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Religious Belief and Belief in Delusion 

Religious Belief and Belief in Delusion
Chapter:
Religious Belief and Belief in Delusion
Author(s):

George Graham

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198728658.003.0002
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date: 15 November 2019

The chapter begins by discussing the difficulty of securing a working concept of the spiritual or religious, using the two terms interchangeably, which is sufficient for a delusion to qualify as spiritual or religious in type. The chapter explores whether beliefs are the primary vehicles of delusion, religious or otherwise, and whether a delusion must be empirically false. Freud apparently believed that delusions are empirically false. As DSM 5 implicitly recognizes, however, empirical falsehood is inessential for being deluded. Not only can true beliefs sometimes qualify as delusional, empirical beliefs are not the only sorts of beliefs relevant to delusion. Moral misbeliefs and normative misjudgments often are part of a delusion, religious or otherwise.

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