Wednesday, 17 August 2016 01:52

Having your opinion win does not make it the truth

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Having Your Opinions Win Is Not The Same Thing As Proving The Truth Of Anything

Ozodi Osuji

Science is invested in figuring out the truth in the phenomenal world. Its truths are tentative for they can be disproved at any time. Something is accepted as temporary truth if we can verify it, prove it to be there (Karl Popper added the quality of falsifiability...a scientific idea must be falsifiable).

For example, you can neither prove nor disprove the idea that God exists; therefore, God is not a scientific idea.  God is an area where folks can legitimately hold mere opinions.

A scientific idea must be falsifiable.  Consider water. Water is composed of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen; you can prove this idea by experimenting in the laboratory. In a test tube add two parts of hydrogen to one part of oxygen, heat it; the two gases combine and is caught in a chilled container and it cools to water.

Conversely, you can heat water and it becomes gas; the gas can be separated into two types of gases, hydrogen and oxygen. Thus, we can prove that water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen. This is therefore science, QED.

Additionally, if you apply the type of heat found inside stars you can break the atom of hydrogen and oxygen into their constituent parts of electrons and nuclei (which contains protons and neutrons), that is, reduce them to plasma.

With additional heat you can break the strong nuclear force holding protons and neutrons together in nuclei of atoms and separate protons and neutrons.

With the type of heat that existed during the big bang you can break neutrons (to protons and electrons).

With the type of heat that existed in the first second during the big bang you break protons to quarks and with more heat you break quarks to photons.

At CERN (near Geneva, Switzerland) Scientists are doing what I just described; therefore, the description is science, it captures aspect of physical reality as it is, not as one wishes it to be.

In the social sciences what is called science is weak. Here, science is mostly descriptive but not predictive. You can describe social practices and all of us can accept your description as factual, as what we see; thus, we call your description social science.

Social phenomenon can change and does change when social practices change.  In other words, social science is really not good science; at best, it is weak science.


The individual has beliefs; he can posit his personal perception of reality; his beliefs can be juxtaposed side by side with other people's beliefs; the people involved then argue, each seeing his beliefs as reality and as such ought to be believed. What they do is acceptable in areas where science in not applicable. For example, you can say that your ideas on God are better than other people's ideas on God. We have no way of ascertaining whose ideas on God are true so what we are left with are mere opinions.

You can say that you are an atheist. We cannot prove that God exists or does not exist so your belief that there is no God is not scientific; it is just your opinion, so we do not have to argue with you.

On the other hand, if you posit social practices that all of us can see and verify with our eyes we call it social science.

If a person posits what most of us cannot see or verify and he asks us to believe it as true just because he said that it is the truth we call such a person deluded.

A person is deluded when what he sees as true is not seen as true by the majority of persons in his world.

Most social ideas are social constructs; the people construe them as true but they are not self-evidently true.

Every society has consensual reality; that is, truth that most people in that society (not those outside that society) agree is truth but not scientific truth in that we cannot verify it or replicate it in a laboratory setting.

Deluded persons generally believe in their ideas; but as long as other people do not see reality as deluded persons see it their belief is idiosyncratic and unique to them.

A shared idea equals social reality but an unshared idea is individual reality (which may be tolerated or dismissed as silly).


In Igboland Agwuishi is used in a sentence like this:

"Owu onye agwuishi"

He is an evil person, or an odd, eccentric person who behaves differently from the rest of the (normal) people. That sentence in English says: "he is a man who behaves as if he is possessed by evil spirits".

If a person is perceived to be possessed by evil spirits, Igbos try to remove the evil spirits that have taken possession of that person's mind. The means for doing so is:

Isa Agwuishi


Isa Aja.

This is how most Igbos understand the subject of agwuishi. This is social science, it is not physical science but it is descriptive enough for most Igbos to know that it is what exists in their world.


If a person gives the term agwuishi a unique interpretation and expects other persons to accept his interpretation of it he is deluded; he is partially insane.

A deluded person believes what most people in his world do not believe as true. He is generally perceived by the people around him as eccentric and odd. He wants his perception of reality that is not shared by other people to be accepted by other people.

Indeed, if he is deluded enough he will attack those who do not accept his version of reality, his attempt to change reality and make it how he sees it, deluded.

If in addition such a person also hallucinates in one or more of the five senses (visual, auditory, tactile and olfactory etc.) he is totally psychotic. The psychotic has bizarre delusions and hallucinations.

There are many type of psychoses including schizophrenia, manic depression (bipolar affective disorder) and organic mental disorders (where we can identify injury to the brain that induced the the way, ordinary psychoses is called functional psychoses for no one has conclusively demonstrated biological causes of them beyond correlative causation which is a weak causal analysis).


The Mbaise deluded man in our midst is trying very hard to get folks to accept his unique understanding of what Igbos understand by agwuishi; he wants us to accept his different interpretation of phenomenon.

