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Was Jesus Crazy?

Updated on August 12, 2014
Temptation of Christ
Temptation of Christ

When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion.

--Robert M Pirsig

Jesus' mental state

Jesus was one of the most controversial and charismatic figures of his time. His teachings were iconoclastic. His personality and demeanor were disruptive and shocking to the social order. Jesus claimed to be the son of God, an outrageous assertion for any person in any time or place, but especially in the extremely religious world of first century Palestine.

His claim to divinity and omnipotence is also typical of certain mental disorders. There are other indications in Jesus' behavior that he may have been deranged.

Paranoid Schizophrenia

Assuming the stories of Jesus' life represent real experiences of the man, a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia is probably the most likely if Jesus was mentally unstable. Symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia include:

  • Auditory hallucinations, such as hearing voices
  • Delusions, such as believing a co-worker wants to poison you
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Emotional distance
  • Violence
  • Argumentativeness
  • Self-important or condescending manner
  • Suicidal thoughts and behavior

Delusions can include the belief that an authority or institution is "out to get you" or monitoring one's every move. They can also include delusions of grandeur, in which one believes they can do amazing or impossible things. Auditory hallucinations are sounds or voices that no one else can hear. Paranoid schizophrenics are usually able to function more or less normally in day-to-day life. This is relatively unique among sufferers of schizophrenia.

Jesus' willing acceptance of execution by Roman authorities is arguably an indication of suicidal behavior. This passiveness in the face of death has been understood by Christian tradition as Jesus "having a plan" all along. His belief that he had miraculous powers of healing and other powers may indicate delusions of grandeur. Another potential example of delusional behavior is Jesus' reference to bread and wine as his "body" and "blood" for the Apostles to eat and drink, during the Last Supper (Matthew 26: 26-28).

Jesus had conversations with what he considered to be Satan (Matthew 4: 1-11), and claimed to be in communication with God the Father. Jesus exhibited other symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia: anxiety, anger, emotional distance, argumentativeness and condescension.

Jesus Ministered to by Angels
Jesus Ministered to by Angels | Source

Biblical indications of mental disturbance

Jesus believed he was sent by God on a special mission:

Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me." (John 7:16)

Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, "You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me." (John 7: 28-29)

A common belief in paranoid schizophrenics is that they have been "sent" on a "mission," and that they are "chosen" above others for some special purpose.

Paranoid schizophrenics often borrow from the cultural context to construct their delusions. For instance, John Nash, the genius American mathematician who went through this disorder in the 1950s, believed that communists were plotting against him. If Jesus was a paranoid schizophrenic, it makes sense that he would understand his delusions in the context of the beliefs and motifs of his culture: miracles, the God of the Hebrews, the Jewish messiah and the prophecies of the Old Testament all played a role in his claims.

Jesus exhibited delusional and erratic behavior. One example is his chastising of Peter, one of his followers, seeming to refer to him as Satan:

And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, "Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." (Mark 8: 31-33)

Perhaps Jesus thought Peter was Satan in this moment, or that he was possessed by Satan. This passage also demonstrates a belief that the power structure (the elders, chief priests and scribes) is aligned against him.

Jesus often refers to himself in the third person, perhaps indicating delusions of self-importance:

Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. For He taught His disciples and said to them, "The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day." But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him. (Mark 9: 30-32)

His followers may have been "afraid to ask him" to clarify this statement because they were intimidated by his erratic behavior or unpredictable temper. This passage again demonstrates conspiratorial paranoia on the part of Jesus.

Jesus also made contradictory statements and claims. He says:

Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it. (Mark 10: 15)

So only children are eligible. Yet later in Mark 10 he says, also assuredly:

So Jesus answered and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time... and in the age to come, eternal life." (Mark 10: 29-30)

Jesus displayed physically violent behavior once during the Gospels:

Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.'" (Matthew 21: 12-13)

Jesus' childhood

Mental disturbances often have their roots in childhood. A difficult family life or alienation from parents can contribute to mental problems later in life. In Jesus' case, the myth of his virgin birth points to a potentially troubled childhood. His mother Mary was already pregnant by the time of her engagement to Joseph, a shocking and outrageous occurrence in a culture where female virginity held paramount importance.

Thus it is quite plausible that Mary's extramarital relations, whether a one-time occurrence or an ongoing feature of the marriage, sowed the seeds of mistrust and animosity between Mary and Joseph. It is not hard to imagine a very difficult childhood, or father Joseph as a potential emotional or physical abuser of Mary and Jesus.

The death of Jesus

A major piece of evidence that Jesus was mentally disturbed is the fact that he went to the grave for his beliefs. Rather than simply relinquish his fantastic claims to avoid pain, torture and death, he held onto them until the very end. It is very hard to imagine a sane person behaving this way. A sane person may concoct an unbelievable story, but when push comes to shove and his life is in danger, he will usually relent. Even pride or the desire for a "legacy" or to save face is rarely enough to overcome the basic survival impulse in a normal person.

Jesus' genius, insanity and legacy

Needless to say, it is impossible to know for sure what Jesus' mental state was, and these lines of evidence are certainly not conclusive. It is just as possible that Jesus himself was a sane teacher, but many of his followers were mentally unbalanced. This would help to explain why many had visions of Jesus after he was dead. Gospel writers and others may have experienced delusions or false memories, in addition to fabrications, exaggerations and white lies. It is not hard to imagine that, as the years went by after Jesus' death, such exaggerations and fantasies multiplied as the myth of Jesus snowballed.

There is a very low incidence of major religious leaders and prophets through history. If many of them were mentally deranged in one way or another, this would be consistent with the low occurrence of mental disorders in the general population.

If Jesus was insane, it doesn't negate his contributions to ethics or philosophy, any more than John Nash's insanity diminishes his contributions in mathematics, economics and other fields. There is an established connection between mental disturbance and extreme intelligence. While not characteristic of all geniuses or all insane people, an overlap between genius and insanity has been observed. Sometimes it takes someone of mental disturbance to provide the kind of bold and iconoclastic thinking that disrupts existing norms and assumptions, but also opens the path to new human potential.

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    • K Sean Proudler profile image

      K Sean Proudler 11 months ago

      Was Jesus crazy, or was he the real deal.

      Well if I was in his shoes, or sandals, I would place proof of the existence of my higher power within the Bible, proof that is to be discovered at a later date. And sure enough it was discovered. The Jesus Christ/God signature was encoded many times within the KJV Bible. To do so, a specific code language was used.

      However, before its discovery, another so called code language, a so called Bible Code Language, was supposedly discovered. But it turned out to be a bogus code and so much so that you could find whatever it was that you would want to find, for this code language was not even a code language at all. It was just pure rubbish.

      In the movie "Amadeus", one character says, "German is too brutal a language for opera.". Does this mean that he is saying that all languages are too brutal for opera. Of course not, because all languages are different, and he was obviously referring to the German language in particular.

      However, in the world in general today, there are a lot of people who do not have the intelligence to see this obviousness.

      As the result of this intellectual limitation, the code language that proves the existence of Jesus Christ and his higher power, is, and has been, immediately seen to be the one in the same code language that was proven to be pure rubbish. This was the case even though the differences between the two languages is staggering.

      Meanwhile, those with the intellectual limitation don't even bother to look at the proof code language.

      This is because they just do exactly what they are told to do by others. Others have said, after looking at and examining just the one bogus code language, that "Bible Codes" are a farce, period.

      That's like them looking at the first letter of the alphabet, and then saying to the world that all the rest of the letters look the same, and that there is therefore no need for anyone else to look at the rest of the letters. "It is a fact people.", "Now run along.", is what they would say.

      And most people do exactly that, they run along, or they stand by the speaker and defend the speakers deception.

      To examine the proof code, go to http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode2a.htm and click on the two yellow flashing words, "Watch / Listen". Total time period is 10 minutes.

