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18 December 2009

Blogging and reading other blogs (Symptoms of Religious Addiction)

I read a lot of other blogs. No duh! Generally the blogs are ones of interest to me, but quite often, I try to read blogs that talk about things I am not familiar with. Actually BEING a theist is one thing that I am not familiar with. I attempted to trick myself into believing the bullshit when I was around 14, but it really was an exercise in futility. Being rational, and then attempting to be non-rational is like someone having eyesight wanting to gouge out their own eyes. As such, I really don't have a lot of experience with what people call "deconversion". I read Daniel Florien's blog on this because he's pretty funny. I read John Loftus's blog because he pulls no punches. Of course I read many non-theistic blogs too (about astronomy, science, art, computer games, etc.), but this particular entry is about one in particular.

The Redheaded Skeptic stopped by here one time and left me a comment. So I went and checked out her blog, and I was pleased to have another person's perspective on deconversion (my wife has her perspective too, but her version didn't seem to resonate with other's and she thinks more in pictures anyway so it's hard to articulate it). So while I can't offer anything on this, maybe she can. One of her entries particularly resonated with me though... Let's just say that in reality, strong theism is like a mental disorder, and this post sums it up quite well:

Josh posted a list of signs that one is addicted to religion, along with how he fit the criteria. I read it and definitely saw myself and my family.

The list can be found here and seems to describe fundamentalism at its core. It is as follows:

  1. Inability to think, doubt, or question religious information and/or authority
  2. Black-and-white, good/bad, either/or simplistic thinking: one way or the other
  3. Shame-based belief that you aren’t good enough or you aren’t doing it right
  4. Magical thinking that God will fix you/ do it all, without serious work on your part
  5. Scrupulosity: rigid obsessive adherence to rules, codes of ethics, or guidelines
  6. Uncompromising judgmental attitudes: readiness to find fault or evil out there
  7. Compulsive or obsessive praying, going to church or crusades, quoting scripture
  8. Unrealistic financial contributions
  9. Believing that sex is dirty; believing our bodies or physical pleasures are evil
  10. Compulsive overeating and/or excessive fasting
  11. Conflict and argumentation with science, medicine, and education
  12. Progressive detachment from the real work, isolation and breakdown of relationships
  13. Psychosomatic illness: back pains, sleeplessness, headaches, hypertension
  14. Manipulating scripture or texts, feeling specially chosen, claiming to receive special messages from God
  15. Maintaining a religious “high”, trance-like state, keeping a happy face (or the belief that one should…)
  16. Attitude of righteousness or superiority: “we versus the world,” including the denial of one’s human-ness.
  17. Confusion, great doubts, mental, physical or emotional breakdown, cries for help

Verrrry interesting. I definitely fit almost every single criteria. Though I do wonder if it is based on anything scientific or the author’s own observations. This may not be a list of addiction symptoms, but rather fundamentalism. Is there a difference? That is for science to know and for us to find out! What do you think?

Now, I do want to mention, I also read blogs by the deluded. I have only commented on one (by invitation even). I don't repost what they have to say, because, well, it's the same lame shit over and over again. It's the same with any delusions that fly in the face of reality, like the birthers or people who deny evolution. All too often, people who attempt to debate theists/birthers/creationists end up having to sit through endless bad arguments and just plain silly assertions. And they get tiresome. Incredibly tiresome. So tiresome in fact that anyone caught in the endless web of theist/birther/creationist lies and deceptions usually just gets frustrated and leaves, handing the theist/birther/creationists a victory in their mind (a la pigeon playing chess analogy).

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