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PaulS

Delusional psychopaths vs Religous belief

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I raised in a different thread that in certain ways there are things in common between delusional psychopathy and religious belief.  

Now that may seem offensive and aggravating to some, but would anyone care to rationally discuss the point?  I don't mean to offend, but rather the words, definitions and experiences we have around these words seems to point to some similarities in some ways (in my opinion) so I would like to discuss it further and flesh it out more with others.  I would really appreciate people coming to this argument with a calm and open mind.

What makes somebody a delusional psychopath? 

Firstly, let's consider the definition of delusion: "A delusion is a fixed, false belief. It's “an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder.”

Seems pretty straight forward initially, but let's probe a bit.  What do we mean when we say fixed, false belief?  How do we verify if a belief is false or not?  Should we be able to verify our beliefs?  If we can't verify our beliefs, does that make our belief false or true?  What if generally accepted as reality is wrong, like when people were so certain the earth was flat and that the sun rotated around the earth?  What about opposing beliefs?  If one belief is that we should kill our enemies and another beliefs is to not to, which belief is false?  Personally, I think it depends on which camp you sit in, but I would like to hear other opinions.  

Now a psychopath is defined as a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behaviour.

We have no problem in saying that a person who murders because they hear voices telling them to murder or because they know that's what God wants them to do, has a mental disorder.  It sems to me thought  that what may be abnormal or violent social behaviour could in other societies be seen as quite normal (see below example).

But let me ask you this - is a true-believing, God-faithful, jihadist ISIS member who wishes to slit the throats of as many infidels as they can because they truly believe their God wants them to do this (the evidence is there - just ask them), a delusional psychopath, a religious believer, or both, or neither?  Is there any comparison, in certain ways?

If our definitions require us to determine whether beliefs are false or true, do we need to validate our beliefs in order to prove whether they are false or true?  Or do we accept majority rule and say that because the majority of our society think something is true (or rather the majority is not particularly offended by the belief that some have) we will uphold that belief as true (or least offensive) even when it contradicts what the majority of another society may consider the truth?

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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:

 

1 hour ago, PaulS said:

Firstly, let's consider the definition of delusion: "A delusion is a fixed, false belief. It's “an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder.”

 

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.

 

1 hour ago, PaulS said:

Now a psychopath is defined as a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behaviour.

 

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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4 hours ago, PaulS said:

 there are things in common between delusional psychopathy and religious belief.  

And yet again, so............ continually!

Now you have created a separate post , will the music video and the movie (straight to DVD) be out soon?

 

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5 hours ago, Jack of Spades said:

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:

Nobody is updating religious people to delusional psychopaths unless it is religious people who are seeing themselves that way.  I am only stating/questioning some similarity in the concepts but am trying to flesh them out in debate/dialogue.

5 hours ago, Jack of Spades said:

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.

At what level of crazy is delusion defined to have commenced and mere stubbornness to have stopped?   Well as the definition I cited explained, it's when a belief is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder.”  So from that I ask "who determines what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument?"  Society?  Culture?  Religious books? Science?  I certainly agree there are shades of grey.

5 hours ago, Jack of Spades said:

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.

I think this is a poor argument but clearly those who support it don't.  I'm not sure how the point can be genuinely progressed any further.

5 hours ago, Jack of Spades said:

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.

So would you consider the violent, throat-slitting ISIS jihadist a psychopath, or just a stubborn religious believer?

5 hours ago, Jack of Spades said:

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?

Perhaps atheism should be, I'm not really sure. Would you care to genuinely discuss that and make points for and against?  I am not emotionally tied to any label so would be more than happy to work through this with you if you are genuinely asking the question, but can I suggest we start a separate thread to keep the separate dialogues clear.

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9 hours ago, PaulS said:

Nobody is updating religious people to delusional psychopaths unless it is religious people who are seeing themselves that way.  I am only stating/questioning some similarity in the concepts but am trying to flesh them out in debate/dialogue.

 

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.

 

9 hours ago, PaulS said:

So would you consider the violent, throat-slitting ISIS jihadist a psychopath, or just a stubborn religious believer?


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.

Edited by Jack of Spades
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33 minutes ago, Jack of Spades said:

 

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.

