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Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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26-09-2016, 12:09 AM (This post was last modified: 26-09-2016 12:34 AM by Gloucester.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(25-09-2016 05:29 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  I have been in touch with Dr Justin Barrett and he notified me about a major research project on atheism and agnosticism being conducted in the UK by a team including Jonathan Lanman, Miguel Farias and Jonathan Jong. Should shed even more light on this subject.

Yeah, but you will probably twist the results to fit your "hypothesis" even if it proves you wrong.

Just like you twisted Darwin's words and those of others.

"Creationist" seems synonmynous with "Twister, liar..."

The majority of work on psychology is purely theoretical, not easy to "prove", and can often be refuted. We cannot know what truly happens in a mind, only how the owner of that mind perceives him or herself and the real world and is able to describe in terms others can understand. An analogue at best. But an important analogue.

Perception is not reality.

Bold added later.

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26-09-2016, 01:17 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(25-09-2016 05:22 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  More evidence supporting my hypothesis that belief or non-belief has a genetic component:

". . . in one study of adopted twins, the researchers looked at religious belief in a number of adopted twins raised apart. They found exactly the same result--greater similarity in identical twin pairs, even if raised apart. The conclusion is unavoidable: faith is definitely influenced by genes."

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/20...t-god-gene

My new revised hypothesis is that a mutation of the MTHFR gene might cause low dopamine levels responsible for mind-blind atheism.

So who here considers themselves a mind-blind atheist and would like to get tested for the mutation?

You pretend to be scientifc, but all you are trying to do is to shoehorn "some atheists are *genetically challenged*" into the discussion and then jump to "(all) atheists are...". Your statements outside of TTA clearly show, that you have zero interest in differntiating *genetic atheists* from *rational atheists*, your comments on FB for example are entirely about atheists in general. You, sir, are a disgusting lying piece of fundamentalist shit.

I wont be taking anyone serious anymore who posts shit like this on his FB account:

Quote:Fascinating stuff. Seven hundred years ago a Jewish Rabbi used the creation account in the book of Genesis to calculate the age of the universe at 15 billion years. Not far off from the age mainstream scientists today claim at 13.8 billion years. Divine knowledge or lucky guess?

Quote:Atheists can say they merely have a lack of belief in God but that doesn't mean they are impartial or unbiased. Their disbelief still informs their behaviour and emotion.

Quote:Understand folks - belief in evolution (without God) means no ultimate meaning in life and no free will. If there is no free will, it follows logically that there is no foundation for ethics. Also, there is no ultimate justice in the world.

Quote:According to historians, only 6 percent of all the wars of history have been religious. Meanwhile, atheists/anti-theists murdered 100 million people last century alone within the span of a few decades. That's far more than all of the religious wars combined.

Quote:But when believers in God were asked if they would change their belief for money, they invariably refused. Atheists, interestingly, were just as resolute. That’s evidence of how the brain treats religious belief differently than other ideas, and just how strongly it becomes established in the brain

Quote:Clearly, the atheist movement is in bad need of an image makeover. In my opinion, atheists should spend less time talking about what they don't believe in and more time talking about what they do believe in. Less time fighting creationists and pro-lifers and more time endorsing values we can all agree on like freedom of speech and human rights. Less time attempting to remove nativity scenes and the 10 Commandments from public spaces and more time showing what kind, generous and intelligent people they can be when they are not busy being . . . well, atheists.

Atheism, like feminism, is failing as a movement primarily because its worst supporters are often the most vocal.

Quote:Interesting. This peer-reviewed paper concludes that Darwin was actually a creationist.

Quote:Interesting point of view from New Scientist magazine that fits very well with the subject matter of a new book I'm working on: my hypothesis about the origin of atheism.

"What we need now is a scientific study not of the theistic, but the atheistic mind. We need to discover why some people do not "get" the supernatural agency many cognitive scientists argue comes automatically to our brains. Is this capacity non-existent in the non-religious, or is it rerouted, undermined or overwritten - and under what conditions?"

