- Published on Sunday, 20 February 2011 05:54
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 3533
Tony Blair and others seem to put people of faith on a pedestal . It's as if "having faith" is a virtue. But what is faith? Apart from definitions relating it to belief in religion, most definitions end up saying something like "believing in things without a logical reason"; or "belief that does not rest on physical reality or material evidence". A kinder way of describing it might be "belief in things that have not been proved by Science". But whatever way you describe faith, it means "out of touch with reality" or at least "out of touch with the reality we see by our senses". I'm not a doctor or psychiatrist but that definition seems remarkably like the definition for psychotic: "mental derangement resulting in delusions and loss of contact with external reality".
You don't have to be a medical person or a genius to see that a person of faith is delusional and psychotic. I don't mean having faith in someone - that's a separate definition. I mean having faith in a god or anything supernatural. That is usually called religious faith and is accepted by many as normal behaviour - but it's a psychosis. So are we supposed to make an exception that some psychoses are acceptable?
Maybe that's why many intelligent "men of faith" try to talk about alternative "kinds of truths". The "Truth" of their faith - as if by describing it as a truth makes it one. Glib talk does not make something true. Feeling something to be true (e.g. Jesus loves me) does not make it a Truth. In fact, if you are out of touch with reality, if you believe things that are not based on reality, you are psychotic. Maybe we can excuse some gullible people who believe because they are told that it's true - they are told that their senses are misleading them and they believe the authority who told them so. In this case, there is another problem usually called lying, deception or fraud.
So the next time someone says "I don't need evidence, I have faith" maybe we should suggest they should see a doctor to cure their psychosis - to cure their lack of contact with reality. Or maybe not. Any time I meet a crazy person - I think twice before prodding them into behaviour that might prove they are the crazy violent type.
But not everyone - not even all atheists - would equate faith and a psychotic personality. That's probably because we all know many religious people and they don't appear to be crazy. So I am not saying that religious people are crazy - just that religious people do have a psychosis (out of touch with reality). It seems that not all psychoses cause people to be visibly crazy in the accepted meaning of the word "crazy". But then many crazy people hide their psychotic nature very well. For example, many pyschopaths function well enough in society - they conceal their psychosis.
What's the conclusion? That faith is a psychosis - some religious people are psychotic - but to many in this world it is an acceptable psychosis. But not all religious people are psychotic, many are simply misinformed - they have been taken in by the holy men of their Church.