Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Is Christianity a mental disorder?

This bright and good looking guy seems to think so.

The links mentioned in the video:
Insane Christian woman -
Calpurnpiso's channel on religious psychosis -
ShwaNerd's video on "delusion" -


The Exterminator said...

Well, you already know that I agree with you: religious believers are wacko. Perhaps Gideon will stop by and write something that bolsters our evidence for that claim. He's one sick dude, who would probably be found delusional even by devout Christian pyschologists.

But I'm not sure about Penny. She seems like a talented huckster to me, sort of a young Tammy Faye Baker, only marginally more attractive. I can never tell if people like her really believe what they're saying or are merely acting, trying to achieve some sort of fame and fortune through religion.

Anonymous said...

I'm a born-again athiest and first time commenter. I usually agree with what I see on your posts, but I have a gut-feeling this is a bit off. Since I can't make statements based on any research (I have not done any and have no time to research it), I will ask questions that your/his argument raises with me. If you or someone else has time to track down the answers I would love it.

1) Are metnal illnesses curable by simply gettin out in the world and getting more information? In my case, I was raised Christian and attended Christian schools through high-school. I even thought to enter the pastor raining university of our synod. It was not until I happened to get out of the area, out of the US, and out of the influence of a very one-sided community of aqauintances, that I realized it was BS.

However, I don't think I was mentally ill. I was decieved.

2) How does this compare to consumers (you and I and probably eveyone reading this) being decieved and manipulated by commercials into buying crap we don't need? Is that a mental illness? Or is it just the result of a group of people who are trained at manipulating people doing what they are traind to do, and

3) The man in the YouTube says that anyone who sings like that about anything other than Jesus would be considered mentally ill. Sorry, but I have heard some pretty bad love songs out there. Does that mean that anyone in love is considered mentally ill? Granted, she is in love with a fictionaly being, but that goes back to point 2. She was trained to love this being just as many people are freaks about a certain brand and spend so much time making tribute videos and what not to that brand. Some people even join fan-clubs of musicians and other products. This is the same it seems, since the image of these musicians and products are really just PR images - the same as the PR (or BS) that I was tought since I was a child about jesus.

4) Do you consider that you yourself were mentally ill? I may be mistaken, but it seems from my glance at your past posts that you were a pastor or priest or whatever your ex-religion called it? Is this correct? If so, were you mentally ill? And if so, what cured you?

5) The other guy in the second video seems crazier than the woman (who seemed pretty crazy). I don't know his credentials, but it seems that everything he speaks of is based on a video from the History Channel, which again, is edited to manipulate ratings. Is he mentally ill to take that all as 100% fact without checking it out? Or is being decieved just as I was when I was a child? Of course people will look to something as a "god" when they don't have the information and knowledge to find the truth. My chickens probably think I am the "god" that provides their manna every day.

Also, just because the History channel uses the word "god" to describe primitive "gods", it doesn't really mean the same thing as when we in the us hear the word "god". Other cultures speak of "god", but when pressed it is found that they just mean the earth, or the system that provides. How do we know that religion is just an artifcat of drugs, and that everyone who painted a picture of "god" on a cave wall really believed it in the same way that Christians belueve in their god?

6) WTF is the second video guy talking about when he said that "It's a fact. When the arabs and the Christians kneel doown its because they want to get screwed [by the falice of Christ or their god]"? I was never wanted that. He throws out too many "its absolute fact!", or "its a reality!", stattements without anything to back him up. He is just as crazy, but I would expect more from him.

I am not at all offended by this guys video and idea, but I am a stickler for really getting down to the bare essentials before labeling something. I have not ruled out that most Americans (even athiests) are mentally ill for their insane consumption choices that are destroyinhg the earth, but I also have not ruled it in.

Anonymous said...

Its anonymous again. I realize that I mistook your blog for another by an ex-priest. You can exclude my question in number 4. But I guess it still applies in that I would ask you if the woman who writes Apostate's Chapel (the blog I thought I was reading)was mental ill, and how she came to be cured?

PhillyChief said...

My answer is no. Perhaps extremists might be sick, like one might consider an alcoholic or gambling addict sick, but your average religion indulger I wouldn't consider sick.

I'd have to say also that I feel many have been duped, like giving money to alleged Nigerian princes. Is gullibility a mental illness?

For whatever the reason(s), religion fills a need for some people, and the size of that need varies from person to person. As an indulger in various things not necessarily good for me such as alcohol, I feel it would be hypocritical to condemn the religious as crazy for choosing a different vice. However, I can berate that choice plus, regardless of what one chooses as their vice, if they can't manage it, if it takes over their lives, then that's a problem for which they may need help.

