Monday, November 25, 2013

Boghossian's Agenda

This is a Debunking Christianity account of what Peter Boghossian is up to. Does anyone see this as dangerous to a free society?

86 comments:

Crude said...

But let's continue to try and hold peaceful, one-sidedly "respectful" dialog with people who either adhere to Petebog's views, or who stay stone silent rather than condemn it, right?

I have an idea. If someone adheres to Petebog's views - if they are committed to misrepresenting and maligning religious belief, regarding theists and religious believers across the board as having a 'virus' that needs to be 'contained and eradicated', we don't just condemn them. We bar them from conversation. If they're on a campus, we move to have them kicked off. If they're on a blog, we ban them. We quote PeteBog, we highlight the connection between his view and soviet purges, nazi gas chambers, and more.

Because the only way PeteBog can gain even the tiniest step towards his and his ilk's goals is if we continue to treat these people - not atheists, but this nasty, vicious, hate-filled subset - as if they were worthy of a place at the intellectual table. We should no more accept PeteBog and his followers in public discourse than we would accept someone who tolerates and refuses to condemn ideas like "sometimes ya just gotta drag a nigger from the back of your truck, or else they'll start thinking they own the place".

Crude said...

Though I will say, PeteBog is going to be extraordinarily useful from now on. By being blunt, he's showing exactly what atheists are after here. Goodbye smiling billboards of people hugging each other and saying 'You can be good without God!' Goodbye 'We just want people to accept our non-belief!' This is about people who are after no less than not only the eradication of religious belief, but of labeling it as a physical sickness, the sort of thing Mengele can perform experiments in order to figure out how to get people 'cured' of it.

Dawkins was explicit enough, but people could hem and haw and try to ignore some of what he said or downplay it. PeteBog doesn't really allow much spinning.

William said...

From the article:

"
11) Finally, remove the religious exemption for delusion from the 'Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders' (DSM). He says, "There is perhaps no greater contribution one could make to contain and perhaps even cure faith than removing the exemption that prohibits classifying religious delusions as mental illness." For the reasons why he makes this statement you'll have to read them yourselves. "

See also wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_abuse_of_psychiatry_in_the_Soviet_Union

Cale B.T. said...

If you're reading this papalinton, I'm still up for that debate on the Resurrection. Debate.org is a good site that we could host the debate on.

What do you say?

unkleE said...

Very interesting, thank you Vic. I think overall his "remedies" will be more beneficial to true christianity than to atheism (I say true christianity to distinguish from cultural christendom).

1. I think christianity is better based on evidence than atheism is. So why should I fear what he says about that?

2. His, and other atheists', use of the word 'delusion' is dishonest. Delusions and their treatment have a number of characteristics that don't and shouldn't apply to christian belief, for example:

* "People with delusional disorder experience non-bizarre delusions, which involve situations that could occur in real life, such as being followed, poisoned, deceived, conspired against, or loved from a distance. " (WebMD). That doesn't describe christian belief at all.

* "delusions commonly represent an underlying organic illness that warrants specific treatment." (Psychology Today). What underlying organic illness is he hypothesising all christians have?

* If christianity was truly a delusion, then the treatment suggested is completely wrong - " Avoiding direct confrontation of the delusional symptoms enhances the possibility of treatment compliance and response." (Psychology Today). Atheists either don't really believe christianity is a delusion, or they are ignorant, irresponsible and/or unethical.

3. Calling theism a "mind virus" is, of course, just meaningless words, and makes a mockery of the claim to be evidence-based. I could just as easily call atheism a "mind virus".

4. The battle for the heart and mind of western culture will be won by style as well as substance. Granted all the above, his approach will only scare off the large uncommitted middle ground, and make atheism and scientism even less popular than now.

I suppose someone could call the atheist aspiration to end theism a "delusion", but that has as little evidence. Let's just say it is based more on wishful thinking than anything else.

im-skeptical said...

Kind of makes you mad when an atheist starts talking about treating theists in a manner similar to how theists have traditionally treated atheists, doesn't it? But at least he's not talking about putting them to death.

Crude said...

So, Skep - does that mean that if Christians decide to classify atheism as a mental illness and find ways to 'cure' you, you'd think it was justified?

And you say "Traditionally", as if anyone here justifies ANYthing like what Pete's said? And of course, state atheist treatment of theists doesn't qualify as "Traditional", eh?

Crude said...

Let's see. Skep thinks PeteBog is basically advocating 'the very things' that atheists used to accuse theists of engaging in at their lowest point.

So I'm sure, if we just wait patiently, plenty of Gnus shall be showing up here to condemn Bog in no uncertain terms.

Right?

Papalinton said...

Religious belief is a delusional state. Boghossian is correct to point that out. Whether the delusion has a pathological connection or whether it is simply a product of repetitious inculcation of the child's mind at its most malleable and immature state, both aspects lead to concretized habituation of beliefs that mounts to little more than indoctrination.

And Boghossian is correct to note that the authors or editors of the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition DSM-5 manual continue the long-imposed tradition of obsequiously observing unwarranted political correctness in shying away from registering levels of religious faith, particularly among the young, for the lack of timely treatment for psychological damage incurred and sociological impairment and distortion resulting from extended exposure to aggressive imprinting practices of parents. From the NIH, [NCBI] "In clinical practice, no clear guidelines exist to distinguish between "normal" religious beliefs and "pathological" religious delusions. Historically, psychiatrists such as Freud have suggested that all religious beliefs are delusional, while the current DSM-IV definition of delusion exempts religious doctrine from pathology altogether. From an individual standpoint, a dimensional approach to delusional thinking (emphasizing conviction, preoccupation, and extension rather than content) may be useful in examining what is and is not pathological. When beliefs are shared by others, the idiosyncratic can become normalized. Therefore, recognition of social dynamics and the possibility of entire delusional subcultures is necessary in the assessment of group beliefs. "

Therein lies the social conundrum. Religious belief is not excluded from the DSM-5 by virtue of there being no pathology underlying religious delusion. Rather it has been *exempt*. And until such time as the community comes to grips with the reality of properly investigating the extent of delusory religious belief within the neighbourhood, it continues to be the dark underbelly of unreason and remains a deeply problematic intellectual void, for no other reason than timidity to challenge unwarranted and undeserved acquiescence to religious intransigence.

The substantive case for challenging religious woo by Boghossian is without doubt an important contribution to the discussion going forward. It is simply another small piece of the puzzle that puts religion on notice to either establish itself on an epistemically sustainable foundation or to continue the inexorable slide into social redundancy and irrelevancy. Religion must earn its stripes from now on if it going to have any role into the future. It will not be exempt, not be given a free pass it for so long expected and demanded.




Crude said...

Alright. An endorsement from Linton. So remember folks: if a pack of say... muslims, ever drag him or his loved ones out of bed in the middle of the night, kicking and screaming, and then perform a treatments on him until his atheism is 'cured', just remember: he would happily have cheered on the same in the other direction.

Anyone else care to side with PeteBog on all this? Please, tell us how you shall contain and eradicate us mud-people with our religious sickness, by any means necessary.

Perhaps you shall be next, Skep. Care to step up and support your buddy?

Samwell Barnes said...

"Religious belief is a delusional state"

Belief in numbers and other abstract objects is a delusional state.

Papalinton said...

"Does anyone see this as dangerous to a free society?"

Read every one of the eleven points from Boghossian carefully. Each one is a measured, ethical and morally sound response. The only danger to a free society is the inflamed, delusional and misshapen rhetoric from the hardmouthed Crude's in the community.

Papalinton said...

"Belief in numbers and other abstract objects is a delusional state."

No. Not in the least. It is a normal, logical, reasoned and evidentiary-laden process of intellection. Just as one arrives at a belief in the theory of gravity.

In contrast, belief in spirits, gods, dying and rising entities, flying winged horses, leprechauns, pink elephants and faeries at the bottom of the garden claimed as factual entities and physically occurring events, is a delusional state.

Crude said...

The only danger to a free society is the inflamed, delusional and misshapen rhetoric from the hardmouthed Crude's in the community.

Linton, someday you may well see some of what you advocate against theists applied to those you know and love - possibly in the opposite direction.

Just remember this conversation, if someday a grandchild comes to you fresh from the asylum, a bandage along the side of her head, and an inability to stop telling you how much she loves Allah.

Crude said...

As a matter of fact, Linton, there's one for your next family meeting.

Crouch down, call your grandchildren close and say, 'Little ones, Pappy Linton loves you. But if ever - and I mean ever - you say you believe in God, I'm handing you over to people who will CURE you. Because it's a delusion, and I won't tolerate sickness in my grandkids.'

Because you're very well adjusted, right?

Papalinton said...

"Alright. An endorsement from Linton. So remember folks: if a pack of say... muslims, ever drag him or his loved ones out of bed in the middle of the night, kicking and screaming ....."

