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Old 21st December 2018, 10:18 AM   #81
sackett
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In this context, “to believe” means “to accept something as true in the absence of evidence.”

When I see the visibly religious walking around, say orthodox Jews in funny hats and hairdos, or Muslim ladies bundled to the eyes in 90F weather, or Catholics (sometimes Hindus) bowing down to wood and stone, and reflect on what I know about their other practices – all those prohibitions and observances and deprivations and inconveniences – I feel a sinking sensation: They do that to themselves all out of belief, out of faith in something that’s entirely in their heads; literally, inside their skulls and nowhere else.

That may not be insane, but it sure & hell is crazy.
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Old 21st December 2018, 11:13 AM   #82
epeeist
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
What if they sacrifice their life for others because Winston Churchill told them to on the giant invisible telephone?
You mean like, in WW2, if the pilot of an aircraft received a radio message from Churchill asking him to perform a suicide mission to help protect Britain, and they agreed, would I think them insane? No.
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Old 21st December 2018, 11:13 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Yes it is I think, and although you might find it objectionable that I use a word like "affliction", I can't in honesty find another that describes accurately what my perception is and will not cause offence. I can say someone may be afflicted with a variety of medical conditions and my saying so does not suggest I have no empathy with them.
To me, this sounds like you are describing sympathy, and an attempt/desire for empathy that you can't quite achieve. I think you can rightfully claim to be sympathetic purely on your say so, but empathy has to bear-out, and in the eyes of the recipient no less. It's a high bar and not easy and I appreciate your openness that it's a struggle in this instance. That's totally understandable. And your openness about your perspective and experiences helps me to (hopefully) empathize with you such that I don't take offense at your use of the word affliction. You've helped me see where you're coming from, which allows me to adjust my reaction and thinking accordingly.

Quote:
To be frank the degree of affliction is very broad and those with a mild dose can, and do, function quite well. Even those more severely effected can seem to function well until you challenge the faith itself. My nephew is one of these. He claims Jesus is as real to him as his mother and talks of his "relationship" with him. Jesus tells him he can cure illnesses, (such as homosexuality), by driving the offending demons out.
*affected (sorry, couldn't help myself)

Hard for me to comment on specifics here, but if this is consistent with what he has been taught and it has been reinforced by his perception of his experiences, it doesn't surprise me that there is a significant barrier for him to critically question it. Or perhaps he has, but his evaluation of the weight of the evidence has lead him to different conclusions than you. Perceptions of experiences tend to be more persuasive than logical reasoning for most people, which is inevitably irksome if you're trying to debate, but not evident of any affliction other than that of being a typical human.



Quote:
The ideas are not so abstract too many unfortunately. I admit I struggle with the apparent casual way some modern day Christians, deal with the "being saved" notion given it is pivotal to Christian faith. If you are comfortable with your take on it then good luck. Many a preacher has found Hell to be a most effective weapon when wielded from the pulpit.
Agreed and fair point. Fear is a powerful tool for any leader, and easy to abuse. On a personal note, I'm actually not confident in my own understanding of "being saved". It's one of the key elements of my own faith that I am examining at present.

Quote:
Sometimes it can be difficult to be frank in a discussion if one skirts around an issue rather than meet it head on. Immaturity?
True, and I should probably re-read to see if I have the same reaction now as I did ~7 years ago. Perhaps I was being overly sensitive. At the time it felt like the opening chapter dedicated a lot time to establishing derisive terminology that could be referenced with mocking intent throughout the rest of the book. It had a "let's all laugh at the stupid creationists" feel to it, which is why it resonates to me as "schoolyard" and "immature".


Quote:
Difficult to get clear detail about trends like this and finding cause is much more difficult to establish.
True, but I think is reasonable to suggest that we are in a period of rapid social change, and that change typically causes stress. Even if that's a poor hypothesis, I'll hang onto as an excuse to remind myself to be compassionate towards people who seem to be "behind the times" in my opinion.


