I watched an interesting programme last night on BBC2, it was all about religion and why some religious people are considered to be mentally ill, whilst others are not. The programme was part of a series about normality and was hosted by Dr Tanya Byron (I think), someone who I had never seen before watching the series, but who strikes me as someone who thinks along similar lines to myself. This particular programme was so interesting to me as it covered areas which I had myself considered and discussed with friends (hi Nige). Here are the key points I gleaned from the programme:
A preacher on the street is more likely to be labled as a “nutter” than the Pope. I don’t agree with this point of view, I consider them to be equal in their beliefs (delusions?), however, I have never been chased down the street by the Pope.
The onus is on religious people to prove the existence of God, or any other SCB (supreme cosmic being), as science dictates than we can only consider ourselves to know what we can prove – inspite of the fact that there is no greater preponderence of evidence to prove either standpoint. Religious people will always fall back to saying scientists have been wrong in the past (true) and that they *know* that they are right. Science will laugh in the face of this argument and state that science is not so arrogant as to know anything, rather it tends towards saying that our current understanding tells us that something is so, science will then laugh again and state that there are many different religions and only one of them can be right! (Science will laugh about this one for a while).
Religious people will be quick to tell you that religion has been a source of much good in the world, however, they will neglect to tell you that it has also been the cause of much suffering.
We (the non religious people) are in the main, happy to be tolerant of religion as long as it stays in it’s box. As soon as it begins to try to infringe upon our lives or is seen to be trying to con/ensnare the more susceptible among us we get cross. Britain tends to be much more secular and tolerant than other places, especially the United States – which is odd considering the reason why the United States was founded.
When speaking in tongues, a different part of the brain is active than when speaking normally. This proves…precisely nothing.
If there were no such concept as religion in todays world, most of the religious people would have been sectioned.
And finally – this is the best one. A religious person (TV presenter Jeremy Vine), when asked where he would take his daughter if she was ill, responded by stating that he would of course take her to a doctor and that taking her to a church would be a last resort. Draw your own conclusions.
So are religious people schizophrenic, or are they talking to God and more importantly is there a pixie sitting next to Nige right now?