"Christians are mentally ill."

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Re: "Christians are mentally ill."

Postby humanguy » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:42 pm

Lich wrote:
humanguy wrote:You mean it's a fact according to you. Can you provide any real, concrete evidence showing that it's a fact? A quote from a science book, or from a psychiatric website. Why should I take your word for it?

I ask you again: why should I take your word for it?


Seriously? I would have assumed that your very existence on this forum is indicative that you're not so ignorant as to not know this very basic information... but if you insist, here's a good link:

http://www.scientificpsychic.com/workbook/chapter2.htm

I'm not going to sit here and spend hours trying to find scientific data on studies which have been done over the course of 100's of years, ok?


That link is shit. Are you kidding? It's just something you pulled out of your ass, once again. You really don't have anything to show, do you? You have nothing. What we have here is you claiming something you can't prove, you believing in something you can't actually perceive; you're just like these Christians you accuse of being mentally ill.
Last edited by humanguy on Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Christians are mentally ill."

Postby Lich » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:01 pm

humanguy wrote:
Lich wrote:
humanguy wrote:You mean it's a fact according to you. Can you provide any real, concrete evidence showing that it's a fact? A quote from a science book, or from a psychiatric website. Why should I take your word for it?

I ask you again: why should I take your word for it?


Seriously? I would have assumed that your very existence on this forum is indicative that you're not so ignorant as to not know this very basic information... but if you insist, here's a good link:

http://www.scientificpsychic.com/workbook/chapter2.htm

I'm not going to sit here and spend hours trying to find scientific data on studies which have been done over the course of 100's of years, ok?


That link isn't shit. Are you kidding? It's just something you pulled out of your ass, once again. You really don't have anything to show, do you? You have nothing. What we have here is you claiming something you can't prove, you believing in something you can't actually perceive; you're just like these Christians you accuse of being mentally ill.


I have this knowledge due to paying attention to the studies done on human perception. However, since I'm not a scientist, I cannot PERSONALLY prove it to you. If you want this knowledge, then I suggest you do the same thing I did: go and get it. It's out there. Of course you're not going to, because that would be inconvenient to your argument, therefore you'd rather ask me to do all the leg work. Unfortunately, I don't care enough about what you believe to bend over backwards for your education.
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Re: "Christians are mentally ill."

Postby humanguy » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:09 pm

Lich wrote:I have this knowledge due to paying attention to the studies done on human perception. However, since I'm not a scientist, I cannot PERSONALLY prove it to you. If you want this knowledge, then I suggest you do the same thing I did: go and get it. It's out there. Of course you're not going to, because that would be inconvenient to your argument, therefore you'd rather ask me to do all the leg work. Unfortunately, I don't care enough about what you believe to bend over backwards for your education.


That's what I'm talking about. What studies done on human perception? Why don't you go ahead and show us those?
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Re: "Christians are mentally ill."

Postby Lich » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:12 pm

humanguy wrote:
Lich wrote:I have this knowledge due to paying attention to the studies done on human perception. However, since I'm not a scientist, I cannot PERSONALLY prove it to you. If you want this knowledge, then I suggest you do the same thing I did: go and get it. It's out there. Of course you're not going to, because that would be inconvenient to your argument, therefore you'd rather ask me to do all the leg work. Unfortunately, I don't care enough about what you believe to bend over backwards for your education.


I have yet to see anything that could even be mistaken for knowledge coming from you, lich.


Then you're either blind, or imbecilic.
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Re: "Christians are mentally ill."

Postby humanguy » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:19 pm

Lich wrote:
humanguy wrote:
Lich wrote:I have this knowledge due to paying attention to the studies done on human perception. However, since I'm not a scientist, I cannot PERSONALLY prove it to you. If you want this knowledge, then I suggest you do the same thing I did: go and get it. It's out there. Of course you're not going to, because that would be inconvenient to your argument, therefore you'd rather ask me to do all the leg work. Unfortunately, I don't care enough about what you believe to bend over backwards for your education.


I have yet to see anything that could even be mistaken for knowledge coming from you, lich.


Then you're either blind, or imbecilic.


I'll opt for imbecilic. I've heard that the sex is better.

You have this knowledge due to paying attention to the studies done on human perception. Great, why didn't you say so? How about showing us those studies, particularly the part that says that Christians are mentally ill? Can we expect to see that anytime soon, lich?
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Re: "Christians are mentally ill."