Quote:
A point that is missed by many I think. Well done.
Thanks. It's an excellent point.


Quote:
Interesting comment and good for you if you have this positive feel about it. I guess you may wonder how your mental health may have been if there was no religious infusion in your youth.
Yes, I do wonder about this sometimes.


Quote:
Don't know about madness being dependent on context so much, although I think some leaders have the ability to instil madness in their following, which may be contradictory to my original premiss.
I guess "madness" is not really a technical term, so it's open to some subjective interpretation. Perhaps you'll agree that "normal" is dependent on context? If so, it follows that "abnormal" is also dependent on context and I would argue that "mad" follows that logical progression to its extreme.



Quote:
The terms "good" and "evil" do strike a cord but not in relation to the slaughter of the children I spoke of.

The priests and parents of the children most likely thought they were doing a great service with this sacrifice, for the benefit of the community as a whole. Religion makes good people do bad things at times.
Right. I see what you mean. The thinking leads to an interesting conclusion though right? If one society is "mad" based on the standards set by another (and vice versa), how can this be resolved apart from appealing to a "higher authority" (I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this)

(also, "strike a 'chord' - musical reference". Sorry, I clearly have a problem)

Quote:
Thanks to you also and I wish you well on your journey.
Thanks Thor 2. I'll probably be absent from the forum over the Christmas holidays (other than to check in on how Tragic Monkey is doing), but I'll catch up thereafter. Appreciate the discussion as always.
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Old 21st December 2018, 02:11 PM   #84
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Thank you attempt5001 and I hope you enjoy your break while you celebrate the birth of the Son Sun.

Happy New Year also.
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Old 21st December 2018, 02:21 PM   #85
Thor 2
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Does his belief in Santa Claus cause a significant negative impact on his quality of life? If not, it does not qualify as a mental disorder. Simple as that.

No, not as "simple as that" arth. The guy is a nutter regardless of the lack of impact on the quality of his life. Mind you that quality of life may be adversely effected by others treating him like a loony.
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Old 21st December 2018, 04:18 PM   #86
ynot
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Does his belief in Santa Claus cause a significant negative impact on his quality of life? If not, it does not qualify as a mental disorder. Simple as that.
You think not being able to distinguish between fantasy and reality isn't a significant negative impact on anyone's quality of life? Boy . . . have I got a deal for them!

You think there aren't mental disorders that don't have a significant negative impact on quality of life?

Destitute god-believing parents giving 10% or more of their income to their god sect every week has a significant negative impact on the quality of their (and their children's) life. By your "logic", that means these parents therefore have a mental disorder. Perhaps we agree there .
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Old 22nd December 2018, 03:12 AM   #87
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The cause of a belief matters a lot when determining if it's mental illness or not. Someone having actual auditory hallucinations and delusions as a result of clinical psychosis is different from someone whose beliefs, "crazy" as they may be, originate from the beliefs being ubiquitous in their society.

If we had better technology, and we were able to "see" brain disorders like schizophrenia on brain imaging scans, this probably wouldn't even be a matter of debate here. I actually doubt it's a matter of debate among psychiatrists. When neurological malfunction is the cause of the bizarre belief, it's usually not just a few nutty beliefs - the person's entire cognition is generally noticeably off.

That said, religious beliefs often probably are similar to mass psychogenic illness and Folie à deux. It's all a form of emotional and cognitive "contagion".

