Is religious faith, a form of schizophrenia?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Amergin, Jul 16, 2012.

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Is religion a form of schizophrenia?

  1. 1. Mental structures of religion and schizophrenia are the same.

    2 vote(s)
    40.0%
  2. 2. Religion and schizophrenia share many brain circuits .

    0 vote(s)
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  3. 3. Coincidental, religious programme is different from psychosis

    1 vote(s)
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  4. 4. There is no similarity

    2 vote(s)
    40.0%
  1. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Hare Krishna Yogi

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    The missing facet in the thread so far is:

    Fore fathers & elders 'Who were foolish serfs & nimrods' ---thus, that 'should not' be heeded.

    Religious faith [other than self-fabricated revelations replete with soapbox annuciations of a new-found revelation by svengalis] is passed down through the ages.

    BTW, by 'religious' IMO indicates 'ritual' only. Aside from 'rituals done by rote' ---the rest of historical acts were IMO prompted by worldly gain by those with an advantage to do so.

    IE, the catholic church maintained rituals ----whereas adventuous fortune hunters, who happen to be catholic, sought to colonise the old world ---esp before the next guy did so.

    IMO, Yes ask a Politician when he marches with a group that is politically profitable/advantagous yet not aligned with that Politician's core constituency ---if asked, the Politician will parse his langauge so as to be 'discribing two differing sides as a unified'.
     
  2. Amergin

    Amergin Well-Known Member

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    I am the forth Atheist in my paternal line of a Scottish Family. That is a linear branch of a tree. My mother was Irish Catholic as were most of her mainly Irish family. Overall, nearly all branches of my family going back to 1600 were Christians (mostly Catholic with some paternal Presbyterians).

    I was raised to think for myself. My father did not admit being an Atheist until I was 18 years old. My mother taught me the Christian Stories, and I had to take religion classes in school up through High School. All along, something about the Biblical myths and Catholic dogma did not make sense to me. I questioned my mom and she got angry so I stopped. I questioned teachers and the local pastor. None of them could explain my noting discrepancies and contradictions. "You have to have faith, Lad." "Only God understands our religion, we cannot grasp it except on faith."

    By middle grammar school, I doubted the existence of God. I began doubting after the Noah's Flood story as immoral or an evil God. I was a clear cut Atheist by grade 7, and through High School. I had trouble understanding why so many people believed that which I found like rubbish. When I turned 18, my Father keeping a promise to my Mom, told me he was an Atheist, as was Grandfather ******, and Great Grandfather ******, and probably his father either a Deist or Agnostic but not Christian.

    Therefore, my Father did not influence me to Non-Theism. I found Christianity false by my own experience in schools, the local Church, and my Mom's old church in Armagh, Ireland where I spent some summers.

    I think that there is a gene that makes one prone to religious belief and able to ignore the contradictions that I see. I think I had a gene inherited in my Paternal Line. I did not choose non-belief. Likewise, I never chose to love chocolate and hate asparagus. It just happens, based on our DNA. In fact, it worried me that my friends at school believed and I did not. However, no matter how hard I tried, I found the Bible, Calvinistic teachings, and Roman Catholic dogma too irrational to be true.

    It was after college, Medical School, post-grad Neuroscience/Neurology, and the experience of seeing thousands of patients that I formulated my theory. I did notice that Schizophrenia and Hard-line Christianity shared too many characteristics to be coincidental. Both shared the tendency to hatred of something, and weakness of logically evaluating any hypothesis.

    I worried that my opinion based on science, psychiatry, neurology, and sceptical analysis would offend believers. I am sorry if that happened. It is my strong opinion. I support freedom of and from religion.

    Amergin
     
  3. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Post #18 exile: Either Plato or the Platonic school wrote Alcabiades I 300-2 BCE. The Platonic school knew of Zarathushtra. Alcabiades I describes the how the Persians were followers of Zarathushtra, how Zarathushtra was the father of the Magi, and how Zarathushtra was the son of Ahuramazda, the same God by expression, not by name, that is described in the New Testament. Where in First Alcibiades do you find Zarathustra or Magi or Ahuramazda? There is one brief passage where the wisest Persian is said to teach how to Worship the Gods? Is this what you are referring to?

    The Zarathushtrian concept of both a material world and spiritual world and Plato's concept of a physical world and a perfect world said to be descendant from a common ancestor. But after reading Alcabiades I wouldn't be surprised if that was actually a Zarathushtrian concept. If the author of First Alcibiades “knew” about the Zoroastrian world-view, why is there no indication? The context of the Aristotlian-Platonic world-view is traditionally explained as an incestuous wedding of the ideas of Heraclitus and Parmenmides (see Koestler (1959) and Tuzet (1973)). Are you claiming this is not the case? If so, where is the proof that Heraclitus, Parmenides, Plato, and Aristotle had knowledge of Zoroastrianism? This could be any text with any reference which predates them (do not worry, there is none). Put yourself in their place, the Gods of Olympus were used as an excuse to sentence Socrates and Zorastrianism was the ideology of the enemy (Heraclitus and Parmenidus—whise systems show no Persian influence were contemporaries of Marathon and Thermopolyae and Plato was a student of Socrates, as Aristotle was of Plato). Any connection is a little farfetched (unlikely in terms of probability).

