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Old 25th December 2018, 12:19 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
What if it weren't religious belief, but a strong belief in something else? Something irrational, with little evidence in favor but much evidence against, something that has tons of anecdotes and cultural expectations pushed upon every member of society from birth onward, something deemed by most cultures to be supremely important and something so widely believed it's taken for granted to be real, and those who say otherwise meet with criticism, scorn, and outrage? I speak, of course, of the concept of romantic love. It fits all the same descriptions of religious belief. It's just as irrational. Yet do we call "mad" the people who believe in it? On the contrary-- most are more likely to call mad those who don't believe in it.
This is an interesting point. I think we often do call people in love "mad" because their behaviour is often unreasonable. I think in many cases, most actually, the two are the same and relatively benign. I think one difference is that religion, or love of god, is almost never unrequited whereas human love often is which can lead to some pretty extreme behaviour.

People will do really unreasonable things to show their love for god or other humans. They will often obsess, they will seek out ways to show their devotion, etc. For the vast majority it is no big deal in either case but for some it leads to really strange, even insane, behaviour including stalking, violence, even murder.

Religion isn't the only behaviour humans have that is part of mental illness, it is one of many. Anything that has us obsessing or thinking irrationally to an onlooker would fall into the category. I think your point is a very valid one.
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Old 25th December 2018, 12:21 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Money has demonstrable utility.
And so does religion, although more so in the past. There has never been a U.S. president who didn't claim to be Christian. Religious belief in the past, and today, definitely had/has its advantages.
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Old 25th December 2018, 12:41 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
This is an interesting point. I think we often do call people in love "mad" because their behaviour is often unreasonable. I think in many cases, most actually, the two are the same and relatively benign. I think one difference is that religion, or love of god, is almost never unrequited whereas human love often is which can lead to some pretty extreme behaviour.

People will do really unreasonable things to show their love for god or other humans. They will often obsess, they will seek out ways to show their devotion, etc. For the vast majority it is no big deal in either case but for some it leads to really strange, even insane, behaviour including stalking, violence, even murder.

Religion isn't the only behaviour humans have that is part of mental illness, it is one of many. Anything that has us obsessing or thinking irrationally to an onlooker would fall into the category. I think your point is a very valid one.

True. It's annoying that some think pointing to something else and saying "Hey look at this. Thats crazy too isn't it?", some how lessens the craziness of religion.
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Old 25th December 2018, 01:28 PM   #124
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The difference is society doesn't make excuses and apologetics for crazy that isn't religious.
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Old 25th December 2018, 01:35 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
True. It's annoying that some think pointing to something else and saying "Hey look at this. Thats crazy too isn't it?", some how lessens the craziness of religion.
True. Two (or more) crazies don't make a sane.
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Old 25th December 2018, 01:57 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The difference is society doesn't make excuses and apologetics for crazy that isn't religious.
Larger numbers in societies make excuses and apologetics for religions because larger numbers in societies are religious (at least have been). Every crazy has it's believers that make excuses and apologetics however.

What I don’t understand is why some claiming to be atheists make special pleading excuses and apologetics for theism that it should be treated as a special kind of crazy that deserves different/better treatment than other crazies.
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Old 25th December 2018, 03:52 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
There has never been a U.S. president who didn't claim to be Christian.
Jefferson.
Also, the utility of claiming to be Christian regardless of the truth of the claim is very different from the utility of being Christian.
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Old 25th December 2018, 03:55 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
What I donít understand is why some claiming to be atheists make special pleading excuses and apologetics for theism that it should be treated as a special kind of crazy that deserves different/better treatment than other crazies.
Not all irrational beliefs are the result of clinical, medical insanity. Thorazine and Haldol won't cure most religious beliefs, because the belief isn't the result of neurological dysfunction.
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Old 25th December 2018, 04:36 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Not all irrational beliefs are the result of clinical, medical insanity. Thorazine and Haldol won't cure most religious beliefs, because the belief isn't the result of neurological dysfunction.
I didn't say they were. I use “mentally unhealthy” as being the unhealthy use of an otherwise healthy brain, not necessarily a medically unhealthy brain. I've never said "medically unhealthy". The unhealthy use of a healthy brain usually results in unhealthy actions and consequences.
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Old 25th December 2018, 04:38 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Also, the utility of claiming to be Christian regardless of the truth of the claim is very different from the utility of being Christian.
That was the point. Without at least claiming to be a believer you will not get elected president. Being religious has a "demonstrable utility."
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Old 25th December 2018, 04:40 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Jefferson.
From Wiki:

Quote:
He was a Christian deist because he saw Christianity as the highest expression of natural religion and Jesus as an incomparably great moral teacher. He was not an orthodox Christian because he rejected, among other things, the doctrines that Jesus was the promised Messiah and the incarnate Son of God.
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Old 25th December 2018, 05:06 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
That was the point. Without at least claiming to be a believer you will not get elected president. Being religious has a "demonstrable utility."
Claiming to be a believer when you're not is not "being religious". That's pretending to be religious.
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Old 25th December 2018, 05:11 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
From Wiki:
From the Thomas Jefferson Foundation:


Quote:
Jefferson rejected the notion of the Trinity and Jesus’ divinity. He rejected Biblical miracles, the resurrection, the atonement, and original sin (believing that God could not fault or condemn all humanity for the sins of others, a gross injustice).10 In neither the eighteenth century nor today would most people consider a person with those views a “Christian.”
I kind of think of Christianity as the highest expression of natural religion, but that doesn't make me "a Christian atheist".
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Old 25th December 2018, 05:41 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
From the Thomas Jefferson Foundation:




I kind of think of Christianity as the highest expression of natural religion, but that doesn't make me "a Christian atheist".

Jainism gets my vote.
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Old 25th December 2018, 05:47 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Claiming to be a believer when you're not is not "being religious". That's pretending to be religious.
Not arguing that point. Being religious has a benefit which is why people pretend to be religious just like a lot of gay people pretended to be straight because being straight had a lot of benefits over being gay.
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Old 25th December 2018, 06:36 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
Not arguing that point. Being religious has a benefit which is why people pretend to be religious just like a lot of gay people pretended to be straight because being straight had a lot of benefits over being gay.


These two social positions are not equivalent. For them to be equivalent the sentence should be written as

Quote:
Appearing to be religious has a benefit just as appearing to be straight has a lot of benefits.*
* or non-straight
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Old 25th December 2018, 07:04 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Larger numbers in societies make excuses and apologetics for religions because larger numbers in societies are religious (at least have been). Every crazy has it's believers that make excuses and apologetics however.

What I donít understand is why some claiming to be atheists make special pleading excuses and apologetics for theism that it should be treated as a special kind of crazy that deserves different/better treatment than other crazies.
You answered your own question.

Because people who think the baby Jeebus is really concerned with how consenting adults rub their genital together is a thing. People demanding that schools teach that the Earth was poofed into existence thousands of years after the Ancient Sumerians invented beer, glue, and sex toys is a thing. The basis for our foreign policy in Israel being based on it having to the play the Alderaan role in some Left Behind fan fiction is a thing. They have the numbers to get into positions of power and get support.

The crazy guy yelling a pigeons in the park doesn't.

"Religions isn't the only crazy" is missing the point. It's the crazy with power behind it.
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Old 25th December 2018, 07:53 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
You answered your own question.

Because people who think the baby Jeebus is really concerned with how consenting adults rub their genital together is a thing. People demanding that schools teach that the Earth was poofed into existence thousands of years after the Ancient Sumerians invented beer, glue, and sex toys is a thing. The basis for our foreign policy in Israel being based on it having to the play the Alderaan role in some Left Behind fan fiction is a thing. They have the numbers to get into positions of power and get support.

The crazy guy yelling a pigeons in the park doesn't.

"Religions isn't the only crazy" is missing the point. It's the crazy with power behind it.
I'm not talking about atheists that hide their atheism or lie that they're theists to gain political or other positions of power. I'm talking about people like some atheists on this forum that argue atheists should treat theists with more "reverence" than believers of other crazy beliefs. They claim atheists must be "nice" to theists that tell us we're damaged goods, worthless, evil sinners, lesser humans that deserve to be tortured for eternity with much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
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Old 26th December 2018, 12:34 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
These two social positions are not equivalent. For them to be equivalent the sentence should be written as

* or non-straight
If you read what I wrote between the parts you highlighted it says exactly what you thought it should say.
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Old 26th December 2018, 08:12 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
If you read what I wrote between the parts you highlighted it says exactly what you thought it should say.