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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26-09-2016, 01:27 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(26-09-2016 01:17 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  
(25-09-2016 05:22 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  More evidence supporting my hypothesis that belief or non-belief has a genetic component:

". . . in one study of adopted twins, the researchers looked at religious belief in a number of adopted twins raised apart. They found exactly the same result--greater similarity in identical twin pairs, even if raised apart. The conclusion is unavoidable: faith is definitely influenced by genes."

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/20...t-god-gene

My new revised hypothesis is that a mutation of the MTHFR gene might cause low dopamine levels responsible for mind-blind atheism.

So who here considers themselves a mind-blind atheist and would like to get tested for the mutation?

You pretend to be scientifc, but all you are trying to do is to shoehorn "some atheists are *genetically challenged*" into the discussion and then jump to "(all) atheists are...". Your statements outside of TTA clearly show, that you have zero interest in differntiating *genetic atheists* from *rational atheists*, your comments on FB for example are entirely about atheists in general. You, sir, are a disgusting lying piece of fundamentalist shit.

I wont be taking anyone serious anymore who posts shit like this on his FB account:

Quote:Fascinating stuff. Seven hundred years ago a Jewish Rabbi used the creation account in the book of Genesis to calculate the age of the universe at 15 billion years. Not far off from the age mainstream scientists today claim at 13.8 billion years. Divine knowledge or lucky guess?

Quote:Atheists can say they merely have a lack of belief in God but that doesn't mean they are impartial or unbiased. Their disbelief still informs their behaviour and emotion.

Quote:Understand folks - belief in evolution (without God) means no ultimate meaning in life and no free will. If there is no free will, it follows logically that there is no foundation for ethics. Also, there is no ultimate justice in the world.

Quote:According to historians, only 6 percent of all the wars of history have been religious. Meanwhile, atheists/anti-theists murdered 100 million people last century alone within the span of a few decades. That's far more than all of the religious wars combined.

Quote:But when believers in God were asked if they would change their belief for money, they invariably refused. Atheists, interestingly, were just as resolute. That’s evidence of how the brain treats religious belief differently than other ideas, and just how strongly it becomes established in the brain

Quote:Clearly, the atheist movement is in bad need of an image makeover. In my opinion, atheists should spend less time talking about what they don't believe in and more time talking about what they do believe in. Less time fighting creationists and pro-lifers and more time endorsing values we can all agree on like freedom of speech and human rights. Less time attempting to remove nativity scenes and the 10 Commandments from public spaces and more time showing what kind, generous and intelligent people they can be when they are not busy being . . . well, atheists.

Atheism, like feminism, is failing as a movement primarily because its worst supporters are often the most vocal.

Quote:Interesting. This peer-reviewed paper concludes that Darwin was actually a creationist.

Quote:Interesting point of view from New Scientist magazine that fits very well with the subject matter of a new book I'm working on: my hypothesis about the origin of atheism.

"What we need now is a scientific study not of the theistic, but the atheistic mind. We need to discover why some people do not "get" the supernatural agency many cognitive scientists argue comes automatically to our brains. Is this capacity non-existent in the non-religious, or is it rerouted, undermined or overwritten - and under what conditions?"
Yes, Deesse, it's a load of ill thought out, pretentious, righteous, bollocls.

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26-09-2016, 01:55 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
On re--reading I have to admit poor Randy is definitely FUBAR.

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26-09-2016, 08:20 AM (This post was last modified: 26-09-2016 08:53 AM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
You know, the funny thing is that he's not entirely wrong about a lot of this stuff. The facts are there... it's just that his religious ideology warps how his mind interprets the facts until it's a twisted pretzel of its original shape.

Quote:Fascinating stuff. Seven hundred years ago a Jewish Rabbi used the creation account in the book of Genesis to calculate the age of the universe at 15 billion years. Not far off from the age mainstream scientists today claim at 13.8 billion years. Divine knowledge or lucky guess?

Aliza pointed this out to him. Kinda cool that he posted it to his Facebook pals. I haven't bothered to figure out how the good rabbi made his calculation, but it at least shows that 1) Randy at least somewhat acknowledges the universe is very old, in contrast to the claims of most of the YEC organizations he typically cites to for his "own ideas", and 2) he actually does listen to what we say here, despite all the apparent evidence to the contrary.

