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