An Open Letter To Those Who Hear And Act Upon The Voice Of God

A couple of things to point out in my life first I suppose.

I do not have and have never had a belief in god(s) and tend to disregard supernatural claims of all types in favour of naturalistic explanations. This is of course my own belief bias. We all have them, it’s impossible not to due to the way our brains work. In the same way as cognitive dissonance is just an extreme of the manner in which our brains store, retrieve and process information.

As a scientist I must try to eliminate belief bias in my work so that my conclusions are not leaps of faith but grounded in explaining the results that we see from evidence presented. To this end I use other research where necessary in my personal life if I don’t have the relevant means to hand to remove my own belief bias from the equation.

In the instances of supernatural claims I use such sources as The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge is offered by the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF)
http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html
and others. Whilst monetary incentive is not scientific, the approved procedures are and the drive is to find something rather than to dismiss it out of hand.
Using this and other fields of research I continue on the assumption that there is no supernatural and until claims are proven I see no other option but to dismiss them.

Also; my partner is a neuroscientist, so schizophrenia is a very interesting topic to me.
Schizophrenia is classified as a psychotic disorder, which means the inability to tell the difference between what is real or imagined.
Also it is worth noting that schizophrenia has much higher likelihood in children of a schizophrenic parent. So if your parents hear god and so do you.. Well, let’s just say your chances of being delusional just became significantly greater.

Whilst the religious are somewhat protected from correct diagnosis of such mental illnesses through religious protection acts it is not uncommon, with diagnosis only at the point in which the subject harms themselves or others. In some cases the religious belief bias can keep the delusions confined and managed giving them a construct without leading to harmful effects. In other cases the scriptures and environment in which these schizophrenic episodes are cultivated and manifest can be very harmful.
See news stories of children being drowned by their parents because ‘god commanded them to’ or the current situations in the middle east for examples.

In summary; I cannot ignore the finite probability of god(s) compared the probabilities of naturalistic explanations and my advice to anyone finding themselves acting on perceived voices would be;
Find an unbiased (secular) psychologist to examine you based on experiences as given and your family history.

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About (V)nemoni)(s

The views and opinions expressed here are purely my own. I am not affiliated with and business or political body. All content is either my own work, items in the public domain, or items used under the terms of Fair Usage for criticism, commentary, or education purposes. (Also; only a fool would take anything posted on here seriously.)
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One Response to An Open Letter To Those Who Hear And Act Upon The Voice Of God

  1. I would concur with your recommendation, and if there is a God, he needs to find a better way to communicate. Perhaps one that can’t be confused with a mental disorder.

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