whatever makes you feel happy in moderation is fine. of course addiction to religion or anything else and it interfering with other engagements is a sign of illness whether its religion or even net usage!
Unfortunately since there had been a lot of posts already in this thread this post would go unnoticed. But let me pour my sequential thinking abilities into this thread anyway.
Back in the old days people didn't have laws to protect the weak.
And there were no ethics.
The religions set the standards for what is accepted and what is not (ethics).
Humans created religions to protect ourselves.
In simpler terms.
Religions protected your helpless great great great grand ma from getting raped and killed by some thug across the street because rape and murder is against religion (some religions) thus you are still here.
Now that you are here in the 21st century and has a peanut size brain you are unable to sum up the value of religion that played it's part in you being here.
Doesn't the fact that people have been like this for a very very long time and that we've only recently begun to change it suggest that this is a more natural state for people to be in than a 'rational' one?
Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise
Since religion has played a huge part in the vast majority, if not all, of human cultures world-wide since written history began, from a scientific viewpoint it's highly unlikely that religion is "mental illness."
The difference is that now we have much better theories to explain the world around us. Back in the day we really had no idea what was going on.
For all we know, it could have been "rational" to believe in God back in the day, just because it was the simplest hypothesis that still explained the data.
At least(!!), Victor has noted the social nature of the definition of the ill. So thank you victor for advancing the thread.
Yes, most mental illness is a medical fiction.
Yes, it's a medical fiction just as we have legal fictions. For instance, the Corporation is legally a fictional person with all the rights and responsibilities of a person.
And the medical fiction of mental illness was created with the best will in the world. It was created to get the 'mentally ill' out of prison and into the medical asylums.
In other words, the medical fiction of mental illness was an improvement over the criminal model.
But we lived in a literate and so literal society and so the fiction of mental illness was taken literally.
And naturally as 'mental illness' now literally existed, it must have a physical basis. And of course you find what you look for.
Unfortunately most illnesses are caused by a lesion or an infectious agent. And so far we haven't been able to find lesions or infectious agents that cause most 'mental illnesses'.
But interestingly we are moving from a literate and so literal society based on books to an electronic society based on the telephone, television and the internet. And this is changing our view of everything, including mental illness.
So the history of mental illness starts with the idea of being 'touched' by a god or a demon, and moves onto the criminal model where we lock them up, to the medical model where we medicate them. And mental illness it now moving onto a new model which we are creating, in part, in our discussion.
So 'mental illness' has moved from being 'touched' to being 'bad' to being 'sick' to something we are now discovering.
But the fact that brain chemistry is heavily correlated to mental illness suggests that they are the same thing. As in, to say one's brain is a certain way is to say that they have mental disorder x. I don't think they're causally related, they are just different ways of saying the same thing!
Religious belief can sometimes be a manifestation of mental illness, but is this far from universal. I would be wary to be so quick as to make that connection. Religion is a fantasticly strange concept when you really think about it, and classification isn't always easy. I mean, being crazy doesn't seem to be a requirement of many religions, but in some circles it seems to help.
As of the origin of religious faith, fuck if any of us really have the answer to that one. I'm putting my bets on psychotropic plants though.