Still Don't Think that Theism is a Mental Disorder?

kellym78's picture

Wow. A whole barrage of nonsense came at us in the past two weeks or so. First off...a man cuts off his own hand after seeing the Mark of the Beast on it. With a circular saw. And then microwaves it. And then calls the authorities. A quote from one of the sherriff's deputies states, "That kind of mental illness is just sad." I couldn't agree more.

Now, I know what you guys are going to say--"It's not BECAUSE of religion." Actually, I don't think that a case could be made either way. Was he likely vulnerable to delusional behavior? Yeah, I'll concede that one. The fact that religion is unique in its ability to seep into the crevices of your mind so pervasively that this theme plays out in our society over and over again isn't addressed by that statement, though. How do the appeasers and framers answer that? Maybe it only manifests itself in those already prone to mental illness, but isn't that akin to excusing and perpetuating a belief system that preys on the weak? What exactly is it that causes atheists to feel this compulsion to cover for a malevolent, archaic belief that has caused mothers to kill their children, countless cases of child abuse, seemingly endless wars and violence, and self-mutilation and flagellation that can be traced back to the very foundation of the religion?

One doesn't need to delve too deeply to uncover the singular thread that has persisted throughout religious history--violence. Violence against others and oneself. Internally or externally expressed; it's there from day one. Ignatius of Loyola makes an interesting case study demonstrating the way in which religion exploits this predisposition to self-loathing and delusional disorders. The esteemed founder of the Jesuit's autobiography details graphically the man's obsession with self-harm, his hallucinations, and his severe depression which would at times lead him to drastic measures such as digging a hole in his room at college deep enough that he hoped to end his life by jumping into it. All that to escape the demons that he felt were tempting him with indecent, ungodly thoughts. Sometimes that would lead to an insatiable desire to harm himself in order to purge this evil from his body, simultaneously punishing himself for not having the strength to resist thoughts that were likely normal human doubts and concerns. His life as a beggar on the streets, living only off of the good-will (and pity) of others, as well as an extremely hazardous trek from his home in Italy to Jerusalem soon after his conversion on which he embarked with nothing more than the clothes on his back all coalesce to form an image of a man haunted by the great spectre in the sky and his impending wrath.

Augustine also suffered from some degree of guilt after his drastic conversion; either from his previously debacherous lifestyle, the fact that his father was never "saved", or the fact that he stole fruit from a tree as a young teen, the almighty, supposedly omnibenevolent, god has stricken people with fear, guilt, shame, and remorse severe enough to permanently alter their lives--and often those of the innocent people around them.

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Next up in "Nutter News from the RRS", we have the pope (yeah - Ratzi again) urging people to pray for clergy members who sexually abuse children. I assume he doesn't think that removing them from their posts is the most pragmatic solution and would rather leave it in the hands of god--or in other words, do nothing. He's actually ordered every parish and diocese to set up prayer teams for round-the-clock vigils to help support the pedophiles in their midst. The most disturbing quote, one that I'm hoping was merely a nuance of translation, was, "The pope asked Roman Catholics to pray for the 'mercy of God for the victims of the grave situations caused by the moral and sexual conduct' of clergy members in daily prayers of penance and purification, The Times of London said Monday." Hold on...could you run that by me one more time? He wants them to pray that god has mercy...on the victims?! I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto--we've been transported straight to bizarro world.

Let me give the church some advice since I still possess the faculty of reason: Stop covering up for these people!! Either they are mentally ill or just sociopathic and have no business in a congregation, school, or possibly even in public. The church's willingness to cover for them (note the use of the words "sexual conduct" instead of "misconduct" from the pope) obviously persists to this day and likely will never stop. Any person who willingly leaves their child in the care of these men of god is as delinquent and delusional as the pope apparently is. (On a side note, I find it especially ironic that the first empire in search of global domination was in fact the catholic church, and now Ratzinger issues an encyclical highlighting the dangers of globalization. Flip-flop much? When are you going to outlaw mass in the vernacular and start burning bibles in any language other than Latin? We all know how much more powerful the church was when nobody could understand that nonsense.)

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The third, and final, course of irrationality that I'm going to serve will be the petition floating around the interwebs demanding the removal of drawings depicting Mohammed from Wikipedia. The text states that, "In Islam pictures or Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and other holly figures are not allowed, but on wikipedia they has published some pictures that are showing not only a body with white face but an image that has a complete face.. that is even not allowed by SHITAT fact of Islam.
i request all my brothers and sisters to sign this petition so we can tell wikipedia to remove them.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad specially this image http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Maome.jpg ."

First of all, work on your spelling. It's hard enough to read this without having to cringe internally with every other word just from the grammatical errors. Secondly, Wikipedia is not run by Muslims, and therefore has no obligation to adhere to your silly laws. The rest of us are free to depict him however we choose. Just for good measure, I've included some pictures of Mohammed. Feel free to start a petition to have my blog removed from the internet, barbarians.

 

Muhammed was a pedophileallah is bullshitIslam is barbaric

 

 

Anybody who would like to donate to help us increase security due to the likelihood of psychopathic idiots coming to chop off our heads with rusty machetes may do so here. If they can get 34,000 signatures on their petition, we should be able to get a grand for some guard dogs, right? Smiling

 

 

 

darth_josh's picture

Cpt.P, After re-reading

Cpt.P,

After re-reading this thread, I can honestly say that none of the respondents including myself have presented a good argument short of the need for more discussion.

You, of all my theist interactions are aware that this topic is on-going since you have a 'vested' interest somewhere in all of this:

Why must I keep making topics like this?

Christian boot camp drags girl roped to a van

And these were just two of the topics you were saying the same thing in prior to my hiatus.

 

For the fucking record, I'm not 'holding onto' anything. We're talking aren't we? Any of us could easily dismiss this discussion and simply walk away. That's not going to solve anything in my opinion so you can quit the off-topic ad logicams any time.

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Sapient's picture

I feel as if one needs to

I feel as if one needs to ask for evidence that theism is a mental disorder, than they most likely don't fully understand what theism or a mental disorder is.  The question I would like to ask is how is theism NOT a mental disorder, to me... THAT IS the extraordinary claim.  Beliefs in invisible men in the sky?  A delusional irrational belief that is no less a mental disorder than anything in the DSM.

 

 Ex-Priest Dr. Stephen Uhl breaks it down in simple form, which is all that is needed for an open mind to grab this and run with it:

- Brian Sapient


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Cpt_pineapple's picture

darth_josh

darth_josh wrote:

 

You, of all my theist interactions are aware that this topic is on-going since you have a 'vested' interest somewhere in all of this:

Why must I keep making topics like this?

Christian boot camp drags girl roped to a van

And these were just two of the topics you were saying the same thing in prior to my hiatus.

1) all I did was ask for evidence. I never said anything related to what your saying.

 

2) If you haven't noticed in the boot camp topic another atheist calls you on your bullshit.

 

Does he have a mental disorder as well?

 

darth_josh wrote:

 

For the fucking record, I'm not 'holding onto' anything. We're talking aren't we? Any of us could easily dismiss this discussion and simply walk away. That's not going to solve anything in my opinion so you can quit the off-topic ad logicams any time.

 

My point was, you were acting like the very thing you critize.

 

 

 

 

Sapient wrote:

I feel as if one needs to ask for evidence that theism is a mental disorder, than they most likely don't fully understand what theism or a mental disorder

 

How many times have I heard this?

oh wait, many, and I've always heard it from creationists, just replace 'Theism' and 'mental disorder' with 'God'.

 

Here:

I feel as if one needs to ask for evidence that God exists than they most likely don't fully understand God.

 

 

Sapient wrote:

 

Ex-Priest Dr. Stephen Uhl breaks it down in simple form, which is all that is needed for an open mind to grab this and run with it:

 

That's nice, now where's my peer reviewed studies?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Luigi Novi's picture

Mental Disorders

Darth Josh: No, I am not 'done'. Certainly none of this is 'done' and never will be because we're supposed to question and reason with each other even after it is allegedly 'done'.
Luigi Novi: Trust me. You’re done. It’s obvious from your posts that you don’t have the barest ability to “reason”, since your conduct in a discussion it to:

1. Insult those who disagree with you.
2. Willfully lie about their words by attributing to them things they never said.
3. Give false definitions to words and phrases that they do not have.
4. Hypocritically accuse others of doing this.
5. Constantly engage in bait-and-switch by treating two disparate things as one and the same.
6. Ignore others when they refute your flawed arguments.
7. Attempt to attribute comments made by others in reference to one point as being made in reference to a completely different one.

These are all hallmarks of trolls, flamers, and paralogists. If you think this constitutes “reason”, trust me, you’re done here.

Darth Josh: How is 'crazy' a biological phenomenon?
Luigi Novi: Behavior originates in the brain. What goes on there is biological. Thus, if you're asserting that something is the result of a mental disorder, then you're talking about something wrong with the brain.

Darth Josh: Sarcastically, I gave you unnamed references to peer-reviewed analyses of the claim. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Albert Ellis are three 'authority figures' who concur with the claim and they expound upon it in their books/studies. Darth Josh: Certainly I didn't trust them at their words. I researched every footnote to ensure accuracy. It took me a month to read 'The god delusion'.
Luigi Novi: You’re a liar. Dawkins does not concur with the claim that theism is a mental disorder anywhere in his book. On Page 5 of The God Delusion, in fact, he states that when he uses the word “delusion”, he is using the definition cited in The Penguin English Dictionary, which is “a false belief or impression”, something that does not originate from a mental disorder. He even goes further, stating on the same page that, in regarding to the definition supplied the dictionary function of Microsoft Word, “a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence, especially as a symptom of a psychiatric disorder”, he is interesting in using only the first portion of that definition with regard to religion, as he does not see a psychiatric context to his use of the word. He further explains his theories about religion being a by-product of something that is or was useful in Chapter 5 (in particular on pages 172 – 174), and not as a “mental disorder”.

