What's the difference between a delusion and a weird belief?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Magical Realist, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    In that case dittoing myself post #16

    If it is NOT out there it's a delusion

    If it's a thought that eating the crust of bread gives you curly hair it's a weird belief

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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Sure, I'm happy to accept that the brain may often work by filling in the gaps in our sensory inputs by drawing on previous experience. Saves on data and hence speeds up responses. Could be life-saving, or enable a hunter to catch a briefly glimpsed animal, or a host of thing things. My only quibble is that I see no value - and plenty of scope for confusion and damage to the language - in using the word "hallucination" to describe the perceptions the brain arrives at as a result of gap-filling in this way.

    Though I'm sure turning the meaning of a word upside down in order to claim that we are all "hallucinating" is eye-catching and helps to sell books.

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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I agree that "hallucination" is misusing the word. It is "accurate" in that our brain isn't a computer but "hallucination" doesn't seem to be the best description either. Best approximation would be more accurate I think.

    Describing how the brain works in terms of "bits" isn't accurate either.
     
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    The whole thing is difficult to define, obviously. I do think the comparison of billions special neurons which each carry a bit of information (not in the sense of computer bits) and when stimulated by external or internal input form a holographic picture or another sensory experience in the darkness and stillness inside the skull, is comparable to a form of biological computation, input--> processing--> a best guess.

    Compared to the trillions of bits of information we receive every second, the ability to form a comprehension of what that information represents by only a few billion bits of information, does seem to create a condition of having to make "best guesses" or "making sense" of that input.

    What is the antonym to the word Halluciation? Imagining? Are we imagining reality as it exists relative to our pont of observation? And when our imagining agrees with someone else's imagining, each confirms they are experiencing a shared best guess of reality inside their own brains. Being of like mind. Having Empathy.

    These are not physical concepts, they are conscious abstract images or sounds produced inside the mind from external stimulation, or in the case of the completely autonomous subconscious control mechanism to keep you body functioning, only becomes experienced when something goes wrong.

    Some people are insensitive to pain, a very dangerous condition. Your mind is not alerted when something has gone wrong. But why is that so? Apparently they either lack neural connection to the brain or the neurons inside the brain are unable to interpret the signals it receives.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    This may be of interest:

    and:
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I still don't understand what is wrong with the excellent word "perception" for this state of affairs. I am not sure why you go to such lengths to avoid employing it. A perception is clearly not the same as reality: it may be considered true or false, accurate or inaccurate. It is a word for what a person's mind thinks it sees, feels, hears, smells, etc out there, i.e. how it interprets the sensory input. Isn't that what you need here?
     
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  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, I can agree with that. The term "hallucination" has to many negative aspects and "perception" as a product of thought. "Perception" still sounds the best and is excellent for me.
     
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    However, the fact that "perception" is a neutral word, we'd still end up with having to make a distinction between a "controlled perception" i.e. seeing things as programmed and confirmed learned perceptions by other people. This is how we can look at a few lines and perceive (best guess) what it represents.

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    and a different "subconscious self controlled" neural system, i.e. the regulatory neural system which keeps track of the physical internal state of the body.

    I had never considered that we have two distinct functions of the brain. As Seth said, we can't perceive or feel where our organs are, but we can feel if they are not functioning properly, i.e feeling sick or pain.
     

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