Can a political ideology be a mental disorder?

Aug 2018
Political ideology is not and cannot be a mental disorder. They just are not the same thing at all. People who have strong political views/attitudes/assumptions can have mental illnesses, but that does not make the political views a mental disorder.

Also, people who have extremely strong, extremely passionate political views/attitudes tend to come across as kind of radical and emotionally unstable, but one cannot project that presentation onto the entire half or quadrant of the political spectrum/matrix that they're occupying.
It's not the disorder, but it can be the symptom of the disorder.
Jan 2016
Doing a dangerous job is not the same as doing something to such an extreme level that it becomes detrimental to oneself and/or others.
It's not an irrelevant dodge, it's an example of how this 'argument from authority fallacy' is being taken to ridiculous extremes in America today, by people like you.

The Argument from Authority Fallacy is a very real thing. If I were to say "The speed of light is a constant because Albert Einstein said so", that's an argument from authority. The claim that the speed of light is a constant needs to be backed up by much more robust evidence than that, even though Einstein was an authority on physics.

An even more obvious example would be if someone were to say that "Trade wars are good and easy to win, because President Trump said so", because Donald Trump is in NO way an authority on international trade.

But the Argument from Authority can be and is being taken to ridiculous extremes today. In an extreme form, it would lead you to reject all expert testimony in courtroom cases, because that is, after all, an 'appeal to authority'. Are you disputing this?

Taken to an extreme, it would lead you to reject the petition that was signed by 72 Nobel Laureate scientists in Physics, Chemistry, and Medicine/Physiology, and sent to the Supreme Court of the United States, when the SCOTUS was considering whether the teaching of 'scientific creationism' should be allowed in our public schools. In fact, I rather imagine that you would regard such a petition as utterly irrelevant, and a fine example of an 'Appeal to Authority'.

Taken to an extreme, it would lead you to reject, as utterly irrelevant, the petition signed by more than 8000 law professors, stating that they found that Brett Kavanaugh lacked the temperament necessary to be a SCOTUS justice.

And taken to an extreme, it would lead you to reject, as utterly irrelevant, the signed statement by more than 800 former federal prosecutors saying that in their judgment, Donald Trump committed felonies in office.

Taken to its most ridiculous extreme, the Argument from Authority Fallacy should lead us to simply close down our colleges and universities, since one of the major purposes for their existence is to create and produce the very experts and authorities that our society NEEDS to function and thrive.

the watchman

Former Staff
Jul 2011
becoming more and more
It's not the disorder, but it can be the symptom of the disorder.
seems like we're going to have to revisit that. Watching MAGA parents laughing at an audience member joke about shooting a migrant , with their minor child taking it all in beside them, is one reason why.


Former Staff
Sep 2007
Maybe my user title will provide a clue.
No. An ideology is an ideology, that's it. Equating it to a mental disorder is like equating musical tastes to appendicitis.

Leaving aside the whole "the definition of mental disorder is not 'having opinions I disagree with / consider stupid / harmful / evil'" line of reasoning, I'll point out that mental disorder is not defined as "taking irrational stances," either. Of course many (most?) people who are passionate about politics look at some issues irrationally (the term "irrational" NOT meaning "seeming insane to the opposite camp") but so do people who have no political ideology whatsoever, they just tend to be irrational about other things. It's normal for humans to be irrational (to varying degrees).

Additionally, very few of us are capable of differentiating "rational" from "irrational," in ourselves or others, 100% of the time. But even if we are being irrational, say, 80% of the time (as in, we can handle everday life to the point of not walking out of windows etc.), that still doesn't necessarily mean that we suffer from a mental disorder.
Likes: HCProf