    • profile image

      Hal 12 months ago

      What did Jesus look like? Probably short and darker than an olive complexion.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 15 months ago from Philippines

      I am a believer. But if I were to look at your arguments from your point of view, they would make sense, except for one: "A major piece of evidence that Jesus was mentally disturbed is the fact that he went to the grave for his beliefs. Rather than simply relinquish his fantastic claims to avoid pain, torture and death, he held onto them until the very end. It is very hard to imagine a sane person behaving this way".

      History is filled not just with heroes but with unnamed soldiers who went to war and died because of their beliefs. That is not insanity, that is purpose. No one wants to die, but they go to war knowing the possibilities that lie before them in going. The idea of dying for your beliefs is not insanity. Think of America's war for independence, and how John Hancock made his own signature the biggest. And think of the civil war. So a willingness to die for a commitment and even be tortured for it is not insanity but an act of purpose, facing the consequence, and usually motivated by great love. I think many of us would die and suffer for the sake of our children.

    • secularist10 profile image
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      secularist10 2 years ago from New York City

      I would actually say that such extraterrestrial explanations make more sense than supernatural ones.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 2 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Joe: that is one of the most amusing and colorful descriptions of the Messiah that i have every read. Thank you for sharing your lighthearted humor. But if you would like a better explanation of who Jesus was visit my H.P. and read all about the psychological view of who J.C. was.

    • Joe Renfrow profile image

      Joe Renfrow 2 years ago

      Jesus was a Timelord from the planet Gallifrey. His father was a Timelord and Mary was one of his travelling companions. He was conceived in the Vortex and that explains his 'heavenly' origin. His father left him to grow up on earth because hybrids are frowned upon on his home world. His Resurrection and the Shroud of Turin are explained by the brilliant regeneration energy put out after his recovery from his death. The reason why only his mother recognized him after his rebirth was obvious, it is her son after all and his new appearance only fooled his followers and others. He left earth via a Tardis left by his father. As good a theory as any.

    • secularist10 profile image
      Author

      secularist10 2 years ago from New York City

      Thank you Pawel, good points. The narrow-mindedness began with Jesus himself and simply grew and expanded from there in the decades and centuries that followed. The history of the entire religion makes that clear.

    • profile image

      Pawel 2 years ago

      I like your analysis. While not in-depth or thoroughly researched, it does point to something that most people indoctrinated into Christianity must have felt all along (though few are ready to admit): this whole Jesus story is insane - not because the Church has made it insane (though it has its fair share with all the zany dogmas), but because the insanity can be traced to the founder himself. Up till recently, I've still believed that crazy as Christianity is, Jesus was sort of OK on the whole, despite some erratic behaviours. But it is becoming clearer to me that we should look for the roots of the malaise at the source. And if we look closely and without emotional attachment, we see the derangement plain and clear.

    • secularist10 profile image
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      secularist10 2 years ago from New York City

      Your argument requires acceptance of the existence of God and the supernatural realm, for which there is no justification.

      As long as you cannot provide evidence for your beliefs or "supernatural" experiences, the more reasonable explanation is that they are deceptions, delusions, hallucinations, etc (which, by the way, people can experience even if they are not mentally ill).

      In addition, you may be interpreting certain life events or phenomena as "supernatural" or "from god" when in fact they may be instances of luck, randomness or chance.

      It's not a question of "belief" but rather evidence and proof.

      "...already from when He was born He was visited by Kings"

      You don't know that.

    • meetthegods profile image

      Ralph 2 years ago from Netherlands

      Quote from the comments of secularist10: "I have not seen a novel argument for the existence of God or for Christianity in a long time."

      Tadaa, you probably going to call me paranoid schizophrenic but I've seen so many supernatural things (real magic so to say) that I'm willing to bet my life (....) that there is a God (or Gods, because I've met all kinds). Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Boedhist, is all fine by me because nobody knows how IT exactely works. Anyhow... I would like to point out some flaws in your arguments.

      Quote from the Hub: "Jesus had conversations with what he considered to be Satan (Matthew 4: 1-11), and claimed to be in communication with God the Father. Jesus exhibited other symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia: anxiety, anger, emotional distance, argumentativeness and condescension."

      Here you simple say he is nuts (..) because he does things (talks directly with supernatural beings) you don't 'Belief'. For one who does belief (like me) this isn't far fetched or 'crazy' at all.

      Jesus' childhood:

      you argue Jesus might be paranoid schizophrenic because of a troubled childhood. People (often children) who 'know' they are reincarnated (there are lots of stories about them, even some very interesting ones on this website) often don't attach too much value to where and how they are (re)born, they simply (have to) accept the fact that they are 'placed' here again. I'm absolutely no biblical scolar but if I'm correct Jesus also did not have a particularly strong emotional bond with his (biological) father and mother. He knew they were there for the 'biological' process but His real Father was in Heaven so He probably really didn't mind at all how He was born here on earth.

      Father Joseph being a potential emotional or physical abuser of Mary and Jesus sounds unlikely to me since already from when He was born He was visited by Kings as the Salvator so Joseph abusing Him would be kinda strange.

      You say:

      Jesus often refers to himself in the third person, perhaps indicating delusions of self-importance.

      'Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. For He taught His disciples and said to them, "The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day." But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him. (Mark 9: 30-32)'

      When He refers to Himself in the third person He did it maybe simply because He was repeating the words from God or perhaps because He knew He wasn't a single lifeform but had different lives in other dimensions or He meant He was the Son of Man only until His resurrection, after His resurrection He was .... something else.

      btw I'm not 'chosen' for some special purpose for all I know but I would like to end with the words a very high deity (God Himself?) thought me which are: "Be carefull with what I have created".

      Namasté

    • secularist10 profile image
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      secularist10 2 years ago from New York City

      Sean:

      The Bible Code theories have been debunked time and again. If you take any large text (a fictional novel, a textbook, whatever), you will be able to find patterns in the words and letters and numbers if you arrange them in certain ways.

      Indeed, some researchers have done just that with long books like Crime and Punishment or Tale of Two Cities.

      "How can such encoded information be anything else other than the real deal?"

      There is nothing "encoded" so the premise of your question is faulty.

      If you are in touch with reality, you can see that religion is mostly myths and subjective intuitions from ignorant peoples in our past.

    • profile image

      Sean 2 years ago

      As stated via religion, there is an elsewhere, an afterlife place. It is real. Concerning the universe, it has an inside, but it also has an outside, meaning, the elsewhere. It is real. In total, meaning the inside plus the outside, this is known as reality.

      If you are in touch with reality, you are therefore in touch with both sides, for both are real. In doing so, you will see things and hear things that those who are not in touch with reality, will not see, and not hear.

      Those who are not in touch with reality, will not see the truth, they will not see what is real, for they are detached from the entirety of reality. They are confined to being in touch with the inside only. Due to them not being in touch with the completeness of reality, their judgment of the others who are truly in touch, becomes seriously flawed.

      They will perceive those that are in touch, as delusional, psychotic, etc.

      By the way, God's signature is encoded within the Bible. This proof is revealed at http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode2a.htm Click on the yellow flashing words, "Watch/Listen".

      At the web site, in hidden code form, we find the following.

      Search for the words "The Father", and sure enough, we find "GOD".

      Search for the words "The Lord", and sure enough, we find "CHRIST".

      Search for the words "The Father", "The Son", and "The Holy Spirit", and sure enough, we find "GOD" and "CHRIST".

      All this information is present, but in an encoded form. And the list goes on and on . How can such encoded information be anything else other than the real deal?

    • secularist10 profile image
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      secularist10 2 years ago from New York City

      To the contrary, it is you who will not put in the work to actually read what I have written without projecting your prejudices.

      Show me where I categorically claimed that he was insane. Go ahead. I'm all ears.

    • A.Villarasa profile image

      Alexander A. Villarasa 2 years ago from Palm Springs

      Of course you have claimed that JC was insane. You might want to review all your post in response to other Hubbers... oh but that would be too much work for you.

