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Forums > Social Discussion > pro-ana anorexia as a lifestyle

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linden rathen
GOLD Member since Mar 2005

linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 6942
Posted:ive recently been reading somthing positive (a web comic) and they mentioned pro-ana - intrigued i did some research and found this is it just me or is this slightly wrong?



i also saw this in the philosophy section of the and it made me laugh



 Written by: plague angel



Don't believe everything you are told ... by anyone.



... question everything ...

... do your own research ...

... form your own conclusions ...



If the majority believes it, it is probably wrong.





murder is a good thing then? wink



even better is the "know thine enemy page" in which i found this quote



 Written by: plague angel



While it is true that fiber is an important part of your diet, even necessary to protect you from some diseases, carbohydrates themselves are not necessary. There are "essential" fatty acids and "essential" amino acids (from protein), however there are no known essential carbohydrates.







now i havnt done biology or food studies etc for a while but im pretty sure carbs in some form are needed...


back

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DrBoo
BRONZE Member since Oct 2005

DrBoo

I invented the decaffinated coffee table.
Location: Cornwall

Total posts: 453
Posted:As I said before, this is how we "tell if its an obsessive disorder", Linden. It is not, actually as you suggest "very subjective". Read my posts, boy! wink

 Written by: DSM-IV Criteria for Anorexia Nervosa


1. Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height (eg, weight loss leading to maintenance of body weight less than 85% of that expected or failure to make expected weight gain during period of growth, leading to body weight less than 85% of that expected).
2. Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight.
3. Disturbance in the way in which one's body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight.
4. In postmenarchal females, amenorrhea ie, the absence of at least three consecutive cycles. (A woman is considered to have amenorrhea if her periods occur only following hormone, eg, estrogen administration.)



Yes, it is possible to willfully starve yourself and not have anorexia nervosa (AN). Hunger strike, for example. But AN is more than that, it is a mental illness and the girls (usually) on these sites beleive that they are masters of their illness, free from the desire to get rid of it. These sites illustrate just how entrenched the eating disordered way of thinking is. In reality you cannot rule AN, it rules you. And if they cannot see that, then they are not able to make the "choice to starve" free from a mental illness - i.e. is not a "lifestye choice".

There is a difference between starving yourself and AN. It's about mindset. Starving yourself generally does mess with your brain (just google the minnesota starvation study), and can give some of the side effects we see in AN (which we now know are due to the startvation not the mental illness itself). But AN is not simply about someone who started to starve and went too far - there are issues around self esteem, body dysmorphia, and the fear of gaining weight.

This is how we differentiate between whether it is a free choice or a mental illness.


Boo x

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

If it costs "a penny for your thoughts", but people give you their "two-pence worth", who is getting the extra penny?

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted: Written by: Patriarch917


I never said never, I just said not to dwell on it.

There are too many good ways to refute her site than to just dismiss her as mentally ill.



I dunno. "mentally ill" is probably what the rest of the rebuttals come down to, anyway. So why not just cut to the chase?


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Fireblitz
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

Fireblitz

member
Location: Dublin

Total posts: 186
Posted:Coleman you so totally rock clap clap clap I've been reading this and getting angrier and angrier with Patriarch but you definately told him what for very elequently. (did I spell that right?)

You can only be young once but you can always be immature.

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: french23


Coleman you so totally rock clap clap clap



This has been discussed before. Please do a search.

wink


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted: Written by: coleman


i realise there's little point in a rebuttal since you never seen to respond, preferring instead to just state more increasingly non-sensical arguments until we get bored pointing out the inconsistencies in them.




 Written by: coleman


as far as i can tell, there's no point typing measured and coherent arguments out since you simply ignore them and choose instead to argue against the ones you find it easiest to shrug




Im sorry that you feel I am ignoring you. I actually typed up replies to some of your posts a long time ago, but decided not to post them because your contentions seemed not to relate to her actual claims. You do not quote her site, or directly address her arguments. Instead, your posts seem to deal mainly with:

1. What other sites and the pro-ana movement in general does, without links. E.g.:
 Written by: coleman


 Written by: pat


She draws a clear difference between those that are involuntarily anarexic (can't help themselves because of mental problems), and those that voluntarily choose it as an alternative lifestyle.



first of all, who is she?
the pro-ana movement is bigger than one person with one website.

secondly, i contest your point that the distinction between the behaviour of an anorxic person and someone that has chosen to be pro-ana is clearly made on pro-ana websites.




My reply would be obvious: She is the author of the website linked to in the original post. I do not know whether other websites also make a clear distinction between the mental disease and the alternative lifestyle, but if they dont this is hardly her fault.

2. Ways that you think her site could be abused and misinterpreted by the mentally ill.

Instead, I have focused on whether her assertions, when correctly understood by the mentally competent, were right or wrong.

3. A slippery slope argument that seems to agree that she has a right to choose voluntary anarexia as an alternative lifestyle, but that you think it could lead to the mental disorder at some further point.

All of these might make for interesting discussions, but did not directly address the claims that she made on her website. Thus, I left them for others to respond to if they wanted to pursue them.

To me, this topic is about her claim that eating an extremely low calorie diet is a valid alternative lifestyle. Whether other people happen to eat a low calorie diet because of mental problems is moot to me, although plenty of others on here seem willing to discuss that with you.

I hope you can see now that the reason I havent responded to your posts is because I didnt see them as truly disagreeing with the issue I had found interesting. Spending time on here is fun, but so is World of Warcraft.

If I have missed a rebuttal of her claim that it is possible to choose to eat a low calorie diet as an alternative lifestyle, it was inadvertent. It probably got lost in the shuffle.


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polythene


veteran
Location: London/ Surrey

Total posts: 1359
Posted:Good grief. If everyone waffled about the content of the original website and nothing more, there would be no discussion, just a lot of people stating their opinions and ignoring those of others. People with;

a) manners

b) the most basic of discussion/ debate skills

tend to reply to comments or questions directed to them, even if it is only to state that they find those comments irrelevant.



"To me, this topic is about her claim that eating an extremely low calorie diet is a valid alternative lifestyle." Hm. The majority of contributers to this thread have been discussing anorexia and attitudes to it (attitudes of those who do and do not have anorexia). Perhaps you may want to consider starting your own thread to discuss low calorie diets, rather than take this thread slightly off topic. I recommend a search, though, as the Atkins diet has been discussed previously and I'm sure other types of weight-loss diet have.



"My reply would be obvious: She is the author of the website linked to in the original post." If you are trying to be subtle about obtuse and patronising answers, I would suggest that you practise. Coleman's was a good question. The background of the author will affect (at least in my mind, but I am a scientist at heart and so do prefer to get information from reliable sources) the way in which people view the information, for example if it is written by a respected researcher in this field or a near catatonic, skeletal anorexic person who spends her time writing the website because she is no longer strong enough to walk or leave her hospital bed.



(Sorry to take the thread further off topic guys, won't do it again)



Edit: for typo

EDITED_BY: polythene (1149794349)


The optimist claims that we are living in the best of all possible worlds.
The pessimist fears this is true.

Always make time to play in the snow.

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Gnarly Cranium
SILVER Member since Feb 2005

Gnarly Cranium

member
Location: San Francisco

Total posts: 186
Posted:In the past, the norms and ideals for body type have varied widely, this is true-- but today the official, medical (note, not the same as cultural) ideal is pretty clear. They've done research, comparing weight and body composition with lifespan. Past a certain point, if a person weighs less or more than a certain amount, on average their lifespan decreases. It's a curve, of course, so the subjective part is where exactly to draw the line-- but in general, if a medical standard says an anorexic person's weight is unhealthy, they're not being mean and prejudiced.



And you're right, it was a terrible idea for her to use the term 'anorexia' with what she's doing, if she has ANY notion of being regarded rational or healthy. She should be trying like hell to keep anyone with an unhealthy approach from going anywhere near her site and getting the wrong idea.



...So you want us to admit that it's a personal lifestyle choice to live on an extremely low-calorie diet? Sure, why the heck not, people go on diets all the darn time-- although I think it's fair to say that a lot of the time a person's motives for this need to be questioned and watched carefully by their friends. Anyone with half a brain knows it's not the same thing, and there's a point where it goes too far and people need help-- that's what the whole point of anorexia being classified as a disorder IS, so there are guidelines for when it's gone too far.



