By Albert Ellis

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Scientific think ing. Emot ionally stable peo­ ple are reasonably (not tot ally) objective, ration­ al, and scientific. They not only construct rea­ sonable and ernpirically substantiated theories relating to what goes on in the surrounding world (and with their fellow creatures who inhabit this world) but they also, if they follow the teachings of RET, are able to apply the rules of logic and of the scientific method to their own lives and to their interpersonal relationships. In regard to scientific thinking, it practically goes without saying th;,tt this kind of cerebration is antithetical to religiosity.

Assuming that the above criteria for mental health and a few other related criteria are reasonably valid, how are they sabotaged by a system of devout religious belief or religiosity? And how are they abetted by adherence to the principles of unbelief, skepticism, and Atheism? Let us now consider these questions. 1. Self-interest. Emotionally healthy people are primarily true to themselves and do not masochistically subjugate themselves to or un­ duly sacrifice themselves for others. -as well as put a few selected others a close second and the rest of the world not too far behind.

Orthodox religions deliberately instill guilt (self-damna­ tion) in their adherents and then give these adherents guilt-soothing rituals to (temporarily) allay this kind of self-damning feelings. Pious secular religionists, instead of bowing to supernatural gods, create semi-divine dictators (for example, Stalin and Hilter) and absolutistic entitities (for example, the USSR or the Third Reich) and masochistically demean themselves before these "noblen powers-again to the detri­ ment of their own self-interest.

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