Oops. You're correct. Sorry.
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Old 26th December 2018, 08:28 AM   #141
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I think the fact that someone believes something weird doesn't make him mentally ill. I suppose you have to refer to a complete clinical profile to do so. If a person believes in the existence of fairies, but the rest of his behaviour is what we would all call normal, I don't see that he is "mad" or anything like that.

If it's just about laughing a little at someone, it's something else. It just depends on whether the thing is funny.

By using extreme comparisons we end up wasting the meaning of words.
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Old 26th December 2018, 11:23 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I think the fact that someone believes something weird doesn't make him mentally ill.
I would agree. Much of the weirdness comes from ignorance. People simply don't know, or haven't thought about, why they believe what they believe. Add to that the fact that most people are indoctrinated with their religion when they are children and just get used to the weirdness over time.

However, Ken Ham would be one person I would think is mentally ill along with every other believer who has tried to explain away the contradictions between the bible and the scientific evidence. So somewhere between people who haven't thought about their beliefs and Ken Ham, there is a line dividing the ignorant from the crazy. Where exactly isn't all that important but I think it is very easy for people to cross that line in one direction, not so much in the other. Crazy people don't know they are crazy.
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Old 26th December 2018, 11:26 AM   #143
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Penn Jillette was speaking of alien abduction enthusiast at a convention when he said it, but I think it applies here.

Quote:
There's no evidence that these people had any unusual experiences. They're just like all the rest of us with dreams and fantasies. We all need a little attention. That shrink is a scumbag bitch taking money from lonely, sad people in exchange for BS, but the abductees are just people who pathologically need a little attention like... well, like us. You want to stop all this alien BS? Just pay attention to the people around you. Say Hi. Humans are desperate for human contact. Let's not make our fellow travelers spend sixty bucks an hour to some pig-dog to be the center of attention. People shouldn't have to convince themselves they have a reptilian lover in outer space to get a few minutes of your time. P & T are siding with the creeps. We always have. We love them. We are them. There are enough earthly reasons to be interested in each other. The BS just gets in the way.
Swap around the nouns and this mentality I think holds true for most Woo. There's a few predatory people at the top, a handful of legit mentally ill people mostly in the margins... and a lot of normal, intelligent people who just want to belong.
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Old 27th December 2018, 12:15 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
I would agree. Much of the weirdness comes from ignorance. People simply don't know, or haven't thought about, why they believe what they believe. Add to that the fact that most people are indoctrinated with their religion when they are children and just get used to the weirdness over time.

However, Ken Ham would be one person I would think is mentally ill along with every other believer who has tried to explain away the contradictions between the bible and the scientific evidence. So somewhere between people who haven't thought about their beliefs and Ken Ham, there is a line dividing the ignorant from the crazy. Where exactly isn't all that important but I think it is very easy for people to cross that line in one direction, not so much in the other. Crazy people don't know they are crazy.
I would say that Ken Ham is a fanatic as many others that believe the unbelievable. Whether mentally ill or not, I don't know. But not every religious man is a fanatic.

What worries me is that I don't know any religious man that be able to make fun of his god. This is worryng.
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Old 27th December 2018, 12:51 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I would say that Ken Ham is a fanatic as many others that believe the unbelievable. Whether mentally ill or not, I don't know. But not every religious man is a fanatic.

The only difference between Ken Ham, and the rest of that surprisingly high number of Americans who literally believe in Noah's ark, is he built a replica of it. If he is mentally ill so are the rest. Just not as dedicated.
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Old 30th December 2018, 08:01 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
The only difference between Ken Ham, and the rest of that surprisingly high number of Americans who literally believe in Noah's ark, is he built a replica of it. If he is mentally ill so are the rest. Just not as dedicated.
I mean, they're all fanatics. Is fanaticism madness? By what criteria do we define madness?
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Old 30th December 2018, 08:39 AM   #147
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We have quite a few members here (including myself) who were at one time in their lives Theists.

Were any of you certifiably insane at that time?

(Yes. I realize that you were wise enough to eventually overcome it, and that you weren't of the sad sort that would drink the kool-ade.)
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Old 30th December 2018, 01:01 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I mean, they're all fanatics. Is fanaticism madness? By what criteria do we define madness?

I feel like we've been over this many times, but the criteria is the evidence of being afflicted by delusion. That and possibly the embellishment of believing in something, when all the evidence points against the belief.