While I have read Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation, I have not yet read The End of Faith, nor Ellis, but I’m willing to guess that study-supported citations that religion is a mental disorder would be just as hard to find in their works for two reasons: First, you have already established yourself as a knowing liar who deliberately distorts the words of others, both on this thread, and those of public figures. Second, if there were peer-reviewed studies establishing religion to be a mental disorder, we would’ve heard about this in the media, as well as reactions from the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and outraged theists. I mentioned this is an earlier post, and your response? Nothing. You chickened out of responding to it, because you knew you couldn’t refute it. But feel free to prove me wrong by citing just some of those citations.

Sure it took you a month to read it. First you had to read it, and then you had to fabricate content from it that didn’t exist.

Darth Josh: (neither here nor there, sorry I ramble)
Luigi Novi: No shit?

And yet, you criticize me for a brief off-topic aside, even though it was somewhat relevant to the issue of religion vs. secularism, and possibly of interest to some others here.

What a shocker.

Darth Josh: It just blows my mind that in the same breath you ask for peer-reviewed studies and discount appeal to authority. Isn't asking for peer-review asking for an authority?

Luigi Novi: No. And if you knew squat about what peer review really is, you’d know better than to make such a stupid statement. I’ve heard this from creationists, but it’s the first time I’ve heard it from an atheist. Peer Review examines EVIDENCE in an atmosphere independent of the person who submitted, to see if it can be objectively corroborated. It has nothing to do with authority, as it is carried out precisely for the opposite reason.

Darth Josh: You ask for documentation and then disregard published incidents such as Mr. Beast-Hand as anecdotal indicative of mental illness…
Luigi Novi: No I did not. Those are your words, not mine. I pointed out that the moron who cut his hand off does not constitute documentation that theism is a mental disorder, because it only documents a given behavior, but does not present evidence that it was the result of a mental disorder. I ask you one more time: Where is your documentation, not of the behavior, but that it is caused by mental illness? You not only again confuse behavior with cause, but you deliberately ignore this distinction, without refuting it, even though I mentioned it more than one in my prior posts (shocking, really), and try attach to it a completely unrelated comment about anecdotes that I never made in relation to it. My comment about how anecdotes do not constitute scientific evidence was made in response to your comment “and a site full of first-hand experiences supporting the claim.”, which had nothing to do with Mr. Beast-Hand. By bringing up the passage about “anecdotes”, you are conflating two unrelated passages in this thread. Again, nice try.

Darth Josh: Yet I ask, What caused him to think it was 'the beast'?
Luigi Novi: I already answered that question in my 1.15.08, 11:21pm post. Try reading it.

Darth Josh: Are biological causes the only ones for mental illness then? People can't be driven crazy?
Luigi Novi: And when you are driven crazy, is that not a description of your neurological processes? What is a description of behavior if not a reference to what is going on in your brain?

Darth Josh: As far as being 'done' with fallacies, how about a tu quoque?

Luigi Novi: Theism is not a mental disorder. It is something that is derived by how we're hardwired. Human beings are pattern-seeking individuals, and as such, we sometimes, when searching for a pattern, have a hit ("Those are MOONS circuling Jupiter!" ), and sometimes have a miss ("This phenomena was caused by a GOD!" ). That's just in our nature. A person who holds a religious belief is not mentally ill…The yokel who cut his hand off may very well be mentally ill, but that act is not necessarily derived from religion, or even necessarily expedited by it; It is just as well possible that he would've done that had he been an atheist.

Darth Josh: That's a lot of assertions there.

Luigi Novi: Yeah, and? Can you refute any of them? How do these constitute “logical fallacies”? Do you even know what that phrase means?

Luigi Novi: and this is why religion's power is so disturbing: It is disturbing precisely because it can get people who are not mentally ill to do things that would otherwise seem to be the domain of the mentally ill.

Darth Josh: huh? not mentally ill doing mentally ill things?

Luigi Novi: No. That’s not what the passage says. That’s just your distortion of it.

Luigi Novi: That religion provides a prism for illogical behavior that secular ideas cannot is a valid criticism of it. But one is traipsing onto the realm of pseudoscience when one argues, without citing peer-reviewed scientific evidence, that it can objectively be labeled a sign of mental illness.

Darth Josh: A paper outlining the claim conducting a study on 2/3 of the world's population. Hmmm.

Luigi Novi: Again, your words. Not mine. I said nothing about a study on 2/3 of the world’s population. Keep distorting people’s words, Josh. It makes exposing you as a brazen liar that much more easy.

Luigi Novi: that it can objectively be labeled a sign of mental illness. Doing this is little different than when homophobes refer to homosexuals as mentally ill, or when anti-atheist theists claim that atheists are immoral.

Darth Josh: Except those focus on people and we're discussing the beliefs.

Luigi Novi: And people. When we talk about “mental disorders” and those who are “crazy”, we’re talking about people. Nice try.

Darth Josh: What was the point of linking it then?
Luigi Novi: If you read the passage, you’d know that. Stop playing dumb.

Darth Josh: Off-topic.
Luigi Novi: So what? I thought the item might be of interest to others here. If you don’t like it, then don’t read it. Why is it okay for you to ramble, but if I bring up something that is at least pertinent to religion, you balk?

Again, if these posts of yours represented your efforts to claim a legitimate seat at the debating table, Josh, trust me:

YOU ARE DONE.

You have exposed yourself as a knowing and blatant liar who attributes words to others that they did not utter and fabricates definitions of words and phrases that do not exist, a uncivil bigot towards those who disagree with you, and hypocrite who criticizes others for that which he himself does. I’ve seen your kind countless times on the Net, and like the others, I’ve refuted your fallacies and lies. If you want to continue to post here, hope that there are those more gullible and less observant than I who might be fooled by your argumentative snake oil.

I’m done wasting my time with you.

Brian Sapient: I feel as if one needs to ask for evidence that theism is a mental disorder, than they most likely don't fully understand what theism or a mental disorder is. The question I would like to ask is how is theism NOT a mental disorder, to me... THAT IS the extraordinary claim. Beliefs in invisible men in the sky? A delusional irrational belief that is no less a mental disorder than anything in the DSM.
Luigi Novi: I know what theism is, and I know what a mental disorder is, Brian. But perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I’d like to know what your definition of mental disorder is, because you are using a definition of other than the one used technically. You seem to be using it in the rhetorical sense, as when someone insults another person by saying, “You have a mental disorder”. It’s one thing to use it in the loose, common sense. But the connotation I seem to be getting from Kelly’s essay—and correct me if I’m wrong here—is in the technical sense. That is the new claim that is not a part of the mainstream consensus of mental health experts, and it is for this reason that it is the extraordinary claim, not the notion that it is not.

As for Stephen Uhl, it was an interesting if brief conversation, Brian (or a clip of one), but I didn't hear anything that went to establishing that theism is a mental disorder. I heard Dr. Uhl assert that when you believe in something that doesn't make sense, that it's a mental disorder, but again, this sounded like the same "loose" use of the term. People, even atheists, say and do and believe things all the time that do not make sense. That's simply because it does not follow that mental health translates into intelligence, common sense, reason and logic. Look at Darth Josh's conduct on these boards for one example. His arguments and his responses are largely incoherent. In short, they make no sense. Does that mean he has a mental disorder? No. It just means he's human, and with respect to his poor debating skills, is intellectually dishonest, and cannot form coherent logic. The former is an aspect of character, and the latter, ability. Not mental health. In any event, I question that with respect to religion, Dr. Uhl's statements represent the consensus among mental health experts.

Sapient wrote: I feel as

Sapient wrote:

I feel as if one needs to ask for evidence that theism is a mental disorder, than they most likely don't fully understand what theism or a mental disorder is. The question I would like to ask is how is theism NOT a mental disorder, to me... THAT IS the extraordinary claim. Beliefs in invisible men in the sky? A delusional irrational belief that is no less a mental disorder than anything in the DSM.

 

Ex-Priest Dr. Stephen Uhl breaks it down in simple form, which is all that is needed for an open mind to grab this and run with it

 

Sapient, normally I agree with you, Kelly and the rest of RSS, but in this regard I feel you guys are way off base at best, and being bigots and hypocrites at worst. I will explain why. You should know that respected scientists in the fields of biology believe that superstition, religion, and other seemingly irrational things were/are part of some survival mechanism. I would like to say that old habits die hard, and it's only been in the last 100 years that one can truly rationalize that gods do not exist. As you know society raises children to be religious, and I wish that would change, but children show us how greatly superstitious humans can be from birth. Some of us grow out of it, some deeply believe in a god and a savior.

 

You say that those with an open mind would accept what you were saying, and what that man said in that video as fact. However, taking anything at face value without deeper thought is what closed minded people do. Believing in a deity is no more a sign of a mental disorder than believing in big foot, or ghosts, or UFO's. I would like to say that if any theism is a mental disorder, then so is love. Love often (probably more often in our part of the world) causes people to act irrationally, and can lead to violence, obsession, depression, murder, suicide, and all sorts of bad things. I don't believe it's a mental order to simply be in love though. I believe when you take things to that level, though, you are suffering a mental disorder. Extremist theists obviously have a mental disorder. However, assuming anyone that believes in a god of any sort is less human, or not as good as atheists is bigoted. 

 

 

Sapient's picture

I don't have the time to

I don't have the time to spend in this thread repeating what we've covered dozens of times.  Just some quick points...

