Your Neurochemical Self

Getting real with a 200-million-year-old brain

Abuse of the Nuremberg Principle

A dangerous free-rider problem is created when resistance to authority is glorified. Any time you find it convenient to break the law, you can call yourself a courageous ethicist who’s resisting an unjust authority. Read More

Positive Maladjustment Prevails

"If developmental forces are strong enough, ultimately, the person is thrust into an existential crisis: one's social rationales no longer account for one's experiences and there are no alternative explanations. During this phase, existential despair is the predominant emotion. The resolution of this phase begins as individually chosen values begin to replace social mores that have been ingrained by rote and are integrated into a new hierarchy of personal values. These new values often conflict with the person's previous social values. Many of the status quo explanations for the "way things are," learned through education and from the social order, collapse under conscious, individual scrutiny. This causes more conflicts focused on the person's analysis of his or her own reactions to the world at large and of the behavior of self and others. Common behaviors and the ethics of the prevailing social order come to be seen as inadequate, wrong or hypocritical. Positive maladjustment prevails!"

Kind of disagree

Almost every aspect of progress (scientific, cultural or otherwise) has been made mainly out of the then irrational oppositions. Were all discoveries made out of proper reasoning? Most likely not.

If everything is not opposed there will be no way to find which one is correct. Truth is like a true hay in fake haystack. Unless each and every straw is critically analyzed, chances of living forever in fake setting is very high.

Most of the truths have been stumbled upon just by opposing thinking. Copernicus never had the data that Kepler or tools that Galileo had yet, he came up with model inspired these people and changed things forever. Copernicus wasn't probably the only person then to have opposed ideas but may be out of tens of thousands of ideas in varying fields his one came through.

People in power tend to do only things that look right to keep themselves in power. Just like in animal kingdom where everything is done to claim advantage, in the prevailing atmosphere if being an opinion leader provides any sort of benefit people to challenge power they will always take it. People are honest only if they see a benefit out of it either in this life or afterlife. I don't think anyone is honest just for the sake of it. It's totally up to the consumer of the opinion to figure out whether it is good or bad for themselves.

Also, in reference to the link at the end of the article, I think that bigger cortex is not required to respect law but to understand law. Children respect elders just by following instructions, teens disrespect elders just for opposition sake, but only adults understand elders when the cortex is fully mature. I think same applies to law.


So, recall not just "Judgment at Nuremberg" but "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence." Or did Jimmy Stewart act outside the law there? Sometimes it's hard to tell.

A ticklish question is just how improper a law has to be before obeying it is itself improper. Simply "annoying" isn't improper enough, though. The value of the rule of law sould be evident from real life Mogadishu if not from the fictional Shinbone. It shouldn't be disregarded "for light and transient causes."

inform me

what are you quoting:
"for light and transient causes"


The Delaration of Independence. He’s a rebel

strange way of putting it

so the people who are asking for Bush's head (international court?) because of alleged torture are actually free-riders opposing authority for their personal benefit disguised as a noble cause ?

so are the soldiers responsible for using their Apaches shooting up Reuters photographers or is bush responsible for green lighting Abu Graib-like enhanced interrogation techniques ?

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Loretta Graziano Breuning, Ph.D., is the author of Meet Your Happy Chemicals and founder of the Inner Mammal Institute.


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