Talk:Faith-sufferer

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The neutrality of this entry is suspect. The tone within the entire piece is antagonistic towards religion in general.

I agree. Worse still, this article, as it stands, claims that many people who are psychotic suffer from a psychosis yet that few people who suffer from a psychosis are psychotic. Psychotic is merely the adjectival form of the noun psychosis. I suspect the word the editor was searching for representing the popular use of the word psychotic as "meaning violent and out of control" is psychopathic although being "out of control" is not a sign of psychopathic personality.--24.217.183.224 10:46, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I too, feel that this article is non-neutral in tone. Personally, I rather like the concept of a "faith sufferer" and am sympathetic toward the anti-religious bias present in this piece, but still; it is not suitable for a Wikipedia article, where one's personal attitudes should be left aside. The page should state off the bat that the term is one predominantly used by atheists.Sceptic-all 05:29, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

I merged 2 sentences in a way that makes the attribution to Dawkins clear from the start. The article is still biased, though. Incidentally, some religious people might happily agree that they are "faith sufferers", in the sense of suffering for their faith - using it as a loaded term in the other direction. That would be OR, though - does anyone have sources for criticism of the term as used by Dawkins from a religious point of view? Jbhood 08:17, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

This article suffers from terminal problems. I have sat in puzzlement for longer than it's worth, trying to concieve of a way to eliminate the bias and have utterly failed. The criticism section says that "theists" consider it a loaded term, but my own endeavor seems to indicate that it IS indeed a loaded term (one cannot even speak it without automatically assuming premises that are far from universally accepted). Furthermore, I question the notability of this concept, being that the only person ever to use it, as far as the article's citations evince, is Dawkins himself. Nobody can even produce a criticism of the term to reference because, seemingly, it is not used widely enough to even merit one. I'm just an anonymous peon and I don't presume often to take action unilaterally. However, if this article does not see drastic, and frankly improbable, improvement very shortly, I will nominate it for deletion. 209.30.90.117 09:27, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, we´re all peons here, or else all gods with a small "g", so I am going to delete some of the unsubstatiated statements in the article now, and see what happens. Jbhood 11:31, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Btw, since Dawkins and his essay "Viruses of the Mind" are indeed notable, I would´t delete this article completely, but it could probably be cut down even more than I did just now. But I will put the text I just deleted in at the end of the "Text moved" section below. Jbhood 11:45, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

It does not follow from Dawkins' notability, or that of his essay, that every "nonce word" or extraordianry coinage that he makes is also notable. In fact, wikipedia policy specifically denounces wikipedia's use as a dictionary of neologisms.209.30.90.117 05:24, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Nominate it for deletion if you like, I´ll probably abstain in any voting. A little of the content might be moved to the "Viruses of the Mind" article. Jbhood 08:25, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

I nominated the article, but without an account, I can't create the relevent "deletion discussion page." Feel free to do so as it suits you. 209.30.90.117 01:29, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

I assume this is proper protocol. The guide to deletion page states "Anyone can make a nomination, including anonymous users .... Anonymous users cannot complete the process, as they are technically prohibited from creating new pages." 209.30.90.117 01:52, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
I created the Articles for deletion page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Faith-sufferer Jbhood 07:31, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Text moved from the article[edit]

I see no relationship between the concept of Faith-sufferer as explained in the article and the text bellow, so I’m moving it here for discussion. Is there a reason to mention physiology of religious experience in the article? How is it related with the concept of Faith-sufferer, since the section mentions neither mental health nor mental illness? --Leinad ¬ Flag of Brazil.svg »saudações! 13:35, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

  • This section pretty clearly outlines the parallels between physiologically-inducted hallucinations and purported religious experiences, as well as citing examples of "religious" individuals who became so only after physiological changes. Since mental health or illness is demonstrately linked with the integrity, interaction, and functionality of the physical structures of the brain, it seems pertinent to examine those physiological effects in relation to religious experience. This section outlines those effects. -- Tonyfuchs1019 ¬ »talk -- 13:30, 31 October 2006

Physiological effects

In a SPECT study, Andrew Newberg and Eugene d'Aquili found that during deep prayer, the brain shuts down activity in the posterior superior parietal lobe which includes the orientation association area. As a result, the individual loses the ability distinguish between the self and its surroundings, creating the neuropsychological illusion of being "intimately interwoven with everyone and everything the mind senses. And this perception would feel utterly and unquestionably real" to the theist 3; the suppression of the left PSPL dissolves the individual sense of self, while the suppression of the right PSPL dissolves the individual perception of space.

