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Treating religious beliefs as a form of mental illness

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While we all sleep, our betters have plans for us.

From Digital Journal:

Kathleen Taylor, a neurologist at Oxford University, said that recent developments suggest that we will soon be able to treat religious fundamentalism and other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society as a form of mental illness.

She made the assertion during a talk at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales on Wednesday. She said that radicalizing ideologies may soon be viewed not as being of personal choice or free will but as a category of mental disorder. She said new developments in neuroscience could make it possible to consider extremists as people with mental illness rather than criminals.

She told The Times of London: “One of the surprises may be to see people with certain beliefs as people who can be treated. Someone who has for example become radicalized to a cult ideology — we might stop seeing that as a personal choice that they have chosen as a result of pure free will and may start treating it as some kind of mental disturbance.” More.

Has anyone noticed how these types speak as if their own axioms are a “surprise” or, elsewhere, “counterintuitive”?

See also: Why fund social sciences? Even even “skeptic” Michael Shermer is beginning to “get it.”

and

Nicholas Kristof: More self-deceptive blather on academic freedom

On free will, see How can we believe in naturalism if we have no choice?

and

“I will ” means something after all

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39 Replies to “Treating religious beliefs as a form of mental illness

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    “, I maintain that whatever else faith may be, it cannot be a delusion.
    The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally. If the findings of the huge volume of research on this topic had gone in the opposite direction and it had been found that religion damages your mental health, it would have been front-page news in every newspaper in the land.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – preface
    https://books.google.com/books?id=PREdCgAAQBAJ&pg=PR11#v=onepage&q&f=false
    “In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life; higher self-esteem; better adaptation to bereavement; greater social support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction… We concluded that for the vast majority of people the apparent benefits of devout belief and practice probably outweigh the risks.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – page 100
    https://books.google.com/books?id=PREdCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA100#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Knowledge of the afterlife deters suicide. Lessons From the Light by Kenneth Ring and Evelyn Elsaesser p.257-258:
    As far as I know, the first clinician to make use of NDE material in this context was a New York psychologist named John McDonagh. In 1979, he presented a paper at a psychological convention that described his success with several suicidal patients using a device he called “NDE bibliotherapy.” His “technique” was actually little more than having his patients read some relevant passages from Raymond Moody’s book, Reflections on Life after Life, after which the therapist and his patient would discuss its implications for the latter’s own situation. McDonagh reports that such an approach was generally quite successful not only in reducing suicidal thoughts but also in preventing the deed altogether.

    Since McDonagh’s pioneering efforts, other clinicians knowledgeable about the NDE who have had the opportunity to counsel suicidal patients have also reported similar success. Perhaps the most notable of these therapists is Bruce Greyson, a psychiatrist now at the University of Virginia, whose specialty as a clinician has been suicidology. He is also the author of a classic paper on NDEs and suicide which the specialist may wish to consult for its therapeutic implications. (14)
    Quite apart from the clinicians who have developed this form of what we might call “NDE-assisted therapy,” I can draw upon my own personal experience here to provide additional evidence of how the NDE has helped to deter suicide. The following case,,,
    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/201.....lains.html

  2. 2
    harry says:

    Kathleen Taylor, a neurologist at Oxford University, said that recent developments suggest that we will soon be able to treat religious fundamentalism and other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society as a form of mental illness. … She said new developments in neuroscience could make it possible to consider extremists as people with mental illness rather than criminals.

    Atheism is a faith-based belief system; it is impossible to prove God isn’t there. That belief must be taken on faith.

    Modern history demonstrates that regimes hostile to theism — atheistic regimes — always end up killing innocent human beings by the millions.

    The discoveries of modern science have rendered atheism irrational. We now know the natural Universe had a beginning, so its cause must have been supernatural. We now know it was virtually impossible for the Universe to have mindlessly and accidentally fine-tuned itself such that life would become a possibility. We now know that the physical dimension of life is digital information-based, self-replicating nanotechnology the function complexity of which is light years beyond our own. Technology, by definition, is the application of knowledge for a purpose. Life then is the result of the application of the knowledge of the supernatural reality that launched and fine-tuned the Universe.

    So, since the evidence makes it clear that atheistic fundamentalism is irrational and is “potentially harmful to society,” should we consider atheists “people with mental illness rather than criminals”?

  3. 3
    mw says:

    “We see, then, multiple studies converging on a single conclusion: the innate predisposition of the human mind to believe that there is some kind of an intelligent creator God.” http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....88551.html

    Psychologist, Deborah Kelemen, “felt the need to deprogram students and free them from their innate belief in an intelligent designing deity.”!!!

  4. 4
    clown fish says:

    Obviously, religious belief in itself is not a form of mental illness. However, anyone who obsess about anything (religion, atheism, alien abductions, apocalyptic conspiracy theories) to the exclusion of everything else, could possibly be displaying the symptom of a mental illness.

  5. 5

    This is not new. Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and that ilk, have long claimed that religious belief is a form of mental illness, and teaching that belief to children is a form of child abuse.

