Leading Psychiatrists Unwittingly Acknowledge Psychiatry Is a Religion, Not a Science

This article by Dr. Bruce Levine has been published by Mad in America. It begins:

“Since the seventeenth century, Enlightenment thinkers have distinguished science from religion, and by at least one critical distinction, leading psychiatrists have unwittingly acknowledged that major constructs in contemporary psychiatry are religious ideas, not scientific ones.

Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) is regarded by the eminent historian Jonathan Israel as a key member of the “radical Enlightenment” because he refused to compromise his thinking to appease religious authorities. Spinoza scholar Beth Lord notes that for Spinoza, ‘The aim of science, philosophy, and reason is to get at the truth,’ but ‘the aim of religion is rather different . . . its aim is not to tell the truth or even to discover the truth, its aim is to make people behave better and to keep people obedient.’ She adds, ‘The role of religion is really helping to manage people’s feelings and images when they’re in this irrational state.’

Such a religious role in psychiatry has been acknowledged by top insider psychiatrists with respect to two major constructs: (1) the DSM, psychiatry’s diagnostic manual published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the guild of American psychiatrists; (2) and the ‘chemical imbalance theory of mental illness,’ which has long served as the rationale behind the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants for depression. Today, leading psychiatrists have acknowledged the scientific invalidity of both the DSM and the chemical imbalance theory, with some of them arguing that these constructs have been useful fictions …”

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