Premium Essay

Delusions Between Religion and Religious Beliefs

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By gwatkins81
Words 2816
Pages 12
Delusions Between Religion and Religious Beliefs
Glenn Watkins
Park University
3 December 2010


This paper discusses the results a study conducted by Mental, Health, Religion and Culture regarding a qualitative study examining the relationship between religious beliefs and delusions. The paper discusses the definition of delusions as well as religion and makes a stark comparison between the two. The paper includes many different religions and how each claims having a monopoly to salvation. The study included white males from seemingly the same background who were diagnosed as having symptoms of delusions ranging from ages 34 – 57. The paper also discusses several theories as discussed in class regarding thoughts from Erikson, Sullivan and Fromm. Finally, the paper concludes with a brief historical summary of why the author has contention with religion and religious beliefs.

Key words: Delusional, fanaticisms, capricious, analogous, and tantamount. When one person suffers from delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from delusion it is called religion. - Robert M. Pirsig There is a close kinship to the relationship between religious beliefs and religious delusion. Merriam-Webster defines delusion as 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.

Religion is defined as the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2): commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance; a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith. In other words, religion is believed even in the absence of indisputable evidence to the contrary. Religions therefore embrace and encourage pathological delusions because it contains no evidence of existence

Similar Documents

Premium Essay


...ATHEISM: Is it the new religion? Religion is a respect for what is sacred, a reverence for God. It is a bond between man and God. What is religion? It is a collection of cultural system, belief system and those world views that establishes a kind of symbol that relates humanity to spirituality and moral values. Many religions have their own way of narratives, symbols, traditions, sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. Religion is a faith or belief and it there is a tendency that certain idea of morality, ethics, and sacredness is followed. But what stirs my mind is the idea of not believing in a God? These set of non-believers of God have been termed as Atheist. Atheism is characterized by an absence of belief in the existence of gods. This absence of belief generally comes about either through deliberate choice, or from an inherent inability to believe religious teachings which seem literally incredible. It is not a lack of belief born out of simple ignorance of religious teachings. Some atheists go beyond a mere absence of belief in gods: they actively believe that particular gods, or all gods, do not exist. Just lacking belief in Gods is often referred to as the "weak atheist" position; whereas believing that Gods do not (or cannot) exist is known as "strong atheism." It a grand debate no doubt and forces me to think if atheism is the new religion? From the primitive times, people have had speculations...

Words: 601 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Sigmund Freud and William James on Religion

...Megan Morrone Sigmund Freud and William James on Religion Intro to Philosophy Final May 3, 2013 The Will to Believe, an essay by William James, is a defense of religious faith in the absence of convincing logical facts or scientific evidence. James focuses on reasoning and choice in reference to the basis of belief. To James, when reasoning it is a necessity to recognize other considerations apart from those in which the evidence points to. If truth is the primary focus of our beliefs, sometimes it may necessary to take the risk of believing without solid evidence. Moreover, he clarifies that, although we sometimes have a choice in what we believe, there are many beliefs that we cannot will. James views faith in God as falling short of knowledge because we, as humans do not naturally experience the supernatural. However, he also explains that, such faith is sensibly meaningful to many people, and it is reasonable to wonder how, and to what extent it can be justified. James believes that both logic and science have limits beyond which we can legitimately seek rationality. James discusses genuine choice and stresses the three criteria for genuine choice; the choice must be live, forced, and momentous. In other words, personally meaningful, mutually exclusive and presented with an option and/or answer, and must involve potentially important consequences. James defines religion broadly, as having simply two elements, the first being that the best things are eternal, and second...

Words: 2531 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay


...Question 1:Compare and contrast that Freud and James meant by religion. How does each feel that psychology illuminates the phenomenon of religion? a. Freud : “ The Future of an Illusion” * Oceanic feeling : In his opinion, there is not a strong enough need for it to be the source of all religious energy. Freud does not deny that this feeling may occur in people and offers a psychoanalytical explanation. Freud argues that the "oceanic feeling", if it exists, is the preserved "primitive ego-feeling" from infancy. The primitive ego-feeling precedes the creation of the ego and exists up until the mother ceases breastfeeding. Prior to this, the infant is regularly breastfed in response to its crying and has no concept that the breast does not belong to it. Therefore, the infant has no concept of a "self" or, rather, considers the breast to be part of itself. Freud argues that those experiencing an oceanic feeling as an adult are actually experiencing a preserved primitive ego-feeling. The ego, in contrast, comes into existence when the breast is taken away, and involves the infant's recognition that it is separate from the mother's breast, and therefore, that other persons exist. Freud argues that it would not necessarily contradict psychoanalytical theory for this primary ego-feeling to coexist along with the ego in some people. The main argument for this is that psychoanalytical theory holds that all thoughts are preserved in a conservation of psychic energy. Therefore...

