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Where's The Point Of No Return?


R. S. Martin
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This is from the thread Are Christians Delusional, this post.

 

At what point does an attachment to religion become maladaptive? Where is the borderline between the point of a cultural/social/community/coping identification and a maladaptive, destructive, dangerous force?

 

I would suggest at the point where human life and relationships are compromised for the sake of religion.

 

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

 

It has been suggested that god is the life or spark of the divine that is in a human being. I think the argument can be made that holding the imagined commands of an invisible deity higher than the godlikeness or divine spark in fellow-human beings is idolatry.

 

This won't work with fundies because they will say this divine-spark thing is self-worship. That is the point at which it is maladaptive and all the other good stuff. That's my opinion at this moment in time.

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When someone is harmed, either physically or psychologically, from religion is the line that I would draw.

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This is from the thread Are Christians Delusional, this post.

 

At what point does an attachment to religion become maladaptive? Where is the borderline between the point of a cultural/social/community/coping identification and a maladaptive, destructive, dangerous force?

 

I would suggest at the point where human life and relationships are compromised for the sake of religion.

 

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

 

It has been suggested that god is the life or spark of the divine that is in a human being. I think the argument can be made that holding the imagined commands of an invisible deity higher than the godlikeness or divine spark in fellow-human beings is idolatry.

 

This won't work with fundies because they will say this divine-spark thing is self-worship. That is the point at which it is maladaptive and all the other good stuff. That's my opinion at this moment in time.

What I hear you saying Ruby is that you see that borderline I mentioned as a crossover between the zone of "humble" before the deity and a construct of narcissism...Yes? No? Is the fanatic xian a narcissist, possessed of a belief centered on their own perceived self righteousness and "holiness"?

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What I hear you saying Ruby is that you see that borderline I mentioned as a crossover between the zone of "humble" before the deity and a construct of narcissism...Yes? No? Is the fanatic xian a narcissist, possessed of a belief centered on their own perceived self righteousness and "holiness"?

 

Piprus, I am not a psychologist. I'm a theologian of sorts. I need clarification before I can agree or disagree or even discuss your question.

 

The following terms sound like official psychological terms that would appear in the American Mental Health Association Manual:

 

borderline

narcissism

crossover

construct of narcissism

 

And these have religious-psychological connotations:

 

fanatic

"holiness"

"humble"

 

Here's a biggie:

 

their own perceived self righteousness and "holiness"

 

Is anyone ever aware of feeling self-righteous? or "holy"?

 

Sorry, Pip. I know I'm smart but even smart people can't handle everything. I'm sure I should be making connections with what you said on the other thread but the connections aren't happening....

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When someone is harmed, either physically or psychologically, from religion is the line that I would draw.

 

Me too. How do we go about writing definitions and symptoms that professionals from all over can report as religious abuse? Esp. given that some of these professionals are probably fundies themselves.

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When someone is harmed, either physically or psychologically, from religion is the line that I would draw.

 

Me too. How do we go about writing definitions and symptoms that professionals from all over can report as religious abuse? Esp. given that some of these professionals are probably fundies themselves.

 

I don't know. The problem is that there are some psychologists that do treat spiritual abuse, but they are likely to advocate their own version of Christianity (or whatever religion they are a member of). Until society gets over the need for a mystical savior deity and an afterlife of some sort, I don't think much can or will be done except for closely knit support groups like this one.

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Sorry, Pip. I know I'm smart but even smart people can't handle everything. I'm sure I should be making connections with what you said on the other thread but the connections aren't happening....

Then it's my fault for not being clear. Let me try putting it this way. My observation is that too often, the xian sees him/herself as being of the "elect". Rather than humbly accepting "grace", they rather see themselves as being "chosen"..."singled out"..."special". Narcissism is an unrealistic view of oneself as having some special entitlement. And therein lies the maladaptation. So those misguided fundies can point their fingers at us heathens and say with confidence that we're all hellbound, while they, being self perceived "children of god" are bound for eternal glory. Sadly, they end up with a warped view of life.