Quote:Atheists can say they merely have a lack of belief in God but that doesn't mean they are impartial or unbiased. Their disbelief still informs their behaviour and emotion.

Well, duh. No one is impartial or unbiased.

However, we can (and do) develop methods of thinking that help us to eliminate biased thinking. The entire philosophical basis of the Scientific Method is such an attempt to completely eliminate individual or small-group bias by subjecting every idea to the widest possible number of reviewers from diverse backgrounds and allegiances.

The real question is why did you make this statement, Rando? Why would you expect us to be impartial or unbiased? The difference is that we tend to learn and incorporate anti-bias filters into our thinking methods, based on the Scientific Method, and it's why we get so agitated when people manipulate and abuse the findings of real science.

Quote:Understand folks - belief in evolution (without God) means no ultimate meaning in life and no free will. If there is no free will, it follows logically that there is no foundation for ethics. Also, there is no ultimate justice in the world.

This is almost correct. There is no ultimate meaning in life. We live, we eat, we compete, we breed, we die. It's really that simple-- humans are no more special than any other animal, except for the fact that we are intelligent enough to get creative about finding our own sense of meaning (including the delusion that there is some Higher Ultimate Meaning™ handed down to us by Local Tribal God #24,387, which my tribe follows because it is the Right One™, not like those other tribes and their stupid, imaginary gods!), and to create systems of ethics that make life better for us and those around us.

On the other hand... what the fuck do you mean by "no free will"? If you mean that we are a series of natural chemical reactions and that what we call "free will" may in fact be an illusion of the mind, as some researchers have proposed, then sure. But I suspect you meant that "if we are just animals, without a soul, then we are slaves to our instincts", which is something I've heard from Creationists before in real life... to which I replied, "It's a good thing you're totally wrong about that, because my instinct is to slap your face clean off right now."

Quote:According to historians, only 6 percent of all the wars of history have been religious. Meanwhile, atheists/anti-theists murdered 100 million people last century alone within the span of a few decades. That's far more than all of the religious wars combined.

Oh good grief, where do I begin? This is sort of right, facts-wise, but the presentation is skewed to the point of outright lying. It is so baldly manipulative and deceptive in its choice of language as to make me want to puke. I swear, I can't figure out how you sleep at night, unless you have no freaking idea how dishonestly twisted this statement is. I'll explain:

It's true that historians say that most wars are in fact the result of economic clashes:territory control, resource predation, empire building, and/or trade route confluences. Even ones that are famously religious-based, they turn out to have strong underlying economic reasons behind them (e.g. the Crusades), and can be put in the "economic clashes" category rather than the religious. So the 6% figure may not be far off.

But by saying you're looking at "all of the wars of history" and then focusing only on the slaughters of the most recent century, you're ignoring the exponential increase of the population of the planet. There were only 300 million people on the planet in the time of Jesus and the Romans... that's about the population of the USA, spread out across the whole planet. We didn't cross one billion until around the year 1800... and in the last 200 years, we've gone to 7+ billion.

In other words, there were more people in China and Russia and Cambodia alone (the locations of the murders to which you refer) in the 20th century than were on the planet in the previous centuries. When you break it down by percent of population (per capita) killing rates, there was nothing special about the actions of the communists compared to the murderous theocratic regimes of which they were but the most recent incarnation.

Secondly, the 100 million people figure is a lie. More realistic figures are between 15-20 million. The high estimate of people killed by the communist purges (including death by starvation, due to economic and agricultural collapses in the USSR) is about 62 million for Stalin and about 1 million for Mao, with lesser numbers killed by other regimes. I'll use the broadest possible high figure of 64 million.

To put it simply, the world population has jumped massively in the past two centuries, to the point that killing 64 million (out of the 2 billion that were on the earth in the 1920s-1940s) is actually a similar degree of devastation to the Crusades, which killed between one and nine million people (since I'm using the high figure for Stalin, I'll use the high figure for the Crusades, as well).

