Not intended to be a religious debate, but rather, goes to show what exactly religious delusions are thought to be. Some of it is scary actually…taken from Wikipedia:
Some psychologists, beginning with Sigmund Freud, have characterized all or nearly all religion as delusion. Other psychologists focus on solely pathological cases, such as those involving schizophrenia.
How come schizophrenia is singled out? Does this mean if someone diagnosed SZ believes in religious things they are delusional?
In a 2010 study, religious delusions were found with themes of spiritual persecution by malevolent spirit-entities, control exerted over the person by spirit-entities, delusional experience of sin and guilt, or delusions of grandeur. Individuals experiencing religious delusions are preoccupied with religious subjects that are not within the expected beliefs for an individual’s background, including culture, education, and known experiences of religion.
Of the things mentioned in the list I think only delusions of grandeur are most problematic…people who think they are Jesus, or a prophet out to save the world…those who believe they are called by a spirit or god to start a cult - especially the dangerous suicide and sex cults that have made the news several times since the 1960s.
As for the others, it can happen for real, but people can also go to extremes and be paranoid about such things. I’ve known a few people believed they were actual characters from the Book of Revelation…that is delusional BUT an evil spirit might have given them those ideas…mainly they believed they were one of the 2 witnesses, or the scarlet woman of Babylon.
The second part I highly question…many people come from a culture that emphasizes a certain religion but convert to something else. I suppose I’d have experienced several religious delusions because I was born into a Christian family (Christian in name, not so much by practice), yet I explored, studied, even practiced numerous paths…several occult paths, Native American, Buddhism, Faerie, Alien, as well as becoming a born again Christian which was a bit ‘too much’ or far fetched according to my Mom.
In a 1937 essay, Sigmund Freud stated that he considered believing in a single god to be a delusion, extending his comments in 1907 that religion is the indication of obsessional neurosis. His thoughts defining “delusion” perhaps crystallized from the notion of the religion formulations of the common man (circa 1927) as "patently infantile, foreign to reality
Gee, that’s nice…considering Freud is one of the infamous originators of modern day psychology.
Infantile? Palease !
Within the psychiatric community religious auditory hallucination is qualified by some as, those that hear the voice of God talking to them are experiencing schizophrenia, while those that instead talk to God but hear no response, i.e. pray do not.
What this really means is it’s ok to talk to an imaginary being because Grandfather Freud said God isn’t real anyways, but if you hear God you’re SZ because since God isn’t real if you think God has spoken to you, you’re delusional. Strangely, the Bible and just about every other religious book of the major religions records people hearing Gods voice audibly.
It is for these reasons I have stood up to a couple of psychologists and told them their insinuations are bordering on violating my first amendment religious freedom rights.
As long as some one isn’t going around saying they are Jesus, committing illegal acts or self harm because they think a spirit is telling them to, there really isn’t a big problem.