Postby Rian » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:43 pm

captain howdy wrote:
Rian wrote:As far as Abraham: he was used to child sacrifice; it was in the culture around him. Abraham had been hearing wonderful things from God, like the promise of a son, which was fulfilled. Maybe this god was different from those other gods ... Then comes the command to sacrifice Isaac. I imagine Abraham felt like "Oh, no; this god is just like the others after all" at first. And how will the many nations come thru Isaac if he's dead? Eventually, though, Abraham came to the realization that in order to keep that promise, God would have to bring Isaac back to life (Heb 11:17-19). Anyway, Abraham started to carry out the sacrifice (and it's interesting that Isaac, a grown man, didn't overpower his elderly father and stop him when it was obvious what Abraham was doing) and then was stopped by God, and God provided the animal sacrifice in Isaac's place. God was not like the gods in the culture around Abraham; he did not want or require human sacrifice, and in the covenant ceremony that followed, God took the entire responsibility on himself, instead of how the covenant ceremonies usually were, with both parties taking place. That story is a beautiful illustration of what God has done in my life, and in the lives of many here.

I don't expect KTR and the newbie atheists to respond to this in any real way; they haven't been responding to what the Christians have written for quite some time now in this thread. They've just used this thread as an excuse to play whack-a-mole; they bring up a point, ignore the effort put into a thoughtful answer by the Christians, and take the opportunity to move goalposts and hit again. Even other atheists are fed up with them. I'm putting up this answer more to the Christians and for the lurkers; I don't expect any rational response from the "angry atheist" subgroup. Hopefully they'll grow out of this behavior and learn to really engage people with differing viewpoints; you know, that "tolerance" thing that they so often say they have?


Tolerance? I have no problem with you holding to these beliefs, I just don't happen to share them, that's all, and I'm trying to explain why to you.
Disagreement is not intolerance or persecution. You Christians have some strange beliefs, so why are you so offended that others may have problems with them?
It offends me (or I don't know if "offends" is the right word, but I'll go with it for now since you used it) when people go around calling other people idiots, or mentally ill, for not sharing the same beliefs that they have, when these beliefs can't be proven to be true, or untrue. I would be offended by a Christian saying an atheist is an idiot or mentally ill, for example (and yes, atheists have beliefs, since it can't be proven that God exists). I think it is very intolerant and small-minded for a person to assume that they have the answers to what is out there in the universe and beyond, and that people that disagree with them are idiots or mentally ill.

Your life has been made more meaningful with the assistance of somebody the Romans nailed to a cross some 2000 years ago? How am I supposed to respond to something like that?
I would suggest something like this: "Personally, I don't see sufficient evidence to support that belief, but I'm not an intolerant, arrogant bigot, so I wouldn't presume to say that I fully understand your experiences and that your belief is unwarranted."
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Re: "Christians are mentally ill."

Postby mitchellmckain » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:09 pm

Lich wrote:Classification of a delusion is not dependent upon the proving of said delusion's non-existence(obviously, since human beings are incapable of proving non-existence).

Incorrect I can prove that a solution to a great many different sets of equations do not exist. Furthermore I can provide objective evidence that a great number of things do not and cannot exist, such as perpetual motion machines and faster than light space ships.

Any bum on the street can say that someone is delusional for believing differently than they do -- just as you have done. However it is not reasonable to expect other people to accept the truth of your beliefs if you have no proof or objective evidence for it. For it is only believing something contrary to proof or objective evidence that something is so unreasonable as to have some justification for calling the belief delusional.

Lich wrote:It is a simple fact that human beings have no reason to believe in the existence of anything they cannot perceive.

You seem to be very confused about the facts on this subject. The scientifically established fact is that perception cannot be abstracted from belief. Psychologists have demonstrated that beliefs alter perception and thus the fact that people can and do perceive the existence of God does not objectively establish that God does exist.

Lich wrote: That is not to say that such a thing does not exist, it simply means we have no reason to believe it does. Exactly the same as having no reason to believe that all of the air outside your house is really water. Can you prove that it isn't?

Yes I can quite easily do so in a great variety of ways.

Lich wrote:However, since you have no reason to believe it's really water, then you'd be mentally ill if you prepared to swim every time you walked out of your house. Ergo, Christians are mentally ill.

