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Religion And Mental Illness


HitchWithMe
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A week a go I saw an episode of the atheist experience with a very interesting question. A young man called in and asked: "why can't we just call religion what it is: mental illness?" Apparently, he had brought this up in one of his psychology classes knowing for some time that steadfast religious belief looks much like delusion. The world of psychology is aimed at making people mentally well and is quick to apply a gauntlet of treatment routes to help a person work through his or her delusions to arrive at truth - save one. This means a unraveling if genuine reality through proof and truth. People are not healed in mental health so much as they gradually led to wellness.

 

I can't help but think of how honest therapist must squirm while walking through the Barnes and Noble phsychology section. I imagine that passing through the paper mills of the new age / positive thinking bull shit of drive-by pop psychologists just to find one reputable source of actual intellectual substance causes the professional to cringe. It would seem that anyone can secure some form of psychological credibility simply by invoking the "spiritual" side of existence. It's become difficult to see I psychology who is trying to get at truth and who us trying to mive some books. Consequently, the spiritual side of existence has become intertwined in the human experience and therefore very hard to separate and study objectively.

 

 

But this undergraduate student did make a valid point and I was thankful to see that people have thoughts and musings that match the landscape of my own mindset. The point that one host made was that religion is probably very well delusional but from the outside looking in, one has to consider that the social pressure on one to believe can quickly weigh down a person's rational faculties. In other words, Mormons may win converts but, more often than not, Mormons are born.

 

 

Every once in a while a buddy and I grab some 'tar-buckets' and spend a Saturday afternoon shopping for motorcycle parts or just driving around. Years ago his father had been sucked in to the seventh day advent group and in his son's words: "kinda went off the deep end for a while." Often our past experiences with faith rear their heads in the midst of these caffeine induced afternoons and we get more philosophical than one might expect to gear head to be. We got on the subject of religion as mental illness on such a day and he asked me if I thought it was true, that religion is a mental illness.

 

"Phil," I say, "imagine that one day I jump in your truck and tell you to drive as quickly as possible because for the past few days - I've been followed. " It would seem that a string of questions would come from the driver's seat: who is following you? How do you know you were being followed? Why on earth would anyone want or need to follow you? ...Have you been drinking?

 

 

These are all very fair questions to ask someone in this kind of scenario and since such a scenario is usually individual, it draws a different kind of response than that of a mass delusion that is quickly acknowledged as culturally acceptable.

 

So no, religion may not be deserved to be labeled mental illness. The important distinction being that a mental illness does not receive cultural affirmation as if it were a communal virtue.

 

But I do have a bone to pick here.

 

Religion, by it's nature of affirming faith without reason and loyalty without question, provides beautiful sanctuary and cultivation for those who experience delusion in constructing their everyday reality. When an entire institution rests on belief without evidence, the climate inside that institution will inevitably begin to cultivate - even protect and advance - similar intellectual dispositions; even when the topic is removed from faith and belief. It might be argued that the American phenomenon of creationism is the result of delusional fact denying that was nurtured in faith based institutions. The thoughts that creationism is a reasonable belief coupled with the notion that some dark force known as "science" has been created purely for the purpose of irradiating religion. Creationism and religious "persecution" are perfect examples of religious delusion and paranoia that were birthed in the isolated pockets of American Christianity. Both grew into our nation consciousness and dialogue simply because the areas between conceptual conception and public awareness were explicitly without critical thought or evidence.

 

When looked at through this lens, I begin to see the clearly apparent ills of the faithful from my past. I recall a young man from a pseudo-Amish community that showed up on the door step of our church to tell the pastor that he was an Old Testament style "prophet" and that god had delivered him to our church body to prophesy. I remember a middle aged man who's daughter told me he had the gift of seeing "spirits" over people in the church. His "spiritual gift" became so attuned that during a worship service he could physically see different 'clouds' hover above people. He believed that he could correctly interpret identify these clouds as a "spirit of confusion" a "spirit of pride" a "spirit of lust" a "spirit of bitterness" and so on. This is not uncommon behavior because when an entire institution prides itself on belief and acceptance without any kind of evidence. Inevitably, the floodgates for all other kinds of nonsense are wide open. Institutions of faith not only offer no critique of this kind of thinking, they encourage this corrosive mentality as a high virtue or even site it as"proof" that god is working in their midst.

