If remotely interesting, I read Dawkins book, “the God delusion“ when it first came out, and I was particularly underwhelmed. I read it as I hoped it to be the best challenge to the Christian faith, and I always like to have my beliefs challenged and sharpened. His arguments seemed to be one obvious fallacy after another.
The most striking, was that he spent one whole chapter, as I recall, arguing about how morality be to be understood not as something eternal, overarching, or transcendent, but as the byproduct of our evolutionary upbringing. Good and evil are simply invented constructs, essentially.
Then he spent what I think was the next chapter talking about how “evil”’religion was, and he didn’t mean “evil” simply as a human construct, by as an eternal, transcendent, absolute evil. It made me laugh out loud.
Essentially, for what this worth, Dawkins comes across to me as a polemicist… interested in saying things to get reactions and to try to sway opinion, not because he has carefully examined or is seeking the underlying truth or logic. He believes many things not because they are obvious and true, but because he wants or needs them to be the case. I could easily make a similar case that many of his own believes are downright delusional.
As for mental illness, feel free to ask me questions if you’d like… I would claim to be a cautious supporter of ID in general, and with significant sympathy with much of YEC. Much if my sympathy is that I do not take anything as true just because many scientists think so, particularly because atheist scientists essentially beg the questions involved, they need Darwinisticnecolution to be true to maintain their worldview. Other scientists that don’t share their beliefs, but nonetheless maintain the same essentially strictly naturalistic assumptions, I also share skepticism as it appears to me to beg the question.
(On the reverse side, I try to maintain significant skepticism of the claims of organized YEC groups, even while remaining very open to considering the ideas the suggest).
As for dinosaurs and mental health, you can tell me or ask me your thoughts if I would be a good test case for you… I am quite certain of my mental health, and lack of psychotic delusion… I wouldn’t say I “believe”’ with any great significant conviction or unshakeable certainty that dinosaurs and people lived together, but I am very open to the real possibility and tend to suspect there may well be something there. The animals in Job 40-41 certainly seem not to be describing other regular animals, and my biblical interpretation doesn’t accept the idea that, after describing all manner of real animals, the conclusion of the argument resorts to mythical creatures. Then you have dinosaur fossils found with soft tissue, etc. none of it conclusive, but I seriously consider the possibility.
My first take, there is mental illness that believes all manner of truly crazy conspiracy theories that literally require literal mental delusion (I’ve dealt with people in this category, one that believed his parents had literally wired recording devices in the Navy ship I was on to spy on him). But then there is a category where people believe something that is a significant minority report.
For instance, myself personally, I would never claim that people who believed, in 9/11 being an inside job conspiracy, or those who believed the Moonlanding was fake, to be suffering mental illness. It is possible, delusional people might believe such, but I do not see such beliefs being somehow a determinant of or conclusive for mental illness. I had very sane, very brilliant, Navy MD on one of my ships who believed the moon landing faked. There may be similar philosophical question begging approaches that lead them to discard generally accepted evidence, and and openness to way alternate evidence more highly then the rest of us. But if believing a wildly unpopular and extremely minority scientific view Is considered a mental illness, what would we say about Galileo?