Do you believe religion has negative mental repercussions?

It appears that extreme religious delusion poses some threat to the sanity of the human mind.

Those who are no longer with religion say that they still have flashbacks to believing in "god", even sometimes talking to "him" when they are lonely, even praying in some sort. I myself no longer do this but the idea of god still drifts to me sometimes... I was with religion for 12 years of my life, it's very difficult to get those ideas out of my mind.

I'm guessing religion possibly has a (likely permanent) negative effect on the human brain, depending on how long the believer stays with the religion.

If you look at folks who are still deeply deluded with religion, they appear to be in some other kind of state than we are, almost as if they aren't entirely sure of what they are saying. It's very strange. In this case, I'm guessing religion does the job it was intended to do - to turn people in tho sheepish followers who do not dare question the validity of their beliefs.

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I've just been reading about the Filipinos who got themselves beaten up and nailed to a cross last Friday. I think you are right when you say: "It appears that extreme religious delusion poses some threat to the sanity of the human mind."
I agree with everyone else...In talking with them in e mails,I find I hit a brick wall at some point and their delusions come into play making it impossible to make my points understood.
What really ticks me off is when they rant at me cause i don't respect their beliefs.
Why should I?
I read the title of this post and I hallucinated "negative mental retardation."

It's a sign.

I was actually going to use that phrase, but I decided not to. :P
Even after you reject religion, you can never really seem to expel "God" from your mind.

Aside from just the past beliefs themselves tormenting you, I think the people around you can hurt, too. Like when your hysterical mother says your religious debates shed years off her life, or when you have to sell out not to lose a God-fearing friend.

This sounds cruel, but generally the more strict or Orthodox, the more socially maladjusted. It makes sense. The Bible seems to condone sexism, racism, and bigotry. It bans you from eating shellfish, walking too much on Sunday, and encourages you to stone people in the streets.

I have a hard time letting go of only one aspect of religion (besides the petty social gatherings and dresses), and that's death. It's really hard for me. What will I do when someone I love passes? They will. And religion has set me up for failure. Instead of being taught how to truly cope with loss, I've been taught to believe something that will give me false hope. And now I don't have even that, and I can't anymore. I think that's the biggest influence religion has.
How far down the path to delusion do you have to be for it to be a threat to your sanity or a threat to society? Is there really a line drawn in the sand? Is it bold and clear so that we can tell one from the other? I for one have trouble making the distinction. Just looking at a prosyletizing minister and asking yourself, "could this self righteous, yapping little worm ever promote true tolerance for what he perceives to be hedonsitic miscreants?" I think not. Archaic tribal thought promotes the "us against them" mindset which is in fact very dangerous and can only end in one way; history has made this abundantly clear.

The idea that some omnipotent deity is on your side and that everyone else is wrong is in fact not just bizarre but it is an enabler. In the name of such a being you would do anything that this dictator of objective morality will tell you to do. Granted, invisible friends don't usually say much but people do "hear voices" and further to that opportunists linger everywhere waiting for an opportunity to lead the flock. This scenerio is a dismal direction for otherwise intelligent people to stumble on to.

Any doctrine that encourages faith rather than falsifiable evidence in order to distinguish truth from fiction is dangerous. It poisons thought, thwarts logic and reasoning and promotes, glorifies and gives credence to schizzophrenic babble.
Religion certainly does cause mental problems, not only in stiffling any form of curiosity about the world around them but also and more seriously in the case of a friend of mine she was hallucinating the voice of God and and having visions of spirits and angels and she did end up being detained under the mental health act which in England means you are detained in a mental hospital for 90 days for observation.
Wether she was already suffering from mental health problems before she 'found God' is a moot point, religious groups are very good at targeting the vunerable and mentally ill.

Some of the more extreme funamentalists I read about in American wouldn't last five minutes in england with being arrested and sectioned under the mental health act. ( its called sectioning because its section 4 of the mental health act which is invoked when someone is detained for reasons of their mental health)
If an individual claims that they have a relationship with something or someone that communicates with them personally, but that no one else can see or hear (a giant pig that lives in the sky for example), nor is there any evidence that this being exists, we call such an individual insane. If an individual claims to have a personal relationship and personal communication with god (an all knowing invisible being that lives in the sky, for which we have no evidence) we call such an individual 'religious'. The former gets locked up in a mental institution, the latter wins some form of social kudos for being a righteous 'believer'.
The ritualistic habits of people with mental conditions such as severe autism, OCD, and the like are astonishingly similar to many religious rituals. It is my strong opinion that religious belief itself is a form of mental illness.
I had an experience once that I'd like to share because I think illustrates your point quite clearly.

I had a long conversation with a christian theist at work. Unlike many christians I've met he was intelligent, erudite, eloquent and well-spoken. LIKE many christians I've me, he was also pretty damn good at emotional manipulation. After hours of conversing back and forth, I started to reach a point of intellectual exhaustion and emotionality that I wasn't prepared for. He said, "Listen to me: If you really believe and ask Jesus to reveal himself to you... he will." Then he left to get coffee. I felt this strange feeling all over my body. It was a combination of numbness and tension, so I called out to Jesus and asked him, almost begged him, to reveal himself to me. Then, I waited... and waited... and waited.

The music in the background and the whisper quiet hum of computer monitors only served to punctuate the silence. The tingling, emotional tension slowly went away, and I only felt ridiculous. I had, in a moment of intellectual weakness, fell back into those irrational beliefs that infected my human brain like a virus.

In "The God Delusion" Professor Dawkins talks about how and why our brains evolved the irrationality that we have. Its not our fault that we aren't (can't be really) rational all the time. That religion contributes to this irrationality goes without saying, I should think, but the important thing is that we can combat it with the same brain architecture that gives us rationality.
religon is detrimental because it is the ultimate cop out,
anything/everything is "God's Will", taking all personal
responsibility out of the equation, it's philosophical welfare.
nothing is your fault, once you believe that anything can
be justified...
Are there any clinical studies that show a link between religion and psychological problems?
A good friend of mine from high school committed suicide at the young age of 18.  I think if his particular case were studied, you'd find that years of religious indoctrination and guilt fomented by his parents led him to rebel against his own human impulses, which in turn led to some form DSM-IV diagnosable mental disorder.  So yes, I think religion has vast negative mental repercussions.  He pulled the trigger himself, but religion gave him the gun, metaphorically speaking.


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