Relevant science:
https://www.researchgate.net/profile...hy.pdf#page=11

Quote:
The emergence of group states facilitates group cognition, which can result in better decisions and more coordinated behavior (Wegner 1987). On the whole, simple majority processes tend to allow groups to perform better than individuals (reach more optimal solutions, make fewer errors, etc.) typically because most individuals will more often favor the correct or better alternative. If all of the members of a group know something, it probably does have more validity than something that is only known by one member. Furthermore, in a group endeavor with a common goal, gaps in each member’s individual knowledge and memory can be supplanted by the other members, as in, for example, a musical group rehearsing a new song. By synching with other members affectively and behaviorally, musical cues are quickly transmitted from knowledgeable members to others, bringing up overall performance. Furthermore, as demonstrated by teams (in sports, warfare or otherwise), political groups, corporations, and other forms of purposeful collectives, groups with coordinated motivations and behavior can vastly outperform loose groups of unaffiliated individuals. However, group behavior bears a complex relationship to group characteristics. As the previous examples also demonstrate, suboptimal or dangerous outcomes (like groupthink, mass hysteria, or the “observer phenomenon”) can arise when there is too much coalescence within a group.
And it might be "mirror neurons" behind a lot of it:
(MNS = "mirror neuron system")
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc...=rep1&type=pdf

Quote:
Why does the MNS appear to be involved in so
many aspects of social cognition? Because the activation
of the multiple and parallel cortico-cortical
circuits instantiating mirror properties underpins the
multilevel connectedness of individuals within a social
group. Such connectedness finds its phylogenetic and
ontogenetic roots in the social sharing of situated experiences
of action and affect. The MNS provides the
neural basis of such sharing. The merit of this hypothesis
is that it enables the grounding of social cognition
into the experiential domain of existence, so heavily
dependent on action (Gallese, 2007; Gallese, Keysers,
& Rizzolatti, 2004; Rizzolatti & Craighero, 2004).
When we witness the intentional behavior of others,
embodied simulation generates a specific phenomenal
state of “intentional attunement” (see Gallese, Eagle,
& Migone, 2007). This phenomenal state in turn generates
a peculiar quality of identification with other
individuals, produced by the collapse of the others’ in
tentional relations into the observer’s ones. By means
of embodied simulation we do not just “see” an action,
an emotion, or a sensation. Side by side with the sensory
description of the observed social stimuli, internal
representations of the body states associated with these
actions, emotions, and sensations are evoked in the
observer, “as if” he/she would be doing a similar action
or experiencing a similar emotion or sensation.
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Old 22nd December 2018, 09:47 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
True, and I should probably re-read to see if I have the same reaction now as I did ~7 years ago. Perhaps I was being overly sensitive. At the time it felt like the opening chapter dedicated a lot time to establishing derisive terminology that could be referenced with mocking intent throughout the rest of the book. It had a "let's all laugh at the stupid creationists" feel to it, which is why it resonates to me as "schoolyard" and "immature".
If you're looking for Christmas reading, I would recommend Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World:

https://www.amazon.com/Demon-Haunted.../dp/0345409469

To forestall a really common objection, it's not about demons at all. "Demon-haunted" was medieval jargon for "this just isn't working right now, I don't know why." Science is about finding out why, and the book is about why science is about finding out why and why it works better than the alternatives. Unlike Dawkins, Hitchens et al, Sagan is much more respectful of religious beliefs, partially because he assumes his religious readers will comprehend the very polite savaging he gives them, an assumption that later writers came to understand was far from universal.

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Old 22nd December 2018, 01:23 PM   #89
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For a mind to be able to believe god(s) are actually real, it essentially has to be in a mental state in which paranormal/supernatural have become normal/natural. A mental state that conflates fantasy and reality (irrational and rational). Regardless of the emotionally charged political correctness of defining this mental state as being “mad, stupid, silly, crazy, deluded, insane, etc.”, it certainly can’t be credibly defined as being mentally healthy.

Those afflicted by this unhealthy mental state will obviously disagree (such is the emotionally cloistered nature of the affliction).

Merry Winter/Summer Solstice to all .
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Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
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Old 22nd December 2018, 01:44 PM   #90
kellyb
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
For a mind to be able to believe god(s) are actually real, it essentially has to be in a mental state in which paranormal/supernatural have become normal/natural. A mental state that conflates fantasy and reality (irrational and rational). Regardless of the emotionally charged political correctness of defining this mental state as being “mad, stupid, silly, crazy, deluded, insane, etc.”, it certainly can’t be credibly defined as being mentally healthy.

