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Secular humanism and "scientific psychiatry"

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Author(s): Szasz Thomas

Journal: Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine
ISSN 1747-5341

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 5;
Date: 2006;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract The Council for Secular Humanism identifies Secular Humanism as a "way of thinking and living" committed to rejecting authoritarian beliefs and embracing "individual freedom and responsibility ... and cooperation." The paradigmatic practices of psychiatry are civil commitment and insanity defense, that is, depriving innocent persons of liberty and excusing guilty persons of their crimes: the consequences of both are confinement in institutions ostensibly devoted to the treatment of mental diseases. Black's Law Dictionary states: "Every confinement of the person is an 'imprisonment,' whether it be in a common prison, or in private house, or in the stocks, or even by forcibly detaining one in the public streets." Accordingly, I maintain that Secular Humanism is incompatible with the principles and practices of psychiatry.
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