Something Bluetriangle said in his now infamous pi thread got me thinking as to whether there is a relationship between religion and schizophrenia. People who profess to talk with god or see visions and those who see things in the scriptures such as patterns and hidden messages, etc.. ...are they showing signs that they may be suffering the effects of this serious mental illness?
Bluetriangle talked of telepathy in one post with Captaincaveman. Right away I thought of the poor guy hearing voices. I have little doubt that this is what's happening. Calling it telepathy was an interesting way of saying, there are voices in my head. Also when you think of people who claim to have religious visions it isn't hard to start thinking about schizophrenia. I think talking in tongues is another possible connection to schizophrenia. Is believing god talks to you a la Moses or George Bush a symptom? Is simple praying to a god delusional if you think someone's listening at the receiving end?
Delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech & eccentric behavior are all classic symptoms of schizophrenia and how many people have become religious as the result of a mental depression?
Like many illnesses there are varying degrees of affliction so its tough to paint all religious persons with the same brush. So is there a little schizo in everybody or are some of us totally immune from it?
Is there a connection? Could religion simply be a result of scizophrenic tendencies? Are the two related somehow? Are atheist more, less or equally susceptible?