    To be fair, the Oxford neurologist does limit her mental illness designation to “religious fundamentalism” (not general religious belief) and to “other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society,” but anyone who knows history will immediately see the danger in that language. For example, who gets to decide the definition of religious fundamentalism? Who gets to decide what is potentially harmful to society?

    Also, secular political and tribal belief has been much more harmful to society than religious belief. In his book Atrocities (2012), Matthew White reports that only about 10 percent of all the killing in history has been caused by religious fanaticism. Hegemonial wars, failed states, ideological civil wars, wars of conquest, ethnic cleansing, racism, communism, etc. have by far caused the most premature death in this troubled world.

  6. 6
    mw says:

    clown fish #4:
    —————————–
    “Obviously, religious belief in itself is not a form of mental illness. However, anyone who obsess about anything (religion, atheism, alien abductions, apocalyptic conspiracy theories) to the exclusion of everything else, could possibly be displaying the symptom of a mental illness.”
    ——————————

    A good well rounded comment.

    As for the Nazarene, Jesus, he was accused of being mad and possessed.

    It seems therefore, the ability to discern “truth” and “light,” in that context, is not a natural facility, but which Jesus said he his to both.

    Besides, he even ‘lit’ up once at the Transfiguration.

    Witnessed by religious deluded fanatics!

    Cowards, who ran when he was to be crucified. However, empowered by seeing the impossible, a man risen from the dead, and later ascend into another dimension; all documented we would expect, faithfully and truthfully, as Jesus said he is the “truth.”
    The strength of their conviction in following Jesus ensued.

    Scripture says have the mind of Christ. Anyone taking the course of the “way,” which again Jesus said he was; knows what to expect.

  7. 7

    Bornagain77@1: Excellent points, as usual. Thanks especially for the reference citations. Invaluable!

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    News, rather like in the old Soviet Union. Speaks volumes, maybe even lets a cat out of the bag. KF

  9. 9
    Robert Byers says:

    So they took homosexuality out of the mental illness category and put zealos religious people in!
    Everyone can say everyone is mental. TDid this woman realize this when attacking identifiable groups?

  10. 10

    Things sure have flipped, Robert. And quickly!

  11. 11
    EDTA says:

    Does this mean that instead of going to a concentration camp, we all get nice hospital rooms with comfortable beds and a window and 3 meals a day?

  12. 12
    Seversky says:

    Although I’m atheist I don’t think of religious belief as mental illness even though I think it’s unfounded. But perhaps a thousand years hence people will look back on current religious beliefs much as we look back on witchcraft or astrology in the Middle Ages.

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky (et al),

    the core issue in the first instance is not religion but philosophy — particularly, worldview analysis. (Cf the challenge here on. Mind you, The Republic has Plato’s Socrates warning the civilisation in no uncertain terms on how serious but politically incorrect philosophy, technical skill and learning are treated in a day when mutinous, willfully ignorant sailors and their cynically ruthless manipulators seize control of the ship of state. Such are the terms Socrates uses in the dialogue: “the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling. Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?” Very close to, deluded mad man.)

    And, ethical theism stands the test very well, regardless of what a priori atheistical ideologues in lab coats imagine.

    Indeed, it is evolutionary materialist scientism that turns out to be self referentially incoherent, amoral and thus irretrievably self-falsifying. But, we must never underestimate the power of institutional dominance and indoctrination under colours of “facts” and “education” in imposing irretrievable falsity as a yardstick of truth.

    A severe, ruinous error.

    When it comes to the Judaeo-Christian tradition, the touchstone, pivotal warranted truth is the prophesied [e.g. Is 52 – 3 is c 700 BC], historically well founded life, passion, death by crucifixion, burial in a borrowed tomb, and witnesses resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. In particular the 500 core witnesses simply could not be daunted or broken, not in the teeth of dungeon, fire, sword and much worse.

    Where also, across 2,000 years now, the miraculous, life-transforming power of the good news of Jesus of Nazareth, Messiah/ Christ/ Anointed of God is manifest in the lives and testimonies of millions, including pivotal figures in our history.

    It is safe to say, that should our civilisation last another 1,000 years, that same report will still be standing with life transforming power.

    The attempt to twist Bible-believing, gospel-witnessing, vibrant Christian faith and life of discipleship into a caricature of superstition, dangerous radicalism (this itself depends on utterly twisting the meaning of commitment to the fundamentals of a well warranted faith and worldview) and even delusion, is unworthy and utterly irresponsible.

    KF

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    EDTA, it means — on the Soviet example — being subjected to twisted pseudo-diagnoses dressed up in medical lab coats, locked up in literal straight jackets, being force-fed with destructive psycho-active drugs, and being pushed into “counselling” that amounts to psychological torture and attempted brainwashing. KF

  15. 15

    Kairosfocus@13: Could not have said it better myself. Well done!