    The philosophers, Socrates, worshiped deities that were foreign to the Greek religious heritage and they were even charged with impiety or put to death. It could have been Zarathushtrian deities that they were worshiping due to Medism in Greek city states. Socrates as not sentenced based on religious differences (neither Plato nor Xenophon mention it, mere that he was irreligious, a “gadfly” on the state). Waterfield (2009) does a really good job de-bunking this myth. “Medism” (as classically used) has no bearing on religion at all during the time from Marathon to Aristotle. It instead is used to describe one as “being sympathetic to the Medes” (see the case of Thermistocles).

    The Aramaic Bible tells us how Zarathushtra was the man who sent the Magi to Jesus. Marco Polo tells us that Magi from Iran were the first people to have come into contact with Jesus and that the sacred Zarathushtrian fire was the gift that they got in return for their gifts to Jesus. What Aramaic Bible? There are a handful of OT books written in what is referred to as Biblical Aramaic. It is generally hypothesized that Jesus spoke a Galilean variant of Palestinian Aramaic and Josephus wrote in Aramaic. The NT was never written in Aramaic (see “Aramaic of Jesus” on wiki). Yes, many Aramaic words are borrowed and some terms (in Greek) are clearly very influenced by it. Nowhere is Zarathustra mentioned and Marco Polo lived 1200 years later (so the tale he was relating had 1200 years to form—ever played “telegraph”?)

    Really, exile, to be taken seriously one needs more than innuendo and unsubstantiated claims.
     
  4. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    So you believe beliefs are products of genes? Not reason? This is a bit excessive even for Dennett or Fodor or Churchland.

    As noted before, you are basing your analysis (I too am a skeptic) on your ideas of science and psychiatry and neurology. Equally, DSM IV and the APA (and most psychiatric literature) disagree with you. But you have been very clear and I agree, I support your freedom to state what you like.

    P.S. everybody who was questioning and speculating about my doing science. I am now working on advanced integration of complex h/w and s/w systems (physics-systems engineering-architecture-electronics). Same employer, just pitching me a little different to the clients. O, still do real strong probabilitstic and quantitative risk analysis.
     
  5. Amergin

    Amergin Well-Known Member

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    You missed my point. I was not indoctrinated to be an atheist. I do not think I even hard the word, "Atheist" until the 4th or 5th grade, when I heard American propaganda about the Korean War. It talked about the REDS. They were Atheists who denied God. That was the reason America had to fight them. It was not about political economics (socialism, capitalism) but anti-Atheistic. Why did Americans hate Atheists? I looked it up, and found out about atheists. I was one of them. I even asked an American tourist in Inverness on tour, "Why do you Americans hate Atheists?" The lady just shook her head, grimaced and ignored me.

    I never forgot that.

    In my 4 year of Neuroscience Post-Grad, the introduction of MRI showed brain areas most active during various tasks. We have since developed a very impressive map of brain functions including religion, language, Reasoning, emotion, perception, etc etc. An American chap named Dr. Newberg, studied religious patterns in Christians and Buddhists. We now know where religion and god dwell in our brains. For unclear reasons, one is genetic (my family history suggests it.) The other is the meme induction of endless repetition to implant religious belief and to let irrational data pass the sceptical filter with suspended analytical thinking.


    Amergin
     
  6. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Fine, again this is a anecdote, based on the example of one (you) one cannot extrapolate that "Americans hate Atheists". I am an American (combat vet by the way) and some of my very dearest friends (whom I love) are atheists. Oops, by the laws of logic you argument just collapsed.

    Neuroscience is fascinating, and I have learned a lot about risk and risk analysis from the tons of work that Weber and Shafir stimulated. Our views of ontology are different; you focus on genes and wet computers, material stuff. As a matter of logic, I happen to buy the hard problem argument as the only way to close off mentality. So while I accept the existence and importance of material there is a second kind of stuff, mentality.

    No, I am no dualist (I fully know that will be your first reaction). Rather the “stuff” that is basic to both material and mental are actual events, experiences. This is called the Philosophy of Organism or Process Philosophy.

    See, I fully understand your claim “where religion and god dwell in our brains”. I just deny it. You know what areas of the brain are active when we process information about it. Until you can tell me (scientifically and empirically—prove it) why the experience of G!D exists at all, answering the hard problem, materialism will remain (in my opinion) just one option among many. And the answer lays in metaphysics, not physics or idealism (all used in their original Greek philosophical meaning).
     

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