Saturday, July 30, 2016

Psychology and Religion

I was raised by Jewish atheists, and psychology was one of my majors in university. For a long time I was against religion, especially against Christianity. That is no longer the case.

There are several reasons for this. One is that I've had very real spiritual experiences. Atheists and materialistic psychologists scoffed at them, called me crazy, called me weak, called me irrational, claimed that I was not living in the real world. But the experiences that I've had are as real as you and as real as me, and I am willing to face whatever persecution may come my way to defend them.

Secondly, I've seen horrible behavior by atheists, especially ones of the “skeptic” persuasion. Quite simply, they were the most vicious people I've ever known. Lacking the humility and the grace that is taught by most religions, they maliciously attack anyone who's had spiritual experiences. Most of these people are not even scientists. That does not prevent them from thinking that their ignorance of spirituality makes them the only sane people in the world.

Finally, while psychology damns people for life, religion offers redemption. According to personality psychology, once a sociopath always a sociopath; once a borderline always a borderline; and once a narcissist always a narcissist. According to personality psychology, some people are evil and can only be evil whatever they do, however hard they work, and whatever work they do on themselves. Whereas Christianity and Islam teach that any sinner can be redeemed, and yogic and zen disciplines offer a workable path toward personal betterment that can be taken by anyone. The people who are denied life by personality psychology find life in Christ, Mohammad or Eastern religion.

In this manner religion is light years ahead of personality psychology. Psychological views on this matter are not even rational. If people are responsible for their behavior then anyone – even a sociopath – can choose to act rightfully; and if some people cannot act rightfully whatever they do, then people are not responsible for their behavior. This is a worthless ideology, useful only for conducting witch hunts. And that is exactly what we have seen from believers in these things.

At a church I attended in Virginia, the pastor said that the Christians must be “dangerous people for God.” This of course carries appeal to all the many people who have been described as dangerous by the purveyors of social totalitarianism. The people who otherwise would be seen as human garbage are given a way to live and to do the right thing. Psychology fails to do that. Religion does.

I've found religious people to be far more tolerant and merciful than materialist fundamentalists. Not all Christians are good human beings, but Christianity does not damn people. It gives them life. This makes it a wiser direction than personality psychology and one far more humane. Having gone from the point of hating religion to the point of practicing it, I recommend it as a wiser and nobler alternative to psychological theories that lead to witch hunts, persecution and relentless abuse against people accused of having personality disorders.


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