You have no good reason to believe that anyone believes anything without reason, and yet you reel off this nonsense as if you thought it was reasonable. Ergo by your own definition, you are mentally ill. By my definition you are not mentally ill, but only delusional about certain things, which is a condition that is not too difficult to demonstrate is found in great many human beings. Your reasoning process is seriously flawed. I suggest that you take some college classes on basic logic.

Lich wrote:"But although you fit the definition of delusional on this issue, I don't think that means you are mentally ill." Expand on this, please.

The only sound basis for the identification of delusion is the belief in something which contradicts the objective evidence. The first delusion of yours that we have observed is found in your belief that Christian's are mentally ill even though this contradicts the objective evidence. A second delusion we have observed is that sane Christians only believe in God because they simply accept what others have told them even though this contradicts the objective evidence. The third delusion of yours that we have just now observed is this belief that Christians believe things without any reason, which once again contradicts all the objective evidence.

Frankly, I strongly suspect that it is you yourself who have accepted these fictions simply because people told them to you and you credulously accepted them without making any effort to put them to the test. It very much reminds me of how for nearly two thousand years people accepted as fact the the assertion of Aristotle that objects fall at a rate proportional to their weight without making much effort to put this assertion to the test.
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Re: "Christians are mentally ill."

Postby mitchellmckain » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:18 pm

Lich wrote:Then you're either blind, or imbecilic.

Like in those cases where we have heard people call Stephen Hawking an idiot, however unclear it may be to those speaking/writing, it is obvious to those listening/reading where the intellectual deficiencies really are. No I am not saying that humanguy is another Stephen Hawking but he has been around here for while and frankly it is doubtful that you will last a fraction of that amount of time here -- you are not learning from your mistakes very fast at all.
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Re: "Christians are mentally ill."

Postby Lich » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:46 am

humanguy wrote:
I'll opt for imbecilic. I've heard that the sex is better.

You have this knowledge due to paying attention to the studies done on human perception. Great, why didn't you say so? How about showing us those studies, particularly the part that says that Christians are mentally ill? Can we expect to see that anytime soon, lich?


Do you really think any study done on the mental health of a theist which proves that theism itself is the result of a mental illness would ever make it to the public? I'm laughing at that thought. I'm done with this topic. I've made my points, and I'm done.
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Re: "Christians are mentally ill."

Postby Moonwood the Hare » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:29 am

Lich wrote:
humanguy wrote:
I'll opt for imbecilic. I've heard that the sex is better.

You have this knowledge due to paying attention to the studies done on human perception. Great, why didn't you say so? How about showing us those studies, particularly the part that says that Christians are mentally ill? Can we expect to see that anytime soon, lich?


Do you really think any study done on the mental health of a theist which proves that theism itself is the result of a mental illness would ever make it to the public? I'm laughing at that thought. I'm done with this topic. I've made my points, and I'm done.

You've made your point certainly, but what you have not done is defend it against criticism; most of the time you seem not to have understood the criticisms being made even though the same basic points have been made by several different people in different ways. I'm disappointed that in the end you have resorted to a kind of conspiracy theory. You are saying either that there is evidence out there that show that theism is a result of mental illness but that this has been suppressed, presumably to protect religious sensibilities or that any attempted study would never get off the ground presumably because religious people fear the conclusion and have the power to put it to a stop before it starts. Either seems implausible. There have been many studies in the relation between religion and mental health and I think it would be fair to say that whether religious belief is a causative factor in mental health depends on the nature of the belief.
http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2013/03/religion-spirituality.aspx
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/24/religion-mental-health-angry-god-brain_n_3097025.html
There's a couple of examples that you could have found if you had looked.
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Re: "Christians are mentally ill."

Postby Moonwood the Hare » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:01 am

Lich wrote:
It's a fact because empirical perception is the human brain's only method of gathering information pertinent to the reality outside of itself. Therefore, if something is not perceivable, the human brain has absolutely no way of gathering information on it, and therefore knows absolutely nothing about it, therefore leaving an utter lack of reason for belief in such a thing's existence.

I have no way of empirically encountering the conciousness of another human being. I can observe things that support the idea that another person is concious but I can't get inside their head. If your argument were valid you would have no reason for believing other people were concious. Nor do I think it correct to say that I infer that other people are concious but rather that I perceive them as concious beings. This is a perception that arises from the empirical but it is an interpretation not a logically valid inference. I can give you the logic to expand on this is you are interested.
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Re: "Christians are mentally ill."

