When Richard Dawkins published The God Delusion, many people were shaken. Boy! I never taught it was possible to find that book in some bookstores in Manila.
I remember attending this atheist gathering here in Manila – I do not exactly remember the date, but just for some kicks – I asked one of the waiter on what he thinks about people who doesn’t believed the existence of God. Well…what I got was quite a surprising response: They’re not human.
If a person doesn’t believe in God, people seem to think negatively of him. Instead of contemplating about his reasons for not believing, they seem to concentrate more on some issues…negative issues in the non-believer’s life. Maybe something happened to him or that some of his prayers (or wishes) were not answered. That is why he is now rejecting God.
Christian apologists oftentimes rub more salt into the injury. In the medieval idea, John Chrysostom said that a man who does not fear God does not exist and his nature is somehow not human. Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain said that atheists have an inferior moral and psychological status.
H.C. Rumke placed all atheists in the class of the mentally sick when he said, “Unbelief is an interruption in development.” (The Psychology of Unbelief 1962 p.13)
Alister McGrath even said that atheism is an outcome of anxiety, despair and alienation.
Well that was then…this is now.
Today we have an idea of what kind of madness god belief can do and fortunately, we have history as a backup. Just imagine how many people were killed because of religious wars and the insanity brought by the Inquisition and the Crusade. Golly! That is worse than being delusional. How many more were killed by religious suicide bombers, who believe that their action will bring him and his family to heaven?
Those are extreme cases. Let us focus on a more subtle side of this insanity.
Just go to Luneta Park on a Sunday night and watch these “Attorneys of God” debate their blues away. Believe me it’s better than Jack TV and Comedy Central. Just imagine the confusion…and to think about it, they’re debating a book which all of them read and believe to be the “Word of God.” And they say God is not the author of confusion.
How many religion, denomination or churches insist to be “the true one?” How many founders of these religions declare himself as “Son of God”, “the true messenger of God” or an “Angel of God”? Sheer madness!
I was reading Joseph’s Campbell’s Myth to Live By, and noticed chapter 10 of that book. Campbell wrote that the imagery of schizophrenic fantasy perfectly matches that of a mythological hero’s journey (p.202). Well…as always, Mr. Campbell explained it very well. Now I am applying these ideas in a typical believer’s state of mind. Christians seems to create a world of their own, surrounded by invisible beings like God, angels, devils, Satan and nefelims. This is the same symptom of a person suffering with essential schizophrenia – a withdrawal from the impact of experience of the outside world. When a Christian starts to interpret the world base on his wonderland, now that is paranoid schizophrenia.
Karl Marx once said religion is the opium of society…who can blame him? Drug use is common in some religious practice. Shamans or priests employ the use of plants like Psilocybe cubensis, Amanita muccaria (Fly Agaric) and yep…even Canabis (marijuana) in some of their rituals.
Hallucinogens were also utilized. For example, a priestess breathed gasses that seep out on rocks in the oracle in Delphi that have mild hallucinogenic effects and a priest translated her incoherent “prophecies”.
How about people giving their properties, money and other valuable stuffs on a conman, just because this phony can interpret the Bible very well? There is also this Christian sect that prohibits the use of modern medicine or blood transfusion, even in times of emergency. Just imagine what kind of mentality a parent has who can sacrifice the life of their own child who badly needs the medicine or the blood transfusion…just because their church prevents them.
In addition, Yahweh was diagnosed to be suffering from bipolar disorder…Good grief!