It is interesting Crude nominates a familial Abrahamic religion, one that happens to share the exact same god to illustrate the inherent potential to wage religious-inspired terror resulting from belief in the wrong doctrine and dogma, while being selectively amnesiac of the violence, documented in both past and contemporary history, perpetrated by his own stripe of religious delusion.

One must really question the credibility and integrity of any story in which a purported omniscient, omnibenevolent, and omnipotent entity was the progenitor of two utterly different and conflicting accounts of the divinely inspired, inerrant records of HIS apparent actual words, one for muslim eyes only and one for christian eyes only.

I say, christianity, Islam, both delusional on a monumental scale. In fact this exact same god, Yahweh, Jehovah, God, Allah, whatever name one wishes to subscribe to, recounted not two, but three utterly different versions of his inerrant words.

I say, more fool you, christian, muslim, jew. I say this Abrahamic god speaks with tri-forked tongue. I say anyone who believes HIS [?] word are exhibiting clinical symptoms of delusional pathologies.

Boghossian is correct. Religion is a virus of the mind.

Crude said...

Just remember, Linton. When your granddaughter can't even remember your name because of the shock treatments, at /least/ she will no longer have that 'mind virus'.

Then, perhaps, you can love her again.

Papalinton said...

You do actually frighten me.

You drag my innocent grandchildren into the conversation to use as a club against me. Do you have no regard for those who cannot defend themselves? At what level of depraved indifference and insensibility do you draw the line, Crude?

Is this your brand of christian goodwill? Of christian ethics and christian morality? Of christian reason and logic in argument?

I think you are unhinged and a danger.

Crude said...

You drag my innocent grandchildren into the conversation to use as a club against me. Do you have no regard for those who cannot defend themselves?

See, Linton, the problem is that I'm not attacking your grandchildren - you are.

I absolutely despise the idea of treating irreligion as a mental illness to be cured, just as I despise the idea of treating religious belief as a mental illness to be cured. This is hate language, and it's been done before - people have been tortured, arrested, subjected to experiments, and otherwise abused. You endorsed it gleefully.

I am reminding you of the stakes you are now playing with. Your children, your grandchildren, may well one day be religious believers. If they aren't already.

So, whenever you talk about treating religious belief as a mental illness, I am going to remind you of exactly what you are doing. You do not care about 'those who cannot defend themselves.' You don't care when it's someone else's child or grandchild on the receiving end of Boghossian's hate speech. You laugh and encourage someone other's son or daughter being 'made the butt of contempt' by their peers, a la Dawkins' orders.

Is this your brand of christian goodwill? Of christian ethics and christian morality? Of christian reason and logic in argument?

Yes, Linton. It is. Because, you see, I am fighting against both you and Boghossian. I deplore the idea of hating an individual, treating them as an 'infected' person in need of scientific 'treatment', merely because they believe differently than me. The only thing I do here is point out just what the stakes of your hate are.

All I've done is hold up a mirror. The hate you encourage? The mockery you throw out? And now, finally - after the state-orchestrated abuse of the recent past - the experimentation and psychological 'treatment' you endorse? You're not just putting me at risk with it. You're putting your granddaughter at risk. Because all it takes is for her to decide that maybe there is a God after all to feel the wrath of the people you are egging on.

Is it giving you pause? Are you finally, for a brief moment, realizing what you've become?

If so - you're welcome. Take the opportunity to rethink the vile things you're endorsing. Become, for the first time in a long time, a better man than you are.

Ape in a Cape said...

>>No. Not in the least. It is a normal, logical, reasoned and evidentiary-laden process of intellection. Just as one arrives at a belief in the theory of gravity.<<

It's not clear that numbers or abstract objects actually exist. What's more, even if they do exist a se, attempting to ground them within the same evidentiary process as the theory of gravity is to make a fundamental category error. If you're going to maintain this view Linton, you really need to buttress your position with a substantive empirical justification that can account for how abstractions can instantiate a reality that satisfies their own descriptions. I contend that there can be no such empirical justification for the reason that any justification must assume the very abstractions that one would be seeking to empirically justify.

If you are able to coherently avoid the self-referential incoherencies in using empiricism to abstract the abstracta, you will have achieved what no one prior has ever successfully managed to do.

Ape.

frances said...

Other than #11, I don't see any of these as any kind of threat to free society. Some of them sound a bit silly to me. For instance, why can't I say to (e.g.) my daughter: "I have faith in you"?

I would certainly oppose any attempt to treat all forms of religious belief as a condition requiring medical/psychiatric intervention. In fact, if such an attempt is ever made here in the UK am I ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with all my fellow citizens, Christain, Jewish, Muslim and those of every other faith and none , in opposing it.

But before we get too carried away, can I just make a couple of points?
1. I haven't read the book and neither (I suspect) has anyone else posting here. We are reading John Loftus's take on the book and what it says. Maybe we should all suspend judgment until we've read the book itself?
2. The definition of "delusions" in the DSM includes the qualification "and these beliefs are not ordinarily accepted by other members of the person's culture or sub-culture". On the face of it, this would exclude all the major religions anyway, so I'm not sure what the specific exclusion of religion adds. Does it mean that if I decide to worship a baked bean then that would not be delusional (because it would be a religious belief)? Libertarian as I am, I do think that that is properly categorised as "delusional", although provided I don't harm anyone else or endanger myself, intervention should be restricted to what is proportionate.
Maybe somebody working in the field could explain?

Crude said...

But before we get too carried away, can I just make a couple of points?

Well, here you have a quote and more commentary. Let's see:

Further, many individuals’ religious behaviors do indicate a delusional conviction (falling on one’s knees and talking to an imaginary friend, eating wafers, bowing toward Mecca five times a day, and so on).

Forget for a moment that Coyne thinks 'eating wafers' is indicating a delusional conviction. The fact is that this is not something Petebog has only said in this book. He's said it before.

Straight from his twitter: Once religious delusions lose their exemption in the DSM, IRB approval 4 interventions curing people of the faith virus would be obtainable

You'll pardon me if I take this shit very seriously, since, you know, we've seen this before.

You'll further pardon me if I don't play the game of 'Let's try to twist and interpret Boghossian's words, and the clear reactions of various atheist leaders, in every whichway until maybe possibly we can kinda-sorta make him look less monstrous than he is.'

Karl Grant said...

Crude,

Is it giving you pause? Are you finally, for a brief moment, realizing what you've become?

Don't count on it. Paps gave up his capacity for self-criticism and self-reflection long ago, if he even had such capabilities to begin with.Plus he has no concept of strategic thinking or worst-case scenario thinking. It was like when he was going on about transhumanism a few months back; talking about this glorious future it would bring while linking to articles talking about the military applications of transhumanism. Yeah, no way that is ever gonna back-fire there.

Crude said...

Karl,

What I particularly love is that this is going to play out in a familiar way.

"Religious people are mental cripples infected with a mind virus. We should make them the butt of contempt, seek to suppress them in all walks of life, and change medical rules to force them to get treatment so they are 'cured'."

*Cultists of Gnu in unison* Yeah! YEAH!

Two weeks later...

'A poll revealed the most people in a largely theistic country had a very low opinion of atheists and did not want to give them much political power.'

"THIS IS A TRAVESTY, why are they oppressing us? Why do they treat us like they don't trust us!?"

Karl Grant said...

Crude,

Yeah, but speaking of polls remember how Skeppy and Paps a few weeks ago where saying:

While, crude takes smug pleasure in the victory of hard right in Australia, he should note that where they have control in the US, they are alienating people by the millions - women, minorities (including the growing Hispanic population), gays, students, people who lack healthcare, etc. He can look forward to 2016, when I predict Hillary Clinton will be elected president.

Well, I saw this interesting article on CNN yesterday:

A new CNN/ORC International poll indicates a dramatic turnaround in the battle for control of Congress in next year's midterm elections.

Democrats a month ago held a 50%-42% advantage among registered voters in a generic ballot, which asked respondents to choose between a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district without identifying the candidates.

But the Democratic lead has disappeared. A new CNN/ORC poll indicates the GOP now holds a 49%-47% edge.


Remember how we told them a lot can happen between now and the 2014 and 2016 elections and they just responded with insults? Like I said, no concept of strategic thinking.

* Sorry about the multiple posts, trying to do three things at once.

im-skeptical said...

While crude continues to spread the lie that atheism is responsible for communist atrocities, he would do well to remember that communism is just another religion, or at very least, an ideology that substitutes for theistic religion. Atheism is not.

Karl Grant said...

While crude continues to spread the lie that atheism is responsible for communist atrocities, he would do well to remember that communism is just another religion, or at very least, an ideology that substitutes for theistic religion.

Skeppy, state atheism was an integral part of the communist system. Anybody who lived on the other side of the Iron Curtain can attest to that fact. To quote Vladimir Lenin, the main founder of the first communist state:

Atheism is a natural and inseparable part of Marxism, of the theory and practice of scientific socialism.

Lenin, V. I. (2007). Religion. Read Books pg. 5

So basically what you are saying is that an ideology's, that espouses atheism, subsequent attacks on theistic believers had nothing to with said atheism. Sorry Skeppy, none of us are looking to buy a bridge.

