If a man has a delusion, it's called a delusion, and he is forced to take psychoactive drugs by the authorities.
If 1,000,000 men have a delusion, it's called a religion, and they have legally protected religious rights.
Note: I am a schizophrenic. I've had complicated, non-psychotic, delusions in the past where I cannot tell the difference between one of these delusions and a religion.
I understand what you say, Lee. Like you, I've been victim to delusions in the past, I was diagnosed as schizoaffective and I was forced to take psychoactive drugs by the authorities.
Thank God, all this is part of the past. I continue to take medicine but I think I would be OK without them. But in my opinion, what has helped me most was not the medicine but my logic: I behave according to my logic. I didn't mean that I should not listen to what my teachers taught me, because I'm aware of the fact that my logic can mislead me, but when there is an obvious and permanent contradiction between my logic and my education or my religion (what people say), I definitely choose my logic.
About what you said: "If 1,000,000 men have a delusion, it's called a religion, and they have legally protected religious rights.", you are right but only partly. Most of us have a religion, which was transmitted to us by our parents, our teachers, our priests, rabbis, and Imams. It is not bad to practice it and to trust them, but only up to a certain point.
We would be very stupid and pretentious if we would think that our own minds give us all the answers and that we should behave only according to them. But what I say is this: "We have a mind and a logic and they have to play their roles". When we see a contradiction between our logic and what has been taught to us, we can either continue to practice reasonably, by tradition without believing word by word what we have been taught, or to leave the religion completely (to become atheist). That's why there are indeed 1,000,000 men, who have a certain religion on the paper but they are far from suffering, all of them, from delusions. However, among these 1000000 men and women, some of them believe that their truth is absolute, that no other truth is the real truth. Their beliefs often induce them to commit acts, which are definitely against the universal human values: liberty, truth, justice, beauty, love of others. In my opinion, those extremist people (who are a few and not millions) are definitely mentally ill people, or at least strongly indoctrinated.
I hope I have been successful in helping you to solve the apparent contradiction, you were writing about.