What is this, with slinging terms like 'ana-phobic' at us like we're going to scramble over ourselves to avoid unhappy-sounding labels?



Just what the hell is it you're trying to pull here anyway, Pat? Are you trying to oh-so-cleverly weasel everyone into showing what hypocritical bigots they supposedly are? Or are you just trying to prove that you can oh-so-cleverly weasel a bunch of people into saying something bizarre like 'oh, I see now, anorexia is a lifestyle choice and a personal right'? You're one of those kids who liked to poke sticks into ant hills just for the hell of it, aren't you? Talk about a true calling. Good luck with the lawyer thing, as you obviously get off on it. I bet your girlfriends think it's great when they figure out every conversation with you is something to be -won-. Manipulative twit-- don't you have anything better to do? Get some real hobbies. rolleyes

EDITED_BY: Gnarly Cranium (1149794288)


"Ours is not to question The Head; it is enough to revel in the ubiquitous inanity of The Head, the unwanted proximity of The Head, the unrelenting HellPresence of The Head, indeed the very UNYIELDING IRRELEVANCE of The Head!" --Revelation X

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted: Written by: polythene



Coleman's was a good question. The background of the author will affect (at least in my mind, but I am a scientist at heart and so do prefer to get information from reliable sources) the way in which people view the information, for example if it is written by a respected researcher in this field or a near catatonic, skeletal anorexic person who spends her time writing the website because she is no longer strong enough to walk or leave her hospital bed.







Perhaps it is more helpful to ignore any personal characteristics of the author, otherwise you run the risk of being tempted to attack the author personally rather than responding to their ideas. Besides, she does not identify herself, and seems to want to remain somewhat anonymous.



Instead of focusing on who is saying it, perhaps it is better to focus on what is being said. We should treat her claims no differently if she were a fat male just trying to screw with us. Our beef does not have to be with her personally, it could simply be with the ideas.



You dont seriously expect me to reply to every remark directed at me, do you?



:sigh: I'll take one I supposed....



 Written by: Gnarly Cranium



What is this, with slinging terms like 'ana-phobic' at us like we're going to scramble over ourselves to avoid unhappy-sounding labels?







No more than anyone scrambled themselves over the term "homophobic" used by someone a few posts earlier.


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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:first,
as I follow pat around, enough with the personal attacks. If he believes what he is saying, Pat could just as well turn around and say the same about you because you can't understand what Pat is saying. But he won't because he is debating an idea

second,
if there were pro-obesity sites, and there may be, would there be such an outcry? Personally, I think most people in Hollywood are pro-ana or -mia. Why are we surprised that our children do it

third,
I am not stalking Patriarch, but all the interesting conversations seem to follow him around ubbrollsmile


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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polythene


veteran
Location: London/ Surrey

Total posts: 1359
Posted: Written by: Patriarch917


Instead of focusing on who is saying it, perhaps it is better to focus on what is being said. We should treat her claims no differently if she were a fat male just trying to screw with us.



You're entirely right. I should treat a 'scientific article' written by a fast food chain, with no evidence, that says a lardburger will decrease my odds of heart disease no differently to an independantly-financed piece of medical research. ubbidea
I personally like to be aware of possible bias. You may not care about bias or reliability of information, and I wish you luck in evaluating literature studies.

No, I don't expect you to reply to every comment made to you. Especially not the ones that have a valid point against any of your arguements.

Anyway, you're getting the attention that you seem to crave, so I'll leave it at that smile

To the people engaged in a discussion: I believe that low calorie diets are a choice. I believe wanting to be unnatractively thin may be a preference. I believe that a socially withdrawn girl that used to have many friends and a wonderful laugh sobbing over a piece of plain toast, because she cannot make herself eat it and doesn't understand why she can't, has a serious disorder.


The optimist claims that we are living in the best of all possible worlds.
The pessimist fears this is true.

Always make time to play in the snow.

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Neon_Shaolin
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Neon_Shaolin

hehe, 'Member' huhuh
Location: Behind you. With Jam

Total posts: 6120
Posted: Written by: Patriarch917



We should treat her claims no differently if she were a fat male just trying to screw with us. Our beef does not have to be with her personally, it could simply be with the ideas.







If 'She' were a Fat male talking about anti-gravity goldfish, no we shouldn't judge her. But if 'she' were a fat male trying to screw with us. The we ARE gonna take it personally - especially since she's trying to screw with us. And if it was a fat male, it says something about HIS attitude towards females and what HE deems to be attractive and how he can take it into his own hands to shape women to his ideals.



Her weight and state of mind is the key to why she started the site in the first place.



You have to question whether or not she made the site to validate her own choices on the matter. Whether she is trying to influence other girls into feeling that her way of thinking it is the way to go.



You have to question her qualifications. How much research she has done to validate these claims before presenting them as a safe lifestyle choice.



You have to question whether or not she is at her desired weight or whether or not she is still getting there and is she is happy and healthy where she is before being in a position to tell girls that her method works.


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted: Written by: polythene


I should treat a 'scientific article' written by a fast food chain, with no evidence, that says a lardburger will decrease my odds of heart disease no differently to an independantly-financed piece of medical research.



ubblol No, you shouldnt. The truthfulness of the claim that a lardburger will decrease your risk of heart disease does not change based on which organization is saying it.

 Written by: Neon_Shaolin


 Written by: Patriarch917


We should treat her claims no differently if she were a fat male just trying to screw with us. Our beef does not have to be with her personally, it could simply be with the ideas.




If 'She' were a Fat male talking about anti-gravity goldfish, no we shouldn't judge her. But if 'she' were a fat male trying to screw with us. The we ARE gonna take it personally - especially since she's trying to screw with us. And if it was a fat male, it says something about HIS attitude towards females and what HE deems to be attractive and how he can take it into his own hands to shape women to his ideals.




You are right in saying that we could treat him differently. However, we should not treat his claims differently. Claims stand or fall based on being correct or incorrect, not based on who is advocating them.

Imagine two people who both tell you that the temperature is 71 degrees. One of them is a weatherman with a thermometer, the other is a layman that just guessed. You check your own thermometer, and find out that it is indeed 71 degrees.

Was one right, and one wrong, based on their qualifications and methods? Of course not! Both claims were correct.

You can evaluate the claim without looking at the credentials of the person. Even an incompetent person may happen to make a correct claim.

What you are really saying, and I agree with, is that the trustworthiness of the person will vary based on their credentials and character. Thus, if the weatherman and layman disagree, I may decide to trust the weatherman. This is not an actual evaluation of his claim, this is a decision not to evaluate, but simply trust.

I do not think in this situation we should trust the creator of that pro-ana site at all. Instead, we should simply do our own independent tests to see whether her claims are true. Thus, it does not matter that we know nothing about her. Her claim can stand or fall on its own.


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polythene


veteran
Location: London/ Surrey

Total posts: 1359
Posted:rolleyes *sigh* What I are really saying is nothing to do with 'trustworthiness of the person', and my words do not fit the opinion you are trying to make them fit. Trustworthiness of the person is irrelevant in this context.



Determining probability that the information is heavily influenced by BIAS is. This may lead me to use or discard information as evidence, as using potentially unreliable information from obviously biased sources will only harm my arguements rather than strengthen them, and to use them would be foolish. Using an analogy where one piece of information is 'guessed' Does not support your arguement.



I don't have the time to recreate all work ever done in every field when deciding on the probability of a piece of information being presented, and re-creating their work or conducting our own is not evaluating the previous work at all.



Are you going to practise the 'lifestyle choice' of anorexia for the months/ years necessary to 'evaluate' the girls claims? I know I'm not. Doing this would not evaluate credibility whatsoever, either. Her claim may stand or fall on its own when tested, but as information, may be evaluated as credible on many criteria, including possible bias. Determination of credibility is not the same as ascertaining whether it is 'right or wrong', but you can go look that up yourself if you're still confused.



edit: grr, snarl, why can't I type?

EDITED_BY: polythene (1149805462)


The optimist claims that we are living in the best of all possible worlds.
The pessimist fears this is true.

