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A Debate: Believing in God is Psychologically Healthy Jeremy Brenneman Kait Richard Matt Machles Leah Straus Julia Peter.

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Presentation on theme: "A Debate: Believing in God is Psychologically Healthy Jeremy Brenneman Kait Richard Matt Machles Leah Straus Julia Peter."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Debate: Believing in God is Psychologically Healthy Jeremy Brenneman Kait Richard Matt Machles Leah Straus Julia Peter

2 Pros to Believing in God Sven Koenig, an associate professor of medicine and psychiatry, who also founded Duke's Center for the Study of Religion/Spirituality and Health six years ago, has done significant research in this field. Sven Koenig, an associate professor of medicine and psychiatry, who also founded Duke's Center for the Study of Religion/Spirituality and Health six years ago, has done significant research in this field. His recent studies suggest that churchgoing people are less prone to disease, have healthier immune systems and live longer than people who don't attend religious services regularly. Koenig is not sure why this is so. His recent studies suggest that churchgoing people are less prone to disease, have healthier immune systems and live longer than people who don't attend religious services regularly. Koenig is not sure why this is so. Is it that religious people have better support systems or healthier lifestyles? Or does a belief in God or another ethical system have a positive effect on the body's ability to fight disease?” Is it that religious people have better support systems or healthier lifestyles? Or does a belief in God or another ethical system have a positive effect on the body's ability to fight disease?”

3 Pros to Believing in God In his 1996 book, Timeless Healing: The Power and Biology of Belief, Herbert Benson describes health and well-being as supported by a three-legged stool. One of the stool's legs is medications; the second, surgery; and the third, self-care. He argues that all three are necessary – but that self-care, which includes cultivation of patients' inner resources to assist in their own healing, is “the most disparaged and neglected aspect of health care today.” In his 1996 book, Timeless Healing: The Power and Biology of Belief, Herbert Benson describes health and well-being as supported by a three-legged stool. One of the stool's legs is medications; the second, surgery; and the third, self-care. He argues that all three are necessary – but that self-care, which includes cultivation of patients' inner resources to assist in their own healing, is “the most disparaged and neglected aspect of health care today.”

4 Pros to Believing in God Recent studies have shown that many patients with HIV/AIDS have a powerful will to live; and some report a sense that life has actually improved since learning they were infected. Recent studies have shown that many patients with HIV/AIDS have a powerful will to live; and some report a sense that life has actually improved since learning they were infected. The NIH research will build on these studies by using more detailed measures and including a wider variety of patients. Insights gained from this study will help to improve the quality of life of those living with HIV/AIDS. The NIH research will build on these studies by using more detailed measures and including a wider variety of patients. Insights gained from this study will help to improve the quality of life of those living with HIV/AIDS. There is a growing body of research that supports the role of spirituality in healthcare. This work furthers that research by investigating how spirituality might affect one’s quality of life. As a result, this study may help deliver more effective and compassionate care to patients with chronic illness. There is a growing body of research that supports the role of spirituality in healthcare. This work furthers that research by investigating how spirituality might affect one’s quality of life. As a result, this study may help deliver more effective and compassionate care to patients with chronic illness.

5 Cons to Believing in God “Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.” “Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.” -Thomas Paine This quote asserts the position that believing in an almighty and powerful god can lead to negative psychological defects. This quote asserts the position that believing in an almighty and powerful god can lead to negative psychological defects. When religious beliefs are based on fear of a vengeful god, people can become too concerned with the negative outcomes of their ‘sins.’ Many religions put great pressure and responsibility on its members. They must follow strict laws and meet certain expectations presented by the religious group. These pressures can be too great and the person can be left feeling guilt and remorse so severe that they become deeply depressed. When religious beliefs are based on fear of a vengeful god, people can become too concerned with the negative outcomes of their ‘sins.’ Many religions put great pressure and responsibility on its members. They must follow strict laws and meet certain expectations presented by the religious group. These pressures can be too great and the person can be left feeling guilt and remorse so severe that they become deeply depressed.

6 Cons to Believing in God Behavioral scientist, Dr. Robert Ellis states that religion, “discourages self acceptance, self- interest and self directedness, which are all necessary for sound mental and emotional functioning.” Behavioral scientist, Dr. Robert Ellis states that religion, “discourages self acceptance, self- interest and self directedness, which are all necessary for sound mental and emotional functioning.” When members of a religion feel they have not met the qualifications or standards of that religion this may only add to their problems. Also many religions emphasize the importance of humility and self-sacrifice. They are taught to not embrace things that will benefit them, but that will benefit others. When members of a religion feel they have not met the qualifications or standards of that religion this may only add to their problems. Also many religions emphasize the importance of humility and self-sacrifice. They are taught to not embrace things that will benefit them, but that will benefit others. While at its root this may be a good premise, this idea can also lead to self neglect and poor self- esteem. While at its root this may be a good premise, this idea can also lead to self neglect and poor self- esteem.

