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  1. 1 point
    As for the bolded part: If you had been delusional, you couldn't have critically examined your delusions and adjusted your thinking. You would have not had the option of adjusting your beliefs based on your evolving understanding. Delusional people also can't deconvert out of their delusions, like many people deconvert out of religious beliefs. The delusions are overwhelming and will override the delusional person's rational mind. The process how delusional mind develops, is a one-way street, like most mental illnesses are: the condition that makes people delusional typically only deteriorates and the delusions become worse and worse over time. Religious beliefs on the other hand have a wide variety of ways with how they develop, some people become more religious by age, some become less so. There is actually strikingly little in common in the nature of delusions and religious beliefs on a closer examination. The topic makes me think of the name of the famous pro-atheist book "God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. The name of the book is not an accident, it follows the anti-religious tradition of rhetorically equating religion with mental illness. Basically the name could be "Only crazy people can believe in God". It is typical of all bigotry to be rooted in ignorance, and the Dawkins-style "religious beliefs are delusions" - bigotry is not an exception, it's classic ignorant bigotry in the sense that it's based on (either genuine, or intentionally chosen rhetorical) ignorance about the nature of delusions and the nature of religious beliefs. Granted, there are superficial overlappings when it comes to how strong mysticism and some mental illnesses appear to the outside world. Mystics can come off as little bit nuts or at least wierd. But, I think part of the problem with that observation is the silly assumption that our views on God are supposed to develop in the same purist rational fashion as our views on atomic theory do. There are other areas in life that are driven by something else than reason, such as artistic inspiration or falling in love. A person who has fallen in love is also a bit "crazy" and so is a person who is in the midst of a deep artistic inspiration. But, people don't make as much of a problem out of those phenomenons because our culture is more used to people who fall in love, or express artistic eccentricity, than it is used to religious mysticism (in some other cultures, religious wierdness was much more acceptable). Healthy human nature as a whole is not a cold, hard, rational, facts - examining computer. There are highly extra-rational elements to human nature (artistic inspiration, falling in love f.e.). In my opinion, there is no reason to expect that spirituality or beliefs should be made of cold analysis either.
  2. 1 point
    Language is important. Every field of interest develops its own detailed language in order to communicate minute details with specificity. Medicine, physics, art, theology, psychology &c all have their own jargon which is necessary to communicate properly. Vernacular language often limited, confusing or have regional meanings. Consciousness has vernacular meanings, a theological meaning, a psychological meaning and a medical meaning inter alia. This causes problems in interdisciplinary conversations, but sorting it out is usually a profitable venture.
  3. 1 point
    The "Imply then deny" - gambit. If this was the only statement of similar nature you've made in a while, I would give you the benefit of the doubt but it isn't. They are violent fanatics. The same way as the atheist NKVD officers who carried out Stalin's purges and tortured "the enemies of the people" for decades as their job were violent fanatics. In today's world, the worst extremists are religious. In the days of the Cold War, the most horrible things were done by atheists. I recommend taking a more historical look into the topic of fanaticism before making too hasty conclusions. To be clear, psychopaths can become the worst kind of violent fanatics but not all violent fanatics are psychopaths. Note: The medical term psychopathy usually refers to individual behavior, particularly to individuals who are out of line with everyone else in their society. People who are indoctrinated to behave violently or have grown up in a violent culture, or in a violent sub-culture, or have been radicalized at some point in their lives, fall under some other label. Psychopathy is a personality disorder which can't be cured or unlearned. The usage of the term "psychopath" in popular culture shouldn't be confused with the anti-social personality disorder aka psychopathy.
  4. 1 point
    I miss the old days (few days ago) when religious people were only irrationally rejecting the reality in your books, now we have been upgraded to delusional psychopaths... But I'll play along and address the points separately, delusions and psychopathy: That definition is seriously lacking some shades of grey and doesn't do justice for the reality! For example; My grandfather was a communist, he believed that the West is evil and socialism is good. By the time of his old days, there was plenty of evidence to the contrary but he refused to believe it. Was he delusional or just stubborn? Delusion is on a whole different level of crazy than mere holding on to a belief, is. People hold on to their false beliefs for all sorts of reasons. Being emotionally invested in to a belief is not the same as delusion. Shades of grey. Secondly, there is no proof that there isn't God. That negative has not been proven (yes, negatives can sometimes be proven). There is no need to treat the question as if the non-existence of God had been proven, when it hasn't been. A leap of faith there. Hollywood psychopathy aside, the real world definition of psychopathy is also known as anti-social disorder. To put it simply, it means that person lacks feelings such as empathy and remorse and is incapable of normal human attachments. Psychopath "doesn't have a heart". Psychopathy per se doesn't make a person violent but it means that the person might not have emotional breaks stopping his violent impulses, if he has violent impulses. Note; psychopathy is not an on-off condition, only for the purposes of the medical community it has been divided into clinical and sub-clinical psychopathy. It's common for religions to include "knowledge of heart" into the world view. So, actually, atheism is closer to psychopathy than religiousness or spirituality is, because atheism rejects the idea that your feelings or "knowledge of heart" should matter at all in forming your world view. This kind of "brains above emotion" is more typical for atheism than for religious beliefs. Maybe we should rather be discussing does atheism attract / create more psychopaths than religion does, because atheism as an ideology has the same heartlessness and idealization of reason that is detached from emotion, as psychopathy does? Should atheism be considered a form of sub-clinical psychopathy due to rejection of heart as a source for establishing ones world view?
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