 

Church doesn't cause mental illness - but church gives mental illness a beautiful place to grow, solidify, and spread.

 

 

If I tell my friend Phil that I'm being followed he's going to try to convince me that I am not. He is going to do so because he is a good friend and because he cares about the truth. If he proves to me through all kinds of evidence that I am delusional and I continue to rant and rave insisting that I am being followed simply because I believe what I believe against all rational explanation, he is going to kick me out of his truck. Phil is going to do thus because I would be exhibiting the kind of behavior that is the very definition of bat shit crazy. But if I have faith about a much greater range of things of seemingly even greater significance: my life, my soul, my marriage, eternity etc. and tell Phil all about the true (and irrational) reality of these things from my perspective without any kind of evidence, I'm not crazy - I'm just a Christian.

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I think the difficulty with calling it a mental illness would be that for people like us who leave Christianity behind, it shows that the whole "relationship" with Jesus thing can be recognised as being false. The truly mentally ill wouldn't be able to do this. They certainly believe things that aren't true, but I think it's a lot like children who believe in Santa and the like. They've been told it's true by people they trust so they find ways to confirm their beliefs. Claiming to have a personal relationship with something they know they can't really prove the existence of is leaning pretty close to mental illness but if they don't display delusions about other things and are rational apart from that it doesn't fit into the mental illness box very well. We once believed the same, but we were misinformed and were able to use rationality to come out of it. I do very much agree though that it's a psychological problem, and one that most believers will likely never get out of. Good post, thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

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Guest r3alchild

Faith is not the issue, since faith is just the vehicle for religion, its the religion that can impose itself on the mindset of the believer and cause mental instability.

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So no, religion may not be deserved to be labeled mental illness. The important distinction being that a mental illness does not receive cultural affirmation as if it were a communal virtue.

 

Whether unfounded beliefs should be considered mental illness is arguable, but the fact that certain delusions are accepted by society is irrelevant to the diagnosis.

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My view, in a nutshell:

 

Delusion - something someone believes without social support. (Tinfoil hats time!)

Religion - something someone believes with social support. (There's churches, taxes on it (tithing) and economic effects, social support structures like bible study, soup kitchens, political lobbies.)

Cult - somewhere between the two. Some people believe it, but not enough people do for it to have weight in larger society.

 

Of course, all human societies are built on "white lies" of one kind or another (and, tellingly, frequently, not even the same ones). We all believe in things that don't technically "exist" in the same way water or other chemicals do. Go get me 300 ml in an erlenmeyer flask of "justice" "equality" "truth" "hope" or "love." You may need a stopper so it doesn't get out. Now, the objection: but these things are real, they're chemical reactions in the brain! Yes, but so is "delusion" so... How to settle this? If it hurts yourself or others, it's time to change. If there was a place with padded walls for that particular breed of hateful fundamentalism, I'd isolate it there.

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I disagree completely.


 


Religion itself is not a mental illness, but a societal illness.  It is a construct which causes mentally sound individuals to believe stupid shit.  Charismatic politicians and skillful used car salesmen do the same thing.


 


It's basically brainwashing, and you don't have to be mentally ill to be brainwashed.  Our capacity to fall victim to it is perfectly normal, and a result of the manner in which our minds have evolved.


 


(I posted this about an hour ago, then my wifi network took a giant shit, and now I don't see it but it still shows up under my content in my user profile.  Somebody PM me if it shows up twice.)  EDIT...ok now I realized this topic is double-posted.  Perhaps the OP could go delete the other one.


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Man I love this website.

 

Okay so in a nutshell do you agree with this: religion is not mental illness but encourages thinking similar to those WITH a mental illness AND attracts people with mental illness into the fold?

 

Agree disagree? Love the feedback folks - thanks for reading!

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Indeed religious faith/belief is not mental illness by definition. It does however have some elements in common with mental illness (delusion, impairment of reasoning, sometimes persecution complexes, intransigence toward alternative thinking, group or personal insulation). As to whether it attracts people with actual mental illness; not particularly. People with mental illnesses are attracted to all manner of things (politics, religion, isolationism, conspiracty theories, atheism, terrorism...). I don't think you can find any increase in the percentage of people with mental illnesses among religious populations. In fact what little I've seen of proper studies into the matter indicate little if any differnence in rates of mental illness among the religious as compared to the non-religious. A few studies have even indicated a small differnce in favor of the religous. It's theorized that they find some comfort in their beliefs that relieves mental pressures.

