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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Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8737
Posted:Me and akashla have been disscusing similar in the "would you?" thread

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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oli
not with cactus
Location: bristol/ southern eastern devo...
Member Since: 24th Jul 2003
Total posts: 2052
Posted:i dont think i agree... my mum gose to church and has religious belief, i do not think she needs treatment for this.

Me train running low on soul coal
They push+pull tactics are driving me loco
They shouldn't do that no no no

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Justwalk
Member
Location: London
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2005
Total posts: 68
Posted:Disagree. Religion is ok, it's being unreasonable with it that's the problem. Same for quite a lot of other things really.

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Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8737
Posted:I don't think people need treatment. but what would happen if a normal person walked around saying they believed in someone/thing that nobody could see/ touch/ smell/ hear/ feel... I have got to admit that when you break religion down to bare bones... it's a bit scetchy, although I would never persecute or deride a person with religious beliefs I just don't follow them.

(what if you've picked the wrong god!)


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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Aryth
Aryth

in a beautiful daze....
Location: Liverpool, England
Member Since: 25th May 2005
Total posts: 134
Posted:I don't think that is a fair statement at all. Religion for a large amount of people is a way of life. choosing to believe in something that there is no proof of bar shall we say "historical documentation" is in no way a mental illness. Its a freedom of choice, are people who believe that there are aliens somewhere in the universe mentally ill? i feel it is more stupidity and narrow mindedness to believe that we are the only living planet.

However if you are talking about the way in which people follow religions being mentally ill i have to disagree again. Strictly religious families develop that way because it is all they know, and how they are taught from a youg age, shall we use suicide bombers as an example. They have very strong Muslim beliefs and feel that they are right, they are told by people of higher standing in their religion to go be a bomber so they do.

Compare this to the military, they are told where to go and what to do knowing it *could* result in death, however they do it because someone of higher standing has told them they should. Does this make them mentally ill?

Choosing to believe in a religion does not effect the way a person is, years ago everyone was religious and over many years this has begun to decrease due to both science and a lack of need to believe in something else.

Personally i'm a Pagan meaning that i don't believe in a singular god but more within natural powers and the balance between good and evil. True Pagan belief is in a godess or godesses, but there are many variations giving the ability to mould personal belief "within a structured (named) religion" but thats going off the point

What i'm trying to say is how can you say that i should be treated for having a religious belief???


Whatever happened to my green and pleasant land?

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simian
simian

110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
Location: London
Member Since: 11th Oct 2002
Total posts: 3149
Posted:i think that a rejection of the idea that you gain knowledge of the world from the world does constitutes a mental illness.



Not so far back in our history you could hold religious beliefs without that rejection. In the last hundred years or so it has become necessary.



Christianity\Islam\Judaism all require that you accept certain things should be accepted as 'true' without evidence. It's this mixing of ethics with the search for knowledge that i find totally unacceptable. Religions promote ignorance and a lack of logic as being morally good. Which is extremely damaging in countless ways all around the world, all the time.



Someone who has been brainwashed with this rejection of empiricism is incredibly difficult to reach once it has happened. There are many evangelical religious organisations. Is there anybody helping those who have had their reasoning crippled by religion?

EDITED_BY: simian (1125071206)


"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:I'm gonna just say yes to the question and leave it at that for now.(cos I have to go now but I dare say I'll have some long winded rant in due time)

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

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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:Erm, if it's a mental illness, how do you explain the fact that *every single human society EVER* has had a religion of some sort? That's quite a few billion people with issues...

I don't think religion is a good or bad thing, it just is.

It promotes charities and orphanages and so on...

It encourages wars and conflicts, and tends to be very restrictive in terms of personal interpretation...


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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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:Sethis, just because every human society has it doesn't make it not a mental illness. There's plenty of things human society has which are no good for it!

That said, I disagree, strongly. Some people go about religion in a way which is not so good, and some people wind up expiriencing religion thru mental illnesses, which doesn't help the religions image any :/

And some religion do in fact try to or at least suceed at warping the minds of their followers.

However in many cases its just people doing a brilliant job manipulating other people in a framework.