  16. 16
    mw says:

    Hi Seversky #12:
    —————————
    “Although I’m atheist I don’t think of religious belief as mental illness even though I think it’s unfounded. But perhaps a thousand years hence people will look back on current religious beliefs much as we look back on witchcraft or astrology in the Middle Ages.”
    —————————–

    “Perhaps” Christ was the Chief Witch, but I think that would be called blasphemy.

    Nevertheless, does anyone know the difference between a miracle and occult magic?

    Still, as such, the ‘Chief Witch God’ said he would send a mental illness, “a powerful delusion” (2 Thess 2:11-12), (more ‘damnable magic formula’) to reinforce free will that denies the whole essence of Judaeo-Christianity from historic Sinai; witnessed by one and many and including miracles day by day for forty years and in stages continually thereafter; as documented by Moses and including the followers of Jesus.

    Today, the knee is bent to Darwin, but let us not pretend its whole ethos is a scientific law, no matter how compelling, no matter how many facts. Indeed, it cannot get “pass go” and collect any single life form whatsoever.
    It does not take a genius to see that Darwinism is a humanly degrading theory. It degrades the word of God at Sinai.

    Create for me a simian into a human, conclusively prove your belief. Of course, I cannot conclusively prove my belief either.

    Still, you say: “perhaps” we shall look back on the Christian faith; that is, “current religious belief” as “witchcraft.”

    “Perhaps” we will not be around in one thousand years, and for another thing, the message of Darwinism is; ultimately life, and sometimes in-between, is deadly. Strictly speaking, it cannot get passed dead. Therefore, how life arose from the dead of dirt, is a Darwinian miracle by another name.

    It appears, Darwinism is amoral, though Darwin tried first to make his idea of natural selection into a naturalist God, downsizing and dismissing Yahweh, as “erroneous” p 6 “Origin.”

    The irony being, Darwin’s version of NS cannot select right from wrong, having no intelligent basis. Yet it is supposed to create perfect selection every time while ascending Mount Improbable; generating one transitional part after another. Darwin lamented at the lack of evidence. Still, he put is faith in natural selection, surely a fixed delusion in the light of such stark evidence. A fairy tale, that a ‘magic’ cell, cast into the warm pond will grow and grow till it produces everything.

    At Sinai we had the golden calf, now we have the golden bodied cell of Darwinism.

    As for your claims, you “think,” “unfounded” is the basis of the faith of Judaeo-Christianity; surely, your claim denies supernatural evidence (especially Judaeo-Christianly) just as Darwin did in order to establish his theory.

    From Sinai onwards, the faith is divinely and historically revealed, stage by stage; intelligently documented, truthfully, and as accurate as is humanly possible; of course, a few copying errors may have occurred, but what’s new?

    However, from extensive research, it seems, when all will appear lost for the Judaeo-Christian ethic, the powerful delusion will be lifted; there will be a miraculous intervention, and the movement, and for those who wish to reconsider, will be given another chance. Happy days, and happier ‘magic’!

  17. 17
    clown fish says:

    Kairosfocus: “And, ethical theism stands the test very well, regardless of what a priori atheistical ideologues in lab coats imagine.”

    All flavours of ethical theism or just yours?

    You mention the 500 witnesses to the resurrection as if these were 500 confirmed witnesses when in fact it is one or two unsupported assertions of 500 witnesses. Unless, of course, you are aware of 500 independent documents by the individuals were involved.

  18. 18
    clown fish says:

    Mw: “Still, as such, the ‘Chief Witch God’ said he would send a mental illness, “a powerful delusion” (2 Thess 2:11-12), (more ‘damnable magic formula’) to reinforce free will that denies the whole essence of Judaeo-Christianity from historic Sinai;”

    With respect, is it not possible that this is a man-made fabrication to explain the fact that not everyone believes in the Judeo-Christian God. The world’s first recorded ad-hominem?

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    One witness to the resurrection has stood the test of time fairly well:

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram – video
    https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/1119619634717635/?pnref=story

    Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural – December 2011
    Excerpt: After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists.
    However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax.
    Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic.
    “The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” they said.
    And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: “This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....79512.html

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete (quantum) values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/journals/i.....802004/271

    Particle Radiation from the Body – July 2012 – M. Antonacci, A. C. Lind
    Excerpt: The Shroud’s frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same amount of intensity, independent of any pressure or weight from the body. The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image. Radiation coming from the body would not only explain this feature, but also the left/right and light/dark reversals found on the cloth’s frontal and dorsal body images.
    http://www.academicjournals.or.....onacci.pdf

    (Centrality Concerns) The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from Death as the “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1143437869002478/?type=2&theater

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    CF,

    Generic ethical theism — as the context above directly implies (and as the linked discussion draws out at 101 level) — is a PHILOSOPHICAL WORLDVIEW, not a religious tradition.

    We speak here of the God of the philosophers: the inherently good Creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature . . . as I have specified ever so many times in discussions here at UD.

    The projection of tainting suspicion, with all due respect, is out of order.