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Man I love this website.

 

Okay so in a nutshell do you agree with this: religion is not mental illness but encourages thinking similar to those WITH a mental illness AND attracts people with mental illness into the fold?

 

Agree disagree? Love the feedback folks - thanks for reading!

I agree with all of it!

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Okay so in a nutshell do you agree with this: religion is not mental illness but encourages thinking similar to those WITH a mental illness AND attracts people with mental illness into the fold?

 

 

"Mental illness" is a pretty broad term...there's over 400 of them recognized by the APA and symptoms run the range of, well, just about everything.  So saying that religion encourages thinking "similar to those with a mental illness" isn't at all meaningful.  

 

On the second point, sure, religion attracts people with mental illnesses.  It also attracts people with red shirts.  The thing is, religion attracts anybody and everybody into the fold.  That's what it has evolved to do.  Religion may win converts among the mentally ill by holding out the promise of relief...but it does precisely the same to the physically ill, those who are feeling guilty, and those experiencing economic hardship.  And that includes just about everybody at some point in their lives.

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I think mental illness is whatever the American Psychological Association defines it to be, in this

country that is. Years ago homosexuality was defined as a mental illness, until the APA changed it's

definition to exclude it.

 

Freud said that religion is an illusion rather than a delusion. He defined a delusion as an unfounded belief in something that does not exist, such as martians on earth or the like. An illusion is belief

in something that most likely doesn't exist, but could possibly exist, like the bible god. I recognize the inherent vagueness in the definitions, but that's his attempt to distinguish the two.

 

I think some of the discussion under this thread confuse mental illness with psychosis. At least as I

understand it, psychosis is a mental condition where the patient losses contact with reality at least

part of the time. I don't believe religion generally reaches the point of psychosis, but it could and

does in some people. Consider a Xtian who actually sees and talks with Jesus, for example, not just in

his thinking process, but believes he or she actually sees or hears him. Under the above distinctions, if they are correct. I see a lot of religious folks being mentally ill, but not psychotic.The mental illness could consist of their illusion that their is a god that listen to them and takes care of them personally. But psychology is a lot looser than medicine where the definitions of diseases are more

objective.

I'm sicking my neck out by this post since I'm going on memory of things I read quite a while ago, so

feel free to enlighten me. bill

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I see your first point to a degree. The second is a bit of a stretch. Why would religion attract people wearing red shirts? This has no link to a causal line of thought - if you read my notes you'll see mine does. You've also drawn a quick over generalization. I said religion attracts people with mental illnesses. People who claim to see manifestations of spirits hovering above people in church are taken at their word - even revered. If you would make those kinds of claims to coworkers at an office; you'll soon find that scissors and letter opener have gone missing from your desk. And rightfully since you are talking crazy. An institution that does not value evidence or reason even scoffs at it is a wonderful place for people who deal with parallel delusional thoughts. In this way the essence of church, or atmosphere is a rather welcoming places for people who don't travel from rational point a to point b.

 

What I DID NOT say is that church BAITS people intentionally - which it of course does. People with physical ills are lured with hopes of miraculous healing, and end of guilt is promised through divine forgiveness, and economic hardships are all part of plan that god plans to be the emancipator from (or a plug for a Dave Ramsey class). These are of course citations of your own words. As you said religion does this, the act of: "holding out the promise of relief" I would call that intentionally baiting the weak which it certainly does.

 

This evening I parked 2 spaces down from a brand new dodge viper. It was a beautiful mopar green color with racing stripes. Despite my resolve I walked closer to it and snapped a pic with my phone. The car attracted me It of course had no agenda or "will" to speak of - it drew me in just by being what it is; I'm a car guy and sweet cars attract me. It do so just by being what it is that is its nature.

 

Now if I walk by hooters and they have bikini night and a wet t-shirt contest-they've baited me, they do have an agenda or some kind of "promise of relief"

 

My entry was that religion - churches in general - not valuing evidence make a good place for those who also do not care for evidence or logic - those who belive what they believe no matter what; which is delusion. An atmosphere of delusion is comfortable for those with delusions even if personal and corporate delusions aren't quite the same. A place that says dismisses evidence is appealing to those who have failed to be confined by good evidence in other areas of life. This is precise why the majority of scientists are not religious and science kits don't sell we'll to creationists.

