I’ve seen some atheists throw this out there as the reason people are religious/Christians. I cringe each time I see it. If people who are religious are so because they are mentally ill that is like saying that I was mentally ill and have been cured because I am no longer religious. I don’t think that I was mentally ill. I think I believed a falsehood. That doesn’t make a person mentally ill. It belittles those who are actually mentally ill. It’s like saying finding one’s way out of religion is a cure for mental illness. Which is just as utterly stupid as saying that finding Jesus is the cure for it.
I’m sure many of you have heard the claim that religion is a mental illness. I despise this claim. It is insulting to those of us who actually suffer from mental illnesses and it is insulting to those who are religious, regardless of whether or not they suffer from mental illness. In fact, I’d say it’s doubly insulting to those theists who actually do suffer from a mental illness.
So what is a mental illness? According to http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/mental-illness/#.VXTVjEaJJc8, “Mental illnesses are health problems that affect the way we think about ourselves, relate to others, and interact with the world around us. They affect our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Mental illnesses can disrupt a person’s life or create challenges, but with the right supports, a person can get back on a path to recovery and wellness.” Obviously this is a very broad definition that can be applied to many different things…
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