Darth: I've met Luigi in person, he's been somewhat helpful to us in the past and best I can tell he's an atheist.  (I know you're having doubts)

 Luigi: you've disrespected one of the most respected and loved members of our community.  You've called him a liar, and worse, I am too busy to even look back and pull a quote.  Your method is ironically embracing some of the facets which you are claiming to oppose and were it to be another user saying these things they'd likely be booted for suspected theistic trolling.  I've given you a nod above as you can see, had I not, typically users that choose to defame the character of our most respected members of the community have been warned, put on time out, or banned.  Should a ban ocurr, write me and I'll unban you.  With that said please consider tempering yourself.

 Pineapple: Kelly is working on compiling some studies that she's found in the last year, most are buried in bookmarks.  You've been here long enough to read dozens of arguments for the disorder known as theism, but we understand the societal reinforces that have got you stuck on deism, don't be scared to embrace reality Cpt Pineapple... let your delusional belief go.

 To all of you: We're not f'ing around here.  Theism is a mental disorder that simply isn't listed in the DSM, hopefully someday it will be, so that the people afflicted can get professional treatment.  The more we hear atheists (and people we don't know the beliefs of as they tend to not say) the stronger we'll come at it.  You're building a beast, good luck with that one.

  Oh and to those claiming that we're bigots or hating on theists by suggesting they should be able to get psychological help for their delusions with a health insurance card (after it's listed in the dsm), kindly sit on this and swivel.  It's highly ironic that some cry about our "rhetoric" as they appeal to emotion and dishonestly assert (and defame our character) that our motivation is bigotry.  

 We speak up because we love them, if we were bigots towards theists I'd be playing golf tomorrow after leaving the $60,000 a year job I used to have (which pays $78,000 more per year than this job).  I've given my life to helping theists any way I can to overcome their delusions... what are you doing tomorrow?  Working at a real job? 

 Hate the "ism", not the "ist."

If I'm a bigot... ALL of you are bigots.  Do you tolerate the belief that 2+2=9, or do you correct it when you hear it?  If you don't take the time to correct it, allow me to ask why you are so selfish and disrespectful to your fellow man?


 

 

 

- Brian Sapient


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Hambydammit's picture

I have a hard time with the

I have a hard time with the theism/DSM question because it's been so long since I studied psychology, and frankly, some of the more technical stuff runs together a bit in my brain these days.  To be pedantic, I think theism might be a symptom of a misfiring evolutionary adaptation -- not exactly a mental disorder -- more like a syndrome than a disease or disorder. 

You know, we say that people with PTSD have a mental disorder, but what they really have is a brain that (very appropriately) rebelled against something that instinctively, or evolutionarily, caused intense cognitive dissonance.  In other words, being ordered to garrote a little kid who hasn't done shit to you can fuck up your brain.  It's not that the brain has anything wrong.  What the body was made to do was fucked up. 

In the same way, I suspect that theism is a rather normal reaction to the brain being asked to do something it can't -- believe the unbelievable.  With enough coersion, the brain does the best it can, but it's like when Firefox gets an extension that wasn't fucking written properly.  No matter how many times you reboot, it keeps fucking up...

So, in the end, I am not sure that theism is like schizophrenia... it's not something that happens chemically or electrically as a result of an inherent flaw in the brain.  People with great brains have been theists.   

I guess my position is this:  I don't know if we can rightly call theism a mental disorder of the same class as schizophrenia.  It's not a disease.  It's an environmentally induced break from reality, much like PTSD.

Of course, I believe PTSD made it into the last DSM, so um...

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Books about atheism

darth_josh's picture

I just don't want people to

I just don't want people to assert that "We are done."

I'll never understand that kind of thinking. Nothing is done. For fuck's sake, we still test laws that are 'given' in every field of science.

Moreso than any 'peer-reviewed' crap, I've always prized discourse.

As far as why it took me a month to read 'The god delusion', Dawkins offered more sources than himself to trace the 'mind virus' of theism. I will not catch up on the reading list offered in that book within the next decade.

Summed up. Dawkins rather well reasoned argument that religion was an ubiquitous meme that at some time gave an evolutionary advantage, but now was an hindrance, is about as close to 'biological' as any of us should be willing to take the metaphor in my opinion.

In fact, 'biological' really has no need to enter the conversation when discussing psychology for the most part because if theism were biological then how would one EVER become an atheist if we were biologically/genetically predisposed to theism. 

I just wonder if the 'mind virus' as a metaphor was wasted on people given to wholly imperical evaluation that psychology cannot provide.

Certainly in that respect, 'mind disorder' is consensually a better term. lol.

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totus_tuus's picture

Well, hey there JC!  I

Well, hey there JC!  I trust you've been well.

jcgadfly wrote:
They're making it too hard - they're trying to solve the pedophilia problem among some of their priests when it all comes down to their breaking the vows they took. After all the vow of celibacy (a foolish one in my view) doesn't say " you can have sex with human kids and animals but not with adult humans" it says "No sex".

Before I respond in full to your post, I just want to confirm my interptretation.  Is it your contention that the sex scandal is a result of celibacy?

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II

EXC's picture

How did you get the dogs to

How did you get the dogs to do that? By promising them sex with 72 bitches?

nen's picture

Ok, here's another go. I'm

Ok, here's another go. I'm going to use my good friend Jimmy Jimbob Jemiah to illustrate my points.

Jimmy is a theist, he has been since he has been old enough to hold such beliefs. He's grown up in a relatively insular community, where anyone who professes atheism is driven out. Because of this, he has never encountered ideas such as atheism. Additionally, he has never learned how to think rationally, spot fallacies or debate.

Jimmy has two beliefs (amongst many others) which he takes purely on his Ma's word:

"My Pa is a fighter pilot."

"God exists."

His justification for this is, subconsciously, that his Ma has always been right on other things. ("Don't you play with that beehive, Jimmy Jimbob! Ya'll just get stinged!&quotEye-wink Now, to us this is an Appeal to Authority, but as I said, he's never learned to think rationally. (Rational thinking, I assume we can agree, is something that generally has to be learned?)

To him, these beliefs are equivalent. Neither is more of an extraordinary claim than the other from his POV, because he's never seen a fighter plane before, nor his Pa. And he's never seen God or watched him perform miracles. He takes them on truth purely because of what his Ma says.

We know, with our rational minds, that these beliefs are fundamentally different - the profession of his Pa is provable, but the existence of God is not. To us, as well, one seems like less of a leap of logic than the other. However, Jimmy, as the backwater hick that he is, does not think like this. Irrationally, to him, they are equal.

His Ma also shares these two beliefs. However, her belief that Jimmy's Pa is a fighter pilot is justified - she has seen him getting into a fighter plane and taking off.

So, "my Pa is a figher pilot" is true, and to believe it would not suggest a mental disorder. The difference between Jimmy and his Ma is *why* they believe it, but the belief in of itself is not a mental disorder. Then, Jimmy holds two beliefs for exactly the same reason, and yet I imagine you would classify one belief as a mental disorder and not the other.

Some might argue that it is because of the reasoning he used to arrive at his beliefs that it could be considered a mental disorder. But then, wouldn't you call the reasoning, and not the belief, a mental disorder? Indeed, I believe this is how delusional disorders are classified - the belief itself is not evaluated, but the lack of reasoning in coming to that belief. So, if we're being completely pedantic, you mean that "theism is a sign of a mental disorder". This is the same distinction as saying "my cough is a cold" rather than "my cough is a symptom of a cold."

But, let's go back to Jimmy again. He certainly has his problems - he's unnaturally attracted to his sister, and generations of inbreeding have spawned a whole litany of other mental disorders. But does the irrational reasoning that leads him to believe in God constitute a mental disorder?

Well, we know that irrational thinking is not a disorder. "What about delusions?" You might ask. Well, delusions are false beliefs that are considered resistant to reason or confrontation with fact (dictionary.com), and Jimmy's belief in God has never been tested this way.

I might not be looking at all the angles here, so can anyone else suggest how to see *irrational thought without contradicting evidence* as a mental disorder?

 

 

And one last thing:

Quote:

In fact, 'biological' really has no need to enter the conversation when discussing psychology for the most part because if theism were biological then how would one EVER become an atheist if we were biologically/genetically predisposed to theism.

Ho ho.

In fact, 'biological' really has no need to enter the conversation when discussing psychology for the most part because if sex were biological then how would one EVER become celibate if we were biologically/genetically predisposed to having sex.

In fact, 'biological' really has no need to enter the conversation when discussing psychology for the most part because if eating food was biological then how would one EVER fast if we were biologically/genetically predisposed to eating food.

In fact, 'biological' really has no need to enter the conversation when discussing psychology for the most part because if sleep were biological then how would one EVER become an insomniac if we were biologically/genetically predisposed to sleep.

Sorry, but this point was too bluntly fallacious to let it slide!

Hambydammit's picture

nen, Believing that your Pa

nen,

Believing that your Pa is a fighter pilot is different than believing a god exists on a few levels, but hang with me for a bit while I explain it, ok?

When Jimmy looks up into the sky, he can see contrails from planes. One time, he went to the state fair and saw a real honest to goodness plane flying over the cornfields, and saw a man wave from inside it. Jimmy's mom said, "See Jimmy, that's a plane, and that man in there is flying the plane. He's the pilot. That's the same thing your daddy does."

I suppose we can invent a scenario where Jimmy has never seen a picture of a plane, or watched TV, or gone to the state fair, and this fringe is where we can begin to understand exactly how theism works on the brain.

Our brain has a few things hardwired. Not very many, categorically. We have an innate and virtually unshakable belief that what we perceive is real. We believe that other people are like us. We have an evolutionarily developed moral framework. (See the Trolley Experiments). In most situations, as long as our innate beliefs remain consistent, things go pretty well for us.

Some things cause intense cognitive dissonance which can lead to mental distress, and in worse cases, mental instability. Our brain is not entirely unlike a computer in that sense. There are some programs that simply won't run in the operating system. Something has to conform -- either the OS, or the program must change.