    KF

    PS: The five hundred core witnesses are mentioned in the first more or less precisely dated document, 55 AD, and the statement (in a controversial exchange) is, most are still alive 25 years later, go talk with them. Of these we can easily identify about 2 dozen. It is quite clear from the storm of judicial murder and lynching that burst upon the church a decade later that the summary testimony of 1 Cor 15:1 – 11 (readily dated to c 35 – 38 AD) could not be shaken, not in the face of dungeon, fire, sword and much worse. The attempt to project selectively hyperskeptical dismissal of the historical record fails. A record backed up by the transforming experience of millions down to today . . . including the miraculous import of the simple fact that I am here to write in response to you; through a miracle of guidance in answer to a prayer of surrender by my mother. I suggest you ponder the following remark by the late British Barrister, Frank Morison:

    [N]ow the peculiar thing . . . is that not only did [belief in Jesus’ resurrection as in part testified to by the empty tomb] spread to every member of the Party of Jesus of whom we have any trace, but they brought it to Jerusalem and carried it with inconceivable audacity into the most keenly intellectual centre of Judaea . . . and in the face of every impediment which a brilliant and highly organised camarilla could devise. And they won. Within twenty years the claim of these Galilean peasants had disrupted the Jewish Church and impressed itself upon every town on the Eastern littoral of the Mediterranean from Caesarea to Troas. In less than fifty years it had began to threaten the peace of the Roman Empire . . . .

    Why did it win? . . . .

    We have to account not only for the enthusiasm of its friends, but for the paralysis of its enemies and for the ever growing stream of new converts . . . When we remember what certain highly placed personages would almost certainly have given to have strangled this movement at its birth but could not – how one desperate expedient after another was adopted to silence the apostles, until that veritable bow of Ulysses, the Great Persecution, was tried and broke in pieces in their hands [the chief persecutor became the leading C1 Missionary/Apostle!] – we begin to realise that behind all these subterfuges and makeshifts there must have been a silent, unanswerable fact. [Who Moved the Stone, (Faber, 1971; nb. orig. pub. 1930), pp. 114 – 115.]

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    CF,

    On the contrary, “strong delusion” is a concept that makes all too grimly apt sense.

    I will explain.

    There is a dynamic at work when one imposes the inherently false and/or absurd as a yardstick for truth and right, meaning, etc: ex falso quodlibet.

    That is, while sound conclusions will follow from a true premise by direct and correct implication, from what is false a logical explosion follows on which truth AND falsity may follow.

    Further, if falsity is made the yardstick, the actual truth will contradict it at the crucial points; for by its very meaning truth must accurately describe relevant reality. Truth is not merely another word for opinion.

    So in cases where truth is abstract or abstruse and is not blatantly and uncontroversially evident, it is very possible for politically correct delusion to gain a strength that leads societies to cling to falsity in the teeth of unwelcome truth.

    The concept, strong delusion due to insistently believing a lie while rejecting the truth makes a lot of sense.

    There is a yet worse case.

    The unwelcome truth in question may be self evident — it is accurate to reality, and it is readily seen as necessarily so on pain of patent absurdity — but because many do not wish it to be so, they willfully cling to absurd falsity. Some may even brazenly dismiss first principles of right reason and manifestly evident core principles of the natural moral law.

    They profit or hope to profit from absurd falsity, or are caught up in a system that indoctrinates, blinds and benumbs to absurdity, folly and wickedness. Blinds to sin — a word you recently . . . ill-advisedly . . . dismissed as an empty theological construct. (In fact, it should be patent even to atheists that sin is a theistic term that denotes willful evil that does the wrong relative to “the laws of nature and of nature’s God”; resulting in predictable harm and ruin. The very stuff that conscience so consistently indicts, until and unless it is benumbed or warped, just as vision may be beclouded, lost or warped.)

    There is a name for such a sad state: the march of folly.

    Headed to ruin.

    Which is exactly what so plainly obtains for our civilisation today.

    Such, will not end well.

    KF

  22. 22
    mw says:

    “A powerful delusion;” thanks, clown fish, for your considered comments:
    ———————-
    Mw: “Still, as such, the ‘Chief Witch God’ said he would send a mental illness, “a powerful delusion” (2 Thess 2:11-12), (more ‘damnable magic formula’) to reinforce free will that denies the whole essence of Judaeo-Christianity from historic Sinai;”

    “With respect, is it not possible that this is a man-made fabrication to explain the fact that not everyone believes in the Judeo-Christian God. The world’s first recorded ad-hominem?”
    ———————-

    You did not balance your comments with my final paragraph when the “powerful delusion” is projected to be turned into a somewhat positive.

    We do not need “a man-made fabrication,” a “powerful delusion” to show people the obvious. Throughout history, the ups and downs of Judaeo-Christianity is a fact.

    Darwinism is readily needed for some people to generate the excuse, God may not exist, and as Dawkins’ readily stated; God does not exist.

    Darwin was a little more generous, hedging his bets, but not for the Judaeo-Christian God.

