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Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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09-09-2016, 03:40 AM
Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 03:36 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(09-09-2016 03:20 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I'm not sure how that quote changes anything here, since Barret didn't appeal to monotheism, just that children's propensity to a teleological view of nature, makes them more likely to be drawn to creationism more so than non-teleological views like evolution.
What exactly do you think "creationism" means?


A particular teleological explanation of nature. Where as evolution in this case would be a particular non-teleological explanation of nature. Children's predisposition to teleological beliefs, makes the more inclined to believe the former rather than the latter. The latter might be true, just counterintuitive.


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09-09-2016, 04:08 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 03:40 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  A particular teleological explanation of nature. Where as evolution in this case would be a particular non-teleological explanation of nature. Children's predisposition to teleological beliefs, makes the more inclined to believe the former rather than the latter. The latter might be true, just counterintuitive.
"A particular teleological explanation"? Come on, I was asking you to be exact. Creationism is the position that God created the universe. How can you say that's not appealing to monotheism when an infinite number of other things could have done it?

His research suggested that children don't believe that nature was made by humans, but it's actually both evolution and creationism which fit that bill.

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09-09-2016, 05:02 AM (This post was last modified: 09-09-2016 06:45 AM by Deesse23.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 09:07 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  It appears we are born and come pre-programmed with certain beliefs. Theists will say God put them there. Atheists will say evolution did it. But I'm not sure we can deny their reality any longer.

For someone who wants to write a whole book about atheism (or anyother given topic) it should be mandatory to know what atheism even is. It is certainly not defined by the belief in evolution. Atheism has no requirement to believe in evolution. So dont count on my $, i wont buy it unless you educate yourself about the topic you are going to discuss. But this ignorance is not my main beef.

This is my main beef:
This quote of yours below combined with the statement above implies that you must be an atheist by your own definition. But in your introduction you claimed to be a theist. How so?
Randy Ruggles Wrote:My book will not conclude that we are born with a belief in God because God put it there but because evolution did

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09-09-2016, 06:25 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 10:36 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  I will also briefly go into other theories of the causes of atheism. Once such theory that I know you will all reject out of hand is the "bad dads" theory of Paul Vitz.

The phrasing you use here implies that atheism is a condition when it is, in fact, a position.

If that indeed is your focus then you need to rethink your premise imo.

You also may want to look at it from the obvious perspective of what causes (using your own term) theism and the belief in the unseen, untestable and un-evidenced. To do this it is imperative that you have a thorough understanding in the sciences of developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience that detail how intellectual development occurs and how humans learn.

It occurs to me that if your point is to have any merit then you would also have to show why someone who is born with a "working agency detector” doesn’t ALSO believe in other phenomena.

Conversely show why someone who is born with a defective “agency detector” still “believes” in supporting evidence.

Your premise that it is only gods that are included or excluded by this “agency detector” discredits the argument of such thing existing.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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09-09-2016, 06:31 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 03:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  The Chinese child and the Utah child are inclined to believe some sort of created order, a belief in some sort of non-human creator, teleology, the specifies of these particular teleological beliefs, and the disparity between the two can be linked to social and cultural influences.

What the Chinese child and the Utah child would have in common is a belief that nature is a part of a teleological order, that it's purposeful, and intentional at its foundation. This is a product of their biological disposition

Prove it. You're slapping your OWN beliefs onto others.
The children LEARN. Without a "tabula rasa" experiment, you have know way of knowing what their biology disposes.

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09-09-2016, 06:35 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 04:08 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(09-09-2016 03:40 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  A particular teleological explanation of nature. Where as evolution in this case would be a particular non-teleological explanation of nature. Children's predisposition to teleological beliefs, makes the more inclined to believe the former rather than the latter. The latter might be true, just counterintuitive.
"A particular teleological explanation"? Come on, I was asking you to be exact. Creationism is the position that God created the universe. How can you say that's not appealing to monotheism when an infinite number of other things could have done it?

His research suggested that children don't believe that nature was made by humans, but it's actually both evolution and creationism which fit that bill.

Strictly speaking, an omnipotent deity could have set up a game which empowers another order of lesser beings to make universes. Creationism assumes many things, in an unfounded way.

