In the comments section of my previous post showing Jerry Coyne to both promote and deny the notion that religious people are mentally ill, Liam writes:
If you are an adult, asserting you have an invisible and imaginary friend who created the universe, you have lost your mind. You have divorced yourself from reality and you most certainly have a mental disorder. If this imaginary friend talks to you and you hear the voices in your head, your condition warrants medical intervention. That is the bottom line! Religious fundamentalism is the very definition of a mental disorder and is usually a combination of varying degrees of psychosis, neurosis, and schizophrenia. And no amount of philosophical mambo jumbo will get you around this fact. What. Did you think that clinical depression is diagnosed as a mental disorder but invisible and imaginary friends who sometimes talk to you don’t? LOL!
So I asked Liam if he would spell out exactly what such a “medical intervention” would look like. So far, no response.
I propose that all atheists be asked the following questions:
1. Do you believe that religious people are mentally ill because they are religious?
This question, or a variant of it, could be very useful for college students who have an aggressive, atheist professor. In that case, you might want to preface it by noting that Professor Peter Boghossian is out there publicly advocating religious faith is a form of mental illness. The question serves as a litmus test for teasing out the militant, fundamentalist atheists from a regular, ol’ atheist.
2. If you think religious faith is a form of mental illness, what type of medical intervention do you recommend for society?
I don’t think even the militant atheists are comfortable (yet) talking about this. Peter Boghossian is oddly vague about it and Jerry Coyne talks out both sides of his mouth. So we must wonder why the militant atheists are so uncomfortable talking about this.