Rubbish.  I am not denying anything I have said.  Please, read my words anywhere and tell me where ounce I have said that delusional psychopath = religious believer.  I simply haven't.  When I first raised it I carefully said "...in certain ways".  Sorry that some seem so precious that I can't make an observation and then discuss it, but the facts are that I made a reference to certain characteristics being similar and that is all.  Show me where I have stated the contrary.

33 minutes ago, Jack of Spades said:

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.

So who defines what constitutes a violent fanatic and who defines what constitutes a delusional psychopath?  Maybe any discussion should be extended to violent atheists as well.  I have no problem with you doing so.  I'm not trying to be hasty but I am happy to discuss.  I just don't get why some are so defensive about this - I have raised an insinuation that there are similarities.  By all means, lets discuss them.  No problem.

33 minutes ago, Jack of Spades said:

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.

Don't care.  All I am saying is that there appear to be some similarities in that the psychopath or somebody suffering from psychopathy, both think they are believers of truth.  is this not so?

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Definitions are all man made words with many definitions changed over time according to the whims of those in control. Yes, there seems to be things in common even as there can be found some similar definitive terms among religions with those referred to as cults. To me, the words "generally accepted " says little about delusional and fact as I believe history suggests. I think beliefs are simply beliefs and delusional just a convenient word for those who want to put people in boxes. 

What does it matter what you call a jihadist ISIS member? The definition changes nothing .  People simply operate primarily around the level of consciousness they have evolved to. One could say, for a myriad of reasons people operate around conscious levels we might call or define as shame, guilt , apathy,  grief, fear, desire, anger , pride, all the way up to reason, love, joy and peace and everything in between.  Society sets its own standards and understandably so. If you don't fit the mold society has deemed beneficial to society you will be tagged with a definition and bagged in some way. That's life in the big city. 😊

That my 2 cents. Joseph

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Is believing that an angel came to Mary two thousand years ago and foretold of a parthenogenetic birth a rational, irrational, or delusional position, based on the understanding we have on the way the universe ticks today?

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23 hours ago, JosephM said:

Definitions are all man made words with many definitions changed over time according to the whims of those in control. Yes, there seems to be things in common even as there can be found some similar definitive terms among religions with those referred to as cults. To me, the words "generally accepted " says little about delusional and fact as I believe history suggests. I think beliefs are simply beliefs and delusional just a convenient word for those who want to put people in boxes. 

Agreed, Language is limiting and at best it implies a form of communication that simply tries to best describe a thing or no thing as we commonly agree.

23 hours ago, JosephM said:

What does it matter what you call a jihadist ISIS member? The definition changes nothing .  People simply operate primarily around the level of consciousness they have evolved to. One could say, for a myriad of reasons people operate around conscious levels we might call or define as shame, guilt , apathy,  grief, fear, desire, anger , pride, all the way up to reason, love, joy and peace and everything in between.  Society sets its own standards and understandably so. If you don't fit the mold society has deemed beneficial to society you will be tagged with a definition and bagged in some way. That's life in the big city. 😊

That my 2 cents. Joseph

It matters nothing, other than when trying to clarify during a dialogue what one is referring to.  Agreed that individuals have their own opinion and ideas concerning their level of consciousnesses and understanding, but if we are going to try and communicate, surely  we must have some agreeance concerning what terms means what and to who!  

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1 hour ago, PaulS said:

Agreed, Language is limiting and at best it implies a form of communication that simply tries to best describe a thing or no thing as we commonly agree.

It matters nothing, other than when trying to clarify during a dialogue what one is referring to.  Agreed that individuals have their own opinion and ideas concerning their level of consciousnesses and understanding, but if we are going to try and communicate, surely  we must have some agreeance concerning what terms means what and to who!  

 

1 hour ago, PaulS said:

Agreed, Language is limiting and at best it implies a form of communication that simply tries to best describe a thing or no thing as we commonly agree.

It matters nothing, other than when trying to clarify during a dialogue what one is referring to.  Agreed that individuals have their own opinion and ideas concerning their level of consciousnesses and understanding, but if we are going to try and communicate, surely  we must have some agreeance concerning what terms means what and to who!  

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. 

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3 minutes ago, Burl said:

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. 

What he said!

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On 10/25/2018 at 11:06 AM, PaulS said:

Sorry that some seem so precious that I can't make an observation and then discuss it, but the facts are that I made a reference to certain characteristics being similar and that is all.