The man tries very hard to show us that unrelated ideas are related and struggles to make his crazy interpretation accepted by normal people.

Normal people have shared reality; the psychotic does not participate in socially shared reality; he has unique view of reality and wants to impose it on the people.


Nigerian Internet forums are good places to come and learn about folk's mental status. As noted, the Mbaise chap is partially mentally ill; he cannot yet be hospitalized against his will; he has to be totally psychotic and as a result of his psychosis is a danger to other people or to himself for him to be hospitalized against his will.

I have desisted from calling the county where this crazy man lives and have them go evaluate him for possible involuntary hospitalization because so far he is a mere nuisance but not a threat to other people.

He has access to a phone and uses it to call people's employers and relatives to get information on them and splash such information on the Internet and fancy himself a great sleuth...what he does would make a normal person feel like he is a child to do so but he does not see how stupid it is for an adult man to snoop into other men's affairs while he hides his and no one can snoop into his affairs.

The man does not meet the criteria for involuntary hospitalization, yet; if he did he would have been in a state psychiatric hospital so that he understands that the world is not for him to impose his warped views of reality on every person just because he wants his views to prevail.

He has to learn, if he is capable of normalcy, that truth must be socially shared for it to be considered social science, weak truth; demonstrable truth is considered real science.

In the meantime folks should allow the man to amuse them with his attempt to make his crazy interpretations of phenomena as the truth.

He is not a danger to people (but weak persons like some of his Igbos can accept his views and become part of his shared delusion disorder).

Daniel is increasingly sharing the Mbaise man's paranoia; he would deliberately twist what folks say to represent what he wants it to mean; thus, I removed him from my friendship circles; the man is increasingly becoming evil (I would not be surprised to learn that he engages in some sort of scam that rips off white Americans) so I cut him off.

I keep the Mbaise madman around for learning purposes; I am almost done learning from him; thereafter, I would cut him off; I do not have to pollute my eyes by exposing  them to his bizarre interpretations of reality.


Yesterday, I glanced at folk's debate with the deluded one and shook my head at his efforts to persuade them to accept his unique perception of reality. He said that agwu means something else and a few lines later said that it means schizophrenia.  The fact is that in traditional Igbo society there was a word for all mental disorders: Ara. Igbos say: "Owu onye Ara", he is a mad man. Notice the different words, agwu and ara.

You are dealing with a unique type of mental disorder whereby the person tries to have people accept his perception of reality but not how the majority of the people perceive reality to be; he wants to be God (no wonder he is an atheist); he wants to kill God and replace him and become the creator of this world, make the world what he wants it to be. His paranoid grandiosity is unbelievable and incredible.

To avoid accepting any feedback to him he questions the source's credential; he tries to make that person seem like he does not know what he is doing; that way he keeps on stewing in his madness. This is why no one heals paranoid persons; they discredit their therapists credentials and want them to accept that their perverted idea of reality as reality; after a while therapists discharge them and let them to stew in their warped world where upside down is reality.

Folks humor the man by giving him the impression that they are arguing with him, and he struggles to win, as paranoid persons always do; they always want to win all arguments, to be right and other people wrong.  Winning gratifies their desire for power and superiority; if they win over you that means that in their deluded minds they are superior to you and if they lose it means that they are inferior; since they do not want to be inferior they struggle mightily to win.

The rational thing to do is to ignore him, unless folks want to learn from him about the nature of delusion disorder, as I am doing.


The deluded person, aka paranoid person likes to argue. He uses his mentation to come up with what seems to him is the truth. Having reached that conclusion he clings to it and does not entertain the possibility of other truths.

He provokes arguments with other persons and hopes to win. If he wins he feels that his perception of the truth has prevailed. He fears losing arguments for to lose is to seem defeated by the other guy, the winner, and that makes him feel powerless and inferior.  Thus, he struggles to be the winner in all arguments. He must be right and other people wrong.

What he is doing is a struggle to convince him that his ego is right. The ego must believe that it is right and see other egos as wrong; above all the ego, which is a part of the whole, must believe itself right and the whole wrong.

In religious terms, the ego is the self the son of God made to replace the self that God made for him. The ego is a substitute self. It is not real, it is a dream figure; being unreal it must be defended to seem real.  The ego is in a struggle to seem right and be unhappy.

The real self is not the separated ego self in body; it is part of the unified spirit self.  The unified spirit self is eternal, permanent and changeless. That self is at present unknown to us.

For our present purposes, the egoistic person likes to argue and win and have other people lose. A particular Igbo chap will argue even if it means talking nonsense; he stands reality upside down to seem to win.

Hopefully, this paper helps folks to understand ego dynamics, especially the delusional aspect of it.

Ozodi Osuji

August 16, 2016

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: (907) 310-8176