What is the correlation between religiosity & insanity?

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  1. gmwilliams profile image83
    gmwilliamsposted 3 years ago

    What is the correlation between religiosity & insanity?


  2. ValKaras profile image86
    ValKarasposted 3 years ago

    One is a manifestation of another.
    If I told you to believe in something  -  but it won't make you smarter, healthier, better looking, happier, more successful  -  what would be your most rational response? I guess it would be the one that snake oil salesmen are regularly getting from normal people.

    For a moment, let's suppose that being religious somehow contributes to our peace of mind. Now, shouldn't that worry us a little that we are using something without any evidence of its existence to fix our emotional issues or our excessive sensitivity to the outside world? One doesn't have to be a shrink to consider some more rational options, like fixing our bodily chemistry, get more rest, get a hobby, socialize more, laugh more, get into a meaningful relationship... that sort of stuff. In other words  -  something tangible, not a fairy tale.

    On intellectual level, how do we really justify a fixation on a set of ideas without ever questioning them? Life is growth, change, challenge of the old. If we don't grow, we stagnate.

    So we get ourselves immersed into a ritualistic style of life that insists on replaying the same broken record over and over. How is that healthy? Can't we recognize it as existential fear of uncertainty, as we are beating on the same drum until our brain becomes so dull of repetitious neural pathways that we can't jump out of that groove anymore. We literally become prisoners of our minds.

    As that brilliant scientist Candice Pert discovered, after using any same stimulus for a while, it starts fitting into our cellular pleasure receptors, so we can get addicted to something harmful or nonsensical. Take a woman who keeps getting battered by her man but can't leave him.

    Well, this is exactly the kind of response that I am likely to get from religionists  -  "You don't know how divine it feels". I know how  -  like a marijuana joint.
    By the way, some of these are quite predictable by now, and to them I promise  -  I won't discuss with them. I said what I meant to say, and I won't edit it, defend it, or bother proving it. Also, I am not an Einstein, but just too smart to be provoked by insults.

    1. Austinstar profile image84
      Austinstarposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      On HubPages, you are allowed to speak your mind. And I, for one, respect your ideas. You make sense. I don't know why some people believe their gods are literally real, but I do know that they are fooling themselves. They need to face reality.

    2. ValKaras profile image86
      ValKarasposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Grace  - Thank you for selecting my answer.

  3. tamarawilhite profile image90
    tamarawilhiteposted 3 years ago

    Religiosity / spirituality is not a mental illness in and of itself. If it were, the majority would be insane, while sanity is defined by the majority.

    1. Austinstar profile image84
      Austinstarposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I do not understand what you are saying. Can you clarify it? People that see and hear entities that aren't there are generally considered to have some sort of mental aberration. Not sure who or what actually determines "sanity", if anything does.

  4. Austinstar profile image84
    Austinstarposted 3 years ago

    Religiosity is defined as: "a comprehensive sociological term used to refer to the numerous aspects of religious activity, dedication, and belief (religious doctrine)."
    Sanity is defined as: "the ability to think and behave in a normal and rational manner; sound mental health." Also as "reasonable and rational behavior".
    What is "normal" is determined by society and culture, not necessarily by the "majority".
    Using a cell phone to communicate would be an example of "reasonable and rational behavior". But if the majority of its users text instead of talk on those phone, that does not make "texting" Normal just because of the majority of people doing it.
    To me, religiosity is a social situation that requires a high amount of judgemental thought processes. And most religions start from the NEGATIVE as in, "all humans are born in sin or are imperfect in some way". The only way to be accepted (saved) to this club is to follow their rules.
    Unfortunately, their rules make no sense, some of them are the outright result of insanity - people hearing voices, experiencing raptures, talking in tongues, seeing things that are not there or that no one else can see, having vivid dreams of heaven or hell, feelings of superiority, believing in magic/demons/sorcery/ghosts/reincarnations/life after death/3,000 gods.
    "Normal" or logical people do not actually experience these things. They may at times, lie, and say that they do, but they can still tell the difference between reality and fantasy, which makes them sane.
    Most of mankind has a social urge. A longing to "belong" to a group. This is probably an evolutionary defense mechanism as it is easier to survive in a group than it is to survive solo. Some have described this longing as a "god shaped hole".
    If one can break free from group think and the insanity of religion, they discover their natural ability to survive in a crazy world. No amount of believing in a thing will make it real. You can wish and pray all you want, but grandpa isn't going to give you a hug ever again after he dies. Your beloved pets aren't going to come back to life either. And your severed legs cannot be faith healed.
    Religion will not save an insane person, nor will it make a sane person religious. But the vestigial longing to join the crowd is a strong one. It has just passed its point of usefulness in today's world. We are able to survive quite well on our own now. It doesn't even matter if you are religious or not.