Those afflicted by this unhealthy mental state will obviously disagree (such is the emotionally cloistered nature of the affliction).

Merry Winter/Summer Solstice to all .
If they're just believing things "everyone" believes, it's not necessarily unhealthy. They're just misinformed.

You can't really write off 99.9% of all humans who have ever existed as mentally unhealthy, I don't think.
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Old 22nd December 2018, 01:46 PM   #91
Hlafordlaes
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Myth can be very instructive, at times profoundly insightful, and provide ethical guidelines in an accessible form, having the benefit of enhancing social cohesion through a common reference frame. For that reason, of late I've become convinced we need a return to statues and columned temples. Time for the the Greek and/or Roman gods to make a comeback. With all their foibles and faults, the protagonists of fable are more accessible and easier to relate to. The Abrahamic god(s) is/are too DC Comic, too overpowered to serve as role model(s).

Brave Helios, wake up your steeds,
Bring the warmth the countryside needs...
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Old 22nd December 2018, 01:54 PM   #92
ynot
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
If they're just believing things "everyone" believes, it's not necessarily unhealthy. They're just misinformed.
I'm sure you know the logical fallacy of "everyone believes".

Paranormal/supernatural beliefs aren't in the same category as normal/natural beliefs.

These days most "believers" choose misinformation over information.

Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
You can't really write off 99.9% of all humans who have ever existed as mentally unhealthy, I don't think.
Saying some people ("99.9%"?) have a particular mentally unhealthy belief isn't saying those people are mentally unhealthy per se.


Why do these points have to be pointed out again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, . . . ?
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Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

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Old 22nd December 2018, 02:00 PM   #93
ynot
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Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
Myth can be very instructive, at times profoundly insightful, and provide ethical guidelines in an accessible form, having the benefit of enhancing social cohesion through a common reference frame. For that reason, of late I've become convinced we need a return to statues and columned temples. Time for the the Greek and/or Roman gods to make a comeback. With all their foibles and faults, the protagonists of fable are more accessible and easier to relate to. The Abrahamic god(s) is/are too DC Comic, too overpowered to serve as role model(s).

Brave Helios, wake up your steeds,
Bring the warmth the countryside needs...
So what? What's ever instructive and/or profoundly insightful about conflating myth and truth? That's what I'm actually talking about.

Myths can also be very destructive, especially at times when they are believed as being truths.

I have no problem with myths as long as they are recognized as being purely myths.
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Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

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Old 22nd December 2018, 02:14 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
For a mind to be able to believe god(s) are actually real, it essentially has to be in a mental state in which paranormal/supernatural have become normal/natural. A mental state that conflates fantasy and reality (irrational and rational). Regardless of the emotionally charged political correctness of defining this mental state as being “mad, stupid, silly, crazy, deluded, insane, etc.”, it certainly can’t be credibly defined as being mentally healthy.

Those afflicted by this unhealthy mental state will obviously disagree (such is the emotionally cloistered nature of the affliction).

Merry Winter/Summer Solstice to all .

Yes a jolly celebration of Natalis Solis Invicti to all in the Northern Hemisphere, and I suppose a Mors or Funus Solis Invicti to us down South. Brisbane these last few days has been uncomfortably hot, so I think we're glad to see the demise of the Sun.

Of course Jesus did not have a birthday until 350 AD when Pope Julius made December 25 the one. Given his infallibility it was made so I suppose - in Heaven as well as here on planet Earth.*

I suspect many non Catholic Christians would be uncomfortable, if they knew the Jesus birthday they celebrate with such enthusiasm, was defined by a Pope.... Best we don't tell them.

* Provided he made the announcement ex cathedra that is. Just to clarify for the nit pickers here.
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Old 22nd December 2018, 02:23 PM   #95
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Wink

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Yes a jolly celebration of Natalis Solis Invicti to all in the Northern Hemisphere, and I suppose a Mors or Funus Solis Invicti to us down South. Brisbane these last few days has been uncomfortably hot, so I think we're glad to see the demise of the Sun.