 

You are not being oppressed by being forbidden from making an observation or discussing it. You have done so and I have:

1) participated in the discussion

2) generously explained to you why your observation is based on very selective, uninformed usage of the words you are using and

3) within reason, questioned why you are using such emotional, derogatory words, even after being informed that they are inaccurate. I have suggested that you have an agenda in doing so.

 

If you start a bad-faith discussion, you are not entitled to being complimented about how awesome your observations are.

 

On 10/25/2018 at 11:06 AM, PaulS said:

So who defines what constitutes a violent fanatic and who defines what constitutes a delusional psychopath? 

 

Well in this case the medical community has defined what constitutes 1) delusional and 2) psychopath. There is no need to take this one on the existential level of "to be or not to be" since this one is a practical question. There is a well-established definition and it's being used out of context if you use it to describe something that doesn't fit the description.

 

On 10/25/2018 at 11:06 AM, PaulS said:

I just don't get why some are so defensive about this - I have raised an insinuation that there are similarities.


Because it's derogatory, inflammatory and slanderous? And because it's a standard, ages old anti-religious tactic of campaigning against religion; attempt to medicalize religion and claim that religious people are dangerous and equate religion to mental illness. If people like you got to spread your slander unchallenged, the next step would be to suggest that religion should be treated as mental illness. That's the obvious, logical conclusion.

 

On 10/25/2018 at 11:06 AM, PaulS said:

Don't care.  All I am saying is that there appear to be some similarities in that the psychopath or somebody suffering from psychopathy, both think they are believers of truth.  is this not so?

 

If you claim to be a rational, neutral observer and not just a slanderer, you can't afford not to care about the differences between religion and psychopathy, if you insist on observing the similarities. You should either start caring about both the similarities and the differences or you should stop claiming to be a rational observer and call yourself an anti-religious slanderer, just for transparency and accuracy.

Edited by Jack of Spades

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1 hour ago, Jack of Spades said:

You are not being oppressed by being forbidden from making an observation or discussing it. You have done so and I have:

1) participated in the discussion

2) generously explained to you why your observation is based on very selective, uninformed usage of the words you are using and

3) within reason, questioned why you are using such emotional, derogatory words, even after being informed that they are inaccurate. I have suggested that you have an agenda in doing so.

You did say that I was denying what I had previously implied.  I pointed out that that was not the case at all.  You then accused me of making similar statements, refused to give me the benefit of the doubt and accused me of lying about genuinely seeking to try and flesh out the concepts in debate/dialogue. 

Quote

If you start a bad-faith discussion, you are not entitled to being complimented about how awesome your observations are.

I am certainly not seeking any compliments but do hope to not have false accusations made.  But look, you're entitled to your opinion and I'm not going to worry that you don't agree with me.  I can try to assure you that I am only seeking genuine dialogue and reasoned debate on the issue, but obviously you're not going to believe me.  I don't think I can change that.

Quote

Because it's derogatory, inflammatory and slanderous? And because it's a standard, ages old anti-religious tactic of campaigning against religion; attempt to medicalize religion and claim that religious people are dangerous and equate religion to mental illness. If people like you got to spread your slander unchallenged, the next step would be to suggest that religion should be treated as mental illness. That's the obvious, logical conclusion.

As you don't know me personally, can't read my body language and can't hear the inflection in my words, I understand how the shortcomings of email/posting may not accurately convey one's intention.  In my mind I am not trying to slander anyone, inflame anything, or sound derogatory.  There is no campaign here.  I raised the delusional psychopath discussion in another thread and I felt it took away from that thread and for me, as it hadn't been resolved (in my opinion), so I wanted to further discuss it in another thread of it's own.

If you go back to the original thread thread you will see that the first thing I said about this matter was "For me, the delusional psychopath's reality is just as valid as the God believers reality, in that neither can be regarded as reality but can be regarded as opinion."  To me that is an observation open to challenges of course, but it was never intended as rude or derogatory and I am surprised that you interpret my 7 or so years engaged with this forum as all of a sudden becoming a campaign to ridicule and equate religion to mental illness.

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To end my participation in this thread let me say to all - I sincerely and truly apologise if I have offended anybody.  That was never my intention.  Clearly it took me a while to realise how inflammatory this subject is/was for some so I am more than happy to drop it (even delete it from the site if anybody feels that strongly about it).  Please understand that I was only ever seeking genuine discussion and debate around the matter because I truly don't see it the way others do and I have often debated issues on this forum to help with my thinking and of which, many times people have helped me change or form different understandings based on their preparedness to engage and debate issues.