64 M / 2 B = 0.032 (roughly 3.2% of the planet killed by Commies)

9 M / 300 M = 0.03 (roughly 3% of the planet killed by Crusaders)

So while I would argue that the Crusades were really more about economics than religion (except as a tool to motivate people to sign up as foot soldiers), it's clear that the death totals per capita for JUST ONE religious war are equal to that of the communists.

Quote:But when believers in God were asked if they would change their belief for money, they invariably refused. Atheists, interestingly, were just as resolute. That’s evidence of how the brain treats religious belief differently than other ideas, and just how strongly it becomes established in the brain

Why is that interesting? Did you really expect non-religious people to say "sure, I'll believe whatever you want me to believe, if there's cash involved", or is this just an attempt to claim we're all incapable of changing our minds for any reason, and you just consider cash to be the best motivator?

You know what instantly changes our minds? Solid, falsifiable, testable evidence. Indeed, I would say this is the primary difference between scientifically-minded people and ideologues (which has nothing to do with religion or irreligion). As Carl Sagan once put it:

"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion."

To suggest that cash should have changed the minds of believers or atheists is an insult to both groups.

Quote:Clearly, the atheist movement is in bad need of an image makeover. In my opinion, atheists should spend less time talking about what they don't believe in and more time talking about what they do believe in. Less time fighting creationists and pro-lifers and more time endorsing values we can all agree on like freedom of speech and human rights. Less time attempting to remove nativity scenes and the 10 Commandments from public spaces and more time showing what kind, generous and intelligent people they can be when they are not busy being . . . well, atheists.

Atheism, like feminism, is failing as a movement primarily because its worst supporters are often the most vocal.

I'd say the same about religion. It's a shame your nutjobs are your loudest proponents. Then again, the Christians who actually do science and other important thinking are usually too busy doing that to worry about being loud.

But you're definitely confused about what atheists are doing, when they fight "Creationists and pro-lifers", and try to remove "nativity scenes and the 10 Commandments from public spaces". That is us standing up for what we believe in.

We believe in a secular government, which governs for all people without respect for their belief system, and that it is destructive to our government and treason against our beloved Constitution to try to insinuate the dominant religion's icons and practices into government lands and activities which are paid for by the tax dollars of members of the minority religions (and of course, the non-religious). That means while you are free to practice your religion in your private lives, without interference, you are not free to use my government to forward your religion. Ever.

Also, as I showed above, we believe in the Scientific Method, and think that insidious efforts by Creationists to poison the minds of the next generation against real science will cause our country to fall from the pinnacle as a world science and technology leader. While I'm sure that would prop up the power of our priest class, I'm not really sure that returning to a medieval-type society is something that we should refrain from struggling against just to be more popular with people who really like the priest class.

Just sayin'.

Quote:Interesting. This peer-reviewed paper concludes that Darwin was actually a creationist.

That's disturbingly misleading. How do you do it? Seriously... how do you sleep at night? Here's the actual paper, and the claim it evaluates:

Throughout the Origin of Species, Darwin contrasts his theory of natural selection with the theory that God independently created each species. This makes it seem as though the Origin offers a scientific alternative to a theological worldview. A few months after the Origin appeared, however, the eminent anatomist Richard Owen published a review that pointed out the theological assumptions of Darwin's theory. Owen worked in the tradition of rational morphology, within which one might suggest that evolution occurs by processes that are continuous with those by which life arises from matter; in contrast, Darwin rested his account of life's origins on the notion that God created one or a few life forms upon which natural selection could act. Owen argued that Darwin's reliance on God to explain the origins of life makes his version of evolution no less supernatural than the special creationist that Darwin criticizes: although Darwin limits God to one or a few acts of creation, he still relies upon God to explain life's existence.

No one who reads the sentence "Darwin was a creationist", as you wrote it, would conclude what the paper reads, above. They would conclude you mean Creationist in the modern, Discovery Institute sense. There's no way you can be a journalist and be unaware of the importance of the choice of wording and the shading of meaning. You're either lying about being a journalist or you're the worst one in history.