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09-09-2016, 06:41 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 11:05 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  
(08-09-2016 08:18 AM)Chas Wrote:  I'm afraid you failed right out of the gate. Your thesis #1 is self-contradictory.

If something is not supernatural or non-natural, it is within the purview of science.

I'm guessing you don't actually understand what science is.

I'm guessing you didn't actually understand what I wrote since that's what I said. Wink

My book will not conclude that we are born with a belief in God because God put it there but because evolution did. In fact, there will be no mention of a god in the actual hypothesis part because science does not appeal to supernatural explanations. That's methodological naturalism.

And your book will be wrong. You should take Anthropology 101.
Religion arose in human history LONG after the species differentiated and became successful.
You have not a shred of evidence for that conclusion.
I hope you publish it. They will rip you to shreds.

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09-09-2016, 06:59 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 11:13 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  
(08-09-2016 12:16 PM)Gloucester Wrote:  Hope we haven't scared/pissed Randy off. Thought this was going to be a really interesting debate.

I was looking forward to seeing his hypothesis totally demolished. Several times over.

Why would you look forward to that? I would think someone who loves science would be willing to follow the evidence wherever it leads. Why get emotional? Just a question.
Not really emotional, Randy, just think your hypothesis is a member of that set that, historically, has done a great deal of damage to humanity. Is still doing in some respects because theism is as divided amongst itself as is atheism. So many varieties, so many conflicting beliefs.

Of course, I presume that your's is the only true one.

Good me , truly good people and seriously "evil" people have belonged to all beliefs. No belief has a universal copyright on goodness or badness. Both those qualities are also open to perception, and many perceptions oppose.

Just plain old human nature.

So, yes, I do look forward to seeing, in my perception, your hypothesis demolished, though I do not expect that to be your perception of any arguments against advanced here. These arguments are pointless 99.99% of the time I estimate.

But, it makes one think and keeps one's mind sharp.

Over ten years or more of being on forums you are probably about the twentieth theist who says that he is doing an academic survey or writing a thesis or something similar. This has rarely been the truth, it has been just another feeble attempt to evangelise. I apologise in advance for thinking you are such a liar if your quest is a genuine one and you have presented yourself honestly. Pardon me for being sceptical.

Atheists have done the same on theist forums, asked a leading question to stir an argument. Foolish on both sides!

Edit: question removed by author.

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09-09-2016, 07:00 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 11:20 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  For the record, I find it very interesting that most people are rejecting the idea of us being born with beliefs when I'm afraid this is rapidly becoming a well-established scientific fact.

As has been pointed out, you haven't established that people are born with beliefs, just an agency detector. They are not the same thing even if you can show that one leads to the other.

You are also assuming that a hyperactive agency detector is the baseline normal and that atheism may result from a broken HAAD but that also has not been established.

The purpose of the agency detector is to raise an alert of a real, physical threat and one that is overly sensitive is better than one that is not sensitive enough. To that end it needs to be active but not necessarily hyperactive. Having a HAAD not only makes you question what made the grasses rustle but makes you insist that there has to be an agency even when you can't find any physical evidence for one.

Perhaps the atheist has the normal agency detector and the theopath has one that is broken and redlining all the time. It's like pig that impales itself; too much of a good thing can backfire on you.

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09-09-2016, 07:03 AM (This post was last modified: 09-09-2016 07:09 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 04:08 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(09-09-2016 03:40 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  A particular teleological explanation of nature. Where as evolution in this case would be a particular non-teleological explanation of nature. Children's predisposition to teleological beliefs, makes the more inclined to believe the former rather than the latter. The latter might be true, just counterintuitive.
"A particular teleological explanation"? Come on, I was asking you to be exact. Creationism is the position that God created the universe. How can you say that's not appealing to monotheism when an infinite number of other things could have done it?

His research suggested that children don't believe that nature was made by humans, but it's actually both evolution and creationism which fit that bill.


No his research suggest children believe in a created order, that was not created by humans. Or in other words in creationism, by some non-human force, i.e a generic creationism of sorts.

They see nature as designed, but not a product of human design, but non-human design. Hence the meaning of teleology, ascribing intentionality and purpose to things, as there to serve an telos.

So no evolution does not fit that bill in this regard.

Also you can be a polytheist, a pantheist, or any other form of theist, besides a monotheist, and be a creationist.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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