Atheist Chris Stedman keeps saying religion is not a mental illness. It would not be as bad if he would say this is true of some religion. But he gives the impression that there are no cults of religion that are deranged.

The fact remains that every religious community does give leadership roles, prophet roles, to people who are mentally disturbed.  The ravings of the Book of Revelation come to mind.  That permission is a serious matter.  If religion is not a mental illness, it certainly uses the mental illness of others.  That is a deal-breaker. 

Also, religion seems to want people to develop dissociative disorders.  For example, John does good. And we may thank him but we really mean we thank God.  We think God prompts him to do the good.  As God makes all and John in reality makes nothing, God gets all the credit.  It is one thing if you are John.  But what right has another to try and declare him disconnected from his own goodness?  Even if you imagine that praising God and John are compatible, even if they are, the fact remains that many people of faith may be trying to distance him from his goodness.  That is a form of dehumanisation.  It is clever for it finds a way to hide what it is.  It uses faith as a cover.

Stedman should see if religion is a process of dissociation.  He doesn't want to.  If a religion is not exactly a disorder it should be condemned for trying to make people ill even if it does not succeed that well.

Other examples of the disorder include:

Seeing the Qur'an as a masterpiece when it is clearly not.

Saying that sacraments heal bad tendencies and blaming the person if nothing happens.

Saying that we should hate the sin and love the sinner as if the sin is not part of the person and doesn't show what kind of person they are.

Dissociation is about escape from some trauma or the threat of a trauma.  But the escape is not real.  You are dulling yourself and that is not coming to terms with the pain.  You can end up with seriously impaired ability to find or feel your emotions in your own body.  You put yourself in danger for you need to see threats clearly.  How can you protect yourself otherwise?   You feel you are outside or disconnected with your pain body, your body.  To help yourself you have to get rid of anything that is dulling your sense of the pain that is there.  The harder bit is getting rid of anything that MAY be doing this which is scary.  If it works and you cast it out you will know it works and you can get it back.  Get rid of the faith based and psychological pain killers or pain hiders.  You have to see that you are your body and the body is your mind and the mind is your body.  This is lonely for you have to abandon God and prayer as they might be traps and crutches.  It's fundamentally using atheism as a method to free yourself or to aim for freedom.  Aim even if you think you will not succeed.
The atheistic mental health advocate Miri Mogilevsky stated, "“Religion and mental illness are different psychological processes”. Mir suggests that religious faith will "stem from cognitive processes that are essentially adaptive, such as looking for patterns and feeling like a part of something larger than oneself.” So religion is not a mental illness if it helps you be a functional member of society.
The reasoning is that religious belief helps you adapt to society. Mental illness blocks adapting. The religious will form communities but the insane will not integrate in society. They will think and do things that make such integration impossible.
Dr Ken Pargament stated, “When it comes to facilitating mental health, empirical data demonstrates that religious people have more positive emotion, more meaning in life, more life satisfaction, cope better with trauma, are more physically healthy, are more altruistic and socially connected, and are not diagnosed with mental illness more than other people.”
Religion could easily be a foundation for many forms of mental illness. The believer might not develop the illness but is at risk. The only answer is to encourage her or him to keep religion at a polite distance.

Some in religion behave in an insane disturbing way.  But it may be about wanting to be right and the critics to be wrong.  They use faith as a sort of, "We told you so."  They warn that one day critics will know the truth and how they failed to serve God in accordance with that truth and then it will be too late.  They may say it is not about wanting to be right just for the sake of wanting it.  Yet it is possible to want the truth not because (or not mostly because) it is the truth but because you like how truth is a battering ram.  Everybody lies to themselves and makes mistakes so being a servant of truth may be less common and less a force in society than we are led to believe

  They may say it is about the truth rather. But anyway, there is the issue of religion leading to crazy behaviour if not actual craziness.

