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Do atheists ever post on religious forums?
Posted: 24 September 2013 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]
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PLaClair - 23 September 2013 02:32 PM

No, that is mental illness. It may not meet the criteria for a DSM classification but by definition it is a malfunction, or unhealthy functioning, of the mind.

Not necessarily so.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/delusion

Full Definition of DELUSION

1:  the act of deluding :  the state of being deluded

2 a :  something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated
 
  b :  a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary; also :  the abnormal state marked by such beliefs

Examples of delusion from the same link:

  1. He has delusions about how much money he can make at that job.
  2. He is living under the delusion that he is incapable of making mistakes.
  3. She is under the delusion that we will finish on time.
  4. As the illness progressed, his delusions took over and he had violent outbursts.

So, sane people can be deluded as well.  cheese

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Posted: 24 September 2013 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]
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TimB - 23 September 2013 05:03 PM

Indeed.  In fact, I consider most religious people to be delusional but not mentally ill.  And as Einstein suggested our consciousness pre-disposes all of us to experience the delusion of ourselves as separate from the Universe.  But that doesn’t mean we are mentally ill.

Quite so, wrt what Einstein wrote. Wrt most religious people, I don’t know and thus cannot prejudge them as such (notwithstanding my own beliefs) and hopefully, it is reciprocal on their part from their religious perspective wrt irreligious people.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]
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kkwan - 24 September 2013 02:08 PM
TimB - 23 September 2013 05:03 PM

Indeed.  In fact, I consider most religious people to be delusional but not mentally ill.  And as Einstein suggested our consciousness pre-disposes all of us to experience the delusion of ourselves as separate from the Universe.  But that doesn’t mean we are mentally ill.

Quite so, wrt what Einstein wrote. Wrt most religious people, I don’t know and thus cannot prejudge them as such (notwithstanding my own beliefs) and hopefully, it is reciprocal on their part from their religious perspective wrt irreligious people.

If one goes by these 3 main characteristics of a delusion (see Wikipedia):

certainty (held with absolute conviction)
incorrigibility (not changeable by compelling counterargument or proof to the contrary)
impossibility or falsity of content (implausible, bizarre or patently untrue)

then, it seems to me that this applies to much of the dogma that is believed by many religious people. 

If, OTOH, your definition of delusion requires an element of psychosis, then they are not delusional.  And then, neither are all of us who experience our individuality as separate from our Universe.

Psychosis indicates a mental illness or at least a short term mental dysfunction.

[ Edited: 24 September 2013 02:36 PM by TimB ]
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Posted: 24 September 2013 04:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]
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kkwan - 24 September 2013 01:15 PM
PLaClair - 23 September 2013 02:32 PM

No, that is mental illness. It may not meet the criteria for a DSM classification but by definition it is a malfunction, or unhealthy functioning, of the mind.

Not necessarily so.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/delusion

Full Definition of DELUSION

1:  the act of deluding :  the state of being deluded

2 a :  something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated
 
  b :  a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary; also :  the abnormal state marked by such beliefs

Examples of delusion from the same link:

  1. He has delusions about how much money he can make at that job.
  2. He is living under the delusion that he is incapable of making mistakes.
  3. She is under the delusion that we will finish on time.
  4. As the illness progressed, his delusions took over and he had violent outbursts.

So, sane people can be deluded as well.  cheese

You read my words but you didn’t understand them.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 07:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]
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TimB - 24 September 2013 02:32 PM

If one goes by these 3 main characteristics of a delusion (see Wikipedia):

certainty (held with absolute conviction)
incorrigibility (not changeable by compelling counterargument or proof to the contrary)
impossibility or falsity of content (implausible, bizarre or patently untrue)

then, it seems to me that this applies to much of the dogma that is believed by many religious people.

From the same wiki:

Please note the remark before the article proper.

This article is about the psychiatric condition. For the concept in Eastern spirituality, see Delusion (spirituality).

Bold added by me.

From the definition:

Furthermore, when a false belief involves a value judgment, it is only considered as a delusion if it is so extreme that it cannot be or never can be proven true. For example: a man claiming that he flew into the sun and flew back home. This would be considered a delusion, unless he was speaking figuratively.

Most religious people would be aghast if their cherished beliefs are considered delusions as such.

