Treating religious beliefs as a form of mental illness

While we all sleep, our betters have plans for us.

From Digital Journal:

Kathleen Taylor, a neurologist at Oxford University, said that recent developments suggest that we will soon be able to treat religious fundamentalism and other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society as a form of mental illness.

She made the assertion during a talk at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales on Wednesday. She said that radicalizing ideologies may soon be viewed not as being of personal choice or free will but as a category of mental disorder. She said new developments in neuroscience could make it possible to consider extremists as people with mental illness rather than criminals.

She told The Times of London: “One of the surprises may be to see people with certain beliefs as people who can be treated. Someone who has for example become radicalized to a cult ideology — we might stop seeing that as a personal choice that they have chosen as a result of pure free will and may start treating it as some kind of mental disturbance.” More.

Has anyone noticed how these types speak as if their own axioms are a “surprise” or “counterintuitive”

See also: Why fund social sciences? Even even “skeptic” Michael Shermer is beginning to “get it.”


Nicholas Kristof: More self-deceptive blather on academic freedom

On free will, see How can we believe in naturalism if we have no choice?


“I will ” means something after all

  • Lovely. I hope she’s put behind bars soon.

    • Justin St.Denis

      A nice, warm, fuzzy sentiment that I wholeheartedly share.

  • Denis

    so the government is now going to declare my Christianity as a mental disease? it sure looks like the opening salvo in an Orwellian right speak campaign.

    • It will come.

    • Exile1981

      They certainly won’t go after muslims.

  • How is a life of prayer a mental disturbance but an unfounded belief that women and black dogs are evil not?

  • pdxnag

    Well now, man is insane. Since all of man’s gods are man made then to say that religion is itself proof of insanity then to be man is to be insane.

    The drive to associate with others and to yield to peer pressure, all hallmarks of what makes humans capable of living among many others, must be additional proof of our collective insanity.

    Let’s ask this neurologist if she is the only sane one among us, or if she has any radicalized followers.

    • Justin St.Denis

      She’s a legend in her own mind, and a precursor of the latest emerging cult. How rich with irony.

  • ntt1

    Will this help anorexics and vegans who suffer body dismorphia driven eating disorders?

  • Mark DeFord Eletion

    Religion is a set of delusions, but it is not a mental illness, or caused by one. Delusion is actually normal. Humans, unfortunately, are naturally susceptible to it.

    Religious beliefs are created in a person in the same way that people come to believe that Islam is peaceful, or that baseball is an interesting activity. Each individual chooses his/her authority figures, and believes what they say, until persuaded otherwise. If that contrary persuasion never comes, the delusion continues.

    As far as I can tell, humans have an instinct to believe what their authority figures tell them. It’s part of the survival instinct. It is especially important in childhood when learning what should not be eaten, for example.

    • ismiselemeas

      Children are particularly susceptible to religious indoctrination unfortunately.

      • Justin St.Denis

        Silly dogs get their own YouTube video channels. You should consider doing the same. You may find it of therapeutic value.

        • ismiselemeas

          I’m not sure if I get your point old chap. Care to expand?

    • Minicapt

      And as Dr Kinsey discovered, 30% of adults are homosexual by nature.
      Did you study at the same trough as Dr Taylor, or Dr Dawkins?


  • simus1

    Globull Warming Cult members should be given priority for the deprogramming slots.

  • AmicusC

    so religion= mental disease but a man thinking he is a woman a dog a goat or a 6 year old is the epitome of mentally stable. very interesting.

  • Chatillon

    Hmmm. Putting the religious into psychological treatment is right out of the Soviet play book.

    The Soviet Union did not fall. It simply migrated West where the pickings are better.

    • Justin St.Denis

      The ciphers have been working at it for years. McCarthy was right on all counts.