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> Religion and Psychosis, The relations between religion and schizophrenia
Lindsay
post Sep 23, 2006, 02:30 PM
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Pave writes,
QUOTE
"To my mind, however, I would describe your position as that of a philosopher with a deep, religious education."
Thank you, Pave, I take that as a compliment. May I?

After all, one of my major courses at http://www.mta.ca in the late 40's was Philosophy of Religion, not, "The dogmas of True Religion". I began my theological career exploring "what is truth", not as a brainwashed-believer of some infallible dogma.
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pave
post Sep 23, 2006, 11:19 PM
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Indeed, a compliment it was.

Meanwhile and to maintain some congruence with the thread title, I put it to interested readers that the "psychosis of religion" is one which - to be an effective strategy of change and internal congruency - will have to be addresses by religionists themselves.....as it applies to their own Religions!

In other threads and other sites as well as in the media, I am constantly reminded that it is incumbent on me to "respect" others' Religions.

In truth, however, I would be remiss if I suggested my own position on these matters was only bordering on tolerance.

In religious conflicts, the "enemy" may be without, but I suggest the "enemy" is also and, perhaps moreso - within. That is, our psychotic beliefs about our own Religions are the triggers for much of our responses to the Religions of others.

This, while our own Religions have no more basis in demonstrated benefits than the next guy's.
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AdonisBlue
post Sep 24, 2006, 12:14 AM
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QUOTE(insanejester @ Nov 07, 2004, 03:32 PM) *

I was thinking today (yeah wow!)
If schizophrenia (in most cases) is simply a coping mechanism... then couldn't some one come to the conclusion that all religions are simply a form of mass schizophrenia?....

After all what else is a religion exept an idea that gives our life purpose and meaning?

If you think about it... life is quite a depressing thing when broken down to the natural cycle of things.... birth... existance..(birth from existance).. death... all of this leading to the fact that it all ends... while religion give everything meaning and purpose... and hope that things don't end the way they seem to us....


Any oppinions and comments will be appreciated...


I don´t know specifically about schizophrenia. I think religions are a collection of mental illnesses.
What I find strange is that talking to trees is considered odd, but talking to an invisible friend up there somewhere is OK.
Aren´t there a lot of studies in neuro-theology confirming "addictive crutch behaviour" in the "hope business"?

I find lying to oneself and collective ego-centricity by far more depressing.

There is more purpose and meaning, morality and honesty, as well as beauty in just four bars of Shostakovich´s Violin Concerto than the entire religious nonsense.
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Lindsay
post Sep 24, 2006, 09:33 PM
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QUOTE
name='AdonisBlue' date='Sep 24, 2006, 12:14 AM' post='70087' I don´t know specifically about schizophrenia. I think religions are a collection of mental illnesses.
Interesting comment, AB. But think for a moment about what you are saying. Are you seriously saying that a religion that motivates people to keep their bodies healthy--and healthy religions do--and to use their bodies to be of service to themselves, others and the ecology--and healthy religions do--is a disease?

By the way, I believe that a healthy religion can be, and should be, of great social value. Without thinking ill of those who feel that they can talk to God, as an invisible friend, without behaving like insane fanatics, I do not talk to a god, up there--one with physical attributes like us.

I think of the mysterious forces of gravity and electro-magnetism as real forces. So, too, are the mysteries of space and time. Do you? Spiritually speaking, I feel that I am in some way, mysteriously, connected with to these "things", which seem to interpenetrate every cell of my being. To these great mysteries, without insisting that others must follow and feel the same as I do, I give the name GØD. This Spirit, beyond, around and witin inspires me to be prosperous and healthy and to help others, who ask for help, to do the same. If this be illness, I would like to know how you define health.

I agree. Perhaps "talking to an invisible friend up there somewhere" is....I would call it a child-lik and immature behaviour, not an illness. I also agree that just as there are some very sick minds in this world, there are also be some very sick spirits, with sick religions. And I do think, and feel, that human beings are spiritual beings, not just mental ones. I would love to hear your dialogue on that.

Thanks for stretching my mind.
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pave
post Sep 24, 2006, 10:58 PM
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Well, Lindsay. I know that you have already made one Giant Leap during your life, that of: deciding to give up traditional, dogmatic religious beliefs and to take on a more "universal" and all-encompassing position.