What's a "born again atheist"?

John Evo said...

@ Philly & Anonymous:

Great points from both of you and I'll actually respond to them in another video, today or tomorrow. I'll post it here again. (Yes, Anon, that is me in the video).

Philly; I'm just guessing, but you know how many say "we're all **born** atheists"....?

PhillyChief said...

Well get a haircut first, hippy.

Anonymous said...

Its anonymous again.

I finally found time to watch the third video on your link list.

I have to say he did a much better job of making his case than the second guy did. By the textbook definition, the Christians we see on TV and the news are all delusional. I do not disagree. If the defenition he used is the standard definition of mental illness, I concede.

However, I myself, and many of my friends from high-school (and my parents), were / are christian, and don't fall into those categories. I think he is talking about a (hopefully) relatively small subset of christians that really are freaky.

The main thing that struck me was his number two: Your beliefs are not changeable by compelling evidence to the contrary (or something like that)

I would reiterate my argument that many christians' beliefs can be changed (as mine was) by exposure to different ideas and information. The thing is, the church works really hard to keep everyone away from such "bad influences". Even if you are not crazy, you will believe the only world you know.

Granted there are many who ARE probably certifiably crazy, but perhaps the reason those people became christian in the first place is precisely because they ARE crazy and susceptible to such influences.

PhillyChief said...

The common thread in deconversion stories is clearly each person esteemed reasoning and evidence, for they always point to things like evidence (or the lack thereof) which contradicts the tenets of their religion. Until you can establish a high value for that in people, any attempt to dissuade or "cure" believers from belief, I would think, is futile.

Religious leaders know this, which is why they've for centuries been anti-education, to keep away such "bad influences". Keep people ignorant and without critical thinking skills and you can get them to accept all kinds of crazy shit. Make the ground infertile for faith, and religious belief becomes, at best, a silly indulgence like astrology.

Anonymous said...

I would disagree with Philly Chief a bit too when he says that "religious leaders know this".

I almost became a religious leader. I was not privy to any special knowledge of the truth and scheming to keep it away from others. I ACTUALLY BELIEVED what I wanted to preach.

Had I followed the path that many of my friends followed, I would have dutifully followed and preached as has been done for centuries.

Aside from the money hungry televangelists, I am quite certain that most priests and religious leaders are not trying to manipulate, rather they really believe what they are saying, and they believe it passionatly.

None of my high-school classmates who have become pastors are rich. They do it because they are brainwashed. They are just as duped as their congregation. Where the first dupe came from? I don't know, but it perpetuated into a system where there is no longer anyone "in charge" who has an eveil agenda. It is simply that brainwashed people unwittingly brainwash other people.

PhillyChief said...

One thing doesn't have anything to do with the other.

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Vitamin R said...

Re Insane Christian Woman: OMG, why do the hot ones have to be so nucking futs? Soooooooo not fair! Jeebus wouldn't know what to do with her if he had her!

Ah, but enough douchebaggery--I seriously hope she's high or drunk, because otherwise . . . she's six distinct flavors of batshit insane. And the fact that she's been left to run around on her own, and allowed things like cameras and computers is . . . disheartening.

Calpurnpiso I've subscribed to, and ShwaNerd is worth keeping an eye on.

I think theism is a delusion many people are under. In some it's harmless, but in others, it warps them, creates a form of insanity. With regards to the latter kind of person, there's no proof said insanity mightn't have been caused by something else, if theism hadn't been the catalyst. However theism is a delusion that's sadly allowed to rage unchecked, so . . . yeah. Dangerous, in a slippery-slope, gateway-drug way. But worse than marijuana or rock n roll ever was :/

Anonymous said...

Hey - I came here to look for that one argument of yours - that one I complimented heavily. Where is it? I'm in the wrong thread, perhaps?

(in case you're drawing a blank, I'm talking about the one where you explain why - although theism certainly accompanies many mental disorders - theism itself (Christianity in particular) cannot be a mental disorder, because those afflicted with mental disorders typically cannot overcome them with reason)

John Evo said...

Unfortunately for you (if were planning on lifting the quote for something else you were writing) it was in my next post "Back-pedal". However, that was just me actually *saying it* in my YouTube video. I dunno, maybe I reiterated it in the comment section there, but I don't think so...

Anonymous said...

"if were planning on lifting the quote for something else you were writing"

Nope. Just wanted to reread, reponder, etc.

John Evo said...

I hope you aren't misinterpreting my use of "lifting". I mean it in the usual innocuous sense of what we all do, all of the time.

Anonymous said...

"I hope you aren't misinterpreting my use of "lifting". I mean it in the usual innocuous sense of what we all do, all of the time."