Atheism is not.

Ah, so you don't want to see religious belief replaced with atheism? That is what you are implying there.

frances said...

Crude,

We can't twist Boghossian's words or do anything with them until we know what his actual words are.

BenYachov said...

>We can't twist Boghossian's words or do anything with them until we know what his actual words are.

So are youe saying Loftus is lying about and twisting Boghossian's words?

Or are you just trying to pettifog the issue too distract from his obvious illiberal fascist viewpoint?

BenYachov said...

I can think of at least five good answers/rebuttals to my last post.

Let's see what Francis is made of......

BenYachov said...

Sorry I mean "frances" I have Pope on the brain.

Which I don't apologize for.....

Crude said...

Frances,

We can't twist Boghossian's words or do anything with them until we know what his actual words are.

I already quoted his actual words. When Bog refers to 'the faith virus', are you under the impression he only means some very narrow group of religious believers?

Both Loftus and Coyne seem to know exactly what Bog is getting at here. But fine. You want more? You got it.

It is crucial that the religious exemption for delusion be removed from the DSM. Once religious delusions are integrated into the DSM, entirely new categories of research and treatment into the problem of faith can be created. These will include removal of existing ethical barriers, changing treatments covered by insurance, including faith-based special education programs in schools, helping children who have been indoctrinated into a faith tradition, and legitimizing interventions designed to rid subjects of the faith affliction.

Removing the exemption that classifies a phenomenon as an officially recognized psychiatric disorder legitimizes research designed to cure the disorder. These classifications also enable researchers to assess their treatments and to continue to build upon what works. Of course there will be institutional and social barriers discouraging research into controversial areas, but with this one change THE major barrier - receiving approval from the IRB to disabuse human subjects of faith - would be INSTANTLY overcome.

There is perhaps no greater contribution one could make to contain and perhaps even cure faith than removing the exemption that prohibits classifying religious delusions as mental illness. The removal of religious exemptions from the DSM would enable academicians and clinicians to bring considerable resources to bear on the problem of treating faith, as well as on the ethical issues surrounding these faith-based interventions. In the long term, once these treatments and this body of research is refined, results could then be used to inform public health policies designed to contain and ultimately eradicate faith.


There? Are you goddamn satisfied yet?

Skeppy,

You know what, idiot? If you want to take that desperate route, fine. You just told me that a political ideology counts as a religion. In that case it is trivial to regard you and a good chunk of your compatriots as religious. In which case you STILL have not shaken the acts of your religious forbears.

Papalinton said...

"See, Linton, the problem is that I'm not attacking your grandchildren - you are."

So you observe no limit for decorum.

im-skeptical said...

"You just told me that a political ideology counts as a religion."

No - only the ones that employ ideological indoctrination to subjugate the people (you know, like religion does).

Crude said...

Skep,

No - only the ones that employ ideological indoctrination to subjugate the people (you know, like religion does).

Ahaha. 'Ideological indoctrination', he says, in a thread about the atheist stressing raising children to be good little atheists and getting 'faith' treated as a mental illness to 'cure', endorsed by his heroes.

You're a religious zealot by your own goddamn standards. *I* am not. I deplore these tactics. Hell, even religious people only bring their children up as religious because they think it's true and important for them. For Bog, they're largely just one more asset in his war. Sorry, *your* war.

Linton,

So you observe no limit for decorum.

No, Linton, when you gleefully endorse treating the people I know and love - and other people's family, friends, and children - as people with a 'mind virus' who you want to have classified as mentally ill so you can have your cultists perform treatments to 'cure' them, I will not spare talking about what you are potentially bringing upon your own grandchildren.

Don't like it? Don't do it. Don't support it. But you know what? I think your atheism and your hate is far more important to you than even your own relations. It is a risk you're willing to take, 'Pappy Linton'. Otherwise you'd be condemning Bog.

Grandfather of the year material, no doubt.

Papalinton said...

Calm down folks. Calm down.

frances notes; "I would certainly oppose any attempt to treat all forms of religious belief as a condition requiring medical/psychiatric intervention. In fact, if such an attempt is ever made here in the UK am I ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with all my fellow citizens, Christain, Jewish, Muslim and those of every other faith and none, in opposing it."

I concur with frances's sentiments. But the wholesale exemption from investigating the last remaining field of psychiatric disorders, the pathologies of delusional religious belief, is a fundamental impediment to gaining knowledge and understanding of the extent of disorders that such an exemption blankets. After all, if one's religious belief is not pathological, as the religiose persistently claim, there is nothing to fear. The proof will be found in the research that must necessarily be undertaken. There is no area of social and behavioural activity that should be sacrosanct and excluded from investigation; religious belief no more so than any other known human condition. The guiding principle comes back to the statement from the NIH's, National Center for Biotechnology Information,

""In clinical practice, no clear guidelines exist to distinguish between "normal" religious beliefs and "pathological" religious delusions. Historically, psychiatrists such as Freud have suggested that all religious beliefs are delusional, while the current DSM-IV definition of delusion exempts religious doctrine from pathology altogether. From an individual standpoint, a dimensional approach to delusional thinking (emphasizing conviction, preoccupation, and extension rather than content) may be useful in examining what is and is not pathological. When beliefs are shared by others, the idiosyncratic can become normalized. Therefore, recognition of social dynamics and the possibility of entire delusional subcultures is necessary in the assessment of group beliefs."

Surely it is a matter of considerable public health importance and concern that nobody, no one, knows even the extent let alone the range of clinical indicators that distinguish "normal" religious beliefs from "pathological" religious delusions. This is an indictment on the unwarranted and utterly spurious recourse to unjustified exemption of religious belief from scientific research. And Boghossian is right to point it out. I would be delighted, indeed welcome atheism being subjected to investigation for any pathological characteristics specific within its scope. And while I agree with frances on this issue, "any attempt to treat ALL forms of religious belief as a condition requiring medical/psychiatric intervention" it is a little bit of hyperbole. I think we can all agree that Boghossian's approach to the issue is both measured and fair, particularly when read in context with his Point 8:

"Treat faith as a public health crisis. Two words: "contain" and "eradicate. " We must do this with ethical and Constitutional concerns in mind, he says. Rather, "interventions need to be designed that counter the spread" of the virus. Our "containment strategy should promote the 'value' of believing on the basis of evidence." [Bolded for purpose]

Papalinton said...

CONT:
So let's not travel down the apologetical rabbit hole of fear-mongering and attendant broad hand-wringing swathes of allusions to Commies, and Russia, and Marxism etc etc. This is the democratic world in which we all live and religious belief must never again be given a free pass just because it is religious belief. It must stand or fall on its efficacy. Unscrutinised deference to religious belief, such as that illustrated by the unjustified exemption from the DSM-5, is now rightly understood for the smokescreen it is, political correctness gone septic. Pathological delusions masking as religious belief must be properly identified and the sepsis cauterized.

Karl Grant said...

No - only the ones that employ ideological indoctrination to subjugate the people (you know, like religion does).

1. One teaching somebody a belief you don't like is not indoctrination and there is a hell of a lot of difference between what goes on in your average church, mosque, synagogue and what went on in places like the USSR, the DDR and continues to go on in places like the DPRK.

2. Then by this standard of definition then what you are defending is religious, because what old Pete is advocating is indoctrination. Like Crude said, you are religious zealot by your own definition.

Karl Grant said...

After all, if one's religious belief is not pathological, as the religiose persistently claim, there is nothing to fear. The proof will be found in the research that must necessarily be undertaken.

Paps, they have researched it. Guess what, they have concluded that no religious belief is not a mental illness. This is from a peer reviewed medical journal published monthly by the Royal College of Psychiatrists:

During the past 30 years, however, systematic research has accumulated – a review of literature on religion/spirituality and mental health prior to 2000 identified 724 quantitative studies (Koenig et al, 2001), but since then research in this area has increased dramatically. An online literature search in PsycINFO using the words ‘religion’ and ‘ spirituality’ revealed 6774 articles published since 2000, about 50% being research studies. Does research confirm the connections between religious involvement, neurosis and mental illness?

While a few studies support such findings, the vast majority does not. In fact, of the 724 quantitative studies published before 2000, 476 reported statistically significant positive associations between religious involvement and a wide range of mental health indicators (Koenig et al, 2001). Studies published since 2000 have largely confirmed these findings, extending them to negative and positive emotional states, across geographical location, and demographic and clinical characteristics (Koenig, 2008).


So the claim religion is a mental illness has been investigated and found wanting.

I would be delighted, indeed welcome atheism being subjected to investigation for any pathological characteristics specific within its scope.

Really? Let's see what happens when you read this article:

The list goes on. In the last few years scientists have revealed that believers, compared to non-believers, have better outcomes from breast cancer, coronary disease, mental illness, Aids, and rheumatoid arthritis. Believers even get better results from IVF. Likewise, believers also report greater levels of happiness, are less likely to commit suicide, and cope with stressful events much better. Believers also have more kids.