For example, in both judaism and mormonism you can get some really restrictive people with considerable problems who divorce from logic and society and follow blindy around after others... but don't blame the religion itself, altho possibly the parents and leaders (nature vs. nuture, not getting into that here) because there are also people that use it as a stepping stone for a fullfilling life that questions everything and advances humanity.


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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KaelGotRice
KaelGotRice

Basu gasu bakuhatsu - because sometimes buses explode
Location: Angel's Landing, USA
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 1584
Posted:I feel it CAN be a mental illness, as religion can lead people down destructive and unhealthy paths, for themselves and others. However, we have to analyze the good religion does for the world as well as the negatives. There are plenty of both.



~Speaking as a Theravadan buddhist, the existance of a god does not matter to me - but it 'means the whole world' to other people. Whatever makes people happy and doesn't infringe on my rights as a person as well.



EDIT- Also Kyrian, interesting point you got there.



I go to a Mormon school, and it is one of the strictest universities in the US. However, the socialist society there and in Utah is among one of the "safest" and most caring for the homeless/sick as anywhere in the nation. But don't get me started on their so-called "righteous actions" towards homosexuals and druggies, of which many civil rights atrocities can be cited.

EDITED_BY: KaelGotRice (1125086690)


To do: More Firedrums 08 video?
Wildfire/US East coast fire footage
LA/EDC glow/fire footage
Fresno fire

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ubbrollsmile.gif" alt="" />

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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:Most mormons I know are scared of utah mormons, but then, a friend of mine's at BYU and altho he's not typhical for the type hes getting along ok....

Large groups bring out all their traits, I think, good and bad. Small groups are more likely to have forward thinking and agreeable people, but also there is of course, less of a social net in those cases.....


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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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:I agree that it's not a mental illness, I have to say. At least, not by definition. Although then again, one has to wonder how large a belief has to be before it's no longer a "delusion" and then how large before it's no longer a "cult."

A more pointed question, perhaps, is whether religion is a social ailment.


-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:I suppose I don't know what you mean by social ailment. Do you mean like, alcohol abuse and gambling and stuff?

Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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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:No, more like a disease of societies. It serves little or no purpose and consumes a lot of resources both directly and indirectly.

-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:I think it does serve a lot of purpose, its a social support network and gives people meaning to their lives. I mean, it'd be good if they didn't use it as a crutch, yes, but forming community is nonetheless an important purpose.

Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Julie2022
Julie2022

member
Location: Little Rock, AR
Member Since: 26th Aug 2005
Total posts: 145
Posted:I watched a discovery or science channel how on how - by applying low-levels of electricity to certain parts of the brain scientists were able to cause people to have "religious" feelings or "religious" experiences...Such as the feeling that there was a greater, more powerful presence with them.

Most people who participated in this brain-shock study were emotionally rocked by the fact that science could bring such a thing out, not just a trip to the local pentecostal church service.

So - what does that tell me? There might be a gratifying pleasure from having that part of the brain stimulated, either by electro-shock or by attending church.

Why religious matters activate this part of the brain?

I don't know - the aliens who created us were pretty smart, don't you think smile lol

This just goes to show - if you can create it in a labratory, it's not such a big deal.

Just like sex - if it feels good, why not?

I do, though, feel that organized religion is a bit of a waste. My father's a minister and because of that I wasted endless hours sitting in a church and being preached to at home that could have been spent more wisely.

They have God in their life so now they live in two different houses - my mother can't stand being a ministers wife, anymore - and he can't stand her complaining mouth.

So - what does that tell you? It might not be a mental disorder but it can cause more problems than it solves.


"I'm your Huckleberry."

The muse spake her thought and then there was silence. Thy spiked tongue had melted, only a bitter heart remained.

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ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:normally im very anti religion because of the blindness of faith, im very scientific in my view of the world as such i try to question everything at any time of the day i can quite easily concoct a plausible yet different view as to the meaning of life what happens after etc. this is something i value, the other day i had to take my dog to the vet to be put down which was very very ubbcrying having had her for half my life.



the thing that really hit me is that although i can come up with lots of plausable explainations to life, death, the meaning of it all i dont believe in any of it, imho reality is a giant illusion we use to create a stable model of the world so we can filter the vast amounts of information (consciousness being that filtering mechanism) like an particular gene in a genetic algorithm being put into its fitness function once we die thats it. im quite at peace with that usually but when confronted with the mortality of those i can about its quite a sadness.



people whos blind faith that i would usually scoff at have in times of sorrow the comfort of "knowing" their loved one is in a better place. something id like to believe but dont, if religion provides someone with that feeling id say it has a purpose when like everything its balenced


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:Written by: Julie2022


Just like sex - if it feels good, why not?





