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I've been wondering something - how come religion or atheism isn't viewed as a mental illness?
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21 / F / Arizona, US
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Posted 3/9/16 , edited 3/9/16
Dude, are you really trying to start an argument? Are you deranged? It's so unintelligent believing that people who believe in God is a mental illness. All because you don't believe in God, how does it make you more right than someone who believes in God? That's arrogance, not fact.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 3/9/16

holyfire11 wrote:

Dude, are you really trying to start an argument? Are you deranged? It's so unintelligent believing that people who believe in God is a mental illness. All because you don't believe in God, how does it make you more right than someone who believes in God? That's arrogance, not fact.


Yes.
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Posted 3/9/16

qualeshia3 wrote:



Huh?


I don't know wether to feel bad for these people or disgusted that they actually took such old stale stink b8.

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24 / M / Ohio, USA
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Posted 3/9/16
Should be. Some people take their beliefs to an extreme level and need to be locked away for life.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 3/9/16


Wow...just...wow.
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25 / M / United States
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Posted 3/9/16


Are you sure you don't mean immoral vs insane?

At any rate your loose use of the term "mental illness" is frustrating. Why don't we view religious people as mentally ill? Pretty simple. A mental illness denotes that one has psychological problems that deem them incapable of work life or severe inability to function to the social norms prescribed by our society. As of 2004 the rate was 27% of the population could be diagnosed with a disorder of some sort disorder, and roughly 80% of the population believes in a deity to some degree. This belief in most cases, while often making them the jackasses of society with claims like a 10,000 year old Earth or constant refusal to accept evolution, does not hinder them from normal function within society, especially when that society consists of like minded peers.

People have a difficult time rationalizing opposite belief systems because it is hard to not fulfill a confirmation bias and maintain objectivity. Even more so people often have a hard time identifying how their belief systems compare to society, and overestimate at how much the belief systems overlap. Religion is a polarizing topic because usually it involves the after life, and absolute morality in a lot of instances. It is also important to factor in the fact that a lot of religious people are indoctrinated from childhood. Evangelicals comprise the majority of our nation, and they hold the highest child salvation rate with multiple studies finding roughly HALF of all evangelicals confess to being "saved" before the age of 14. So there is a lot of family perpetuated belief systems that have been reinforced since memory that come into play for a lot of folks as well.

A) A community of peers does not believe in the imaginary friend of one person, a community of peers do believe in various deities.

B) absolutely, to propose otherwise shows poor choice of descriptive adjectives or total ignorance to the terms being used.

C) If you want a more technical argument: since 70% of the population has a moderate religious faith, it is safe to say it would be outside societal norms to not believe in a deity. This of course doesn't make you mentally ill, but if the fact that you are a minority drives you to be even more fringe in personality to where you lose friends or employment then you can become depressed and develop a mental illness...all because you stopped believing in a deity.

What do i win??
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 3/9/16


Nothing much.
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Posted 3/9/16
that's insulting to those that actually do have mental illness
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Posted 3/9/16 , edited 3/9/16

qualeshia3 wrote:

1) What makes believing in god different from having an imaginary friend?


To an Atheist, at least, nothing terribly noteworthy. To a theist, everything in the world. It's pretty subjective, so I can't give you anything concrete I'm afraid.


2) Is there difference between religion and mental illness?


Yes, and quite a big one. The most critical component of mental illness is that the thing to be examined is disruptive, that it interferes with one's ability to function to a clinically significant degree somehow. Theists' ideas that there are invisible sky people led by an incredibly powerful and also invisible sky person might strike the Atheist as delusional, but they're not clinically disruptive for theists. Theists can still feed themselves, work, form healthy relationships, regulate their moods, and do everything else a functional person does. They are in no way impaired by their belief in a deity, so it's impossible to argue that they're mentally ill simply for having it.


3) Why would not believing in god or religion make you mentally ill?


The answer to 2 is the answer to 3. Theism doesn't meet the clinical criteria required for something to be a mental illness.
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25 / M / United States
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Posted 3/9/16



Without getting overly technical, I am afraid you are misconceived. First of all, there is not really a "normal" chemistry within the brain as far as a specific base line. It is true we prescribe things to play on our neurotransmitters in some cases, but it is not as simple as missing a few chems here add a few chems there type deal. Basically, a mental illness can be traced to a genetic variation within the genome, but even then it is not simply a nature (genetics) thing, there is still a lot of nurture (environmental influence) involved in genetic variations that lead to a mental illness.

There was a study done in 2013 to identify how much the genome had to do with it. They examined five major mental illnesses — depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, schizophrenia and autism — because all are traceable to the same inherited genetic variations, and according to the largest genome-wide study of its kind. These variations account for only 17-28 percent of mental illness risk.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 3/9/16

FlyinDumpling wrote:

that's insulting to those that actually do have mental illness


I have a mental illness and I'm not the least bit insulted.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 3/9/16


Some people say yes, others say no, and some do not know. It's confusing.
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Posted 3/9/16

qualeshia3 wrote:

Some people say yes, others say no, and some do not know. It's confusing.


The APA has materials that will help you sort it out.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 3/9/16

BlueOni wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:

Some people say yes, others say no, and some do not know. It's confusing.


The APA has materials that will help you sort it out.


APA? What does that stand for?
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Posted 3/9/16
I don't know anything about beliefs being mental illnesses. I'm an apatheist and until there's proof that deities or mythical creatures exist or that if atheists are right about "no such thing as god", I don't really care.
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