What’s more, these benefits are visible even if you adjust for the fact that believers are less likely to smoke, drink or take drugs. And let’s not forget that religious people are nicer. They certainly give more money to charity than atheists, who are, according to the very latest survey, the meanest of all.
So which is the smart party, here? Is it the atheists, who live short, selfish, stunted little lives – often childless – before they approach hopeless death in despair, and their worthless corpses are chucked in a trench (or, if they are wrong, they go to Hell)? Or is it the believers, who live longer, happier, healthier, more generous lives, and who have more kids, and who go to their quietus with ritual dignity, expecting to be greeted by a smiling and benevolent God?

Obviously, it’s the believers who are smarter. Anyone who thinks otherwise is mentally ill.
And I mean that literally: the evidence today implies that atheism is a form of mental illness. And this is because science is showing that the human mind is hard-wired for faith: we have, as a species, evolved to believe, which is one crucial reason why believers are happier – religious people have all their faculties intact, they are fully functioning humans.


Now let's watch you shoot yourself in the foot responding.

Papalinton said...

I have Boghossian's book in my hand as I write. It is a measured and much needed broadside against the amorphous mass that constitutes religious belief.

THISE SITE, a Christian site no less, offers a balanced review of Boghossian and his latest book "The Manual for Creating Atheists".

It is a far cry from the murky slough that passes for reasoned[?] comment from Christers on this site.

Cale B.T. said...

Papalinton, you said that if religious belief is not pathological, then believers ought not to fear scrutiny. Why not have the debate on the Resurrection that I propose, papalinton? If your objections really are as well-reasoned as you say they are, then you have nothing to fear, right?

William said...

"we may not need a moral right to deprive people of their freedom"

--Alex Roseberg, Atheist's Guide to Reality

Crude said...

Saying 'we must do this with ethical and constitutional concerns in mind' is supposed to make what he's doing something less than disgusting? When he is defining 'faith' - religious belief, broadly - as a 'mind virus'?

Do you really think the soviet atheists at the time were saying that they were undertaking 'unethical' measures? They insisted what they were doing was ENTIRELY ethical. Promises of 'ethics' means diddly here.

But okay, Linton. I suppose if a law were passed in your nation that treated 'pathological atheism' as a mind-virus, and one of your children was called up and told to come in for study and possible treatment, their assurances of 'we intend to be ethical about this' would work for you, right? You'd say, 'Okay, my daughter is at this address, you can come pick her up'?

If you don't denounce Boghossian for trying to force experiments and 'treatments' on people in order to change their religious beliefs, then do this: accept that you are sentencing your loved one to that possible, indeed likely, fate.

Calm down, Pappy Linton, calm down. Our experiments on your granddaughter will be entirely ethical. We said so. Research must be undertaken for her own good. Ja?

Crude said...

Oh, and just to play up on that 'research' thing.

So I take it this research has not been DONE, right? The only research available seems to suggest that religious belief is on the whole beneficial and positive. So I guess any jackass talking about 'treatment' to 'cure' the 'mind virus' is talking out of his ass completely, eh? He's calling for action and scientific, social, and government purging of a thing he calls a 'virus' that he doesn't even know exists.

Stop supporting scum who will one day abuse your own loved ones. Is your hatred of Christianity really that powerful?

Rudy Bazorda said...

Alright. Been a while. This needs to be called out:

"In contrast, belief in spirits, gods, dying and rising entities, flying winged horses, leprechauns, pink elephants and faeries at the bottom of the garden claimed as factual entities and physically occurring events, is a delusional state."

Pure bigotry from Mr. Linton. As far as spirits and God are concerned, both are justified by the very same "normal, logical, reasoned and evidentiary-laden processes of intellection" you invoke in response to the abstract. Moreover, there are countless throngs of people who have had documented physcial experiences with such entities. I've never "seen" a full-on spirit myself, but I've been in a room with other people where activity occurred that was 100% consistent with what others have said concerning spirits, and not explainable by any known physical process. Yet you just throw all that out because you can't trap it in a test tube, then you sneeringly denigrate those who've experienced a different reality than yourself. Honestly, who put you in the ivory tower? You act like this is just pure fanciful idiocy that weak-minded delusional people pull out of their ass, but do you realize how incredibly arrogant and chauvinistic you sound? You're the epitome of post-modernism gone awry. You claim enlightenment yet have no tolerance whatsoever. It's just incredible that you offer yourself as some sort of posterboy for rational thinking. It's a total sham. You've already been caught plagiarizing other writers to make your half-assed points and it's just... I don't know what else to say. You can't pour tea into a full cup.

Ape in a Cape said...

Crude,

Yes, his hatred really is that powerful. Don't forget that Linton Wilson, the retired indigenous crusader, grandfather and volunteer, is also an apostate. The modus operandi of apostates, even when subconsciously active, is to attempt to undermine or control their former brethren by excising the beliefs of others that they have excised from themselves. It is almost always the case that such ones feel deceived or betrayed by their former fraternity, and so reify their hostility as recompense for having had their time swindled within a social framework that ultimately let them down.

Unfortunately, they rarely scrutinize the motifs involved in their own disaffection and will accept assistance from causes which they may not personally believe in so long as the advantage they seek over their former associates can be further developed. Some have naively classified the operation of apostates as just a brutish search for revenge, but their emotions run deeper than that and empower sophisticated decision making that simple guttural responses consistently fail to engender. Moreover, projecting their contrary ideology under the rubric of liberator or protector enables them to consistently reaffirm their own departure, which in turn emboldens them with purposive action to continue in their campaign.

Apostapposers are often highly motivated, extremely deliberative, and intelligent. Unless people understand their rationale, they will be prone to underestimate their reasons.

Ape.

Crude said...

Ape,

Huh. That's an interesting analysis. You have a penchant for offering perspectives I did not expect to see. Thank you.

im-skeptical said...

An interesting analysis - based on the latest findings published in the Journal of Psychology, I presume? Well, at least crude bought it.

Papalinton said...

Karl

"Paps, they have researched it. Guess what, they have concluded that no religious belief is not a mental illness. This is from a peer reviewed medical journal published monthly by the Royal College of Psychiatrists:,,, "

No Karl the article is not peer-reviewed but rather was put to publication in the psychiatry journal by a decision of the President of the Society alone. Did you by chance read the ensuing articles also found at your site from a number of specialists in psychiatry expressing amazement and concern how such an article could have been published based as it was on deeply flawed statistics, coupled with confirmation bias of Koernig's own religious predilection influencing his findings, and some of his proposed clinical techniques?

One representative article written in response to the Koernig paper from Drs Rob Poole, Consultant Psychiatrist Robert Higgo, Gill Strong, Gordon Kennedy, Sue Ruben, Richard Barnes, Peter Lepping, Paul Mitchell, North East Wales NHS Trust, notes:

"We were alarmed to read the editorial on religion and mental health (Koenig, 2008). Some of the assertions are highly contentious, and we believe some of the recommendations for clinical practice are inappropriate. The invited commentary by the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (Hollins, 2008) is cautious, but nonetheless seems to endorse Koenig’s point of view. In doing so, she lends a certain credibility to Koenig’s recommendations. Closer integration of religion and psychiatric practice is a key aspiration of an element within the Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group of the College. We believe that there is an urgent need for a serious debate on the implications of such attempts to shift the boundaries of psychiatry and the other mental health professions.
Koenig uses some statistics that are questionable. For example, the World Chrisitian Database may say that 1.4% of the British population are atheist, but the British Humanist Association website cites recent figures from the National Census, a Home Office survey and a MORI poll ranging from 15.5% to 36%. However, it is his fundamental argument that is seriously flawed.
Koenig uses the rhetorical ploy of suggesting that religion is denigrated and under attack by psychiatrists. He states that psychiatry has traditionally regarded religion and spirituality as intrinsically pathological. We have been involved in mental health care in the UK since 1978, and none of us has ever known this to be suggested by a mental health professional. .....
'

The rest of the response can be read at your referred site along with the responses from other professionals in the field. What is interesting is that the multiple authors of this particular piece have a range of personal convictions, including atheist, Buddhist, Methodist, Roman Catholic and non-denominational faith. And they all still found Koernig's confirmation bias as significantly concerning and highly problematic.

Karl Grant said...

Did you by chance read the ensuing articles also found at your site from a number of specialists in psychiatry expressing amazement and concern how such an article could have been published based as it was on deeply flawed statistics, coupled with confirmation bias of Koernig's own religious predilection influencing his findings, and some of his proposed clinical techniques?

Oh I did read it Paps, and I knew you would jump on that little tidbit because you are nothing if not predicable. The responses take umbrage with the fact Koernig says religion has been under attack by psychiatry. What they don't deny is the studies Koernig cited, which overwhelmingly show religious belief to be a positive influence in most people's lives. If they did, you would have quoted it. In fact, immediately after your qoutes they say this:

However, the research that he cites can be interpreted as suggesting that psychiatrists, by and large, believe that religion can be both helpful and problematic to patients and that they enquire about religious matters when these are relevant.