However, I also notce that you are open to accepting/respecting/tolerating the religious views of others - a very humane and politically-correct position.

Still, although uncomfortable, the next logical and reasonable leap is in coming to the conclusion that these positions which you now tolerate or respect are the positions of the delusional. Only the radicalism of the behaviours is in question.

It's not a strectch to be more accepting of the behaviours of milquetoast-Christians than it is to accept the behaviours of a radical, fundamentalist Islamist bent on Jihad.

I suggest that Religions - all of them - are the manifestations of the Mad. The "rub" is that, after generations of conditioning, the position seems quite..... normal.

So normal, in fact, that there is no particular reason to call them into question.

I understand that, by Law, I am required to be only tolerant of others' Religions. Not respectful. Not accepting. Only tolerant.

And it is a struggle.
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Lindsay
post Sep 25, 2006, 10:13 AM
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QUOTE(pave @ Sep 24, 2006, 10:58 PM) *

....I understand that, by Law, I am required to be only tolerant of others' Religions. Not respectful. Not accepting. Only tolerant.
And it is a struggle.
Pave, do you take this postion regarding all movements dedicated to the social good of all people, and whose purpose it is to pomote an understanding of the nature, function and mystery of spirituality?

Or are you a total and absolute materialist?
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pave
post Sep 25, 2006, 10:30 AM
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To the contrary, Lindsay. I have a "spiritual" component in my own belief-set, but I expect no one to share the position.... although I know some do.

My argument - consistent with this thread-title - is with organised, deity-based Religions... of all kinds.

These are the "mad" leading the "blind" to bizarre conclusions, erratic behaviours and confrontations with other, equally screwed-up Religions.
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Lindsay
post Sep 25, 2006, 10:47 AM
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QUOTE(pave @ Sep 25, 2006, 10:30 AM) *

To the contrary, Lindsay. I have a "spiritual" component in my own belief-set, but I expect no one to share the position.... although I know some do.
From what I know of your "belief-set", I think that I do. And I am sure so would the rest of us at:
http://www.pathwayschurch.ca/about/
It certainly takes a non-theistic approach to spirituality. The things I used to write about, cogitate and meditate on in the old TWB forum, beginning in 1998, came into manifestation. This happened last December, and the program is growing. What a Christmas gift that was!
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AdonisBlue
post Sep 25, 2006, 11:55 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Sep 24, 2006, 09:33 PM) *

QUOTE
name='AdonisBlue' date='Sep 24, 2006, 12:14 AM' post='70087' I don´t know specifically about schizophrenia. I think religions are a collection of mental illnesses.
Interesting comment, AB. But think for a moment about what you are saying. Are you seriously saying that a religion that motivates people to keep their bodies healthy--and healthy religions do--and to use their bodies to be of service to themselves, others and the ecology--and healthy religions do--is a disease?

By the way, I believe that a healthy religion can be, and should be, of great social value. Without thinking ill of those who feel that they can talk to God, as an invisible friend, without behaving like insane fanatics, I do not talk to a god, up there--one with physical attributes like us.

I think of the mysterious forces of gravity and electro-magnetism as real forces. So, too, are the mysteries of space and time. Do you? Spiritually speaking, I feel that I am in some way, mysteriously, connected with to these "things", which seem to interpenetrate every cell of my being. To these great mysteries, without insisting that others must follow and feel the same as I do, I give the name GØD. This Spirit, beyond, around and witin inspires me to be prosperous and healthy and to help others, who ask for help, to do the same. If this be illness, I would like to know how you define health.

I agree. Perhaps "talking to an invisible friend up there somewhere" is....I would call it a child-lik and immature behaviour, not an illness. I also agree that just as there are some very sick minds in this world, there are also be some very sick spirits, with sick religions. And I do think, and feel, that human beings are spiritual beings, not just mental ones. I would love to hear your dialogue on that.

Thanks for stretching my mind.

Hello


I have difficulties understanding what you´ve written.
What is this about healthy bodies and religions? Why would one need a religion to motivate one to be healthy? And what is a healthy religion?
And what EXACTLY is this great social value of religion?
And how did you leap, mysteriously (wink), from the laws of physics to god and the supernatural (spiritual)?

