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Old 08-29-2010, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
4,610 posts, read 3,153,660 times
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Default Is being Spiritual or Religious a Mental Illness?

Since well over 90% of people believe in the spiritual, the idea of being spiritual as not normal is a big pill to swallow.

I only suggest this, as more than one atheist has suggested that religious people are delusional or mentally ill. Which is an odd way of looking at the issue, since from a behavioral standpoint being religious/spiritual is the norm. Being an atheist is not the norm.

My feeling is that the next time an atheist suggests, by implication, that over 90% of people are mentally ill or delusional he or she should consider what is normal for human behavior. In my line of work I do encounter metally ill people who think they are fine, but believe nearly everyone else is mad.

I am by no means suggesting that atheists are mentally ill, just pointing out a behavioral definition and concept and a caution.

Thanks for listening.

 
Old 08-29-2010, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
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You have heard of mass delusion haven't you? Well I think that religion is the biggest mass delusion that ever was, or will be.
 
Old 08-29-2010, 04:18 PM
 
Location: NY & Fl
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I don't think of them as mentally ill....there is way too big a spread as to what is 'normal' and it's never been actaully defined.
"Ill" is usually used to describe a state whereas an individual has 'his' daily life somehow affected so as to be a problem
Since so many do hold one or another theistic believe, it's doubtful that ....for instance....going to church on Sundays....would constitute a disruption in ones life but.......

Oh...no...no...not gonna spend my Sunday writing a lengthy opinion that will be given little to no consideration!!
(It must have been the too early wine with a too early dinner that even prompted me to start)
 
Old 08-29-2010, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
4,610 posts, read 3,153,660 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanspeur View Post
You have heard of mass delusion haven't you? Well I think that religion is the biggest mass delusion that ever was, or will be.
"all the world is mad, except for me and thee"

It's like 90%+ of people think the sky is blue but you and your friends disagree

Just a thought.............

Side note-mass hysteria has never included more than a village or a couple of hundred people. Mass hysteria for 6B people?

Last edited by Mr5150; 08-29-2010 at 04:39 PM..
 
Old 08-29-2010, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
24,616 posts, read 17,784,879 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
"all the world is mad, except for me and thee"

It's like 90%+ of people think the sky is blue but you and your friends disagree

Just a thought.............
No, people with delusions or beliefs in mythical beings are not usually mentally ill, any more than children that believe in Santa are.

A delusion is a false belief that is resistant to confrontation with actual facts. The definition fits the religious perfectly.
 
Old 08-29-2010, 04:58 PM
 
6,040 posts, read 5,849,991 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post

It's like 90%+ of people think the sky is blue but you and your friends disagree
False analogy.

We have three types of cones in our retinas. They are called red, blue and green because they respond most strongly to light at those wavelengths. As they are stimulated in different proportions, our visual system constructs the colours we see. When we look up at the sky, the red cones respond to the small amount of scattered red light, but also less strongly to orange and yellow wavelengths. The green cones respond to yellow and the more strongly scattered green and green-blue wavelengths. The blue cones are stimulated by colours near blue wavelengths, which are very strongly scattered.

If there were no indigo and violet in the spectrum, the sky would appear blue with a slight green tinge. However, the most strongly scattered indigo and violet wavelengths stimulate the red cones slightly as well as the blue, which is why these colours appear blue with an added red tinge. The net effect is that the red and green cones are stimulated about equally by the light from the sky, while the blue is stimulated more strongly. This combination accounts for the pale sky blue colour.


So, which religion has factual scientific evidence to back it up?
 
Old 08-29-2010, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Colorado
10,010 posts, read 11,936,028 times
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I dont think they are mental or anything. Maybe brainwashed, or afraid of something different than what they were taught, or scared that there is nothing to offer after death. I think wanting something so bad can make some cling to an idea or hope. The only time I really wonder is when people start saying they talk to god or have seen or been possessed by demons. Then I wonder if they just need medication.
 
Old 08-29-2010, 05:07 PM
 
1,745 posts, read 1,030,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
Since well over 90% of people believe in the spiritual, the idea of being spiritual as not normal is a big pill to swallow.

I only suggest this, as more than one atheist has suggested that religious people are delusional or mentally ill. Which is an odd way of looking at the issue, since from a behavioral standpoint being religious/spiritual is the norm. Being an atheist is not the norm.
On the contrary - atheism is the natural/normal state one is born into. One has to be taught to believe in religion, myths, gods and fairytales.
 
Old 08-29-2010, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
4,610 posts, read 3,153,660 times
Reputation: 2874
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanspeur View Post
No, people with delusions or beliefs in mythical beings are not usually mentally ill, any more than children that believe in Santa are.

A delusion is a false belief that is resistant to confrontation with actual facts. The definition fits the religious perfectly.
So in your opinion 90% of people are delusional. Perhaps you should look at the concept of what is normal. 95% or more of people think stealing is wrong. Does that make the 5% right?
 
Old 08-29-2010, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
8,851 posts, read 6,897,295 times
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I wouldn't use the phrase "mentally ill", but I might use the word "indoctrinated" to describe many religious people. However, I have known some religious people who probably were truly mentally ill. But I'd say many if not most simply believe what they were told all their lives to believe. No mental illness, just plain old indoctrination and herd mentality.
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