Author Topic: Are atheists mentally ill?  (Read 1216 times)

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Offline Dpaula

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Are atheists mentally ill?
« on: August 16, 2013, 11:20:16 AM »

I found this article pretty interesting and it definitely made sense to me. I'm not sure I agree that atheists are really mentally ill, but I can understand how and why they end up with all kinds of problems.

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/63476.htm
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Offline pmpn8rGPT

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2013, 11:27:46 AM »
The last paragraph was pretty funny.

Otherwise the wording of this article is embarrassing and downright shameful.  It is one thing to publish your theories and the evidence thereof in a report, it is another to be rude about it.

And this came from an Orthodox site?  Lord have Mercy.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 11:29:40 AM by pmpn8rGPT »
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2013, 11:33:50 AM »
I'm starting to believe all this stuff about Atheists being smarter when I read articles like that
The user should probably be sleeping by now.

Offline Dpaula

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2013, 11:37:28 AM »
Funny. I thought you guys will enjoy it.
I did.

Am I missing something?
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Offline pmpn8rGPT

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2013, 11:39:48 AM »
Funny. I thought you guys will enjoy it.
I did.

Am I missing something?
Quote
Is it the atheists, who live short, selfish, stunted little lives – often childless – before they approach hopeless death in despair, and their worthless corpses are chucked in a trench (or, if they are wrong, they go to Hell)?
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Offline Dpaula

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2013, 11:45:56 AM »
I mean, sure, very descriptive, but certainly not a lie (at least in most cases I know).

They do live their lives carelessly which leads to all kinds of problems. I've been there for awhile.
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Offline Nikolaostheservant

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2013, 12:07:49 PM »
"Therefore, being an atheist – lacking the vital faculty of faith – should be seen as an affliction, and a tragic deficiency: something akin to blindness. Which makes Richard Dawkins the intellectual equivalent of an amputee, furiously waving his stumps in the air, boasting that he has no hands. "

ha ha haaaa.

Offline pmpn8rGPT

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2013, 12:08:56 PM »
I mean, sure, very descriptive, but certainly not a lie (at least in most cases I know).

They do live their lives carelessly which leads to all kinds of problems. I've been there for awhile.
Aside from the fact that there are many Christians who also live selfish and probably worthless lives, it is an awful generalization to make.

No one has the right to play God and decide someone's worth.  

And this language does not inspire humility, it inspires hatred, which is something that all Christians should not participate in.  Not even the title was very good for a Christian to write.  I also have a difficult time imagining that it would help bring an atheist closer to Christ.

Again, there is a way to write your theories and the evidence to support it without being rude and hateful.
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Offline Ansgar

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2013, 12:12:04 PM »
No, atheists are not mentally ill, and the thing about them living "selfish, stunted little lives" is incredibly generalising.

There are several countries, where a great part (if not the majority) of the population is atheist and who leads perfectly normal lives.  

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Offline IoanC

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2013, 01:09:08 PM »
FatherGiryus who is a poster here has written a response to the article on his blog: http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.ro/2013/08/is-atheism-form-of-mental-illness.html

Offline WPM

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2013, 01:21:46 PM »
No, mental illness is not associated with Atheism.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 01:23:54 PM by WPM »

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2013, 01:30:49 PM »
Depends on what brand of Atheism.

Is it the militant Atheist brand that doesn't listen to anybody but themselves?

Or is it the soft Atheist brand that simply feels disenfranchised in belief in a god?

I think the former is definitely "mentally ill".

I saw a debate between David Silverman and James White.

Silverman was the Atheist, and the topic was on "Is the New Testament Evil?" and his entire argument was based on the Augustinian understanding of "Original Sin".

I don't know how he gets the New Testament (written in the first century) to equate with Augustinianism, which St. Augustine wrote in the 4th century.  ???

Seems like mental illness to me.