Ok. Another analogy. The brain is also not unlike our immune system. Some people have more resistance to mental instability, and others are quite prone to it. We all have met people that you have to be very careful with, and others who were unflappable. The same applies to how we deal with cognitive dissonance.

Last analogy: Consider an isolated population, all of whom have an infection that is dormant. Maybe they all have exactly the same strand of HPV, and they've all been interbreeding for so long that the virus is dormant, and they're all simply carriers. (Not too unreasonable a situation, if you've ever been to some of the smallest towns in Mississippi, for instance) These people all have a disease, but it doesn't affect them as long as they remain in isolation.

OK. Now, back to Jimmy. As long as Jimmy stays in Bumfuck, Deepsouth, he's probably going to be ok. Just like the HPV carriers, he's going to keep interacting with others who all believe in God, and none of them are going to notice. However -- and this is a very, very important point -- they're going to be very likely to do some very irrational and contradictory things. For instance, they might pray for Little Suzy when she falls over from an aneurism. Taking her immediately to the doctor over in Mount Vernon might be a better course of action, but they're going to pray anyway.

Now, why is Jimmy's belief in God different than belief that his Pa is a fighter pilot? Both are founded on currently reasonable beliefs, right? Everybody says god exists, and everybody agrees that Jimmy's dad is a pilot. If Jimmy's dad is a pilot, and he leaves Bumfuck for the big city, the people at the hotel with them fancy new fangled computer gizmos can do a SSN search on Jimmy's dad and verify that he's a pilot, and everybody will be ok.

When Jimmy begins interacting with other people who aren't part of his little version of religion, he's going to run into potentially severe problems. Since childhood, he's been assured that religion is correct, and his brain has pretty much locked into this notion:

If it agrees with god, it's true. If it doesn't, it's false. Period.

When he starts to realize that a great many things don't agree with the god of Bumfuck, Deepsouth, one of two things is going to happen. Either he's going to prove resistant to the cognitive dissonance, and he'll change his mind, or he's going to succumb to the disorder and dogmatically hold to his beliefs, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

If he succumbs, then the disorder, disease, syndrome... whatever... has beaten his "immune system."

You see, just like dormant diseases, theism exists, whether the signs are evident or not. Theism requires us to do something that is fundamentally opposed to our nature -- believe something that is obviously not true. If we are never exposed to the evidence to that effect, it doesn't change the fact that we have already been indoctrinated (infected) with the notion that faith trumps reason (virus), and should we encounter the evidence (antidote), we may already be too infected for it to work.

The plane question is different, then. If Jimmy sees evidence -- for instance if he follows his dad to work and finds out that he's actually a janitor, everything is working perfectly. When he sees the evidence, his brain functions properly, and he recognizes reality. Because of the virus of faith, it is unlikely he will abandon theism after learning that the bible is false and that its god is logically impossible.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

nen's picture

Hambydammit, Quote:When

Hambydammit,

Quote:
When Jimmy looks up into the sky, he can see contrails from planes. One time, he went to the state fair and saw a real honest to goodness plane flying over the cornfields, and saw a man wave from inside it. Jimmy's mom said, "See Jimmy, that's a plane, and that man in there is flying the plane. He's the pilot. That's the same thing your daddy does."

I suppose we can invent a scenario where Jimmy has never seen a picture of a plane, or watched TV, or gone to the state fair, and this fringe is where we can begin to understand exactly how theism works on the brain.

Actually, arguing purely for the sake of the story, you don't have to go that far. "See Jimmy, that's an eclipse. That's God covering up the sun to show us his powers." Without a voice of reason around, some things can appear to be pretty convincing evidence. Ma could, by the same token, point up at the plane and instead say "that's one of God's angels", and Jimmy would have no point of reference to call her out on it.

Anyway, I get the general point of your argument, I think. Belief in God is different because it is resistant to reason.

However, this is making the assumption that Jimmy's belief *will* be resistant to reason. Maybe when confronted with reason Jimmy does not react as you might expect, and after enough persuasion becomes an atheist. Until that point, he was certainly a theist. But, he did not have the faith to hold to his beliefs. So what's wrong with that?

Maybe "faith is a mental disorder" would be a more appropriate phrase? (Not that I agree with that statement either.) After all, the definition of theism makes no reference to whether the belief in God is a reasonable one or not given the situation. For some people, it is entirely possible that they stay theists only as long as it seems reasonable.

A few of your other arguments:

Quote:
OK. Now, back to Jimmy. As long as Jimmy stays in Bumfuck, Deepsouth, he's probably going to be ok. Just like the HPV carriers, he's going to keep interacting with others who all believe in God, and none of them are going to notice. However -- and this is a very, very important point -- they're going to be very likely to do some very irrational and contradictory things. For instance, they might pray for Little Suzy when she falls over from an aneurism. Taking her immediately to the doctor over in Mount Vernon might be a better course of action, but they're going to pray anyway.

I don't see how this is an example of contradictory, even if it is irrational. Anyway, I thought it was generally established that acting irrationally by itself does not suggest a mental illness? There are other reasons we might do stupid things, which aren't classified as mental disorders.

Quote:

Last analogy: Consider an isolated population, all of whom have an infection that is dormant. Maybe they all have exactly the same strand of HPV, and they've all been interbreeding for so long that the virus is dormant, and they're all simply carriers. (Not too unreasonable a situation, if you've ever been to some of the smallest towns in Mississippi, for instance) These people all have a disease, but it doesn't affect them as long as they remain in isolation.

I'm not sure it's entirely sound to draw parallels between biological viruses and mental disorders. In any case, I can't work out how this analogy is relevant. Jimmy's story was not to show that he isn't affected by his beliefs, but that they are reasonable beliefs in the context.

Quote:
Because of the virus of faith, it is unlikely he will abandon theism after learning that the bible is false and that its god is logically impossible.

Ok, so I agree with this one (though we could debate on whether faith - as opposed to religion - could be considered viral). Why am I arguing then? Because I'm a pedant. Faith != belief -> faith in God != theism. The theists who become atheists through argumentation show that faith is not necessary to be a theist - either faith or ignorance.

It's all semantics in the end.

darth_josh's picture

nen wrote: Ho ho. In

nen wrote:

Ho ho.

In fact, 'biological' really has no need to enter the conversation when discussing psychology for the most part because if sex were biological then how would one EVER become celibate if we were biologically/genetically predisposed to having sex.

In fact, 'biological' really has no need to enter the conversation when discussing psychology for the most part because if eating food was biological then how would one EVER fast if we were biologically/genetically predisposed to eating food.

In fact, 'biological' really has no need to enter the conversation when discussing psychology for the most part because if sleep were biological then how would one EVER become an insomniac if we were biologically/genetically predisposed to sleep.

Sorry, but this point was too bluntly fallacious to let it slide!

OK. So let me put a question mark on it.

Where does 'biological' enter the conversation when discussing a psychological/mental disorder other than by means of trauma to the brain? 

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists.

Cpt_pineapple's picture

darth_josh wrote: nen

darth_josh wrote:
nen wrote:

Ho ho.

In fact, 'biological' really has no need to enter the conversation when discussing psychology for the most part because if sex were biological then how would one EVER become celibate if we were biologically/genetically predisposed to having sex.

In fact, 'biological' really has no need to enter the conversation when discussing psychology for the most part because if eating food was biological then how would one EVER fast if we were biologically/genetically predisposed to eating food.

In fact, 'biological' really has no need to enter the conversation when discussing psychology for the most part because if sleep were biological then how would one EVER become an insomniac if we were biologically/genetically predisposed to sleep.

Sorry, but this point was too bluntly fallacious to let it slide!

OK. So let me put a question mark on it.

Where does 'biological' enter the conversation when discussing a psychological/mental disorder other than by means of trauma to the brain?

 

If mental disorders aren't biological, then why do they prescribe medication to treat them? 

darth_josh's picture

Ok. We're going to narrow

Ok. We're going to narrow this down eventually.

this source wrote:
Suggesting the use of medication for use in this disorder, while possibly indicated to help temporarily relieve the delusions, is usually difficult. The client may be suspicious of any professional suggesting the use of a medication and therefore this treatment approach (and successful maintenance of the individual on the medication) is problematic.

Anti-psychotic medication is the preferred medication used, though, although it is only marginally effective. There are few studies done which confirm the use of any specific medications for this disorder.

Hospitalization should be avoided at all costs, since this will usually go to reinforce the individual's distorted cognitive schema. Partial hospitalization and/or day treatment programs are preferred to help manage the individual under close supervision on a daily basis.

 

 

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teddy5k's picture

LUIGI!!!!  you are awesome.

LUIGI!!!!  you are awesome. well said rational, logical points. couldnt have said anything youve said any better. i wish there were more people like you on this site. this site seems to be various types of atheists all in a pissing contest. arrogant atheists doing no good at all. just trying to puke all over everybody. there are a few random humble, logical, rational atheists.  DARTH is a waste of time. he is very similar to an extreme christian to me. he is probably the type that would follow the irrational orders of an atheist cult leader. haha

"It is far better to grasp the world as it really is, than to persist in delusion however satisfying and reassuring".

teddy5k's picture

feel free to delete me. this

feel free to delete me. this site is a waste of time. how can RRS really think they are going to get anywhere positive calling theism a mental disorder? great, you can get national attention and you get everybody to start commenting. thats awesome. i dont see anything positive for the atheist community in doing so. when the common person(religious or on the fence) thinks of an atheist, they think only of the negative irrational atheist like RRS and most on here. just like RRS thinks of the common theist. its two sides creating this war. its a war of extremes fought over the internet. i rarely hear of people of influence(like RRS) asking their members to actually do something beneficial in their community to help our country. and i was born an atheist and have always been an atheist. i am humble and peaceful and share my knowledge of truth to as many believers as i can, in a rational, polite, logical manner. sure wish more would do the same, rather than creating irrational ideas and philosophies to benefit your cause. sounds pretty similar to religion to me. there are so many smart people on this site that have done so many things similar to what religion is doing and has done. thats really too bad. you are going to end up serving a cause that gets you nowhere. just like the theists.   goodbye.  