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Lindsay
post Sep 25, 2006, 02:04 PM
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QUOTE
name='AdonisBlue'. Sep 25, 2006, 11:55 AM'. Hello, I have difficulties understanding what you´ve written.
What is this about healthy bodies and religions? Why would one need a religion to motivate one to be healthy?
And what is a healthy religion?
And what EXACTLY is this great social value of religion?
And how did you leap, mysteriously (wink), from the laws of physics to god and the supernatural (spiritual)?
Interesting questions. If you really are interested in dialogue, not just debate, about possibilities, stay tuned.

Keep in mind: I do not believe in "A" god, of any one organized religion. My religion is best described as, Spirituanity--including any rational truths in all healthy religions. Check out 'pneumatology' in Wikipedia. Theologically speaking, I think of myself as being a unitheist--one who accepts that oneness of all that is as good.

Check my signature, below.
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Rick
post Sep 25, 2006, 03:01 PM
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From Wikipedia: "Pneumatology is the study of spiritual beings and phenomena."

What evidence is there that these beings and phenomena exist?
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Lindsay
post Sep 25, 2006, 03:15 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Sep 25, 2006, 03:01 PM) *

From Wikipedia: "Pneumatology is the study of spiritual beings and phenomena."

What evidence is there that these beings and phenomena exist?
Rick, It seems to me that this is one of the primary reasons for doing a scientific inquiry. Such an inquiry could determine whether or not there is a valid answer to your question. It may very well be that materialism is the end-all and be-all. If so, so be it.

May I be so bold as to suggest the following: A thorough and scientific study of somatology, psychology, and penumatology, leading to an understanding of how they can be balanced, could have some good, valuable, and non-sectarian, social results.

BTW, I think I was one of the early contributors to this article--the one on pneumatology--in Wikipedia.
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AdonisBlue
post Sep 26, 2006, 02:36 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Sep 25, 2006, 02:04 PM) *

QUOTE
name='AdonisBlue'. Sep 25, 2006, 11:55 AM'. Hello, I have difficulties understanding what you´ve written.
What is this about healthy bodies and religions? Why would one need a religion to motivate one to be healthy?
And what is a healthy religion?
And what EXACTLY is this great social value of religion?
And how did you leap, mysteriously (wink), from the laws of physics to god and the supernatural (spiritual)?
Interesting questions. If you really are interested in dialogue, not just debate, about possibilities, stay tuned.

Keep in mind: I do not believe in "A" god, of any one organized religion. My religion is best described as, Spirituanity--including any rational truths in all healthy religions. Check out 'pneumatology' in Wikipedia. Theologically speaking, I think of myself as being a unitheist--one who accepts that oneness of all that is as good.

Check my signature, below.


As I expected, you didn´t actually answer the questions at all. I did subject myself to the entry on pneumatology. What a load of complete and utter IRRATIONAL tosh.

Why don´t you just admit your mallaise "vis a vis" REALITY?

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Culture
post Sep 26, 2006, 10:59 AM
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QUOTE(pave @ Sep 23, 2006, 11:19 PM) *

Indeed, a compliment it was.

Meanwhile and to maintain some congruence with the thread title, I put it to interested readers that the "psychosis of religion" is one which - to be an effective strategy of change and internal congruency - will have to be addresses by religionists themselves.....as it applies to their own Religions!

In other threads and other sites as well as in the media, I am constantly reminded that it is incumbent on me to "respect" others' Religions.

In truth, however, I would be remiss if I suggested my own position on these matters was only bordering on tolerance.

In religious conflicts, the "enemy" may be without, but I suggest the "enemy" is also and, perhaps moreso - within. That is, our psychotic beliefs about our own Religions are the triggers for much of our responses to the Religions of others.

This, while our own Religions have no more basis in demonstrated benefits than the next guy's.