Always make time to play in the snow.

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:So your point is that we can't tell whether she is telling us the truth or not because we don't have the time to test it, so we should examine her to see if she is is biased and might therefore be giving us unreliable information.



Sounds like an evalutation of her trustworthiness to me, but you can call it something different if you like.



I think we can test her claims, because I do not see the evaluation process as one that requires us to practice anarexia, but merely requires an application of principles and logic. Thus, so far I have had no reason to care about her personally. I care only about her concept.


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polythene


veteran
Location: London/ Surrey

Total posts: 1359
Posted:Taken to pm to avoid disrupting thread further. smile

The optimist claims that we are living in the best of all possible worlds.
The pessimist fears this is true.

Always make time to play in the snow.

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:Anyone who peruses the site need not stretch themselves mentally in order to know that it is wrong. It is so clearly absurd as to be almost not worth bothering with. However, we cannot ignore the fact that there are people who will spend a lot of time and effort trying to justify their foolishness by calling it an alternative lifestyle.

I think "foolishness" is the key word here. Yes, her behavior is destructive, but many things we do in life are destructive without rising to the level that she advocates. Many people risk injury and death merely for thrills and recreation, and we may call them stupid for it, but we do not condemn them the way that this site can be condemned.

The pendent arguments, such as the argument that children might visit her site despite her intentions, are persuasive enough to justify asking her to take down the site. It seems obvious that her site might encourage those truly suffering from a mental illness to think that there is nothing wrong with them, and that they should seek help. I suspect that most who agree with her were not normal eaters who decided to convert from sheer force of will, but rather girls suffering from a debilitating condition taking comfort in someone who seems to be telling them that their weakness is actually a sign of strength.

It is hard to find the precise words and concepts that can be used to counter her most basic, foundational idea. She claims that she should have the right to voluntarily eat as little as she wishes. It is hard to deny her this right. I suspect (especially from reading her emails) that this site is merely her way of justifying her own problem, but I will not stoop to ad hominem attacks. She has set forth an idea, and she deserves to have that idea considered on its own merits.

Essentially, she claims to want to hurt herself in the pursuit of beauty. She can point to many people who have this right, from those that lift weights to those that pierce their tongues.

We can first consider distinguish it on the level of pain. A bodybuilder may have sore muscles the next morning, and a piercing may sting for a good while, but the pain of constant starvation seems unreasonable in relation to the goal in mind. It deviates very far from the norm. At a certain point, we as society draw a line between what is normal, and what is abnormal. Starving yourself seems abnormal, since most of us want to avoid it.

This works well to a point. We can agree democratically that she is wrong and even a bit looney. However, what we have just told her is that she should confine herself to within a certain range of the mode. We have said nothing inherent about her actions, but merely expressed that we do not wish to do it, and that we think she is weird for disagreeing with us.

Likewise, the same with her perverse concept of beauty. We all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

A greater level of distinction can be drawn based on the fact that eating so little has a high likelihood of killing you, and will almost certainly shorten your lifespan.

To this, she could argue that she should have a right to assume whatever risk of death she wants. If she were simply base jumping or flying ultralight aircraft, she probably would not be condemned by us, even though those things carry a relatively high risk of death.

She could point out that many of us choose to engage in unsafe activities that we know could cause death, such as driving in a car or joining the military. She has simply chosen a risk that is higher than what we are willing to accept. Again, we have merely come to the point where we say we are more risk averse than you, you are very different, and we do not approve.

We could point out then, that eating so little does not carry just a risk of death. Rather, prolonged anarexia will almost certainly end in a severely shortened lifespan.

To this, she would no doubt point out that many people do not do all that is necessary to lengthen their lifespan. Many overeat, smoke, dont exercise, and do not have their prostates checked regularly. We would reply that, yes, we accept certain actions that will shorten our lifespans, but they shorten it by a mere 5 20 years at the end of our maximum healthy lifespan of 80 to 100 years. In contrast, a 20 year old who begins starving themselves may not live to see 30.

To this, she may reply that she is willing to accept that lifespan, that she has no delusions about living forever, that she thinks the world is overpopulated anyways, and that she doesnt want to grow old. We would call her weird. Many of us have an aversion to death, and want to put it off for as long as possible. It is abnormal to be willing to die at 30.

Again, we have merely drawn a bell curve, pointed out that her opinion is an outlier, and insisted that she conform more to the norm. We have yet to find an argument that at some point doesnt find its justification in conformity.

It may be that conformity is enough for us. There is a lot of good to be had for unity of opinions. Without it, we could not have democracy, and we would hardly be able to cooperate with each other. It seems built in to most of us to want to fit in with a group, but many of us also recognize that diversity of opinions may be a good thing to tolerate, on occasion.

We could take issue with her web site convincing other people to join her in her views, but this only becomes bad if we decide that her views are bad. I saw a website the other day trying to convince everyone that the Xbox is great, but I do not condemn it merely because most people prefer the Playstation.

Libertarianism would tell us that as long as the practice is being done by consenting adults, and is not encroaching on the rights and freedoms of others, we should let people voluntarily do whatever they want. We could condemn her if she were to convince the mentally ill to join her, or perhaps immature children. However, we could not condemn her for starving herself, or promoting that idea to responsible adults.

Can we find a biological imperative that would condemn her actions? Yes. Its clearly stupid from a competitive biological standpoint to starve yourself and make yourself less likely to reproduce. However, if she personally does not want to reproduce or be healthy, then she is doing what is healthy. If our ultimate goal in life is not merely to be healthy and reproduce, but rather to be happy, then she is fulfilling her biological destiny.

Like other alternative lifestyles that severely inhibit your likelihood to procreate, she is not likely to bear and raise many children that will follow in her footsteps. Our fat kids will probably do better than hers. Thus, her delusions of grandeur such as Pro-anas are becoming the next elite secret society ... soon we shall rule the world! are not likely to come to fruition. We can put her on the endangered species list I suppose, but I do not yet see the need to force feed her.

I cannot identify a moral imperative that she is violating, which I think is weird. Surely someone out there has a moral system that has something equivalent to thou shalt eat but I havent been able to think of a really good one. The closest I can get is comparing it to suicide, or some vague idea that our bodies are valuable and should be kept healthy. Although I suspect that some platitude could be constructed, unless it is founded on something pretty substantial (a universal truth that everyone must accept), she can always wiggle out of it by saying that she follows a different moral code, and that we cant shove ours down her throat.

By the way... I think it is highly likely that she would refer to our criticisms as shoving things down her throat. It just seems like a natural way to phrase things from someone with her philosophical bent.

I think this is what is frustrating about her site. We can condemn it for all kinds of things, encouraging mental illness, hurting children, being a sham for her own disease, but it is hard to really find the right way to attack her core premise.

In the end, I am content to call it foolish. She speaks of willpower, and she may have it in spades, but she is accomplishing nothing useful with it. It would take a great deal of willpower to cut out my eyes, but this would not be a wise use of my strength of will. If she is truly doing what she claims, then she is destroying herself with her own strength.

This is just foolish. A man does not exercise so that he can become strong enough to tear his own legs off. If he were to do this, we would not call his action immoral, we would call him foolish.

She is simply deceiving herself into thinking the opposite of what is true. She says she has made herself strong, when in fact she has made herself weak. She claims to be wise, when she really only demonstrates her foolishness.

Who can argue with such a position? If a man has convinced himself that he can see when he is in fact blind, what can we do to help? If one of you thinks that you can impart wisdom to her, she has a link on her site that will allow you to email her. I do not know that the task of giving wisdom to the foolish is any easier than giving sight to the blind, but we can always try.


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Phellan


member
Location: Kamloops, BC

Total posts: 74
Posted: Written by: Patriarch917



Anyone who peruses the site need not stretch themselves mentally in order to know that it is wrong. It is so clearly absurd as to be almost not worth bothering with. However, we cannot ignore the fact that there are people who will spend a lot of time and effort trying to justify their foolishness by calling it an alternative lifestyle.



I think "foolishness" is the key word here. Yes, her behavior is destructive, but many things we do in life are destructive without rising to the level that she advocates. Many people risk injury and death merely for thrills and recreation, and we may call them stupid for it, but we do not condemn them the way that this site can be condemned.