7 Cons to Believing in God Dr. Wendell Watters’ opinions in his book, Deadly Doctrine: Health, Illness and Christian God, express the idea that believing in religion can lead to many psychological disorders including schizophrenia. According to Watters religions are like “magnets” to people who often suffer from psychological problems. They seek out help through religions, which in turn only harm them further. Dr. Wendell Watters’ opinions in his book, Deadly Doctrine: Health, Illness and Christian God, express the idea that believing in religion can lead to many psychological disorders including schizophrenia. According to Watters religions are like “magnets” to people who often suffer from psychological problems. They seek out help through religions, which in turn only harm them further. Religious people look to a higher being and prayer to help them through life; thus preventing them from seeking out other methods of support. Prayer can lead to withdraw and lessening of the perception of reality. People can become so obsessed with faith and prayer they ignore reality and repress and deny certain truths in their lives. Religious people look to a higher being and prayer to help them through life; thus preventing them from seeking out other methods of support. Prayer can lead to withdraw and lessening of the perception of reality. People can become so obsessed with faith and prayer they ignore reality and repress and deny certain truths in their lives.

8 Pros to Believing in God God created us all for a specific purpose God created us all for a specific purpose Religion helps us understand that purpose, even if we don’t know what it is Religion helps us understand that purpose, even if we don’t know what it is God will help guide and lead us there God will help guide and lead us there He has given us enough knowledge to figure out what our purpose is, and it is our responsibility to do the right thing He has given us enough knowledge to figure out what our purpose is, and it is our responsibility to do the right thing

9 Pros to Believing in God We are all bonded by the power of God We are all bonded by the power of God His spirit is all around us and is in everything, so people are comforted by that His spirit is all around us and is in everything, so people are comforted by that All life is connected by a force that we can not see, but some can feel All life is connected by a force that we can not see, but some can feel

10 Pros to Believing in God People who believe in God do not judge others for their looks, but through there souls People who believe in God do not judge others for their looks, but through there souls That gives them a more mature look on others, and they can become kinder and more understanding for all life on earth That gives them a more mature look on others, and they can become kinder and more understanding for all life on earth

11 Cons to Believing in God Belief in God is psychologically unhealthy because religion teaches us to avoid committing acts that will lead us to emotions such as guilt or fear. We are taught to embrace things with love and lead our lives in a prideful manner. However, guilt and fear are psychologically healthy emotions to feel. Belief in God is psychologically unhealthy because religion teaches us to avoid committing acts that will lead us to emotions such as guilt or fear. We are taught to embrace things with love and lead our lives in a prideful manner. However, guilt and fear are psychologically healthy emotions to feel. Fear can prevent us from getting hurt, either physically or emotionally. If we live our lives without fearing anything, we are making ourselves vulnerable to all the vices in the world. Fear can prevent us from getting hurt, either physically or emotionally. If we live our lives without fearing anything, we are making ourselves vulnerable to all the vices in the world. Guilt allows us to learn from our mistakes. If we lack guilt, we are susceptible to repeating mistakes over and over. Guilt allows us to learn from our mistakes. If we lack guilt, we are susceptible to repeating mistakes over and over. Therefore, believing in God is essentially causing us to be defenseless human beings, psychologically. Therefore, believing in God is essentially causing us to be defenseless human beings, psychologically.

12 Cons to Believing in God After a person tells a lie, they generally feel guilty that they lied, but no further action usually takes place After a person tells a lie, they generally feel guilty that they lied, but no further action usually takes place A person with a strong belief in God could suffer from depression and soon grow insane for acting against God A person with a strong belief in God could suffer from depression and soon grow insane for acting against God This also leads to anxiety and depression, because you whole life just passed you by This also leads to anxiety and depression, because you whole life just passed you by

13 Cons to Believing in God Some people believe that God has set a certain destiny for us, and it is our goal to find what that destiny is. Some people believe that God has set a certain destiny for us, and it is our goal to find what that destiny is. If people waste their whole life trying to find that meaning instead of doing what you want, your life is a waste and pointless If people waste their whole life trying to find that meaning instead of doing what you want, your life is a waste and pointless

14 Cons to Believing in God Eating habits are also influenced, because some people change their habits over a period of time, or just cease to eat at all Eating habits are also influenced, because some people change their habits over a period of time, or just cease to eat at all When we change our eating habits randomly for a month, our body is not given the adequate amount of nutrition, so we are more likely to become ill When we change our eating habits randomly for a month, our body is not given the adequate amount of nutrition, so we are more likely to become ill If a person is fasting, that’s just plain stupid, because you know that’s not healthy. We were designed to eat, that’s how we survive, so if your belief is not to eat because your god said so, you might want to switch up your religion or you might not be here for long If a person is fasting, that’s just plain stupid, because you know that’s not healthy. We were designed to eat, that’s how we survive, so if your belief is not to eat because your god said so, you might want to switch up your religion or you might not be here for long

15 Cons to Believing in God Religion teaches us to anticipate a life after death; which is usually described as a euphoric place, which is supposed to be better and more peaceful than the life we had on earth. Therefore, it is teaching us that there is something wrong or incomplete with the life we are presently living. It gives us a sense of negative self-worth and forces us to question what the meaning of life is. This is a psychologically unhealthy way of thinking because it lowers our self-esteem and forces us to value what may come in the future, as opposed to what we should value in everyday life. Religion teaches us to anticipate a life after death; which is usually described as a euphoric place, which is supposed to be better and more peaceful than the life we had on earth. Therefore, it is teaching us that there is something wrong or incomplete with the life we are presently living. It gives us a sense of negative self-worth and forces us to question what the meaning of life is. This is a psychologically unhealthy way of thinking because it lowers our self-esteem and forces us to value what may come in the future, as opposed to what we should value in everyday life.

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