Theism a mental illness?
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20-06-2015, 07:48 AM
Theism a mental illness?
In this thread, the definition of mental illness I'll be relating to is this: A condition which causes serious disorder in a person's behaviour or thinking.

Do you think according to this definition the religious are mentally ill?

I had a huge discussion with my girlfriend about it and she's made me unsure. She thinks no, because religion comes from the condition of being human. E.g Human - pattern seeking - faith - religion. Therefore, if one is to claim the religious are mentally ill, then all humans are mentally ill, as it is a result of the condition of conscious mortality, or mortal consciousness.

Are there any books which involve a discussion on what conditions religion arises from? Of course the obvious being emotional and environmental conditions.

I mean, by this definition we are all in certain moments mentally ill, when scared, we act irrationally. Is it just that religion is a prolonged response to fear? Some people eventually succumb to empiricism, some die whilst encumbered with this condition. Could it be that theism is actually just a temporary response to a specific factor, and that mortality is the only thing that presents all people from eventually becoming rational, because they die before doing so?

I think if true, my hypothesis would mean that if humans became immortal, there would be no religion.

P.S I was going to place this thread in theism/atheism section but I realised how much I went on a tangent caught up in my thoughts! Hope it makes at least a bit of sense.

Saints live in flames; wise men, next to them.
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20-06-2015, 07:54 AM (This post was last modified: 20-06-2015 07:59 AM by Szuchow.)
RE: Theism a mental illness?
It may be not exactly what you looking for but I think Why We Believe In God(s) by J. Anderson Thomson and C. Aukofer could be interesting.

For me religious beliefs are mainly result of indoctrination and lack of deeper thought about them, though I suppose fear also play a role in it.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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20-06-2015, 08:01 AM
RE: Theism a mental illness?
I do not believe it to be a mental illness.

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20-06-2015, 09:39 AM
RE: Theism a mental illness?
I don't believe it is a mental illness--but it can contribute to those who have or are predisposed to mental illness. For example, religious people can suffer from Scrupulosity, etc. Additionally, someone who is mentally ill can hallucinate or concoct a belief system based on religion and harm themselves or others.
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20-06-2015, 01:20 PM
RE: Theism a mental illness?
Faith - the belief in something without evidence.

Delusion: 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. A belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.

Religion - The embracement of delusion.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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20-06-2015, 02:16 PM
RE: Theism a mental illness?
(20-06-2015 01:20 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Faith - the belief in something without evidence.

Delusion: 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. A belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.

Religion - The embracement of delusion.

People are so brainwashed by religion that they will embrace delusional thinking. If not for religious brainwashing, there would be no mass religious delusion. Talk about being psychologically fucked by religion Yes
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20-06-2015, 02:20 PM (This post was last modified: 20-06-2015 02:24 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Theism a mental illness?
It appears to depend on whether they believe in a punitive or benevolent God. Beliefs About God and Mental Health Among American Adults

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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20-06-2015, 02:28 PM
RE: Theism a mental illness?
So many people are raised in the religion of their parents that I don't think you can say it's a mental illness. Religion is taught from the womb on. It's very cultural. If your whole family follows a faith practice and it's what you have known your whole life then there isn't even a way to prove that mental illness came first (if ever).

People who come to religion at a later date are often looking for some sort of answers to fill in things they can't figure out. They need an answer and religion tends to have a way of seeping into any gaps. Some also go through something harrowing and come out the other side and they have a need to find the reason they made it.

When I get really confused on religion and mental illness is when women kill their kids and claim god told them to do it. Or they say the child was possessed. Usually it's someone who was living in religion and then their brain broke and suddenly it's all 'god said'. Those scenarios are quite tangled, then it seems that one (religion) feeds on two (mental illness) and back again.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

We're all mad here. The Cheshire Cat
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28-06-2015, 01:28 AM
RE: Theism a mental illness?
removed
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28-06-2015, 03:02 AM
RE: Theism a mental illness?
To believe that some sky wizard who is everywhere and knows everything, sees everything and hears everything and yet expects us to pray to him and to tell him what a great guy he is is fine if you are a six year old.

To believe that some sky wizard created a universe in six days and was so knackered that he had to rest on the 7th. and then pissed off for 13.8 billion years is fine if you are a six year old.

To believe that a fat guy dressed in red climbs down your chimney on christmas eve to deliver presents to you is fine if you are a six year old.

If you are an adult and still believe in any of the above, of course you have mental issues. Why would you think otherwise?

Marburg virus, Ebola, Rabies, HIV, Smallpox, Hantavirus, Dengue Fever all brought to you by god - who cares for us and loves us all Censored
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