Of course Jesus did not have a birthday until 350 AD when Pope Julius made December 25 the one. Given his infallibility it was made so I suppose - in Heaven as well as here on planet Earth.*

I suspect many non Catholic Christians would be uncomfortable, if they knew the Jesus birthday they celebrate with such enthusiasm, was defined by a Pope.... Best we don't tell them.

* Provided he made the announcement ex cathedra that is. Just to clarify for the nit pickers here.
Christians don't tend to be bothered by unimportant things like mere facts. They're more interested in more important things like nice thoughts and feelings .
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Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
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To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

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Old 22nd December 2018, 03:18 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
For a mind to be able to believe god(s) are actually real, it essentially has to be in a mental state in which paranormal/supernatural have become normal/natural. A mental state that conflates fantasy and reality (irrational and rational). Regardless of the emotionally charged political correctness of defining this mental state as being “mad, stupid, silly, crazy, deluded, insane, etc.”, it certainly can’t be credibly defined as being mentally healthy.
Last night as I arrived at the arena for my Friday evening game of ice hockey Santa Claus came striding out the door with a jolly "Ho, ho, ho!" I wished him a merry Christmas and went in to get changed. Now I didn't see his sleigh but I heard that he travels by said conveyance and mostly parks on the roof top. The arena having no chimney would account for his use of the same automatic doors we all use. I'm not sure how he was going to get up to the roof to continue his travels but I do know there is nothing in that arc of a story that changes my belief in the existence of Santa.
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Old 22nd December 2018, 03:33 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
Last night as I arrived at the arena for my Friday evening game of ice hockey Santa Claus came striding out the door with a jolly "Ho, ho, ho!" I wished him a merry Christmas and went in to get changed. Now I didn't see his sleigh but I heard that he travels by said conveyance and mostly parks on the roof top. The arena having no chimney would account for his use of the same automatic doors we all use. I'm not sure how he was going to get up to the roof to continue his travels but I do know there is nothing in that arc of a story that changes my belief in the existence of Santa.
Actually true existence or fantasy entertainment existence?

Hope you know there's a difference (and what it is)
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Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

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Old 22nd December 2018, 07:50 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Actually true existence or fantasy entertainment existence?

Hope you know there's a difference (and what it is)
One thing I do know is I that saw Santa not Jesus.
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Old 22nd December 2018, 08:03 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
One thing I do know is I that saw Santa not Jesus.
Well that’s a total evasion of the question.

If you were watching a crucifixion play or Easter nativity scene you would see Jesus as much and in the same way you saw Santa. If you were at Disneyland you would see Mickey Mouse. So what?

Care to actually answer the question? I suspect not .

You didn't see Santa at all, you merely saw a person dressed up as, and playing the part of, a purely fantasy character called Santa. Why is that so difficult for you to admit?
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Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
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To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

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Old 23rd December 2018, 12:46 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
For a mind to be able to believe god(s) are actually real, it essentially has to be in a mental state in which paranormal/supernatural have become normal/natural. A mental state that conflates fantasy and reality (irrational and rational). Regardless of the emotionally charged political correctness of defining this mental state as being “mad, stupid, silly, crazy, deluded, insane, etc.”, it certainly can’t be credibly defined as being mentally healthy.

Those afflicted by this unhealthy mental state will obviously disagree (such is the emotionally cloistered nature of the affliction).
I'm not entirely convinced that the belief that most other people are afflicted by an unhealthy mental state is a particularly mentally healthy belief.

