What is a disease?
Disease: 1. An abnormal condition of an organism or part, especially as a consequence of infection, inherent weakness, or environmental stress, that impairs normal physiological functioning. 2. A condition or tendency, as of society, regarded as abnormal and harmful. (The American Heritage Dictionary, 2ed. 1985)
While the older definition of disease only considered the pathology of the cell as affected by bacteria, viruses or genetics; a more modern definition includes both mental illness and addiction in relation to Behavioral Medicinesuch as Alcohol dependency, Drug dependency, Post-traumatic stress syndrome, Sleep disturbance (unspecified) , Somatization, Stress reaction (acute to gross stress) and Tobacco abuse (unspecified).
In psychiatry, the following conditions can be diagnosed as also found in religion: Adjustment disorder, Anxiety state (unspecified), Depressive disorder, Developmental disorder, Panic disorder, Psychosis (unspecified)
Of the above, one of the main conditions is Psychosis.
Psychosis: (from the Greek ψυχή “psyche”, for mind/soul, and -ωσις “-osis”, for abnormal condition) means abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a “loss of contact with reality”. People suffering from psychosis are described as psychotic. Psychosis is given to the more severe forms of psychiatric disorder, during which hallucinations and delusions and impaired insight may occur. Some professionals say that the term psychosis is not sufficient as some illnesses grouped under the term “psychosis” have nothing in common (Gelder, Michael (2005). “Psychiatry”, P. 12. Oxford University Press Inc., New York.)
A second condition of religion can be classified under addiction :
“Many people, both psychology professionals and laymen, now feel that there should be accommodation made to include psychological dependency on such things as gambling, food, sex, pornography, computers, video games, internet, work, exercise, idolizing, watching TV or certain types of non-pornographic videos, spiritual obsession, cutting and shopping so these behaviors count as ‘addictions’ as well and cause guilt, shame, fear, hopelessness, failure, rejection, anxiety, or humiliation symptoms associated with, among other medical conditions, depression and epilepsy.”
In this sense, religion (like drug use) is a disease of addiction whose psychological dependency has two components:
A. Users: People who have become mentally dependent on the addictive aspects of religion are known as “believers”.
B. Dealers: People who make money off the addictive psychological effects of religion (by getting and keeping people “hooked”) are known as “apologists”.
Ironically, apologists (like drug dealers) not only need to get as many people hooked as possible to both guarantee an income (tithes and offerings), but to spread this addictive psychological dependency as users are always pressured to move from the user level to the dealer / apologist level. Also, like drug dealers who guard their turf, denominations are in a continual battle with other dealers over keeping their users for themselves which equates to more money and power.
The damage of religious addiction on any society is readily found in its antagonistic attacks on individual human freedoms and science. Moreover, a psychotic component that develops in the habitual user is the paranoia that one is continually being watched and evaluated, thus leading to the depressive feelings of guilt leading to more dependency on religion as the cycle continues.
Hundreds of billions of dollars are made yearly by the drug dealers of religion whose addictive psychological disease keeps users / believers hooked (at a monetary cost).