    As for ad-hominem attacks by God, what about the Flood, another aspect of faith that has Darwinists/atheists and many Christians rolling in the aisles. Still, Jesus referred to that little matter, prophesying the world would have returned to a pre-flood state on His return. Clearly a return of justice then?

    However, in this case, God is not sending a mental illness, he was/is, in justice, reinforcing an existing state of mental/spiritual health which freely denies what just men and women have recorded or assisted in recording – that miracles are fact, powerful and real; beyond human understanding, and God was crucifed.

    In relation to the natural; by bowing to Darwinism, it appears, common sense takes a back seat; largely straining at a microscopic genetic look-alike, after swallowing a simian type as an originator of oneself.

    Of course, I believe in common descent from a common designer, who in one ascending increase of divine breath created all in order, direct and fit to survive; especially humans, created to last for ever.

    Now that really is creation of the fittest, by the fittest Creator.

    Let’s be real, we cannot get life from none life. Everything does not come naturally from the dead. The equivalent of a single gnat’s cell, cannot create elephants, whales, Dodos, giant trees, and you name it. And, at the same time, in that same historic relative instant, produce a mate for every life form in the world. That is another needed miracle of Darwinism.

    There is no life form the golden calf of Darwin cannot pull out of the magic hat of natural selection – the never seen grand wizard of Darwinism.

    Fine, but a least acknowledge such is a belief. A beguilement even; a spiritual illness even.

    Steady on, we have gone too far!

  23. 23
    clown fish says:

    BA77: “One witness to the resurrection has stood the test of time fairly well:”

    Leavening aside the rediculous claim that the shroud actually wrapped Jesus for the moment, your link speaks nothing to the resurrection. If you are going to force your cut-and-pasta on us, it would be nice if it was even remotely related to what you are claiming.

  24. 24
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus: “PS: The five hundred core witnesses are mentioned in the first more or less precisely dated document, 55 AD, and the statement (in a controversial exchange) is, most are still alive 25 years later, go talk with them.”

    So, it is based on the assertion of one document, not actually 500 documented witnesses. In short, hearsay evidence and not admissible. If this type of evidence is not sufficient to convict someone of jay-walking, why do you consider it sufficient to prove the resurrection of someone?

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    Whatever clown troll, you have more than demonstrated that you will believe in you nihilistic atheism regardless of what the evidence says to the contrary and there is nothing that I, nor anyone else, can ever do to persuade you otherwise. i.e. You are a shining example of a atheistic troll!

    Regardless of the lies that you clearly prefer to believe in rather than in the ‘truth’, the Shroud of Turin is, in fact, one absolutely fascinating piece of clothe. A fascinating piece of clothe that not only speaks a silent, but sure, witness to the resurrection of Christ but is also a key piece of empirical evidence for the much such after ‘Theory of Everything’.

    A Quantum Hologram of Christ’s Resurrection? by Chuck Missler
    Excerpt: “You can read the science of the Shroud, such as total lack of gravity, lack of entropy (without gravitational collapse), no time, no space—it conforms to no known law of physics.” The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically. Dame Piczek created a one-fourth size sculpture of the man in the Shroud. When viewed from the side, it appears as if the man is suspended in mid air (see graphic, below), indicating that the image defies previously accepted science. The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically.
    http://www.khouse.org/articles/2008/847

    THE EVENT HORIZON (Space-Time Singularity) OF THE SHROUD OF TURIN. – Isabel Piczek – Particle Physicist
    Excerpt: We have stated before that the images on the Shroud firmly indicate the total absence of Gravity. Yet they also firmly indicate the presence of the Event Horizon. These two seemingly contradict each other and they necessitate the past presence of something more powerful than Gravity that had the capacity to solve the above paradox.
    http://shroud3d.com/findings/i.....-formation

    Turin shroud – (Particle Physicist explains event horizon) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHVUGK6UFK8

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete (quantum) values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/journals/i.....802004/271

    Particle Radiation from the Body – July 2012 – M. Antonacci, A. C. Lind
    Excerpt: The Shroud’s frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same amount of intensity, independent of any pressure or weight from the body. The bottom part of the cloth (containing the dorsal image) would have born all the weight of the man’s supine body, yet the dorsal image is not encoded with a greater amount of intensity than the frontal image. Radiation coming from the body would not only explain this feature, but also the left/right and light/dark reversals found on the cloth’s frontal and dorsal body images.
    http://www.academicjournals.or.....onacci.pdf

    Turin Shroud: a medical forensic study of its blood marks and image (Body Position) – G.Lavoie – May 2010
    http://www.acheiropoietos.info.....oieWeb.pdf

    Shroud Of Turin Is Authentic, Italian Study Suggests – December 2011
    Excerpt: Last year scientists were able to replicate marks on the cloth using highly advanced ultraviolet techniques that weren’t available 2,000 years ago — nor during the medieval times, for that matter.,,, Since the shroud and “all its facets” still cannot be replicated using today’s top-notch technology, researchers suggest it is impossible that the original image could have been created in either period.
    http://www.thegopnet.com/shrou.....ests-87037

