Wednesday, October 3, 2007

What's wrong with labeling a phobia a phobia?

John Savage has another interesting post up concerning why he finds the "phobia" label to be undesirable. John lists three specific reasons for which he believes use of the label to be mis-applied whether coming from liberals or from conservatives...

I agree with John's premises in general, and particularly where he denominates phobias (specifically 'albophobia') to be "irrational" fears. If phobias are irrational fears by definition, then fears or apprehensions that have no rational basis are properly described as "phobias." Whereas, fears and apprehensions which do have a rational basis are not properly defined as phobias, as the term fear or apprehension would suffice.

I don't have a problem per se with the phobia label as long as it is properly applied to folks who exhibit the characteristics of the term's genuine meaning. I do, however, have a problem with people irrational enough to believe Islam and homosexuality, as a couple of fine examples, present us with no dangers to our way of life. Who then turn around and apply the "phobia" label to our "condition." This is an irrational belief in the supposed non-threatening nature of Islam and homosexuality respectively; it is an irrational belief that rational conservative apprehensions about Islam and homosexuality are completely unfounded. It is, to my way of thinking, a phobia unto itself. Namely, "truthophobia," defined: an irrational fear of truth and truth sources; an extreme consuming form of fear which prefers falsehood to truth in order to maintain its dominance over the mind of man.

3 comments:

John Savage said...

Terry, welcome back!

I like that one, "truthophobia"! LOL

Next time I get in a discussion where there's an accusation of Islamophobia, I'm going to have to use that one: "I think you've got TRUTHOPHOBIA!"

I should note that I don't have a problem with "phobia" words used accurately, but the whole practice just reminds me, as I said, of Frankfurt School Marxists who labeled conservatism a disease. It's as if, when using "phobia" words, we take on the role of psychiatrists arguing that our opponent is mentally ill.

Great post!

Sebosmile said...

Interesting...

Btw, what happens in OK in 28 days, etc? (Re: Your counter on the side of your screen)

I'm all out of touch with OK news now that my best friend is training in Alabama/Florida and he doesn't think to update me on these things anymore...

Katie's Dad said...

Great post. I agree. I also find myself confronted regularly by those who exhibit a marked case of "conservativophobia." The irrational fear of tradition.