"It is far better to grasp the world as it really is, than to persist in delusion however satisfying and reassuring".

totus_tuus wrote:

totus_tuus wrote:

Well, hey there JC! I trust you've been well.

jcgadfly wrote:
They're making it too hard - they're trying to solve the pedophilia problem among some of their priests when it all comes down to their breaking the vows they took. After all the vow of celibacy (a foolish one in my view) doesn't say " you can have sex with human kids and animals but not with adult humans" it says "No sex".

Before I respond in full to your post, I just want to confirm my interptretation. Is it your contention that the sex scandal is a result of celibacy?

My contention is that those priests who had taken vows of celibacy had broken them by buggering children and should be defrocked and removed from the priesthood.

If there are orders that don't require celibacy, I've not run into them.

So yes, I think celibacy is a partial cause (repressing natural human sexuality). I also think all religions need to check out their prospective workers a LOT better instead of thinking "They're christians so they must be all right". I had to take a pee test and have a criminal records check to be a janitor for 4 months. Prospective clergy should have at least that much. Religion should not be a shield for criminals.

Just for the record, I'm not sure having sex with children is "natural human sexuality". I think that's more of a power/control trip than sexual desire. 

"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

darth_josh's picture

teddy5k wrote: LUIGI!!!!

teddy5k wrote:
LUIGI!!!! you are awesome. well said rational, logical points. couldnt have said anything youve said any better. i wish there were more people like you on this site. this site seems to be various types of atheists all in a pissing contest. arrogant atheists doing no good at all. just trying to puke all over everybody. there are a few random humble, logical, rational atheists. DARTH is a waste of time. he is very similar to an extreme christian to me. he is probably the type that would follow the irrational orders of an atheist cult leader. haha

Project much?

I don't want you to leave. I'd rather you read much more of the site. If you can't stand me then read around me. Duh. 

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists.

darth_josh's picture

teddy5k wrote: feel free to

teddy5k wrote:
feel free to delete me. this site is a waste of time. how can RRS really think they are going to get anywhere positive calling theism a mental disorder? great, you can get national attention and you get everybody to start commenting. thats awesome. i dont see anything positive for the atheist community in doing so. when the common person(religious or on the fence) thinks of an atheist, they think only of the negative irrational atheist like RRS and most on here. just like RRS thinks of the common theist. its two sides creating this war. its a war of extremes fought over the internet. i rarely hear of people of influence(like RRS) asking their members to actually do something beneficial in their community to help our country. and i was born an atheist and have always been an atheist. i am humble and peaceful and share my knowledge of truth to as many believers as i can, in a rational, polite, logical manner. sure wish more would do the same, rather than creating irrational ideas and philosophies to benefit your cause. sounds pretty similar to religion to me. there are so many smart people on this site that have done so many things similar to what religion is doing and has done. thats really too bad. you are going to end up serving a cause that gets you nowhere. just like the theists. goodbye.

Are you confusing your own opinion with real, objective results?

Did I forget to mention that delusional behavior could also be working under the precept that 'your way is the only way'?

Here you go. Maybe these people will be more to your liking?

Your buddies

After all, they're supposed to be nicer right?

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists.

Cpt_pineapple's picture

darth_josh wrote:   Are

darth_josh wrote:

 

Are you confusing your own opinion with real, objective results?

Did I forget to mention that delusional behavior could also be working under the precept that 'your way is the only way'?

 

 

Said the pot to the kettle.

 

Joan of Arc, for example, could have had a range of neurological disorders, that could well support that it's at least partially biological. 

 

Source 

 

 

 


My brain's bigger than your brain....

I'm fascinated by this all-too-common trend towards "one upmanship"

I'm a "better" or "true" atheist because...

It sounds very much like “My religion is the correct one because…”

This is a typical human response unfortunately, no matter what the topic.

The Reason? Mostly it has to do with us not being able to escape our own minds. Our opinion IS the correct one because it’s ours and part of who we are. To lose that, is to risk our own identity, which is all we ever are. Fervent belivers of any stripe are fervent out of self-defense. “The best defense is a good offense” policy applies here as well (“I'm smarter than you, look how I can use Ad hominem in a sentence. You lose, puny feeblemind!”).

The REAL threat we face isn’t religion, it’s laziness. It is an incredible amount of work to constantly question and seek truth and revaluate and rework every experience, discussion and perception. The religious follow what their told because it’s a nice easy path to feeling good and they can go on their merry way and worry about other things, like a new car and a handjob from their secretary. Nice black and white pictures of the world. They certainly don’t suffer from analysis paralysis at any rate.

It would be nice and superior for the rest of us to think that they are the deluded fools, but how often do we, the ”rational” ones, question what a friend tells us, or the news, or a website? How often do we challenge our own perceptions (Maybe that guy is driving like a maniac because his child is having an asthma attack in the back seat?) We tend to belive what others tell us because we are programmed to and we tend to disregard strangers as something less worthy and even dangerous. This is how we survived as a species. We belive those that we are more familiar with and disbelieve those we are not. The other tribe meant us harm after all.

I think the meat of Kelly's post is mostly meant as a means to draw a parallel between what can be considered "remarkable faith and conviction" and downright “lunacy” (which comes from the irrational belief that the full moon affected behaviour) and how, depending on the frame of reference, one is often mistaken for the other. Everything else is just seasoning. To complain about the seasoning is one thing, but to say the meat is rotten is quite another.

On that note, I think it's safe to say that humanity on the whole, is a pretty messed up bunch. Whether someone is convinced that Dan Rather is sending them messages ("Kenneth, what is the frequency?&quotEye-wink, or an otherworldly being ("the lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush&quotEye-wink, the human psyche is a fragile and fallacious thing, with or without religion. Our only weapon against it is rational thought AND discourse which seems to be missing a great deal in us “rational” mammals. Not just here, but everywhere and on every topic.

Whatever the reason; chemical imbalance, religious programming or too much FoxNews, we need to assist our fellow mamals in their time of intellectual crisis and hope that they will return the favour in ours. Above all else, ladies and gentlemen we need compassion for our fellow hominids. Sorry for the soap-boxing.

a_theist's picture

Going down to South Park

And let's not forget the Gelgamek Catholics who must molest young boys because the female Gelgamek's vagina is three feet wide with razor sharp teeth. How do you expect them to have sex with that?

 

Also, athesits who ingest food through their rectum crap out of their mouth. I think there is something to be said about that.

 

Quote:
People are losing faith because they don't see how what you've turned the religion into applies to them. The've lost touch with any idea of any kind of religion; and when they have no mythology to try and live their lives by, they just start spewing a bunch of crap out of their mouths.

Priest Maxi

 

You gotta love South Park.

There is a self-satisfied dogmatism with which mankind at each period of its history cherishes the delusion of the finality of existing modes of knowledge.
-Alfred North Whitehead

totus_tuus's picture

jcgadfly wrote: My

jcgadfly wrote:
My contention is that those priests who had taken vows of celibacy had broken them by buggering children and should be defrocked and removed from the priesthood.

Quote:
I agree completely.So yes, I think celibacy is a partial cause (repressing natural human sexuality). I also think all religions need to check out their prospective workers a LOT better instead of thinking "They're christians so they must be all right". I had to take a pee test and have a criminal records check to be a janitor for 4 months. Prospective clergy should have at least that much. Religion should not be a shield for criminals.

We're mostly in agreement here as well, the exception being the cause of the scandal.  This is not an issue of celibacy, but a homosexual phenomena.  The statistics indicate that 85-95% of all victims of priestly sexual  abuse are male.  Celibacy doesn't play into this so much.  After all, I've been celibate for over two years, in daily contact with five young men who I've never "buggered'".

Quote:
Just for the record, I'm not sure having sex with children is "natural human sexuality". I think that's more of a power/control trip than sexual desire.

Amen, brother.

 

 

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II

totus_tuus wrote: We're

totus_tuus wrote:


We're mostly in agreement here as well, the exception being the cause of the scandal. This is not an issue of celibacy, but a homosexual phenomena. The statistics indicate that 85-95% of all victims of priestly sexual abuse are male. Celibacy doesn't play into this so much. After all, I've been celibate for over two years, in daily contact with five young men who I've never "buggered'".


TT,

First off, I wasn't implying anything about you (but I think you know this).

Next, you mean the vow of celibacy only covers sex with women? Isn't that just another sign that the church needs to redefine some terms?
I thought celibacy meant "no sex at all" not just "no sex with human females".

"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

babblero's picture

A couple things to consider


A couple things to consider here. Priests don't abuse boys simply because they are homosexual nor simply because they supress their sexual desire through celibacy.

They do it because they are mentally ill.

Questions:

Do more priests per capita abuse boys than do males per capita in the general population? and do more priests abuse boys than school system males?

 Is it true that priests more often abuse boys than girls?

Whom do Nuns abuse more? Boys or girls?

I have heard a lot of conjecture as to why priests seem to abuse children and boys in particular.

 One is Freudian. By suppressing a healthy outlet for their sexual desires they build a complex of obsessions. (They may even have a personality split due to this.)

 Since we know all professed celibate people do not abuse children can we ask; What is the rate of child abuse in the professed celibate male population? (I think data for this may be hard to come by).

 Another idea is to compare different religions and different geographical locations to find rates of child and specifically male child abuse by clerics.

If indeed Catholicism shows a markedly higher rate of abuse across all geographical/cultural regions then we could indeed point directly to the religion itself. It could be a psychological disposition setup by the set of beliefs particularly in that religion or that sect of the religion.