If, OTOH, your definition of delusion requires an element of psychosis, then they are not delusional.  And then, neither are all of us who experience our individuality as separate from our Universe.

Psychosis indicates a mental illness or at least a short term mental dysfunction.

Delusion (in the broadest sense) need not involve a psychiatric condition.

I would consider the full definition as comprehensive.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/delusion

Full Definition of DELUSION

1 :  the act of deluding :  the state of being deluded

2 a :  something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated

  b :  a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary; also :  the abnormal state marked by such beliefs

1 and 2a do not refer to a psychiatric condition, it is wrt a belief that is not true or a false idea.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 07:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]
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PLaClair - 24 September 2013 04:41 PM

You read my words but you didn’t understand them.

What did you mean when you wrote:

....but by definition it is a malfunction, or unhealthy functioning, of the mind.

Please explain.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 09:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]
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kkwan - 24 September 2013 07:51 PM
PLaClair - 24 September 2013 04:41 PM

You read my words but you didn’t understand them.

What did you mean when you wrote:

....but by definition it is a malfunction, or unhealthy functioning, of the mind.

Please explain.

Sure. That was in reference to your statement: “So, a false belief or idea held with strong conviction despite contrary evidence can be described as delusional for people with no mental illness.”

We human beings assign things to categories all the time. Usually, the assignment is largely arbitrary.

All beliefs and ideas are products of the functioning mind. Some beliefs and ideas reflect healthy functioning; others reflect unhealthy functioning. Delusions fall into the latter category, representing unhealthy functioning by definition.

This does not necessarily mean that the delusional person meets the criteria for a DSM category, or has any organic pathology in the brain. But by definition, unhealthy mental functioning is going on. If someone did that with everything - imagining, for example, that his wife was a hat - we wouldn’t hesitate to call the person mentally ill, even if we couldn’t identify the reason. The very fact that the mind was that dysfunctional would lead us to say that the person was mentally ill, i.e., not mentally well. But there’s no qualitative difference between constant dysfunction and occasional dysfunction; the difference is just a matter of degree. The difference is quantitative but regardless of the quantity, the mind is not functioning properly. That’s mental illness, whether it has an organic basis or not, and whether it meets the criteria for a DSM classification or not.

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Posted: 25 September 2013 06:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]
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kkwan - 24 September 2013 07:07 PM

Full Definition of DELUSION

1 :  the act of deluding :  the state of being deluded

2 a :  something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated

  b :  a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary; also :  the abnormal state marked by such beliefs

1 and 2a do not refer to a psychiatric condition, it is wrt a belief that is not true or a false idea.

If you go by this definition, 1 and 2a are inadequate as definers because they use derivatives of the word “delusion”, thus you have to rely on 2b, which includes the modifier “psychotic”.  Hence by this definition, a delusion is a psychiatric condition.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 25 September 2013 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]
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PLaClair - 24 September 2013 09:18 PM

Sure. That was in reference to your statement: “So, a false belief or idea held with strong conviction despite contrary evidence can be described as delusional for people with no mental illness.”

We human beings assign things to categories all the time. Usually, the assignment is largely arbitrary.

All beliefs and ideas are products of the functioning mind. Some beliefs and ideas reflect healthy functioning; others reflect unhealthy functioning. Delusions fall into the latter category, representing unhealthy functioning by definition.

This does not necessarily mean that the delusional person meets the criteria for a DSM category, or has any organic pathology in the brain. But by definition, unhealthy mental functioning is going on. If someone did that with everything - imagining, for example, that his wife was a hat - we wouldn’t hesitate to call the person mentally ill, even if we couldn’t identify the reason. The very fact that the mind was that dysfunctional would lead us to say that the person was mentally ill, i.e., not mentally well. But there’s no qualitative difference between constant dysfunction and occasional dysfunction; the difference is just a matter of degree. The difference is quantitative but regardless of the quantity, the mind is not functioning properly. That’s mental illness, whether it has an organic basis or not, and whether it meets the criteria for a DSM classification or not.

Not quite so.

Humans have the propensity to name entities to identify, categorize and use names to describe and to elucidate the nature of these entities.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name

A name is a word or term used for identification. Names can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given context.