    • secularist10 profile image
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      secularist10 2 years ago from New York City

      J McFarland-- well said. The notion that "you don't believe in god/ accept god because you hate him" and so on, is really absurd and it's surprising anybody makes that argument.

      As far as Larry, he's just one of many with authority over the "flock." People who are susceptible to his message will be susceptible regardless, whether it was him or someone else.

    • secularist10 profile image
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      secularist10 2 years ago from New York City

      Villarasa--perhaps the fact that you keep coming back to this topic indicates that you think, in the back of your mind, there might be some truth to this after all? If I was such an idiot and this whole thing is such nonsense, then why do you keep patronizing this page over many months?

      Haha.

      You can't say that I have actually claimed that Jesus was insane. To the contrary, I have specifically stated multiple times that we cannot know the actual fact of the matter.

    • secularist10 profile image
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      secularist10 2 years ago from New York City

      Larry--good, send them over here!

      Regardless, I defy you to demonstrate any hatred on my part in this article. The only hatred has come from the believers who are so hypersensitive they just can't take any serious criticism.

    • A.Villarasa profile image

      Alexander A. Villarasa 3 years ago from Palm Springs

      At Secularist:

      From asking the question: "was JC crazy" to actually saying he was, as evidenced by your consistent insistence that he was, when replying to the hubbers who think otherwise,.... is quite a giant leap, considering the fact that all of what you've done was conjecture this, and guess that, and assume this and conclude that. All sound and fury, signifying NOTHING.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 3 years ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      How can anyone have hatred for something that you don't believe in? Do you have hatred for any other proposed deity? You have to believe in something in order to either love or hate it, and while you may equate non belief with hatred, it really, really isn't. Asking questions or seeing things from a different perspective as this hub does is not hatred either. I'm sincerely sorry that someone in a position of authority to teach others can't seem to distinguish the difference.

    • profile image

      Larry 3 years ago

      I like this hub. I will be using it in my new sermon The Craziest Story You Ever Heard, But It's True! I will use it to show the hatard that non believers have for a supposed person that never lived. How athiest may have knowledge of the words in the Bible but do not have the wisdom to understand that knowledge. Let them that have ears hear and eyes see.

    • profile image

      Matilda Mk2 3 years ago

      No! I don’t think Jesus Was Crazy, I think he was a child genius protégé - (sorry don’t know how to get the accent over the ‘e’ on my keyboard).

      Children have a way - a way that can become a habit of mimicking their parents needs and lives or living their lives to please their parents so that their parents can be proud of them. Some parents have a way of re-living their lives or re-visiting their youth through the lives of their children.

      Jesus would have picked up on all those vibes.

      Those children who don’t demand your attention as soon as the phone rings by acting up/playing up, they sit there quietly - good as gold, listening in on the conversation. Children are always listening in on adult conversations and the watching the interactions between their parents, other adults and other family members - especially on those days when you have family gatherings. As a genius child protégé, JC would have got a sense of what people need from much of the adult talk in the neighbourhood.

      As a child genius, wanting to especially please his parents - I suspect that the kids in the neighbourhood didn't like Jesus very much and certainly didn't like playing with him. By the same token Jesus himself would at times be tiresome of their childish games because he knew and they knew that he was brilliant at everything, excelled in everything and would always win the games played.

      Children like that tend to be loners and outcasts in the community. They do their best to blend and join in, but for most part it doesn’t really work. Children like that also tend to be around their parents feet a lot - to the point of becoming a burden to the parent because the parents wants the child to do normal childish things, whilst they grab at least a 5 minute breather away from parenting. At some point JC would have decided that this is what he was going to do with his life - become the saviour of the world.

      That’s what I think! That’s what I Believe!

      My criticism of your Hub is that I note your Hub asks the question Was Jesus Crazy?

      The bits and pieces I’ve skim read - from both the Hub and the Comments - you’ve taken no real ‘risk’ in Publishing your Hub as it does not state what you believe, what you think or whether this is a real theory of yours that others can investigate or explore. You’ve just put either a professional or personal experience ‘spin’ on the matter and thrown it out there into the ether/universe - for whatever reason.

      (Sorry I had to put this in the middle so that you don't think I Am condemning you for your views because I Am not,but neither do I want it to be the focus of your response. However, the comparisons between Jesus' lifestyle, behaviour and sayings with a modern view of Schizophrenia are to me an excellent evaluation of Truth - a Truth which exists in the lives of many individuals with mental health issues - a Truth that can be validated and integrated into a society that still scorns the mentally ill.

      Most religious people do see and hear what we see and hear - the alternative viewpoint - but they like to play The Game of Life in relative comfort and safety and nothing is going to shift them from that pattern. Life is less complex when you run with the crowds, side with the masses, allow the majority to rule. Life is so much more easier when they’re the ones throwing the stones, casting aspersions, and being the onlooker spewing out venomous accusatory words like ‘Blasphemy’, Evil, Witch, The Devil, Wicked Wretch etc, they did the same thing to Jesus - they can’t help themselves, they are weak and attribute their weakness to an amazing Beatitude. It’s always up to the alternative viewpoint such as you and your Hub - Was Jesus Crazy to shed light on what could possibly be Truth.

      Thank You!

    • secularist10 profile image
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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Yes they did. We know they did because we know that hallucinations (including minor ones and even major hallucination episodes) do not prevent a person from functioning normally. At least not necessarily.

      Human physiology and brain chemistry has not changed in thousands of years. We are the same today as we were in ancient times. The only difference is that today we understand the brain much more.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      You are missing the point: people that bad in ancient times didn't even survive long.

      Others who had genuine spiritual experiences functioned well and some like JC created philosophies and were famous leaders. So there are totally different categories to human consciousness such as savants, genius, enlightenment, etc which have nothing to do with crazy hallucinations.

    • secularist10 profile image
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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Yes, they do need drugs, or at least some kind of medical help. But ancient peoples did not have those things. So they were more likely to interpret hallucinations as divinely-inspired or messages from God, etc.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      If they are hallucinating as you claim JC was the ill need strong anti psychotic drugs. Its common knowledge.

    • secularist10 profile image
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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      I did not refer to modern patients, I referred to modern medicine and modern knowledge. We know that a person can be mentally ill and still function normally. Those are the facts that you are ignoring.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      Once again: these modern day people are on anti-psychotic drugs and if not are usually rolling in their own faeces.

      I invite you to look at the history of mental illness in even the last 200 years and places like Bedlam where people were sent and had no hope at all.

    • secularist10 profile image
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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Obviously primary sources from the ancient past would not have been able to adequately describe such individuals. They did not have modern medicine or modern psychiatry or neuroscience.

      Modern medicine tells us that, yes, indeed a person can be mentally ill and still able to function. But ancient people would have been more likely to understand their condition as divinely inspired and so on.

      In fact, just look around in any big city and you will see homeless or semi-homeless people that are clearly mentally ill to some degree (talking to themselves and whatnot), but are nevertheless able to feed themselves, put themselves to bed every night, etc.

      Jesus himself spent a good portion of his later life in a state that we today would describe as homeless.

      With just a little help from family or social workers, many people with mental illness are able to lead more or less normal lives.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      There is no ancient historical evidence at all of hallucinating "crazy" people being able to function to the point of great leadership and creating great philosophy.

      Hence people like JC and Joan of Arc and St Francis of Assisi were in totally another state of being that others saw as insane. For the sake of atheist readers this may have been a savant state combined with normal sanity.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      I do understand that. Jesus knew more than what religionist think that he did.

    • secularist10 profile image
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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Lady Guinevere:

      I think Oz is referring to the medical technology/ knowledge of Jesus' world.

    • secularist10 profile image
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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Oz:

      Yes I have. Go back and re-read my comments and my citations. In the absence of any medication whatsoever, a person can have hallucinations or various mental issues, and still function more or less normally for at least a period of time (holding a simple job, feeding themselves, etc).