So guess what? My point still stands, the claim religion is a mental illness has been investigated and found wanting. Petebog is full of crap. Now if you will excuse me, I have Thanksgiving to attend to.

BeingItself said...

Both sides are arguing as if 'mental illness' is something that is concrete and can be defined precisely. But that is just silly.

You are committing a reification fallacy.

frances said...

I do not agree that people who have a religious belief should ipso facto be treated as requiring pyschiatric intervention.

I know very little about Boghossian. I have heard his name but not read any of his work. If he thinks that all people who believe in God should be treated as mentally ill, then for what it's worth, I think he is totally wrong.

lotharlorraine said...

I think it is vital to make a distinction between atheists and ANTI-theists.
The New Atheists (who are actually antitheists) are to atheism what Pat Robertson is to Christianity.

It is understandable that people become intolerant towards fundamentalism, actually it might even be a moral duty.

But there is nothing which justifies the ridiculing, emotional bullying and mocking of moderate religious people.

It is clear they are the ennemies of liberty and an open society.

Papalinton said...

Karl cites the following quote:
"However, the research that he cites can be interpreted as suggesting that psychiatrists, by and large, believe that religion can be both helpful and problematic to patients and that they enquire about religious matters when these are relevant."

Read it carefully, Karl. ...the research he cites ... can be *interpreted* .... as [no more definitive claim there, just a suggestion] .... that religion can be both helpful and problematic .....

And that is the whole point about the unwarranted exemption of religious belief in a nutshell Nobody, no one knows the extent of the differentiation between "normal" religious belief and 'pathological" religious delusion. Koernig's citing of the research does not make statement about the distinction. All it does is ...suggest.. If the evidence was so clear, as Koenig claims, then there would be no need for the the DSM-5 to invoke exemption? But the exemption is there.

The most recent report, " Faith or Delusion? At the Crossroads of Religion and Psychosis" by Professor Pierre JM, UCLA School of Medicine, from the NIH's National Centre for Biotechnology Information: "In clinical practice, no clear guidelines exist to distinguish between "normal" religious beliefs and "pathological" religious delusions. ... the current DSM-IV definition of delusion exempts religious doctrine from pathology altogether. ...."

Why is this so?

And following up on the last part of your cited quote: " ... and that they enquire about religious matters when these are relevant." It seems, advocating such a strategy is also highly problematic in and of itself. How is that relevancy determined? Whatever investigative research may have been undertaken, little substantive data seems to have been garnered on which clinicians are able to base their determination on 'when these are relevant'.

So no Karl. Koernig's claim does not substantiate the efficacy of religious belief as a useful clinical tool for therapy. Koernig's advocacy for the efficacy of religious belief seems to be based on a personal inclination rather than a substantive claim. The evidence is just not there. Indeed, what evidence there is points to religious belief being both 'helpful and problematic'. To what extent? Nobody knows with any certainty. So in fairness, Boghossian is rightly noting religious doctrine should not be exempt from pathology if indeed aspects of it are found to be causally connected. That is a most reasonable and measured call.

And I have little doubt the sway of public opinion will outweigh your and any religious objections into the future and religious doctrine, its psychological effects, will become subject to scientific investigation as has every other human and social activity and behaviour. Religion giving ground each time science bumps up to it has been the inexorable trend and this circumstance will be no exception to following that trend.

Your comment "Petebog is full of crap" seems a little premature and a touch hysterical.










im-skeptical said...

lotharlorraine,

What you say seems quite reasonable.

Although I express my beliefs, I don't consider myself anti-theist. But I and others here have been labeled with epithets, and subjected to some of the kinds of treatment you deplore in the so-called New Atheists. I just think it's rather hypocritical.

Papalinton said...

frances
"I know very little about Boghossian. I have heard his name but not read any of his work. If he thinks that all people who believe in God should be treated as mentally ill, then for what it's worth, I think he is totally wrong."

And so would I. Indeed, I would disendorse him immediately. But he does not. P.75-77 of Boghossian's book:

"Target Faith, Not Religion: Faith is the Foundation":
"Here's where I part ways with the Four Horsemen [Dennett, Hitchens, Harris and Dawkins]- who have relentlessly attacked and undermined religion. And by all accounts they have been tremendously success at exposing the fraudulent nature and dangers of religion." .... Boghossian continues.... "Attacks on religion are often perceived as attacks on friends, families, communities, and relationships. As such, attacking religion may alienate people, making it even more difficult to separate them from their faith". Further he notes ..... " Trying to disabuse people of a belief in gods (a metaphysical conclusion that comes about as a result of a faulty epistemology) may be an interesting, fun, feel-good pastime, but ultimately it's unlikely to be as productive as disabusing people of the faith. Attempting to disabuse people of a belief in their God[s] is the wrong way to conceptualize the problem. .... Positing make-believe metaphysical entities is a consequence of a deeper epistemological problem. Belief in God[s] is not the problem. Belief without evidence is the problem. Epistemological arrogance masquerading as humility is the problem. Faith is the problem. Belief in an imagined metaphysical entity - God - is a symptom of these larger attitudinal and critical thinking skills-based deficiencies, one that is supported and made possible primarily by faith, and also by social and cultural elements and institutions that are covariant with, and supportive of, faith. Belief in God is one consequence of a failed epistemology, with social and cultural mechanisms that both prop up this metaphysical belief and stifle epistemological challenges."

A re-read of the article at the Christian site HERE pretty much encapsulates Boghossian's ethical and moral stance to his approach to discussion on religious belief:

"In what is perhaps the biggest difference between his methods and those of other, better-known atheist authors, Boghossian insists that his street epistemologists be, above all, kind, considerate, empathetic and respectful of people of faith.
“The ideal street epistemologist models the behavior she would like to see in others,” he said. “They should be gentle and open to ideas. They should be compassionate and seek no reward for disabusing people of specious ways of reasoning. Nobody owes you for helping them to reason better. You do it because you care about people and want to help them.”
A Manual for Creating Atheists is Boghossian’s first book. He is known within atheist circles for a 2012 lecture he gave entitled “Jesus, the Easter Bunny and Other Delusions: Just Say No!” that became popular on YouTube. In it, he says he does not assume believers are wrong, and advises his street epistemologists to do the same."


Cont.

Papalinton said...

CONT.

Having now completed reading his book, on reflection, I think in large measure my combative approach, modeled on and rivaling that with whom I have argued/debated on this site has not contributed to changing attitudes. And as galling as it is to acknowledge, my approach has not been productive. I can really only take away a sense of self-serving satisfaction, and that in all truth isn't very satisfying.

The one thing I can be comforted by is that globally, religion is being challenged as never before and there is momentum for great change in people's perception, attitude and behaviour towards faith-based claims. There is no going back to unwarranted acquiescence and undeserved complaisance towards religious matters. And that is a very good thing.

BenYachov said...

>Belief without evidence is the problem.

Evidence here is a code word for Positivism & it's fundamentalist claims that empirical and scientific evidence to the exclusion of philosophical reasoning are the sole standard of "evidence".

A concept of "evidence" that in principle cannot be proved correct by it's own standard.

http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2010/03/1174/

http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2010/03/1184/

>The one thing I can be comforted by is that globally, religion is being challenged as never before and there is momentum for great change in people's perception, attitude and behaviour towards faith-based claims.

Where is the evidence? Australia has turned right & has elected a religious person as head of the government. Just saying....

Why do you even care? If there is no God there is no sort of Anti-Providence governing the affairs of men & thus no guarantee the present fad of Atheism won't reverse itself.

It's all random in that case.

BenYachov said...

I mean really Paps if there is no God and you are no longer a Christian then why continue to evangelize?

Just eat, drink, & be merry because tomorrow you die and your life dies with you & from your perspective it would be no different then if had you never been born & lived at all.

Crude said...

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Actually, no I don't. I hope only those of you who do NOT support treating 'faith' and religious belief as a 'mental illness' had a great Thanksgiving. I hope those of you who do, were disowned by your families and categorized as the moral equivalent of a child molester by them, because you basically are. May your every Thanksgiving be lonely until you repent of this, sincerely.

Both sides are arguing as if 'mental illness' is something that is concrete and can be defined precisely. But that is just silly.

Bullshit.

One side is arguing that 'faith' and 'God belief' and religious belief is deserving of being labeled as a mental illness for which treatment can be pushed upon people so as to 'cure' them of their 'mind virus'.

The other side finds that goddamn atrocious.

Stop trying to find moral equivalency here just because some of your heroes have started to - with much celebration on the part of the Cult of Gnu - take reprehensible views.

And, Frances, I quoted Boghossian directly. At length. Still you're in the hesitant 'well maybe, if he says that, I don't know for sure' mode? Great. I look forward to watching you rush to judgment with far greater speed when you're dealing with your opponents.