    Scientific hypotheses on the origin of the body image of the Shroud – 2010
    Excerpt: for example, if we consider the density of radiation that we used to color a single square centimeter of linen, to reproduce the entire image of the Shroud with a single flash of light would require fourteen thousand lasers firing simultaneously each on a different area of linen. In other words, it would take a laser light source the size of an entire building.
    http://www.30giorni.it/articoli_id_22597_l3.htm

    (Centrality Concerns) The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from Death as the “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1143437869002478/?type=2&theater

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  26. 26
    clown fish says:

    BA77: “Whatever clown troll, you have more than demonstrated that you will believe in you nihilistic atheism regardless of what the evidence says to the contrary and there is nothing that I, nor anyone else, can ever do to persuade you otherwise. i.e. You are a shining example of a atheistic troll!”

    So, when I point out that the text that you cut-and-pastad is clearly, self-evidently, not evidence of what you claimed, I am the troll. Nice deflection.

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    Denial is NOT a river in Egypt.

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover clown troll, are you not the infamous William Spearshake who has been banned numerous times, under numerous alias, for trolling?

  29. 29
    clown fish says:

    Bornagain77: “Denial is NOT a river in Egypt.”

    No, but it is apparently is a tool in your toolkit when you are presented with an error in your claims.

    Moreover clown troll, are you not the infamous William Spearshake who has been banned numerous times, under numerous alias, for trolling?”

    Now, that’s just crazy talk. I am no more William Spearshake than KairosFocus is Gordon Mullings. But I think I like him.

  30. 30

    clownfish@29: Interesting that you would continue to come to this site only to argue with those who enjoy it. Is this some sort of strange addiction or obsession? I can’t imagine wasting my time going to atheist/Darwinist websites on a daily basis only to argue, debunk, and spread animus.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    CF, please go do your history, and check out numbers of sources on key facts and figures from classic times, as well as the typical time lags. The NT stands up to any rezsonable standard, as opposed to selective hyperskepticism. As for the number of witnesses, the key official testimony credibly dating to 35 – 38 AD points to 500, of which as noted about two dozen are readily identifiable. The number of sources in the collection of documents known as the NT within 50 – 70 years of the events is over two dozen. And, there is supporting testimony from separate sources as you could readily have seen by simply following the link. The record is clear, and the subsequent witness of the reality of miraculous life transforming impact continuing to today embraces millions now living. Of course, if you are determined to play at selective hyperskepticism, we need only pause to note that standards stringent enough to dismiss the NT record and that of the corroborating docs, would cause all of classical studies to vanish, poof — without good cause. In short, your objections are not serious. KF

  32. 32
    clown fish says:

    KairosFocus: “ As for the number of witnesses, the key official testimony credibly dating to 35 – 38 AD points to 500, of which as noted about two dozen are readily identifiable.”

    Again, we are not talking about 500 documented witnesses. We are talking about one or two documents that reference the witnesses. Not the same thing.

    The number of sources in the collection of documents known as the NT within 50 – 70 years of the events is over two dozen.”

    No, there may be over 24 documents that refer to the one or two documents that claim that 500 people witnessed the resurrection. That is not the same as there actually being 500 confirmed witnesses. That is as stupid as saying that the fact that there have been millions of copies of the bible printed is an example of millions of witnesses to the things written about in the bible.

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    CF, the side track is duly noted. It has had an answer adequate for a reasonable person. Meanwhile, it is quite clear that the focal subject requires serious focus. KF

  34. 34

    Kairofocus@31. Don’t be dismayed. CF is merely trying to irritate those of us who enjoy the site. He hates us (though he would probably never admit it) and that hatred drives him here everyday to antagonize and spread animus. As I implied above @30, this seems to be some sort of unhealthy addiction/obsession for him. It’s all good for me, since I usually just skip over his comments anyway.

  35. 35
    Seversky says:

    mw @ 16

    Hi Seversky #12:
    —————————
    “Although I’m atheist I don’t think of religious belief as mental illness even though I think it’s unfounded. But perhaps a thousand years hence people will look back on current religious beliefs much as we look back on witchcraft or astrology in the Middle Ages.”
    —————————–

    “Perhaps” Christ was the Chief Witch, but I think that would be called blasphemy.

    Perhaps he was. Personally, I lean towards the view that he was probably an itinerant preacher with a few devoted followers in Galilee but nothing more.

    Today, the knee is bent to Darwin, but let us not pretend its whole ethos is a scientific law, no matter how compelling, no matter how many facts. Indeed, it cannot get “pass go” and collect any single life form whatsoever.

    No knee-bending to Darwin and his work is not Scripture. He is respected as an archetypal scientist and his seminal work is one of the bases of modern evolutionary biology. But both he and to some extent his work are now of historical interest. If you think you discredit his work by calling it a religion what does that say about your view of religion?

