Jul 9, 2008

Religious Addiction


If you get addicted to drugs, a drug treatment center can help you. However, if you get addicted to religion, no formal institution is conveniently available. Religious addiction is as destructive as drug addiction or alcoholism. The big difference is that society tolerates religious addiction even if it leads to financial and psychological ruin. Society even has this bias for former religious addicts who decided to go “cold turkey.” Most people do not even realize that religious fanaticism or fundamentalism is a form of addiction. It is an addiction that is being sustained by the strong conviction in believing in something that is not really based on facts.

Religious addiction that is tantamount to fanaticism is far more dangerous than mere drug addiction. If illicit drugs cause hallucinations, religions cause delusions. It causes the delusion of righteousness – the sense of superiority over other people. In the case of the Christian religion, it is the idea of being “saved” that sustains the addiction. For the sake of the idea of “being saved”, people are willing to abandon their rationality. On the other hand, for those who manage to be free from the society-imposed delusion find it hard to truly recover their sanity. If drug addicts can rely on a drug rehab center, religious addicts cannot expect to have the same support. If a drug treatment program is readily available for those who want to be rehabilitated, no similar program can be availed by former religious addicts.

1 comment:

  1. Having spent much of my career in the Gambling industry I can see how seeing religion as an addiction works.

    There is the promise of big difficult to achieve jackpot - eternal life, paradise, freedom from pain, four and twenty virgins etc.

    There is copius use of heuristic 'lucky' devices - holy relics, water etc to increase liklihood of winning the Jackpot

    There is a reinforcement schedule -every holy day that maintains required behaviours

    We have a variation on the Gamblers Fallacy -... just one more prayer...just one more prayer...ok...just one more prayer

    There are examples of rare Professional winners- do what the Saints do and you can win too

    We have books writen by tipsters or should I say disciples


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