If We find that rates are higher for all USA Christian denominations then we have to look for some kind of mixed cultural/religious effect on psychological disposition.

I would suspect(conjecture) that our heavy sexualized media and marketing coupled with a suppression of natural sexual behavior could result in obsessive psychological dispositions that eventually find outlets in abuse.

Being that the Christian and indeed all Judaic religions are excessively paternal and patriarchal and include doctrines of salvation by the sacrifice of an innocent male... well I think there are some issues built in to that that may have some effect as well.

Further, do Christian or Catholic priests commit more abuse than any Christian or Catholic male population for a given culture/region?

I'm sure Desade would have us think so among other sources.

It has been a common societal telling that priests tend toward fetish and 'deviant' acts.

Still we can't judge all people by one, nor a religious body by only a subset of its adherents. An accurate statistical relationship needs to be defined before a cause or causes can be found.

 If it is found that Christian priests have a higher record of male child abuse than any other set of the population then perhaps we can begin to point the finger honestly at the religion itself as a progenitor to monsters.

To insinuate that homosexuality causes child abuse is a far wilder conjecture. Do we find that more child abusers are homosexual across the entire population?

So many questions,  and still children are suffering.
 But surely a rationalist will provide scientific evidence to back up their claims and not rely on anecdotal evidence before pointing the finger at a whole group of people.

To Hell with God and Religion. Except for Kali, she's hot.

totus_tuus's picture

jcgadfly wrote: First off,

jcgadfly wrote:
First off, I wasn't implying anything about you (but I think you know this).

I know you weren't implying anything personal about me.  I'm sorry if it sounded like I thought that was the case.  I was simply trying to make the point (using myself as an example) that heterosexual men, even under the stresses of prolonged celibacy, and in the presence of potential victims, don't suddenly convert or resort to pederasty.  There is something other than simple sexual urges at play here.

I actually misspoke when I called myslef celibate, however.  At least in the religious context of the word.  I live chastely, which means that, since sexual activity is reserved to those who are married, I refrain from sexual activity.  The vow of celibacy, then, as it applies to Catholic religious, is a more perfect observance of that vritue, by which a man (or woman) renounces marriage for him or herself.  So no, chastity restricts sexual activity to married couples, celibacy is the voluntary renunciation of marriage, and therefore the right to have sexual relations.  So it effectively means exactly "no sex at all".

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II

  Atheism is a mental

 

Atheism is a mental disorder because it is an anomaly. Only 5% of the human race claim to be atheists.  And Christianity is on the rise.

 

Christianity, in particular, is growing like crazy too.

 Here are a few examples:

 

IRAN: more converts to Christianity from 1980 to 2007, then the entire 1,000 years bafore.

 

KOREA: in 1900 only 1,000. Today it is 30% Christian.

 

MEXICO: from 800 Christians to 7 million today.

 

PHILIPINES: 3,000 churches in 1915. Today 50,000 churches

 

SUDAN: 5% Christian in 1960. Today 70%.

 

I haven't even mentioned the spiritual revival in China, etc.

Incognitus

Incognitus wrote:

 

Atheism is a mental disorder because it is an anomaly. Only 5% of the human race claim to be atheists.  And Christianity is on the rise.

 

Christianity, in particular, is growing like crazy too.

 Here are a few examples:

 

IRAN: more converts to Christianity from 1980 to 2007, then the entire 1,000 years bafore.

 

KOREA: in 1900 only 1,000. Today it is 30% Christian.

 

MEXICO: from 800 Christians to 7 million today.

 

PHILIPINES: 3,000 churches in 1915. Today 50,000 churches

 

SUDAN: 5% Christian in 1960. Today 70%.

 

I haven't even mentioned the spiritual revival in China, etc.

Hi,

First off, where are you getting your figures?

Second, how are you defining "christian"?

Third, what time span are you using? Your figures for Mexico seem WAY off.  

"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

totus_tuus wrote: jcgadfly

totus_tuus wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
First off, I wasn't implying anything about you (but I think you know this).

I know you weren't implying anything personal about me.  I'm sorry if it sounded like I thought that was the case.  I was simply trying to make the point (using myself as an example) that heterosexual men, even under the stresses of prolonged celibacy, and in the presence of potential victims, don't suddenly convert or resort to pederasty.  There is something other than simple sexual urges at play here.

I actually misspoke when I called myslef celibate, however.  At least in the religious context of the word.  I live chastely, which means that, since sexual activity is reserved to those who are married, I refrain from sexual activity.  The vow of celibacy, then, as it applies to Catholic religious, is a more perfect observance of that vritue, by which a man (or woman) renounces marriage for him or herself.  So no, chastity restricts sexual activity to married couples, celibacy is the voluntary renunciation of marriage, and therefore the right to have sexual relations.  So it effectively means exactly "no sex at all".

I agree but it still leaves the church working too hard.

If you have a priest who took a vow of celibacy (be he homosexual or heterosexual) who is having sex, he broke his vow and should be removed from the priesthood - end of story.

Instead the church is trying to take on homosexuality as if that is the problem. It is a naturally occuring process. If you believe God made everything in nature, God made homosexuality also. So we're back to celibacy suppressing natural processes again.

I don't think God considers homosexuality unnatural. The guys who wrote the Bible, that's another story. 

"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

totus_tuus's picture

[qoute=jcgadfly]I agree bu

jcgadfly wrote:
I agree but it still leaves the church working too hard.

If you have a priest who took a vow of celibacy (be he homosexual or heterosexual) who is having sex, he broke his vow and should be removed from the priesthood - end of story.

No disagreement from me here whatsoever. That the cases of pedophile priests were, in some cases, gravely mishandled is undeniable and inexcusable.

Quote:
Instead the church is trying to take on homosexuality as if that is the problem.

The fact that the sex scandal is a homosexual phenomenon is attested to by the numbers, 85-95% of accusers are male. If homosexuality is sexual activity amongst members of the same gender, then this activity falls under that definition.

Quote:
It is a naturally occuring process. If you believe God made everything in nature, God made homosexuality also. So we're back to celibacy suppressing natural processes again.

I pretend no knowledge as to the origins of same sex attraction. I can only speak to the supression of sexual urges from my personal experience. I am a single man, as such, I am called to live within my state in life, that is as an unmarried man, I am not to engage in sexual activity. I'm not denying that this is difficult, believe me, I can testify to the rigors of chastity. I refuse to believe that the suppression of homosexual (or pedophilic) urges is any more rigorous than the suppression of heterosexual urges. We are rational, thinking beings, not dogs in heat, or cattle in rut.

Quote:
I don't think God considers homosexuality unnatural. The guys who wrote the Bible, that's another story.

Again, the origin of same sex attraction escapes me. While it may well be a naturally occurring phenomenon, so is the default, that is, opposite sex atrraction. Same sex attraction, in and of itself is not wrong or sinful, but acting on that impulse is morally disordered. On the other count, my action on heterosexual impulses as an unmarried man would be just as wrong.

JC, as a side note, I'm curious as to your exact beliefs re:God. Are you atheist or agnostic? Some of your statements leave me a bit baffled as to your exact beliefs (or lack thereof). Thanks, as always, for the polite conversation.

Tchuss!

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II

Hambydammit's picture

Quote: Atheism is a mental

Quote:
Atheism is a mental disorder because it is an anomaly.

Anomaly is not synonymous with disorder.  Disorder has, as parts of its clinical description the words "disfunction" and "reduced function."  Atheism has never been positively correlated with either.  Consider that a person with an incredibly high IQ is an anomoly, but is not considered mentally ill.

A little more reasearch would help your lack of understanding.

 

Quote:
Only 5% of the human race claim to be atheists.

Whether a person fits into the category "Atheist" and whether they claim to be in it are entirely different, and are not contingent.

Non-theism/non-religious/agnostic/atheist is either the 3rd or 4th largest group in the world, accounting for nearly a billion people.  Atheism, correctly, is simply saying "no" when asked if you believe in a god.

 

Quote:
Christianity, in particular, is growing like crazy too.

Argumentum ad populum, or ad numerum.  The number of people who hold a belief does not make it more or less likely to be true.  The rest of your post, therefore, is completely irrelevant and may be disregarded.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

Hambydammit's picture

"Clerical concubinage was a

"Clerical concubinage was a function of the celibacy of priests. Like other major features of Christian teaching about marriage and the family, this doctrine was not fixed, even in principle, until the fourth century. According to the Apostolic Constitutions of the late third century, members of the higher grades of the Church, bishops, priests and deacons, must be men of only one wife who could not marry after ordination. But members of the lower grades could marry at any time, providing the wife was not a concubine, slave, widow, or divorcee. Despite the occasional blast against the ties of family and marriage, by Christ as well as by Paul, asceticism is not specifically advocated in the New Testament, although the idea of abstinence and withdrawal, especially on the part of the priests, was certainly an important elemtent in the intellectual climate of the first few centuries.

....

On one level the adoption of clerical celibacy can be seen as part of the gains of the ascetic and monastic trends, though the prohibition of the marriage of priests only led, in many cases, to their taking concubines. Asceticism was an aspect of the monastic tradition, less so of the priestly one."

 

The development of the family and marriage in Europe, Jack Goody, Cambridge University Press, 1983, pp 77-79 (excerpts)

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

totus_tuus wrote:jcgadfly

totus_tuus wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
I agree but it still leaves the church working too hard.

If you have a priest who took a vow of celibacy (be he homosexual or heterosexual) who is having sex, he broke his vow and should be removed from the priesthood - end of story.

No disagreement from me here whatsoever. That the cases of pedophile priests were, in some cases, gravely mishandled is undeniable and inexcusable.

Quote:
Instead the church is trying to take on homosexuality as if that is the problem.

The fact that the sex scandal is a homosexual phenomenon is attested to by the numbers, 85-95% of accusers are male. If homosexuality is sexual activity amongst members of the same gender, then this activity falls under that definition.