Quote:Interesting point of view from New Scientist magazine that fits very well with the subject matter of a new book I'm working on: my hypothesis about the origin of atheism.

"What we need now is a scientific study not of the theistic, but the atheistic mind. We need to discover why some people do not "get" the supernatural agency many cognitive scientists argue comes automatically to our brains. Is this capacity non-existent in the non-religious, or is it rerouted, undermined or overwritten - and under what conditions?"

Yeah, here's the article you're quoting, and the quote in context is:

"Ironically, sociologists, psychologists, economists and, particularly, cognitive anthropologists have become so skilled at explaining why humans seem to have such a widespread bias towards theistic beliefs that a new question readily presents itself: if religion comes so naturally to us, why are so many people, especially in western Europe, apparently resistant to it? In the UK, for example, a sizeable 43 per cent said they had "no religion" in the 2008 BSA survey.

Moreover, social scientists themselves consistently rank as the most atheistic of all academics: see a recent study by Neil Gross at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, and Solon Simmons of the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia (Sociology of Religion, in press).

What we need now is a scientific study not of the theistic, but the atheistic mind. We need to discover why some people do not "get" the supernatural agency many cognitive scientists argue comes automatically to our brains. Is this capacity non-existent in the non-religious, or is it rerouted, undermined or overwritten - and under what conditions?

Psychologically, we need to know how the self functions without theistic belief, and how our emotional resources might be altered by its absence. Anthropologically, we need to understand how people without religion make sense of their lives, how they find meaning, and how non-theistic systems of thought are embedded in, and shape, the different cultures in which they are present. Sociologically, we need to know how these alternative meaning-making systems are shared between societies, how they unite or divide us, and whether non-religious groups contain pro-social elements commonly associated with religion itself."

I actually enjoyed that article. It raises many curious questions which I'd like to see addressed by (real, professional, unbiased) research. I also liked that the article said, "The conference presented the first fruits of research in this area - and discussed how much still needs to be done. One of the first tasks is to develop a common academic vocabulary. In this article, for instance, we have danced between 'atheistic', 'non-theistic', 'non-religious', 'unbelieving' and 'godless' as if they were synonyms. They're not."

While that's debatable, I like that they're moving toward understanding that a better vocabulary on the subject is necessary in the common dialogue, and that there are many types of atheist-- even ones who would not necessarily claim the badge.

In any case, I think your biases are clear, and you should either learn to be a more honest writer (and more honest person, I'd argue) or just give up on the idea of being an author.

Because seriously, right now I have no idea how you sleep at night. My conscience would be kicking my ass if I wrote about the religious in as biased a fashion as you write about the irreligious.

[Edited for a spelling and a grammatical error.]

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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26-09-2016, 08:35 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
My sexual prowess is unmatched by any other man, living or dead. Show me the "unproof" or bask in my glory, you limp dicked bastards.
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26-09-2016, 08:51 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Since this covers matters that arise far too often I'm going to copy and paste that into my archive for future ref.

Excellent piece of work, RS!

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26-09-2016, 09:02 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(25-09-2016 05:22 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  More evidence supporting my hypothesis that belief or non-belief has a genetic component:

". . . in one study of adopted twins, the researchers looked at religious belief in a number of adopted twins raised apart. They found exactly the same result--greater similarity in identical twin pairs, even if raised apart. The conclusion is unavoidable: faith is definitely influenced by genes."

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/20...t-god-gene

My new revised hypothesis is that a mutation of the MTHFR gene might cause low dopamine levels responsible for mind-blind atheism.

So who here considers themselves a mind-blind atheist and would like to get tested for the mutation?

More evidence that credulity might be influenced by genetics. With all due respect to the revised hypothesis.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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26-09-2016, 09:13 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
uh whoops. wrong thread.
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26-09-2016, 09:19 AM (This post was last modified: 26-09-2016 09:24 AM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(25-09-2016 05:22 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  So who here considers themselves a mind-blind atheist and would like to get tested for the mutation?

You gonna pay for it? I'd like a complete genetic profile please.

#sigh
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