As has been said by others, many times, if one person has a personal delusion we lock him up. (Well maybe if self harm or harm to others results from it.) If many share a delusion that's organised religion and gets a free pass.

The suggestion that religious belief is a form of madness, has been made by some of our modern atheist champions, and the parallel that the condition spreads like a virus, by some also.
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Old 30th December 2018, 01:14 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by Apathia View Post
We have quite a few members here (including myself) who were at one time in their lives Theists.

Were any of you certifiably insane at that time?

(Yes. I realize that you were wise enough to eventually overcome it, and that you weren't of the sad sort that would drink the kool-ade.)

I was only afflicted until the age of 16, but yes, I think I may have been nuts for a while. It certainly caused me a lot of grief.

As with so many other things it is a matter of degree. Few would argue that those who self flagellate, and/or get themselves nailed to crosses, are in full possession of their minds, but what of those that say a few rosaries as penance?

A matter of degree. A bit nuts, or plain bonkers.
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Old 30th December 2018, 04:12 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I was only afflicted until the age of 16, but yes, I think I may have been nuts for a while. It certainly caused me a lot of grief.

As with so many other things it is a matter of degree. Few would argue that those who self flagellate, and/or get themselves nailed to crosses, are in full possession of their minds, but what of those that say a few rosaries as penance?

A matter of degree. A bit nuts, or plain bonkers.
I taught junior high for a few years. I think your affliction of "nuts" has another cause.
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Old 30th December 2018, 10:33 PM   #151
Thor 2
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Such penetrating perception Apathia. That you could glean this from my sparse writings is impressive. We are talking about the nuttiness of religion specifically however.
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Old 30th December 2018, 10:37 PM   #152
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Teachers tend to think they know everything . . .
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Old 30th December 2018, 11:13 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Such penetrating perception Apathia. That you could glean this from my sparse writings is impressive. We are talking about the nuttiness of religion specifically however.
My bad. I apologize for the remark. It was uncalled for. I meant that if religion was driving you nuts at the time, it may have had more to do with the anxieties of youth. But never mind that. I take that back. I'm glad you escaped the nutty aspects of religion.
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Old 30th December 2018, 11:22 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Teachers tend to think they know everything . . .
Your right. Arrogant of me. Perhaps religion has left me with some residual madness. Or I'm just a snowflake who can't call it like it is.

Sad thing is I know religious people who are intellectually, morally, and spiritually superior to me.
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Old 30th December 2018, 11:23 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by Apathia View Post
...
Sad thing is I know religious people who are intellectually, morally, and spiritually superior to me.
That's just what they want you to think!
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Old 31st December 2018, 12:03 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Few would argue that those who self flagellate, and/or get themselves nailed to crosses, are in full possession of their minds, but what of those that say a few rosaries as penance?
What if they do it for kicks? It seems strange to say that if I get flogged for the sexual thrill of it I'm sane, but if I say some words while holding beads I'm insane.
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Old 31st December 2018, 12:26 AM   #157
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If I, as a non-believer, resided in a violently religious area that demanded total adherence to whatever god was worshipped there, and was confronted with some vigilante mob to question my loyalty to the same, would I be crazy to say I was not a believer?
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Old 31st December 2018, 12:27 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by Myles View Post
If I, as a non-believer, resided in a violently religious area that demanded total adherence to whatever god was worshipped there, and was confronted with some vigilante mob to question my loyalty to the same, would I be crazy to say I was not a believer?
Or would you be crazy to reside there to begin with?
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Old 31st December 2018, 12:28 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I feel like we've been over this many times, but the criteria is the evidence of being afflicted by delusion. That and possibly the embellishment of believing in something, when all the evidence points against the belief.
Then it seems to me that the world is full of madmen who believe in a thousand illusory fantasies. Negationists, racists, Stalinists, neofascists, trumpists and a lot of "ists". Whichever one of you has no false illusions... may throw the first stone. Even the belief that oneself is free of false illusions is a dellusion. Schopenhauer included.
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Old 1st January 2019, 12:54 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by Apathia View Post
My bad. I apologize for the remark. It was uncalled for. I meant that if religion was driving you nuts at the time, it may have had more to do with the anxieties of youth. But never mind that. I take that back. I'm glad you escaped the nutty aspects of religion.

Thanks Apathia.

Mind you I'm sure I did not escape "the anxieties of youth" entirely either.
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