Here's the debate:
Quote
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXNgHR1XYlc

Notice the comments from Atheists who think Silverman just proved the New Testament is evil. Obviously not realizing he just proved medieval Augustinianism wrong.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 01:37:41 PM by xOrthodox4Christx »
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Offline Dpaula

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2013, 01:35:06 PM »
I think people are overly sensitive. Or maybe I have thicker skin. Not sure.

I know for a fact that when I decided to not believe in the existence of God, I allowed myself to do all kind of crazy stuff because in my mind there were no consequences and no one to hold me responsible. From one bad choice to another, worse and worse, until I was so lost and my mind was so confused, I had to fall down on my knees and ask for Love. I can see so many changes in my life. I just feel better, overall.

All I'm saying is that I agree....living a life where you really don't care about what's going to happen after you die, can lead to multiple issues, and if they get bad enough, your mental health will definitely be affected.
I'm not saying atheist are atheists because they are mentally ill. I'm saying atheists can end up having mental problems.
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Offline J Michael

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2013, 01:51:30 PM »
Anybody can be or become mentally ill.

Anybody, believer or not, can end up having mental problems.
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2013, 01:52:19 PM »
I know for a fact that when I decided to not believe in the existence of God, I allowed myself to do all kind of crazy stuff because in my mind there were no consequences and no one to hold me responsible. From one bad choice to another, worse and worse, until I was so lost and my mind was so confused, I had to fall down on my knees and ask for Love. I can see so many changes in my life. I just feel better, overall.

All I'm saying is that I agree....living a life where you really don't care about what's going to happen after you die, can lead to multiple issues, and if they get bad enough, your mental health will definitely be affected.
I'm not saying atheist are atheists because they are mentally ill. I'm saying atheists can end up having mental problems.

I don't care what happens after I die. What I care about as a believer, is giving value to something that is living.

If we assume we are just here as useless, statistically improbable organisms, why should I care about foreign wars, about the environment, about the poor? If they have no intrinsic value, why should I care?

It's because I care about those things that I cannot throw away God who is my only throwback to sanity.

Whatever the Almighty has in store for me in the afterlife is fine by me, He created me, I think He knows what to do with me.
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Offline Romaios

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2013, 01:56:02 PM »

I'm not saying atheist are atheists because they are mentally ill. I'm saying atheists can end up having mental problems.

So can religious people, unfortunately.

There are lots of factors involved in mental illness. While faith should theoretically make people more optimistic and enable them to cope better with all sorts of hardships, religiosity can also conceal a lot of bitterness and frustration. Sometimes I feel that people with all sorts of psychological or even psychiatric issues flock to churches...
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 01:58:16 PM by Romaios »

Offline Dpaula

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2013, 02:00:57 PM »
Ok.
Who is more likely to end up with mental problems?

Believers or Atheists?

Wasn't this what the whole article was about?
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Offline Dpaula

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2013, 02:12:59 PM »
I know for a fact that when I decided to not believe in the existence of God, I allowed myself to do all kind of crazy stuff because in my mind there were no consequences and no one to hold me responsible. From one bad choice to another, worse and worse, until I was so lost and my mind was so confused, I had to fall down on my knees and ask for Love. I can see so many changes in my life. I just feel better, overall.

All I'm saying is that I agree....living a life where you really don't care about what's going to happen after you die, can lead to multiple issues, and if they get bad enough, your mental health will definitely be affected.
I'm not saying atheist are atheists because they are mentally ill. I'm saying atheists can end up having mental problems.

I don't care what happens after I die. What I care about as a believer, is giving value to something that is living.

If we assume we are just here as useless, statistically improbable organisms, why should I care about foreign wars, about the environment, about the poor? If they have no intrinsic value, why should I care?

It's because I care about those things that I cannot throw away God who is my only throwback to sanity.

Whatever the Almighty has in store for me in the afterlife is fine by me, He created me, I think He knows what to do with me.

