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“The pathetic thing that grows out of this condition is called faith: in other words, closing one's eyes upon one's self once for all, to avoid suffering the sight of incurable falsehood. People erect a concept of morality, of virtue, of holiness upon this false view of all things; they ground good conscience upon faulty vision; they argue that no other sort of vision has value any more, once they have made theirs sacrosanct with the names of "God," "salvation" and "eternity." I unearth this theological instinct in all directions: it is the most widespread and the most subterranean form of falsehood to be found on earth.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ

Anabucerias 4 June 23

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Strange: Sometimes Nietzsche is cited approvingly when he rails against Christianity, but on other occasions he is part of the tradition of Evil, as a precursor of Nazi thinking, as an anti-liberal, an enemy of morality, a misogynist...

Matias Level 8 June 23, 2022

Does the Stockholm Syndrome ring a bell?


Welcome to AgnosticDotCom!

Nietzsche was operating without benefit of 20th, not to mention 21st century science.

skado Level 9 June 23, 2022

The most prevalent mental illness of human beings is a thing called "Belief." But Belief compounded by Faith is even worse.

mischl Level 8 June 23, 2022

Very well said!!

That must be a belief you hold, because no scientist that I know of in any related field claims that belief or faith constitute mental illness. If you know of one, please let me know.

@skado Get life? You know that many people consider "Faith" without even a little bit of fact to be a mental illness. Perhaps to satisfy your need to rely on medical (not really science as you typed) advice one should say "by popular opinion".

By the way, the most mentally strange person I ever met was a psychiatrist who was my next door neighbor.

Many people still think the earth is flat, and I don’t begrudge them their beliefs, but I prefer to rely on science where it is available.
Just because an individual may be a scientist doesn’t mean everything that individual does or says in his private life is scientifically sound.

Now I’m not a scientist myself, but I’m very interested in the sciences that deal with life, and in particular, human nature. So I try to keep up with what’s going on there. I’ve never come across a scientific paper that equates belief with mental illness. If you know of one, I would quite seriously like to read it. I realize it’s a popular gag to call anyone you disagree with mentally ill. I probably do that myself. But I don’t make the mistake of taking that kind of teasing literally.

@skado You missed my point s badly I see no befefit in tying to clarify it further. Have a nice day.

Apologies if I misunderstood.


There are places for faith, but a supposedly omnipotent sky daddy who allows 4th graders to be gunned down in their classooms is not one of them.

So what/who do you have faith in to prevent 4th graders from being gunned down in their classrooms?

@mrdunn Are you trying to put words in my mouth? I did not say I had faith in any power, natural or supernatural, to prevent all random acts of violence. My point was that either this purported omnipotent being does not exist or He is a cruel son of a bitch.

As I said, I think it is reasonable to have faith in some things. For instance, we can usually have faith in our own powers of observation to determine if it is safe to cross the street. Every time we get in a car as a passenger we place faith in the driver to observe the rules of the road. When we drive on an undivided highway with two-way traffic we take a leap of faith that oncoming drivers traveling in the opposite direction will not cross into our lane. Obviously such faith is not always rewarded with a safe trip. Faith does not come with guarantees.

There are other legitimate objects of faith, but none of them are supernatural.

@Flyingsaucesir okay, I wasn’t trying to put words in your mouth, I only asked a question?

You might not have explicitly said that you have faith in a “power” (your word, not mine) but you did imply it by prefacing your statement with “There are places for faith”. Then you actually did go on to qualify the areas in which you have faith, in your reply. It appears you have faith in the “power” of yourself and others to do the right thing in certain situations, and then you caveat that with the statement “Obviously such faith is not always rewarded”.

Interestingly (for me) you conclude by stating “There are other legitimate objects of faith”

What constitutes a legitimate object of faith, in your opinion.

@mrdunn You got this right: I have faith in myself and others to do the right thing in certain situations, and that that faith is not unqualified or absolute. As for other legitimate objects of faith, you would be right to conclude from my example of drivers following the rules of the road, that I feel a certain amount of faith in the rules themselves is justified. And in the engineers who designed the cars and the highway, and the contractors and laborers who built them. In other words, a certain amount of faith that rules or laws are wise, and that professionals will adhere to the standards of their profession, is justified. This qualified faith is underpinned by faith in the general intention of most people to do good and failing that, in a system of justice to hold them accountable for negligent or criminal behavior. None of these is perfect. Not the people, not their physical productions, not the laws, not the institutions. But they are a hell of a lot better than anarchy and chaos.

@Flyingsaucesir I concur, a hell of a lot better than anarchy and chaos. It is somewhat ironic that you make these comments under a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche though, one of the more prominent nihilistic thinkers of the 19 century and a favourite with the anarchists.

@mrdunn I don't disagree with the general thrust of the Nietzsche quote above. Faith can be a corrupting influence. But if that was all he ever wrote on the subject then he obviously did not treat the subject comprehensively.


"Faith is the gift of believing without evidence."

I think is more like a curse.

Is it really such a gift? I always want to ask believers this question. To me, “faith” leads one down the path of disappointment, due to so many faithful prayers going unanswered.

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