying that the unprecedented Christian Science prohibitions of our time can be taken as a baseline from which to deduce the truths about science and philosophy.




Next essay: The Pseudoscience of Mental Health Treatment
Previous essay: Why the FDA should not schedule Laughing Gas

More Essays Here


BOOKS

The book "Plants of the Gods" is full of plants and fungi that could help addicts and alcoholics, sometimes in the plant's existing form, sometimes in combinations, sometimes via extracting alkaloids, etc. But drug warriors need addiction to sell their prohibition ideology.
MATERIALISM AND THE DRUG WAR

If psychoactive drugs had never been criminalized, science would never have had any reason or excuse for creating SSRIs that muck about unpredictably with brain chemistry. Chewing the coca leaf daily would be one of many readily available "miracle treatments" for depression.
That's why we damage the brains of the depressed with shock therapy rather than let them use coca or opium. That's why many regions allow folks to kill themselves but not to take drugs that would make them want to live. The Drug War is a perversion of social priorities.
Weaponizing science is a bigger problem. Even as we speak, Laura Sanders of Sciam is promoting Shock Therapy 2.0 for the depressed, this in a world wherein reductive scientists aren't even sure that laughing gas will help the depressed. https://abolishthedea.com/forbes_magazines_laughable_article_about_nitrous_oxide.php
It's because of such reductive pseudoscience that America will allow us to shock the brains of the depressed but won't allow us to let them use the plant medicines that grow at their feet.
David Chalmers says almost everything in the world can be reductively explained. Maybe so. But science's mistake is to think that everything can therefore be reductively UNDERSTOOD. That kind of thinking blinds researchers to the positive effects of laughing gas and MDMA, etc.
"Can I use poppies, coca, laughing gas, MDMA?" "NO," says Jonathan Stea, "We must be SCIENTIFIC! We must fry your brain and give you a lobotomy and make you a patient for life with the psychiatric pill mill! That's true SCIENCE!"
In "The Book of the Damned," Charles Fort writes about the data that science has damned, by which he means "excluded." The fact that drugs can inspire and elate is one such fact, although when Fort wrote his anti-materialist broadside, drug prohibition was in its infancy.
In other words, materialist scientists are drug war collaborators. They are more than happy to have their fight against idealism rigged by drug law, which outlaws precisely those substances whose use serves to cast their materialism into question.
Drug warriors have harnessed the perfect storm. Prohibition caters to the interests of law enforcement, psychotherapy, Big Pharma, demagogues, puritans, and materialist scientists, who believe that consciousness is no big "whoop" and that spiritual states are just flukes.
There are endless drugs that could help with depression. Any drug that inspires and elates is an antidepressant, partly by the effect itself and partly by the mood-elevation caused by anticipation of use (facts which are far too obvious for drug warriors to understand).
But materialist puritans do not want to create any drug that elates. So they go on a fool's errand to find reductionist cures for "depression itself," as if the vast array of human sadness could (or should) be treated with a one-size-fits-all readjustment of brain chemicals.
The search for SSRIs has always been based on a flawed materialist premise that human consciousness is nothing but a mix of brain chemicals and so depression can be treated medically like any other physical condition.
I'd like to become a guinea pig for researchers to test the ability of psychoactive drugs to make aging as psychologically healthy as possible. If such drugs cannot completely ward off decrepitude, they can surely make it more palatable. The catch? Researchers have to be free.
The drug war ideology of substance demonization actually outlaws such investigations. Why don't at least the saner half of the prohibitionists understand that this makes no sense in a purportedly free and scientific country?
Caveat: the experimentation must be done holistically, and not with the presupposition that brain waves and molecular analysis is more important than my perceptions -- for my perceptions are what really matter viz. psychological health.
I don't want purblind researchers telling me when I am happy or optimistic. Materialist researchers need not apply, especially those so immersed in minutia that they cannot even figure out if laughing gas could help the depressed!
To understand why the western world is blind to the benefits of "drugs," read "The Concept of Nature" by Whitehead. He unveils the scientific schizophrenia of the west, according to which the "real" world is invisible to us while our perceptions are mere "secondary" qualities.
This is why we would rather have a depressed person commit suicide than to use "drugs" -- because drugs, after all, are not dealing with the "real" problem. The patient may SAY that drugs make them feel good, but we need microscopes to find out if they REALLY feel good.
This is why the foes of suicide are doing absolutely nothing to get laughing gas into the hands of those who could benefit from it. Laughing is subjective after all. In the western tradition, we need a "REAL" cure to depression.
Both physical and psychological addiction can be successfully fought when we relegalize the pharmacopoeia and start to fight drugs with drugs. But prohibitionists do not want to end addiction, they want to scare us with it. https://abolishthedea.com/four_reasons_why_addiction_is_a_political_term.php
Materialist scientists cannot triumph over addiction because their reductive focus blinds them to the obvious: namely, that drugs which cheer us up ACTUALLY DO cheer us up. Hence they keep looking for REAL cures while folks kill themselves for want of laughing gas and MDMA.
It's "convenient" for scientists that their "REAL" cures happen to be the ones that racist politicians will allow. Scientists thus normalize prohibition by pretending that outlawed substances have no therapeutic value. It's materialism collaborating with the drug war.
In the Atomic Age Declassified, they tell us that we needed hundreds of thermonuclear tests so that scientists could understand the effects. That's science gone mad. Just like today's scientists who need more tests before they can say that laughing gas will help the depressed. Science today is all about ignoring the obvious. And THAT's why scientists are drug war collaborators, because they're not about to sign off on the use of substances until they've studied them "up the wazoo." Using grants from an agency whose very name indicates their anti-drug bias: namely, the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