Postby Lich » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:09 am

Moonwood the Hare wrote:
Lich wrote:
It's a fact because empirical perception is the human brain's only method of gathering information pertinent to the reality outside of itself. Therefore, if something is not perceivable, the human brain has absolutely no way of gathering information on it, and therefore knows absolutely nothing about it, therefore leaving an utter lack of reason for belief in such a thing's existence.

I have no way of empirically encountering the conciousness of another human being. I can observe things that support the idea that another person is concious but I can't get inside their head. If your argument were valid you would have no reason for believing other people were concious. Nor do I think it correct to say that I infer that other people are concious but rather that I perceive them as concious beings. This is a perception that arises from the empirical but it is an interpretation not a logically valid inference. I can give you the logic to expand on this is you are interested.


Honestly, I'm not up for having to provide a gigantic website full of a few thousand terabytes worth of information pertinent to a study done by a credible scientific agency in order to prove every single word that I use to makeup a sentence(which is apparently what is needed around here), so I think I'll pass. I love debate, but I hate people who don't use their brains.
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Re: "Christians are mentally ill."

Postby Moonwood the Hare » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:23 am

Lich wrote:
Moonwood the Hare wrote:I have no way of empirically encountering the conciousness of another human being. I can observe things that support the idea that another person is concious but I can't get inside their head. If your argument were valid you would have no reason for believing other people were concious. Nor do I think it correct to say that I infer that other people are concious but rather that I perceive them as concious beings. This is a perception that arises from the empirical but it is an interpretation not a logically valid inference. I can give you the logic to expand on this is you are interested.


Honestly, I'm not up for having to provide a gigantic website full of a few thousand terabytes worth of information pertinent to a study done by a credible scientific agency in order to prove every single word that I use to makeup a sentence(which is apparently what is needed around here), so I think I'll pass. I love debate, but I hate people who don't use their brains.

No one has asked for anything like that. People have pointed on holes in your argument and you are obviously not used to that and don't know how to respond. It took me about 5 minutes to find two examples of studies on religion and mental health, one positive one negative, neither of which support your position which is naive and simplistic rather than being as you seem to think too radical for a study based on it to be published. In the post you have responded to I was pointing out the incoherence of your argument and once again you don't seem to know how to respond. But I hope you will stay around because you have generated a lot of responses. And please do read the stuff on the two links I posted. Here's another paper that deals specifically with psychosis and religion
http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S0101-60832007000700013&script=sci_arttext&tlng=en
Took me two minutes to find - though obviously longer to read. Why is this so hard for you? Here's the guys conclusions:
Persons with severe and persistent mental illness often present for treatment with religious delusions. In the United States, approximately 25-39% of patients with schizophrenia and 15-22% of those with mania/bipolar disorder have religious delusions. In Great Britain and Europe, 21-24% of patients with schizophrenia have religious delusions, and in Japan the rate is 7-11%. Less information is available for Brazil, but rates of religious delusions exceeding 15% are likely. Non-psychotic religious belief and activity is also quite common among persons with severe mental illness, and these are often used to cope with the severe psychosocial stress caused by such illness.

Psychotic vs. non-psychotic beliefs and experiences may be difficult to distinguish from one another in some cases, although there are ways described here that clinicians can make such distinctions. This is particularly important since non-psychotic religious involvement may have a positive impact on the course of illness and frequency of psychotic exacerbations, and so deserves support and encouragement by clinicians. Religious delusions, on the other hand, may portent a worse prognosis and so should be vigorously treated.

Spiritual interventions – particularly when administered in a group format – may influence the course of severe mental illness in a number of ways, including providing support, addressing their spiritual concerns, and increasing their ability to connect with others. Unfortunately, there is much about the relationship between religion and psychotic illness that remains unknown, suggesting the need for more research. What is already known, however, justifies at least some tentative steps forward. Taking a careful spiritual history, supporting non-psychotic religious involvement, and considering spiritual group interventions for patients who are so inclined seem like reasonable next steps.

