American millennials, irreligion, therapy and pseudoscience

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In 2010, the Pew Research Forum reported concerning the millennial generation:

By some key measures, Americans ages 18 to 29 are considerably less religious than older Americans...

Compared with their elders today, young people are much less likely to affiliate with any religious tradition or to identify themselves as part of a Christian denomination. Fully one-in-four adults under age 30 (25%) are unaffiliated, describing their religion as “atheist,” “agnostic” or “nothing in particular.” This compares with less than one-fifth of people in their 30s (19%), 15% of those in their 40s, 14% of those in their 50s and 10% or less among those 60 and older. About two-thirds of young people (68%) say they are members of a Christian denomination and 43% describe themselves as Protestants, compared with 81% of adults ages 30 and older who associate with Christian faiths and 53% who are Protestants.[1]

Thomas D. Willliams PH.D. wrote in his article Report: Atheist Millennials Trade Faith for Therapy:

In the absence of God or religious faith, many millennials are seeking meaning for their lives and an explanation of existence through psychological therapy, a new essay suggests.

Writing for Quartz, self-described atheist millennial Elizabeth King argues that for herself and countless colleagues, “therapy is our new church,” while noting that “many millennials grappling with the big questions in life want to work them out on a psychologist’s couch instead of a church pew.”

“Most of the people I know are in therapy,” she states.

The idea of psychology used as a substitute for religion is nothing new. Already in his groundbreaking 1977 book, Psychology as Religion: The Cult of self-Worship, Dr. Paul C. Vitz offered a stinging critique of the selfism that is central to the most popular psychological schools. The narcissism described by Vitz has reached its apex in the millennial generation, and thoughtful observers will find it unsurprising that many millennials would find psychological therapy to be a natural surrogate for religious faith.[2]

Psychology and pseudoscience

See also: Psychology and pseudoscience and Atheism and science

Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior and the practical application of psychological therapy. Unfortunately, the field of psychology is riddled with sloppy work, pseudoscience and scientific fraud (see: Psychology and pseudoscience).

Psychology studies: Major problems with replication and transparency

  • Psychology is not science - Discusses lack of transparency of Dutch psychologists in terms of their data for their experiments

Psychological studies and statistical errors

In 2011, the New York Times reported:

Also common is a self-serving statistical sloppiness. In an analysis published this year, Dr. Wicherts and Marjan Bakker, also at the University of Amsterdam, searched a random sample of 281 psychology papers for statistical errors. They found that about half of the papers in high-end journals contained some statistical error.[3]

Significant percentage of psychologists having depression and/or suicide ideation

Ex-atheist Theodore Beale

Theodore beale reported:

This is why therapy is reliably doomed to failure:..

In addition to the 46 percent of psychologists who the NHS reports as being depressed, "out of 800 psychologists sampled, 29 per cent reported suicidal ideation and 4 per cent reported attempting suicide."...

Would you go to a plumber whose toilet is overflowing? Would you hire a computer programmer who didn't know how to use a computer? Then why would you ever talk to one of these nutjobs in order to fix whatever mental issues you might be having?...

There is very little scientific evidence of the benefits of psychology. I read one recent study which showed that neurotic individuals actually stabilize on their own at a higher rate than those who seek therapy. This is no surprise, as the foundations of psychology are literally fiction.[4]

Effectiveness of laymen vs. trained psychologists

Christian author Todd A. Sinelli wrote in an article entitled To Whom Shall We Go?:

Psychology is ineffective, impotent, and embarrassingly deceptive. The great humbug is that “the psychological industry has successfully concealed its ineffectiveness from the general public. Pastors, churches, and the laity have been brainwashed into believing that only psychologically trained professional counselors are competent to deal with serious problems.”

Empirical research indicates that this is not so. In his study conducted in 1979 and entitled "Comparative Effectiveness of Paraprofessional and Professional Helpers", J.A. Durlack writes, “The research reviewed forty-two studies that compared professional counselors with untrained helpers. The findings were ‘consistent and provocative.’ Paraprofessionals achieve clinical outcomes equal to or significantly better than those obtained by professionals (...) The study, on the whole, lent no support to the major hypothesis that (...) the technical skills of professional psychotherapists produce measurably better therapeutic change.”

