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gwho

Threshold for social rejection/pain

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gwho    15

It is now known that social rejection causes the same parts in the brain to be affected as physical injury does.http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364661304001433Physical pain receptors function with a threshold. Physical stimuli that do not break that minimum value (i.e. electrical activation potential for triggering a chain of neurons to the brain) do not trigger pain... as Charlie's brother so excellently demonstrated experimenting with:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OBlgSz8sSMSo since there is a threshold to experiencing sending the triggers of physical pain to the brain... the same part that is activated by social rejection. So I was thinking... perhaps might there be a threshold of sorts for experiencing social rejection (Typically this would be being "thick-skinned")?What governs how sensitive you are to this? Can this threshold change, and if so, by what causes? Could the fact that both paths lead to the same parts of the brain mean that the brain may influence controlling that threshold? 

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cherapple    262

There would be two forms of threshold, as I see it. One form involves dissociation from the pain, in a situation where you cannot, or choose not to, remove yourself from the hurtful situation. There would be another, which involves self-acceptance — feeling the emotional pain, processing it, and taking action to remove yourself to a place of comfort, joy, and safety. There's false comfort and true comfort. To which one do you refer, or to both?

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SBRFS    10

This brings up a question I've had for at least a year now, ever since Stef started putting forth two seemingly-contradictory ideas:  How can it be "wrong" to torture someone (even without physical damage), yet not be equally "wrong" to cause mental torture (causing someone's brain to light up in the same was as from physical pain) by way of ostracization, shaming, or ridicule?  It seems to me that the brain's the brain, and any form of "attack" that causes anguish to the consciousness must, in order for consistency to win out, be treated pretty much the same.

 

In short, is a dullard supposed to tear out his hair, run away in tears, or curl up in a ball of self-hatred every time a sadist decides to make him into verbal plaything?  A slippery slope, perhaps, but surely the brain-pain evidence implies some level of legitimacy to the notion of defending one's mental health with physical force.  Am I misunderstanding something?

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SBRFS    10

Thanks for the reply, but I'm uncertain as to how that answers the question I was trying to ask.  A perfectly rational and ethical person can "invite" ostracism upon himself (as you put it) by being ethical and rational amongst those who are not.  Yet, I don't see how that makes the brain-pain not an attack, regardless of how causally-deserved it might be.  Or perhaps I'm misunderstanding the standard, and it's physical harm that is prohibited (i.e. property damage) and not the brain-pain that it results in.  Yet even by that standard, is not elevated cortisol resulting in shortened lifespan grounds for "property damage"?  This is a very confusing and frustrating issue for me, because it seems that all the solutions ever presented to answer it revolve around taking your lumps and going home.

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Tadas    31

It is definitely not same brain areas that are activated it is just that end result is same.

 

we do not really care about what happens inside of brain, because there can be situation when someone feels pain by seeing grass being cut or chicken being slaughtered.

and do what doers it mean we should care?

 

Torture should be defined not as inflicting pain but as preventing someone from avoiding pain. 

so you can avoid social rejection by rejecting that society yourself,  but you cannot run away is you are tied to chair and i am sticking needles in your fingers, or if "society " follows you(stalking) everywhere denying you ability of rejection.

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cherapple    262

If you fear ostracism and social rejection, then you are going to see it as torture, but it is only torture to children and insecure people (not to call you insecure). Adults have the power to negotiate in situations of conflict, and to find people who want what they have to offer. A secure person is glad to get away from someone who doesn't like him. Ostracism can be a gift that gets you out of bad relationships. I don't want to be around people who reject me.

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gwho    15

It is definitely not same brain areas that are activated it is just that end result is same.

 

we do not really care about what happens inside of brain, because there can be situation when someone feels pain by seeing grass being cut or chicken being slaughtered.

and do what doers it mean we should care?

 

Torture should be defined not as inflicting pain but as preventing someone from avoiding pain. 

so you can avoid social rejection by rejecting that society yourself,  but you cannot run away is you are tied to chair and i am sticking needles in your fingers, or if "society " follows you(stalking) everywhere denying you ability of rejection.

idk if that fully addresses my question, but you brought up such a great point. love it love it love it.

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SBRFS    10

Both Tadas' and cherapple's replies, while explanatory, leave me feeling as if the underlying idea being put forth is that there's some kind of coveted "true" adulthood to which we should aspire -- one where people are so detached and objective that no outside influence can affect their state of mind what-so-ever.  I get the impression that the goal is to be a ghost, floating through the world in an intangible state, intractable yet fickle, taking interest in a thing only as long as it piques the curiosity, then gliding away pre-emptorily in search of something new.  The concept dredges up all I fear about enlightenment: aloofness; emotionless logic; giving as much thought to the effects of one's phantasmal comings and goings as the contemplation an elephant gives to the insects beneath its feet.

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STer    34

SBRFS,

 

I think the more important thing brought up by your question is the old deontology vs. consequentialism.

 

It makes sense to me, on strict voluntaryist principle, to say that nobody can ethically be forced to associate with another person who is chronologically an adult. Even if this person is very hurt by ostracism, it still seems at least to have some merit to say it's wrong to then use force to make others connect with them to make them feel better.

 

However, this principled stand has consequences. If the person's pain is similar to the pain of being attacked, then in terms of improving the world, it has an impact that can't be ignored.

 

I've been thinking about this problem for a long time. We have a ton of hurt and abused people who are extremely needy in the world. There is no practical way this can fail to have a major impact on the state of the world. Yet voluntaryism would say none of us are obligated to help these people. Even if that's true, how can the world be improved if they are not helped?

 

Basically no particular person, according to voluntaryism, can be held responsible for tending to these wounded people's needs. And yet if nobody does so, we all suffer the consequences of a world filled with people with such untended wounds, which are enormous.

 

I think this is a dilemma voluntaryists must struggle with.

 

And I don't think Cherapple's responses help much. It's not true that anyone who is ostracized must have deserved it. In an unethical system, people are often ostracized precisely for being more ethical, not less. And I also think it's unreasonable to expect human beings - social creatures - to just transcend being affected by social ostracism or shame. Perhaps some can do it. But I don't think, from a public health perspective, that is a sensible strategy. Humans evolved to be sensitive to these things for a reason and being hurt by disconnection from those around you is something I think is understandable even for a healthy mature person.

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SBRFS    10

I'm sorry, gwho, if I hijacked your topic.  I thought my question was related, though upon reflection it only appears to be tangentally so.

 

STer, I agree that it's a mixed bag.  We can't force people to associate, yet the use of ostracization is in some way akin to aggression.  I wonder how this will be treated in the future, when people start using technology to re-wire how their own brains work.

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