Doesn't everyone have irrational beliefs and a perception of reality that is based on their own modelling and understanding that could be arguably conflating fantasy and reality? And what's to say that some paranormal beliefs might not bring mental comfort that another perception of reality doesn't? How could we know that we if we could truly understand reality as it actually is that it would be in any way mentally healthy for humans?
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Old 23rd December 2018, 01:01 AM   #101
qayak
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
If you were watching a crucifixion play or Easter nativity scene you would see Jesus as much and in the same way you saw Santa. If you were at Disneyland you would see Mickey Mouse. So what?
Well no. If I saw a short Arab dude being nailed to a cross with real nails, nail holes, real blood, and a real Roman soldier sticking a real spear through him, I might consider I saw Jesus.

Quote:
You didn't see Santa at all, you merely saw a person dressed up as, and playing the part of, a purely fantasy character called Santa. Why is that so difficult for you to admit?
Red suit? ✔
Black belt and boots? ✔
Long white beard? ✔
Sack full of toys? ✔
A merry "Ho, ho,ho"? ✔
Sliding down the chimney? Building had no chimney.
Sleigh and 8 tiny reindeer? Couldn't see up onto the roof from my angle in the parking lot.

Based on the available evidence there is a better than average chance I saw Santa.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 02:57 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
Well no. If I saw a short Arab dude being nailed to a cross with real nails, nail holes, real blood, and a real Roman soldier sticking a real spear through him, I might consider I saw Jesus.
Why do you require a higher degree of evidence for an acted Jesus character than you do for an acted Santa character? Why is a person merely dressing and acting as a Santa character not also good enough for a Jesus Character? Seems you apply double standards. I wonder why?
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Old 23rd December 2018, 03:20 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Why do you require a higher degree of evidence for an acted Jesus character than you do for an acted Santa character?
I think you are mistaken. I used the major historical claims about Jesus to determine what evidence I would accept just as I used the major historical claims about Santa to determine what evidence would suffice. That's not a double standard but it does make the point I was trying for. I also think your inability to comprehend said point is a good illustration of another point pertinent to the crazy that is religion/religious people.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 04:40 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
I think you are mistaken. I used the major historical claims about Jesus to determine what evidence I would accept just as I used the major historical claims about Santa to determine what evidence would suffice. That's not a double standard but it does make the point I was trying for. I also think your inability to comprehend said point is a good illustration of another point pertinent to the crazy that is religion/religious people.
Obvious retort - I think you are mistaken.

You only require a person dressing and acting like Santa to be “the existence of Santa”, but you require more than a person dressing and acting like Jesus to be “the existence of Jesus”. Why is this so?

Could it be that you believe Santa is purely a fictional fantasy character, but Jesus is an actually real person/god?

If you agree and accept that Santa is purely a fictional fantasy character why didn’t you simply and honestly answer this question . . .
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Actually true existence or fantasy entertainment existence?
with - “ fantasy entertainment existence”?
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Old 23rd December 2018, 04:42 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
You think not being able to distinguish between fantasy and reality isn't a significant negative impact on anyone's quality of life? Boy . . . have I got a deal for them!

You think there aren't mental disorders that don't have a significant negative impact on quality of life?
According to the definition, which I posted upthread, if it causes significant negative impact on someone's quality of life, then it is a mental disorder. That's literally the diagnostic criterion.

Or rather, it might be a mental disorder, depending on what other diagnostic criteria are present.

Remember, I'm not pulling this out of my ass. I literally copied the definition from the DSM-5. Go back and read it, because you appear to have significantly misunderstood what I have been saying.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 04:48 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Obvious retort - I think you are mistaken.

