Religion: A mental disorder?

Yesterday I questioned whether liberalism is a mental disorder, and made the claim that it’s obtuse and extremely facetious, but I shall today judge religion by its own standards. God is a delusion and man created the ideas of gods to control the common man, as it’s a useful weapon for the powerful, and the leaders. The Abrahamic religions especially fear their god, and the threat of facing him and not receiving their desired judgement, and through this fear they claim unequalled love for their god, where they put their faith before their own families. A delusion used to be referred to as being fooled, and this is still appropriate, but it’s more commonly known as an idiosyncratic belief or impression maintained despite being contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder, according to Oxford dictionary. Religion is very much contradicted by reality, and rationality, as it takes a very ignorant person to ignore the evidence of known science; ie evolution, and claim that god created everything.

“The way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason.” – Benjamin Franklin

Is there a difference between religious fervour and mental disorders? Anything that can affect your judgement to make logical decisions is a mental disorder, and people believing that they speak to god, and he speaks back at them is not thinking like a normal person. The American Psychological Association claimed that after doing a five year study that extreme religious behaviour hindered one’s ability to make conscientious decisions about common sense matters. If one claims to have a voice inside their head advising them of what to do, more often than not they are diagnosed as being a sufferer of schizophrenia, which is a form of psychosis, but when a theist claims to be engaging with god, or Jesus, this is perfectly acceptable in society. Take prayer as another example of an unhealthy form of delusion. Does prayer achieve anything, other than making a person look like they’re having a conversation with themselves, and has prayer ever been proven to be effective and give desired results?

“When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.” – Robert M. Pirsig

When people become fundamentalists regarding their religion, it’s a fine line between being obsessive about their faith, and needing to receive mental health care. Religion is about compliance, and religious leaders don’t wish for people to have their own unique individuality, as they want people who wish to obey, and people that are fearful of questioning the will of god. What better way than to control a society through the fear of a god that can become malevolent if you don’t do as he bids. Many Christians argue that their god is in opposition to evil, but if the flood mythology is anything to go by, he’s perfectly capable of mass genocide if he’s unhappy. You’ve got to have some form of psychosis to believe that it’s perfectly acceptable for god to wipe out the majority of life on Earth, just because he’s god, and he can give and take away as he pleases. You’ve also got to suffer from a mental instability to believe that god sent his own son, who’s really him in human form, to die for the sins of humanity.

“Religious fanatics want people to switch off their own minds, ignore the evidence, and blindly follow a holy book based upon private ‘revelation’. – Richard Dawkins

Sigmund Freud described religion as a childlike neurosis, and suggested that it was unhealthy for the mind as it forced you to believe in what isn’t true. But if it makes a person happy, then who are we to judge? The issue here for me is that religious people are unable to keep their beliefs and condemnations to themselves, and have a habit of preaching to people who don’t share their views, and this is what creates the problems, as religion is about a personal relationship with a god, and it should not be forced upon people. Yet society is polluted by religion almost everywhere you go, and just because the majority of people on the planet have some firm of faith, it doesn’t mean that they are correct. Mark Twain once said that when you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time you took a step back and reflected. Whilst religion can offer comfort, and social circles which surround the church, or it can give someone a positive outlook on life, it’s still founded on deception, as none of it can ever be proven to be true. Especially for an extremely sceptical person like myself, who’s got to 46 years old without once ever experiencing a supernatural event, and if I’ve ever told a religious fanatic this, they often say that you must seek god, as he won’t seek you. Is this not just a little too convenient to be taken seriously?