You use the term "foolishness" which is unfortunate, because it indicates your lack of understanding of mental disorders and in specific the lengths to which someone suffering Anorexia Nervosa will go to justify and legitimize their actions and rituals.





 Written by:



The pendent arguments, such as the argument that children might visit her site despite her intentions, are persuasive enough to justify asking her to take down the site. It seems obvious that her site might encourage those truly suffering from a mental illness to think that there is nothing wrong with them, and that they should seek help. I suspect that most who agree with her were not normal eaters who decided to convert from sheer force of will, but rather girls suffering from a debilitating condition taking comfort in someone who seems to be telling them that their weakness is actually a sign of strength.



It is hard to find the precise words and concepts that can be used to counter her most basic, foundational idea. She claims that she should have the right to voluntarily eat as little as she wishes. It is hard to deny her this right. I suspect (especially from reading her emails) that this site is merely her way of justifying her own problem, but I will not stoop to ad hominem attacks. She has set forth an idea, and she deserves to have that idea considered on its own merits.







Again you seem to fail to realize that there is little to no distinction between an individual who KNOWS they suffer an eating disorder, one who refuses to admit to it, or one who is unaware -- all three rationalize and create elaborate and complex realities that affirm and support their eating habits, indeed a sufferer of an eating disorder is an exceptional tough individual to convince they suffer a disorder because of their body dismorphia and their generally adept grasp on reality.



That you would suggest her idea holds merit and her opinions have some integrity to them makes your own actions and concepts questionable --- you like to use metaphors and similes -- is it reasonable to take the opinions of a schizophrenic literally? An individual suffering schizophrenia can have clearly delusional and unreasonable fixations. Do these too merit a full study of their opinions? Should the police investigate a schizophrenics boss for trying to poison him if that is his delusion? Does that idea hold "merit"?



 Written by:



Essentially, she claims to want to hurt herself in the pursuit of beauty. She can point to many people who have this right, from those that lift weights to those that pierce their tongues.



We can first consider distinguish it on the level of pain. A bodybuilder may have sore muscles the next morning, and a piercing may sting for a good while, but the pain of constant starvation seems unreasonable in relation to the goal in mind. It deviates very far from the norm. At a certain point, we as society draw a line between what is normal, and what is abnormal. Starving yourself seems abnormal, since most of us want to avoid it.



This works well to a point. We can agree democratically that she is wrong and even a bit looney. However, what we have just told her is that she should confine herself to within a certain range of the mode. We have said nothing inherent about her actions, but merely expressed that we do not wish to do it, and that we think she is weird for disagreeing with us.







You're "essentially" is incorrect here. Her fixation on willpower is the true key to understanding anorexia, and what drives it. If you had a more robust understanding of the disorder and other distructive mental issues you would find that "control" is the key behind them, the control over ones body in Anorexia is a source of pride, withholding from food, controlling their "impulses", etc. All which can bee seen in her site, though she glorifies them -- as anorexic's tend to do -- as badges of honour almost.



 Written by:



Likewise, the same with her perverse concept of beauty. We all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.



A greater level of distinction can be drawn based on the fact that eating so little has a high likelihood of killing you, and will almost certainly shorten your lifespan.



To this, she could argue that she should have a right to assume whatever risk of death she wants. If she were simply base jumping or flying ultralight aircraft, she probably would not be condemned by us, even though those things carry a relatively high risk of death.







Again, it is not a perverse concept to the individual holding it, and perhaps you should read up on body dismorphia to learn more about that particular disorder before trying to make a critical debate analyzing an exceptionally complex and disturbing disorder.



You tend to use examples of other actions to which a "sane" individual would partake--- a more accurate and reasonable action would be to compare Starving oneself with cutting or self-mutilation, both of which carry a high risk of injury or death, neither of which meet society's standards of "norms" and are thus much more similar to starving oneself "willfully".



 Written by:



She could point out that many of us choose to engage in unsafe activities that we know could cause death, such as driving in a car or joining the military. She has simply chosen a risk that is higher than what we are willing to accept. Again, we have merely come to the point where we say we are more risk averse than you, you are very different, and we do not approve.



We could point out then, that eating so little does not carry just a risk of death. Rather, prolonged anarexia will almost certainly end in a severely shortened lifespan.



To this, she would no doubt point out that many people do not do all that is necessary to lengthen their lifespan. Many overeat, smoke, dont exercise, and do not have their prostates checked regularly. We would reply that, yes, we accept certain actions that will shorten our lifespans, but they shorten it by a mere 5 20 years at the end of our maximum healthy lifespan of 80 to 100 years. In contrast, a 20 year old who begins starving themselves may not live to see 30.



To this, she may reply that she is willing to accept that lifespan, that she has no delusions about living forever, that she thinks the world is overpopulated anyways, and that she doesnt want to grow old. We would call her weird. Many of us have an aversion to death, and want to put it off for as long as possible. It is abnormal to be willing to die at 30.







Again you make elaborations between potentially dangerous actions, and ones that truly are. You fail to differentiate between the two, not even based on "societal norms". Starving onesself WILL result in a varying degree of physical illnesses ranging from organ impairment and failure to death. Driving a car carries an inherent "risk", but is not dangerous in and of itself, only if something unfortunate occurs. It is quite possible to never receive injury or impairment for operating a vehicle, however long-term malnutrition has a long list of destructive consequences. They are not comparable, and that you would indicate they are is disrespectful if not flat out incompetant.



Again, you make rationalizations to be "constructive" and to elaborate points -- yet what you fail to consider is that those view ponits she would espouse and hold are what would be enough to term one as "mentally ill" or "mentally incompetant". An individual with Anorexia Nervosa is not aware they have an eating disorder, and will even rationalize and justify their actions to doctors, family, and friends in an excessively rationally and usually well thought out manner. They can be quite convincing. Having said that however, an individual who believes they are the second-coming-of-christ, no matter HOW convincing is still seen by society as being ill, and without a doubt they almost certainly are.



While I appreciate that there is a wide variety of belief systems and concepts there is however certainly justifiable classifications of mental illnesses, it is of poor judgement to hold that all beliefs and opinions held by people are rational and sane -- some things are so truly abnormal from the human psyche that there can be little doubt of the individuals comprimised views of reality. Believing oneself to be fat, or needing to lose weight, or maintaining strict control over ones diet in display of "self-control" are all shows of varying degree's of mental illnesses. Instead of giving this woman's voice a legitimate ground as being something to be "listened" to, perhaps it would be more constructive for you to question WHY she feels the need to show such intense control over her physical body? Why the intensely worded and hostile reference to society? Ask WHY she holds these views and how they reflect upon her ideals and concepts. The Context of how she views the world and who she expresses those views are far more important than the ideas as a whole. As any good actor would know -- Context, not the content of the discussion is key. Varying contexts modifty, alter, and skew our realities, relationships, and understandings of what is being said.







 Written by:



Again, we have merely drawn a bell curve, pointed out that her opinion is an outlier, and insisted that she conform more to the norm. We have yet to find an argument that at some point doesnt find its justification in conformity.



It may be that conformity is enough for us. There is a lot of good to be had for unity of opinions. Without it, we could not have democracy, and we would hardly be able to cooperate with each other. It seems built in to most of us to want to fit in with a group, but many of us also recognize that diversity of opinions may be a good thing to tolerate, on occasion.



We could take issue with her web site convincing other people to join her in her views, but this only becomes bad if we decide that her views are bad. I saw a website the other day trying to convince everyone that the Xbox is great, but I do not condemn it merely because most people prefer the Playstation.



Libertarianism would tell us that as long as the practice is being done by consenting adults, and is not encroaching on the rights and freedoms of others, we should let people voluntarily do whatever they want. We could condemn her if she were to convince the mentally ill to join her, or perhaps immature children. However, we could not condemn her for starving herself, or promoting that idea to responsible adults.







Yet once more, the belief that the "norm" here is negative -- yes conformity can be a negative aspect in life. However at the same time, if you were deathly ill would you rather your doctor treat you, or decide that you were just being anti-conformist, and that indeed you were fine, just willfully deciding to hold the sick-roll in society.