To top it all, all the wishy-washy or supportive-of-Bog atheists here: do remember to cry your eyes out the next time you read a survey that shows atheists are trusted about as much with political power as neo-nazis, Al Qaeda members, and the head of the local chapter of NAMBLA. Maybe, just maybe, it's because of crap like this.

Papalinton said...

"And, Frances, I quoted Boghossian directly. "

frances, so did I. Boghossian's Point 8 in which he lays out: Treat faith as a public health crisis. Two words: "contain" and "eradicate." We must do this with ethical and Constitutional concerns in mind, he says. Rather, "interventions need to be designed that counter the spread" of the virus. Our "containment strategy should promote the 'value' of believing on the basis of evidence", is set out on Pp. 216-218. Of particular note Boghossian states: "I want to be clear here that I'm not advocating making faith illegal, in the same way racism cannot be made illegal. I advocate conceptualizing the faith problem from a public health perspective and designing interventions based upon this model." He adds, "Such interventions should promote, laud, and even glamorize reliable epistemologies. That is, an inoculation and containment strategy should promote the value of believing on the basis of evidence. The specifics of how this could be accomplished are subjects for further study."

A very reasonable and practical strategy based on sound philosophical, ethical and moral principles.

The work in rigorously challenging, investigating and testing faith-based epistemologies has begun in earnest. There is no turning from this moment, no winding back the clock. I welcome the search, finally, for greater evidentiary knowledge and a real understanding of our proclivity towards the enigmatic 'religious impulse'.



Karl Grant said...

And that is the whole point about the unwarranted exemption of religious belief in a nutshell Nobody, no one knows the extent of the differentiation between "normal" religious belief and 'pathological" religious delusion.

Other people say otherwise as there are responses that support Koenig's work. Why does the opinion of these five or so people carry more weight then them or Koenig, other then the fact that they offer you an opportunity to weasel your way out of the rhetorical corner you backed yourself into?


If the evidence was so clear, as Koenig claims, then there would be no need for the the DSM-5 to invoke exemption?

DSM-5 also has other exclusions, such as a Bereavement Exclusion, that other people take umbrage with. Yet I don't see you saying this stuff about whither or not grief is a mental illness. Of course we know why. You really don't give a damn about psychiatry and about what really is a mental illness or not. All you care about is attacking your personal enemies and if psychiatry doesn't do that it must be twisted to do so.

And don't try to deny otherwise, you have been commenting on this blog for years and haven't changed one damn bit since your first post. Everybody here knows your modus operandi.

To what extent? Nobody knows with any certainty. So in fairness, Boghossian is rightly noting religious doctrine should not be exempt from pathology if indeed aspects of it are found to be causally connected. That is a most reasonable and measured call.

Well considering that atheism is classified as a religion in several countries for legal purposes....you know, we might be able to finally classify you as mentally unstable.

BenYachov said...

O'Paps you are so mercifully void of the ravages of intelligence.

>A very reasonable and practical strategy based on sound philosophical, ethical and moral principles.

No it's just mindless fideistic indoctrination of Positivist principles that are believed in based on blind faith alone.

It reminds me of anti-Catholic fundamentalists missionaries who say "You have to get the Roman Catholic to read the Bible alone without the Roman Traditions and Church Authority".

Of course if you ask the missionary "Where does the Bible teach it is the sole rule of Faith & all doctrine and revelation must come from the Bible alone interpreted privatly?" then hilarity ensues(it's not taught anywhere in the Bible. It fails the test of itself).

In a like manner someone should ask Boghossian what constitutes "evidence" and what is his evidence this is the only source of evidence to know truth? Also does this standard of evidence past the test of itself?

Then even more hilarity ensues.


>The work in rigorously challenging, investigating and testing faith-based epistemologies has begun in earnest. There is no turning from this moment, no winding back the clock. I welcome the search, finally, for greater evidentiary knowledge and a real understanding of our proclivity towards the enigmatic 'religious impulse'.

No it's just simple minded question begging by an obvious philosophical illiterate and mentally inferior smeghead.

Crude said...

Karl,

You really don't give a damn about psychiatry and about what really is a mental illness or not. All you care about is attacking your personal enemies and if psychiatry doesn't do that it must be twisted to do so.

As is the case for Boghossian. As was the case for the Soviets, the Maoists, and all the others in the (much as they hate to admit it) Cult of Gnu lineage.

Boghossian wrote his book about 'how to create atheists'. His appeals to good old-fashioned state atheist tactics are placed deliberately as a method to eradicate the 'mind virus' of religious belief. There is no hesitancy there. He sees this as a means to an end, and he's already declared belief in God to be a 'virus' which needs to be 'contained and eradicated'.

He is scum. Any supporter of his, is scum. This doesn't include all atheists, but judging by the reception of his book, it includes enough that actual reasonable atheists should be worried, and just about any theist should be threatened and denounce them accordingly.

I ask anyone who believes in 'dialog' with the cult, at this point - exactly how far do they need to go before you start treating them the same way you treat klansmen?

Papalinton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Papalinton said...

Karl
"DSM-5 also has other exclusions, such as a Bereavement Exclusion"

No it doesn't. Bereavement has been removed from exemption in the latest DSM-5 because it is now treated as a subset of depression with significant positive outcomes.

SEE HERE

And I understand with very little of the hullabaloo you imply.

I know facts are not important to you but it would help me and others if you observed a little more due diligence in your research. Thanks.

Papalinton said...

Karl
As a follow-up you might wish to overview the context in which the DSM-5 has removed Bereavement from exemption.

SEE HERE.

In part it states: "One of the charges leveled against psychiatry’s diagnostic categories is that they are often “politically motivated.” If that were true, the framers of the DSM-5 probably would have retained the so-called “bereavement exclusion” — a DSM-IV rule that instructed clinicians not to diagnose major depressive disorder (MDD) after the recent death of a loved one (bereavement) — even when the patient met the usual MDD criteria. An exception could be made only in certain cases; for example, if the patient were psychotic, suicidal, or severely impaired.
And yet, in the face of fierce criticism from many groups and organizations, the DSM-5 mood disorder experts stuck to the best available science and eliminated this exclusion rule."


Read the balance of the paper for a full understanding. The site is PsychCentral. HERE. you can read up about its bona fides, who, what and why about the administration of the site.

Cheers

Papalinton said...

Crude
"As is the case for Boghossian. As was the case for the Soviets, the Maoists, and all the others in the (much as they hate to admit it) Cult of Gnu lineage."

Funny thing here is that the Soviets and the Maoists, were not Communists because they were atheists. Nor was atheism a consequence of the belief in Communism. When belief in Communism failed, as failed epistemologies eventually do [just think of all the Eastern block countries], atheism did not die away. Indeed when Communism failed the relative mix of atheism and christians remained significantly stable. After the fall of Communism, all those Christians who pretended to be Communists became Christians again and atheists became, well became atheists again.

In the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, as well as the overwhelming majority of European nations, countries with very different histories where democracy is the enduring norm, atheism is not only a significant proportion in the population but a growing one. All these democratic countries are stable, viable and strong communities and yet atheism, or the 'nones' as researchers prefer to tag them, is on the increase if not the majority of citizens.

So it is hardly right to say atheism is a failed epistemology. Perhaps because it isn't one, or maybe because it is founded on evidentiary grounds. When one normalizes out the political considerations within the community, on such aspects as gay marriage, abortion, eligibility requirements for holding public office, tax exemptions for various organisations and institutions, appointments to the SCOTUS, etc etc, how does one explain the significant growth of the nones in a democratic country? How will a traditional faith-based epistemology meet the challenges of today's multi-focussed evidenced-based epistemology, and more importantly, match its performance and level as an explanatory tool going forward?

These are the important issues.

Karl Grant said...

Paps, my mom has a doctorate in psychology. I get a lot of her older books and manuals when the newer editions come out. I have properly forgotten more about psychology and psychiatry then you will ever know. I just don't keep up with it because my specialty is computer sciences. But thanks to her I got about three different DSM editions in my bookcase, I just looked at the newest one which is a couple of years out of date.

So the bereavement exclusion got dropped?

Big damn deal. Exactly how does that change my point, Paps? I am willing to bet dollars to donuts that you didn't even know there was a such thing as a bereavement exclusion until I mentioned it because you know nothing about Psychiatry except what you can glean from Google. Suppose it was still active, would you be saying anything about it? No, because it doesn't have anything to do with bashing religion or boosting your ego. Or are you actually gonna try and refute the charge that you don't give a damn about psychiatry and about what really is a mental illness or not and that all you care about is attacking your personal enemies and you are merely trying to co-opt psychiatry for said purpose?

Or are you gonna just try and change the subject again?

Crude said...

Karl,

Oh, don't worry too much about Linton himself. He's a hate-fueled maniac who would turn his own child or grandchild in to the state authorities for the crime of 'Christ-worship' if he could. He's now got, indisputably, 'hate-filled monster who defends state-ordered child molestation' to go with his 'plagiarist and liar' tags.

