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On religious psychopathology

January 4, 2012

This is an argument that I’ve seen often enough to find it a cliché, the believer who thinks that they would go full-on psycho without whichever brand of theism keeps them from lashing out at everyone around them. It seems unfortunate that since I decided to check out the Rational Skepticism forum again, some things just never change. Like believers having meltdowns.

Your efforts to indoctrinate others, that theism is vanity, is not living atheism consequently. A militant atheist as you, should live his world view. According to you, you do have only this life to live. Ones it ends, and you die, the game , the show is over. Finish. End of story. Whatever happyness you had, you will not experiment anymore. Forever. So if i would follow consequently your world view, i would live a extremely ego-centric life. I would not care about others, since that is a total waste of time. What matters, is YOUR satisfaction. Is YOUR happyness. Is YOUR fun. is YOU, your self. If i would be you, i would live and experience my inclinations in their full extent. I would not care about contemporary moral standards. I would create mine. And adapt them perfectly to my needs. I would not care about what society regards as virtues, as love, honesty, justice, rightness, selflessness etc. If i would love to rape and kill and torture little children, i would do it without hesitation. It would serve to please my own wishes at best. Ones i die, its over. I couldnt do afterwards anything anymore, that pleases me. So it would have to be now, today, right now. That is behaving intelligently, according to your world view. And i would not have to fear any “magicman”, and neither think, i did something wrong. Since there would be no objective moral standard, and if i determine, that kill, rape , and torture little babies is actually a virtue, is good, there is no ” magicman ” to tell me its wrong, so it is actually good. I make the standard. I say what is good. There is nobody to tell me , something is not good, since nobody is above me. If i would be a lazy person, which hates to work, but love luxury, money,, and everything money can buy, i would never search a job in a company. I would probably find out the most refined way to steal money, in a way never to be catched, and spend it without think about tomorrow. Ones it ends, i would find out the easiest way to get money again. cheating, killing, stealing, hurting, whatever. I would not care. Actually, i would think, the more effective i were to reach my objectives, the better……..

I’m not going to comment on the spelling/grammar as it’s likely the poster is not a native English speaker. There’s enough to condemn without worrying about that.

So if i would follow consequently your world view, i would live a extremely ego-centric life.

It’s interesting to consider the god-believer, trapped in a humane, altruistic mindset, apparently by their fear of whichever god-concept has captured their fancy or was drummed into them as a child. As a skeptic, I never experienced such a radical change of POV, although I have known some who did – not hard to find amongst libertarians, and cats.

I do remember questioning why I behaved as I did, and devising a more reasonable set of ethics to replace the whole sin mindset.

I would not care about what society regards as virtues, as love, honesty, justice, rightness, selflessness etc.

This to me is someone who is fooling themselves. It’s not surprising to find a believer who talks easily about becoming a psychopath in the absence of their religion; it’s not about them abandoning their religion after all, it’s an attack on the character of the skeptic. But believers and skeptics alike do not live and work in a vacuum, and society does matter. Society is where I get most of my information and suggestions for ethical behavior, although not exclusively so. But any ex-believer who thinks they can drive their car down the street through traffic lights and over pedestrians will quickly come to care about society, as society will most assuredly care – and do something – about them.

And i would not have to fear any “magicman”, and neither think, i did something wrong.

If there was any doubt about the mindset of sin and fear of punishment that guides this poor sap, I think it can be safely dismissed here. It isn’t necessary that he live in constant terror; but it seems that the root of his ethical system is sin and fear of punishment.

cheating, killing, stealing, hurting, whatever. I would not care.

The typical response from the skeptic, and from this one, is that if your god-concept is all that keeps you from behaving like this, then keep it. Of course, statistics I’ve seen about the religious beliefs of inmates in prison suggests that, often as not, it’s not enough.

In the end, though, it is just one long insult to the skeptic, a love letter from the believer about ‘this is what I think of you’. Not that there’s any credible evidence that atheism results in a psychotic break; it’s just insulting rhetoric that makes the believer feel better.

I’ve seen it often enough that it doesn’t get a rise out of me any more. More like a roll of the eyes – typical. Leave it to someone younger, who hasn’t been putting up with such nonsense for decades, to get pissed off and unleash on them. I can take it apart, I can turn it on the believer and say, this is what you would do without your belief in a god to stop you? Either they would, and they’re a terrible person; or they wouldn’t, and the argument collapses.

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2 comments

  1. […] In a blog post from a couple months ago, I mentioned going back to the Rational Skepticism forum to give it another try, after giving up on it for about a year. Since then I haven’t found the moderation to have improved one bit, but I continue to read while not taking it as seriously. […]


  2. […] In a blog post from a couple months ago, I mentioned going back to the Rational Skepticism forum to give it another try, after giving up on it for about a year. Since then I haven’t found the moderation to have improved one bit, but I continue to read while not taking it as seriously. […]



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