    1. ValKaras profile image86
      ValKarasposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Lela  -  I totally agree.

  5. tsadjatko profile image61
    tsadjatkoposted 3 years ago


    I would suspect that correlation is the same as insanity in the general population regardless  of religion. As a matter of fact the numbers show that to be true.

    Of course insanity is a relative term. What is one person's insanity is another's treasure, or was that idiom about trash? I digress...

    The point is if you want to equate insanity with any one group or type of people there is one faction that is 100% insane. Now that's a correlation I'd like to investigate. Let's do that.

    How about this, a group of people who hate a God that they don’t even believe exists. Their thoughts are consistent in their bitter hatred toward a God that they believe was created by the minds of human beings. They despise the very God who made them yet they don't believe he exists. Sounds insane, well let's see. The worldview which insists we cannot believe (or know) anything aside from our senses is just as mentally ill as a worldview which insists that we cannot believe our senses. Think about how much we take for granted which exists “outside” our physical senses . . . like thought itself. Hope, love, friendship, honor, morality, and knowledge come to mind, as does the concept of self. Therefore the individual known as Richard Dawkins does not exist. He is simply an amalgamation of physical processes and organs. This is the ground which atheism is forced to defend, which is insanity.

    So which is the smart party, here? Is it the atheists, who live short, selfish, stunted little lives – often childless (studies show) – before they approach hopeless death in despair, and their worthless corpses are chucked in a trench (or, if they are wrong, their souls go to Hell)? Or is it the believers, who live longer, happier, healthier, more generous lives, and who have more kids, (studies show) 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 were created to believe, which is one crucial reason why believers are happier!

    To sum it all up, watch this video, he explains the irrationality of atheism quite clearly.
    http://www.faithit.com/the-problem-with … ist-today/

    1. savvydating profile image94
      savvydatingposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Well said, Tsad. One has to wonder why anyone would want to ask this question in the first place. It's really rather sad.

    2. tsadjatko profile image61
      tsadjatkoposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, a sane person might say you'd have to be insane to ask such a question.


    3. savvydating profile image94
      savvydatingposted 3 years agoin reply to this


  6. fpherj48 profile image75
    fpherj48posted 3 years ago

    Grace,  First I would have to agree that there IS a correlation to any significant degree, which I clearly do not.  The terms you present, "religiosity" & "insanity" are each extremely broad, highly complex & totally individual aspects of the human psyche.  With this in mind, we then need to stretch even further, longer and in serious depth to extrapolate upon the "human psyche."
    Since I don't have the remainder of my existence to create a volume of tomes that would encompass such an enormous assignment, I will attempt my best to simplify in a brief but comprehensible missive to respond to your precarious question.

    Under the topic heading here as Psychology & Psychiatry, clinically speaking, "religiosity" fits directly into the realm of "spirituality."  Having stated this much, distinct attention then must be given to the clinical definition of "insanity," which as you may or perhaps may not know falls under the heading of hundreds of mental issues, illnesses, syndromes & conditions of the human mind.  Each and every individual case of suspected and/or diagnosed presentation of any single or combination of the above mentioned conditions of the human psyche are then subject to
    findings by appropriately educated, licensed, board certified professionals in this specific field.    Stay with me...........

    If you are asking here if it is possible that a person's spirituality can manifest itself as insanity, be it temporary or permanent, the rational answer would be, anything is "possible."  However, because this is not an immediate probability and certainly not documented as a common occurrence, my moral obligation would be to suggest the "correlation" between the two is not at all the sole cause of any perceived problem.

    What can be attested to through extensive research as well as documented findings is continual evidence of the benefit and curative effects of an individual's degree of spirituality in the basis of mental stability.  Simply put in layman's terms:  If not for the presence of faith, spiritual characteristics & a quality of strength that literally comes from "within" a human being, the mental institutions would far out number prisons and be filled to well over capacity at all times.  If you know the massive number of prisons that exist as more and more are being built....that's an astounding statement.  True, nonetheless.
    I am pleased to have provided a response to your question.


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