essays about
BOOKS

'Good Chemistry' is a good Covid read
'Intoxiphobia' by Russell Newcombe
Drug War Quotes
Fifty Years of Bogus Articles about Creativity
In Praise of Augustus Bedloe
In Praise of Thomas Szasz
In the Realm of Hungry Drug Warriors
Michael Pollan and the Drug War
Michael Pollan on Drugs
My Conversation with Michael Pollan
Richard Feynman and the Drug War
Richard Rudgley condemns 'drugs' with faint praise
Science Fiction and the Drug War
Sherlock Holmes versus Gabriel Maté
How the Cato Institute is Bamboozled by Drug War Propaganda
The End Times by Bryan Walsh
What Terence McKenna Got Wrong About Drugs
Whiteout
Alternative Medicine as a Drug War Creation
Synthetic Panics
Clodhoppers on Drugs
The Drug War Imperialism of Richard Evans Schultes
What Jim Hogshire Got Wrong about Drugs
Noam Chomsky on Drugs
Intoxiphobia
Disease Mongering in the age of the drug war
'Synthetic Panics' by Philip Jenkins
I've got a bone to pick with Jim Hogshire
Opium for the Masses by Jim Hogshire
Even Howard Zinn Reckons without the Drug War
How Thomas Nagel Reckons Without the Drug War
What Andrew Weil Got Wrong
Review of When Plants Dream
Brahms is NOT the best antidepressant
Step Aside, Entheogens

essays about
MATERIALISM AND THE DRUG WAR

How Scientific Materialism Keeps Godsend Medicines from the Depressed
Obama's Unscientific BRAIN Initiative
Materialism and the Drug War Part II
How Thomas Nagel Reckons Without the Drug War
Materialism and the Drug War
Alternative Medicine as a Drug War Creation
Why Science is the Handmaiden of the Drug War
David Chalmers and the Drug War
The Placebo Effect and Drugs
Why Rick Doblin is Ghosting Me
The Pseudoscience of Mental Health Treatment
Physics has found a theory of everything
The Handicapped NEED Crutches
Forbes Magazine's Laughable Article about Nitrous Oxide
Speaking Truth to Academia
A Quantum of Hubris
Unscientific American: the hypocritical materialism of Elon Musk
Modern Science as a symptom of insipient madness
Materialism's War on Drug Addicts and Alcoholics
This is your brain on Neuralink
The Book of the Damned continued
The Muddled Metaphysics of the Drug War
Illusions with Professor Arthur Shapiro

essays about
OPEN LETTERS

Open Letter to Addiction Specialist Gabriel Maté
Open Letter to Anthony Gottlieb
Open Letter to Congressman Ben Cline, asking him to abolish the criminal DEA
Open Letter to Diane O'Leary
Open Letter to Erowid
Open Letter to Francis Fukuyama
Open Letter to Gabrielle Glaser
Open letter to Kenneth Sewell
Open Letter to Lisa Ling
Open Letter to Nathan at TheDEA.org
Open letter to Professor Troy Glover at Waterloo University
Open Letter to Richard Hammersley
Open Letter to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Open Letter to the Virginia Legislature
Open Letter to Variety Critic Owen Glieberman
Open letter to Wolfgang Smith
Open Letter to Vincent Rado
Open Letter to Rick Doblin and Roland Griffiths
Critique of the Philosophy of Happiness
Heroin versus Alcohol
End the Drug War Now
How the Drug War Screws the Depressed
How the Monticello Foundation betrayed Jefferson's Legacy in 1987
How to Unite Drug War Opponents of all Ethnicities
Ignorance is the enemy, not Fentanyl
Majoring in Drug War Philosophy
MDMA for Psychotherapy
Predictive Policing in the Age of the Drug War
Speaking Truth to Big Pharma
Teenagers and Cannabis
Teenagers and Cannabis
Psychedelics and Depression
The Drug War and Armageddon
The Invisible Mass Shootings
The problem with Modern Drug Reform Efforts
The Menace of the Drug War
The Mother of all Western Biases
Top 10 Problems with the Drug War
Why CBS 19 should stop supporting the Drug War
Why DARE should stop telling kids to say no
Why the Drug War is Worse than you can Imagine
Why the Holocaust Museum must denounce the Drug War
The Drug War Cure for Covid
Another Cry in the Wilderness
Open Letter to Vincent Hurley, Lecturer
Canadian Drug Warrior, I said Get Away
Open Letter to Margo Margaritoff
Open Letter to Roy Benaroch MD
The Pseudoscience of Mental Health Treatment



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You have been reading an article entitled, How Bernardo Kastrup reckons without the drug war: a philosophical review of 'Why Materialism is Baloney', published on August 11, 2023 on AbolishTheDEA.com. For more information about America's disgraceful drug war, which is anti-patient, anti-minority, anti-scientific, anti-mother nature, imperialistic, the establishment of the Christian Science religion, a violation of the natural law upon which America was founded, and a childish and counterproductive way of looking at the world, one which causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some, visit the drug war philosopher, at abolishTheDEA.com. (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)