You may find this quite interesting. <my comments at the end>

Series Title: Psychology, Religion, and
Spirituality<http://www.greenwood.com/catalog/series/Psychology%252c%2bReligion%252c%2band%2bSpirituality.aspx>
Description: Spiritual practices, or awakenings, have an impact on brain,
mind and personality. These changes are being scientifically predicted and
proven. For example, studies show Buddhist priests and Franciscan nuns at
the peak of religious feelings show a functional change in the lobes of
their brain. Similar processes have been found in people with epilepsy,
which Hippocrates called "the sacred disease." New research is showing that
not only does a person's brain activity change in particular areas while
that person is experiencing religious epiphany, but such events can be
created for some people, even self-professed atheists, by stimulating
various parts of the brain. In this far-reaching and novel set, experts from
across the nation and around the world present evolutionary, neuroscientific
and psychological approaches to explaining and exploring religion, inclu!
ding th e newest findings and evidence that have spurred the fledgling field
of neurotheology. It is not the goal of neurotheology to prove or disprove
the existence of God, but to understand the biology of spiritual
experiences. Such experiences seem to exist outside time and space - caused
by the brain for some reason losing its perception of a boundary between
physical body and outside world - and could help explain other intangible
events, such as altered states of consciousness, possessions, alien
visitations, near-death experiences and out-of-body events. Understanding
them - as well as how and why these abilities evolved in the brain - could
also help us understand how religion contributes to survival of the human
race. Eminent contributors to this set help us answer questions including:
How does religion better our brain function? What is the difference between
a religious person and a terrorist who kills in the name ! of reli gion? Is
there one site or function in the brain necessary for religious experience?
LC Card Number: 2006021770
LCC Class: BL53
Dewey Class: 200
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think that it is quite necessary to understand what one perceives as a spiritual experience.I am fortunate enough to be inolved in the field of science and 'stimulating' the brain I have done in a controlled and uncontrolled environment. Although I am an atheist , the various experiences I have had (induced and other) could easily be perceived as religious/spiritual .This is not the way I perceive it but am really interested in finding out more about what happens on the biological side of things in the brain and what other unknown areas/resources could be harnassed.
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Lindsay
post Sep 26, 2006, 12:48 PM
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QUOTE
It is not the goal of neurotheology to prove or disprove
the existence of God, but to understand the biology of spiritual
experiences.
Culture writes.

IMO, as I understand things, GØD is existence, not a being who exists. I do not have to prove that, I simply experience it.To think of GØD as a personal, or concrete, being who exists is to commit idolatry.

Culture, if you are an atheist, please define atheism for me.
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Rick
post Sep 26, 2006, 01:29 PM
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I believe in existence. Does that mean that I am not an atheist? If so, that would imply that there are no atheists, because I have never heard anyone deny existence (except by suicide, perhaps).
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Lindsay
post Sep 26, 2006, 07:41 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Sep 26, 2006, 01:29 PM) *

....there are no atheists, because I have never heard anyone deny existence (except by suicide, perhaps).
Now you know why I say to people: "Your deeds tell me more of what you truly believe than do your creeds." There are numerous creedal Christians who are what I call practical atheists. IMO, true atheism is a philosophy which embraces indifference, cynicism, nihilism and the like. Devout atheists think of life as "a dirty trick" (Hemmingway--Farewell to Arms).

BTW, I am not the first one to express this concept. A guy named Jesus--not a creedal Jew, or Christian--taught the same concept 2000 years ago. Read Luke 10:25-37--the parable of the Good Samaritan--not a creedal Jew.

Do you own a modern version of the Bible? Just curious.
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trojan_libido
post Sep 26, 2006, 11:48 PM
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QUOTE(Culture @ Sep 26, 2006, 07:59 PM) *

I think that it is quite necessary to understand what one perceives as a spiritual experience.I am fortunate enough to be inolved in the field of science and 'stimulating' the brain I have done in a controlled and uncontrolled environment. Although I am an atheist , the various experiences I have had (induced and other) could easily be perceived as religious/spiritual .This is not the way I perceive it but am really interested in finding out more about what happens on the biological side of things in the brain and what other unknown areas/resources could be harnassed.


I was wondering what experiences you had and how you induced them.

I also believe that God is not a person, it is the Universe and the mystery of our evolution and conscious.
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pave
post Sep 27, 2006, 07:14 AM
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If one accepts the premise of this thread-title, a "universality-of-sorts" position could be construed as "healthy".

As history and current events demonstrate: following dogma to some ultimate conclusions tends to render up some ludicrous, counter-productive, bizarre and downright terrifying behaviours.