      You assume that a person is either 100% sane and clear-headed, or 100% insane, drooling in the corner and ranting gibberish to themselves.

      That's not the case. The mind is more complex than that. There is a lot of grey area where we can classify someone as mentally ill, but they can still function at least somewhat normally.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      Are we only talking about where Jesus was said to live and the medical there? Other parts of the world had many medical miracles back then but we are only talking about a small place in this big world.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      You havnt said how. Look at the historical record before modern medicine and enlightened attitudes. Such people had no hope at all and could not survive for long let alone invent new world changing philosophy and amazing leadership.

      Come on!!

    • secularist10 profile image
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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Yes they can. Again, you are wrong on the facts.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      Secularist

      If someone is hallucinating they need modern medicine: they can't lead peaceful revolutions; they can't even react to their environment.

    • secularist10 profile image
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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Oz:

      I assume you are referring to me not Paladin.

      It's just a title.

      Lol. You have proven nothing. I have provided external sources (in the article as well as in my comments), you have provided none. Only your own opinions.

      It is impossible for you, me or anyone else to know with certainty what Jesus' mental state was. So for you to say that you have "proven" that Jesus wasn't crazy is absurd.

      I don't know why you keep going on about modern medication when that is irrelevant.

      How many times do I have to say this? I am not talking about medication or lack thereof. Obviously, if Jesus was mentally unbalanced in some way, he was not treated with modern medicine! Modern medicine did not exist, obviously!

      If he was in such a state, he was not treated at all, hence why he continued to exhibit behavior consistent with various mental issues all the way to the end.

      Your one and only interesting point is on Jesus being a savant. That is certainly a possibility. But I have already shown that much of his behavior, as described in the Bible (which I assume is your own holy book), is in fact consistent with more serious mental illness.

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      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      paladin

      your title to this topic is "was Jesus crazy".

      The term crazy is not an objective or kind term for the alleged mentally ill.

      I have proved here to any objective observer that He wasn't crazy; that he did not have access to modern medication; and that he spent a lot of time away from family and started a world changing movement in only three years.

      The only possible non-theist interpretation to the state of mind of Jesus was that he could possibly have been a highly unusual savant of some kind. To label Him crazy is therefore a highly subjective negative opinion that does not lend itself to close analysis.

      I see no references here by you to the issue of modern medication versus the total lack of medication in ancient or even in recent modern history.

      The category of mental illness where voices are heard are certainly not amendable to treatment without modern medication.

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      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      Then again demons in Greek were good to have around. When the Romans and Hebrews got to it then they became evil things. I wonder why the drastic flip.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Lady Guinevere:

      That's a good point. A lot of things are often lost in translation in different versions of the Bible.

      I just did a quick look and it does describe Jesus curing people of "demons." In which case we would assume demons/ other supernatural descriptors would be mental illness in modern parlance, which would in turn bolster my point: if Jesus was considered to have "supernatural" powers by his contemporaries, then in reality what he was experiencing was some form of mental disturbance.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Oz:

      "JC it is recorded spent long periods of time in the wilderness on his own without any help..."

      All the more reason to think he was not catatonic, but potentially had other symptoms instead.

      "It is well documented historical fact that mentally ill people had a terrible prognosis until very recently in human history."

      Not exactly. For severe, debilitating illness, that is true. But mental illness comes in many forms as I keep saying, and people can function decently in many cases. Everybody reading this can just look at the sources I have given above.

      If you take something as simple as Down Syndrome, for instance, even within that one condition, there are many degrees; some are severely debilitated, and others are highly functioning and can hold down jobs and so on.

      In the distant past, people were more primitive and had less understanding of how the human body and mind works.

      They were more likely to think that someone who reported "hearing voices" was possessed, or hearing the voice of God, or other supernatural explanations.

      Whereas today we are more likely to say that person is disturbed/ mentally ill.

      It's the same condition, but the cultural context and scientific awareness determine how other people look at them.

      It's very possible that Jesus did have some kind of mental problems, but because of the culture he lived in, people thought he had supernatural powers. And that narrative was then recorded in the Bible.

      A similar course of events is quite possible for other historical religious leaders.

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      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      Sorry to interject here but where did it say in the bible that Jesus cured mentally ill people? I read about his curing other sicknesses but not mentally ill. Just as they had different disease categories and words back then they also had a large group of what they called Lepers. Go google that and you will find that there were lots of different kinds of diseases lumped into one category in those times. Heck look up disentry and you will find that it is a different thing today than it was only 100 years ago. We have what is called AIDS today but what will it be say 200 or even 2000 years from now?

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      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      We have to totally disagree here about the condition of a psychotic person prior to the use of modern medical treatments (in conjunction with environmental helps such as family). Patients in Bedlam were not all catatonic by far: paranoids, psychopaths, schizophrenics,severe anxiety syndromes etc were all generally incapable of functioning in society at all without modern medicinal treatments (and family help). Catatonics probably didn't survive at all for long in any environment back then. JC it is recorded spent long periods of time in the wilderness on his own without any help; and later left his family to wander and preach quite successfully without any modern medication or allegations of madness. I believe his critics did label him a "wine (bibber?) drinker."

      It is well documented historical fact that mentally ill people had a terrible prognosis until very recently in human history. Only the very richest families had any chance of protecting their mentally ill kin from very early death, incarceration or burning etc.

      I ask you to consider that there is another rarer "state of being" other than just a severe psychosis that is much closer related to healthy consciousness and is typical of nearly all great spiritual leaders.

      At the risk of sounding theatrical have you seen the TV series "Carnivale"? In the series they dramatically represent a concept of another state of being; although not strictly scientific of course!

      Certain rare savants also demonstrate some of this other state of being"" which often has much much more than normal functionality. India has historically utilized these people to memorize huge quantities of information and also to lead and teach people.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      I have only been referring to the symptoms of these conditions, without/ before treatment.

      You continue to ignore the simple information I keep presenting about these conditions, and about mental illness in general.

      Regarding social support from friends/ family--indeed, that could very well have been a factor in Jesus' life (and others' lives), contributing all the more to his ability to function normally or somewhat normally.

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      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      You keep forgetting about the role of modern treatments including assistance in your thinking. You are transposing modern concepts and treatments with ancient scenarios. Look at the history of such serious mental illnesses and how such people were unable to relate to their environment. Places like Bedlam were full of such people who were unable to relate to their environment. Its no use just denying it and using modern situations with those of 200 years ago and 2000 years ago.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      "without the influence of modern medicine and techniques a PSYCHOTIC person can not relate to his/her environment."

      Once again, you are simply incorrect.

      Let's look at two potential symptoms of psychosis, from the Wikipedia article on "psychosis" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychosis ).

      Let's look at (a) hallucinations and (b) catatonia.

      "A hallucination is defined as sensory perception in the absence of external stimuli... However, the experience of hearing voices need not always be a negative one. One research study has shown that the majority of people who hear voices are not in need of psychiatric help."

      And catatonia:

      "Catatonia describes a profoundly agitated state in which the experience of reality is generally considered impaired... The classic presentation is a person who does not move or interact with the world in any way while awake... The other type of catatonia is more of an outward presentation of the profoundly agitated state described above. It involves excessive and purposeless motor behavior, as well as extreme mental preoccupation that prevents an intact experience of reality."

      These are both potential symptoms of psychosis, neither of which is necessary, but both are sufficient for a diagnosis.

      Whereas you seem to think psychosis is more or less synonymous with catatonia.

      Mental illness is a broad and diverse phenomenon, much more so than you seem to think.

      Thus, a person can be mentally ill or mentally dysfunctional while still "remaining totally functional, and espousing a world changing philosophy."

      Those things are not mutually exclusive.

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      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      Secularist

      you are avoiding the main point: without the influence of modern medicine and techniques a PSYCHOTIC person can not relate to his/her environment.