As a Socialist, I would argue vehemetly about the importance of embracing various ideals and concepts, and as a Canadian I would argue that individuals can hold drastically different views, backgrounds, and beliefs, and still find common ground on which to build life. Yet that is not the issue here, nor should it be -- that is a widely larger topic. This is not about conformity, this is an examination of how to determine the differences between ill and not. One can be ill and conform, one can be healthy and be against the institution, they are not the same. The indication and implication that they are is troubling in that it verifies the belief that those who go against the system are "sick", when indeed they are not.



As for your topic of Liberatarianism-- you mock it and your comments are immature and foolish.



 Written by:



Can we find a biological imperative that would condemn her actions? Yes. Its clearly stupid from a competitive biological standpoint to starve yourself and make yourself less likely to reproduce. However, if she personally does not want to reproduce or be healthy, then she is doing what is healthy. If our ultimate goal in life is not merely to be healthy and reproduce, but rather to be happy, then she is fulfilling her biological destiny.



Like other alternative lifestyles that severely inhibit your likelihood to procreate, she is not likely to bear and raise many children that will follow in her footsteps. Our fat kids will probably do better than hers. Thus, her delusions of grandeur such as Pro-anas are becoming the next elite secret society ... soon we shall rule the world! are not likely to come to fruition. We can put her on the endangered species list I suppose, but I do not yet see the need to force feed her.



I cannot identify a moral imperative that she is violating, which I think is weird. Surely someone out there has a moral system that has something equivalent to thou shalt eat but I havent been able to think of a really good one. The closest I can get is comparing it to suicide, or some vague idea that our bodies are valuable and should be kept healthy. Although I suspect that some platitude could be constructed, unless it is founded on something pretty substantial (a universal truth that everyone must accept), she can always wiggle out of it by saying that she follows a different moral code, and that we cant shove ours down her throat.







Of course if one wants to examine things from a biological standpoint, one would simply indicate that not fullfilling the only true biological roll every species has -- that to reproduce would be infact -- ill. Shocking truly.



Again you mock the subject of this topic, you show little empathy and a marked lack of understanding of Anorexia and those who suffer it, this overall impedes any constructive or believable analysis you have made, as you clearly have little idea or comprehensiona bout how truly warped and distorted reality can become for individuals suffering eating disorders. I am not talking about "comformity" -- I am talking about someone at 70lbs, half their healthy body weight, suffering from cardiac difficulties, sitting in a ICU TELLING ME that the doctors were lying to them -- telling them that they were "ill" when they "felt fine" and just needed to "lose a few more pounds". Your total disregard and lack of knowledge about this topic I personally find offensive and distasteful.



 Written by:



By the way... I think it is highly likely that she would refer to our criticisms as shoving things down her throat. It just seems like a natural way to phrase things from someone with her philosophical bent.



I think this is what is frustrating about her site. We can condemn it for all kinds of things, encouraging mental illness, hurting children, being a sham for her own disease, but it is hard to really find the right way to attack her core premise.



In the end, I am content to call it foolish. She speaks of willpower, and she may have it in spades, but she is accomplishing nothing useful with it. It would take a great deal of willpower to cut out my eyes, but this would not be a wise use of my strength of will. If she is truly doing what she claims, then she is destroying herself with her own strength.



This is just foolish. A man does not exercise so that he can become strong enough to tear his own legs off. If he were to do this, we would not call his action immoral, we would call him foolish.



She is simply deceiving herself into thinking the opposite of what is true. She says she has made herself strong, when in fact she has made herself weak. She claims to be wise, when she really only demonstrates her foolishness.



Who can argue with such a position? If a man has convinced himself that he can see when he is in fact blind, what can we do to help? If one of you thinks that you can impart wisdom to her, she has a link on her site that will allow you to email her. I do not know that the task of giving wisdom to the foolish is any easier than giving sight to the blind, but we can always try.





Of course she would take it as us shoving it down her throat -- her point of view is that what she is doing is perfectly healthy and normal. She has rationalize and jsutified her eating disorder under the guise of her extreme self-control. A defining characteristic in many destructive behaviours relating to things such as ED's and Self-Injury. Control over the body, control over themselves. What you call "foolish" is just your lack of understanding of mental disorders and how deeply they afflict patients and how destruvtive they can become. Posting such drivel as this does not endear you to anyone, nor show your rationalization of things -- it merely indicates how poorly educated and lacking in empathy you are.



And as to who can argue with such a position -- as we have pointed out many times, that is perhaps the key to:

1) Your total and utter failure to post relevant and rational arguements. Picking and choosing very "iffy" topics such as claiming we are forcing conformity or labelling with such ideas as "mental" illnesses is not only poor criticism on your part, it infact shows your lack of debating and argumentative skills.

2) Shows the extent to which mental illnesses effect patients. This is why it is called a illness, the extent to which a persons reality is altered to the point where they seem irrational and illogical. A well formed and legitimate argument has no basis with someone who refuses to acknowledge even the most basic and agreed upon "realities" to which we must adhere to even form a social discourse.


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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops

Total posts: 4525
Posted:I've just been looking on Myspace for pro ana groups, and loads came up. I'm looking at one now called "I want to be skinny, skinny, SKINNY" run by a 14 year old girl. I've been reading the forums, and they're all young women, some as young as 13 talking about fasting, and helping each other starve.

there are 9 pages worth of pro ana groups, one is called "F**k food, I do it the Mary Kate way". I find all this quite disturbing, and sad.



how is this attractive?
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Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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maus
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

maus

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Sihanoukville, cambodia

Total posts: 4191
Posted:Thats awful Jo, I've resisted psoting in here up until now.

A friend of mine who i have now unfortunately lost contact with almost died because of anorexia, so I'm perhaps a little over sensitive on the issue.

Pro-ana groups are completely dangerous.

Its groups like this that corrupt young fragile minds into believing they need to be something, need to look a certain way, and act a certain way.

Whatever happened to childhood innocence?

I also think its irresponsible for adults to post pro-ana stuff on the internet. The internet is a resource for many young people, some too young to understand the dangers of it.

This website disgusts me.

Young people have enough pressures from their peers and the media without websites like this telling them how to starve themselves.


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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops

Total posts: 4525
Posted:too right Maus. I found this on one of their sites. I think you'll agree its disconcerting:

"Allow me to introduce myself. My name, or as I am called by so called "doctors", is Anorexia. Anorexia Nervosa is my full name, but you may call me Ana. Hopefully we can become great partners. In the coming time, I will invest a lot of time in you, and I expect the same from you. In the past you have heard all of your teachers and parents talk about you. You are "so mature", "intelligent", "14 going on 45", and you possess "so much potential". Where has that gotten you, may I ask? Absolutely no where! You are not perfect, you do not try hard enough, further more you waste your time on thinking and talking with friends and drawing! Such acts of indulgence shall not be allowed in the future.
Your friends do not understand you. They are not truthful. In the past, when the insecurity has quietly gnawed away at your mind, and you asked them, "Do I look....fat?" and they answered "Oh no, of course not" you knew they were lying! Only I tell the truth. Your parents, let's not even go there! You know that they love you, and care for you, but part of that is just that they are your parents and are obligated to do so. I shall tell you a secret now: deep down inside themselves, they are disappointed with you. Their daughter, the one with so much potential, has turned into a fat, lazy, and undeserving girl.
But I am about to change all that. I will expect you to drop your calorie intake and up your exercise. I will push you to the limit. You must take it because you cannot defy me! I am beginning to imbed myself into you. Pretty soon, I am with you always. I am there when you wake up in the morning and run to the scale. The numbers become both friend and enemy, and the frenzied thoughts pray for them to be lower than yesterday, last night, etc. You look into the mirror with dismay. You prod and poke at the fat that is there, and smile when you come across bone. I am there when you figure out the plan for the day: 400 calories, 2 hours exercise. I am the one figuring this out, because by now my thoughts and your thoughts are blurred together as one. I follow you throughout the day. In school, when your mind wanders I give you something to think about. Recount the calories for the day. It's too much. I fill your mind with thoughts of food, weight, calories, and things that are safe to think about. Because now, I am already inside of you. I am in your head, your heart, and your soul. The hunger pains you pretend not to feel is me, inside of you.
Pretty soon I am telling you not only what to do with food, but what to do ALL of the time. Smile and nod. Present yourself well. Suck in that fat stomach, dammit! God, you are such a fat cow!!!! When mealtimes come around I tell you what to do. I make a plate of lettuce seem like a feast fit for a king. Push the food around. Make it look like you've eaten something. No piece of anything...if you eat, all the control will be broken...do you WANT that?? To revert back to the fat COW you once were?? I force you to stare at magazine models. Those perfect skinned, white teethed, waifish models of perfection staring out at you from those glossy pages. I make you realize that you could never be them. You will always be fat and never will you be as beautiful as they are. When you look in the mirror, I will distort the image. I will show you obesity and hideousness. I will show you a sumo wrestler where in reality there is a starving child. But you must not know this, because if you knew the truth, you might start to eat again and our relationship would come crashing down.
Sometimes you will rebel. Hopefully not often though. You will recognize the small rebellious fiber left in your body and will venture down to the dark kitchen. The cupboard door will slowly open, creaking softly. Your eyes will move over the food that I have kept at a safe distance from you. You will find your hands reaching out, lethargically, like a nightmare, through the darkness to the box of crackers. You shove them in, mechanically, not really tasting but simply relishing in the fact that you are going against me. You reach for another box, then another, then another. Your stomach will become bloated and grotesque, but you will not stop yet. And all the time I am screaming at you to stop, you fat cow, you really have no self control, you are going to get fat.
When it is over you will cling to me again, ask me for advice because you really do not want to get fat. You broke a cardinal rule and ate, and now you want me back. I'll force you into the bathroom, onto your knees, staring into the void of the toilet bowl. Your fingers will be inserted into your throat, and, not without a great deal of pain, your food binge will come up. Over and over this is to be repeated, until you spit up blood and water and you know it is all gone. When you stand up, you will feel dizzy. Don't pass out. Stand up right now. You fat cow you deserve to be in pain! Maybe the choice of getting rid of the guilt is different. Maybe I chose to make you take laxatives, where you sit on the toilet until the wee hours of the morning, feeling your insides cringe. Or perhaps I just make you hurt yourself, bang your head into the wall until you receive a throbbing headache. Cutting is also effective. I want you to see your blood, to see it fall down your arm, and in that split second you will realize you deserve whatever pain I give you. You are depressed, obsessed, in pain, hurting, reaching out but no one will listen? Who cares?!?!! You are deserving; you brought this upon yourself.
Oh, is this harsh? Do you not want this to happen to you? Am I unfair? I do do things that will help you. I make it possible for you to stop thinking of emotions that cause you stress. Thoughts of anger, sadness, desperation, and loneliness can cease because I take them away and fill your head with the methodic calorie counting. I take away your struggle to fit in with kids your age, the struggle of trying to please everyone as well. Because now, I am your only friend, and I am the only one you need to please. I have a weak spot. But we must not tell anyone. If you decide to fight back, to reach out to someone and tell them about how I make you live, all hell will break lose. No one must find out, no one can crack this shell that I have covered you with. I have created you, this thin, perfect, achieving child. You are mine and mine alone. Without me, you are nothing. So do not fight back. When others comment, ignore them. Take it into stride, forget about them, forget about everyone that tries to take me away. I am your greatest asset, and I intend to keep it that way.
Sincerely,
Ana"

frown messed up isnt it?


Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:Is that a pro- or anti-ana piece of writing? Who was it done by?

Phellan: Very good post, I enjoyed reading it.


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops

Total posts: 4525
Posted:I can't work it out Sethis. It was on a myspace "pro ana" group. I see it as a reason NOT to be anorexic, but thats because i dont have an eating disorder and my mind doesnt work in perhaps the same way someone else's might. What does anyone else think?

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted:wayne:

the thread title is "pro-ana anorexia as a lifestyle".

it is not "critique on the validity of plagueangel.org"

if you want to waste your time being obtuse and trying to get us to concede to an argument that is ancillary to the main discussion, you carry on mate.

trying to discuss an issue with you is a complete waste of time if you decide to restrict the scope of your debate to minutiae.

this would be acceptable if the minutiae were of great importance to the outcome of the overall discussion but in this case it most certainly is not.

it doesn't actually matter if plagueangel.org's author's 'core premise' is acceptable or not - she has the right to do whatever she wants within the laws of the country her server is posted on.
full stop.

this discussion, from the start, was clearly focussed on the moral implications of such a website's existance.

you seemed determined to bring it back to whether the author has the right to do and say what she wishes shrug

and then, to top it off, you decide to 'tell us how it is' yet end up with a conclusion that is little more than a poor paraphrasing of the assessments that others in this thread have been making all along:

 Written by: patriarch917

She is simply deceiving herself into thinking the opposite of what is true. She says she has made herself strong, when in fact she has made herself weak. She claims to be wise, when she really only demonstrates her foolishness.



of course, you had already skillfully 'dismissed' a similar line of thought with your genius-like comment on the last page of this thread:

 Written by: patriarch917

So your theory is that she isn't doing this voluntarily, but is really just trying to justify her disorder as an "alternative lifestyle?"



except your theory is even less than the "she is very likely disguising her disorder with a positive affirmation of it" idea.

your conclusion is simply "she's dumb".

well, thank-you for your oh-so-insightful and engaging analysis on this topic - i hope at least you are pleased with how you've demonstrated your attitude to debate and honed your 'lawyer skills' here
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cole. x


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i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
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maus
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

maus

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Sihanoukville, cambodia

Total posts: 4191
Posted:Its very powerful thats for sure.

Think it depends who's ears it falls upon.
To us it would disgust us and make us think about how terrible it is, but perhaps for an anorexic sufferer it may scare them even more.

To me it sounds like someone who has actually suffered from anorexia wanting to tell the world just how terrible the disease can be!


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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:Jo, thanks for posting that! I see it as probably most of the pro-ana websites: terribly frightening to someone who doesn't have the problem. But if you already have a distorted picture of your body, you'll find it confirmed. frown

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted: Written by: Phellan


 Written by: Patriarch917


Anyone who peruses the site need not stretch themselves mentally in order to know that it is wrong. It is so clearly absurd as to be almost not worth bothering with. However, we cannot ignore the fact that there are people who will spend a lot of time and effort trying to justify their foolishness by calling it an alternative lifestyle.

I think "foolishness" is the key word here. Yes, her behavior is destructive, but many things we do in life are destructive without rising to the level that she advocates. Many people risk injury and death merely for thrills and recreation, and we may call them stupid for it, but we do not condemn them the way that this site can be condemned.




You use the term "foolishness" which is unfortunate, because it indicates your lack of understanding of mental disorders and in specific the lengths to which someone suffering Anorexia Nervosa will go to justify and legitimize their actions and rituals.




Not at all. I simply accept for the purpose of argument her assertion that she is not suffering from Anorexia Nervosa, even though we may think otherwise.

I in fact believe that she probably is, and agree with those parts of your post that try to show she is crazy.

 Written by: Phellan


 Written by: Patriarch917


The pendent arguments, such as the argument that children might visit her site despite her intentions, are persuasive enough to justify asking her to take down the site. It seems obvious that her site might encourage those truly suffering from a mental illness to think that there is nothing wrong with them, and that they should seek help. I suspect that most who agree with her were not normal eaters who decided to convert from sheer force of will, but rather girls suffering from a debilitating condition taking comfort in someone who seems to be telling them that their weakness is actually a sign of strength.

It is hard to find the precise words and concepts that can be used to counter her most basic, foundational idea. She claims that she should have the right to voluntarily eat as little as she wishes. It is hard to deny her this right. I suspect (especially from reading her emails) that this site is merely her way of justifying her own problem, but I will not stoop to ad hominem attacks. She has set forth an idea, and she deserves to have that idea considered on its own merits.




Again you seem to fail to realize that there is little to no distinction between an individual who KNOWS they suffer an eating disorder, one who refuses to admit to it, or one who is unaware -- all three rationalize and create elaborate and complex realities that affirm and support their eating habits, indeed a sufferer of an eating disorder is an exceptional tough individual to convince they suffer a disorder because of their body dismorphia and their generally adept grasp on reality.

