Mental illness + theological studies = ....
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30-03-2010, 06:24 PM
RE: Mental illness + theological studies = ....
(24-03-2010 02:55 PM)Juppers Wrote:  Just a question that occurred to me:

Based on the Archangelos case (or on any other similar ones you may know of) and on the fact that psychosis and religion have the delusional factor in common, would you rather say that a certain amount of psychosis is inherent to religion and may, in some circumstances, reach apotheosis (as is the case here), or that the latter is a manifestation, a channel of the former? In other words, is psychosis a part of religion, or is religion a part of psychosis? Or are they unrelated?

That is a very good question. The primary issue seems to be one of definition. These are the clearest I've found so far:

Psychosis is defined as a serious mental disorder in which a person loses contact with reality and experiences hallucinations or delusions.

Religion is much more broad, overlapping as it does with ethics, culture, and even social networking. The most concise definition of religion I've found seems to be: A communal system for the coherence of belief focusing on a system of thought, unseen being, person, or object, that is considered to be supernatural, sacred, or divine. (This definition is copied from Wikipedia, so take it with a grain of salt. But it seems the most fitting. )

Lastly, delusion is defined as a persistent, false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary; also : the abnormal state marked by such beliefs.

The problem is that while many religious practices are delusional by definition, such as faith healing, a fair number of religious beliefs are either based on logical fallacies or simply outside the realm of that which can be proved or disproved. Examples include:

Idea The rooster crowed and the sun came up. Therefore, the rooster crowing made the sun come up.

Idea I.e. I prayed, and got what I wanted. Therefore, praying made me get what I wanted.

Idea A being of some sort exists, with greater knowledge and power than humans. But he/she/it is invisible, and can only be experienced subjectively.

Thinking that something is true without proof--even without the possibility of proof--does not meet the criteria for psychosis. Neither does a logical fallacy, which may simply be the product of a lack of education or a closed mind.

Essentially, religion and psychosis are not identical, but there is certianly some overlap.
(26-03-2010 02:53 AM)Grassharpper Wrote:  
(25-03-2010 02:17 PM)supermanlives1973 Wrote:  
Quote:"...psychiatry and psychology are relatively recent developments in human history..."

Well, that explains Scientology... Smile
I know--what the hell is Scientology! The study of science? Science is the study of science.

It's a well-kept secret. :-P I did hear an interview on the radio with a former Scientologist, who basically described it as a "pyramid scheme" that promises to rid a person of all their afflictions, physical and mental, and render them what's called a "Clear." Basically, "Take this class, do this, do that, give me money, and you'll advance to the next level. Still have migraines? You need to get to the NEXT level..." And on and on and on.
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