I do care what happens to my life after death. That's why I make the conscious choice of living by Thy will. I want Light, Love, Truth for eternity.
Unfortunately, I know people who don't care about anything but themselves, and that's because they think YOLO ( isn't this the new life theme thing? ? ? ?) Tattoos all over, drugs, alcohol, sex and so on. Who has time to pray for our brothers in Christ from Egypt? They got themselves to worry about enough. Funny enough, all these people "have no God" and "they are their own God".
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 02:13:41 PM by Dpaula »
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Offline Romaios

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2013, 02:14:30 PM »
Ok.
Who is more likely to end up with mental problems?

Believers or Atheists?

Let's not forget that an unshaken, pure and Orthodox faith is a rarity even among believers. Ascetics often find themselves on the brink of the abyss - without the right spiritual guidance, they can easily end up deluded or even mentally ill.  

I'd say there's no unequivocal correlation between religious faith and mental sanity.

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2013, 02:20:26 PM »
I don't know about religion/atheism and mental health or mental problems. I have thought that it seemed impossible to me that atheists could circumvent the (in)famous "Maslow's hierarchy of needs" like Christian monastics can. But that's perhaps dealing with exceptional cases.

Offline Dpaula

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2013, 02:56:48 PM »
Ok.
Who is more likely to end up with mental problems?

Believers or Atheists?

I'd say there's no unequivocal correlation between religious faith and mental sanity.

I understand :)

It did the trick for me though :)

After my experience, I actually advise people going through tough times to ask God for help. It works :)
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Offline J Michael

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2013, 03:17:25 PM »
Ok.
Who is more likely to end up with mental problems?

Believers or Atheists?

I'd say there's no unequivocal correlation between religious faith and mental sanity.

I understand :)

It did the trick for me though :)

After my experience, I actually advise people going through tough times to ask God for help. It works :)

I don't know what your experience was, but "going through tough times" isn't always the same as being mentally ill.  Will asking God for help if you actively disbelieve in Him "work"?  Now...ITSM  that if you didn't believe in God, but wanted to believe in God, or even wanted to want to...that would be entirely different. 
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Offline davillas

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2013, 03:35:28 PM »
I don`t believe they are mentally ill. If you read the Bible you will see that one of the main themes there is the "hardened hearts". I believe this is what is happening with a lot of atheists ( and many times even with religious people ). Without a humble heart one cannot have a clear mind.
Sadly this "mentally ill" thing will be used sometimes in the future against religious people ( at least this is what i think seeing what happens now ). There are already " studies " made by "scientists" to discover what is wrong with our brain. They don`t say it yet but they surely believe that something is wrong with our brains. I can`t wait to hear Christians telling other Christians that they don`t understand how science works.

http://www.irtiqa-blog.com/2008/02/belief-in-god-nature-or-nurture.html


Offline WPM

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2013, 04:28:59 PM »
I usually go with a Wikipedia article:www.wikipedia.com

Offline JoeS2

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2013, 04:32:05 PM »
I usually go with a Wikipedia article:www.wikipedia.com

Really deep down, I don't believe there are any Atheists.  Oh, they claim it and shout it from the highest tree, but I cant bring myself to believe there is a 100% true blue Atheist.  But, what do I know.

Offline JoeS2

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2013, 04:33:54 PM »
Anybody can be or become mentally ill.

Anybody, believer or not, can end up having mental problems.

This means that a certain belief or non belief will cause mental illness?  Naaaaa.............. 

Offline J Michael

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2013, 04:41:02 PM »
Anybody can be or become mentally ill.

Anybody, believer or not, can end up having mental problems.

This means that a certain belief or non belief will cause mental illness?  Naaaaa.............. 

No.  It does not mean "that a certain belief or non belief will cause mental illness".  It means that one can be mentally ill regardless of whether or not one is a believer.  Or, have I misunderstood you?
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Offline JoeS2

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2013, 04:49:25 PM »
Anybody can be or become mentally ill.

Anybody, believer or not, can end up having mental problems.

This means that a certain belief or non belief will cause mental illness?  Naaaaa.............. 