Quote:
It is a naturally occuring process. If you believe God made everything in nature, God made homosexuality also. So we're back to celibacy suppressing natural processes again.

I pretend no knowledge as to the origins of same sex attraction. I can only speak to the supression of sexual urges from my personal experience. I am a single man, as such, I am called to live within my state in life, that is as an unmarried man, I am not to engage in sexual activity. I'm not denying that this is difficult, believe me, I can testify to the rigors of chastity. I refuse to believe that the suppression of homosexual (or pedophilic) urges is any more rigorous than the suppression of heterosexual urges. We are rational, thinking beings, not dogs in heat, or cattle in rut.

Quote:
I don't think God considers homosexuality unnatural. The guys who wrote the Bible, that's another story.

Again, the origin of same sex attraction escapes me. While it may well be a naturally occurring phenomenon, so is the default, that is, opposite sex atrraction. Same sex attraction, in and of itself is not wrong or sinful, but acting on that impulse is morally disordered. On the other count, my action on heterosexual impulses as an unmarried man would be just as wrong.

JC, as a side note, I'm curious as to your exact beliefs re:God. Are you atheist or agnostic? Some of your statements leave me a bit baffled as to your exact beliefs (or lack thereof). Thanks, as always, for the polite conversation.

Tchuss!

 

On the morality/immorality of actions we agree in part. I believe that actions can be right/wrong but I don't believe that morality comes from God. Rather, it comes from the society of humans. 

On my beliefs, I'll PM you so we don't derail the thread. 

"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

Luigi Novi's picture

Tidying up (I hope) some loose ends

Brian Sapient: Luigi: you've disrespected one of the most respected and loved members of our community. You've called him a liar, and worse, I am too busy to even look back and pull a quote. Your method is ironically embracing some of the facets which you are claiming to oppose and were it to be another user saying these things they'd likely be booted for suspected theistic trolling.
Luigi Novi: Calling someone a liar, while apparently pejorative, is only “disrespect” if it can be shown that the accusation is inaccurate. I generally make it a point to provide the reasoning or evidence that I feel illustrates my positions, especially when it constitutes serious criticism of another poster. When a person’s intent is less clear, I tend to reserve judgment. Since Darth’s mendacity and incivility were made clear, and I illustrated this with a 7-point itemized list of his intellectually dishonest and uncivil behaviors, with each point correlated to things that he actually said and done, then the criticism is valid. He is a condescending to those who do not share his opinion, and has been willfully mendacious, and saying so is nothing more than calling a spade a spade. If anyone objects to this, then it seems to me that the proper response is either A. to explain why my arguments don’t hold up, or B. For him to cease his behavior, and initiate more civil and intellectually honest debating habits. Anything short of this ignores the issue of whether he has actually acted in the manner I have described, and gives him a free pass to continue doing more of the same, while blaming the messenger who calls attention to this.

And why is it that it’s okay for him to insult people for merely disagreeing with him, but my calling him out on this behavior is nearly ban-worthy? Believe me, I take no pleasure in leveling harsh criticsm at someone, and I apologize if this has crossed some RRS message board rule, Brian, but if it makes you feel any better, I have no intention in engaging him in any more argumentative smoke and mirrors.

Brian Sapient: To all of you: We're not f'ing around here. Theism is a mental disorder that simply isn't listed in the DSM, hopefully someday it will be, so that the people afflicted can get professional treatment.
Luigi Novi: And I can assure you I’m not f’ing around either when I respond thus: Calling theism a mental disorder, without referencing medical evidence or a consensus of mental health professionals, solely on the basis that a belief is a disorder if it is factually untrue—as if complete rationality and mental health necessarily line up with perfect correlation—is nothing more than an example of “other-izing” a group that you don’t like.

teddy5k: LUIGI!!!! you are awesome. well said rational, logical points. couldnt have said anything youve said any better. i wish there were more people like you on this site. this site seems to be various types of atheists all in a pissing contest……this site is a waste of time. how can RRS really think they are going to get anywhere positive calling theism a mental disorder?
Luigi Novi: Thank you for the very kind words, Teddy, but I encourage you to stay. Sure, I disagree with Kelly and Brian on this point, but as a whole, I still think they do some really good work, as exemplified by Kelly’s excellent essays (especially in response to that slime Dinesh D’Souza), their adroit dismantling of Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort’s fallacies during the debate in Manhattan on May 5 of last year, and their willingness to donate their time, money and efforts to a worthy cause.

I admit I haven’t used the message boards much up until recently, so I can’t offer an opinion on your perception of those on them who’ve frustrated you, but I would say that you should then stay for those whose writings you enjoy.

Ya can’t agree with everyone on everything, after all.
Laughing

Sapient's picture

Luigi Novi wrote: He is

Luigi Novi wrote:

 He is a condescending to those who do not share his opinion, and has been willfully mendacious, and saying so is nothing more than calling a spade a spade.

And so have you and I.  

 

Quote:
 If anyone objects to this, then it seems to me that the proper response is either A. to explain why my arguments don’t hold up, or B. For him to cease his behavior, and initiate more civil and intellectually honest debating habits.

C. I only cared enough to:

1. save you from being banned

2. Let you know Darth is one of the most respected members here, for good reason.  

      a. I don't have the time to care any more than that.  I read the exchange and your "proofs."  You disagree, I get that, that's ok.

 

Quote:
And why is it that it’s okay for him to insult people for merely disagreeing with him, but my calling him out on this behavior is nearly ban-worthy?

No, that's why I spoke up.  At the point you were at, mods were likely to be delegating on whether you are a theist or an atheist.  Had you been a theist impersonating an atheist to try and strengthen your arguments, we'd be banning. 

 

 

Quote:
Believe me, I take no pleasure in leveling harsh criticsm at someone, and I apologize if this has crossed some RRS message board rule, Brian, but if it makes you feel any better, I have no intention in engaging him in any more argumentative smoke and mirrors.

Thanks for that. It's ok to disagree, the crew around here just happens to prides itself on honesty. 



Quote:
solely on the basis that a belief is a disorder if it is factually untrue

Strawman.  Maybe that's the problem, you don't seem to be getting the scope of what we're arguing.  

 

Quote:
Thank you for the very kind words, Teddy, but I encourage you to stay. Sure, I disagree with Kelly and Brian on this point, but as a whole, I still think they do some really good work, as exemplified by Kelly’s excellent essays (especially in response to that slime Dinesh D’Souza), their adroit dismantling of Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort’s fallacies during the debate in Manhattan on May 5 of last year, and their willingness to donate their time, money and efforts to a worthy cause.

Thanks for speaking up when you do agree. 

 

- Brian Sapient


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darth_josh's picture

Luigi wrote:

Luigi wrote:

I admit I haven’t used the message boards much up until recently, so I can’t offer an opinion on your perception of those on them who’ve frustrated you, but I would say that you should then stay for those whose writings you enjoy.

Dude, that's what I said that got you so hot under the collar. lol.

I'm glad it has motivated you to take more of an interest.

I do want us to move back to page 1 on quite a few things. I'm writing an anti-religious blog right now based upon my poor neighbors suffering under the strain of this mind disorder as we speak.

Quote:
Ya can’t agree with everyone on everything, after all.
Laughing

It would be a very boring world, but I'm sure that we could find many other things to disagree upon when the mind disorder known as theism and its affects have been extirpated(I love that word. lol.)

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Fire's picture

Muslims offended by pictures of their pedophile warlord prophet

Quote:

Online petition asks Wikipedia to remove pictures of Muhammad
By Noam Cohen
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
An article about the Prophet Muhammad in the English-language Wikipedia has become the subject of an online protest in the last few weeks because of its representations of Muhammad, taken from medieval manuscripts.

In addition to numerous e-mail messages sent to Wikipedia.org, an online petition cites a prohibition in Islam on images of people. The petition has more than 80,000 "signatures," though many who submitted them to ThePetitionSite.com remained anonymous.

"We have been noticing a lot more similar sounding, similar looking e-mails beginning mid-January," said Jay Walsh, a spokesman for the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco.

A Frequently Asked Questions page explains the site's polite but firm refusal to remove the images: "Since Wikipedia is an encyclopedia with the goal of representing all topics from a neutral point of view, Wikipedia is not censored for the benefit of any particular group."

The notes left on the petition site come from all over the world.

"It's totally unacceptable to print the prophet's picture," Saadia Bukhari from Pakistan wrote in a message. "It shows insensitivity towards Muslim feelings and should be removed immediately."

Paul Cobb, who teaches Islamic history at the University of Notre Dame in Indian, said, "Islamic teaching has traditionally discouraged representation of humans, particularly Muhammad, but that doesn't mean it's nonexistent." He added, "Some of the most beautiful images in Islamic art are manuscript images of Muhammad."

The idea of imposing a ban on all depictions of people, particularly Muhammad, dates to the 20th century, he said. With the Wikipedia entry, he added, "what you are dealing with is not medieval illustrations, you are dealing with modern media and getting a modern response."

Some of the comments from the dispute talk page are funny:

"It is simply unacceptable for a Muslim to let anyone draw and publish images of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). By publishing the hand drawn images of our Prophet on Wikipedia, you are humiliating 1.7 Billion Muslims in the world. No law in the whole world allow you to humiliate the feelings of even a single person. So please remove these images to stop humiliating all the Muslims across the world."

"Freedom is very important, but should not be abused, something look right to us however may not be to others. As we can read from other posting, freedom, freedom, and freedom. If the pictures are removed they offend no one whereas if they are kept they offend many. Isn't it better to unoffend everyone? Different people, different cultures have different needs and freedom means to respect them. This is true freedom"

"dont remove em but atleast BLUR out the face in the Pictures, hardly takes 5 minutes. u can do that, right?"

Are secular people like myself supposed to obey Sharia Law or something now?

