Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
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25-03-2013, 09:33 AM
Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
While searching around I came across a couple of interesting articles that describe the symptoms of mental disorders. While reading the symptoms list a couple of these list symptoms that almost mimic the mindset of a fundamentalist. I have provided the links to these articles so that everyone can decide for themselves. Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?


http://www.psychcentral.com/disorders/sx11.htm

http://www.psychcentral.com/disorders/sx33.htm

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25-03-2013, 09:35 AM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
No.

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Matt
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25-03-2013, 09:54 AM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
Religion is a mental disorder. So sayeth the prophet. Case closed.

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25-03-2013, 10:01 AM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
Patterns of belief, language use and perception of reality can become disordered (e.g., delusions, thought disorder, hallucinations)

Personality—the fundamental characteristics of a person that influence thoughts and behaviors across situations and time—may be considered disordered if judged to be abnormally rigid.

It would seem abnormal thought patterns, beliefs and perceptions of reality are considered mental disorders, so YES fundamentalism would be a mental disorder, as would most all religions because I consider them abnormal beliefs and disconnections to reality, even if they are the majority norm throughout the world.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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25-03-2013, 10:01 AM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
It's a mental disorder when you ignore reality in favor of, well, not reality. If you really can't tell the difference then you might just be wrong. For instance, if I ask you what I have in my pocket, you have no real way of knowing what is reality and what is just a guess. This lack of knowing is not a disorder. But if you then make assumptions, such as that I have a penny in my pocket, and then you act as though this is reality without ever trying to determine whether I really have a penny or not, then you're crossing the line into mental disorder by accepting a version of reality that might or might not exist.

Who cares about a penny in my pocket. Harmless.

But when it's bigger, like alternate reality that defines your every action and your entire understanding of your life, then yes, it's a big deal and a mental disorder and can be quite harmful to you.

The movie, A Beautiful Mind, illustrates this concept quite well.

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25-03-2013, 10:10 AM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
Yes.
See "anal retention". Weeping

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25-03-2013, 10:21 AM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
No.

With all due respect, I'm not sure if this was intended to be tongue-in-cheek or serious, but since it seems serious, I'm going to answer as such. I think calling fundamentalism or any other religious persuasion a mental disorder does more to harm atheists than anything else it might do. I believe we serve our cause much better by respecting believers as much as possible while simply pointing out the logical fallacies and evidence to the contrary. There are plenty of intelligent, mentally healthy people who are believers, including some fundamentalists. And, just as we don't like to be disrespected, neither do they.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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25-03-2013, 10:32 AM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
(25-03-2013 10:21 AM)Impulse Wrote:  No.

With all due respect, I'm not sure if this was intended to be tongue-in-cheek or serious, but since it seems serious, I'm going to answer as such. I think calling fundamentalism or any other religious persuasion a mental disorder does more to harm atheists than anything else it might do. I believe we serve our cause much better by respecting believers as much as possible while simply pointing out the logical fallacies and evidence to the contrary. There are plenty of intelligent, mentally healthy people who are believers, including some fundamentalists. And, just as we don't like to be disrespected, neither do they.
No.

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25-03-2013, 11:04 AM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
The Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides details on brain atrophy and studies have shown a direct link to brain atrophy in life changing religious experiences. It seems these life changing experiences such as being "born again" have been linked to brain atrophy.

The study hypothesizes it may have to do with a combination of stress and hormonal release. Personally, I have to wonder if these experiences are the symptom of an already present brain disorder but I don't know... I'm not a neurologist. I think a quote from the article, "For now, we can be certain that religion affects the brain--we just are not certain how." is quite telling that there is something going on.

Here is a link to a Scientific American article which discusses the study.

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25-03-2013, 11:33 AM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
(25-03-2013 11:04 AM)kim Wrote:  The Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides details on brain atrophy and studies have shown a direct link to brain atrophy in life changing religious experiences. It seems these life changing experiences such as being "born again" have been linked to brain atrophy.
From the article:
"The study, published March 30 in PLoS One, showed greater
atrophy in the hippocampus in individuals who identify with specific
religious groups as well as those with no religious affiliation."


Those same atrophies show up in brain scans of people who were abused as children. It seems much more plausible that the authoritarian and abusive parenting style that is so widespread across the religious/non religious spectrum is to blame.

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