That you would suggest her idea holds merit and her opinions have some integrity to them makes your own actions and concepts questionable --- you like to use metaphors and similes -- is it reasonable to take the opinions of a schizophrenic literally? An individual suffering schizophrenia can have clearly delusional and unreasonable fixations. Do these too merit a full study of their opinions? Should the police investigate a schizophrenics boss for trying to poison him if that is his delusion? Does that idea hold "merit"?




I do realize the difference between the three people you mentioned. I also realize the possibility of a fourth category: one who eats very little for voluntary purposes.

If her idea holds no merit, then I think it is appropriate to attack the idea directly, and not the person espousing it. By showing that the idea is either crazy, or foolish, we can demonstrate that the person is probably either crazy or foolish. It does not work the other way around. A crazy or foolish person may happen upon a good idea.
 Written by: Phellan


 Written by: Patriarch917


Essentially, she claims to want to hurt herself in the pursuit of beauty. She can point to many people who have this right, from those that lift weights to those that pierce their tongues.

We can first consider distinguish it on the level of pain. A bodybuilder may have sore muscles the next morning, and a piercing may sting for a good while, but the pain of constant starvation seems unreasonable in relation to the goal in mind. It deviates very far from the norm. At a certain point, we as society draw a line between what is normal, and what is abnormal. Starving yourself seems abnormal, since most of us want to avoid it.

This works well to a point. We can agree democratically that she is wrong and even a bit looney. However, what we have just told her is that she should confine herself to within a certain range of the mode. We have said nothing inherent about her actions, but merely expressed that we do not wish to do it, and that we think she is weird for disagreeing with us.




You're "essentially" is incorrect here. Her fixation on willpower is the true key to understanding anorexia, and what drives it. If you had a more robust understanding of the disorder and other distructive mental issues you would find that "control" is the key behind them, the control over ones body in Anorexia is a source of pride, withholding from food, controlling their "impulses", etc. All which can bee seen in her site, though she glorifies them -- as anorexic's tend to do -- as badges of honour almost.




You refer to her mental disorder. My post deals with her idea of starving yourself in absence of a mental disorder.

You are correct in thinking that a valid reply would be but you really ARE suffering from anorexia. However, this is a reply to make to her, not to me. I dont say that she isnt.
 Written by: Phellan


 Written by: Patriarch917


Likewise, the same with her perverse concept of beauty. We all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

A greater level of distinction can be drawn based on the fact that eating so little has a high likelihood of killing you, and will almost certainly shorten your lifespan.

To this, she could argue that she should have a right to assume whatever risk of death she wants. If she were simply base jumping or flying ultralight aircraft, she probably would not be condemned by us, even though those things carry a relatively high risk of death.




Again, it is not a perverse concept to the individual holding it, and perhaps you should read up on body dismorphia to learn more about that particular disorder before trying to make a critical debate analyzing an exceptionally complex and disturbing disorder.




Of course it is not perverse to her, which is why I put it in quotes. I remind you again that I am not analyzing a disorder, I am analyzing the practice of a sane person starving themselves.

 Written by: Phellan


You tend to use examples of other actions to which a "sane" individual would partake--- a more accurate and reasonable action would be to compare Starving oneself with cutting or self-mutilation, both of which carry a high risk of injury or death, neither of which meet society's standards of "norms" and are thus much more similar to starving oneself "willfully".




I have used an example of self-mutilation: body-piercings. But that is beside the point.

In these paragraphs I was not comparing sane vs. insane. I was comparing varying degrees of risk. Thus, I used activities which I know carry a high degree of risk. Cutting does not carry a risk of dangerousness, it carries a certainty. In two more paragraphs I deal with the certainty of danger.

 Written by: Phellan


 Written by: Patriarch917


She could point out that many of us choose to engage in unsafe activities that we know could cause death, such as driving in a car or joining the military. She has simply chosen a risk that is higher than what we are willing to accept. Again, we have merely come to the point where we say we are more risk averse than you, you are very different, and we do not approve.

We could point out then, that eating so little does not carry just a risk of death. Rather, prolonged anarexia will almost certainly end in a severely shortened lifespan.

To this, she would no doubt point out that many people do not do all that is necessary to lengthen their lifespan. Many overeat, smoke, dont exercise, and do not have their prostates checked regularly. We would reply that, yes, we accept certain actions that will shorten our lifespans, but they shorten it by a mere 5 20 years at the end of our maximum healthy lifespan of 80 to 100 years. In contrast, a 20 year old who begins starving themselves may not live to see 30.

To this, she may reply that she is willing to accept that lifespan, that she has no delusions about living forever, that she thinks the world is overpopulated anyways, and that she doesnt want to grow old. We would call her weird. Many of us have an aversion to death, and want to put it off for as long as possible. It is abnormal to be willing to die at 30.




Again you make elaborations between potentially dangerous actions, and ones that truly are. You fail to differentiate between the two, not even based on "societal norms". Starving onesself WILL result in a varying degree of physical illnesses ranging from organ impairment and failure to death. Driving a car carries an inherent "risk", but is not dangerous in and of itself, only if something unfortunate occurs. It is quite possible to never receive injury or impairment for operating a vehicle, however long-term malnutrition has a long list of destructive consequences. They are not comparable, and that you would indicate they are is disrespectful if not flat out incompetant.




I used driving a car as an example of a risky activity, not as one carrying a certainty of injury. In the next paragraph, I move to certainty. Read my words carefully, and you will notice that the first paragraph you quoted in this portion was part of the previous section, and that the second paragraph noted that I was now moving from the concept of risk to the concept of certainty..

 Written by: Phellan


Again, you make rationalizations to be "constructive" and to elaborate points -- yet what you fail to consider is that those view ponits she would espouse and hold are what would be enough to term one as "mentally ill" or "mentally incompetant". An individual with Anorexia Nervosa is not aware they have an eating disorder, and will even rationalize and justify their actions to doctors, family, and friends in an excessively rationally and usually well thought out manner. They can be quite convincing. Having said that however, an individual who believes they are the second-coming-of-christ, no matter HOW convincing is still seen by society as being ill, and without a doubt they almost certainly are.




I agree that she will be seen by society as being ill, and that she almost certainly is. However, it is only almost certain. While these views may be evidence of a mental disorder, I still think that it is possible to decide to starve yourself without having a mental disorder. Hunger strikes are a good example of this.

She may be espousing the view because she is crazy. However, I do not know that we can say she is crazy because she is espousing the view. As you say, there are a wide variety of belief systems and concepts.
 Written by: Phellan


While I appreciate that there is a wide variety of belief systems and concepts there is however certainly justifiable classifications of mental illnesses, it is of poor judgement to hold that all beliefs and opinions held by people are rational and sane -- some things are so truly abnormal from the human psyche that there can be little doubt of the individuals comprimised views of reality.



It would also be poor judgment to decide that beliefs and concepts that seem extremely different from the norm are always caused by a mental disorder. It may be that the person has simply chosen to believe something unusual.

Extreme abnormality in a persons opinion is usually, but not always, an indication that the source of that view is a mental disorder.
 Written by: Phellan


 Written by: Patriarch917


Again, we have merely drawn a bell curve, pointed out that her opinion is an outlier, and insisted that she conform more to the norm. We have yet to find an argument that at some point doesnt find its justification in conformity.

It may be that conformity is enough for us. There is a lot of good to be had for unity of opinions. Without it, we could not have democracy, and we would hardly be able to cooperate with each other. It seems built in to most of us to want to fit in with a group, but many of us also recognize that diversity of opinions may be a good thing to tolerate, on occasion.

We could take issue with her web site convincing other people to join her in her views, but this only becomes bad if we decide that her views are bad. I saw a website the other day trying to convince everyone that the Xbox is great, but I do not condemn it merely because most people prefer the Playstation.

Libertarianism would tell us that as long as the practice is being done by consenting adults, and is not encroaching on the rights and freedoms of others, we should let people voluntarily do whatever they want. We could condemn her if she were to convince the mentally ill to join her, or perhaps immature children. However, we could not condemn her for starving herself, or promoting that idea to responsible adults.



