Some experts see religion as a psychological problem or condition.  Others go further and see it as a mental disorder.


Psychologist Valerie Tarico says that if one can explain how Christian belief originates then the belief is false. According to her, the origin of the belief can be explained by neuroscience and neuropsychology. This however, Christians love to tell us, does not prove in itself that the belief is wrong. True. I could be programmed to believe in God. And there could be a God. But what I worship is not God. I can have a delusion about what is true! If the faculties that cause me to have a delusion cause me to accept something that is actually true then it is still a delusion in the psychological sense. If I have a fault on my cornea that makes me see a streetlight and there is a streetlight there, the fact remains is that I did not see the real streetlight. A delusion can be actually false and or psychologically false.
Christians surmise that Tarico commits the genetic fallacy. They accuse her of reasoning, "If one can explain the origin of a phenomenon (Christian religious belief), then the phenomenon is false." But given that if you have a delusion that your dead daughter is alive and it turns out you are right, the fact remains that it is still a delusion for your perception of reality is still psychotic. Christian faith is not real faith and brings people to what they want God to be not what he is. Tarico is right that the Christian faith is false subjectively.
Christians answer Tarico by saying if God exists and created humans, then it is possible that God made our cognitive faculties function as they do so to reveal himself and so that we might believe. Then even if we are programmed by our past to believe in God, we find God through this programming and the belief is still valid. This makes no sense. If I pretend to be a rich Mr Perfect and convince women I am for real then I do not lead them to me but to a mistaken perception of me. God cannot lead people to genuine faith if Tarico is right. And she is.


Ellis held that people must see themselves as just good only for no other reason than that they are alive and human. They must then consider and measure what they do and keep their essence, their self out of it. The idea is that you matter as much as a person whether you do terrible things or good things.

To develop that is what counts. Not that a God made you, that a religion says God made you, that a God celebrates you. You are what you are and you just count...

You must never need others or what they think or praise to have a sense of self. Your self-worth is worthwhile in itself and does not need their opinion. That can be a painful and difficult realisation. It is worse when you realise you are important and it does not matter if God exists or not - you are important anyway.  Failing to see that divine affirmation and that of others and of God does not matter at all never mind a bit can harm. What God thinks does not matter at all for he does not.  Telling you that God matters even a bit is odd for God by definition is the ultimate value and he alone matters.  If you need God to affirm you then you are clearly lacking a sense of self in the first place.  If you haven't got it and don't feel it then God's opinion of you cannot give it to you.

Religion says, "Nothing is to be loved or wanted as an end in itself but only because it is a gift from God and you want to honour him by taking it."  This is nothing more than a charter for conditional love which is not love at all.


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