    It does not take a genius to see that Darwinism is a humanly degrading theory. It degrades the word of God at Sinai.

    Perhaps it is degrading in comparison to the inflated sense of self-importance which some strands of religious belief promote but it is not half so degrading as the works of God and his human proxies as recounted in the Old Testament.

    “Perhaps” we will not be around in one thousand years, and for another thing, the message of Darwinism is; ultimately life, and sometimes in-between, is deadly. Strictly speaking, it cannot get passed dead.

    Neither, for the rest of the life of the Universe can Christianity. As a Christian, I was taught that the dead remain dead until the Day of Judgment when the graves shall open and yield up their contents to be judged.

    It appears, Darwinism is amoral,…

    At last we agree! Darwin’s theory says nothing about morality. It’s just another “is” from which you cannot get an “ought”.

    As for your claims, you “think,” “unfounded” is the basis of the faith of Judaeo-Christianity; surely, your claim denies supernatural evidence (especially Judaeo-Christianly) just as Darwin did in order to establish his theory.

    I deny supernatural. If you have evidence of something that makes it part of the natural world.

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky (attn CF et al),

    The focal issue in the OP in material part is:

    Kathleen Taylor, a neurologist at Oxford University, said that recent developments suggest that we will soon be able to treat religious fundamentalism and other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society as a form of mental illness.

    She made the assertion during a talk at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales on Wednesday. She said that radicalizing ideologies may soon be viewed not as being of personal choice or free will but as a category of mental disorder.

    This reflects an exceedingly dangerous prejudice, one that seems to be privileged in a day of ideological dominance by evolutionary materialistic scientism. Especially, where there is a dangerous ideologically loaded twisting of a key term. In the conflict with rising theological modernism, about 100 years ago, leading Christian champions of the historic Christian faith, published a series of books, The Fundamentals, to defend their views. By the mid-20’s, they were unfairly portrayed in the media as backward yahoos, a pattern that has continued. Then, with the Billy Graham-led revivals and similar factors, there was a post-war surge in evangelicalism, which stressed the gospel and personal penitent faith. But also, the same media that never substantially corrected distortions began to use the term “fundamentalism” to describe radical Islam-ISTS, who are tainted by a close connexion to terrorism. The term was then brought back to address current Christians of broadly evangelical views, with that taint attached. Many pundits have latched on to the term, and have used it in a loaded, tainted, propagandistic way, often without doing due diligence.

    This is utterly unfair and unwarranted, to the point that AP has counselled extreme caution in use of the term: avoid it, except in cases where groups specifically identify as Fundamentalist (which would in fairness require context).

    So, in that context we can be pretty sure when “fundamentalism” is used as in the OP, it is loaded and irresponsible agit-prop language. Which then is even more menacing when foolish talk about mental illness and by implication acting under colour of law to compel “treatment” — that is, lawfare, an actual act of war by usurping the sword that ought to be defending the civil peace of justice — are dragged in.

    Especially when we have the lesson of the scandalous abuse of the mental health professions and dangerous psycho-active drugs in the Soviet Union as a sobering warning sign.

    All of that is there, and has not been responsibly addressed by objectors to the historic Christian faith of the Apostles, Martyrs and Confessors. Which then becomes a red flag warning sign. And nonsense about persecution complexes rings hollow too.

    In that overall sobering context, this is what you said in 12 above:

    12 Seversky June 6, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Although I’m atheist I don’t think of religious belief as mental illness even though I think it’s unfounded. But perhaps a thousand years hence people will look back on current religious beliefs much as we look back on witchcraft or astrology in the Middle Ages.

    To which, I replied in 13 above:

    the core issue in the first instance is not religion but philosophy
    — particularly, worldview analysis. (Cf the challenge here on. Mind you, The Republic has Plato’s
    Socrates warning the civilisation in no uncertain terms on
    how serious but politically incorrect philosophy, technical skill and
    learning are treated in a day when mutinous, willfully ignorant sailors
    and their cynically ruthless manipulators seize control of the ship of
    state. Such are the terms Socrates uses in the dialogue: “the true
    pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and
    winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really
    qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the
    steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union
    of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into
    their thoughts or been made part of their calling. Now in vessels which
    are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the
    true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a
    star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?”
    Very close to, deluded mad man.)

    And, ethical theism stands the test very well, regardless of what a priori atheistical ideologues in lab coats imagine.

    Indeed, it is evolutionary materialist scientism that turns out to
    be self referentially incoherent, amoral and thus
    irretrievably self-falsifying
    . But, we must never underestimate the
    power of institutional dominance and indoctrination under colours of
    “facts” and “education” in imposing irretrievable falsity as a
    yardstick of truth.

    A severe, ruinous error.

    When it comes to the Judaeo-Christian tradition, the touchstone, pivotal warranted truth is the
    prophesied [e.g. Is 52 – 3 is c 700 BC], historically well founded
    life, passion, death by crucifixion, burial in a borrowed tomb, and
    witnesses resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. In particular the 500 core
    witnesses simply could not be daunted or broken, not in the teeth of
    dungeon, fire, sword and much worse.

