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Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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09-09-2016, 07:04 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 06:35 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(09-09-2016 04:08 AM)Vosur Wrote:  "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.

No creationism in the general sense just assumes a created order, that nature is designed, a product of intentionality. Teleological. If you subscribe to a teleological view of nature, you're 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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09-09-2016, 07:19 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Quote: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.

I will go for nature/evolution equipping us with curiosity and a need to understand, just as it equipped us with the faculty of language. Having insufficient knowledge of the true structure of our universe primitive mankind used that other curse, imagination, to fill the gaps!

Curiosity and imagination have driven us along just about every avenue available towards some sort of understanding. Unfortunately we often arrive at different destinations, some concrete, some abstract.

Imagine something long enough and it becomes a tradition, handed down from generation to untold generation, becomes inbuilt to the psyche, seems almost evolutionary. Maybe if you consider it a defence mechanism, first against the madness of the unknown and uncontrollable - later against the priests who slaughtered unbelievers!

The latter is still going on.

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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09-09-2016, 07:40 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Randy, I have some feedback.

Why did you come here and state that theism is the default? That is like saying that government or totalitarianism is the default. It is, very simply, a lie.

My wife’s Catholic faith came from her parents. Maybe others got there by reading early Church fathers or watching Jimmy Swaggart. I don’t know.

What I do know is that it is not the default, and you know it. 2,000 years out of 2,000,000 is, take a wild guess, cross out those zeros if you feel like it, 1/1000th of the time we have been running around trying to eat, mate and stay alive. Argumentum ad Orderum Magnitdum.

And then you have the gall to bring science into the discussion. Jesus Christ!
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09-09-2016, 07:54 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 03:35 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(08-09-2016 02:08 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I think you guys may be misreading his statement. He's not going to look for scientific evidence of God's existence. He has already admitted that that question is outside the realm of science. Therefore, he is not considering that question at all. What he is considering is whether or not humans are born with a default tendency toward "belief" -- and that question may be amenable to scientific investigation. I think that's all he's saying, and I don't think it's contradictory. Granted, he could have said it more clearly.

Short version: This thread is not about God's existence. It's about belief in God's existence. Subtle but important difference.

If what he meant was "This discussion is not about God's existence or not" then he could have written "This discussion is not about God's existence or not" instead of the contradictory crap he actually wrote.

I thought he made it pretty clear that the thread was about belief in God's existence (and whether or not this was innate in humans), not about God's existence per se.
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09-09-2016, 08:05 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 07:40 AM)Walter Wrote:  Randy, I have some feedback.

Why did you come here and state that theism is the default? That is like saying that government or totalitarianism is the default. It is, very simply, a lie.

My wife’s Catholic faith came from her parents. Maybe others got there by reading early Church fathers or watching Jimmy Swaggart. I don’t know.

What I do know is that it is not the default, and you know it. 2,000 years out of 2,000,000 is, take a wild guess, cross out those zeros if you feel like it, 1/1000th of the time we have been running around trying to eat, mate and stay alive. Argumentum ad Orderum Magnitdum.

And then you have the gall to bring science into the discussion. Jesus Christ!

In Randy's defense, he has said only that he personally is a Christian theist. I don't recall him saying, or implying, that the tendency toward belief that he thinks most humans are born with is specifically a Christian, much less Catholic belief. You, and some others here, are painting his thesis as much more specific than it really is. He is not doing Christian apologetics. He is merely claiming that some sort of tendency toward some sort of theism is innate in humans. I'm not sure I agree with him, but many here are arguing against things he hasn't said.

I myself have taken issue with the atheistic "born this way" argument. Certainly, people learn their specific religious beliefs (Christianity vs. Islam vs. Buddhism, etc.) from their parents or other elders, but if that's the only way to acquire religious belief in general, how did it arise in the first place? Were our apelike ancestors already teaching their children about God? I doubt it. Some human or group of humans at some point originated the idea of God. I am interested in how and why this happened. "They learned it from their parents" is way too simplistic.
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09-09-2016, 08:07 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 08:05 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(09-09-2016 07:40 AM)Walter Wrote:  Randy, I have some feedback.