18 years of responsibility! ubblol

On topic: I'm of the view that religion was useful up until the Enlightenment period, where people began to turn towards Science rather than Religion for explanations. Now I don't really see the point, because we can explain nearly everything scientifically, and what we can't, we will sooner or later.


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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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Without commenting on, or entering into the discussion of whether religion is or isn't a mental illness or social disease, i will point out that this is not a valid argument (not that I'm saying julie was necessarily presenting it as an argument, or making a point): -



Written by: Julie2022




I watched a discovery or science channel how on how - by applying low-levels of electricity to certain parts of the brain scientists were able to cause people to have "religious" feelings or "religious" experiences...Such as the feeling that there was a greater, more powerful presence with them.



Most people who participated in this brain-shock study were emotionally rocked by the fact that science could bring such a thing out, not just a trip to the local pentecostal church service.



So - what does that tell me? There might be a gratifying pleasure from having that part of the brain stimulated, either by electro-shock or by attending church.......





............This just goes to show - if you can create it in a labratory, it's not such a big deal.









Just because an experience brought about normally by 'x' (ie God, meditation, or whatever) can be reproduced by electrical stimulation of the brain, does not demean it in the slightest.



Fact is that currently many experiences can be similarly brought about by electrical stimulation, and have been in experiments. Examples are smells and memories- the fact that electrical stimulation can trigger a childhood memory does not diminish the reality (or value) of that memory.



Similarly, the fact that stimulating an individuals brain with, for example, cocaine, and thus establishing a convincing (but ultimately fake) level of confidence, does not invalidate the value of confidence itself.



Where profound religious experience is concerned, the test of its value is much the same as the test of any experiences value- ie does it lead to progression in their life/does it lead to more good in the world



I'm not saying either that it is particularly easy to establish that, or that religious experience is good; just that whether it can be reproduced by brain stimulation doesn't really establish anything.


"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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linden rathen
linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK
Member Since: 2nd Mar 2005
Total posts: 6942
Posted:i suppose it all depends on what mental illness is.

human minds cant cope with the amount of pure data that stream into them every second so its heavily filtered (incidently thats why slight of hand works)

mild forms of autism is a mental illness but lots of people live with it or dont even know they 'have' it.

religion is something that humans are pre-disposed to through several thousand years of conditioning.

personally id say modern organised religion tends to cause problems - certainly among stricter sects or groups it causes tension with in families and communities

i can see the worth of religion as a socal network and for giving moral guidance. i just hate to see it followed blindly

so it is a mental illness. just like believing that the little bit of green paper has worth.


back

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Written by: Julie2022

I watched a discovery or science channel how on how - by applying low-levels of electricity to certain parts of the brain scientists were able to cause people to have "religious" feelings or "religious" experiences...Such as the feeling that there was a greater, more powerful presence with them.





This is also present in Electro-magnetic field exposure greater than 13 (though that can also get people to hallucinate and become physically ill). Infrasound is another culprit. However, feelings do not justify fervor.

I do not think that religion is a social ailment necessarily, nor is it a mental disease.

However, I do feel it is an addiction for many and as any addiction can be dangerous and harmful to the person as well as to those around the person.
Check out people who have been "reborn" and express it with extreme fervor. Often times they were drug addicts, alcoholics, criminal offenders of some sort, etc and many are smokers or caffeine addicts, or health buffs. In that search for "health", many become addicted to religion....just as I have seen alcoholics become addicted to AA meetings rather than the drink.
It is more about the person and their personality rather than the intoxicant I think. And I do *know* religious addiction is just as damaging as any other.

