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Old 11-15-2010, 03:52 PM
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On trial: Faith, delusion or excuse for crime? – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs

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Old 11-15-2010, 04:07 PM
Location: Victoria, BC.
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From your link...

"One man's vision is another man's delusion. One person's cult is another person's spiritual path," said BJ Gallagher, a sociologist and author who lives in Los Angeles, California. "In cases where God's guidance is invoked, we need to proceed very carefully."
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:14 PM
47 posts, read 37,682 times
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The very first thing most do in prison in align themselves with their race
and go to a religion be it Christianity, Islam, Taoism, ~ mental illness runs
a lockup and religion plays a big part.
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Old 11-15-2010, 11:29 PM
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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Why is mathematics sometimes tied to mental illness? (Cantor, Godel, Nash, etc)

Although for a less deflective answer manias or delusions fairly often involve feelings of power or persecution. Religious language can allow a person to express that. However I doubt it's necessarily "tied to" in the way you mean. In individuals relatively unfamiliar with religious language they might express their feelings of grandiosity or terror through a belief in government conspiracies, artistic or scientific inspiration, extraterrestrials, fantastic technology, and so forth. Some schizophrenics develop beliefs about mechanisms, or in more modern times computers, that control our minds. In my manic period much of the imagery was religious, but I believe a good deal of it involved something more like science-fiction. SF stories, even the ones I love, do often allow for a world where an individual has great power or is hunted like an animal or both. There are also political pundits or demagogues who allow for that. Guiteau, Garfield's assassin, I believe was at least somewhat tied into/obsessed with newspaper editorials.

So I guess I'm saying it's the grandiosity, out-sized dreams or terrors. Science fiction can feed into that, Fantasy Fiction like Tolkien can feed into that, political ideologies can do that, and religions can too. I'm obviously not against any of those. That the warped mind can put into them what they can't put into something mundane, like instruction books on carpentry, doesn't mean I'm advocating everyone be as mundane as possible and avoid any dreams.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:43 AM
Location: South Wales, Yes, I'm, back!
21,491 posts, read 11,922,744 times
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I'm reluctant to talk of insanity in connection with religion. It is very much in line with the sort of thinking which is very normal for us. In most cases people are content to go along with the concensus view or the pronouncements of authority figures and so don't stray to far from the concensus - norm. But some do. And they are not insane. They are just not willing to stop asking questions.

The way they go, whether following up a theory or a political ideal or an artistic line or a religious view can often end up in conflict with the concensus or establishment and can lead to ridicule and accusations of Insanity. If the view becomes rather popular, it engenders fear and a strong reaction, as we see with Creationism and Bible - literalism.

We see it repeatedly in the arts where radical pursiut of a line of thinking can even lead to accusations of immorality a feeling that such departure from the normal type of art can't be socially good. The artist, on the other hand, will feel contempt for the weak and timid adherence to conventional art.

The same happens in religion and in science, too. If the wild theory survives criticism (at least) and gains enugh adherents, then it gains acceptance and can find itself as an orthodoxy, open to the next challenge.

So, if the same sort of human though is behind both scientific advances and cults, are they not but equally valid and acceptable?

No. Because one is based on the best methods we have using sound logic and the scientific method and the other is based on that most common mode of thought - justifying one's own position by whatever apologetics might achieve that end.

Religion and cults are not the product of Insanity, though that is the kneejerk accusation of those who disagree strongly. But they are the product of illogic and non -science. It's been well said that the dividing - line between genius and insanity is a very fine one. It it. It is whether one uses the tried and tested mental tools or prefers, as our pal Kramer put it, to just bang away at the keyboard.

One might by chance, hit on a worthwhile discovery by such methods, perhaps even one which the use of logic and science might have missed, but one can also spend a lifetime trying to make a perpetual motion machine or prove that the earth is flat or that dinosaurs co -existed with humans.

Last edited by AREQUIPA; 11-16-2010 at 12:54 AM..
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:32 AM
Location: The Netherlands
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Religion is tied to mental illness because you've gotta be crazy to believe things most people don't right?

Anywayz, most prophets (at least from the Bible) were considered insane because they never behaved like the rest of the herd.
The same goes for people who think creatively ( or is it intuitively and / or non-linear?) who go from A to D, then X to finally end up at B.
Instead of those who think logically; who can only go straight from A to B because they simply lack the imagination.

Anywayz the line between insanity and genius has always been very thin.
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:41 AM
Location: Metromess
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I'm an atheist, but I wasn't always, and I don't think I was mentally ill while I was a believer (I did convert to Catholicism when I was 19, which is hard to imagine myself doing). I think the Bible literalists and Muslim fundamentalists come close to insanity at times. Maybe it's simply greed on the part of the preachers and gullible desperation on the part of the flocks. I don't think mainstream religion requires mental illness, just a certain credulity which I cannot (and don't want to) possess.
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:55 AM
202 posts, read 232,630 times
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I kind of really dislike the framing of religion in this way because anyone can truly be framed as crazy. It's all in the matter of framing.

Please define insanity and then define religion. Then maybe a real discussion can ensue.
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:06 PM
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,349 posts, read 65,694,769 times
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Originally Posted by wintertao View Post
The very first thing most do in prison in align themselves with their race
and go to a religion be it Christianity, Islam, Taoism, ~ mental illness runs
a lockup and religion plays a big part.
Either they are faking it or they really hit bottom and their psychological protection mechanism probably has them grasp onto something like religion to prevent them from going into deep depression.
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Old 11-28-2010, 06:35 PM
Location: Atlanta
196 posts, read 85,634 times
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Mental illness can be described as irrational thoughts.
Religion is irrational... there ya go.
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