Is religion a delusion?
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03-11-2015, 08:02 PM
RE: Is religion a delusion?
(03-11-2015 07:38 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  You've been convinced, through indoctrination, that it's not a delusion. You've been told and taught that it's real, probably since childhood. People of authority have most likely explained to you that other beliefs and religions are incorrect, in error and even sinful and that Christianity is the only true, real religion that everyone should believe in.

You were sold a delusion and you bought it thinking it's real. That's exactly what a delusion is.

The problem I have with the indoctrination conclusions, some of the supposed factors being imagined here are not really true for me. I grew up in a church, where the supposed authority figures didn't even speak the same language as me. Given my history, if I was indoctrinated, it would be a fairly subtle form of indoctrination. In a lot of ways my religious upbringing took everything for granted, in a way that's probably not true for my white american counterpart. I enjoyed reading Greek Mythologies, and didn't feel particularly guilty reading the stories of Samson, Adam and Eve the same way. No one ever suggested it was wrong for me to do so, but then again I don't think anyone really knew I read them that way either. My love of religious stories corresponded to my love of literature in general.

I'm not particularly opposed to the idea of subtle forms of indoctrination, though I would like to see these conclusions composed a bit more in depth. Perhaps there's forms of deliberate and proactive indoctrination, and others forms of non-deliberate, non-proactive indoctrination.

Perhaps the latter form exists in relationship to any community a person finds themselves as belonging too, see themselves as identify with. Perhaps even here where various beliefs and values get continually reinforced, and others get derided you set and create biases, and subtle indoctrinations as well.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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03-11-2015, 08:02 PM
RE: Is religion a delusion?
(03-11-2015 06:16 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(03-11-2015 11:41 AM)Gaest Wrote:  I have often heard the concept "delusion" being used to describe religion or religious ideas and beliefs, but what is the reasoning behind describing religion and religious people as delusional, and are there any relevant researchers since Freud and his contemporaries who advocate this?

Cheers

It is belief without evidence, often accompanied by hallucination.

What would you call it? Consider

The human condition maybe? Consider
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03-11-2015, 08:12 PM
RE: Is religion a delusion?
Calling it a delusion is an easy put down but also obscures the tangible importance religion has played in frame-working historical social structures, regardless of how atheists personally feel about its legitimacy as a body of truth, morality, or knowledge.

But yes, I would certainly say delusional is the most applicable term to describe it once it begins taking on more extreme forms.

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03-11-2015, 08:43 PM
RE: Is religion a delusion?
(03-11-2015 08:02 PM)Gaest Wrote:  
(03-11-2015 06:16 PM)Chas Wrote:  It is belief without evidence, often accompanied by hallucination.

What would you call it? Consider

The human condition maybe? Consider

I kinda see what you're getting at ... that delusion is normal.

To a degree, I'd agree. Self-delusion and denial are useful defense mechanisms. Sometimes, truth hurts.

Yes

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03-11-2015, 08:46 PM
RE: Is religion a delusion?
(03-11-2015 08:43 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(03-11-2015 08:02 PM)Gaest Wrote:  The human condition maybe? Consider

I kinda see what you're getting at ... that delusion is normal.

To a degree, I'd agree. Self-delusion and denial are useful defense mechanisms. Sometimes, truth hurts.

Yes

Historically speaking, humans didn't have alternative explanations to need to deny other than competing religious beliefs. Although saying delusion is a normal facet of humanity probably has some merit to it.

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03-11-2015, 08:48 PM
Is religion a delusion?
(03-11-2015 08:12 PM)Tartarus Sauce Wrote:  Calling it a delusion is an easy put down but also obscures the tangible importance religion has played in frame-working historical social structures, regardless of how atheists personally feel about its legitimacy as a body of truth, morality, or knowledge.

But yes, I would certainly say delusional is the most applicable term to describe it once it begins taking on more extreme forms.

I don't see it as a matter of being a "put down" nor do I think it is intended as a way of dismissing its effects on society that weren't negative.

I'd call the flat earth theory a delusion too, and it also shaped society in how we project and study the earth's surface. It was a delusion born out of ignorance and I would say religion is along the exact same lines. Humans are too ignorant for their own good and invent a new series of concepts to try and explain their world, but it was all a delusion.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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03-11-2015, 08:52 PM
RE: Is religion a delusion?
(03-11-2015 12:25 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  
Quote:de·lu·sion
dəˈlo͞oZHən/
noun
an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder.
Similar to how cults and religion only differ in popularity. Delusion tends to be defined by popular opinion. If most of society does not believe in the invisible pink unicorn, the person who does is considered delusional. If most of society does believe in the invisible god character, the person who does isn't (usually) considered delusional.

As time goes on and the world gets more secular, I think religion will be judged as delusional more often.

what is generally accepted as reality part puts me off, based on that, we're deluded.
It's generally accepted that God exists, we believe he doesn't our don't believe he does, so we contradict that, so we're the deluded ones.

I don't really like going outside.
It's too damn "peopley" out there....
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03-11-2015, 09:01 PM
RE: Is religion a delusion?
Religion - a false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with evidence.

Delusion - 4. a false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact.

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." -Albert Einstein
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03-11-2015, 09:25 PM
RE: Is religion a delusion?
(03-11-2015 08:43 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(03-11-2015 08:02 PM)Gaest Wrote:  The human condition maybe? Consider

I kinda see what you're getting at ... that delusion is normal.

To a degree, I'd agree. Self-delusion and denial are useful defense mechanisms. Sometimes, truth hurts.

Yes

Partly, but not only because truth hurts, but also because sometimes truth/some truths are irrelevant to immediate survival and for individuals and societies to thrive. They might even dismantle institutions or social conventions that helps survival. Modern, western societies have of cause somewhat changed that.

What I was mostly thinking of when I wrote my reply was actually how belief with no evidence and ultimately seeing things that aren't demonstrably present are some of the hallmarks of human cognitive processing and probably behind humans seeing supernatural agents in nature in the first place – not sure it is based on completely no evidence in its simplest form though (that is when supernatural ideas are not informing decisions and expectations) … If that makes sense?

To quote the article again:
"Perfectly normal people hold all kinds of beliefs based on partial or equivocal evidence -- the vagaries of human life make this unavoidable. So the standard for determining whether or not religious beliefs are delusional is the same as that required for any belief: is the belief contradicted by so much obvious and convincing evidence that in order to maintain it the believer becomes functionally compromised, producing suffering for themselves and those around them?"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-j-ros...11148.html
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03-11-2015, 09:59 PM
RE: Is religion a delusion?
I don't think religion is a delusion. It's a social mechanism that binds people into a tribe, therefore enhancing survival, and a (wrong, but to many plausible) way to explain the world, reducing the amount of time a believer has to spend trying to figure out things for herself.

However, there are other, better ways to make a tribe and to explain the world, so I hope religion will be replaced by those.
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