Yet once more, the belief that the "norm" here is negative -- yes conformity can be a negative aspect in life. However at the same time, if you were deathly ill would you rather your doctor treat you, or decide that you were just being anti-conformist, and that indeed you were fine, just willfully deciding to hold the sick-roll in society.

As a Socialist, I would argue vehemetly about the importance of embracing various ideals and concepts, and as a Canadian I would argue that individuals can hold drastically different views, backgrounds, and beliefs, and still find common ground on which to build life. Yet that is not the issue here, nor should it be -- that is a widely larger topic. This is not about conformity, this is an examination of how to determine the differences between ill and not. One can be ill and conform, one can be healthy and be against the institution, they are not the same. The indication and implication that they are is troubling in that it verifies the belief that those who go against the system are "sick", when indeed they are not.




Then we agree. Merely because a view is not shared by many others does not mean that you have to be mentally ill to hold it. Thus, I think it is helpful to examine this view as if it were held by a sane person.

 Written by: Phellan


As for your topic of Liberatarianism-- you mock it and your comments are immature and foolish.




I do not mock it. My comments about libertarianism are neither immature nor foolish. I draw directly from one of the two foundational laws. If you wish to challenge my description of the first law, do so. Do not waste my time with unfounded insults.

 Written by: Phellan


 Written by: Patriarch917


Can we find a biological imperative that would condemn her actions? Yes. Its clearly stupid from a competitive biological standpoint to starve yourself and make yourself less likely to reproduce. However, if she personally does not want to reproduce or be healthy, then she is doing what is healthy. If our ultimate goal in life is not merely to be healthy and reproduce, but rather to be happy, then she is fulfilling her biological destiny.

Like other alternative lifestyles that severely inhibit your likelihood to procreate, she is not likely to bear and raise many children that will follow in her footsteps. Our fat kids will probably do better than hers. Thus, her delusions of grandeur such as Pro-anas are becoming the next elite secret society ... soon we shall rule the world! are not likely to come to fruition. We can put her on the endangered species list I suppose, but I do not yet see the need to force feed her.

I cannot identify a moral imperative that she is violating, which I think is weird. Surely someone out there has a moral system that has something equivalent to thou shalt eat but I havent been able to think of a really good one. The closest I can get is comparing it to suicide, or some vague idea that our bodies are valuable and should be kept healthy. Although I suspect that some platitude could be constructed, unless it is founded on something pretty substantial (a universal truth that everyone must accept), she can always wiggle out of it by saying that she follows a different moral code, and that we cant shove ours down her throat.




Of course if one wants to examine things from a biological standpoint, one would simply indicate that not fullfilling the only true biological roll every species has -- that to reproduce would be infact -- ill. Shocking truly.

Again you mock the subject of this topic, you show little empathy and a marked lack of understanding of Anorexia and those who suffer it, this overall impedes any constructive or believable analysis you have made, as you clearly have little idea or comprehensiona bout how truly warped and distorted reality can become for individuals suffering eating disorders. I am not talking about "comformity" -- I am talking about someone at 70lbs, half their healthy body weight, suffering from cardiac difficulties, sitting in a ICU TELLING ME that the doctors were lying to them -- telling them that they were "ill" when they "felt fine" and just needed to "lose a few more pounds". Your total disregard and lack of knowledge about this topic I personally find offensive and distasteful.






You know nothing about my empathy for those that truly suffer from anorexia, or my knowledge and experience with it. You lack any data on it, because I have not addressed the mental illness of anorexia or my experiences with it.

I have referred to the theory espoused by the website mentioned in the original post: that one can act similar to those with the disease, without actually suffering from it. I have even bothered to give the concept a different spelling (anarexia) to make sure you can always tell when I speak of one and not the other.

Coleman has said that discussing her core premise: that anarexia can be practiced by a sane person as an alternative lifestyle. is a waste of time and is not of great importance to the thread. Instead, he thinks that the important issues are the moral implications of such a website's existance.

I consider the core premise to have important moral implications, but others are free to ignore my theory and discuss other issues that the website raises. If you tell me that I have no empathy for someone at 70lbs, half their healthy body weight, suffering from cardiac difficulties, sitting in a ICU TELLING ME that the doctors were lying to them -- telling them that they were ill when they felt fine and just needed to lose a few more pounds then I hardly even feel the need to respond to such an accusation. You cannot show that by any quote from me on here, and you do not know me well enough to make such a guess.

 Written by: Phellan


Of course she would take it as us shoving it down her throat -- her point of view is that what she is doing is perfectly healthy and normal. She has rationalize and jsutified her eating disorder under the guise of her extreme self-control.



That may be true, and I mention that I believe that it is probably the case. However, we cannot truly tell whether or not she has a mental illness. We cannot even tell if she is female.

 Written by: Phellan


A defining characteristic in many destructive behaviours relating to things such as ED's and Self-Injury. Control over the body, control over themselves. What you call "foolish" is just your lack of understanding of mental disorders and how deeply they afflict patients and how destruvtive they can become.



No, what I call foolish is choosing to act like a crazy person when you are not in fact crazy, which is what she claims to be doing. We can say that she probably is crazy, but we can also say that even if she is not, her behavior is still foolish.
 Written by: Phellan


And as to who can argue with such a position -- as we have pointed out many times, that is perhaps the key to:
1) Your total and utter failure to post relevant and rational arguements. Picking and choosing very "iffy" topics such as claiming we are forcing conformity or labelling with such ideas as "mental" illnesses is not only poor criticism on your part, it infact shows your lack of debating and argumentative skills.



I think that I have a right to choose what I will bother to discuss, especially since my time is limited. For example, I have not bothered to respond to the topic of my debating skills.

 Written by: Phellan



2) Shows the extent to which mental illnesses effect patients. This is why it is called a illness, the extent to which a persons reality is altered to the point where they seem irrational and illogical. A well formed and legitimate argument has no basis with someone who refuses to acknowledge even the most basic and agreed upon "realities" to which we must adhere to even form a social discourse.



Perhaps. But if she is in fact sane and practicing this of her own volition, as she claims, then she can respond to a well formed and legitimate argument if such an argument can be made.

To show that she is truly suffering from an illness, you shouldnt just call her ill. Instead, it would be best if you could in fact show that her views are irrational and illogical. Do not attack the motives that you think she might have. Attack the logic and rationality of her argument.


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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops

Total posts: 4525
Posted:wow i thought my post was long! biggrin

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted: Written by: Patriarch917


To show that she is truly suffering from an illness, you shouldnt just call her ill. Instead, it would be best if you could in fact show that her views are irrational and illogical. Do not attack the motives that you think she might have. Attack the logic and rationality of her argument.



check the first post again.

there are two quotes in that post from the original website that demonstrate illogical thought processes and a distinct lack of rationality.

i put it to you that in light of such non-sensical claims that the onus this whole time has actually been on you to present counter-evidence that she *is* rational and logical.


cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Total posts: 607
Posted:Why do I bear a burden to show that she is rational or logical? I think that she is neither.



Still, just because she makes one claim that is irrational does not meant that a different claim is irrational. Each should be put to the test.


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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted:there you go again!

you ask for something, i provide it, you move the goalposts rolleyes



you said "show that her views are irrational and illogical".

i referred you to illogical and irrational views that she has published.

yet, despite the fact that these claims are made in support of her main argument (and hence DO have a bearing on the ratinality of the concept that they support) its still not enough for you ubblol





showing irrationality or bad logic in her 'core premise' (which you have referred to plenty, but have yet to explicitly define what you consider this premise to actually be) would not prove an illness either so there is no advantage if we were to show that it is illogical or irrational.



there is no way to prove from her website that she is ill - this is true of any piece of published work.



published works can suggest that the author is deranged, mad, irrational, mentally unstable and much more.



but the assumptions drawn about the author's mental state solely from a piece of writing will never be anything but assumptions.



the only way to diagnose someone with a mental disorder (as far as i know) is through an interview.





still you want me to show that her 'main argument' can be considered irrational?



here: this banner posted on her homepage is a gross misrepresentation of a clearly defined mental disorder.



stating unambiguosly that a mental disorder is not a disease but rather a lifestyle is both her core premise and an irrational statement.





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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