Words: 505 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Cult vs Religion

...she was acting on her religious beliefs. What's the difference between extreme religious conviction and delusion? Between a religion and a cult? In exchange for her cooperation, Maryland prosecutors have offered Ria Ramkissoon a reduced charge in the case against Queen Antoinette who leads a West Baltimore cult known as One Mind Ministries. Ria, and other members of the group, starved Ria's son to death because he did not say "Amen" when he was directed to do so. It's troubling, but probably no worse than similar deals made in courtrooms across the nation every day. What's really troubling, at least initially, is the story of a woman willing to sacrifice her son because her faith demanded it. But is Ria Ramkissoon's story any worse than the story of a man who waits his whole life to have a child, and then, when he finally does, he carries that child to a mountaintop where he prepares him as an offering to the god who tells him to do so? Is her story worse than that of another father who sends his only son into the world just so he can watch him suffer and die an agonizing death? There "must" be a difference though, because Ria is a member of a cult and the other stories are those of Abraham's binding of Isaac in the Hebrew Bible, and Jesus' sojourn on Earth as recorded in the New Testament. And those are the founding stories not of cults, but of religions, right? Well, let's see. ------------------------------------------------- The Line Between Religions and Cults While the...

Words: 804 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Dawkins Delusion

...Dawkin’s Delusion (1) Deluded about God? (2) Has Science Disproved God? -the advancement of science and discovery does not equate to atheism rising or substantiating what atheism stands for -nature can be interpreted in a theistic and atheistic way; both are genuine intellectual possibilities for science -there are limits to science; -“some ultimate questions lie beyond science” Sir Martin Rees, president of Royal society, which brings together Britain’s leading scientists -the great questions of life cannot be answered with any degree of certainty; any given set of observations can be explained by a number of theories -science cannot be mixed by interpretation -“science explains everything” outlook is dismissed and naïve -scientific theories cannot “explain the world” but only “explain the phenomena” observed in the world. -is there purpose within nature? How did everything begin? What are we all here for? What is the point of living? Where are we going after this? Non-overlapping magisteria of science & religion Partially overlapping magisteria of science & religion  a realisation that science and religion offer possibilities of cross fertilisation on account of interpenetration of their subjects and methods Francis Collins; evolutionary biologist who heads up the famous Human Genome Project: “a richly satisfying harmony between the scientific and spiritual worldviews” “principles of faith is complementary to the principles of science” Owen Gingerich (leading...

Words: 1037 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Conflict of Science and Religion

...All throughout the history of man, religion and science have always been in conflict. Although there is conflict between science and religion, it can be theorized with the Hostility, Harmony, and Indifference Theories that have manifested from the credence of each. The Hostility Theory is a theory about the conflict of science and religion in which both sides, the religious and, the scientific; believe both sides are dangerously wrong in their approach and beliefs. People that fit this theory have very strong religious beliefs and are strongly against scientist trying to disprove their beliefs and customs. Scientists that fit this theory hate that people could believe in a higher power and believe it is their duty to disprove religion and its customs. Both believe one is operating under dangerous delusions. Religious people believe science should be more open to religious beliefs, and scientists believe religions should be more open to scientific theories. On one side of the spectrum you have a scientist, Newton, which believed in God, but on the other spectrum, Darwin believes in evolution without God or religion. Newton could explain scientifically on why something was, but would credit God for allowing him to be able to explain it. Darwin’s theory of evolution is still against religion to this day with the presumption that humans evolved from apes instead of being created by God. No single interpretive statement stands in isolation from the set of assumptions undergirding...