At the conclusion of this study, psychologist Gary Collins reluctantly admitted, “Clearly there is evidence that for most people, laypeople can counsel as well as or better than professionals.”

Again, the bottom line is that Christians are not to turn to psychologist for guidance. Primarily because the Word of God instructs us not to and God has given us the ability to counsel one another through His Word.[5]

See also: Abstract - Comparative effectiveness of paraprofessional and professional helpers and PubMed citation - Comparative effectiveness of paraprofessional and professional helpers

A 1985 paper entitled Does professional training make a therapist more effective? which was published by the University of Texas reported there was no substantial difference in between the results that laymen and trained psychologists are able to achieve.[6][7]

The atheist psychologist Sigmund Freud promoted pseudoscience

Sigmund Freud in his laboratory

See also: Sigmund Freud's view of religion and Atheism and science and Atheism and depression and Atheism and suicide

Sigmund Freud and the atheistic and pseudoscientific Freudian psychoanalysis has had a cultish following.[8][9] See also: Atheist cults

Freud was a proponent of the notion that theism was detrimental to mental health.[10] Oxford Professor Alister McGrath, author of the book The Twilight of Atheism, stated the following regarding Freud:

One of the most important criticisms that Sigmund Freud directed against religion was that it encourages unhealthy and dysfunctional outlooks on life. Having dismissed religion as an illusion, Freud went on to argue that it is a negative factor in personal development. At times, Freud's influence has been such that the elimination of a person's religious beliefs has been seen as a precondition for mental health.

Freud is now a fallen idol, the fall having been all the heavier for its postponement. There is now growing awareness of the importance of spirituality in health care, both as a positive factor in relation to well-being and as an issue to which patients have a right. The "Spirituality and Healing in Medicine" conference sponsored by Harvard Medical School in 1998 brought reports that 86 percent of Americans as a whole, 99 percent of family physicians, and 94 percent of HMO professionals believe that prayer, meditation, and other spiritual and religious practices exercise a major positive role within the healing process.[10]

The prestigious Mayo Clinic reported on December 11, 2001:

In an article also published in this issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Mayo Clinic researchers reviewed published studies, meta-analyses, systematic reviews and subject reviews that examined the association between religious involvement and spirituality and physical health, mental health, health-related quality of life and other health outcomes.

The authors report a majority of the nearly 350 studies of physical health and 850 studies of mental health that have used religious and spiritual variables have found that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better health outcomes.[11]

Millennials, secular leftism, Donald Trump's victory and mental illness

See also: Secular leftists and psychogenic illness

The website Marketwatch reported concerning the aftermath of the 2016 presidential race: Trump’s win is causing a surge in demand for mental health services[12]

Peter Burfeind's article Millennials Are In Election Hell Because Politics Has Become Their God published in The Federalist indicates:

According to progressive faith, the “arc of history” always bends Left. Well, history just spawned Donald Trump, and if European political trends are indicative, this is not an isolated incident. For leftists, this is akin to if Christians woke up to find Jesus’ bones had been discovered. It shattered their faith.

The freak-out is especially acute among millennials. These are the “nones” and the “spiritual but not religious” bunch we’ve heard about the past decade. Millennials, we were told, didn’t abandon faith per se—can the human spirit truly live without faith?—they simply redirected it away from “organized religion” toward other things, chief among which was politics. I wonder how that’s working out for them.

As ridiculous and ubiquitous as the pathetically referenced “stages of grief” has become to explain how they feel about losing an election (!), the depth of leftist grief does magnify the essential religiosity they place on politics. Some reflection is in order.[13]

The website Marketwatch reported concerning the aftermath of the 2016 presidential race: Trump’s win is causing a surge in demand for mental health services[14]

For additional information, please see: Trump's presidential victory, upset secular leftists/liberals and mental illness

See also

Notes