This is the offending image:

This is what I thought of when I heard of this.

programming

Regarding programming of theists, I think you hit the proverbial nail on its proverbial head. I won't argue, pro or con, the idea that belief in a deity is evidence of a mental disorder. I would argue that said belief is a result of indoctrination - programming if you will. Nobody comes to that position without having been exposed to it, repeatedly.

Note that the preferred method of extricating people from so-called "cults" is, you guessed it, de-programming. Some people have managed to de-program themselves while others need help in throwing off the blinders.

I was raised in a devout Baptist home but gave up trying to resolve the internal inconsistencies of theistic belief when I began to see the evidence was threadbare and the reasoning specious. I was about 13 or 14, and I haven't looked back in the nearly 40 years since. My wife and I raised our son with no indoctrination in any belief other than a belief that the only good is to be found in trying to find the truth as it is shown through the evidence of our own senses.

Luigi Novi's picture

Demagoguery

Luigi Novi: He is a condescending to those who do not share his opnion, and has been willfully mendacious, and saying so is nothign more than calling a spade a spade.

Brian Sapient: And so have you and I. 

Luigi Novi: So have yo and I what?  I've been mendacious?  Really?  Where?  Show me.  Pick out a quote. Me, I pointed out in detail where he lied.  Please show me where I have.  For that matter, where have you lied?

Luigi Novi: If anyone objects to this, then it seems to me that the proper response is either A. to explain why my arguments don’t hold up, or B. For him to cease his behavior, and initiate more civil and intellectually honest debating habits.

Brian Sapient: C. I only cared enough to 1. save you from being banned 2. Let you know Darth is one of the most respected members here, for good reason. a. I don't have the time to care any more than that.

Luigi Novi: And therein lies the problem.  You are saying that if an RRS higher-up like Josh is uncivil, willfully dishonest, and insults others, we cannot criticize them, and they won't be held to the same standard by you as everyone else, thereby indicating some type of hierarchical caste system.    If you were consistent, then you would hold Josh to the same standard as me, yourself, and everyone else, and have the courage to freely examine the  specific charges I made about his behavior.  Instead, you tell me that I courted being banned for doing so, thus giving him free rein to lie about and insult people at will, without any oversight.  In science, there are no authorities or sacred cows, and even the most beloved scientist must still be held to the same scrutiny as everyone else.  Because this organization concerns itself with matters that touch upon science, and frequently invokes science to refute the canards of its opponents, I might've thought that it conducted itself with the same principle of equality.  Too bad I was wrong.

Brian Sapient:  I read the exchange and your "proofs."  You disagree, I get that, that's ok.

Luigi Novi:  No.

The isssue is not merely that I "disagree".  While my disagreement with Kelly's thesis may have been the initital point, Josh's insulting and dishonest behavior towards atheists who don't accept the Mental Disorder Thesis, became a meta-discussion, and did more than merely "disagree".  I SHOWED where he behaved dishonestly and insultingly.  You have failed to disprove these clear instances of dishonorable behavior on his part, and instead admitted that criticizing an RRS higher-up can potentially be grounds for being labeled a theist (as if atheists cannot disagree with or criticize one another), and being banned. Your refusal to acknowledge that Josh repeatedly LIED and INSULTED others here, which is shameful behavior for a moderator on this site, is the problem.  Not mere "disagreement".

Luigi Novi: And why is it that it’s okay for him to insult people for merely disagreeing with him, but my calling him out on this behavior is nearly ban-worthy?

Brian Sapient: No, that's why I spoke up.  At the point you were at, mods were likely to be delegating on whether you are a theist or an atheist.  Had you been a theist impersonating an atheist to try and strengthen your arguments, we'd be banning.

Luigi Novi: Excuse me?  Why is this?  A theist impersonating an atheist is ban-worthy?  Why?  And you still haven't answered my question.  I'll modify it slightly: Why is it okay for RRS higher-ups to insult and lie about people for merely disagreeing them, but calling them out on them is worhty of being accused of being a theist, and potentially ban-worthy? Why is it that the validity of the content of my arguments is not the focal point of your reaction to me ("I read your statements, looked at the evidence, and yes, Josh did insult and lie about people....or not&quotEye-wink, but instead, the mere fact that Josh was criticized, or the notion that I am somehow a theist in disguise? 

Luigi Novi: ...solely on the basis that a belief is a disorder if it is factually untrue

Brian Sapient: Strawman.  Maybe that's the problem, you don't seem to be getting the scope of what we're arguing. 

Luigi Novi: Riiiiiiight.  If I disagree, it must be that my understanding is compromised.  Right.  Got it. 

In fact, I read the thread in detail, and I got exactly what you were saying.  And I disagree with your conclusion, because you haven't provided evidence of it. It is clear that your labeling theists as possessed of a mental disorder is just an example of "otherizing" those you disagree with, which his further underlined by how you've made it clear that harsh criticism of an RRS higher-up is not to be tolerated or examined.  Ever. 

The above statement is not a Straw Man argument.  Did you utter the exact words in my above quote? No.  But what I asserted certainly seems to be what you're saying, and thus, no Straw Man is needed. But if you can explain to me how your position and the above are so qualitatively distinct that that latter is not an accurate iteration of the former, then please do, and I will gladly concede that it is.

I encourage you to hold up yourself to the same scrutiny that  you would hold theists, creationists,  and everyone else.  Please look closely at the statements by Josh that I quoted (specficially with respect to his behavior), and judge whether I was warranted in responding as I did by virtue of whether my analyses were accurate and reasonable, not whether he is merely "beloved".

Kill this if its a duplicate.

The crux of the matter here, (I read most of the comment threads only missing the last several), is whether to treat faith as a mental disorder. This called into question what a mental disorder is, and various authorities, DSM IV, the Fab Four, and so on. Several different analogies were given as well, but no one brought up the angle of self inflicted disorder.

I view theism, (specifically fundamentalism) as a disorder much like alcoholism.

Forming beliefs without proper cause is the actual culprit, not some medical disease, (treatable with drugs). Religion acts like a drug itself, in that it produces feelings of well being without cause. Conditioning among the general population starts generally at an early age too, before normal cognitive ability is functional.

 

I have found that everyone has unsupported beliefs, so saying religion is a mental disorder isn’t really saying much, and it certainly isn’t treatable like classic mental disorders.

The fix is having a reason to support a belief, or not holding the belief. I don't think people are getting so much from religion that they become addicted for its benefits though, I think they are conditioned into this unsupported belief system by brain-washing at an early age and fear. Fear is the main motivator in my opinion. If the belief is not supportable, and therefore not knowable, how can adherents challenge it if they think they just can’t ever know enough to do that with confidence?

 

 Kelly, I've seen atheists

 

Kelly, I've seen atheists on Youtube critisizing your position on this. They pointed out that you are not a licensed psychiatrist. You are merely giving your own opinion, nothing else.

The fact that theists can behave normally in society, proves theism is not an illness. And since all thoughts are nothing but electrical discharges in the brain due to chemicals, etc according to atheists, then logically the atheist has no foundation of even critisizing theists for being theists. They are only believing in what their brains are making them believe in.

If all thoughts are the property of matter, then all thoughts are equally valid. But since most thoughts are theistic [most people are theists], this demonstrates that atheism is the aberation and anomally. If "might makes right" according to the atheist / evolutionary paradigm, then theism is right because it has more might.

What is the REASON evolution created a "God spot" or God part of the brain? To comfort us at death? Perhaps. But if this is the case then atheist are mentally ill because evolution missed them because they allegedly do not have the "God spot."

 

Got the God-spot?????

 

As Robert Morey pointed out in his debate with atheist Matthew Alper, atheists have brain damage because evolution skipped over them by failing to give them what the majority of the human race has, the God-spot of the brain for the easing of the death process. And if we are wired to believe in God, who did the wiring? And why do 20,000,000 americans [atheists] not have this wiring that evolution thought so necessary for our biological development?

Either all humans DO have this wiring, and atheists are simply supressing it and evolution does not skip / make mistakes, or atheists really do suffer from brain damage.

JillSwift's picture

Red herring. Kelly would be

  • Red herring. Kelly would be giving her opinion and only her opinion even if she were a licenced psychiatrist.
  • Operating normally in society is not a sign of mental health. It can simply mean the illness has little noticeable effect on day-to-day social function. Or, more applicable in this case, so many have this illness that it is the "norm". (This is why "norms" are nothing more than a point of reference in psychology.)
  • "All thoughts of matter equally valid" reductio ad absurdum.
  • "right from might" reductio ad absurdum. (And shows a lack of understanding of evolution by natural selection)
  • Evolution by natural selection isn't an intelligent/guided process. there is no "reason" for any adaption, only a fitness of an adaption to the environment. A "god spot" (assuming there is such a thing) could well be an emergent product of other adaptations.
  • More reductio ad absurdum.
  • False dichotomy.

As a behaviorist, I don't agree with Kelly's conclusions in this article, I'm just not 100% sure Kelly's being literal here and she may be making some more subtle point. However, your refutation is utterly without logical value.

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray

Mental illness religiosity

As a schizophrenic atheist, I see the correlation between mental illness and religiosity more as a coping mechanism, as a palliative for the mental anguish and experiences of the mentally ill, than as any evidence for the pathological nature of religion (even at the same time as seeing religion as a delusional worldview counter to reality).

 

Just as, as a schizophrenic, I have taken illegal drugs (marijuana), alcohol and tobacco to "self-medicate" for the stress and anguish of my mental illness, so too the religiously-inclined tend to self medicate with the dysfunctional placebo that is religion.

 

Fortunately, with sanity as the product of the pharmacological results of science and the scientific method, and with increased understanding of my own condition as another result of both, I have come to concede that atheism is, for me, the most rational response to the alloyed evil that is my mental illness.