Are atheists mentally ill?

SOURCE: The Telegraph
By Sean Thomas

Thanks to a couple of surveys, it’s being put about in certain circles that atheists have higher IQs than believers. That may or may not be the case, but one problem with this argument is that, if you accept "average group differences in IQ”, you get into all sorts of sinister debates whichbien pensant atheist Lefties might find less to their liking.

So let’s not go down that unhappy road. Let’s dispense with the crude metric of IQ and look at the actual lives led by atheists, and believers, and see how they measure up. In other words: let’s see who is living more intelligently.

And guess what: it’s the believers. A vast body of research, amassed over recent decades, shows that religious belief is physically and psychologically beneficial – to a remarkable degree.

In 2004, scholars at UCLA revealed that college students involved in religious activities are likely to have better mental health. In 2006, population researchers at the University of Texas discovered that the more often you go to church, the longer you live. In the same year researchers at Duke University in America discovered that religious people have stronger immune systems than the irreligious. They also established that churchgoers have lower blood pressure.

Meanwhile in 2009 a team of Harvard psychologists discovered that believers who checked into hospital with broken hips reported less depression, had shorter hospital stays, and could hobble further when they left hospital – as compared to their similarly crippled but heathen fellow-sufferers.

The list goes on. In the last few years scientists have revealed that believers, compared to non-believers, have better outcomes from breast cancer, coronary disease, mental illness, Aids, and rheumatoid arthritis. Believers even get better results from IVF. Likewise, believers also report greater levels of happiness, are less likely to commit suicide, and cope with stressful events much better. Believers also have more kids.

What’s more, these benefits are visible even if you adjust for the fact that believers are less likely to smoke, drink or take drugs. And let’s not forget that religious people are nicer. They certainly give more money to charity than atheists, who are, according to the very latest survey, themeanest of all.

So which is the smart party, here? Is it the atheists, who live short, selfish, stunted little lives – often childless – before they approach hopeless death in despair, and their worthless corpses are chucked in a trench (or, if they are wrong, they go to Hell)? Or is it the believers, who live longer, happier, healthier, more generous lives, and who have more kids, and who go to their quietus with ritual dignity, expecting to be greeted by a smiling and benevolent God?

Obviously, it’s the believers who are smarter. Anyone who thinks otherwise is mentally ill.

And I mean that literally: the evidence today implies that atheism is a form of mental illness. And this is because science is showing that the human mind is hard-wired for faith: we have, as a species, evolved to believe, which is one crucial reason why believers are happier – religious people have all their faculties intact, they are fully functioning humans.

Therefore, being an atheist – lacking the vital faculty of faith – should be seen as an affliction, and a tragic deficiency: something akin to blindness. Which makes Richard Dawkins the intellectual equivalent of an amputee, furiously waving his stumps in the air, boasting that he has no hands.


H12/19/2019 9:04 pm
We have evolved to explain unknown things, such as believing lightening was caused by Zeus, until we do research, This is why God is popular, because our desire to explain the unknown is what we evolved to express, but this itself is not a trait that has helped us to survive, so I’m not sure why you’re conflating our evolutionary need for a community which helped us, with aspects of religion that did not. A fully functioning human is rather strange, everyone is prone to sadness, anger, bad health, your paragraph implies all atheists are in this state and no theists are. The existence of depressed theists and happy atheists disproves the notion that atheism prevents general functioning. We evolved to form communities, which can be expressed in religion, but we did not evolve to believe in things that are logically incoherent, things that promote the harm of others. Hey, here’s a good point, murder threatens our species, so why do many holy books advocate for violence? Therefore, being an atheist – lacking the vital faculty of faith – should be seen as an affliction, and a tragic deficiency: something akin to blindness. Which makes Richard Dawkins the intellectual equivalent of an amputee, furiously waving his stumps in the air, boasting that he has no hands. You’re getting boring now. I can list every fallacy you committed, the ad hominem, the correlation=causation, the red herring, the argument from incredulity, the supressed evidence, the blatant lying and misinformation (not a fallacy but still relevant), a strawman (atheists are selfish?). Well done you utter imbecile, your article would have bee brilliant if it was used to explain the effects of community on wellbeing, and how the placebo effect works, and how we can avoid mistaking correlation for causation, how our preconceived notions blind our objectivity, but it was a piss poor pile of garbage that relentlessly attacked atheists for no logical reason and spread misinformation. People like you are what is holding us back, not very intelligent of you, think logically and maybe you’ll realise the absurdity of calling people worthless corpses.
Nathan2/4/2015 7:57 am
The human race has not "evolved to believe". What is that nonsense? The first-created man, Adam, had no choice but to believe. The Word of God spoke to him, and when he committed the first sin, he was banished by God from Eden. What does "evolved to believe" have to do with that? Our belief and our Faith is a legacy from Adam and Eve, and the Prophets, and Christ Himself. It is the action of the Holy Spirit in our human history.

Evolution is a nonsense neo-pagan lie. Christians should know better than to talk about "evolution" as if it was actually real. What about the question of pain, suffering, and death BEFORE the Fall? What about Adam and Eve's parents, then? At what point did God decide to impart "man" with a soul? You believe that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's ancestors were monkeys???

Humankind was prepared for the coming of Christ, yes. But we as humans did NOT "evolve" from anything. Human beings are exactly the same as they always have been since the Fall - roughly 7,500 years ago - and that is created in the image of God.

Gunnar9/11/2013 4:14 am
Well, somebody who actually has the same "chutzpa" (nerve) as the atheists themselves in their writings. I like it! But seriously, I have myself in debates with the atheists (Pascal's Wager aside) often brought forth the question:

"Well, you know, nature and the universe usually don't waste material and they always take shortcuts if they can- tell me then, for what reason has faith or religious belief showed up in our species, the "crown" of evolution more advanced than anything else on Earth? Surely, evolution wouldn't create a new entirely useless function in this planet's most advanced species?!?"

Of course, I get all sort of responses. To date none of them have directly addressed my point...
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