Plus, there are enough wing-nuts out here with no Religious affiliations to keep everybody busy.
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Culture
post Sep 27, 2006, 09:56 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Sep 26, 2006, 12:48 PM) *

Culture, if you are an atheist, please define atheism for me.



The belief that theism is false (or that there are no gods) because it is epistemologically unjustified and/or metaphysically unnecessary.

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Culture
post Sep 27, 2006, 09:59 AM
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QUOTE(Culture @ Sep 26, 2006, 07:59 PM) *

I think that it is quite necessary to understand what one perceives as a spiritual experience.I am fortunate enough to be inolved in the field of science and 'stimulating' the brain I have done in a controlled and uncontrolled environment. Although I am an atheist , the various experiences I have had (induced and other) could easily be perceived as religious/spiritual .This is not the way I perceive it but am really interested in finding out more about what happens on the biological side of things in the brain and what other unknown areas/resources could be harnassed.


QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Sep 26, 2006, 11:48 PM) *

I was wondering what experiences you had and how you induced them.

I also believe that God is not a person, it is the Universe and the mystery of our evolution and conscious.



Various plant extractions (lophoro williamsii and others)
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Rick
post Sep 27, 2006, 12:32 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Sep 26, 2006, 08:41 PM) *
Do you own a modern version of the Bible? Just curious.

No. King James version is the one I am familiar with. It would be good to compare it to a modern (competent) translation from the Greek. Too many translators embellish ancient Greek so it sounds more modern to our ear. I prefer a raw, literal translation. Ancient Greek was a much simpler language than modern English, and a literal translation will show a lot more word repetition, for example, as the Greeks did not have a lot of synonyms adopted from other languages as English does.
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Lindsay
post Sep 27, 2006, 06:03 PM
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I asked, Sep 26, 2006, 12:48 PM' Culture, if you are an atheist, please define atheism for me. Culture answered
QUOTE
Atheism is the belief that theism is false (or that there are no gods) because it is epistemologically unjustified and/or metaphysically unnecessary."
At last! Thanks, Culture, for being an atheist with courage enough to define what it means to be one. Feel free to flesh out more of what it is you believe, and why. Keep in mind that monotheism does not say, "There are gods..." It says that there is only one god, God. What do you say to this?

I presume that, by now, you have figured out that I, too, strongly feel that traditional theism is on the wrong track. However, because I am not sure what atheism is, and because it is based on a negativity, I am not attracted to atheism.

I am also willing to accept that most theists believe that what they say IS true. In other words, most theists are not frauds. I know that I tried not to be at least, when I was a "semi-theist?" and looking for some kind of evidence about "God?"

It now annoys me quite a bit when theists, without one shred of evidence, speak of "God" as if he is a superman kind of person, a "he" who "in the beginning" created all that is, who willed and wills, who spoke and speaks, saw and sees, heard and hears, protected and protects us, knows all things--past, present and future--directed and directs and who does this that and the other thing, and will in the future. All we need to do is pray, and obey and HE will take care of the rest. In a way, I only wish life was as easy as that.

THEISTS, ARE YOU THERE?
Culture, it would be interesting to know: Do we have any truly traditional theists in this forum? If so, it would be interesting to know how they would respond to your questions, and mine? Let us test the waters. I will begin by asking: Monotheists, do you really believe that God is a person?
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pave
post Sep 27, 2006, 09:35 PM
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Your inquiries might be better suited in another thread, Lindsay, as this one presumes a deeply disturbing connection between Religions and Psychosis.
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BornaDreamer
post Sep 28, 2006, 01:32 AM
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Trojan, I very much liked your post.

I also wanted to add some personal thoughts on the matter.

First of all, as a psychology major with a great deal of interest in religion and spirtuality (senior year), I have thought about this a great deal. I have always noted the similarities between the words of diagnosed schizophrenics and those of supposedly enlightened individuals. Often these individuals will say and do many of the same things. The main difference lies in their culture, how they are perceived and the methods by which they came to their conclusions. Their educatoin level, socioeconomic status, and ability to articulate their ideas also have an effect. Often I have speculated that schizophrenics may be individuals who have an intense mystical experience and are unable to assimilate this experience into their world view. They are then met by individuals in their environment who tell them that these experiences are invalid, wrong and "pathological."