      I certainly haven't included milder cases of personality disorder in which case a person can sometimes barely continue to function (albeit with assistance).

      Your description of JC's alleged mental illness is in the worst case scenario: hearing voices, imagining he is God, talking to angels, talking to the devil etc. Therefore I am quite technically correct in my analysis. (I have studied and researched this field for many years.)

      In other words JC was not in the psychotic category as he remained totally functional, espoused a world changing philosophy and was able to lead and direct many other people.

      You can't have it both ways: by your analysis if he was hearing voices he was therefore badly psychotic; but as we can see he was not psychotic at all but in an altogether different spiritual mind set.

      It is interesting to note Hindus recognize another state of being that Western philosophy does not: a state that can sometimes externally resemble psychosis but is in fact a deeply spiritual state whose participants remain highly socially productive, who have many follwers and who write great works of philosophy.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Once again, you are simply wrong on the facts. You assume that a paranoid schizophrenic is deeply incapacitated. That is not necessarily the case at all.

      You say:

      "If Nash lived prior to modern medicine/therapy he would have been running naked and screaming covered in his own feces and have made little or no contribution to his field."

      This is a patently absurd statement. It is absurd firstly because that is not the nature of this condition, as I have already said many times to you.

      And secondly, Nash was already doing his work before the mental illness set in.

      Oztinato, please, I implore you, DO SOME RESEARCH. You need to learn the facts.

      Mental illness is a very broad and diverse phenomenon. It's not just all "loonies in straight jackets drooling and urinating on themselves" or whatever narrow-minded assumptions you seem to have.

      Here, I will even help you along, these quotes are from the Wikipedia article on John Nash ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Forbes_Nash,_Jr. ) to get you started:

      "After graduating in 1948 with Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Master of Science in Mathematics, he accepted a scholarship to Princeton ... Nash's advisor... wrote a letter of recommendation consisting of a single sentence: "This man is a genius.""

      "Nash earned a doctorate in 1950 with a 28-page dissertation on non-cooperative games. The thesis... contained the definition and properties of what would later be called the "Nash equilibrium". ... it won Nash the Nobel prize in economics in 1994."

      "Nash experienced the first symptoms of mental illness in early 1959,..."

      Thus, his contributions mostly occurred BEFORE the actual onset of his illness, and in the earliest stages of it.

      From the Mayo Clinic on paranoid schizophrenia:

      "With paranoid schizophrenia, your ability to think and function in daily life may be better than with other types of schizophrenia. You may not have as many problems with memory, concentration or dulled emotions."

      And from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoid_schizophreni... ):

      "People with paranoid schizophrenia are often more articulate or "normal" seeming than other schizophrenics... The diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia is given with the presence of bizarre delusions or hallucinations that defy the natural laws of basic logical thought processes, or thought disorders and withdrawal due to these thoughts and delusions."

      "People who are diagnosed with paranoid-type of schizophrenia are often given a better prognosis than those with other types, are generally better able to take care of themselves and are more mentally functional."

      Again, mental illness is very different from the caricature you seem to think.

      As far as Jesus, so many things he is quoted as saying fall right under the definition: "bizarre delusions or hallucinations that defy natural laws of basic logical thought processes."

      Moreover Jesus displayed erratic behavior (Mark 8: 31-33; Matthew 21: 12-13), which would be consistent with this illness.

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      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      Secularist

      without copious amounts of modern day anti-psychotic medication and therapy and all kinds of modern day help, a severely psychotic person can not relate to day to day reality. Look at places like "Bedlam" and the history of the first mental institutions prior to modern medicine: they were filled with tormented souls who could barley survive day to day who walked zombie like or screaming.

      John Nash had electro-shock therapy many times; pills; psycho-analysis therapy; a supportive family; a supportive university; hospitalization etc prior to getting out back in society. If Nash lived prior to modern medicine/therapy he would have been running naked and screaming covered in his own feces and have made little or no contribution to his field.

      When an actual psychotic "hears voices" they are in a deep psychotic state and can't even relate to their surroundings without the above mentioned modern day techniques. When a true inspired religious leader hears the voice of god they are in a totally functional state and have been known to change society for time immemorial.

      Jesus, it was recorded, healed mentally ill people.

      I can see your struggle with this: we have identified two totally separate states of being here 1. psychotic and dysfunctional (unless modern day therapy and drugs are applied), and 2. religiously inspired totally functional gifted individuals who changed history.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Oz:

      Clearly you have not looked into it enough. Paranoid schizophrenics are often able to function as normal members of society. So yes, they are able to relate to the world around them, even through their delusions.

      You should my article before commenting on it.

      "The ideas and actions of Jesus had a greater effect on changing society and mankind more than any former ideas..."

      This is your opinion, not a fact.

      "... hence we can posit His IQ was enormous and beyond any ordinary human being."

      That is an absurd non sequitur. Just because someone has had significant influence does not therefore mean they have superior IQ, much less an IQ "beyond any ordinary human being."

      I don't know how many times I need to repeat this until you will get it: it was not Jesus himself who propagated those ideas. It was his followers and disciples.

      Jesus' ideas were radical for the time. But there were countless other prophets and spiritual leaders in the Mediterranean world at that time who also had radical and iconoclastic beliefs, each with their own cult-like following, just like Jesus. These are basic historical facts.

      "John Nash did not conquer the world with a new theory of love;"

      Neither did Jesus.

      "...[Nash] made some advances in maths after a lot of therapy and drugs."

      Nope.

      "Some advances"? The man is considered a genius. If you are going to offer an opinion, at least make it an informed one.

      Honestly, if you did even the most basic of research on what you are talking about we would not have to have these unproductive exchanges.

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      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      Secularist

      I have looked into it: if a person is in a state of hallucinatory psychosis they are unable to relate to the world around them.

      The ideas and actions of Jesus had a greater effect on changing society and mankind more than any former ideas (in the "west") hence we can posit His IQ was enormous and beyond any ordinary human being.

      John Nash did not conquer the world with a new theory of love; he made some advances in maths after a lot of therapy and drugs.

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      Anthony Isaac Wells 3 years ago

      Jesus is clearly the King of the New World Order and of the New Testament, Nebuchadnezzar while was the King of the Old World order . David is the King of the Hebrews it is David that will be the King of the world, A kingdom that will be made without hands, The New world order begin with Jesus.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      "There are no worldwide leaders of such import as Jesus and other famous religious leaders like Buddha etc who suffered from such chronic psychosis."

      You don't know that.

      To the contrary, the behavior of people like Jesus, Muhammad, Joseph Smith and others is right in line with various mental problems.

      "the fact is that nearly everyone has some degree of personality problem and/or mental illness if we include mild phobias etc."

      That is not true at all. The vast majority of people do not have mental problems of that kind (although things may be changing here in the US since so many people are on medications they don't need, but that's besides the point).

      Where did you get the idea that Jesus had a higher IQ than Greek philosophers? Lol! The IQ test didn't even exist at that time.

      Having a mental illness does not necessarily prevent a person from functioning normally in most situations in their lives.

      In fact there are tons of people who have had mental illnesses who nevertheless are/ were able to function as normal members of society for most of their lives.

      John Nash is a perfect example of this.

      There are only a handful of mental illnesses that genuinely prevent a person from functioning normally.

      Experiencing hallucinations and other symptoms do not necessarily create debilitating conditions of that kind.

      If you look into the research on these conditions, you will see that.

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      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      Secularist

      you are of course free to reiterate; the fact is that nearly everyone has some degree of personality problem and/or mental illness if we include mild phobias etc.

      The level of mental illness you are implying here for Jesus (and presumably many other religious leaders) is nothing short of total hallucinatory psychosis. There are no worldwide leaders of such import as Jesus and other famous religious leaders like Buddha etc who suffered from such chronic psychosis. Yes there were/are artists etc who had small contributions to make but as far as Jesus goes we are looking at a person with an IQ greater than many ancient Greek philosophers and mathematicians (is we take a purely materialistic view).