You only require a person dressing and acting like Santa to be “the existence of Santa”, but you require more than a person dressing and acting like Jesus to be “the existence of Jesus”. Why is this so?
Nope. Both require a match to their individual historical description. Your feeling that Jesus is getting a raw deal obviously stems from your hatred of Santa Claus and your perception that he is obviously more real than your Lord and Saviour who is losing this challenge. Your bias shows. How do you live with yourself?
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Old 23rd December 2018, 05:01 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
Nope. Both require a match to their individual historical description. Your feeling that Jesus is getting a raw deal obviously stems from your hatred of Santa Claus and your perception that he is obviously more real than your Lord and Saviour who is losing this challenge. Your bias shows. How do you live with yourself?
Where is your "match to their individual historical description" for the flying sleigh and reindeer? You think an obviously false beard and artificially padded fatness is a "match to their individual historical description". You appear to be indulging in a dishonest game for you own entertainment. I'm not going to play with you - So there! .
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Old 23rd December 2018, 05:08 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
According to the definition, which I posted upthread, if it causes significant negative impact on someone's quality of life, then it is a mental disorder. That's literally the diagnostic criterion.

Or rather, it might be a mental disorder, depending on what other diagnostic criteria are present.

Remember, I'm not pulling this out of my ass. I literally copied the definition from the DSM-5. Go back and read it, because you appear to have significantly misunderstood what I have been saying.
Applying your definition from authority to the scenario below (that you edited out for some reason) . . .
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Destitute god-believing parents giving 10% or more of their income to their god sect every week has a significant negative impact on the quality of their (and their children's) life. By your "logic", that means these parents therefore have a mental disorder.
these parents must therefore have a mental disorder, right?
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Old 23rd December 2018, 05:20 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Where is your "match to their individual historical description" for the flying sleigh and reindeer?
Covered that. I am off to hockey again in 15 minutes so I will pay closer attention should I run into Santa again. I'll be sure to seek out the reindeer and sleigh if he makes an appearance.

Quote:
You think an obviously false beard and artificially padded fatness is a "match to their individual historical description".
Wrong on both counts. Real beard (quite impressive really) and no obvious padding and yet still rotund.

Quote:
You appear to be indulging in a dishonest game for you own entertainment. I'm not going to play with you .
Not my fault you have been naughty and Santa doesn't come to see you. I've been good . . . many would say "Freaking awesome!" . . . and have been rewarded.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 05:21 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Applying your definition from authority to the scenario below (that you edited out for some reason) . . .

these parents must therefore have a mental disorder, right?
Since they display no other diagnostic criteria, probably not.

Let me be a little more clear. You can be as delusional as you like. You can believe the Queen is a shapechanging reptile, but if it doesn't cause you significant distress, then you probably won't be diagnosed with a mental disorder. On the other hand, if a parent in your hypothetical family is suffering significant distress because of their financial situation, then they may be diagnosed with a mental disorder - but that disorder will be depression or anxiety, not religion.

Look, diagnosis of genuine mental disorder is hard. There are a lot of things to consider, and people who are good at it get paid the big bucks. Their job is not helped by spurious armchair diagnoses by amateurs.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 05:23 PM   #111
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And I just noticed this.

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Applying your definition from authority to the scenario below (that you edited out for some reason) . . .
Definition from authority? I'm literally posting the official definition that is used by psychologists and mental health professionals all over the world. That's legitimate authority.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 06:02 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Since they display no other diagnostic criteria, probably not.

Let me be a little more clear. You can be as delusional as you like. You can believe the Queen is a shapechanging reptile, but if it doesn't cause you significant distress, then you probably won't be diagnosed with a mental disorder. On the other hand, if a parent in your hypothetical family is suffering significant distress because of their financial situation, then they may be diagnosed with a mental disorder - but that disorder will be depression or anxiety, not religion.
Delusions are a form of mental disorder. Delusions don’t always cause significant distress.

Not being able to pay rent, buy food, clothing etc obviously causes significant distress. Tithing money you can’t afford every week to a religious sect is the CAUSE of that significant distress/depression/anxiety.

I know a person that has an OCD mental disorder, and he doesn’t appear to suffer any distress (let alone significant) from it.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 06:26 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Delusions are a form of mental disorder. Delusions don’t always cause significant distress.

