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Forums > Social Discussion > Religion: A mental illness?

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: Simian
ah, israel. Just another justification for my thesis that religious belief should be treated the same as any other mental illness. But that's another discussion entirely...



Well, this is another discussion entirely. smile

Thoughts?

I'm inclined to agree.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:Written by: simian


Since when has proving something been necessary to work out whether or not it's true? i don't need to prove the existence of gravity, it's just obviously there. The burden is on the person who wants to disprove it, cos they're the ones with the wacky theory.




Mrr?

Surely.... thats what science is for largely... if not to prove things, at least to lay out a large number of controlledrepeatable expirements and say somethings likely? How else do you work out somethings true? I mean, you can use maths, too, but, er, assuming neither?

If everyone thought the burden was on the other person to prove something because "they're the wacky ones" (admittedly it seems to work this way!) we'd have some real issues getting anything decided.....


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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quiet
quiet

analytic
Location: bristol
Member Since: 15th Sep 2004
Total posts: 503
Posted:sethis: quote:

'Prove that your concept of reality is real, please.

Can't? That's my point. NOW can we stop arguing about this?'

What on earth do you mean?

The statement 'reality is real' is true BY DEFINITION
The question of what it means for my *concept* to be real is an entirely different matter. I reckon it's a meaningless question.

I don't need to prove that 'my concept is real'; I don't know what it would mean for me to do so, and I don't care. But that's not what we were arguing about; we were, in your own words, arguing about whether 'reality is real', and I just pointed out that this argument has a forgone conclusion, since 'reality' just means 'what is real'.

Damnit.


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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:I think hes wondering what we're defining reality to be, and pointing out that we can't know what reality is. Could be wrong tho.

IMO the first may not be relevant but who am i to stomp on 4 pages of discussion and frustration? tongue


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:Right, prove to me the the reality we live in is real (i.e. it exists, physically and independently of your consciousness), and not a complex illusion perpetrated by a more or less omnipotent being(s). You can't rely on sense data, because the senses can be decieved. You can't rely on memory because memories can be wrong/altered. You can't create a scientific experiment to prove it because these omnipotent being(s) can simply mess with the results. You can't take anyone elses word for it, because maybe they're just created as illusions as well. How then, can you say with 100% accuracy that what we/you are experiencing is more real than, say, a dream? Dreams appear to be real until you wake up.

It's not a big trip for me, but the entire debate about reality was where someone (jeff?) said that their opinions were definitely, factually, correct. Overriding anyone elses. That's what I have a big trip about. My *opinion* is that you can't prove that reality is physically existant. Or maybe it was someone making a Descartes quote, I can't remember anymore. ubblol

I'm having fun wink


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Icer
Icer

just a shadow of my former self...
Location: Christchurch
Member Since: 26th Apr 2005
Total posts: 205
Posted:this reminds me of the movie 'the others' with nicole kidman. where she think the house is ahnuted by ghosts and then it turns out that she is actually the ghost. hope i didnt the movie for anyone who hasnt seen it.

It took a while, but once their numbers dropped from 50 down to 8, the other dwarves started to suspect Hungry.

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Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8737
Posted:I think it would be hard to ruin that movie any further....

Right I'm slow AND tired (and a little wound up by things outside HoP)
Have we defined "mental Illness"?
Have we defined "religion"?
Can we draw parallels between the 2 definitions?
could we say:
"The belief in a non-seen, non-proven entity/entities with no physical symptoms apparent in the individual."
Describes both? I'm not intrested in a discussion on belief or proof or semantics just a simple opinion -
COULD WE SAY THIS???


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:This might be my last post on this thread because I'm spending altogether too much time here. I might return but if I don't I'd like to thank everyone for one of my favourite threads of all time. hug

I agree with Sethis. It is impossible to 'prove' an external world exists. There is however a bulk of circumstantial evidence for it. Namely that all our senses and memory appear to give a coherent answer. As of such it is rational to assume that there is an objective world which is accurately convayed by your senses and work the rest of your beliefs from there.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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quiet
quiet

analytic
Location: bristol
Member Since: 15th Sep 2004
Total posts: 503
Posted:quote [mynci]:

'could we say:
"The belief in a non-seen, non-proven entity/entities with no physical symptoms apparent in the individual."
Describes both? I'm not intrested in a discussion on belief or proof or semantics just a simple opinion -
COULD WE SAY THIS???'