Words: 855 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...Garza 7/6/14 What is Religion? When saying the word religion, one just says the word without really knowing what the definition is. The term religion originally indicated that there is a bond uniting those who share it closely with one another. The term most likely originated from the Latin word religare, which literally means to tie and bind. Many westerners define the word by their beliefs, or more specific, a belief in a supreme being. However, if this were to define religion then many primitive Asian religions would be excluded. So even though the word religion is said everyday, it is a lot harder to define than one would think. If you were able to go back in time to first century Rome and ask a roman “What religion are you?” they would look at you puzzled. But if you were to ask them “Are you religious?” they would immediately respond with “Of course!” Religion and culture were two sides of the same coin, there was no difference, it was just part of life. However, with the Abrahamic religions, religion and culture were separated. This happened because monotheism created secularism, or a distinction between humanity and God. Many religions have myths and rituals. A myth is a symbol of stories about the origins of humanity and their destiny in the world. Rituals are actions that often involve symbolic reenactments of such stories. Myths convey the essential truths while ritual connects an individual and the community to the sacred. When religious, one is either orthopraxy...

Words: 576 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Exorcism vs Schizophrenia

...“God” or seen angels and were coerced to commit certain harmful or illegal acts were considered to be possessed by demons or the devil. This was a problem that created a lot of panic within people to follow their religions and to pray that their spirit would not be consumed by the devil. Religion in most part viewed this as a spiritual aspect where in actual fact, this was a neurologic problem within these individuals. Schizophrenia has also been said to be a hereditary disease and many psychiatrists have to dig deeper into the patient’s family history for any correlation within the family. There are many aspects to take into consideration when dealing with someone who is suffering with delusions and a mixture of religious influence as it can create a lot of controversy. Many will argue this, but medical science throughout history has been solving these types of mysteries surrounding schizophrenia and their relation to exorcisms. Keywords: schizophrenia, exorcism, hallucinations, demons, religion. Exorcism vs Schizophrenia: Any Relation? Many cases throughout history have been misdiagnosed due to the impact of religious influence on a patient which is suffering from schizophrenia. A lot of these types of cases present individuals suffering from paranoid delusions which include hallucinations and the hearing of voices. Many patients listen to these so called voices and commit crimes from murder or even just...

Words: 1776 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Compare/Contrast Buddhism and Hinduism

...Hinduism Buddhism and Hinduism are two of the world's largest and oldest religions. Both are excellent examples of how religions that come from the same part of the world can develop differently and appeal to different people. When comparing Buddhism and Hinduism focus could be placed upon a myriad of ancient traditions and beliefs, so many traditions and beliefs that the mind begins to swirl in the attempt to comprehend everything. To summarize the similarities and differences of these two religions, focus will be on placed on three aspects of each religion, karma, worship practices/belief in a supreme being and the philosophy each religion holds regarding reincarnation. Despite bearing some striking similarities, the differences between Hinduism and Buddhism are pronounced. While reincarnation is an important aspect of both Buddhists and Hindus faith, it is quite different in each religion. Karma is quite similar in each religion. Karma is the basic belief that a person's fate is determined according to his actions while on earth. A soul who does good Karma in this life will be awarded with a better life in their next life. Souls that have bad Karma will be punished for their sins, if not in this incarnation then in the next incarnation and they will continue to be born in this world again and again. “The good souls will be liberated from the circle of rebirth and get redemption. In the Hindu religion this cycle is called 'Moksha' meaning freedom. In Buddhism, the ultimate...

Words: 1192 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Similarities Between Wkins And Dawkins

...instances that is all you need to believe in the results that you are being given. With this ease in compatibility with others upon results, naturally friendships are made between scientists. Yet there are just about as many natural arguments between scholars in science as their are friendships. This argument or friendship can skip generations for those in the same study, scientists often being compatible with those who worked before them and brought inspiration. This basic concept is seen in the compatibility and differences between Charles Dawkins and Richard Dawkins. These two scientists both have a long recorded history of progress in terms of evolution, but there are details and specifics in...

Words: 912 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Phil 201 Week 6 Study Guid

...Study Guide: Lesson 16 Philosophy of Religion: Introduction Read chapter. 1 of Philosophy of Religion: Thinking About Faith, “What is Philosophy of Religion?” As you read, make sure you understand the following points and questions: Explain the distinctions between philosophy of religion and sociology, history, theology, and religious philosophy. philosophy of religion focus on the truth and reasonableness of religious beliefs. While the historian or sociologist may study religious beliefs, but his focus is not specifically on the truth or reasonableness of such belief theologian looks at religous beliefs from within, as an adherent or representative of a religous tradition. philosophy of religon may be engaged in by thinkers who are not religous at all, as well as by committed religous thinkers philosophy of religion not so much religious thinking as it is thinking about religion. Religious Philosophy is Religious thinking Explain the arguments for and problems with fideism. Fideism: human beings are never religously neutral; they are always either in faithful service to or in rebellion against God. Claims that faith is the precondition for any correct thinking about religion Problem: fideist cannot attempt to win over his critics by rational argument as the presupposition of such dialouge means the possibility of common ground (fideists deny common ground) eliminates the possibility of showing the nonbeliever the superiority of a religous worldview where should...