A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts and damages a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning
If religion is not a mental illness, it could nevertheless be a symptom of a mental illness.
A religion could be a symptom of your own mental illness or somebody else's.
Abraham was going to kill his son for God.
Moses slaughtered and had people stoned to death because he thought God wanted it.
Jesus said that it is okay to murder big sinners as long as you are better than them. He made a woman sweat in front of a mob who said they were going to stone her though he knew they legally were going to be stopped anyway.  He deliberately sought crucifixion.
Those religious heroes were clearly so insane that a diagnosis would have been done in seconds.
Christianity only recognises the work of doctors not because doctors get results but because God allegedly uses doctors to heal you. That makes them no different from the crank who urges you to keep away form doctors and trust in prayer. Both see doctors as useless in themselves. Both agree in principle that if God bans the healing work of doctors then God is right.
Religious people mostly if not always have delusions not beliefs.
If a religion is a symptom of mental illness, it is therefore a facilitator.
Social pressure and "because everybody does it" are major reasons why religion is so powerful.
Allowing social pressure to make you religious is in fact maladaptive.
Religious persons give all their love to invisible friends. They think these friends exist though they have no evidence. If you have a relationship with a non-existent friend that is a sign that hallucination of some kind is involved. Religion induces it. It is very extreme when the relationship is about giving all your love to God. Christ said that you and your neighbour do not come first for you must love God with all your heart.
Religious persons suffer from delusions - they think that no matter how terrible things get for them that some invisible friend will help with magic. They do this in spite of seeing people who are never helped. The evidence cannot shake their belief so it is a delusion.
The believer never learns. The believer trusts in prayer even if it never works. Excuses are made for its failure. They think, "Next time I will get my prayer answered." They might deny they are so confident that it will be answered exactly but actions speak louder.
Believers suffer from a tendency to accept absurd myths and the impossible as historically true. Christians believe in Adam and Eve despite the silly story about them in the Bible and the scientific proof that they are fiction. Fantasy and reality are mixed together. They cannot distinguish one from the other.
Believers suffer the paranoid belief that anybody who does not agree with their religious doctrines is sinful or in league wittingly or unwittingly with Satan.
Believers condone the emotional abuse inflicted on them. They feel awful and evil for doing harmless things such as masturbating or forgetting to pray. They think that some sin that is not that bad will put them in Hell forever. They have their psyche scarred for life. They will often become emotional abusers themselves. By supporting a religion of emotional abuse and passive aggression they are guilty by association.
Believers tend to hate and harass and use violence against those who will not agree with their religious beliefs.

Believers say God is important for there is no morality unless there is a God.  They say you need to believe in God to understand why we must be moral.  They say that unbelievers if they can behave in a moral way have no reason why and that even then it is because God overrides their ignorance and gifts them with moral tendencies.  If believers are saying here is no difference between feeding a dog or torturing him to death if there is no God then they need psychiatric attention. The need to establish a difference is the first step.  Taking this first step is itself moral.  Then the next step is applying moral thinking to the difference.   Though the difference is seen as assessing and not being moral for an is does not imply an ought it is clear that it is still moral.  The error is in thinking that taking a step towards a moral issue is not itself moral.  It is.  Taking the step is even more important than having a moral system for you cannot have a moral system without it.  The idea that God needs to be believed in to be moral is clearly trying to diagnose everybody as psychopaths who need a faith "treatment" to manage or cure the disorder.

Liberals and lefties typically try to deny that murder is a sin by saying murderers are mentally ill.  Then they hypocritically exempt people like Moses and Muhammad and St Paul who murdered many.
If hypothetically religion does not do these things, it should lead to them. It should still be discarded on a point of principle.


Artistic expression can sometimes disguise mental disorders and religion is a form of artistic expression.  Talking to people who are not there is normalised which means we have more madness here than in mad painters.  Religion is a mental illness or at least has a lot to do with it and though most members do not need treatment they do not need their delusion reinforced or celebrated.  Great harm will be done to many.

If self-deception can be helpful then it is only as a temporary measure. We don't need the supernatural. We all feel we will live for a long time though we know we will not. Natural self-deception is all we need. But it is better to get tough and face reality - that makes you your own person, your own strong person.

We must remember that Christ did encourage religious delusion as in sickness.

He said you must love God with your mind - believe in him totally. You must love God with all your heart - all your feelings are feelings of love for him alone. This centering on God is the greatest commandment according to the Bible. Everybody agrees that love your neighbour as yourself is put lower down and refers to how you treat your neighbour not how you are to feel about him. Hypothetically, if you had to choose love of God or a person you choose God. Jesus teaching is extremism. Extremism is never satisfied and to obey Christ is to go on the slippery slope to religious terrorism.

Catholics feel about the communion wafer as they do a person. That is not right.

Religion is more than just a suspect for being based on mental illness.  It clearly shows there is something wrong.  Many who are sane believers may not be believers but playing along.


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