The best thing about Bog's little rant is that it's going to make it very easy to expose the Cult of Gnu for what it is: a religion of hate, populated by dangerous mental midgets who other atheists need to attack, disavow and disown. They are to atheism what the WBC is to Christianity.

Papalinton said...

Karl
"Paps, my mom has a doctorate in psychology."

Thanks Karl. I see now where you're coming from. Of interest, was your Mom upset when the new DSM dropped the exemption on bereavement or was she in favour of it? Would she be upset if faith-based conditions such as religious pathologies were removed from the exemption ruling?

In the end I suspect such an exemption will be removed as we investigate and learn more of what drives religious belief, what the underlying conditions are for both the 'normal' and the delusional. That would be good thing, wouldn't it/ Wouldn't you want to know? And what's more important you yourself will know what is normal religious belief and what is delusional. Religious belief would then be in the clear without the baggage of the much bandied mental illness tag, even atheism.

The following paper: "The Relationship between Religion and Mental Disorders in a Korean Population", at the NIH National Centre for Biotechnology Centre's PubMed HERE investigated the relationship and the salient element of its conclusion is in part outlined below:

"Strong spiritual values were positively associated with increased rates of current depressive disorder and decreased rates of current alcohol use disorder. Using "atheist" as the reference category, Catholics had higher lifetime odds of single episodes of depression whilst Protestants had higher lifetime odds of anxiety disorder and lower lifetime odds of alcohol use disorders."

It's interesting that atheists were used as a control group in such a highly religious country. Catholics had higher episodes of depression while Protestants had higher anxiety disorders but they didn't hit the bottle as much a atheists did. [The study was funded by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare in 2001. Technical support was provided by Dr. Harry Minas, Associate Professor, Center for International Mental Health, School of Population Health, the University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.]

The researchers do go on and say that much more research must be carried out to determine the extent of the relationship between Religion and Mental Disorders. Quite a detailed report. Please read.

Papalinton said...

Crude
"He's a hate-fueled maniac who would turn his own child or grandchild in to the state authorities for the crime of 'Christ-worship' if he could. He's now got, indisputably, 'hate-filled monster who defends state-ordered child molestation' to go with his 'plagiarist and liar' tags."

I know you play the hyperbole game very well. There really is no hate; just the unquenchable thirst to know the truth, to get at the evidence, to set aside the tradition of accepting answers because someone simply told you so. I'm sure you do appreciate this quest. Who knows, I may be able to help you, and myself, to better understand the religious 'tick' that 'tocks' within us all. Just because I find a belief in God an unnecessary impediment doesn't mean that I don't feel the tick-tock of this enduring predisposition. It's just that I seem to have managed to discipline its more unruly elements, particularly the penchant for using a faith-based epistemology to support debate and argument.

Anyway, the next couple decades should iron out much of what we debate today. I actually look forward to the future. It becomes rosier every day despite the fact two good steps forward may also be followed by the reality of a very bad one step back. But we are definitely moving in the right direction. Don't you think?

William said...

Pap:

The DSM-5 is the least evidence based of the various Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals. Why? Because it was designed so that anything that might make someone see a psychiatrist is considered a disease,so that it is billable under American health insurances.

So call it the DEM (Diagnostic Economics Manual), lol.

With regard to what psychiatric conditions are more "real", I would have say it is complicated.

There are definitely biological factors in psychosis, but it's likely that our categories like "schizoprenia" or "bipolar I" or "PTSD" and so forth are society's attempt to classify based on behavior, which is more environmentally influenced and varies independently of the biology.

There is NO evidence of a biological category for faith, any more than there is for politics. Such things have lots of un-reproducible, flawed studies in the literature, but these sit on the boundary between science and pseudoscience, imo.

Karl Grant said...

Of interest, was your Mom upset when the new DSM dropped the exemption on bereavement or was she in favour of it?

Like William said, she and a lot of her colleagues view at as the least evidence based version of the DSM.

Would she be upset if faith-based conditions such as religious pathologies were removed from the exemption ruling?

"Religious patholigies"? You might as well be talking about political pathologies or humanist pathologies or economic theory pathologies. Pathology is the study and diagnosis of a disease (quite a loaded word you got there and rather telling about how your mind is already made up about the subject); but these are ideologies. You pretty much want to label devotion to an ideological framework a disease; completely oblivious to how much that can backfire on you.

Religious belief would then be in the clear without the baggage of the much bandied mental illness tag, even atheism.

The only reason it has that mental illness tag to begin with it is because of the people like Boghossian who you are defending.

Papalinton said...

Karl
That's really interesting. You're saying that your mum, in her professional capacity considers the DSM-5 as nothing more than a DEM (Diagnostic Economics Manual), 'like William said'. She really does consider it as the " ... least evidence based version of the DSM"? And she's a professional psychiatrist, right?

Well! If she and William say so then it must be true. Who am I to say otherwise? They really need to inform the NIH of this evidence. That would be the professionally right thing to do, wouldn't you say?

What do others think of this evidence? The DSM-5 is the least evidenced based version? I find the enormity of your mom's claim a little hard to grasp. So I guess the book description of the DSM-5:

"This new edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), used by clinicians and researchers to diagnose and classify mental disorders, is the product of more than 10 years of effort by hundreds of international experts in all aspects of mental health. Their dedication and hard work have yielded an authoritative volume that defines and classifies mental disorders in order to improve diagnoses, treatment, and research. This manual, which creates a common language for clinicians involved in the diagnosis of mental disorders, includes concise and specific criteria intended to facilitate an objective assessment of symptom presentations in a variety of clinical settings inpatient, outpatient, partial hospital, consultation-liaison, clinical, private practice, and primary care. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, is the most comprehensive, current, and critical resource for clinical practice available to today's mental health clinicians and researchers of all orientations. The information contained in the manual is also valuable to other physicians and health professionals, including psychologists, counselors, nurses, and occupational and rehabilitation therapists, as well as social workers and forensic and legal specialists. DSM-5 is the most definitive resource for the diagnosis and classification of mental disorders."

is all a bunch of lies. Perhaps even a Big Pharma or a global scientistic conspiracy? Can any other reader point to confirming evidence that the DSM-5 as the least evidence-based version?

At bottom Karl I do think you may have inadvertently compromised your mum's professional credibility with this somewhat bold claim. That I hope you haven't done.


Papalinton said...

Mrs Grant has quals in Psychology not Psychiatry as I infer.

Karl Grant said...

Well! If she and William say so then it must be true. Who am I to say otherwise? They really need to inform the NIH of this evidence. That would be the professionally right thing to do, wouldn't you say?

Well, they will probably take her and William's word over a known plagiarist and slanderer who would be hard pressed to distinguish his ass from his elbow without Google. And obviously you have never worked in a technical field as there are always people in said field who disagree with the so-called definitive manual. Otherwise there would only be one edition or did you not think that part out?

I find the enormity of your mom's claim a little hard to grasp. So I guess the book description of the DSM-5:

That is all you can come up with? Quoting the manual's acknowledgements? Every edition has something like that printed in the front and when DSM-6 comes out it will have something similar printed in the front. Of course, you are the one in this discussion demanding a change to the DSM-5 concerning the religion exclusion. So obviously you don't think the current edition is the most definitive resource for the diagnosis and classification of mental disorders either since you are demanding changes be made to it. And considering how you are defending PeteBog, who is also advocating changes to the DSM-V, which means that he doesn't view it as definitive either. Does he damage his professional credibility by criticizing the DSM-V too?

But hey, what can I say? You didn't think that comeback and attempt at slander through, did you? You (a person with no training and experience in the field) can't at the same time criticize the current manual and demand changes and defend the advocacy of other people who share your ideological outlook for changes to the manual and then turn around and condemn others (who actually have training and experience in the field) criticizing the manual. Well, you can but it shows the world what a hypocrite you are.

Papalinton said...

Oh yes. The DSM-5 is definitive. I cannot dispute that. That is a given.

But why the religious exemption? There is no scientific, medical or clinical reason why it should be.

The following is the DSM-IV’s definition of delusion:

“A false belief based on incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained despite what almost everyone else believes and despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary. The belief is not one ordinarily accepted by other members of the person’s culture or subculture (e.g. it is not an article of religious faith). When a false belief involves a value judgment, it is regarded as a delusion only when the judgment is so extreme as to defy credibility. Delusional conviction occurs on a continuum and can sometimes be inferred from an individual’s behavior. It is often difficult to distinguish between a delusion and an overvalued idea (in which case the individual has an unreasonable belief or idea but does not hold it as firmly as is the case with a delusion)” (2000, p. 765).

Religious belief seems to fall fully into the DSM category of delusion. As Professor Coyne notes: "Again, religion gets a pass in society. Why should someone’s belief be a delusion only if it’s held by a minority of people? In the important respect of being “an incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained,” and one that “defies credibility,” religion is a delusion. But note how religious faith is specifically exempted. Further, many individuals’ religious behaviors do indicate a delusional conviction (falling on one’s knees and talking to an imaginary friend, eating wafers, bowing toward Mecca five times a day, and so on)."