 

I've made an argument for a state of being. You've inserted statements about agenda those come from you and it's no wonder you were a bit confused.

 

I could have been more clear by saying peolple of mental illness are attracted to the delusional aspects of organized religion. But you did take the conversation down a rabbit trail with your misconception.

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Indeed religious faith/belief is not mental illness by definition. It does however have some elements in common with mental illness (delusion, impairment of reasoning, sometimes persecution complexes, intransigence toward alternative thinking, group or personal insulation). As to whether it attracts people with actual mental illness; not particularly. People with mental illnesses are attracted to all manner of things (politics, religion, isolationism, conspiracty theories, atheism, terrorism...). I don't think you can find any increase in the percentage of people with mental illnesses among religious populations. In fact what little I've seen of proper studies into the matter indicate little if any differnence in rates of mental illness among the religious as compared to the non-religious. A few studies have even indicated a small differnce in favor of the religous. It's theorized that they find some comfort in their beliefs that relieves mental pressures.

These are some good thoughts and they've given me some cause for reflection. I've also heard radio commentary that stated the religious and non religious are basically on par for mental health. However my experience had not been conducive to attempting the stats at face value. Two pieces of memory come to mind. While working at a Christian school in another state one of the kids on my soccer team had been adopted and much of his family tree unknown. The parents knew and talked about his struggle with depression but their attitude towards it was a bit jumbled to me. They were very lackadaisical about his depressive swings and they had bought him a bright orange shirt that declared: "TO BLESSED TO BE DEPRESSED." I can't help but think they looked at his dression as less than a legitimate illness - I've yet to see Christian parents buy their children t shirts that read "TO BLESSED TO HAVE CEREBRIAL PAULSEY" or even "TO BLESSED TO HAVE ADD" - apparently god is actively involved in relieving the ailments of depression (chemical and medical in nature) but hasn't broken through to healing the chemicals that cause ADD. A second thought is a memory of a wonderful couple from across the pond. They had become more and more fundamentalist Christian as time wore on - the husband even left his job as a banker to work as a youth pastor. His wife is a brilliant artist and a published writer who struggles with depression. As is common in more secular societies, Christian denominations must isolate further from the outside world that it may not viewed as kosher. This couples marriage is currently on the rocks because their church believes in faith healings. I daily dosage of sertaline could solve this problem but they choose to wait for miraculous healing when Jesus decides its time - as they wait for this their marriage quickly becomes the collateral damage of their unnecessary pursuit of faith.

 

Both of these people I mentioned above would be counted as a person with a mental illness. Both of these people neglect necessary help BECAUSE of their faith. There active denial is faith based. If they put their own well being at bay they certainly wouldn't tell a statistician they are mentally ill.

 

I find this much akin to marriage. Did you know that Christians continually report a higher satisfaction in their married life? I believe they do - believe that they do REPORT a higher satisfaction in regards to marriage. However the divorce rate is higher among Christians in America. This seems odd since it would make sense that happily married people would be less prone to ending their marriage. Mormons are some of the most happily married people in America - yet the state of Utah has the highest rate of porohraphy usage per person in the US - even higher than the modern sodom and Gomorrah that Are Chicago, NYC, or Las Vegas; the town nicknamed sin city. I find it odd that happily married people would enjoy virtual fornication; especially when they speak out against sexual immorality as a detterant of family values.

 

We have polling which reflect how people respond to questions. However we also have other stats of actual behavior. I'm not surprised that we find lower numbers of mental illness in churches than in society as a whole.

 

While a part of the world of faith, every person I met confessed a faith in god as a protector with a vested interest in the people that love him. These people loved the scriptures of Jeremiah that reaffirm the god in control of the universe while attuned still to the individual: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." But the thing is...all these people had life insurance, health insurance, home owners insurance, car insurance, and cell phones in case of an emergency. I find that odd when the same people verbally affirms a god looking out for them.

 

I try to be a rational person and I want to maintain an ability to be swayed by good evidence. This is why I like to make the distinction between polls (what people say about their actions) and statistics (how people behave in measurable ways). When making this distinction I often find plenty of wiggle room for dissonance .

