December 16, 2007 | David F. Coppedge

Godless: Is Psychiatry Science or Religion?

“Ever since Freud described religious faith as an illusion and a neurosis there has been tension and at times hostility between religion and psychiatry,” reported EurekAlert.  “Psychiatrists are less religious on average than other physicians, according to previously published data from the same survey, and non-psychiatrist physicians who are religious are less willing to refer their patients to psychiatrists.”
    This does not mean psychiatrists are hostile toward the religion of their clients.  In fact, they seem more interested in discussing it with clients than other medical doctors.  Many are also changing from linking religion with mental illness, the study says.  Some are even finding religious behaviors beneficial to clients’ mental health.  Medical doctors, by contrast, are far more likely to be religious themselves and view religion as important to their patients, according to an earlier survey by Brandeis University published on EurekAlert 11/14/2007, “A dose of God may help medicine.”
    The statistics about psychiatrists come from a survey published in the December issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.  Farr Curlin, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, thinks the gap between religion and psychiatry is narrowing.  “In aggregate,” he said, “although psychiatrists may not agree with the claims of religion, they often witness its powerful effects on patients’ mental health, both for good and for ill.”

Studies like this border on the meaningless.  To lump Scientology, animism and Christianity into one bin called “religion” almost guarantees that any conclusions will be invalid from the start.  It would be like trying to discuss anything meaningful about politics after lumping Democrats, Republicans, communists, fascists and anarchists into one group.
    Psychiatrists are psychologists with medical degrees.  That gives them one leg up from psychologists, a sorry lot within “science” if there ever was one.  The one who needed his head examined was Freud.  He pulled science down a blind alley as much as Mesmer did.  Psychiatry has value only in so far as it diagnoses purely medical conditions that have a physical basis.  When it tries to explain the “psychological” cause of your problems, and prescribe a drug to cover up the consequences of your sinful behavior, save your money and go to a good church.
    The only take-home lesson from this article is the bias of the pseudoscience of psychiatry against religion based on its Freudian roots – and Freud was a Darwin-loving apostate.  Psychiatrists have since evolved from calling religion a mental illness to calling it an evolved behavior that seems to confer some fitness benefits.  In other words, religion is still superstition in their view, but might be more healthy than they supposed.  How come no preachers or theologians were consulted to give their views on this subject?  While psychiatrists call preachers deluded or mentally ill, the preachers can turn around and call the psychiatrists sinners and spiritual counterfeits who proclaim false teachings as science falsely so called.  Whom can you trust?
    Don’t think for a minute it’s the psychiatrists.  Their anti-religious views cannot possibly be true, because they are self-refuting.  If they wish to restrict all behaviors to physical causes, they must include their own beliefs about psychiatry and religion.  This makes the teachings of psychiatry nothing more than chemical reactions in a physical brain.  Who could say their chemical reactions are like yours or mine?  Who could possibly know that their reactions are more valid than anyone else’s, without reference to some external standard of truth that is universal, timeless and certain?  Their belief system dissolves into the sea of irrationality, and is therefore untrustworthy by definition.  Trust the source that alone is universal, timeless and certain: your Creator.  Only He knows the truth about the creatures He made.  Thank Him that he has provided his sentient beings with an operator’s manual for mental and spiritual health.  Learn it, study it, and when you still need help, go to those who make it their life work to rightly apply the word of truth.

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