Why did you come here and state that theism is the default? That is like saying that government or totalitarianism is the default. It is, very simply, a lie.

My wife’s Catholic faith came from her parents. Maybe others got there by reading early Church fathers or watching Jimmy Swaggart. I don’t know.

What I do know is that it is not the default, and you know it. 2,000 years out of 2,000,000 is, take a wild guess, cross out those zeros if you feel like it, 1/1000th of the time we have been running around trying to eat, mate and stay alive. Argumentum ad Orderum Magnitdum.

And then you have the gall to bring science into the discussion. Jesus Christ!

In Randy's defense, he has said only that he personally is a Christian theist. I don't recall him saying, or implying, that the tendency toward belief that he thinks most humans are born with is specifically a Christian, much less Catholic belief. You, and some others here, are painting his thesis as much more specific than it really is. He is not doing Christian apologetics. He is merely claiming that some sort of tendency toward some sort of theism is innate in humans. I'm not sure I agree with him, but many here are arguing against things he hasn't said.

I myself have taken issue with the atheistic "born this way" argument. Certainly, people learn their specific religious beliefs (Christianity vs. Islam vs. Buddhism, etc.) from their parents or other elders, but if that's the only way to acquire religious belief in general, how did it arise in the first place? Were our apelike ancestors already teaching their children about God? I doubt it. Some human or group of humans at some point originated the idea of God. I am interested in how and why this happened. "They learned it from their parents" is way too simplistic.

The concept of god (or gods) came about as a way to explain what was then unexplainable.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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09-09-2016, 08:18 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 08:07 AM)Anjele Wrote:  
(09-09-2016 08:05 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  In Randy's defense, he has said only that he personally is a Christian theist. I don't recall him saying, or implying, that the tendency toward belief that he thinks most humans are born with is specifically a Christian, much less Catholic belief. You, and some others here, are painting his thesis as much more specific than it really is. He is not doing Christian apologetics. He is merely claiming that some sort of tendency toward some sort of theism is innate in humans. I'm not sure I agree with him, but many here are arguing against things he hasn't said.

I myself have taken issue with the atheistic "born this way" argument. Certainly, people learn their specific religious beliefs (Christianity vs. Islam vs. Buddhism, etc.) from their parents or other elders, but if that's the only way to acquire religious belief in general, how did it arise in the first place? Were our apelike ancestors already teaching their children about God? I doubt it. Some human or group of humans at some point originated the idea of God. I am interested in how and why this happened. "They learned it from their parents" is way too simplistic.

The concept of god (or gods) came about as a way to explain what was then unexplainable.

That's one hypothesis, and I think it's largely true. I've also heard that it was invented by priests as a way to gain and maintain power over other people. A reading of the book of Leviticus (which I have recently done) tends to support this view -- many of the regulations in that book seem "designed" (pun intended) for the benefit of the priests. I think the reality is likely to be a combination of those two things (people trying to explain the unexplainable + one group of people trying to control another) and maybe a few others. An innate (or learned) tendency to assume a designer for things that appear to be designed (as Tomasia has suggested) is probably part of it too.
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09-09-2016, 08:21 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 08:07 AM)Anjele Wrote:  The concept of god (or gods) came about as a way to explain what was then unexplainable.

And that would be false.

Even from an evolutionary standpoint there is no biological need to explain the unexplainable, for religion to fill.

"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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09-09-2016, 08:24 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 08:21 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(09-09-2016 08:07 AM)Anjele Wrote:  The concept of god (or gods) came about as a way to explain what was then unexplainable.

And that would be false.

Even from an evolutionary standpoint there is no biological need to explain the unexplainable, for religion to fill.

So you are saying that humans have no curiosity?

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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09-09-2016, 08:24 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 08:21 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(09-09-2016 08:07 AM)Anjele Wrote:  The concept of god (or gods) came about as a way to explain what was then unexplainable.

And that would be false.

Even from an evolutionary standpoint there is no biological need to explain the unexplainable, for religion to fill.

No. We are evolved to be pattern-seeking primates.

We are aware of our lives. We are also aware of our imminent death. We are evolved to seek information and question.

Religion is simply a wrong answer born from fear and a lack of knowledge.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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