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 FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <turquoiseb@...> wrote : From: "anartaxius@... [FairfieldLife]" <FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com> To: FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com 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? :-) :-) :-)