Words: 3902 - Pages: 16

Premium Essay


...psychological interventions...................................................... 10 5.5 Community-based rehabilitation for people with schizophrenia............. 11 5.6 Occupational Therapy............................................................................ 12 5.7 Living a healthy lifestyle......................................................................... 12 5.8 Educating the person diagnosed with Schizophrenia ........................... 13 5.9 Social support........................................................................................ 13 5.10 Society................................................................................................. 14 5.11 Spirituality, religion and personal belief...

Words: 4675 - Pages: 19

Premium Essay

Culture and Religion

...Culture and Religion: An in Depth Analysis Culture and Religion: An in Depth Analysis “Religion is one element of a culture, a transcendent element of it." Francis Arinze The Influence of Religion One of the most pervasive influences in how people in various cultures and sub-cultures develop identity and purpose is through their faith and religion. One’s religious traditions - like family, tribe, or nation - anchors them to the world. Religious traditions provide structure, discipline, and social participation in a community (Samovar, Porter, McDaniel & Roy, 2013). Religion, also sanctions a wide range of human conduct by providing notions of right and wrong, setting precedents for accepting behavior, and transforming the burden of decision making from individuals to the supernatural power (Samovar et al., 2013). As such, religion responds to the basic human need to understand the purpose of life. This paper will examine five major religions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism along with each of their core values and assumptions. It will examine the impact religion plays in cultures as well as the overall impact religion has on globalization in the 21st century. Through a personal reflection on religious diversity in the workplace along with an overview of the Society of Human Resources best practices to handle such diversity, it will provide recommendations on how to develop a cohesive culture that values diversity and aligns the tenets...

Words: 2712 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Faith in the Life of Pi

...the world. I, myself, have never really been much of a religious person during my life. My father was raised in a very Jewish household where he attended Hebrew school, celebrated Passover and Hanukkah every year and ate kosher meals. My mother was raised as a Christian, although I’m not too sure if she attended church on a regular basis because my grandmother was an immigrant from Japan so she wasn’t exactly the biggest Christian. So throughout my life we have celebrated Hanukkah and Christmas together as a family to keep in touch with both sides of our family, so as you can see my parents are the type of open minded people who do not force a religion upon me, they grant me my own religious freedom. ¶This freedom that my parents allowed me to grow up meant that I didn’t have to go to church every Sunday and I didn’t have to go to any type of Hebrew school if I didn’t want to. I went to some youth groups when I was younger and was not captured by anything I saw or heard and I’ve celebrated Passover with my father’s side of the family and I’ve heard both the stories from their religions and I still was not captured by anything I saw or heard. I have learned the major beliefs and morals of many religions around the world and none have made any sense to me yet. I agree with many and the lessons and teachings from some religions but that doesn’t mean I’m going to declare myself an official member of that specific religion. This is why I consider myself to be an agnostic, not in...

Words: 1472 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Buddhist Worldview

...The Umbrella of Buddhism The never-ending debate amongst scholars on whether Buddhism is a religion or a philosophy is not a debate on Buddhism – it is an artificial debate on our biases and heuristics regarding religion and philosophy. The fastidious dichotomy between religion and philosophy that we insist on today did not exist in western civilization until the around the eighteenth century, and there never existed such a dichotomy in eastern civilization [CITE]. To insist that Buddhism must be clearly defined as one thing and not the other amounts to forcing an ancient product into modern packaging. In fundamental Buddhist philosophy, this sort of conceptual categorizing is considered avidyā (state of ignorance or delusion), which is considered one of the causes of all suffering and a barrier to enlightenment (Keown and Prebish 269). Without realizing it, we use preconceived notions about ourselves and about the world around us in order to divide up and break down everything we learn and experience. The first step in the Eightfold Path, one of the most principal teachings of the Buddha, is to cast aside these divisions in our minds so that we may see the true nature of the world (Keown and Prebish 338). In the same way, we must cast aside all of our definitions, labels, and classifications surrounding Buddhism in order to see its true nature. It goes beyond being just a religion or a philosophy. It is a personal, authentic way of being in the world and it encompasses everything...

Words: 775 - Pages: 4