In short, sorry.  I don't think anyone can equate religious believers to delusional psychopaths and I never meant for any comment of mine to be interpreted that way.

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8 hours ago, PaulS said:

 

Paul, no need, to delete anything and, for my part, I accept your intention, realization and gladly acknowledge your longtime contributions on the site.

Edited by thormas

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10 hours ago, PaulS said:

I can try to assure you that I am only seeking genuine dialogue and reasoned debate on the issue, but obviously you're not going to believe me.  I don't think I can change that.


Look, just an honest question; If I said the following, in the following order, what would you think:


1.) I would express interest in discussing the similarities between black people and apes. That is based on a technically accurate observation, there are in fact similarities, such as they both have the same amount of limbs attached to their upper body and neither one lays eggs, for examples.

2.) After having it pointed out that there are glaring differences, I would state that I don't care about the differences, and we should instead focus on discussing the similarities.

3.) I insisted on not having a racist agenda and I would act very surprised if I offended somebody and could not understand what's wrong with wanting to discuss a topic.

4.) I would defend my intentions by pointing out that at no point have I ever claimed that black people are apes, of course. I would just insist on ignoring the differences and discussing the similarities between the two (which is de facto implying that black people are apes or at least somehow specially close to apes).

 

Would it be natural at this point for you to suspect that I am not just objectively discussing my observations, but rather I was using the "word association tactic" by continuing to bring up A and B together, in order to have A emotionally associated with B? It's a well-known defamation tactic, used all the time by political media actors etc. In the word association history, black people & apes is on the same level as religion & mental illness. Both associations are 1) demeaning and 2) also have a bad history, so the concern about either one is not just theoretical.

 

10 hours ago, PaulS said:

...and I am surprised that you interpret my 7 or so years engaged with this forum as all of a sudden becoming a campaign to ridicule and equate religion to mental illness.

 

In this particular quote you were referring to, excuse me my poor choice of words. I meant to say something along the lines of "people using the kind of rhetoric you are using here", but it came off as more of a personal character attack than it was intended to be. Sorry. A case of poor self-expression from my part.
 

10 hours ago, PaulS said:

To end my participation in this thread let me say to all - I sincerely and truly apologise if I have offended anybody.

 

The way I see it is that you said something bigoted, you got called out. The response you got was proportionate to the offense you made. No further punishments needed. Justice has been served. All is well. Everyone gets to be happy.

Let it be stated for the record that there are no hard feelings from my part. Peace!

Edited by Jack of Spades

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On ‎10‎/‎25‎/‎2018 at 7:47 PM, romansh said:

Is believing that an angel came to Mary two thousand years ago and foretold of a parthenogenetic birth a rational, irrational, or delusional position, based on the understanding we have on the way the universe ticks today?

Would anyone care to have a go at this question?

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

Would anyone care to have a go at this question?

In my view it is just a belief someone has chosen or been influenced to believe from their conditioned life. I would neither call it rational, irrational, or delusional. Nor would i base it on the understanding "we" (whatever or whomever that refers to) have on the way the universe ticks today. The words rational and irrational and delusional are in my view highly subjective at best.

My 2 cents,

Joseph

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2 hours ago, romansh said:

Would anyone care to have a go at this question?

Why do you only ask questions, then cynically pick the statements of others apart?  

Make an affirmative statement about the subject and let's see how well you defend it.  I have tired of your trollage.

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16 hours ago, Jack of Spades said:


Look, just an honest question; If I said the following, in the following order, what would you think:


1.) I would express interest in discussing the similarities between black people and apes. That is based on a technically accurate observation, there are in fact similarities, such as they both have the same amount of limbs attached to their upper body and neither one lays eggs, for examples.

2.) After having it pointed out that there are glaring differences, I would state that I don't care about the differences, and we should instead focus on discussing the similarities.

3.) I insisted on not having a racist agenda and I would act very surprised if I offended somebody and could not understand what's wrong with wanting to discuss a topic.

4.) I would defend my intentions by pointing out that at no point have I ever claimed that black people are apes, of course. I would just insist on ignoring the differences and discussing the similarities between the two (which is de facto implying that black people are apes or at least somehow specially close to apes).