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I don't know. The problem is that there are some psychologists that do treat spiritual abuse, but they are likely to advocate their own version of Christianity (or whatever religion they are a member of). Until society gets over the need for a mystical savior deity and an afterlife of some sort, I don't think much can or will be done except for closely knit support groups like this one.

 

Exactly. I just can't quite get over it what a really good place this is.

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Then it's my fault for not being clear. Let me try putting it this way. My observation is that too often, the xian sees him/herself as being of the "elect". Rather than humbly accepting "grace",

 

I don't know for sure what you mean by grace. The Lutheran understanding of grace is that it is unconditional and covers all humanity. That is the impression I get and the way they live out these ideas suggest I must be on the right track.

 

So I guess you're saying that seeing oneself as being under grace requires humility. That is certainly what I notice.

 

they rather see themselves as being "chosen"..."singled out"..."special". Narcissism is an unrealistic view of oneself as having some special entitlement. And therein lies the maladaptation. So those misguided fundies can point their fingers at us heathens and say with confidence that we're all hellbound, while they, being self perceived "children of god" are bound for eternal glory. Sadly, they end up with a warped view of life.

 

I am very familiar with this mindset. I am not sure to what part of my opening post you were responding. I talked about the divine spark in the human being. Some people believe all people have the divine spark. This is positive. I think it is an argument for the supremacy of the human being--not just the select or elect, but all people by reason of being human.

 

If we consider this to be the highest value, then it seems religion that compromises human relationships and human life is idolatry. Not sure if I'm making sense. Getting kinda sleepy. It's that time of day--or night--again here in this part of the world.

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I don't know for sure what you mean by grace. The Lutheran understanding of grace is that it is unconditional and covers all humanity. That is the impression I get and the way they live out these ideas suggest I must be on the right track.

 

Except for the fundy Lutherans, then grace only covers those who happen to be Just Like Them. Doesn't cover people with different skin colors, gays, lesbians, or liberals, much less anyone who isn't American or Christian or right wing.

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Where is the borderline between the point of a cultural/social/community/coping identification and a maladaptive, destructive, dangerous force?.

 

At the point they are teaching their children harmful doctrines that border on child abuse. At the point that they become a political force that acts like a lead weight around the neck of society. This does not mean that I support changing any laws or intervening in any way. It just means that I recognize that they are not a healthy segment of society or for society. I think that it would be even more unhealthy for society if we unwisely decided to step in and intervene with their rights to be deluded and to live their lives in acquiescence to their delusions.

 

Let’s be honest here though. We can’t watch what we want on television without ridiculous levels of censorship due to a portion of society that is deluded and therefore irrational. The president gets broad enough political support to go off and fight unwarranted wars due to a large segment of society that is so deluded that they believe the ME and war in the ME has something to do with god’s greater plan of rescuing them from this planet. Environmental damage is all but ignored due in part to a certain deluded segment of society who believes that heaven and earth shall one day pass away so why worry about the planet’s health? Scientists are hindered and can’t get needed funding for things like stem cell research due to the delusions of a broad segment of society. Science has always been hindered by these same deluded people. The welfare of teens is hindered as this deluded segment of society fights tooth and nail against educating them wisely about sexual protection and instead forces the teaching of abstinence, which is virtually impossible given human nature. The list goes on and on and on.

 

Call a spade a spade people. Don’t be afraid to face the obvious just because it seems uncomfortable.

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This is from the thread Are Christians Delusional, this post.

 

At what point does an attachment to religion become maladaptive? Where is the borderline between the point of a cultural/social/community/coping identification and a maladaptive, destructive, dangerous force?

 

I would suggest at the point where human life and relationships are compromised for the sake of religion.

 

My spontaneous suggestion: It starts where you start to put yourself at a potentially harmful disadvantage (like fasting for weeks) or where you start harming or harrassing others in any way. Others will probably find much need for refinement in this concept, but for starters... :shrug:

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