Is Fundamentalist Trauma Real or Overrated?

Marty Hamrick
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Is Fundamentalist Trauma Real or Overrated?

Some Christian folks on here and other sites have stated that they look at reports about fundamentalist churches and their claims of traumatizing children with the critical eye of doubt. Doubt is healthy and I encourage this. Here I have compiled a few things that report similar experiences to mine growing up.
I found this forum interesting as it says that fundamentalism is particularly hard on children who may suffer OCD.


http://forum1.aimoo.com/walkaway/CLA...-2-569516.html

Since scrupulosity is a form of OCD and is associated with religion, this shouldn't be surprising. Here is a google page of scholarly articles written by mental health professionals.

http://scholar.google.ca/scholar?q=p...ed=0CFEQgQMwAA

Here is one that refutes Patrick Glenn's support of the anthropic principle.

http://www.rejectionofpascalswager.net/healthier.html

Here is another article on fundamentalism and psych problems.

ttp://www.unsolvedmysteries.com/usm375346.html

 

 

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."


Beyond Saving
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 I'd say it is probably

The last link should be http://www.unsolvedmysteries.com/usm375346.html and the scholar.google.ca link isn't working. 

 

 

I'd say it is probably real to some extent, but also I believe it is often overrated and used as a convenient scapegoat. Obviously, whatever happens to you when you are a child can have a large effect on your life but I think too many people use whatever shit their parents did to them as a way to justify whatever quirks they have in adulthood. I also believe that many psychologists like to exaggerate such things as it provides them with more patients at the expense of people who suffer from serious mental disorders. Having known a few people with serious mental disorders I have little respect for most psychologists, I think the majority of them are extremely good at medicating people who don't need it while not having a fucking clue how to help people who have real problems.

 

If you have a real serious mental disorder your environment doesn't matter much, you suffer from it regardless of how great things are in your life or how great your parents are or how great your support group is. For example, everyone goes through low points in their life where they are depressed. Shit happens, you get depressed about it and when things improve you return to status quo. For someone who suffers from depression, they can have what an objective observer would consider a wonderful life with everything going their way yet still struggle with constant thoughts of inadequacy and suicide. What happens to them might exacerbate the problem but it is not the cause.

 

The person with OCD might have it manifest itself as an obsession with religion, but it could also manifest itself as counting the number of tiles on the floor or any of a million different things, so I don't think you can blame religion for that anymore than you can blame bathroom tiles. So no, I don't think religion is a mental disorder although I believe it is certainly possible that some mental disorders might manifest themselves as fundamentalism but I am extremely skeptical that mental disorders are caused by fundamentalism.  

 

That being said, I think fundamentalists intellectually hamper their children by discouraging them from thinking for themselves which will lead to them being ignorant compared to children raised in an environment where they are encouraged to be skeptical and to question. This spans beyond just religion into views on politics, morality and conventional wisdom that kids are taught to accept without question. Ask any good college professor and they will tell you that most freshmen don't have a clue how to learn. They only know how to memorize and regurgitate what they are told. Knowing how to question, research and comprehend is a skill that needs to be learned and polished. That kids grow up without learning this I think is the fault of parents, the school system and society. Fortunately, this is something that can be learned later in life as evidenced by many of the people on this site who were raised in fundamentalist families but now question everything and the wonders of the internet has made it easier than ever. 

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


Marty Hamrick
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 Good post, Beyond and I

 Good post, Beyond and I think you're spot on about shrinks. Now in all fairness, I have known some caring,decent shrinks, but that's beside the point.

 

  Do you think that magical thinking can be instilled in kids through religion?

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."


harleysportster
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Marty Hamrick wrote:   Do

Marty Hamrick wrote:

 

  Do you think that magical thinking can be instilled in kids through religion?

 

I personally think so. I know it did for me through a number of years. Unanswered prayers was not the leading cause of my evolution towards non-belief. But, like another topic that was covered on here, it did cause me a whole lot of superstition. 

I remember praying for "signs" and finding answers in songs on the radio, the television, billboards etc. 

This type of bullshit was encouraged by the people in my church as "god works through other people and in mysterious ways"

Now, granted I am making a huge jump here, but is it not true that alot of paranoid schizophrenics see "signs" in all sorts of mundane things that lead them to commit totally insane acts ? 

Now does religion create paranoid schizophrenics ? No, I don't think so. 

But, it discourages critical thinking and analysis, much like what Beyond was talking about. 

One of my blogs on here titled : Why the belief in ultimate purposes was poison for me, kinda covered how magical thinking and belief was ultimately a bad thing for me. 

As I have said before, I have had members of my theist family seize upon my misfortunes as "signs" from god. 

There was a guy in the church that I grew up in that was good at listening to other people's problems. He told me one time that he felt it would be a "sin" to actually become a counselor or psychologist because "god" had called him to listen to other people's problems and would probably punish him if he were to seek monetary gain for his "gift" from god. 

I do know slightly mentally unbalanced people that sought refuge in the church that I was raised in that became overtly zealous fanatics that would equal the flagellants of the Middle Ages. 

While I can not make the argument that religion CAUSES delusions, I do think it can contribute to them. 

Over course, people who suffer from delusional disorders can be drawn to any number of things. Take people like the guy that shot Reagan to get the attention of Jodie Foster. 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Marty Hamrick
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 Quote:While I can not make

 

Quote:

While I can not make the argument that religion CAUSES delusions, I do think it can contribute to them.

 

I agree. Much like some people shouldn't watch horror movies, some should steer clear of certain churches.

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."


Beyond Saving
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Marty Hamrick wrote: Good

Marty Hamrick wrote:

 Good post, Beyond and I think you're spot on about shrinks. Now in all fairness, I have known some caring,decent shrinks, but that's beside the point.

 

  Do you think that magical thinking can be instilled in kids through religion?

Sure it can, but I don't think it is as damaging as some make it out to be. I believe that contact with people who hold other beliefs is generally enough for people to shed their magical thinking if they care enough to think about the topic. I am convinced that the majority of people who attend church on a regular basis do so for social reasons rather than sincere belief. Sure, they might believe in god, but most likely they only half pay attention to sermons, haven't read the bible and don't live their lives focused on god. They go to church because their family goes, their friends go and there are a lot of social benefits.

In my experience, when most people are confronted with a direct challenge to their beliefs the majority simply avoid the discussion because having a discussion with someone who holds opposing beliefs forces you to analyze your own. If most people who claim to be religious truly sat down and thought about what they profess to believe they would determine it is crazy. Instead, they avoid thinking about it and if the discussion comes up they retreat to the stability of a handful of phrases and platitudes that don't require real thought. This works very well if you live somewhere that everyone else around you does the same thing and holds similar beliefs, but not so well when you are constantly confronted with people that hold different beliefs. 

As our technology becomes more efficient at transmitting our thoughts and ideas to more people it becomes harder to avoid the discussion and religion becomes weaker. Sure, you can point to the pockets of fundy's and they certainly are loud but I see their actions as a death rattle of fundamentalism. As bad as they seem now even a cursory look at our history shows that they used to be far more mainstream. Just look at the sheer number of old laws we have that are explicitly based in religion like blue laws. Now, you can count on most stores being open on Sunday, religious holidays are more well known for their secular aspects and in most cities it is not uncommon to run into people with widely divergent religious beliefs.  

Fundamentalism is for the most part confined to small communities and it is unhealthy for anyone to be raised in a closed environment where they are only exposed to people with identical beliefs. But in the modern world it is increasingly difficult for parents to keep their kids cut off from the world. To do so, they have to deny internet access, keep them out of public and pretty much have a cultish situation.  

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X