Theism and behavioural apologetics.

Di66en6ion
Di66en6ion's picture
Posts: 106
Joined: 2009-01-03
User is offlineOffline
Theism and behavioural apologetics.

 I'm not sure where this will lead and I'm not really posing it as a fact or an opinion but as a curiosity.

 
When I see articles hit the news about parents who have killed their children because "the devil told them to do it", I think to myself that maybe the people around them didn't see the obvious mental illness because of the nature of some religions. When you think the devil is real then some (or entire communities in some cases) will externalize their problems into the form of some kind of evil; some think they can fight back with some kind of spiritual warfare or something. I'm just wondering if this leads to a wider range of apathy/excuses under the guise of superstitious lies. 

 
That is that perhaps mental illnesses go unnoticed for far longer than they should because of supernatural beliefs about life processes.


 


Ciarin
Theist
Ciarin's picture
Posts: 778
Joined: 2008-09-08
User is offlineOffline
Most religions don't believe

Most religions don't believe in the devil.


jcgadfly
Superfan
Posts: 6791
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Ciarin wrote:Most religions

Ciarin wrote:

Most religions don't believe in the devil.

But almost all had to create an embodiment of evil for the good guys they created to play with.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


Vastet
atheistBloggerSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 13210
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
I'm sure some sneak by, but

I'm sure some sneak by, but there are more factors to consider in this scenario. The mentally ill tend to be stigmatized (in many cases hospitalised), so family and friends often ignore warning signs to protect the ill. I doubt religion has a greater impact than this. Usually it's a whole different kind of crazy. I can't see people walking into most churches and getting away with thinking they're "insert random fictional religious character" for long.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5939
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Ciarin wrote:Most religions

Ciarin wrote:

Most religions don't believe in the devil.

But they mostly do believe in some sort of malign, evil agents, to 'explain' why bad things happen to people for no apparent reason. They may refer to them as demons, evil spirits, whatever. The Chinese, for example, have long been concerned with protecting themselves from demons, by drawing special signs, even designing their buildings to make them harder for demons to enter.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Ciarin
Theist
Ciarin's picture
Posts: 778
Joined: 2008-09-08
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:Ciarin

jcgadfly wrote:

Ciarin wrote:

Most religions don't believe in the devil.

But almost all had to create an embodiment of evil for the good guys they created to play with.

 

Not really. Most polytheistic religions aren't dualistic.  Jupiter was good(chief of the gods, defender, embodiment of justice) just as much as he was bad(he raped, committed genocide and adultery, made his sister his wife). It's only when you come to a monotheistic religion do you tend to find "all good" and "all evil" archetypes.


Ciarin
Theist
Ciarin's picture
Posts: 778
Joined: 2008-09-08
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:Ciarin

BobSpence1 wrote:

Ciarin wrote:

Most religions don't believe in the devil.

But they mostly do believe in some sort of malign, evil agents, to 'explain' why bad things happen to people for no apparent reason. They may refer to them as demons, evil spirits, whatever. The Chinese, for example, have long been concerned with protecting themselves from demons, by drawing special signs, even designing their buildings to make them harder for demons to enter.

 

Yes evil or trickster entities do exist in many mythologies, but I wouldn't consider this equivalent to the christian devil(I.E a being that supposedly controls all the evil and the counterpart to the christian god).


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
Ciarin wrote:Yes evil or

Ciarin wrote:

Yes evil or trickster entities do exist in many mythologies, but I wouldn't consider this equivalent to the christian devil(I.E a being that supposedly controls all the evil and the counterpart to the christian god).



Shit, why would they have to have one single evil? They had women! The Greeks were obviously terrified of women, and illustrate that pretty clearly in their mythology. The scariest thing the Greek pantheon had to offer was Juno Pissed Off. If Juno didn't like you, you were going to get it, and bad. The Greeks didn't need to embody evil in a GUY, they already had women, who were scary evil bitches, all!



The image we get of the devil is a bit of a combination of Hades, the furies, and satyrs. The horns and tail cartoon bit is clearly a reference to satyrs' depictions. But the Western Devil is, himself, a combination of all the underworld gods anyway. Sometimes he's broken up into a trinity, one would presume for symmetry (Mephistophiles, Beezelbub, Ba'al is one possible combination) but those are later, and non-canonical folk-tale additions to Christian myth.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


latincanuck
atheist
latincanuck's picture
Posts: 2038
Joined: 2007-06-01
User is offlineOffline
Actually

many religions have demons (the bad guys), hindus have demons, asian religions have demons, many native american have demons or animals that play tricks that cause people to do bad things, almost all religions have an excuse for someone to misbehave and blame it on (insert evil/trickster/demon/devil deity here) so that they aren't really all that responsible for their actions.

here is the wiki page with a list of demons of all theological backgrounds, including egyptian, japanese, christians, islamic, jewish, hindu and many many many others

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_theological_demons


The Doomed Soul
atheist
The Doomed Soul's picture
Posts: 2148
Joined: 2007-08-31
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote: The

HisWillness wrote:

 

The image we get of the devil is a bit of a combination of Hades, the furies, and satyrs.

 

... ya... when i think of the Devil, "Furies" isnt even close to the first thing that comes to my mind... o_O

 

But i have been known to be wrong, on occasion...

 

 

 

*Goes off to picture Satan in a furry costume, then smash own brains out with a hammer*

What Would Kharn Do?


Di66en6ion
Di66en6ion's picture
Posts: 106
Joined: 2009-01-03
User is offlineOffline
Vastet wrote:I'm sure some

Vastet wrote:
I'm sure some sneak by, but there are more factors to consider in this scenario. The mentally ill tend to be stigmatized (in many cases hospitalised), so family and friends often ignore warning signs to protect the ill. I doubt religion has a greater impact than this. Usually it's a whole different kind of crazy. I can't see people walking into most churches and getting away with thinking they're "insert random fictional religious character" for long.

 

Mmm, good point. I'd be interesting to compare different types of mental illnesses in cases like this. I wasn't really thinking about extreme illnesses like schizophrenia but something like depression/PTSD. Scientology's involvement in pharma would be another aspect.

 


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5492
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
I think the mother was

I think the mother was diagnosed with schizophenria prior to the actions.

 

 

 


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5492
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
Found

Found it

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32185637/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts//

 

Quote:

SAN ANTONIO - The warning signs were there. Otty Sanchez, a schizophrenic with a history of hospitalizations, wasn't taking medication and was depressed after her son's birth, the boy's father said. A simple request seemed to set her off, alarming him and his family.

 

 

She WAS diagnosed and given treatment.

 

 

 


Enigma
Enigma's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: 2009-08-07
User is offlineOffline
I don't see many "The Devil told me to" defenses.

More atrocities are claimed in the name of God than the Devil.

Such is the case here:

www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/03/29/children.slain/index.html

 

It's rather odd, how whenever God tells people to do bad things, they're diagnosed with mental disorders but whenever he tells them to do good things they become prophets.

More confirmation bias, I suppose.

 

Is it too much to ask for a method to determine between insanity, deception and legitimate divine communication?

It likely is because there isn't likely such a thing as legitimate divine communication.

May whatever gods you believe in have mercy on your soul.
-Q, "Star Trek: The Next Generation"


Di66en6ion
Di66en6ion's picture
Posts: 106
Joined: 2009-01-03
User is offlineOffline
 Well... http://www.youtube