    Where also, across 2,000 years now, the miraculous,
    life-transforming power of the good news of Jesus of Nazareth, Messiah/
    Christ/ Anointed of God is manifest in the lives and testimonies of
    millions, including pivotal figures in our history.
    It is safe to say, that should our civilisation last another 1,000
    years, that same report will still be standing with life transforming
    power.

    The attempt to twist Bible-believing, gospel-witnessing, vibrant
    Christian faith and life of discipleship into a caricature of
    superstition, dangerous radicalism (this itself depends on utterly twisting the meaning of
    commitment to the fundamentals of a well warranted faith and worldview)
    and even delusion, is unworthy and utterly irresponsible.

    I suggest, a much more sober, more balanced and better informed view is required.

    Especially in a day where ruthless agit-prop and lawfare have been let loose upon our civilisation by radical secularists. And especially i/l/o the scandal of state sponsored ideological abuse of Psychiatry in the Soviet Union.

    Sharks lurk in these waters.

    KF

  37. 37
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: One dimension of the above is the now commonly seen lab coat clad undermining of responsible, rational freedom — notice, this is a report on remarks by a neurologist at a literary festival. WJM has very aptly said, here at UD:

    If you do not assume the law of non-contradiction, you have nothing to argue about. If you do not assume the principles of sound reason, you have nothing to argue with. If logic is not assumed to be a causally independent, authoritative arbiter of true statements, there’s no reason to apply it. If you do not assume libertarian free will, you have no one to argue against. If you do not assume morality to be an objective commodity, you have no reason to argue in the first place. If you do not assume mind is primary, there is no “you” to make any argument at all.

  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: In a day when millions have experienced life-transforming miraculous encounters with God in answer to prayer offered in the name of the crucified, buried, risen Messiah [the reports and the transformed themselves are readily accessible], ideologically driven dismissals of the supernatural ring hollow, save in radical secularist echo chambers. Absent a miracle of guidance in answer to prayer of surrender, I simply would not be here 40 years since, as just one case in point.

  39. 39
    mw says:

    Thanks Serversky for your point of view.
    ———————————————-
    “I deny supernatural. If you have evidence of something that makes it part of the natural world.”
    ———————————————–

    I hope you are now feeling in a better frame of mind now you have got all that off your chest.

    However, in relation to mental illness, religion and “evidence.”

    Briefly:
    In the 15th century, a very disturbing case was reported. A virtuous woman was prone to mental illness. It appears, after one such episode, she cut her child’s throat, cut the body into pieces, roasted a portion, and when her husband came home, tried to offer it to him.

    The husband had been to hear Vincent Ferrer. He returned and asked him for help.

    He laid the pieces of the child together and prayed. The body returned together and of course, life.

    The miracle was one piece of the submitted evidence used in the process of his canonisation and now declared Saint.
    The topic is described in the video http://kolbecenter.org/more-scientific/ which starts with some ‘lovely,’ music, but its essence is evidence of science: special creation or evolution: which is the most scientific explanation.

    A healthy mind cannot come by denying the evidence for the supernatural. Indeed, Carl Jung, (some say he was a muddled mystic) concluded, a belief system helps a person to recover.

    “Over the door at his house in Zurich, Jung had inscribed: ‘Whether summoned or not, God will be present’ (‘Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit’). This sums up Jung’s attitude to religion and spirituality, in his life and in his work. They are an ever present and hugely powerful, even if unacknowledged, factor.” http://www.thesap.org.uk/resou.....-religion/

    Fraud of course, was an atheist. Nevertheless, while centring on sex as a central theme in his theory, held the Jewish faith in respect, “as a source of cultural progress,” http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09......html?_r=0

    From my own limited experience of working as Head Occupational Therapist in acute psychiatry, I can vouch for the importance of a spiritual coping mechanism, freely a patient holds as part of a treatment programme; including medicine, exercise, and occupation to get through difficult trials in life. Indeed, there was an Anglican church for patients and staff on the ground of a large mental institution where I worked.

    It seems to me, Kathleen Taylor, a neurologist at Oxford University, advocating to treat extremist under a mental disorder category, perhaps fails to understand, that conviction is not a mental disorder, extreme as though it may be. It is an evil when it works against the common good. How is evil treated?

    A real true mental illness involving a component of a powerful delusion, for example of believing to be Jesus, is in the latter stages easy to diagnose; it stands out a mile.

    To deny the concept of the supernatural, which, at times may provide some form of a spiritual anchor in suffering humans, is irresponsible. Why, because there is indeed evidence of the supernatural; and of necessity, it relates to the mind, which in my opinion is the ground of the unseen Holy Spirit.

    At this moment in time, many choose to deny the abundant evidence for the supernatural; which appears to be a problem of the mind itself.

    The world is held together by thought, ideas and belief in such; and it may be believed, by the ‘Sane Mind’ that does not err.

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