I’m wondering why people of widely accepted religious views (prominent in their geographical region) are given a pass on mental illness. If we believe God hears our prayers, or we believe Moses or Samuel heard God, it’s perfectly normal. If one experiences thought broadcasting or intrusive thoughts without the dogma, well that’s not normal. Like the little gazelle that wanders too far from the herd, the disaffected are singled out and devoured.
I wonder why that is as well. Why is one considered a belief while others are considered delusions? I don’t get it.
Richard Dawkins said mental illness is when one person believes it, a cult when a few people believe it, and religion when there is widespread belief
That’s true, Bigjon…300 years ago I wouldn’t have been called sick, I would’ve either been a witch or a shaman…maybe even a prophet!
Plenty of charismatic crazy people started religions because mental illness wasn’t a thing yet. Now we now better. That’s why no new religions have been started. Just cults.
Actually the mental health authorities will label you as schizophrenic if you have religious preoccupations and delusions. It is a pretty typical delusion.
If your religious ideas are appropriate for your culture or subculture, it’s not supposed to be labelled as a symptom of mental illness. It might seem arbitrary, but when you think about it, believing weird things because it’s culturally appropriate is completely normal. Believing weird, idiosyncratic things because something in your brain made you think it’s true is different. The gray area is shared delusions. It’s difficult to say where subculture ends and shared delusions begin.
It depends on why you believe it.
Dawkins’ views are extremist.
Scientology received United States’ IRS tax-exempt status as a religion in 1993. It began only 39 years prior.
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