I may have refined my own ideas a little. That is why I love conversation, it changes minds (even if it is only my own). Thank you to my readers who have argued with me over the last few days; you have challenged my ideas, and now I have a firmly confused position.
A few weeks ago I posted on my blog to state that Richard Dawkins was actually wrong and religion is not a delusion. My argument was that the term “delusion” belongs to psychiatry (it is also a clinical and judgement-free term; if others bandy it around as an insult then they are being unkind), and psychiatry is very context specific. The metric for a lot of mental diagnoses are how far they vary from social norms. In the UK it is not a social norm for women to be very sexually forward and so that behaviour would be interesting to a psychologist or a psychiatrist; in Denmark sexually forward women very much are a social norm, and of no psychiatric interest. This metric becomes very interesting when it is used to infer things about a person’s history with much success.
Since I wrote that the issue of religion being…
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