• Paul

    Eh…. I have to disagree. If a schizophrenic person wants to debate me about the non-existent cheshire cat that s/he sees sitting on the chair, I think I’m more than permitted to point out his/her mental disorder in order to justify my not willing to debate the issue further. I don’t see why this doesn’t apply in less serious psychological cases, such as religiously-shaped delusions.

  • Lles Nats

    Atheists want a world who’s morality standard is ruled by men. That’s a scary enough thought to make me religious, forever.

  • gilhcan

    Sorry, but the thinking this kind of comment represents is so shallow it adds absolutely nothing worthwhile to religion or psychology. And religion and psychology are integrally related.

    All the problems that have ever been demonstrated in the history of religion–the mythology of which precedes the scientific and analytic discoveries of psychology by millenia–are due to the workings of “bad psychology.”

  • I recommend the site JewishThoughtandPsychoanalysis.com

  • Lles Nats

    Why would you recommend it?

  • gilhcan

    Lies Nats: How can there be any morality, any ethics that does not originate in humans? How can there be any religion that does not originate in humans?

    If any morality or ethics might scare us into being religious, we must be careful that we very seriously consider the origins of religion and all of history. Much of those origins and that history is enough to scare one away from religion.

    Broader history than that of only religion, a solid grounding in the much later sciences, replicable, provable facts, is necessary to not resort to religion out of fear. Fear and ignorance played vital roles in religion’s origins. Religion based on fear remains nothing but fear.

    The human race has lived, learned, and grown greatly from its experience. Everything evolves. “There are these four, faith, hope, charity, and honesty, and the greatest of these is honesty.” Honesty in all knowledge, and ethics based on honesty, can free us from all fear.

  • Mayor McCheese

    I have had ENOUGH! The Hamburglar has been on the loose and evading authorities since 1985 and no one, NOT A SINGLE PERSON, has done anything to stop him.

    Do you think it doesn’t matter because they aren’t YOUR hamburgers that are being stolen? Do you think it doesn’t affect you? How naive.

    Change must be made. I haven’t been in office for 43 years for no darn reason.

    Death to The Hamburglar

  • Stephen

    It’s extremely good that you have a contingency plan for winning arguments with the mentally disabled, and it’s extremely rad and cool that you see holding an incorrect belief as the same thing as being mentally ill.

  • Lles Nats

    I agree, absent a god ethics can only originate from man.

    The scary part is which specific man gets to tell me what is ethical/moral, and why?

    As an example, we are told reverse racism as a matter of codified law is fine…to correct previous and ongoing injustices apparently. It gives rise to a cottage industry of ethnocentric socialogists/leaders who exist because they find new ways to keep the ethnic narrative alive and relevant. I don’t believe it. Racist policy to right a previous wrong does not make gov sanctioned racism a right. We’ve opened gov lead discrimination up in thr name of ending real, or sometimes only perceived, organic discrimination.

    You’re telling me thr collective human mind can get topics like this right…by giving your trust to it? I cannot.

    And don’t even get me started on our systems of modern money. Credit creation as we do it today, commonly accepted as fair by almost everyone except occupy wall street types, is absolutely immoral and the first cause of great societal balance.

    I just don’t trust human wisdom to get this right. Most people I know long for the “the good old days”. Whether we were simply ignorant back then, or whether our systems were truely better, I cannot say…but something has changed and about half the people know it and aren’t happy about it.

  • Lles Nats

    Label him a terrorist, and automatically you will have at your disposal the gov killing machine. Designed to keep you “free”, of course. As long as they don’t call you a terrorist too, that is.

  • Larry Meza

    I am so glad that you want to promote more reason within the atheist-theist discussion but coming from you I am not at all surprised. I am a Christian but I completely agree with you.

    However…I think there is a more fundamental issue involved with those who prefer diatribes to dialogue (this includes atheists, Christians, and everyone in between)…most of them don’t want to discuss…they want to promote. They don’t want to be heard…they want to speak. They don’t want to listen…they want to win.

    Until this basic fundamentalist posture is changed, I’m afraid to say that no amount of reason will suffice.

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  • Casually dismissing a psychological explanation for behavior… why? How is that the same as “hating Christmas”? Ok, let me get this straight (because clearly a “graduate with distinction and a B.S. in Psychology” is missing the point. An understanding of unconscious motivation is not the same as conscious motivation. There is a significant mixing of levels of analysis. Freud has a brilliant explanatory insight which is cognitive-historical. While Fox news imputes conscious ill-will. Is this really the kind of analysis we get out of Psychology graduates? Sad, really. And longing for the father figure, for some kind of recognition, no doubt.

  • Larry

    There are no ethics from God. Religious based morality is no morality at all. It is simply outsourcing moral thinking to arbitrary authority. Deference to authority or acting out of self interest of divine punishment or reward.

    Everyone who claims their moral conduct is guided by God is a liar. Yourself included.

    Everyone who claims so, interprets their scriptures and religious ideas to what suits them best. Since you do not get your marching order directly from the word of God himself, you are left figuring out how the scriptures work. Using your own very human conscience or judgment skills to work out what they want to justify. The very human conscience you want to deny.

  • Larry

    There is nothing more obnoxious than a fundamentalist Christian remarking to an atheist or secularist that they must have some deep rooted psychological reason for hating Christians. As if they represent the most reasonable, rational views out there.

    It is passive aggressive nonsense used to dismiss someone else. Usually done when said Christian is flustered. Funnily it always seems to be concluded with the nasty-minded hostile “I will pray for you”. Which is Christianspeak for “go f— yourself”

  • Larry Meza

    The point of the article is the knife cuts both ways…why do you think he put that on this site?

  • Larry

    I know. But as real life examples go, I have seen it far more prevalent from the Christians talking down to others than visa versa.

  • The Great God Pan

    Looks like Coyne hit a nerve.

  • walker

    seriously vlad your post screams “daddy issues” qed

  • Larry Meza

    Let me qualify your statement by saying Conservative Christians…but I wholeheartedly and sadly agree.

  • Larry Meza

    Oops…you DID say fundamentalist Christian…my bad…I’m glad you recognize and make that distinction.

  • It sounds like he was trolling.

  • This is the way I see many atheists argue. You disagree, but not by rebutting the argument, by ignoring it and just asserting that the original position is still true.

  • Uh, I believe “delusion” has been classified as a mental disorder. That’s what God is. So who needs the psychiatrist?

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  • I’m wondering when, exactly, Christian apologists stopped accusing non-believers of “being angry at God,” or “hating God,” or refusing to believe in God because “they dislike the constraints of morality,” or because “they’re rebellious” … or any number of other putative telepathic determinations they’ve spewed about what they presume (but don’t necessarily know) motivates non-believers?

    Please, I want to know when they stopped doing this, because if they did, I’m unaware of it.

    To be clear: If you’re going to demand one group of people stop engaging in a particular behavior, then you must demand that ALL other groups — of whatever sort — ALSO stop engaging in that very same behavior. If those other groups refuse to, they effectively encourage the first group to continue engaging in the behavior, regardless of whether or not they should do so. Yes, I get that “two wrongs don’t make a right,” however, in practice, people simply don’t live up to this principle.

    What’s more, I question whether this is universally wrong. “Mind reading” isn’t always erroneous. Sometimes non-believers have valid insights about what makes believers “tick,” usually because they’ve been believers themselves, and as former “insiders,” have direct knowledge of what they’re speaking of. As it turns out, it’s actually not uncommon for a non-believer to have been an erstwhile believer. Really. Honest.