...or is it just a genetically programmed characteristic of man?
Programmed but not genetically, - you can reprogram yourself if you possess natural scepticism and common sense.
The vast majority of believers have been indoctrinated into their religions, that's how religions are set up. Considering that believers will have their own interpretations of those particular beliefs, they will seek out beliefs that suit those interpretations, hence you will see their personal beliefs are what they want to believe and really have very little to do with what their gods want them to believe.
There have been studies linking the size of the temporal lobes with a feeling of being "watched". Prof Dawkins submitted to the test (a well known atheist) and despite the "numbers" claimed stimulation of the lobes caused no response.
"Is religion a neurological disorder?"
The probability is not zero.
What is your definition of disorder?
If religious belief is caused by brain organization, I'd say it's atheists like me who have the "disorder".
Does religious belief harm the person who has it? Not usually. But it doesn't cause harm not to have it either.
So, no, I would not call it a disorder. If it is brain wiring, I'd call it "unfortunate" and if it could be cured, I'd strongly recommend the treatment. But plent of people live with worse.
autism is considered a neurological "disorder" ie different wiring to the norm, and many people with autism are not religious.
A "neurological disorder" is not the same as mental illness.
No, I don't think "religion" is a neurological disorder, but mental illness may be associated with it disproportionally eg if you didn't go in with mental illness, you have a high chance of becoming mentally ill while in it!
"No, I don't think "religion" is a neurological disorder, but mental illness may be associated with it disproportionally eg if you didn't go in with mental illness, you have a high chance of becoming mentally ill while in it!"
No you don't.
I think people with undiagnosed mental illness are attracted to religion. In my case, developing depression and being told I had demonic possession was one of the reasons I left christianity (have written hub).
Article above indicates that churches will tell those with mental illness that they are experiencing spiritual problems
If we define "mentally ill" as exhibiting irrational behavior because of a belief in something that does not exist, then some religious people are mentally ill.
However, most religious belief is much removed from that - few will test their faith with anything that could actually harm them.
But some do.
Intelligence and education definitely is associated; the more of the first two, the less religious belief. But that's just statistics and can't be used to classify individuals.
It is natural for people to seek philosophy or what is the meaning of life, once they want to know the so called truth or there are things which they cant fathom. Life is not the way they envisioned to be so they cling to an organized belief, makes it easier for them to be with the majority. it is more social than genetics or biology
It's a hiher form of evolutionary homo-sapien.
We will rule the world.
Just a bit of sarcasm, sorry. Can't help myself.
On the other hand, if evolution IS the way we all came to be what we are, who cares, so what, why bother defining it? We just ARE. One religious, one not. Or is that more like 98 religious, and 2 not (I'm loosely talking percentages).
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