Here's a quote from the body of the paper which backs up what I have been saying to the hilt:
Pierre (2001) describes several ways to distinguish normal from psychotic religious experiences. He notes that for religious beliefs or experiences to be pathological, they must impact on the person’s ability to function. If social or occupational functioning are not impaired, then the religious belief or experience is not pathological. Related to impairment of function is loss of the ability to hold down a job, legal problems with police or due to failure to fulfill obligations, homicidal or suicidal threats and behaviors, and problems with thinking clearly. The healthy religious person with mystical experiences, on the other hand, will often have a positive outcome over time such as increases in psychological or spiritual maturity and growth.

and
There is general agreement, then, that specific criteria exist that can help to distinguish the mentally ill person with psychosis from the devoutly religious person having mystical experiences. The religious person has insight into the extraordinary nature of their claims, is usually part of a group of people who share their beliefs and experiences (culturally appropriate), does not have other symptoms of mental illness that affect their thought processes, is able to maintain a job and stay out of legal problems, does not harm himself or herself, and usually has a positive outcome over time. Of course, however, there is always the possibility that a mentally ill person (even those with psychotic illness) will have religious beliefs and mystical experiences that are culturally normative and may in fact help that person cope better with their mental illness.
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Re: "Christians are mentally ill."

Postby Keep The Reason » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:37 am

Aaron wrote:I am often puzzled by these comments you frequently make about theists wanting loopholes or being squishy or inconsistent, or just cherry picking what they like and bending over backwards to make it fit. I want to do the exact opposite of those things. I don't want to be like that at all.


The reason it seems like this to you is because theists will go to any lengths to have their gods. And they will not apply the same standards for analysis they do for anything else towards these god beliefs. You make this statement how you don't want to be the way I'm asserting you are, but we both know you buy into god without ever actually seeing him, without direct contact with him (like, you each converse with one another, in direct audible ways), and based on an old book and a tradition. You would not likely buy a car on such flimsy pretexts, sight unseen, but for eternal questions, you have a completely different and open-ended criteria.

So, lets look at your next statement to illustrate this:

You took a story about God from the Bible and stated it how you saw it. I explained two ways in which I felt you oversimplified and therefore ended up with an incomplete contextual framework upon which a fair moral judgement could be made. I didn't claim that once you considered those two things you'd have no choice but to see God as good and right, you might still see him as a monster, it's your choice. But what I was trying to do was point out how I thought you made your judgment without including all of the relevant particulars. Can a person ever be evil enough to where it would be good for God to remove them from the rest of humanity? Is there not any way in which God being God has different moral parameters to operate in than humans do?


Let's turn this around on you. What particulars are you leaving out? Given that god drowns the entire world (save 8), is EVERYONE deserving of drowning? Everyone? Babies? Toddlers? First graders? People in far flung parts of te world who never heard of Yahweh?

How are you going to answer this? What particulars deflect the drowning of a 4-month old baby? Well, the only three excuses I've heard is this:

A. No matter what god does, it's good. He owns us.
B. god saw those babies woud grow up evil anyway so it's good.
C. I don't know (this last one is most honst, and least used)

Just the idea that this genocide exists in the bible should give you real pause, and propel you to question the entire model. At best, it gets shrugged off as "a spiritual tale" or "metaphor" but the deeper issue is ignored. Yahweh is an asshole. You'd consider him a maniac if he were to be flesh and blood, and worshiping him would be considered an egregious act of immorality.

C.S. Lewis once wrote something that the people who dislike prideful people the most are probably very prideful themselves. I am wondering if perhaps the same principle applies here in your constant accusation that theists are all of those things I mentioned above?


No. I'm human like anyone else and have my prideful moments, but few theists simply admit god is an asshole and a monster, even though his bloodthirsty history clearly shows he is. I just don't have a problem calling you folks out on it.
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Re: "Christians are mentally ill."

Postby yjoeyh » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:48 am

Keep The Reason wrote: we both know you buy into god without ever actually seeing him, without direct contact with him (like, you each converse with one another, in direct audible ways)


Although I would love to just call attention to the obvious irony of this statement given the context, I think there is an even better point to be made just in the nature of the way this statement actually makes a lot of sense. The example given of seeing an individual in person, or conversing with one another in direct audible ways makes a valid point because it shows a simple and easy way to verify the belief that another person actually exists and has communicated with them is justified. All the irony of the statement really shows is that none of those things represent an exclusive, or even necessarily a better way to reach the same conclusion.
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