Not being able to pay rent, buy food, clothing etc obviously causes significant distress. Tithing money you can’t afford every week to a religious sect is the CAUSE of that significant distress/depression/anxiety.
Yes, it can indeed be a cause of one of those things. That doesn't mean that the religion itself is a mental disorder. You don't diagnose someone with religion, you diagnose them with depression or anxiety or OCD or bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder or any one of many disorders listed in the DSM. You will not find religion on that list.

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I know a person that has an OCD mental disorder, and he doesn’t appear to suffer any distress (let alone significant) from it.
If your friend has been diagnosed with OCD, then a mental health professional with the appropriate knowledge has judged that his way of life is significantly impacted. Are you more of an expert than that person?
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Old 23rd December 2018, 06:46 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Yes, it can indeed be a cause of one of those things. That doesn't mean that the religion itself is a mental disorder. You don't diagnose someone with religion, you diagnose them with depression or anxiety or OCD or bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder or any one of many disorders listed in the DSM. You will not find religion on that list.
In the scenario I gave religion/religious belief IS the cause.

Religion is a deluded belief that conflates reality and fantasy. As such it's a delusion mental disorder. I'm not diagnosing the people as much as defining the disorder.

Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
If your friend has been diagnosed with OCD, then a mental health professional with the appropriate knowledge has judged that his way of life is significantly impacted. Are you more of an expert than that person?
"Significant distress" has become "significantly impacted", where did the distress go? That mild OCD is a mild mental health disorder that may have a mild impact/distress, doesn't make it any less a mental disorder other than by degree. I think your assessment of mental disorder is biased toward the extreme.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 07:50 PM   #115
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If I may but in here. I think this notion of arth's that you have to have a negative impact on you life as a result of you're craziness is a crazy idea - with all due respect to the shrinks arth claims have this theory.

If someone thinks a god, fairy, goblin or whatever is talking to him, he is clearly off his rocker. Even if it makes him feel all warm and fuzzy, and doesn't adversely effect his life, he is nuts. End of story.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 09:37 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
In the scenario I gave religion/religious belief IS the cause.
The cause of the disorder and the disorder that it causes are two different things.
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Old 25th December 2018, 08:26 AM   #117
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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.
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Old 25th December 2018, 09:37 AM   #118
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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.
But "love" does have actual evidence for it existing, we've detected differences in the chemistry of people claiming to be "in love" and so on.

I'd say a better shared fantasy is the idea of money.
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Old 25th December 2018, 11:23 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
But "love" does have actual evidence for it existing, we've detected differences in the chemistry of people claiming to be "in love" and so on.

I'd say a better shared fantasy is the idea of money.
Money has demonstrable utility.
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Old 25th December 2018, 11:35 AM   #120
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Let us be more kind to faith, while insisting it not intrude where it should not. Science is a map of reality that is reliable and valid, and by design cannot extend past confirmed observation to remain so. Faith is the contrary, consisting of very little attachment to observables, if at all. What, then, the value? Ideally, to provide shared mythical narratives that provide shorthand for ethical issues, and for individuals, a personal sense of meaning and purpose. Madness? An anthropologist might call mythical thinking part of the human kit, a common trait to the species, perhaps the woo-ish side of the same curiosity and need to explain that science equally taps into. Helps with the "insignificant worm" philosophical issue, a common ailment absent mythically bestowed dignity and purpose.

The problem, of course, is the corruption religion brings to the human mind in the form of excess certainty. When in the world of science and fact we feel we can act on the evidence, such as for guilty verdicts, or more loosely, for deciding which theory best fits data, it is done cooperatively and in a purposefully consensual way to protect against personal and/or observer bias. No so for divine knowledge, such as rules and commands, which often brook no contradiction as stated, or can be taken so. The missing requirement to discuss judgment leads the sole individual, or sects of the like-minded but limited in the knowledge needed to make any such judgment, to an act of hubris, wherein a biased, limited judgment is taken as, OMG, divinely inspired.

That bugs me a heck of a lot more than when religion goes anti-science, because in that case, all you need do is throw evidence at the perp and be done with it.
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