This blog intends to provide some balance in the religious debate by providing a counterpoint to Billy Graham's religious advice. On his website http://www.billygraham.org/ he responds to readers' questions by quoting from the bible. I am attempting to respond to those same queries by resorting to reason and rationality.

I must acknowledge a debt here to Jeff Hope who started in this vein but who has unfortunately taken a hiatus. His blog is http://atheistsanswer.wordpress.com/. Jeff has inspired me to continue.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


QUESTION: Today's comes from LP...
"I know we can become addicted to things like alcohol and drugs, but is it possible to become addicted to other things? My cousin spends hours and hours every day exercising, and it's almost like an addiction with her."

It's quite true that it's not only alcohol and drugs that you can become addicted to. Any activity can become addictive, such as video games, sport, and even religion. However, it's important to delineate between interest and addiction. An addiction has two main components: you are compelled to do some activity; and there is some damaging effect from that activity. What is the downside of your cousin's exercising? Keeping oneself fit and healthy is admirable, but does it take all her time so that other aspects of life are neglected? From the information you've provided, it is unlikely that your cousin is addicted. Why don't you pull on some shorts and join her - you might find out something. At the very least your fitness will improve!
There are plenty of people around the world who become fanatical about religion. It is illuminating to check them against the addiction indicators: compulsion and damage. I'm sure you could find plenty of positive matches, but try telling some religious fanatic that they need to acknowledge they have a problem and to start detox.


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