Answer: NO

On that definition, believing in black holes or distant galaxies which we can't see (and hence are outside of our light cone) would count as mental illness AND religion, and that's crazy.


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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:I'm starting a new thread tommorow! crazy people. tongue

Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8737
Posted:Written by: quiet


On that definition, believing in black holes or distant galaxies which we can't see (and hence are outside of our light cone) would count as mental illness AND religion, and that's crazy.



Black holes can be "seen" though Quiet...by distortion of light due to immense gravatational pull can't they? and yes distant galaxies "might" be there. but to believe without proof wink isn't THAT religion, and one with no hope of redemption. (and are black holes and galaxies entities? I did mean sentient entities sorry for confusion)


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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quiet
quiet

analytic
Location: bristol
Member Since: 15th Sep 2004
Total posts: 503
Posted:they can be 'seen' in the sense that we infer their presence from certain effects that we observe, but we don't see the hole itself.

if you're not happy with that example, substitute 'singularity at the centre of a black hole' for 'black hole'

as regards sentient entities: well, you might have reason to believe that there are aliens (suppose that scientific evidence showed that life will evolve in a wide range of conditions, and that these conditions obtain on other planets), even if you've never seen them or proven that they exist. it wouldn't be mental illness to believe in them; it'd just be a matter of believing in what the evidence suggested, which is pretty reasonable.

your definition therefore fails


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Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8737
Posted:that would be fine quiet but we haven't proved any of that yet have we ubblol
... Alien belief is still therefore a "religion / cult" as we have not been able to prove, in what conditions life can come to pass and have been completely unable to "prove" life on other planets.... [quote/quiet] (suppose that scientific evidence showed


nice "suppose" slipped in there.
therefore YOUR EXPLINATION fails... wink


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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quiet
quiet

analytic
Location: bristol
Member Since: 15th Sep 2004
Total posts: 503
Posted:just a second:

: That my counterexample contains a hypothetical doesn't make it any less of a counterexample.

In order for a definition to succeed, it must hold true in all possible worlds. I just specified one in which it didn't. Hence my 'explanation' [it's not an explanation, it's a counterexample, but never mind] serves its purpose: your definition is flawed.


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Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8737
Posted:fair enough, but in all possible worlds could a "god" exist?

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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quiet
quiet

analytic
Location: bristol
Member Since: 15th Sep 2004
Total posts: 503
Posted:what's that got to do with anything?

on


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quiet
quiet

analytic
Location: bristol
Member Since: 15th Sep 2004
Total posts: 503
Posted:what's that got to do with anything?

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Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8737
Posted:are you talking about all possible worlds in the universe or parrallel universes? all possible worlds in the universe is still conjecture.... until we find this proof... we could be the snowflake of life....completely unique

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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quiet
quiet

analytic
Location: bristol
Member Since: 15th Sep 2004
Total posts: 503
Posted:oh, crumbs

'all possible worlds' here means 'whatever is possible'. it's a paraphrase, and isn't meant to carry any ontological implications. i'm not claiming that parallel universes exist. you say:

quote: 'all possible worlds in the universe is still conjecture'

this is meaningless, but even if it weren't, it'd still be irrelevant. the point is that definitions are supposed to apply to all possible situations, which is why they are subject to refutation by [hypothetical] counterexample, and why my counterexample therefore works.


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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:Quiet, could you propose a definition please?

I'd like to point out that there are a whole range of mental illnesses that do not depend on you believing in pixies up your left nostril. Many mental illnesses involve no delusions at all.


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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quiet
quiet

analytic
Location: bristol
Member Since: 15th Sep 2004
Total posts: 503
Posted:you want me to give a definition of 'mental illness'?

I don't think that's strictly possible: the best I can do is to refer you to the DSM-IV, which gives necessary and sufficient conditions for considering someone to be mentally ill.

I can't be arsed to attempt to define religion, either.

I'd see the main issue of the thread [if indeed there is one] as being something along the lines of, 'is believing in God, angels, the afterlife, etc., healthy, or do you have to be nuts?


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Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8737
Posted:If we cannot define mental illness..... then isn't this whole thread a moot point? If we cannot define 1 of the comparatives then there is nothing to compare to. or are we comparing religion to each individuals definition of mental illness? And that is why we keep going round and round?

