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Are religious people Delusional?

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posted on Jan, 20 2010 @ 05:11 PM
Yes. No. Maybe.

Depends upon ones definition of what a 'Delusion' is.

If you're using a purely clinical paradigm/perception of Delusion, such as via such mediums as the DSM then possibly:

False beliefs based on incorrect inference about external reality that persist despite the evidence to the contrary and these beliefs are not ordinarily accepted by other members of the person's culture or subculture.

...important bit that italicised bit: "and these beliefs are not ordinarily accepted by other members of the person's culture or subculture."

In that regard, religious people could slide out comfortably from the above - giving that Religion is predominately a collective construct, as such 'Religious beliefs' certainly could/are held by other members of the person's culture or subculture.

Additionally, the DSM contains a bit of a 'rider clause' in regards to incorporating religious belief into any delusional based diagnosis:

Personal beliefs should be evaluated with great respect to complexity of cultural and religious differences: some cultures have widely accepted beliefs that may be considered delusional in other cultures. po-tar-to...clear as mud really...

As a Believer I certainly accept, and will openly admit, that my belief structure in regards to religious/faith-based elements of it may well not have any logical, analytically/scientifically verifiable basis to them...I have a strong belief/faith in an supposedly unverifiable Entity (that which I term God), I have a belief/faith in a great many things that are without unquantifiable irrefutable evidence...yet my faith/beleif is strong.

I could well be deemed delusional for that.
What I hold as *true* for me could well be a delusion. Totally.
I may not feel or think it is...but then hey, again from a Clinical Perspective my unwavering belief could also be deemed lack of awareness and insight into a delusional structure.

Are religious people Delusional? Well...perhaps some are, some arent, some are fine, some are barking mad, and who can pick which is which?

Ultimately be it delusion or not...for me the issue is not so much in what someone holds as *true* but rather hinges on what someone does with that *truth*.

Do we as believers berate others with our *truth* as we may see it? Do we ram it down other peoples throats and weld it like some blazing sword, as I unfortunately see it done so often?
Do we demand everyone else take onboard our *truth*, succumb and buy in to it?
Do we use it to castegate and berate ourselves as well?

Basically, what is the resulting outcomes of any belief or faith in something we may hold - is it positive or is it negative for us and certainly for others?

...just a few opinions from someone who *believes*, but also from someone whose day-job is Mental Health and assessing Mental Disorders...


posted on Jan, 20 2010 @ 05:36 PM
Let's look at a probability: The probability of god is equal to the probability that the universe is run by Colin the gigantic Lobster. Neither can be proved or disproved. Physical evidence exists for neither.

Is it delusional to believe in Colin? Yes of course. If it is delusional to believe in Colin, then so must it be delusional to believe in god.

If you believe in god, then you would have to acknowledge the possible existence of Colin, on a par with god. Or neither can exist.

Thereby, Colin and god are either equally real, or equally preposterous.

Anyway, can't stop, it's almost time for midnight prayers at the church of the holy crustacean.

posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 10:21 PM
reply to post by December_Rain

Excellent questions. I'd like to recommend you read The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by the late Julian Jaynes. It will provide breathtaking answers to all your questions about the why and wherefore of religion and the psychology at its root.

Sadly religion is likely to be with us for the foreseeable future because the transition from bicamerality to consciousness is still ongoing to this day. It will require an unimaginably enormous amount of sociocultural stress and a little natural selection over many generations to make remaining vestigial bicamerals fully conscious.

posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 05:51 AM
reply to post by Lilitu

Thank you very much for the links..I'd surely go thru them.

posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 09:19 PM

Originally posted by December_Rain
Why would someone want to believe in God which he/she has never seen? Imo religious tales makes good storybooks but aren't they all delusion? They are just man made thoughts and conjecture? Or is religion a mode to control masses? Agreed many religious text promotes peace and self gratification but in the end is it not that hundred or thousands of year ago a man wrote his dreams/ delusions in a book? and same is being carry forwarded as different religion

Edited: In my long list of question the last I want to ask you is could a world exist without religion?

[edit on 20-1-2010 by December_Rain]

I'll answer the first question with another question; do you believe in
love, have you ever seen love? Not to be confused with the effects of.

To your last question; quote from deMello

My friend and I went to the fair, the World Fair of Religions.
Not a trade fair. But the competition was as fierce, the propaganda loud.

At the Jewish stall we were given handouts that said God was all-compassionate and the Jews were his Chosen People. The Jews. No
other people were as chosen as they.

At the Muslem stall we learned that God was all-merciful and Mohammed
is his only Prophet. Salvation comes from listening to God's prophet.

At the Christian stall we discovered that God is love and there is no
salvation outside the Church. Join the Church or risk eternal danmation.

On the way out I asked my friend, "What do you think of God?" He replied,
"He is bigoted, fanatical, and cruel.

Back home, I said to God, "How do you put up with ths sort of thing,Lord?
Don't you see they have been giving you a bad name for centuries?"

God said, "It wasn't I who organized the fair. In fact, I'd be too ashamed to visit it."

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