And yes, I do feel religious addicts should attempt treatment just as any other addicts, and have a few in my family I would like to sign up for such a program.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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lauz the caterpilla
lauz the caterpilla

goddess of all things slimey and an interchangeable insect!
Location: nottingham - the land of oppor...
Member Since: 18th May 2005
Total posts: 2443
Posted:well i dont think my parents are ill or the majority of my family.

i dont think running around saying you've seen god without proof of it is a wise idea though.

and back to suicide bombers. they are NOT doing jihad by killing people from other countries who've done nothing wrong. alot of the bombings is through political sides of arguements between countries. muslims are told not to kill in the qu'ran. and jihad is for personal struggle and battlement to defend your religion.


Shhhhhh! the boobies are trying to sleep.
owner and the property of noddy.
*i was a caterpilla last night wink* - libby_tuesday

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linden rathen
linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK
Member Since: 2nd Mar 2005
Total posts: 6942
Posted:like i said i think religion as a mental illness is a spectrum

some people are perfectly 'normal' (as normal as anyone can be)

and somepeople are nut cases over it

everyone has autism - just in 99.9% of the population its un noticable


back

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lauz the caterpilla
lauz the caterpilla

goddess of all things slimey and an interchangeable insect!
Location: nottingham - the land of oppor...
Member Since: 18th May 2005
Total posts: 2443
Posted:you cant say everyone has autism sam. my bro is autistic and all it means is that you cant communicate properly. and i think alot of people can so gotta disagree with ya there sorry hug

Shhhhhh! the boobies are trying to sleep.
owner and the property of noddy.
*i was a caterpilla last night wink* - libby_tuesday

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JauntyJames
JauntyJames

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA
Member Since: 22nd Dec 2004
Total posts: 3533
Posted:It's not a mental illness, it's just "bad" upbringing. If you were brought being told by everybody you come into contact with that you were born on Mars and brought here by a space shuttle, you'd believe that, too. Eventually, you'd become defensive when these believes are challenged, and reject all evidence to the contrary. This is human nature.

Personally, I'd like to see Christians Annonymous support groups.

"Hi, my name is Ron, and Jesus loves me."
(chorus)"Hi, Ron."


-James

"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

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


"Hi, my name is Ron, and Jesus loves me."
(chorus)"Hi, Ron."



ubblol

Yeah, itd be nice to see religious addiction support groups instead of religious groups convincing people to become addicted.....

Er, we notice some people just get addicted to the support groups tho?


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Written by: Kyrian



Er, we notice some people just get addicted to the support groups tho?




Hey! I said that already! frown

I had a room mate years ago who was a terrible coke addict and alcoholic. At a *very* young age he had open heart surgery, got scared and joined AA and Al-Anon. Even after years he went to 9 meetings a week (no kidding). He was completely addicted to them.

My brother in law used to be heavy into coke. About 20 or so years ago he became reborn into his current church. He denounced (and no longer admits) to his prior life as an addict but goes to church service 3 times a week, and is a leader in the youth organization, a member of their family organizations, etc. He, and his family, are there almost every night and thier lives revolve around it. He has long since converted my sister and it has caused *alot* of hurt and problems in our family, and there are things within the tenants of their religion that I view as harmful to thier daughter as well.

The way I see it both of these guys traded one addiction for another instead of treating what the issue is that causes their addictions in the first place. At least going to AA so much never hurt anyone that I know. The whole church addiction...yeah, well...I'd like to see an Anonymous organization for religious (of any pantheon) addicts.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Brian:-)
Brian:-)

stranger
Location: London
Member Since: 21st Jun 2004
Total posts: 37
Posted:Some people just can't cope with being themselves. Maybe they can't take responsibility for making their own decisions? Some people go and have a drink, enjoy it then leave. Others don't stop drinking until they fall down. Smoking weed does not lead to taking Coke or Heroin but it is more likely to in people from the second group. Some people can keep their religion down to a couple of Hymns a week and others want to be taken over by it. I think if Glaxo Welcome came up with a pill that stopped this addictive trait people would stand up and face reality.

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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:Oops, my bad pele. I'd forgotten about that, I saw it at the time.

I wonder what it would take to get people to want to face reality, because some people I know are constantly and CONSCIOULY trying to devise ways to avoid it when they start having too.....


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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kjeal
newbie

Member Since: 29th Aug 2005
Total posts: 3
Posted:Remember the 11th commandment
..keep thy religion to thyself....

Religion IS politics though....but with a darker history

I'd recommend any George Carlin standup sketch with a religion theme
http://www.georgecarlin.com


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