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Joseph:

      "You do not even need to go to a Bible College to learn that the Gospels are infallible and true."

      Well, this statement alone negates your credibility. If you believe that Jesus is God and the Bible is infallible, and so on, then of course you are completely buying into these myths hook, line and sinker.

      Simple question (more rhetorical than anything, but just for fun): if the Bible is infallible, then why is there so much incorrect information in it?

      Oz:

      I reiterate once again, mental illness does not imply that an individual cannot be highly influential. There have been many influential people in history who are thought to have had mental problems, including many kings and emperors.

      Moreover, the vast majority of the "influence" you are interested in was the work of Jesus' disciples and early followers, not Jesus himself.

      When someone hears voices in their head, that person is called "mentally ill." If that person's name is Jesus, he is called "God."

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      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      As I said, no qualified person would argue that a hugely permanently influential leader such as Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi etc is insane.

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      Joseph Gerringer 3 years ago from Peoria, Illinois

      I think you are utterly wrong! Either you have spent too much time in Psychology books or have read something you are basing all your facts on? You do not even need to go to a Bible College to learn that the Gospels are infallible and true. Jesus was and is the Son of God and every word mentioned in the Gospels is the author's best way of stating what He spoke concerning miracles, events, or His Father's commands. He was God incarnate. Any indicators you thought were mental disorders are simply His divinity being carried out as a man just like any one of us; only He has sovereignty as God does too! Read the Bible or any number of books that explain the Gospels and the life of Jesus. Sad to say anyone like you who takes a human approach to the myths and arrogant stories of Jesus; simply does not know Him for who He really is.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Haha, okay. Call me when you get your Nobel Prize.

      "...but then there is also what it actually is"

      Indeed, and what it actually is, is confirmation bias! Lol.

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      Sean 3 years ago

      I don't think that I am a genius. I simply am.

      "Sounds like a serious case of confirmation bias" you say. Yep, it may sound like it, but then there is also what it actually is !

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Sean--

      Haha, it took you literally a YEAR to read that and come back with "are you crazy." Give me a break. Instead of addressing the points made, all you can do is attack me personally. All these personal attacks just provide more and more evidence that the other side cannot engage in rational debate and look at the facts clearly.

      I guess you think of yourself as some kind of genius.

      "Instead, I would have an idea of what to find, I then looked, and there it was."

      Sounds like a serious case of confirmation bias: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

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      Sean 3 years ago

      By the way, I don't accept beliefs or disbeliefs but instead choose to search for truths. I also do not accept what my eyes tell me. I choose to be more intelligent than an eyeball. In turn in my younger days, I soon noticed that the "MOTION" that I saw going on around me in the is world, such as motion of cars, planes, people, etc, was absolutely impossible. I then, using my mind, analyzed motion and eventually understood what what really going on. I then proceeded to convert my understandings into equations. Next....off I went to the world of physics to see if my understandings related to any currently accepted laws of physics. My understandings (and equations ) were identical to Albert Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity. See http://goo.gl/fz4R0I

      I used the same logic to think of how information would be encoded within the Bible. Sure enough, I found exactly what I expected to find.

      See http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode2a.htm

      It was not a case of lengthy endless searching. Instead, I would have an idea of what to find, I then looked, and there it was. This led to knowing of what to look for next, I then looked, and there it was. This led to knowing of what to look for next, I then looked, and there it was, and so on and so on.....

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      Sean 3 years ago

      Secularist10, you said "Sean - Your Bible code ( http://goo.gl/fz4R0I ), like all the others, does not have any logic or evidence supporting it. There is no rational reason why we should choose your code over the others. You say "statistical analysis" disproved the other codes. So what? Who says that statistics have anything to do with it? Why do you give such weight to statistical analysis? Why not some other kind of analysis? A study was done of another very large text--it might have been "Crime and Punishment"--and they found all kinds of predictions and forecasts embedded in "code" form in that text as well. Yet nobody considers "Crime and Punishment" to be a holy book."

      Next question: Is Secularist10 Crazy ?

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      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      My apologies I thought you said you had a mental illness.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      "No ones attacking you..."

      Hmmm, let's see:

      Oz said:

      "Your premise is hypocritical as you are confessed atheist but refuse to see the mental illness inherent in your self..."

      I guess in your world, calling someone mentally ill does not constitute an attack. Maybe it's a compliment?! Haha.

      Moreover I am not a "confessed atheist," I am closer to an agnostic, so your statement is flawed and misinformed anyway.

      And then your friend Villarasa said:

      "I labeled the author of this Hub, a narcissist..."

      He even admits to attacking me personally! Lol. It's funny that he complains I have no credentials (which I never claimed to have), when clearly he does not understand what narcissism is.

      But it's ok, I don't mind. I find it rather entertaining actually. Sling your arrows all you want. It just goes to further reinforce my position because it demonstrates that those on the other side must resort to emotional appeals, personal attacks and so on, in lieu of actual argumentation.

      On this one substantive point:

      "Neither history, law of modern medicine class Jesus as a mad man."

      That is precisely what this hub seeks to explore--his mental status. We can never know for sure, of course, but the evidence is there--it comes from the Christians themselves in the form of their holy book.

      As I have said repeatedly, his mental illness, if true, does not in itself take away from his positive contributions in philosophy and ethics.

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      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      No ones attacking you; we are attacking the logical deficiency in the argument. Neither history, law of modern medicine class Jesus as a mad man. Instead he is classed as a revolutionary philosopher, teacher and spiritual leader.

      In other words your premise doesn't hold water.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      The Public Image:

      Thank you! Glad you liked it.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Oz:

      "Jesus changed history ... Mentally ill people don't have that kind of impact."

      This is simply rhetoric.

      Anyway, I specifically said in the article that the man's mental deficiencies, if they existed, do not negate his contributions in other areas (such as ethics, etc).

      It was not Jesus who made those changes you describe, it was his followers and believers down through the ages. Believers of other religions have also created grand monuments, artwork, culture and literature since the dawn of civilization.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Oztinato and Villarasa--unsurprisingly, instead of addressing the ideas, you both are forced to attack me personally. This is called an "ad hominem" argument, a logical fallacy.

      It demonstrates you do not have anything coherent or useful to contribute, only emotional reactions.

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      Alexander A. Villarasa 3 years ago from Palm Springs

      @Oztinato: Be that as it may, the author of this Hub has stretched the definition of narcissism to the nth degree, by writing about something he has the faintest clue about i.e. the mental status of JC. To postulate that JC was crazy from the perspective of a secularist, is like Obama postulating about ObamaCare's constitutionality from the perspective of a community organizer. Now Obama claims he is a constitutional lawyer (and has a degree in constitutional law from Harvard to prove it), which may give him an out, but Secularist could never claim to have any background in Psychiatry or Psychology... thus the babbling.

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      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      Its not so much psychobabble as an old Freudian idea re-presented via Hub. Freud considered all religion a mental illness. Its not an original claim. Freud recanted later in life and became a believer again; and his best student and successor Carl Jung was also a believer.

      The problem with this Hub's premise is the "legal insanity" evidence that atheists who are not objecting to the more bizarre atheist ideas of beastiality and infanticide do not admit that a person who practices either of these horrors is in fact " legally insane" or mentally ill. In other words they are not in position to claim someone else is insane. Both the law and the medical fraternity to not class religion or JC as insane; but they do class beastiality and infanticide as insane.

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      Nik Farr 3 years ago from Middleton, MA

      Although this comments section looks exactly like I expected it would ("But the bible says..."), this is one of the most interesting and well-thought-out Hubs I've yet encountered. Great work.

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      Alexander A. Villarasa 3 years ago from Palm Springs

      @Oztinato:

      My point exactly when I labeled the author of this Hub, a narcissist for being so "full of himself", by in effect becoming a psychobabbler but with no credentials to speak of.