Newberg also noted increased activity in the right side of the prefrontal cortex, which includes the attention association area; among its functions are "the seat of personal will" (medial area) and "concentration on a given task" (dorsolateral area). The focus required to engage in the active approach to meditation accounts for both the increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, as well as the suppression of the posterior superior parietal lobe, as the dorsolateral area filters out extraneous sensory input not directly related to the individual's task (in this case, reaching a peak in meditation). Newberg has further postulated that the hippocampus and the thalamus are involved in the regulation of neural flow, which he calls the process of deafferentation. Unsurprisingly, such a state of selfless interconnection has been described by believers for centuries at the height of prayer 4.

Using an artificial magnetic field generator, Dr. Michael Persinger found that 80% of test subjects whose temporal lobes were stimulated reported "a feeling of 'not being alone'. Some of them describe it as a religious sensation"; such results are consistent with the seizures caused by temporal lobe epilepsy. Dr. Persinger also developed an apparatus known as the God helmet which applied concentrated "magnetic fields to the temporal lobes of the wearer;" 80% of his test subjects reported experiencing what he called a "sensed presence," being a sensation that another person was nearby when none were.

Persinger's study also revealed that TLE patients exhibited responses of physical excitement to words of a religious nature while non-TLE subjects exhibited physical excitements to words of a sexual nature. In a classic example, Ellen White, one of the founding members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church sustained an injury that resulted in a three-week coma and subsequent brain damage in 1836; only afterwards did she begin experiencing her "powerful religious visions" 5.

In December of 2004, Swedish researcher Pehr Granqvist attempted to replicate Persinger's God-helmet experiment; he failed to achieve similar results due to the fact that he applied only "weak magnetic fields" to the temporal lobes of his subjects, and later admitted "that stronger magnetic fields might have the kinds of effects that are suggested by Persinger’s research" 6.

The phrase generally refers to the mental state of either irrationality or illogic attained with the introduction of faith into the mind and thought processes of a human. This psychosis is strongly associated with religious faith and some may consider them synonymous.

Colloquial usage Informal usage of the term is employed by antitheists, skeptics, and critics of religion in general to refer to those who they believe argue irrationally on a number of topics, commit atrocities, and commit social injustice because of their beliefs; examples include Jim Jones, David Koresh and Pat Robertson.

Perpetrators of social injustice, intolerance, slavery and murder who justify their atrocities specifically using the Bible, such as Westboro Baptist Church minister Fred Phelps, have recently been assigned the slightly more derogatory label "Christ-psychotics" by an outraged sector of the population. The term, however, need not apply solely to Christianity; a radical Muslim may be said to suffer from Allah-psychosis, while a radical Zoroastrian may be said to suffer Ahura Mazda-psychosis. Usage is generally determined, as Dawkins suggests, by epidemiological factors such as geography and community.

Usage in this way may have evolved out of the persecution of one particular religion by another, or the persecution of atheists by Muslim and Christian persecutors, among others. Another contributing factor may be the heightened conflict between scientific findings (including the age of the Earth and the age of the universe) and creationism, especially Young-Earth creationists. Some use the term as a purely ad hominem form of attack when in philosophical, scientific, or religious conflict with fundamentalists.

Such a term more widely refers to any individual who attempts to justify social atrocities with religious motivations, and is similar in connotation to the slurs "Koranimal" or "Osama-bama" (Islam), and "Kyke" or "Heeb" (Judaism). Anachronistic examples include Adolf Hitler, various Roman emperors after 400 CE, and Saddam Hussein.