Monday, November 12, 2012

God is Not a Delusion



The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx chronicles each day of Nikki’s life, from December 25, 1986 to December 23, 1987 based upon a diary which he kept at that time.

Nikki Sixx is an Italian American guitar player and song writer. He was born in 1958 (named originally Frank Feranna). In 1981 he was a founding member of the hard rock band Motley Crue. Having acquired new management in 1983, Motley Crue began achieving major success in 1984 and reached its peak in 1990. In 1987, the period covered by this book, they released the Girls, Girls, Girls album.

In his book, Nikki describes his consumption of huge quantities of alcohol, cocaine and heroin. He often suffered from cocaine induced paranoia, frequently locking himself in his closet (page 19). He seldom bathed (page 104). He was very rude, neglecting to visit his grandmother during her terminal illness or attend her funeral (page 145) and refusing to speak to his mother and sister (page 305). At one point he was arrested for throwing a bottle of whiskey on a crowded train (page 373). He performed innumerable sex acts with women who were total strangers. He was also an extreme atheist, and when a friend mentioned God, Nikki pulled down his pants, pointed his two middle fingers in the air in an obscene gesture and screamed “F--- you God! If you’re so real, strike me down.” (page 355)

In any case, he was so ill and self abusive, it appeared as if he would not survive very much longer (page 383).

Yet he is still alive today, and still performing. In fact, he has since married twice and fathered four children, with whom he seems to have a strong relationship.

On page 384, Nikki describes how he overdosed on heroin and had a near death experience. When he woke up in the hospital two days later, he wrote “maybe there is a God”. That was the turning point of his life. It was a very long hard road to recovery from there, however today he has been clean and sober for eight years. He now describes drug use as “retarded” . Well, better late than never.

The fact that belief in God can have such a powerful, life saving therapeutic effect, would seem to validate that God is in fact real, not a delusion. After all, do we ever find a situation where believing in something completely false could have such a beneficial effect and help people to function, rather than hinder them?

29 comments:

Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo said...

".....When he woke up in the hospital two days later, he wrote “maybe there is a God”......."

Nu?
Would this be the Nahum 1:2 "LORD" to whom/which you appear to subscribe, or the omniscient, all-loving divinity to which I referred earlier.



Oh, and it's "Mötley Crüe". Don't you be forgetting them umlauts, they's very important for the "Street Cred" you know.

Funny thing though, with the umlauts, the band's name is/was pronounced "Mutt-Lee Cruh" in German. Not the "Moat-Lee Crew" pronunciation the retarded members desired.
The Yankees are many things, but cosmopolitan, they are not.

"......He performed innumerable sex acts with women who were total strangers......"

With a bit of effort, I'm sure they could all be enumerated. In his defence, they were not strangers afterwards, yes?

Dave said...

"do we ever find a situation where believing in something completely false could have such a beneficial effect and help people to function, rather than hinder them?"

How about:

1. Jesus loves me and died for our sins
2. Rabbi Schneerson is the Messiah.

jewish philosopher said...

"they were not strangers afterwards"

Yes, they still were. For more details you have to buy the book. I won't spoil it.

"How about:

1. Jesus loves me and died for our sins
2. Rabbi Schneerson is the Messiah."

Those particular ideas, I don't really know. However there is a good deal of evidence that monotheism, orignating in Judaism, does have the capacity to make people more happy and more sober.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_happiness

http://www.casacolumbia.org/articlefiles/379-So%20Help%20Me%20God.pdf

So again, wouldn't we expect that believing in a delusion or a fallacy should generally impair people's functioning rather than facilitate it?

Dave said...

I think that born again Christians and "messianic" chabadnicks answer your question quite clearly. These people's false beliefs help them.

jewish philosopher said...

I am aware of no evidence that they are functioning better than non-Lubavitch orthdox Jews.

Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo said...

"......."they were not strangers afterwards"

Yes, they still were. For more details you have to buy the book. I won't spoil it........"

I meant in the "Biblical sense" and the "Biological sense". At least one set of gametes was swapped, and all manner of epithelial cells and body fluids were exchanged. Their various flora and fauna are no doubt quite familiar with each other by now.
Sheesh! I know married couples with less in common than this!