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      Oztinato 3 years ago from Australia

      Jesus changed history and conquered the Ancient Roman Empire from the grave. Thousands of great architectural monuments, art works and societies were created around His philosophy. Mentally ill people don't have that kind of impact. Great inspired leaders do.

      Your premise is hypocritical as you are confessed atheist but refuse to see the mental illness inherent in your self and the philosophy of sociopaths like Peter Singer and the many many other atheists of that ilk.ie you are unable to make a sound judgement regarding mental illness.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Jordan--thank you, and thanks for the link.

      Yes, of all the various possibilities, it is clearly much more likely that Jesus was mentally ill in some way, than he was a divine being. And I agree we tend to neglect the reality of mental illness, but it has been an important part of human experience since the beginning of civilization, and it has played a role throughout history. Muhammad, for instance, also displayed symptoms of mental illness according to the sources. And the emperor Caligula is described as insane at various times.

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      Jordan Garrett 3 years ago

      I apparently forgot to include the link in my last post, Sec10, because it didn't show up. If you are interested, here it is:

      http://infidels.org/library/modern/brian_holtz/tri...

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      Jordan Garrett 3 years ago

      Secular10,

      Here's a link you may enjoy. I haven't really sunk my teeth into it yet, but I find the idea of a mentally ill Jesus to be very interesting and a lot more inspiring in some respects than the Jesus who is shoved down the throats of people in contemporary culture (Take the supposed "Temptation". If He could never be tempted as God incarnate, then it was completely pointless for Satan to even try, and Jesus' overcoming Satan was completely contrived.). I think in some respects, there are certainly ways in which one can learn to broaden their perspectives from the mentally ill, both as it regards spiritual and secular matters (many famous scientists, for instance, your example of Ronald Nash, were a little "Off"). To expand on what you said a bit as regards genius and insanity, I would say that since mentally ill people have less of a desire to conform to society and it's viewpoints by virtue of their mental disturbances that they are able to rock the boat, like Nietzsche did, like Schopenhauer did (I've heard he's depressed. Not hard to believe), like Nash did, like Socrates (I've heard that he may have been Schizophrenic. Have you heard of his "Daemon"?), etc. Whether or not somebody uses their abilities for "Good" (IE: In a way that builds up themselves and others) or Evil (IE: In a way that tears down themselves and others) is really anybody's guess, but if society learned to embrace the myriad faces of mental illness, to the extent that those people embrace prosocial and nondestructive behavior, everybody would be a lot better off for it.

      Anyway, great article, and while it may be be hard for some people to swallow what you suggest, I find it no more implausible then the idea that Jesus was A) God and B) The Preexistent Son of God who exists as part of a three in one trinity. Organized religion, as the great quote at the top of your article says, is nothing than widespread insanity/delusion that demands conformity so it can exercise hegemony. Far from being a beacon of "Inviolable rights and dignity" (from the same people who promote a book that says to burn prostitutes alive and stone rebellious children. ) it has often been the handmaid of corruption, imperialism, tyranny and gratuitous suffering, and it deserves to be called out for it.

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      allan 4 years ago

      There's an interesting lecture by Robert Sapolsky of Stanford http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WwAQqWUkpI

      He talks about the connection between shamenism and 'metamagical schizotypalism'. This is regarded as a mild form of schizophrenia. This seems to be genetic as they tend to be from families where schizophrenia is apparent. It's a long watch but he gets into religious rituals being probably started by OCD individuals. He also mentions the similarities between S. Pauls' experiences and the experiences of people with a form of epilepsy.

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      secularist10 4 years ago from New York City

      Ananceleste:

      I'm glad you liked it, and thank you for giving your very personal and very thought-provoking story.

      It would not surprise me at all if conditions like this have been more common through history than normally thought. Especially because in millennia past, we did not have the benefit of modern science, modern medicine or modern psychological analysis. And there was the overall climate of supernaturalism that made people more likely to view aberrant behavior as some kind of spiritual or magical phenomenon (the belief in demon possessions being another good example).

      The good thing is that evidence and logic has become clearer and clearer in recent decades and centuries that traditional Christianity has no leg to stand on. As a result, the ranks of the "faithful" have diminished, and continue to diminish.

      I am one to believe that the truth is always worthy of pursuit, regardless of whether it hurts people's feelings or makes them feel uncomfortable. Sometimes some emotional turmoil--or even social turmoil--is a small price to pay for greater freedom and enlightenment.

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      Anan Celeste 4 years ago from California

      I take my hat off to you Sir. It take guts to publish something like this in conservative America. As a spiritual person ( not religious), I have to accept all possibilities and still, to me, the message is the important thing. As a researcher and rational human being, it would be pretentious from me to dismiss something that is a scientific valid argument. How do I know ? Simple, I am married to one. My husband has a specific type of Schizophrenia called Paranoid Schizophrenia with religious delirium. The patient is convinced that He is a Christ like figure, messianic at that. In other words, they think that they are the redeemer of the world or Jesus Christ. To add insult to injury, my husband knows most of the bible by heart. And that is why it took five psychiatrists,two hospitalization and him trying to set himself on fire to have the full scope of his conviction. "God" was telling him that he was the lamb of God.(do the math) I am WITNESS to these events. 20 years of treatment,medication and moments of clarity has helped him realize and discern that He is indeed sick. And yes, we are a spiritual family, back then very devout. But that did not change the fact that He is indeed sick. Actually the more I researched this specific form of schizophrenia, the more I found about the vast number of sufferers of this illness.

      I could name 10 very public cases of the bat. As with any school of faith, it can be emotionally damaging to any individual to question their leaders or view of God. This is an extremely delicate subject. If it were black and white, there would be no wars, right?

      Now to the case at hand, was He or wasn't He? Do you think this would matter to believers? Hell to the no. Is trying to convince the world that the bible is a complete work of fiction! This will never take place. In any religion. True or not, it makes no difference to the faithful. Besides, what good would come from that? Break hearts ? The greater good is the key here, not to prove something right. Take care my friend.

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      secularist10 4 years ago from New York City

      Mitch:

      Thank you very much. Of course, if Jesus really was divine, then that would change everything. But that's if he was divine, which is another debate altogether, and which I of course do not accept.

      Lady Guinevere:

      Thanks for coming, and I'm glad you found it interesting. I will certainly check out your hub.

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      secularist10 4 years ago from New York City

      D William--Thank you very much. I will check out your hub. Yes, please feel free to link!

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      secularist10 4 years ago from New York City

      Ambitious:

      Jesus was certainly not the first to claim, or be referred to as, a relative of a divine entity. The same can be said of most other elements of the Jesus story--the resurrection, the miracles, the virgin birth, and others. They all came before. What was unique about Jesus was that all those elements were combined into a single story with a single man.

      As far as the gender bias in religion, certainly it's because society at the time was dominated by men, a strict and rigid patriarchy was in place, and women enjoyed only second-class status or less. These tendencies then bled over into religious beliefs. It would make little sense of a male-dominated society to worship a female deity. This did happen in some cultures, but the vast majority had male-centric religions. It's an interesting topic though, I will think about writing a hub on that.

      "Women were second class citizens in religious times, would God be unhappy now that women are equal?"

      There are indications in the Bible that he might, in the family laws of the Old Testament for instance. But then there are indications that gender equality is right in line with God's plan, depending on which part of the Bible you look in.

      In any case, there are certainly many religious traditionalists today that would love to turn back the clock on gender relations.

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      Debra Allen 4 years ago from West By God

      Wow now this is another scenario of possible truth. I wrote a hub and I will certainly link yours with mine. It also has to do with Demons and Mental Illnesses and the symptoms of many of those illnesses and some videos to see what a Grand Mal Epileptic Seizure looks like. I voted this up and interesting and useful. I will go add this to my hub here: http://ladyguinevere.hubpages.com/hub/The-Truth-Ab...