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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quiet
quiet

analytic
Location: bristol
Member Since: 15th Sep 2004
Total posts: 503
Posted:nope, that doesn't follow

specifically, there are concepts which you can't define, but which you understand perfectly well [such as 'good', 'bad', 'yellow', 'just', 'one', 'cool' [as a term of approval], 'happy', etc, etc. some of these you might disagree with me over, but the point stands]

i'm going to quote myself:

'I'd see the main issue of the thread [if indeed there is one] as being something along the lines of, 'is believing in God, angels, the afterlife, etc., healthy, or do you have to be nuts?'


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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:I'm invisible. invisible! And so is doctor lighting, it would seem. Did no-one notice what was said about "the main aim of the thread"?

On this page even.....


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8737
Posted:Your not invisible kyri, I suppose I'm just a bit too square eyed to read through 10 pages... my apologies my dear. hug redface
I think we are the crazy people......


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:Written by: Kyrian

I'm going to stay in my little corner for the moment, and attack the social ailment question as no-one else is.

I say, "yes." But social ailment is very poorly defined. Generally, tho, I think social ailments are things like drinking, gambling, etc? Problems which individuals have which groups capitalize on. In other words, imo, anything which requires "nanny state" laws to stop.

So, on that premise, if religion is in fact a social ailment, should we (assuming we should have laws limiting things like drinking and gambling at all, which i disagree with, but thats another thread) be regulating it?

Or should we at least have a more effective manner of treating it?

I mean, alcohol and gambling can be enjoyed in a non-harmful manner, as can religion, but we've also seen them engaged in in a harmful manner as well....



Its the last post now... instead of just being on the last page tongue


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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TribalLord
newbie
Location: Florida
Member Since: 3rd Jan 2006
Total posts: 3
Posted:In my opinion religion is a man made concept. It's spirituality that isn't and is a way of feeling that is personal to each and every one of us. The problem with the people in mainstream religions are that they are willing to give up their life to be controlled by something that is supposed to be greater then them and denounce your human nature and instinct. This causes a major conflict within ourselves and allows those who don't even follow their religious affiliations rules as they are taught but yet identify as a member of that particualr belief. Not every single person but a resounding majority do and 9 times out of 10 majority rules.

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janice
janice

Member

Member Since: 3rd Jan 2006
Total posts: 34
Posted:religion and mental illness don't really ( in my opinion ) have anything to do with eachother. just out of curiousity, how the hell were the two put together in the first place??? i read a few of the posts and it seems like it is a question if you believe or not so ummm who is to say someone is right or wrong? an old debate that cannot be solved with anyone really as we all would feel strongly about our own point of view. what i do know for sure is that mental illness and religion do not go hand in hand. mental illness has no boundries. it isn't really a question of religion but more a question of faith and faith has many different meanings subject to many different idealologys. to say you are correct and another is wrong is very much your own arrogance speaking. do you really think that in your own intelligance that your god is the only god?

in goth we trust

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:I believe the connection may have been something to do with things like fundamentalist violence performed in the name of God, and the general bitter and twisted view of life that some religious people fall into.

Further fuel to that fire is the fact that some religious experts persist in trying to show scientific/rational basis for Gods existence, but do so in a way that shows a total misunderstanding of what constitutes scientific or rational validity.

Anyone who's had a doorstep conversation with a Jehovahs Witness will probably be familiar with this.

Fact is that many percieve that this degree of irrationality is akin to mild mental illness.

I certainly don't believe that religion is mental illness, but, I do feel that the worst thoughts/beliefs/acts of that minority of religious people who do have a seriously skewed view of reality, are quite possibly manifestations of mental illness.

However, equally, there are many well-adjusted religious people in this world who would attribute their lack of mental illness as being due to their religious belief (eg many recovering alcoholics who've been through the AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) route to recovery.

To that extent, it would seem that religion can, for some, also be a cure for mental illness.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8737
Posted:oh no quick, some-one hide this again before it goes as off topic as it did before...although it was fun wink

The way this thread moved was towards the thought that if you believe in a non-proven immortal "god-like" being are you any less mentally ill than someone who believes in people who aren't there... some very interesting points were brought up but it got a bit crazy


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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mcp
mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.
Member Since: 20th May 2003
Total posts: 5276
Posted:Written by: onewheeldave

Further fuel to that fire is the fact that some religious experts persist in trying to show scientific/rational basis for Gods existence, but do so in a way that shows a total misunderstanding of what constitutes scientific or rational validity.




Not to mention misunderstanding the meaning of 'faith'... ubblol


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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