No.  It does not mean "that a certain belief or non belief will cause mental illness".  It means that one can be mentally ill regardless of whether or not one is a believer.  Or, have I misunderstood you?

I think I am saying the same thing only differently.  Having or not having a belief system doesn't cause mental illness.  I hope this explains my post.

Offline Dpaula

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2013, 05:45:11 PM »
Ok.
Who is more likely to end up with mental problems?

Believers or Atheists?

I'd say there's no unequivocal correlation between religious faith and mental sanity.

I understand :)

It did the trick for me though :)

After my experience, I actually advise people going through tough times to ask God for help. It works :)

I don't know what your experience was, but "going through tough times" isn't always the same as being mentally ill.  Will asking God for help if you actively disbelieve in Him "work"?  Now...ITSM  that if you didn't believe in God, but wanted to believe in God, or even wanted to want to...that would be entirely different. 

Going through hard times and not addressing the issues, can potentially lead to depression, suicidal thoughts and so on, correct? Going through hard times can push one to ask for psychiatric help, yes? I'm not sure what you understand by "mentally ill", but to me having any kind of mental discomfort, tension, stress...is being mentally ill. So my question remains. Are atheists prone to having such issues?
I just know that "having Faith" helps me cope with A LOT. It makes everything mean something. There's a purpose I live for. It changed my life. I feel lighter, like some pressure has been lifted off my shoulders. Maybe for somebody that never had problems with their Faith, this sounds weird, but for someone rediscovering God in His fullness, it means everything.

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Offline William

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2013, 11:49:50 PM »
I was told by a teacher that I was leagues above everyone else in a class I took where everyone else was atheist. I don't really buy the "atheists are smart" idea.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2013, 02:24:30 AM »
Funny. I thought you guys will enjoy it.
I did.

Am I missing something?
Quote
Is it the atheists, who live short, selfish, stunted little lives – often childless – before they approach hopeless death in despair, and their worthless corpses are chucked in a trench (or, if they are wrong, they go to Hell)?

Well, the only thing inaccurate about that is that Madalyn Murray O'Hair had offspring.
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Offline Kerdy

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2013, 02:47:41 AM »
Quote
Are atheists mentally ill?


I would say they are spiritually ill.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2013, 09:57:23 AM »
Quote
Are atheists mentally ill?


I would say they are spiritually ill.

I think that was more like what the article was meaning.
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Offline Santagranddad

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2013, 10:19:43 AM »
The Soviets regarded and treated believers as mentally ill, sending them to special psychiatric units and 'treating' them with anti-psychotic drugs but not the drugs that counter the very severe adverse effects.

Do we wish to ape them by typing them as mentally ill, which more often than not means applying a social construct with little evidence of the validity of such a construct?

If they have an issue it is a spiritual deficit, surely?

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #34 on: August 17, 2013, 10:40:08 AM »
The Soviets regarded and treated believers as mentally ill, sending them to special psychiatric units and 'treating' them with anti-psychotic drugs but not the drugs that counter the very severe adverse effects.

Do we wish to ape them by typing them as mentally ill, which more often than not means applying a social construct with little evidence of the validity of such a construct?

If they have an issue it is a spiritual deficit, surely?

I don't think the article is concerned with modern psychology when it speaks of "mental illness." The illness and healing of the psyche means something different to those speaking from an Orthodox theological perspective.
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Offline JamesR

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #35 on: August 17, 2013, 12:48:20 PM »
No, just in denial.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
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Offline Gamliel

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2013, 01:55:41 PM »
About 2,000 years ago, the LORD said that He came for the sick, so in a way the atheists are mentally ill, but so are the rest of us.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Are atheists mentally ill?
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2013, 02:01:13 PM »
Quote
Are atheists mentally ill?


I would say they are spiritually ill.
About 2,000 years ago, the LORD said that He came for the sick, so in a way the atheists are mentally ill, but so are the rest of us.

Yes and yes.
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