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      Mitch Alan 4 years ago from South Jersey

      While I do believe that Jesus was the Christ, and having come from an agnostic to believer, I will say your Hub is well written and interesting. You must admit that you have to come from a point of non-belief to make your accusations of insanity. Denial of His divinity is requisite to your argument. If He is who He claimed to be, then all your arguments are moot, agreed?

      As a side note, in reference to the ark/animal question...if, as some have discussed, the earth was a super continent prior to, and possibly shortly after the great deluge, then this could explain the availability of each "kind" to enter the ark...especially if God was directing then to it's location. Not a proven fact, but an interesting take.

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      d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Great read.

      The number of comments are indicative of a well written hub.

      I wrote one along these lines, but you went way beyond mine - a virtual sequel. I put the same connotations on this phenomenon in our history, but with a more detailed explanation of why this happened in those uncertain times.

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Who-was-J...

      I will link yours with mine if you don't mind.

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      Michelle Lee 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      AmbitiousMarketer:

      Good point!!

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      SAM ELDER 4 years ago from Home

      When a person talks to God, it's ok , but when God talks to person, most likely it's mental disorder.

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      Mark Johnson 4 years ago from England

      With many people today and throughout history claiming to be the Son Of God it has always made me wonder whether Jesus was one of the first to openly admit it. Also, Jesus was Jesus of Nazareth correct me if Im wrong but weren't there many other Jesus' of so and so?

      Note to Author would you mind doing a hub on why male dominated the biblical stories:

      God is a He

      Jesus is a male

      Mark, Matthew Luke and John - no women authors and there have been 50+ scriptures (versions) by different authors all male however Constantine created this New Testament under the 4 authors above

      No female priests, bishops, pastors, leaders etc

      The word Man was used a lot to describe mankind

      Women were second class citizens in religious times, would God be unhappy now that women are equal?

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      secularist10 4 years ago from New York City

      Joe--Thanks for reading and glad you found it interesting!

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      Joe Salmon 4 years ago from Newport, Isle of Wight

      I am a Christian (modern version) and this is a really interesting read, especially as I am an aspiring psychologist, great debate!

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      secularist10 4 years ago from New York City

      Bizarrett--From one heathen to another, thank you! You have yet to earn the title of "narcissist" though :)

      I always find it amusing that many religious people can see aberrant behavior in today's cults and odd new religions, yet when it comes to their own traditions and the earliest adherents of their belief systems, suddenly the rules change. The preposterous becomes the miraculous. A double standard with cosmic power, lol.

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      bizarrett81 4 years ago from Maine

      Oh my... well, you know. I couldn't even look at any comments past "I will pray for you", because I knew I would end up spewing a novel on your comments section.

      I don't care if I get grief or even prayers (by all means, talk to your ceiling as much as you want, it makes no difference to me) from others for this but: I applaud you for writing this. As believers have their faith, non believers have their reasons, and I completely understand this.

      I laughed when I first started reading this because I have long said " Sometimes I wonder if Jesus was simply that first crazy guy, you know, the ones you see walking around Manhatten, quoting the bible and saying they are prophets" Perhaps he was just the first, and since it was a time of uncertainty and chaos where everyone was looking for answers to philosophical questions they hadn't evolved enough to understand yet, and answers to why horrible things were happening, people just believed him.

      Fantastic Hub, I say. But then again, I am a heathen.

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      Alexander A. Villarasa 4 years ago from Palm Springs

      @Secularists:

      Please, if I want attention I can get it without having to read your mendacious evasions and apologetics, of which your statement:

      "My position has been consistent throughout the whole time" is a prime example.

      Now let me dissect your narcissism. Your title "Was Jesus Crazy" was meant to give you an exit route, so if someone, via reading the text of the hub questioned the validity of your thesis, you can simply say, paraphrasing: well I did not say with certainty that Jesus was insane, only that perhaps he was mentally unbalanced. That you have done.

      If in fact you have some doubts about the mental stability of Jesus, then why title your hub with a question, then proceed to eviscerate His mental capacity via wild conjectures and speculations, based soley on your skewed reading of some biblical passages.

      Your attempt to soften the harshness of your vapid thesis, by saying that despite His insanity, Jesus had some social redeeming value was another escape route designed to placate some folks on Hub pages that may not easily take to what you are proposing.

      You remind me of the character played by Leonardo di Caprio in that movie, "Catch Me If You Can". A narcissist of the highest order.

      Giving yourself those two escape hatches are classic modus opernadi of a narcissist...

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      secularist10 4 years ago from New York City

      Villarasa--You are just projecting your own strange assumptions as usual. I make it clear in the first paragraph of the concluding section that we can never know the truth of Jesus' mental state. My position has been consistent throughout the whole time.

      Well, Jesus has been dead for thousands of years so I doubt he is capable of being "relieved" about anything. And I doubt Robert Pirsig cares what you or I say about him. On narcissism, at least look up the definition of a word before you attack someone with it.

      Unless you have something important to say in your next comment, I'll just ignore in the interest of not feeding the troll and encouraging your childish and immature nonsense. You just want attention, and I'm not interested.

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      Alexander A. Villarasa 4 years ago from Palm Springs

      @Secularist:

      I re-read your hub and the way you discussed the issue left no doubt in my mind that you believe Jesus was insane, despite your 2 rather limp/pallid disclaimers. Jesus and Robert Pirsig, must be so releived to read what you wrote especially the part that says, their insanity have some kind of a redeeming social value.

      I called you a narcissist because a narcissist typically believes he can argue either side of the debating chasm and thinks he can get away with it. Now the other folks on HubPages might be nice enough to give you a pass on that, but I won't.

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      secularist10 4 years ago from New York City

      Mercury--Thank you very much, I appreciate it.

      Like honey--Exactly, doubt is created either way. But we have to take a step back and look at the text critically to realize it.

      Platinum--I'm one to believe Jesus did exist as a person. Although no doubt his life history was grossly exaggerated and embellished significantly by the whirlwind of religious fervor that ensued in those years.

      Khairat--Thank you, glad you liked it.

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      secularist10 4 years ago from New York City

      Villarasa--if this is such a "nut-job" why are you still here? Unless you are afraid there might be a grain of truth here. I did not say that Jesus definitely was mentally unstable, I specifically said "if" he was unstable.

      The Sermon on the Mount is irrelevant. I specifically said in the article that mental disturbance does not preclude a person from contributing many positive things in their field, John Nash being a good example. And that applies to Robert Pirsig as well.

      The point is not that Jesus didn't contribute anything positive, for he did. But it does throw doubt on his "divinity."

      Now go ahead, call me a nut job and a narcissist again (not sure where the latter comes from, but whatever).

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      secularist10 4 years ago from New York City

      CR:

      Thanks, I appreciate it.

      John Nash lived in a very different time and place than Jesus. The ancient Near East was a world steeped in mysticism and supernaturalism, whereas John Nash's world had rationalism and modern science. There are certain cultures in the world where hallucinatory drugs are taken as part of a spiritual experience; yet the same drugs in an urban American context would be taken only by deadbeats and social outcasts. So context is everything.

      I agree that the Bible has valuable philosophical and ethical lessons to offer. If only people could look at it rationally, on those terms, on the same level as, say, Plato or Socrates or Kant. It's investing the book with "holiness" that causes so many problems.

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      platinumOwl4 4 years ago

      The question should be, did Jesus ever exist in the first place. Archeologist or now confirming that the majority of what is in the bible is myth and copies of Ancient story that had been in existence for thousands of years.

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      Michelle Lee 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Very interesting. It gives me a lot to think about....if the bible is a true recording of what Jesus was supposed to have thought and said then your point is very strong. If on the other hand it is made up of myths/facts and self promoting additions them Jesus may not have displayed these behaviors. Either way it leaves doubt. Interesting read.