On Fri, 2006-12-29 at 00:37 +1100, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

Sure, it's a defect in the brain chemistry, but the delusional person will give you his reasons for his belief:


This is very similar to the arguments of people with religious convictions, who will cite evidence in support of their beliefs up to a point, but it soon becomes clear that no matter how paltry this evidence is shown to be, they will still maintain their belief.

I do wonder how many non-religious beliefs are the same way, i.e.,
incorrigible in spite of the absence of evidence, or even contrary to
evidence, simply because they are convenient or permeate one's
surrounding culture.

The difference is that these people do not change their way of thinking in response to antipsychotic medication.

Which is fascinating to behold, as I have witnessed this very same, in
both directions, on many occasions, as patients have gone on and off
their medication.  They will also go to great lengths to justify their
change in belief structure when it's obvious it's the effect of the
chemical on their disease process.

There is a subtlety to the religious qualification you make above,
however.  There are indeed religious-oriented delusions which go away on
medication, but they tend to be ones that were only acquired through the
course of the patient's illness.  Those acquired through detailed
indoctrination in youth tend to be unaffected, as you mention.


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