I would not purchase his book and line his no doubt born-again christian pockets. The man named his son "Gunner"! This poor putz has to live with that now!
Could be worse though, Frank Zappa named his son Dweezil and his daughter "Moon Unit". And don't get me started on the names of Bob Geldof's crotch-fruit.

jewish philosopher said...

I'm not aware that he joined a church.

Anonymous said...

"The fact that belief in God can have such a powerful, life saving therapeutic effect, would seem to validate that God is in fact real, not a delusion."

I don't see that belief in "God" did anything for him. He OD'ed and nearly died. The trauma of the event was powerful. Any belief in God--and Sixx's "maybe" is hardly a conversion--is a symptom of avoiding tragedy, not a cause of avoiding it.

There's also no connection between believing God is real and God actually being real.

One wonders if you actually understand what you write.

jewish philosopher said...

He ODed and died once before however he kept using. It was God which made it possible for him to stop.

Anonymous said...

"It was God which made it possible for him to stop."

Totally unsupported, incredible statement. You have no idea.

jewish philosopher said...

I believe that's what he says. And that's typical of addiction recovery. God is central to Alcoholics Anonymous.

Abe said...

Well, he thinks it was god but more likely it could have been Zeus.
But undoubtedly it was nothing more than a placebo effect. Placebo effects are quite powerful palliatives.
You just have to believe in the therapy even though there is no medical evidence of its direct contribution to abatement of his malady.
If he had believed in the efficacy of a magnetic bracelet worn around his neck, he would have achieved the same result. Or maybe it was Zeus?

jewish philosopher said...

Why don't you start you're own addiction recovery society and call it Magic Bracelets Anonymous. Tell me how it goes.

Dave said...

"I am aware of no evidence that they are functioning better than non-Lubavitch orthdox Jews."

It motivates them to do charitable work and to get other Jews more affiliated, certainly in a far more effective way than your methods. Chabad has brought in tens of thousands of Jews; I doubt that you have brought in one.

Arguably, the false beliefs of the Mormons help them, too.

Anonymous said...

"Why don't you start you're own addiction recovery society and call it Magic Bracelets Anonymous. Tell me how it goes."

You're missing the point, which is that the power is the idea. One feels as though there's a super-parent watching, caring, urging good. It's total imagination and self-serving, but it feels good. It's almost a smack substitute. Best of all, the super-parent's judgment matches perfectly to the person's values and experience. The super-parent is judgmental, yet gives just the right level of understanding to the person. Best of all, it's private--no public shame when the super-parent wags an invisible finger at the person.

The secular SOS program is about as effective as AA, but that may not say much: "12-step and AA programmes for alcohol problems are promoted worldwide. Yet experimental studies have on the whole failed to demonstrate their effectiveness in reducing alcohol dependence or drinking problems when compared to other interventions."
(http://life.umt.edu/curry/DOcs-SOS/Current%20Peer%20Educators/Articles/Ferri_et_al.pdf)

jewish philosopher said...

"It motivates them to do charitable work and to get other Jews more affiliated"

I'm not aware of any licenced therapist or psychologist advising a patient to bleive in Jesus or the Book of Mormon or the messiahship of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Nor can I imagine one advising patients to believe that the world is flat or that the Holocaust never happened. However it is commonplace for therapists to advise addicts to "find your Higher Power"; which is just politically correct code for "believe in God".

"The secular SOS program is about as effective as AA"

Then why do all the top rehab centers in the US use the AA model?

http://www.promises.com/the-experience/family-faqs/#wk2-q6

http://www.bettyfordcenter.org/treatment-programs/inpatient-treatment/index.php

http://www.hazelden.org/web/public/twelvesteps.page

http://www.phoenixhouse.com/

The only non-AA rehab that I know of is Passages Malibu

http://www.passagesmalibu.com/treatment.html

which is apparently a scam

http://www.laweekly.com/2008-06-26/news/buying-the-cure/6/

Anonymous said...

"Then why do all the top rehab centers in the US use the AA model?"

Evidence of how god-soaked the nation has become. As you say, "What everyone thinks can be totally wrong."

jewish philosopher said...

I think that you'll find that psychologists and psychiatrists, who are not noted for being particularly pious, would love to find a non-theistic cure for addiction, but there isn't one.