And this notion of numbers of believers determines whether it is a delusion or not is a very spurious definition. It does not account for an earlier paper from the NIH's CBMI which states: "From an individual standpoint, a dimensional approach to delusional thinking (emphasizing conviction, preoccupation, and extension rather than content) may be useful in examining what is and is not pathological. When beliefs are shared by others, the idiosyncratic can become normalized. Therefore, recognition of social dynamics and the possibility of entire delusional subcultures is necessary in the assessment of group beliefs."

It simply seems the exemption is unwarranted when read against the DSM-IV definition and the normalisation of idiosyncratic views in subculture behaviour.

Anyway, better people than I will no doubt resolve the issue of delusional religious belief for inclusion in future DSMs. And the investigative ball has begun to roll.






Karl Grant said...

Oh yes. The DSM-5 is definitive. I cannot dispute that. That is a given.

Really? Then why have you spent the entire thread arguing that it is flawed, that religion is excluded from mental disorders because of political and social reasons (i.e. you don't think it is based on evidence and passages in it are politically motivated)? You have been disputing the fact the DSM-5 is definitive from your first fucking post in this thread. You are continuing to do so with you last post.

That is why you utter lines like this But why the religious exemption? There is no scientific, medical or clinical reason why it should be. Either it is definitive and the people who put it together knew what they were doing and the religious exclusion has good reason for being there. Or it is flawed, that there is no scientific, medical or clinical reason for some passages in it (like the religious exclusion) and some paragraphs are there simply for political reasons (i.e. religious exclusion). You can't have it both ways, Paps.

So either you are unashamed bald-faced liar or your capacity for self-delusion is unmatched. Which is it?

Chris said...

If Paplinton is not a professional entertainer, then he's truly missed his calling.

Papalinton said...

Karl
"That is why you utter lines like this But why the religious exemption? There is no scientific, medical or clinical reason why it should be. Either it is definitive and the people who put it together knew what they were doing and the religious exclusion has good reason for being there. Or it is flawed, that there is no scientific, medical or clinical reason for some passages in it (like the religious exclusion) and some paragraphs are there simply for political reasons (i.e. religious exclusion). You can't have it both ways, Paps."

I'm not looking to upset you. It's just that there is no good reason for a blanket ban on religious belief and be excluded from proper diagnosis. That's all. You and I both know that such a ban is unwarranted. We both know there are religious loonies out there {WBC?]. What we don't know is the extent of pathological delusion and the symptoms of manifestation. It's a two-way process. A case in point, in the 1970's homosexuality was deemed a mental illness and treated accordingly. Until the overwhelming evidence showed that it was in great part a genetic orientation with no pathology as an illness. Equally, bereavement has been included as a medicalized condition when it meets all the conditions of an MDD [major depressive disorder] and for which such a diagnosis could be positively treated with various drug and psycho- therapies.

Definitive simply means the best available information currently known. The religion exclusion has not been tested, but simply carried over. As the NIH's NCBI paper notes:

"""In clinical practice, no clear guidelines exist to distinguish between "normal" religious beliefs and "pathological" religious delusions."

Surely that situation merits quality research to be undertaken, no?

Karl Grant said...

I'm not looking to upset you.

Bullshit, you come here all the damn time mocking and belittling anybody who does not share your dumbass opinions. Just a few posts up you insinuated my mom was incompetent in her chosen profession for being critical of the DSM-V despite the fact you and the guy you are defending being critical of, and demanding changes be made to, the exact same manual. Odd tactics for someone who claims he is not looking to upset people. Tell me something, are you really that deluded about your actions or you just a pathetic liar and intellectual coward that can't own up to consequences of what he says?

It's just that there is no good reason for a blanket ban on religious belief and be excluded from proper diagnosis.

How about the fact that religion is ideological and not biological? A distinction that was pointed out earlier and you, of course, ignored.

You and I both know that such a ban is unwarranted.

Ah, so you are a mind-reader now? You must be to claim that I know such a ban is unwarranted despite all evidence to the contrary, such as me arguing with you on the point for the last two days. And here I didn't think you believed in psychic phenomenon.

We both know there are religious loonies out there {WBC?].

Oh and what makes the WBC mentally ill besides the fact they don't share your world view? They're bigoted, no doubt about that, but for you to classify them as mentally ill you have to show that their mental processes interfere with normal functioning. And considering how most of the WBC are lawyers good luck there.

Papalinton said...

"We both know there are religious loonies out there {WBC?].

Oh and what makes the WBC mentally ill besides the fact they don't share your world view? They're bigoted, no doubt about that, but for you to classify them as mentally ill you have to show that their mental processes interfere with normal functioning. And considering how most of the WBC are lawyers good luck there."


I think you're right, there. But the irony is, it's not my worldview that is problematic. It's how their Christian worldview differs markedly from yours and every other christian believer on this site. It just seems ironic and a bit of a stretch, I might add, to say that they are just bigoted. For what reason? Is it because they are mentally ill [and you've already ruled that out] or is it they are bigoted because of their religious belief? Because if that is the case, It really doesn't say much for the oft-touted claim of belief being a reliable source epistemically, does it now? It seems whatever constitutes religious belief is very much in the eye of the beholder, and not a universal, wouldn't you say?

Keep in mind the NIH's NCBI paper I have referred to a few times now:

"From an individual standpoint, a dimensional approach to delusional thinking (emphasizing conviction, preoccupation, and extension rather than content) may be useful in examining what is and is not pathological. When beliefs are shared by others, the idiosyncratic can become normalized. Therefore, recognition of social dynamics and the possibility of entire delusional subcultures is necessary in the assessment of group beliefs."

Surely such expressions of bigotry so classically exemplified by the WBC is worthy of serious neuroscientific research to determine whether there is a pathological link between their behaviour and their religious beliefs. If most Christians on this site keep citing the WBC of the worst of the Christian lunatic fringe I would have thought such investigation would be productive.






So you agree

Dustin Crummett said...

Well! If she and William say so then it must be true. Who am I to say otherwise? They really need to inform the NIH of this evidence. That would be the professionally right thing to do, wouldn't you say?

Papalinton, the uh... the NIH already knows...

"The strength of each of the editions of DSM has been 'reliability' – each edition has ensured that clinicians use the same terms in the same ways. The weakness is its lack of validity. Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure. In the rest of medicine, this would be equivalent to creating diagnostic systems based on the nature of chest pain or the quality of fever. Indeed, symptom-based diagnosis, once common in other areas of medicine, has been largely replaced in the past half century as we have understood that symptoms alone rarely indicate the best choice of treatment...

That is why NIMH will be re-orienting its research away from DSM categories. Going forward, we will be supporting research projects that look across current categories – or sub-divide current categories – to begin to develop a better system."

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/director/2013/transforming-diagnosis.shtml

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/side-effects/201305/the-nimh-withdraws-support-dsm-5

http://www.amazon.com/Book-Woe-DSM-Unmaking-Psychiatry/dp/0399158537

Papalinton said...

Dustin
"Papalinton, the uh... the NIH already knows..."

I'm unclear as to why this is directed at me but thanks for the information. This is the kind of information that makes my heart zing happily. Since I discovered [which was not that long ago] that religion was exempted from the DSM and that there was no research into what distinguished 'normal' religious belief from 'pathological' religious delusion, it seemed odd that the DSM would have needed to invoke a specific exemption.
If the prospect of a change from symptom-based classifications is better able to diagnose and determine the pathologies behind mental disturbance, then I say, "Go for it". It can only be a good thing. I simply wish the two-volume Christian manual was also open to the great benefits that result from ongoing formative reviews, acknowledging and incorporating the growth of consolidated evidential knowledge over time, ditching the rubbish and refining the positives. The likelihood of that though seems remote, don't you think? As indeed just as unlikely as it is for the Koran, the Vedas, Dianetics [The book of Scientology] along with the book of Mormon.

Karl Grant said...

It's how their Christian worldview differs markedly from yours and every other christian believer on this site. It just seems ironic and a bit of a stretch, I might add, to say that they are just bigoted....It seems whatever constitutes religious belief is very much in the eye of the beholder, and not a universal, wouldn't you say?

One, question begging. Two, that is your subjective opinion and you have a proven and well documented track record of saying anything to make yourself look good and to try score rhetorical points so it doesn't count for much. Three, you are implying that people having differences of opinion (no matter if the opinion bigoted or not) within an ideological framework somehow indicative of mental illness and warrants medical and scientific investigation.

That is asinine in the extreme; we might as well investigate all politicians for mental illness come election time. That is the end result of this line of "reasoning" you are pursuing; you are watering down the criteria for the study and diagnosis of mental disorders to the point they are meaningless and anybody and everybody could be diagnosed with a mental disorder. Including you and your granddaughter. Say she is atheist, shall we say she is fucked in the head because she has a major difference of opinion with you and your buddies over what atheism entails? Especially if this difference of opinion makes her bigoted towards certain groups? Because that is the path you are walking down right now.