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I think mental illness is whatever the American Psychological Association defines it to be, in thiscountry that is. Years ago homosexuality was defined as a mental illness, until the APA changed it'sdefinition to exclude it.Freud said that religion is an illusion rather than a delusion. He defined a delusion as an unfounded belief in something that does not exist, such as martians on earth or the like. An illusion is beliefin something that most likely doesn't exist, but could possibly exist, like the bible god. I recognize the inherent vagueness in the definitions, but that's his attempt to distinguish the two.I think some of the discussion under this thread confuse mental illness with psychosis. At least as Iunderstand it, psychosis is a mental condition where the patient losses contact with reality at leastpart of the time. I don't believe religion generally reaches the point of psychosis, but it could anddoes in some people. Consider a Xtian who actually sees and talks with Jesus, for example, not just inhis thinking process, but believes he or she actually sees or hears him. Under the above distinctions, if they are correct. I see a lot of religious folks being mentally ill, but not psychotic.The mental illness could consist of their illusion that their is a god that listen to them and takes care of them personally. But psychology is a lot looser than medicine where the definitions of diseases are moreobjective.I'm sicking my neck out by this post since I'm going on memory of things I read quite a while ago, sofeel free to enlighten me. bill

Love this feedback - I'm currently reading it through another time or two. Trying to wrap my head around illusion vs. delusion. Do you think these terms are defined the same way in 2013??

 

Also - if psychosis is a separation from reality - then is Delusion / illusion what is sited as proof / evidence of the psychosis?

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I think the difficulty with calling it a mental illness would be that for people like us who leave Christianity behind, it shows that the whole "relationship" with Jesus thing can be recognised as being false. The truly mentally ill wouldn't be able to do this. They certainly believe things that aren't true, but I think it's a lot like children who believe in Santa and the like. They've been told it's true by people they trust so they find ways to confirm their beliefs. Claiming to have a personal relationship with something they know they can't really prove the existence of is leaning pretty close to mental illness but if they don't display delusions about other things and are rational apart from that it doesn't fit into the mental illness box very well. We once believed the same, but we were misinformed and were able to use rationality to come out of it. I do very much agree though that it's a psychological problem, and one that most believers will likely never get out of. Good post, thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

The Santa parallel - one of my favorites

 

Thanks for reading and your feedback!

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Guest ThereIsNoGod

Well I could sum up my opinion by saying that perhaps 70% of christians could qualify as mentally ill. They believe in things that cause them to think ill things and do ill things e.g prejudice towards whole groups in society. Some people who call themselves christians hold beliefs that don't quite cause the same ill thought and behavior.

 

I myself came to the christian church through mental illness. I knew I wasn't well and I decided to investigate the christian faith seriously for the first time in my life. I could sum up my experiences by saying that while reading a paraphrased version of the gospels I started to feel better and more in control of my life and then mistakenly identified the christian faith as the cure to my mental health problems. Ultimately my time in the church led to a whole load of new problems. I suppose it could be said that the mental health problems I experienced in the church were because of the religion itself and because of the health problems I already had. Looking back on my initial recovery from mental illness I think I can now say that the recovery was based on elements of the christian faith, practical psychological advice, support from friends, medication and self-help I was able to provide myself. 

 

It would be fair enough to say that the christian church attracts people who suffer mentally (like me). Therein, taking the religion more and more seriously leads to unhealthy thoughts and behaviour. I don't say that anyone who believes there is a god is mentally ill. I mean their belief might not necessarily cause them to think and act badly. I do however believe that anyone that  literally believes in the Bible, the Koran or other such texts IS mentally ill and inclined to ill behaviour. 

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 Why would religion attract people wearing red shirts? This has no link to a causal line of thought - if you read my notes you'll see mine does. 

 

Now look here bud, before you go criticizing me for failing to read your overly-wordy "notes" perhaps you could do me the courtesy of reading and understanding the very next goddamn fucking sentence.

 

You do understand the difference between correlation and causality, right?  Because that's what the "red shirt" comment is meant to illustrate.  You cannot identify mental illness as a "cause" of people being religious any more than you can point to their choice of clothing.  You might, if you presented some data, establish a correlation...but lots of things are correlated, and when they are it's generally meaningless.