I wasn't, and I figured as much. I just wanted to read it, 'cuz it really was a good, lean, succinct argument.

BTW - could either 1) explain in a paragraph or two why you personally don't believe Intelligent Design is science, or 2) point me to a post or two where you've previously done so?

John Evo said...

I've talked about I.D. in any number of posts but none of them were really rebuttals to it being science.

Briefly, I'd just reiterate what we were talking about recently regarding AronRa's video and the amusement you found in him asking creationist for tests and predictions. As I said there, I don't think it's funny at all, as long as there are "creation scientists" who claim the science supports them.

This applies many times over for I.D. At least *some* creationists don't claim the support of science. I.D. specifically does.

So...? Where's the beef?, is what I would ask. What studies have been designed which could have been falsified? To my knowledge - there isn't a single one.

So after over a decade of spreading the notion of "Intelligent Design as science", they aren't even off the ground with the simplest, most basic part of science - run some tests!

Once they have done that, if the results are encouraging, they might be able to make some predictions based on that and do further tests. People keep begging the Discovery Institute for this and yet -- nothing.

If you recall during the Dover trial, there was a claim by Behe (I *think* it had something to do with the blood clotting mechanizm) and the attorney for the plaintiffs asked if he had done a specific test that could have verified a certain hypothesis. It would have been, intuitively, a revealing study and well within Behe's means and abilities to have conducted the test. Of course, he hadn't. And he admitted under oath that he never has commenced with *any* study - more importantly, no one else has.

As a science fan, I actually don't mind the claims of I.D. I know they piss off the world of evolutionary science, but there *is* a real upside.

Rather than doing any studies, they simply look at what *has* been studied and identify the gaps. They then claim those gaps as "indicators of intelligent design". The science world fulminates for a couple of years, while those who work in the particular field go back to the labs and run additional studies. At the end of a couple of years, the "problem" or "gap" is well explained. The science has been strenthened.

Of course, that's at the scientific level. At the "public relations" level (and, make no mistake, this is important since science needs the enthusiastic support of the public) it's a bit of a win for the I.D. folks. They got two years of major publicity and the shit tossed out to the public sticks with a lot of people - especially since the dispute itself seems to attract a lot more attention than the scientific solution to the "problems".

So, I might not have all of this perfect and if I'm wrong, I'm sure you'll correct me and I'll look in to it.

Anonymous said...

I just actually watched Penny's video. Wow.

John Evo said...

Yeah, that's more or less what I said. I felt compelled to watch the whole thing.

Teru Wong said...

Althouth some of us doubt about the physical presence of the god-like subject (a Conscious Earth), "all-God is one" must be valid if the Bible is correct. "Pagans" worshipped other "idols". The God divided us by increasing the conflicts among races and religions. It is a useful tool to manipulate our world. We are capable of exploring the universe through our electronic telescopes. At the same time, we can observe our planet Earth through the satellites. Therefore, more and more people realize the truth that this God-like subject is actually manipulating our world. Undoutedly, the increasing number of Christians shows an intention to establish an ideal images of charity and love. If the action is successful, they become Christians. Otherwise, they become patients (disorders).

PhillyChief said...

Is giving patients at the asylum internet access some new kind of therapy? Judging by Wong's ramblings, I'd say it's not working.

Teru Wong said...

RE: PhillyChief

Technology allows us to understand more about our universe. We're only a small planet. The God (the Conscious Earth) is full of himself/herself. Everyone who ever have contact with this subject will find out the truth. "Withnesses" in Christianity give us the clues of his/her physical existence. Religions are irrational thinking. Science will give us the final judement day when the truth isn't secret anymore. I believe this day will come.

PhillyChief said...

No, you're full of yourself, and full of it. The only subject you need contact with is medication.

Teru Wong said...

RE:RE: PhillyChief

It's my pleasure if you can spare time to read my Journals in Blogger and related websites. I think rational thinking is much better than arguments on "empty subject(s)". The "first cell" must obtained by our planet Earth in the very beginning. Meanwhile, the atmosphere cannot be produced by volcanic eruption. I have watched a documentary recently called "Home" by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. You can search for it on Youtube. The "Archaea" (Archae-/Archeo-bacteria) was a clue to me recently. It may be the first cell. It makes no contradiction with my hypothesis (the Conscious Earth).

PhillyChief said...

1) The use of "obtained" is loaded usage.

2) Even if every current scientific theory is wrong, that doesn't automatically make god belief valid. You still have to give evidence for your god, and attempting to discredit non-god arguments is not evidence for your god argument. That's merely a means to give yourself an excuse to indulge in your irrational belief, and you can read more of that on my blog.