I also wanted to note that in many of these posts both religion and psychosis have been called irrational and wrong. I am confused by this. Religion is the attempt to answer unanswerable questions. It is often based on real, direct experiences. If not, it is based on imbedded cultural views, learned views or inferences. This is how we learn everything and how we develop any underlying worldview. I find it highly rational, especially when based in direct experience. Psychosis is also based in such experience often, or on certain environmental factors (or genetics). With these factors in place, the activities of these individuals could actually be seen as rational. You just have to taken their worldview and all of the factors into account.

Finally I want to remind people that we don't know what's real. The chair I'm sitting on is just the result of sense data that is being formed in my brain. It doesn't really exist. It seems like a lot of these posts are judging as unreal or irrational things that are just as real or rational (if not more so) than the things we take for granted in everyday life.
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pave
post Sep 28, 2006, 06:14 AM
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One of the advantages that Religion enjoys is that it is - to a point - socially acceptable or, at least, tolerated by society. This, depending on the society.

"Psychotics" have fewer friends. smile.gif

Further, a "cult" is only a "cult" until it enjoys a large-enough membership.
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Lindsay
post Sep 28, 2006, 06:47 AM
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QUOTE(AdonisBlue @ Sep 26, 2006, 02:36 AM) *
As I expected, you didn´t actually answer the questions at all. I did subject myself to the entry on pneumatology. What a load of complete and utter IRRATIONAL tosh.

Why don´t you just admit your mallaise "vis a vis" REALITY?
AB, how does the above interesting argumentum ad hominem fit in with the definition of 'dialogue'? smile.gif

BTW, I presume that you are aware that the article in Wikipedia is a compilation. I think my contribution was simply to introduce the concept and to point out the history of the word, which is in all the major dicitionaries. Check out http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pneumatology where the historic connection between pneumatology and psychology is mentioned.

At this point I am not advocating any specific doctrine of The Spirt of God, or of spirits, as being universally true; I am simply advocating that the whole phenomenon be studied. If it can be demonstrated that physical reality, materialism, is the only reality, so be it.

Pave, as to your comment, I agree: Freud was right when he described religion as the "universal neurosis" (In his book FUTURE OF AN ILLUSION). Much of it IS neurotic, even psychotic. But even he did not call it a "psychosis". He even agreed that the benevolent kinds of religions did serve the purpose of giving people a kind of sense of security, even of belonging to a heaven bound family. This feeling, he admitted, real or imagined, often prevents people from becoming self-destructive and absolutely psychotic.

Marx called religion the opiate of the masses. Some sick religions do act as such. But long before the age of social revolutions were the religionists who gave their lives to end slavery under some kind of opiate? Are the Christian laity and clergy, like the late Bishop Romero, in South America on opiates when they risk their lives, daily, to fight poverty? I await your answers, please.
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Rick
post Sep 28, 2006, 07:32 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Sep 27, 2006, 07:03 PM) *
... Keep in mind that monotheism does not say, "There are gods..." It says that there is only one god, God. ...

Doesn't it just boil down to a question of the right number of gods, 0, 1, or many? If you let the number go to infinity, you have pantheism, which is really the same as zero gods, because effectively, god is then smeared out through the universe where it is undistingishable from mass-energy.

Zero gods is the better answer because it meets the test of Occams Razor: it's simpler. Hence, antitheism.
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cerebral
post Sep 28, 2006, 07:36 AM
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Yes, religion and schizo are both coping mechanisms. More specifically, they are adaptive mechanisms, just like almost everything else in life. Life is adaptive. Either you adapt or suffer pain. But that's about the extent of the similarities between religion and schizo, unless you argue that they both involve falsehoods, which many things do and which is open to debate.
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pave
post Sep 28, 2006, 09:07 AM
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I may have made a similar comment earlier, Lindsay, but I suppose it will bare the repeat.

Those who participate in altruism and "good works" could do the same out of a respect for humanity, the common good, clearly-acceptable Values and because it feels good to do so without any Religious affiliation at all!

This makes the affiliation rather superfluous.

If someone needs the affiliation to either motivate them or justify the behaviours, they ain't participatin' fully.
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