 

And another damn thing, the mere fact that you continue to throw about the term "mental illness" over and over and over again clearly indicates to me that you know little to nothing about it.  

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Oh and one more fucking thing...

 

. Mormons are some of the most happily married people in America - yet the state of Utah has the highest rate of porohraphy usage per person in the US - even higher than the modern sodom and Gomorrah that Are Chicago, NYC, or Las Vegas; the town nicknamed sin city. I find it odd that happily married people would enjoy virtual fornication; especially when they speak out against sexual immorality as a detterant of family values.
 

 

 

 Claiming that pornography use is in any way an indicator of marital dissatisfaction destroyed what little credibility you had left.

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Religion is not mental illness. It is just a set of beliefs that have consequences. But religion and mental illness are a bad mix! I have bipolar disorder and I have been in and out of Christianity since I was 19 years old. I am 47 now. I spent 15 years devoutly believing and during my manic episodes it is all so REAL! I just got done with another brief re-conversion experience. I felt the presence of God very strongly. Reading the Bible was almost like magic and I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me into truth and blessing my reading and prayers. Worship was like being in HEAVEN. And then... it all started to fall away as I came out of the manic episode. And I was left once again with REALITY. But that is where I would rather be and where I wish I could stay. I don't know if that will ever happen for me, but I can hope...

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HitchWithMe: If you want a better explanation of illusion/delusion Freud wrote

"The Future of an Illusion". It's only about 30 pages long. Unfortunately, I don't know if those

definitions are currently in use.

 

If my memory and understanding of what Freud said is correct, my interpretation is that a delusion is

within the realm of psychosis, whereas an illusion is not.

 

bill

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Here is an appropriate article:

 

http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=13577

 

Great article....oddly from yet another fanatical end-times website. 

 

What struck me was a line near the end; 'The crucial test focuses on how the kids are functioning in the rest of their lives.'

 

From my understanding mental illness is diagnosed when there are symptoms present to such a degree they affect a persons ability to function in daily life. if simply being religious was a mental illness a large majority of the global population would be mentally ill, which would be ridiculous. Many people can have bouts of anxiety and depression without ever meeting the diagnostic criteria for anxiety or depressive disorders as they are still able to function at work or study and in their social lives. Truth is actually a very difficult thing to pin down, even in science but especially in more subjective matters so it is understandable that many mentally healthy people believe extremely varied things about life, the universe and everything. Many decades and centuries ago some of the best scientists were christians as to them it seemed the most likely explanation given the information they had. Many very intelligent people today continue to arrive at that same conclusion. I am convinced they are wrong but I don't believe they are mentally ill.

 

Having spent some time very mentally unwell (PTSD and severe Mood Disorder) and in psych hospitals I have known true mental illness along with knowing what it is like to be brainwashed by cultish christianity and they are not the same thing. However my mental illness was exacerbated by the religious thinking and practices, and perhaps camouflaged to a degree. While christianity did bring me hope and encouragement when I was mentally unwell I do believe it also set me up for a massive downfall as I was completely convinced god would look after me and if not heal me would at least comfort and guide me. He was my hope so when I began questioning due to the obvious absence of his comfort and protection and discovered he never had been there my world fell apart, my hope was gone and I was filled with anger for having let myself be so deceived in the first place. I would not wish what I went through on my worst enemy. People who have mental illnesses would be best to stay away from religion. I find peace in my own (pantheistic) spirituality so I am not against the spiritual, just the organised religion. 

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Alright 3DollerBill - you don't have to get nasty.  But if you want to continue to look silly...I'll help you out.  However, it might help you out to say if you didn't argue about things that I didn't write.  If you want to talk about credibility you need to read the things as they are written and not get into a huff based on your misrepresentations of my words.  Here are some insights that might be helpful.

 

1.  If you would like to critique me for long-winded writing that is fine but it you don' like it, then a forum site format isnt really for you - maybe facebook is little more on your reading level.  Facebook certainly would be good fit your little outbusts of angry profanity that you seem to think enrich your comments - when it actually does the opposite.  I know plenty of 14 year olds who love to throw a "fuck" here and there but no matter you age - it just makes your thoughts sound reactionary and immature; a last resort when there is nothing intelligent left to say.

