Psychology; is religion a disease of the mind?

I'm an undergraduate in Pyschology. Religion and the human brain has always intrigue me. What does religion play in the development of personality and character?
When some believers had some mystic "fly out of the body" or " getting high" experience, is there any scientific evidence to show this. Is it some neuro-disorder or mental instability?

From my weekly observation of charismatic christians, they seemed to be in a state of euphoria with the loud/rock music. The music gets ever louder, and it seems that more rock, more of that "opmh" in the music is needed to drive them; sounds like a building of tolerance to stimulants, with a vague similarity to people taking drugs.

And religious fanaticism; i compared it to alocholism. We know that alocholism is an abuse of alcohol. Religious fanaticism is basically an abuse of religion, to justify one's actions and criminal behaviour with God's or a higher being's acceptance.

9 Responses to “Psychology; is religion a disease of the mind?”

  1. wstv73 Says:

    I understand your concern but religion is not what God is about, he is about relationship. God wants us to know Him through the work of Jesus Christ. Committing crimes to be accepted is not how we get in, doing good works is not ,either. We can only get in through Jesus.
    Jesus answered," I am the way, the truth, and the life no one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6)
    Religion keeps us bound, relationship sets us free

  2. Osiris Says:

    What an earth are you talking about…i think you need to see a shrink maybe.

  3. xcrimsonxphoenixofxhellx Says:

    Yes it is. If there really was some higher power (eg. God), we wouldn't be able to even comprehend it. Therefore we are very stupid to believe in it. Look at all the different religions… If there WAS a higher power that we understood, we would not have a ton of different religions, because we would actually KNOW what is right, but as of today, we are obviously grasping at straws.

  4. ineedhennessy Says:

    religion is a tool used to control simple minded people. real people can find god and/or spirituality without the use of a popular dogma.

  5. weedancer Says:

    No religion is not a disease of the mind , silly goose.
    I understand what your trying to get at and other things can promote the same responces from people, so the bottom line can,t be that religion is the culprit.
    Following me?

  6. Gopal Says:

    Religion is a bastard thing!

    Want to know how?

    Let me take it this way:

    Doesn't Religion divide people as Hindus, Muslims, Christians and so on?

    Doesn't Religion make you hate other people from other Religions?

    Doesn't Religion make fun of God?

    Doesn't Religion make you a Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist instead of a Real Human Being?

    If your answer is "yes" to any of the above questions then you know that I am right when I say…

    Religion is a bastard thing!


    Well, Religions and Social Groups do show their effects and impacts on the followers of those religions.

    Yes, flying out of the body or getting high is not a big deal. It's simply true and scientific also. I have not got much time to explain you here how it can be possible.

    By practising some Yoga you can perfrom these and many other wonderful things!

  7. benlo Says:

    Religion, I believe, was created to help explain those things in life that we don't understand. As science moves forward and we begin to understand our surroundings, religion takes and evermore backseat to science. With respect to fanaticism, I believe that it is a brainwashing of those who are most susceptible by those in power. Religious figures will use all sorts of tools, including music, to incite their followers. So I do not think that, in most cases, fanaticism is a disease, it most likely a result of lack of self respect or confidence or perhaps an over-trusting nature that is taken advantage of by someone with intent to create fanatics.

  8. Tommy Says:

    You got more opinion than question which is not good for cold research or lowly undergraduates.

    Some free advice. Latch onto the chairs opinions and suck your way through. lol or maybe not?

    The truth is that all human activity exists on the basis of questions. If humans didn't have any questions they wouldn't need any religions nor any science nor any psychology nor even any evolution; nor any Yahoo Q&A.

    What I am saying is simply that all questions are a disease of the mind regardless of the framework they are cast in. Don't expect to isolate one human body of misinformation from another. Religion is not much more than philosophy with the concept of a god or gods added to the mix.

    Your "charismatic" observations are a point of departure if you also note religious meditation. The human can enter a variety of mental states which affect the body. The body can be put in a variety of conditons which affect the mind. It was estimated years ago that 50 per cent of disease being treated in hospitals in the U.S. is mental and not physical in nature.

    My handle to your question is transcendental meditation which turned out to be a state of mind which everybody hits just before they go to sleep. I used a little book called the "Relaxation Response" to get into the same mental state; without any religious links and without parting with a few hundred bucks.

    Bottom line is that many experiences considered religious can be socially or self induced. Now the question is: Are you in contact with God or just playing with yourself? Even a good question for Jung or others who think they are in touch with a collective mind.

    As to fanaticism, it is not confined to religion but is found in politics, philosophy, animal rights, nutritrion, education, science, sports, music, and dozens of other social structures.

    To my mind fanaticism cannot abuse religion. Rather religion is a fanaticism which grows up around a kernel of truth. The fanatic, a leader or a follower, then makes use of religion to excuse the fanaticism it produces; all the time pointing to the zero type personalities that make up the majority. Thus "religion" holds itself above criticism as a viable social structure with centers of profound knowledge. It produces lots of income and offerings for the good of mankind; much like the hallowed halls of higher education.

    Good luck with the studies. Just remember: libraries house more mistakes than prisons.

  9. ol's one Says:

    Belief and faith in organized religion is psychological conditioning. They tend to believe that religion can solve their problems in life (now or after life). If their desires to be safe is strong their belief becomes faith that can make them euphoric. It is not a disease, our brain needs order to prevent decay. Being consumed to a certain activity makes the brain temporarily in order. Any kind of habitual activities could lead to psychological conditioning.