 

Would it be natural at this point for you to suspect that I am not just objectively discussing my observations, but rather I was using the "word association tactic" by continuing to bring up A and B together, in order to have A emotionally associated with B? It's a well-known defamation tactic, used all the time by political media actors etc. In the word association history, black people & apes is on the same level as religion & mental illness. Both associations are 1) demeaning and 2) also have a bad history, so the concern about either one is not just theoretical.

Personally, honestly, I don't think I would make that assumption at that point and would try to understand better.  But maybe that's just me.  I simply did not find the responses put forward to my questions/issues, satisfactory to my logic and reason so I wanted to work through it further and so I started a new, more appropriate thread.  I tried to layout my reasons in my introductory post which you seem to have interpreted as me not being truthful.  I can understand you thinking the above about what I wrote I guess (but I don't know you well enough to say that), but I have no issue with that.  Nonetheless, to limit any further aggravation around the issue I thought better to drop it and apologise for any misunderstanding.

Quote

In this particular quote you were referring to, excuse me my poor choice of words. I meant to say something along the lines of "people using the kind of rhetoric you are using here", but it came off as more of a personal character attack than it was intended to be. Sorry. A case of poor self-expression from my part.

No problem.

Quote

The way I see it is that you said something bigoted, you got called out. The response you got was proportionate to the offense you made. No further punishments needed. Justice has been served. All is well. Everyone gets to be happy.

Let it be stated for the record that there are no hard feelings from my part. Peace!

Personally, I don't think I was being bigoted but fair enough if you form that opinion. Whatever the case, I'm glad we're all good and I hope we can continue the forum with many debates, dialogue and other items as they arise.  Peace and good will to you too.  I mean that.

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13 hours ago, JosephM said:

In my view it is just a belief someone has chosen or been influenced to believe from their conditioned life. I would neither call it rational, irrational, or delusional. Nor would i base it on the understanding "we" (whatever or whomever that refers to) have on the way the universe ticks today. The words rational and irrational and delusional are in my view highly subjective at best.

I agree with Joseph that this is a belief. As a child, when I believed this (except for the parthenogenetic part) it wasn't consider irrational or delusional, and I don't remember any angst over (or against) its rationality - it was what we believed. I no longer believe it for the simple reason that given my 'view' of "God," there is no need for a miraculous intervention. In addition, my view is that Jesus was a man, in all ways - including a normal birth. 

I never remember any discussions on the virginal conception being asexual (parthenogenetic) nor have I ever read a serious biblical scholar or theologian (not even an unserious one) who interpreted this belief as an asexual birth. Has someone put their hands on a Christian document wherein it was revealed to be asexual? 

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5 hours ago, thormas said:

I agree with Joseph that this is a belief. As a child, when I believed this (except for the parthenogenetic part) it wasn't consider irrational or delusional, and I don't remember any angst over (or against) its rationality - it was what we believed. I no longer believe it for the simple reason that given my 'view' of "God," there is no need for a miraculous intervention. In addition, my view is that Jesus was a man, in all ways - including a normal birth. 

 

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.

Edited by Jack of Spades
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4 hours ago, Jack of Spades said:

 

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.

Well said, Jack.

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4 hours ago, Jack of Spades said:

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.

Just on this word 'bigotry' - I think we need to understand what we are talking about here.  The word bigot, as I understand it, means a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions (Oxford dictionary).  Another definition (Cambridge Dictionary) describes a person who has strong, unreasonable beliefs (people can fee l free to say that about my side of the argument if they want) and who does not like other people who have different beliefs or a different way of life: The key to bigot and bigotry is intolerance and dislike of others because of their views.  I don't think a few interchanges or disagreements on views in a thread or two can or should be labelled as bigotry.  Otherwise it would seem to me that everyone who disagrees or refuses to accepts the others opposing view would seem to be a bigot by your understanding.

I have displayed no such intolerance, even though I may disagree and debate others beliefs and points of view..  Indeed by titling this topic psychopathy VERSUS belief I was acknowledging there are differences (accepting others views to a degree), but acknowledge I was primarily discussing similarities.  Now I have no intention of discussing the topic any further per se, but I think I need to address your charge of bigotry as I don't think that is an appropriate description and I think your explanation above doesn't correctly understand the definition of the word.  Ignorance is one thing, equating religion with mental illness is another, but neither are of themselves, bigotry.  Disagreeing with others beliefs is not intolerance

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