Barry, did you read the following paragraph? I regard it as a culturally spread 
malady that has its roots in our nervous system. I think it may be that, from 
an evolutionary viewpoint, a certain gullibility to pick up behaviours and 
ideas helps a child, and to a lesser extent adults, to quickly grasp useful 
information, but that tendency also has the defect of lack of discrimination, 
which is something that must be learned. Scientists, who supposedly have 
suppressed this tendency sometimes come up with crazy ideas which also do not 
work out, but eventually it is discovered these ideas are nuts. Religion makes 
it a proud and worthy stance to guard ideas that have failed to pass muster.  

 The human species lack of hard wiring makes us more flexible for learning; we 
do not go out and dig burrows and look for nuts in the forest everyday 
(usually), but it makes us susceptible to the mental equivalent of a viral 
attack. We here have all experienced the attack, and many here are still 
dancing to the virus's tune. This is why I called religion a memetic malady or 
disease. That is different from organic insanity. Religion is induced insanity. 
The question for 'spiritually' oriented individuals would be, is there a way to 
construct a system that gives us these experiences of unboundedness that does 
not also wreak havoc with this gullibility weakness in the human nervous 
system. Because culture runs along the fault lines of this weakness, it is 
difficult to construct a civilisation that nurtures rational discrimination. 
Look at the difference between the founding fathers of the United States, who 
had rather sceptical and sparkling intellects, with the way the United States 
has turned out in practice. 

---In, <turquoiseb@...> wrote :

 From: "anartaxius@... [FairfieldLife]" <>
 Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 6:56 AM
 Subject: [FairfieldLife] Re: Belief in God is a form of mental illness


 As to the first question, mental illness perhaps results from atypical wiring 
and growth of the brain, causes not necessarily known. Mental illness is not 
considered a contagious disease. So contrary to the title Barry gave to this 
thread, the hook if you will, belief in god is not a mental illness.


 Many people disagree with this. These sociologists, psychologists, and 
religious historians believe that history shows us that not *only* is religion 
indistinguishable from mental illness (think the actions that the Inquisition 
considered "holy"), it is very, very much communcable (the Inquisition lasted 
for *800 years*, fucking up Western society in ways that are still felt today). 

 Plus, look at how one person defined their religion just today: "But let's not 
talk about bawee, I have my hands full just smacking him into line day after 
day - it is an exhausting pursuit but someone has to do it so I sacrifice 
myself on the wheel of necessity. There will be some reward in heaven for my 
efforts, I am sure."

 This person clearly feels not only that they are going to be rewarded with 
heaven for stalking the person they've chosen to stalk, but it is their "duty" 
to stalk him, to "smack him into line day after day," as if 1) she was entitled 
to, or 2) that ever happened. 


 See what I mean about religion being a form of mental illness? Here you have a 
person who chooses to excuse her stalking behavior and obsession on one 
particular person she hates by claiming it's her religious duty to act like 
this. This religious fanatic not only admits to being a stalker, she 
*celebrates* it and hopes to end up in heaven *for* being a stalker. I'd say 
that was pretty mentally ill, wouldn't you?  :-)  :-)  :-)







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