So much for Freud

Old Sigmund postulated that religion was a mental disorder, and it’s interesting that some science fetishists still cling to this idea even though it is manifestly a truth of revelation rather than science. Literally ALL of the scientific evidence suggests otherwise, as religious individuals live longer, are healthier, have more children, and are less likely to be depressed, require psychiatric treatment or commit suicide.

So, it’s interesting to compare the self-reported results of the Asperger Quotient test between the atheists, agnostics and theists by combining the results from the 59 Pharyngulans and the 173 Vox Populites reporting. (Thanks, Erik, for the compilation.)

27.2 Atheist
20.0 Agnostic
19.0 Theist

This sampling is too subjective and self-selected to be meaningful, and it skews towards the sort of people who read intellectually oriented blogs,(1) but it does suggest the interesting hypothesis that atheism, particularly in its more aggressively militant forms, could be the result of an anti-social mental disorder. It also explains why agnostics and theists tend to coexist rather better than either do with atheists. I have an idea for testing this hypothesis more scientifically, however it would involve a bit of legwork that isn’t feasible for me to perform alone.

If you might be interested in testing this hypothesis, which I think would require about three hours and a moderate amount of human interaction, email me and I’ll explain what I have in mind. Those attending decent-sized colleges or living in urban areas would probably be the most suited for the task.

(1) In the sense of more intellectual than the societal average of whatever is popular on television at the moment. I’m pretty sure everyone here and at Pharyngula at least knows who Kant and Kafka are, this is not true of the average Tonight Show viewer.