 

2.  You've critiqued me for saying that religion is mental illness.  When I posted my own words in repsonse to that - showing that was somehting I never said, you skated the issue to critique something else.  Additionally, you "completely disagreed" with me when I had made the point that religion does NOT deserve to be labeled mental illness.  After completely disagreeing with me your VERY NEXT sentence went on to say that religion is not mental illness.  This had been my point.  I think this is demonstrative of all your snide comments - they straw men you created while overgeneralizing my words.  NO ONE ELSE has come to the same conclussion as you - does that not begin to make you think you may be at the helm of a misconception? No one else has even begin to comment that they interpreted my writng as something that made the argument that religion is mental illness or causes mental illness.  Everyone else is having a civil conversation - please join us if you can manage to get over yourself.

 

3.  Again the mormon comments and misrepresentation.  You said I had lost credibility by saying: "Claiming that pornography use is in any way an indicator of marital dissatisfaction destroyed what little credibility you had left."  Again, you are just buidling things from your own misconceptions for reasons unknown to me.  I know all kinds of married people, some sexually timid, some watch porn together...I could care less.  However MORMONS DO CARE about pornography and they believe it to be a deterrant to marriage and family.  What I did say is that I found it odd that people who are happily married would willing engage something in high rates that they consider a deterrant to marriage and family values.  I OPENED THE PARAGRAPH TALKING ABOUT MORMONS and I was still talking about Mormons at the close of it.  Again, I don't think you are reading carefully as you are the only one trying to poke holes in arguments that I never made...which is why this still rages on...

 

4.  Sociology is one of my favorite past times.  I have a working knowledge of the difference between causation and correlation.  However, I'm not so sure your knowledge of this topic goes as deep as you would like to think.  I say this because I am aware of the difference between correlation as well as I am aware of their relationship to each other.  For example, a study found that rates of drowning increased proportionally with sales of lemmonade.  Statisticians did not draw the conclusion that one caused the other but the CORRELATION between the two was good reason for further study.  Correlation is relationship which draws attention because variables appear related - even if not causal.  By using correlative relationships, sociologists begin to find their way closer to actual causal relationship if there is one to be found.  After looking into the lemmonade / drowning correlation sociologists found that hot weather entices people to drink a refreshing glass of lemmonade.  Hot weather also causes people to enjoy a dip in the pool.  Now we look at the topic (drowning) and the surrounding correlative variables (swimming, lemmonade, hot weather) we can begin to gain an insightful understanding of the correlational variables.  As you can (hopefully) deduce: swimming, lemmonade, and hot weather are not causal to drowning - there is no single variable to blame.  But just because there is no causal link does not mean that we deny relation of all kinds.  Hot weather cause people to swim and drink lemmonade, higher numbers of people in pool mean higher rates of drowning.  These factors point towards and interdependance among variables.  Interdependence is entry level sociology - freshman level stuff. 

 

When you equivicate red shirt wearing people being drawn to religion to my assertion that religion attracts the mentally ill, you infer the overgeneralization that correlation is purely random and incapable of shedding more light on the interdependence of variables.  You do so at the peril of showing your own ignorance in the subjects of both reason and sociology. 

 

Finally I am sorry my notes are wordy and I'm not really enjoying walking you through your confusion that other readers don't seem to be experiencing.  I'm actually teacher, and frankly, I spend enough time correcting misconception, pointing out overgeneralizaions and hand-holding people through the process of forming logical conclusions.  I don't want this to become my evening job as well. 

 

So if this has become a battle of attrition, congratulations you have won because I'm just too exhausted of your clearly unfounded condescension.  I'm going to try and get some new thoughts on my profile and will be leaving all future comments by you unread. 

 

You may have the last word on this one - if history is any tutor, it will be just as wise and logical as the ones that have come before it.

 

Have a great weekend "bud"  :)

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I don't say that anyone who believes there is a god is mentally ill. I mean their belief might not necessarily cause them to think and act badly. I do however believe that anyone that  literally believes in the Bible, the Koran or other such texts IS mentally ill and inclined to ill behaviour. 

 

well put

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Don't you fucking write some shit as snarky as your last couple of replies and then start bitching and whining that I'm being mean to you.  

 

 

 

4.  Sociology is one of my favorite past times.  I have a working knowledge of the difference between causation and correlation. 

 

As an economist I can safely say I've NEVER met a sociologist who had even the faintest grasp of the concept.  And that's all I'm going to say to you.

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