Nonconformity and Freethinking Now Considered Mental Illnesses | The Unbounded Spirit -
Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the newest addition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it certainly is. The manual identifies a new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. Defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior,” symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.
The DSM-IV is the manual used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illnesses and, with each new edition, there are scores of new mental illnesses. Are we becoming sicker? Is it getting harder to be mentally healthy? Authors of the DSM-IV say that it’s because they’re better able to identify these illnesses today. Critics charge that it’s because they have too much time on their hands.
New mental illnesses identified by the DSM-IV include arrogance, narcissism, above-average creativity, cynicism, and antisocial behavior. In the past, these were called “personality traits,” but now they’re diseases.
And there are treatments available.
All of this is a symptom of our over-diagnosing and overmedicating culture. In the last 50 years, the DSM-IV has gone from 130 to 357 mental illnesses.
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If there is a God, He will have to beg my forgiveness. — A phrase that was carved on the walls of a concentration camp cell during WWII by a Jewish prisoner (via fleurstains)
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wildcat2030: Quantum memory ‘world record’ smashed
A fragile quantum memory state has been held stable at room temperature for a “world record” 39 minutes - overcoming a key barrier to ultrafast computers.
"Qubits" of information encoded in a silicon system persisted for almost 100 times longer than ever before. Quantum systems are notoriously fickle to measure and manipulate, but if harnessed could transform computing. The new benchmark was set by an international team led by Mike Thewalt of Simon Fraser University, Canada. "This opens the possibility of truly long-term storage of quantum information at room temperature," said Prof Thewalt, whose achievement is detailed in the journal Science. In conventional computers, "bits" of data are stored as a string of 1s and 0s. But in a quantum system, "qubits" are stored in a so-called "superposition state" in which they can be both 1s and 0 at the same time - enabling them to perform multiple calculations simultaneously. (via BBC News - Quantum memory ‘world record’ smashed)
Rafael Cruz again claims atheism and secular humanism cause sexual abuse | The Raw Story -
invisiblelad: In a speech at Liberty University urging Christians to get involved in politics, Rafael Cruz said Wednesday that atheism and secular humanism resulted in sexual abuse.
Cruz, the father of freshman Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R),made almost identical remarks earlier this month.
“The word of God says if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” he told Liberty University students. “The world has set other foundations. I want to talk to you very quickly about two of them. One is atheism, the other one is secular humanism.”
“If we look at these foundations from two points of view, from the behavioral point of view of course they [lead to] people being governed by their instincts,” Cruz continued. “There is no moral absolute and this leads us to situational ethics, which unfortunately is being taught in public schools all over America.
“This means that right and wrong is dependent upon the circumstances. Of course, without God there is no value to life. That leads to immorality, that leads to sexual abuse, and there is no hope. They live without hope, because there is nothing more.”
He also told the Christian students that the lack of school-sponsored prayer caused teen pregnancy.
Not that there isn’t a lot of evidence to the contrary about…well, certain religious institutions and abuse, teen pregnancy and a lack of sexual health information and everything else…
a.) There’s the notion that sexually repressive religions have a higher incidence of sexual abuse.
b.) The Guttmasher Institute’s analysis on teen pregnancy rates indicates that states with inadequate sex education programs have higher rates of pregnancy. I’m still waiting to see their data on how it correlates with prayer though…
Texas Congressman is on the Warpath to Make Atheist Military Cadets Swear an Oath Containing ‘So Help Me God’ -
invisiblelad: Sam Johnson(R-TX), once named the most conservative Member of Congress by National Journal, thinks atheists in the military should be forced to acknowledge God and swear a pledge to the Almighty. He’s even introduced a bill to make that happen.
Johnson’s initiative is a response to the U.S. Air Force top command’s recent decision to makesaying “So help me God” optionalwhen cadets pledge they’ll abide by the military code of honor. In other words, cadets who want to say that phrase may do exactly that, as before; those who don’t will swear the oath just the same, but without the deity reference.
Sound reasonable? Not to Johnson it doesn’t.
On his blog, he writes:
In response to the U.S. Air Force Academy’s unilateral decision to make the phrase, ‘so help me God’ of the Cadet Honor Oath optional, I introduced H.R. 3416, a bill that would require congressional approval prior to any change to Oaths of Office. I was joined by original co-sponsor Congressman Pete Olson (TX-22).
Our Founding Fathers declared we are, “One nation under God,” andyou better believe I’ll fight like mad to keep it that way. I can tell you from experience,there are no atheists in foxholes. We are the land of the free because of the brave. Many people don’t know this, but when you survive a near-death experience [as Johnson did when he was a POW in Vietnam, TF], you realize that the only thing you had to hold on to was your faith in God.
I left him a message through his Facebook page:
Dear Mr. Johnson: Cadets who want to say “so help me God” continue to be free to do so. Those who do not believe in God and wish to serve their country shouldn’t have to have their conscience violated. I’m pretty sure you’d feel the same way if the shoe was on the other foot andyouwere made to swear an oath that you felt was against your convictions. Live and let live, Congressman. How about it?
If the comments under his blog post are any guide, Johnson’s Christian base is fired up.
Melvin Cleveland, a retiree, opines
I completely agree.If atheists are true athiests put a gun to their childs head and see how many “God Help Me”s you will hear.
Deanna Patterson, an “overnight stocker at Walmart,” adds:
What have we become. When people are try to take god from us.
“What have we become?”I think I know. We’ve become (or are about to become) a more sensible and egalitarian nation that doesn’t coerce believers into saying words that atheists insist upon (as if),and vice versa.
It would probably be futile to point out to Ms. Patterson that no one is trying to take God from her. What will change, under the Air Force’s new rule, is that atheists who wish to join the military will be allowed to leave God out of their oath. “I so swear and affirm” will do nicely, just as it has done in courtrooms across our country for decades. The sky hasn’t fallen — nor will it now.
Not being able to force everyone to invoke your God does not “take God away from you”. If you think it does, it says something about you.
Hundreds flocking to ‘atheist megachurch’ gatherings across U.S. | The Raw Story -
invisiblelad: Thousands of American nonbelievers are gathering for weekly Sunday Assembly meetings that both supporters and detractors call “atheist megachurches.”
The founders of the movement, which started earlier this year in Great Britain, are introducing the gatherings in cities across the U.S. as part of the group’s “40 Dates, 40 Nights”tour.
British comedians Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, who founded the Sunday Assembly to gather like-minded nonbelievers in a congregation-like setting, say their movement is not intended to be a joke.
The meetings have been drawing several hundred men, women and children for music performances, inspirational talks and quiet reflection in cities such as San Diego, Nashville and New York.
The group’s motto is Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More.
Evans and Jones are hoping the tour, which also includes meetings in Australia, will raise $800,000 to help launch more atheist congregations around the world, and so far they’ve raised $50,000.
Recent polls show a growing number of Americans claim no religious affiliation, which can include those who believe in God but lack formal ties to organized religion.
But some atheists say an organized movement runs counter to the point of nonbelief.
“The idea that you’re building an entire organization based on what you don’t believe, to me, sounds like an offense against sensibility,” said Michael Luciano, a self-described atheist who was raised Roman Catholic. “There’s something not OK with appropriating all of this religious language, imagery and ritual for atheism.”
I’m not sure how to feel about this.