Anonymous said...

"I think that you'll find that psychologists and psychiatrists, who are not noted for being particularly pious, would love to find a non-theistic cure for addiction, but there isn't one."

Of course there is. Besides in reality, all "cures" (addicts never think of themselves as cured, so I'm told) are non-theistic.

jewish philosopher said...

"Of course there is."

So open a rehab center. Addicts, frequently confirmed atheists, will love it. You'll make millions, if you're right that is.

Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo said...

".....would love to find a non-theistic cure for addiction, but there isn't one....."

They came close with Dr. Brodsky's Ludovico technique.

And the Tribal Afghani method for 'curing' Opium addiction is not Theist based.

And no, the folks don't die. And they are still able to kill infidel Yankees and other ISAF invaders - just with more clarity now.

Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo said...

"......So open a rehab center. Addicts, frequently confirmed atheists, will love it. You'll make millions, if you're right that is......"

Addicts, atheist or not, are poor. Thank the divinity President Obama was re-elected though, Obamacare is sure to shower entrepreneurs of this sort with tax dollars 'til there cup runneth over.
And it won't matter if anonymous @ November 14, 2012 11:29:00 AM is right!

Dave said...

Your familiarity and focus on addiction leads us to believe that you are speaking from personal experience.

While I am glad for you that you found sobriety and redemption through religion, trying to generalize from your own personal experience to all people is a well known cognitive error. (confirmatory bias and availability heuristic)

jewish philosopher said...

Thanks for your good wishes, however in fact I am basing myself on the policies of all of the foremost alcohol and drug rehab centers such as Betty Ford, Hazelden and Phoenix House which use the 12 Steps system 

http://www.bettyfordcenter.org/treatment-programs/inpatient-treatment/index.php

http://www.hazelden.org/web/public/twelvesteps.page

http://www.phoenixhouse.com/

which of course is based on monotheism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve-step_program#Twelve_Steps

as well on research done by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

"The key finding of this two-year study is this: if ever the sum were greater than the parts it is in combining the power of God, religion and spirituality with the power of science and professional medicine to prevent and treat substance abuse and addiction."

http://www.casacolumbia.org/articlefiles/379-So%20Help%20Me%20God.pdf

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University is a science-based, multidisciplinary organization focused on transforming society's understanding of and response to the disease of addiction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_National_Center_on_Addiction_and_Substance_Abuse_at_Columbia_University

So again, it's unreasonable for belief in God to be a delusion on the one hand 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_God_Delusion

yet be so immensely therapeutic on the other. We would logically expect that delusional people should be less functional than rational people. To me, this an indication that atheism is a delusion.

Mr. Cohen said...

Jewish Philosopher, you are wasting your time with these people; you are wasting your time with this blog.

Last year I advised to take a 12 month to 24 month break from this blog.
Unfortunately, you failed to accept my correct advice.

In six weeks it will be December 31; I again advise you to take a break from this blog, at that time. You can always come back a year later. During your year-long break from his blog, you will discover much more profitable and enjoyable ways to use your time.

jewish philosopher said...

My impression is that each day about 20 people visit my website and spend time reading articles. I have personally gotten feedback from several people who have said that they were helped by it. I having a feeling that  many people don't bother to tell me. So in any case, I believe that this is time well spent.

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do." Helen Keller

mike roe said...

to make a claim that only true beliefs can have a positive affect on a person (and non true not having)u most explain why you think so lets examine how a true belief would affect a person the person beliefs that his mother would be upset if he commits murder he doesnt commit murder very nice now what if this persons mother does want him to commit murder and yet he beleives she does not and therefore he doesnt commit murder so though his belief was completely false it had a positive affect

jewish philosopher said...

First of all, let me point out that what I am writing in this post is not one of my primary proofs of Judaism. Those are listed here.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2012/01/why-weshould-beorthodox.html

What I am saying however is that generally mental health professionals work very hard and use very powerful medications to prevent people from having delusions because delusions and psychosis of any kind are so disabling if not really dangerous. However, according to atheism, monotheism would seem to be a remarkable exception to this rule in that mental health professionals might actually encourage this delusion. I suggest that this indicates that God is not a delusion.

Ezra said...

Nosson Slifkin has refuted this elsewhere