However, naming an entity is not necessary and sufficient to do that as “the map is not the territory” and we can be deluded as such.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Map–territory_relation

The map–territory relation describes the relationship between an object and a representation of that object, as in the relation between a geographical territory and a map of it. Polish-American scientist and philosopher Alfred Korzybski remarked that “the map is not the territory”, encapsulating his view that an abstraction derived from something, or a reaction to it, is not the thing itself. Korzybski held that many people do confuse maps with territories, that is, confuse models of reality with reality itself.

Bold added by me.

Hence, by naming entities we can confuse models of reality with reality itself.

The problems of naming, knowing and reality was philosophically analyzed in Russell’s seminal essay “On Denoting” which was written in 1905 and is still relevant today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Denoting

Russell believes at this point that there are essentially two modes of knowing: knowledge by description and knowledge by (direct) acquaintance. Knowledge by acquaintance is limited to the sense data of the phenomenal world and to one’s own private inner experiences, while knowledge of everything else (other minds, physical objects, and so on) can only be known by way of general descriptions.

Bold added by me.

“Mental illness” as the name of a psychiatric condition is a misnomer as it is not a physical illness per se and as such, it is misleading. It is more accurate to use the term mental disorder with some caveats.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_disorder

A mental disorder or psychiatric disorder is a psychological term for a mental or behavioral pattern or anomalythat causes distress or disability, and which is not developmentally or socially normative. Mental disorders are generally defined by a combination of how a person feels, acts, thinks or perceives. This may be associated with particular regions or functions of the brain or rest of the nervous system, often in a social context. The recognition and understanding of mental health conditions have changed over time and across cultures and there are still variations in definition, assessment and classification, although standard guideline criteria are widely used. In many cases, there appears to be a continuum between mental health and mental illness, making diagnosis complex.

Bold added by me.

So, where is the line of demarcation between mental “health” and “illness”?

And what is “healthy versus unhealthy functioning” of the mind?

So, the rationale of what I wrote

So, a false belief or idea held with strong conviction despite contrary evidence can be described as delusional for people with no mental illness.

is that even people with no mental “illness” can be deluded with false beliefs or ideas which is as it is in reality.  smile

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Posted: 25 September 2013 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]
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TimB - 25 September 2013 06:30 AM

If you go by this definition, 1 and 2a are inadequate as definers because they use derivatives of the word “delusion”, thus you have to rely on 2b, which includes the modifier “psychotic”.  Hence by this definition, a delusion is a psychiatric condition.

It seems circular, but it is not as from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/delusion

delusion was defined as:

: a belief that is not true : a false idea

: a false idea or belief that is caused by mental illness

before the full definition. Hence, there are two types of delusion, not one.

Therefore, a person who is not mentally ill can be deluded by false beliefs or ideas which is as it is in reality.

Q.E.D.?  cheese

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Posted: 25 September 2013 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]
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kkwan - 25 September 2013 06:16 PM

: a belief that is not true : a false idea

: a false idea or belief that is caused by mental illness

before the full definition. Hence, there are two types of delusion, not one.

Therefore, a person who is not mentally ill can be deluded by false beliefs or ideas which is as it is in reality.

TimB:  There you go.  It is not necessarily indicative of a pathology to have a false belief. So with this definition of delusion (a belief that is not true : a false idea, that persists despite objective evidence to the contrary) being deluded is not necessarily indicative of a psychiatric condition.

[ Edited: 25 September 2013 06:39 PM by TimB ]
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Posted: 26 September 2013 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 102 ]
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TimB - 25 September 2013 06:33 PM

TimB:  There you go.  It is not necessarily indicative of a pathology to have a false belief. So with this definition of delusion (a belief that is not true : a false idea, that persists despite objective evidence to the contrary) being deluded is not necessarily indicative of a psychiatric condition.

Exactly. As such, anyone with false beliefs or ideas (held with strong conviction despite compelling evidence to the contrary) can be sane and deluded which is as it is, in reality.

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Posted: 26 September 2013 07:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 103 ]
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kkwan - 26 September 2013 05:47 PM
TimB - 25 September 2013 06:33 PM

TimB:  There you go.  It is not necessarily indicative of a pathology to have a false belief. So with this definition of delusion (a belief that is not true : a false idea, that persists despite objective evidence to the contrary) being deluded is not necessarily indicative of a psychiatric condition.

Exactly. As such, anyone with false beliefs or ideas (held with strong conviction despite compelling evidence to the contrary) can be sane and deluded which is as it is, in reality.

Amen.

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