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Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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09-09-2016, 11:11 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Also I'd like to point out that 1 in 5 persons is not "a rare few".

Same with calling atheism a "genetic mutation". Your use of language is highly loaded.

"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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09-09-2016, 11:12 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 08:07 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  
(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Hello. This is my first time posting and even visiting here.

Okay. So on this inaugural visit you proceed to do the following:

(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Please note, I use the term "atheopath," not in a derogatory manner, but simply for someone born without a belief in God - much the same way a sociopath is born without empathy.

Make up an unnecessary word that is indeed derogatory.

(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  3. Atheopaths lack a belief in God. They are "born that way." Their "agency detector" is broken. Studies have, in fact, demonstrated that theists see patterns that don't exist and atheists miss patterns that do exist. Their "pattern recognition software," so to speak, has been corrupted.

Inform us that we are born broken and corrupted.

(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  4. One mechanism that we know of which tends to break things and corrupt information is genetic mutation.

Oh, I'm sorry, now we're broken, corrupted, mutants.
(Why would we consider that derogatory?)

(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Incidentally, a connection has been made between atheism and autism in the peer-reviewed literature. Perhaps if we find the cause of autism, we will be closer to finding the cause of atheopathy. (Hint: I don't believe it is vaccines. Wink )

Perhaps if we contact your proctologist, we can find your head. The cause of your delusions is most likely that mass of infectious, cancerous, fecal matter lodged in the space between your auditory canals.

(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Also, please do not take offense to anything I have said. You might choose to look at this hypothesis as humans evolving away from religion and, for atheopaths, any remnant of faith being vestigial.

Fuck You, You Fucking Fuck. Don't take offense, but you can take your derogatory hypothesis and shove it up your ass. Just be careful not to poke an eye out.

Normally, I try to refrain from posting like this, but since I'm a broken, corrupted mutant, what the hell?

I have addressed many of these points elsewhere and see no reason to give this comment any more attention than it deserves - which is none. Sorry. Back to science. And let's try to keep our emotions in check, shall we? I don't respond to comments with profanity or personal attacks.
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09-09-2016, 11:18 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 08:15 PM)cactus Wrote:  The connection between autism and atheism seems pretty intuitive to me. People on the autism spectrum tend to be less persuaded by appeals to emotion, right?

Two links you might be interested in:

http://www.autismkey.com/study-finds-cor...nd-autism/

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2...9OXMzVR2Bw
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09-09-2016, 11:30 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 09:00 PM)tomilay Wrote:  
(07-09-2016 10:58 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Thank you for your reply, DLJ.

If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the reason we believe in gods is because "we are born with the capacity to accept authority and believe what we are told by our guardians (and often our peers)."

I accept that but would it not still mean that the belief, in God, itself is not innate but learned? That is the very point I am contesting. Atheist Lewis Wolpert among others has argued that "atheism is unnatural while belief in gods is not." (See interview at link below.)

http://www.pointofinquiry.org/lewis_wolp...of_belief/

I admit that I do feel the first hurdle I must get over is to convince atheists with evidence from the peer-reviewed literature that belief in God is innate. And many Christians will reject my hypothesis as well because the Bible states that everyone knows God exists and there really are no atheists. So I fear that it will be an uphill battle to persuade either side of the value of my hypothesis if they don't accept the starting assumptions.

One survival value of belief in a god that I have often heard is that it was useful for identifying group membership. It is so irrational that people not belonging to the group in question were unlikely to independently come up with the same idea. A bit like a secret code. Interestingly, this view argues for learned rather than innate beliefs.

The other one I am aware of is social order and control. How so? If you look at ancient societies, there was no separation of state and religion. They are more often than not synonymous. Superstitious beliefs were primitive attempts at explaining the unknown. When displaced by enlightened society, religions become cultural vestiges. Is that an argument for congenital innate beliefs? Hardly.

If belief in God is something we are born with, it should be easy to demonstrate. E.g. by showing that every primitive society for example believes in more or less the same woo. But if you look at history, the Jew had totally different ideas of woo than the Pygmy.

I need to make it clear that there is distinction between being predisposed to seeing teleology in nature and being born with a particular religion in mind. Nowhere am I claiming that people are born with an innate belief in the Judaeo-Christian God. I suppose I need to be more clear about that in the future.

But here is a list of Donald Brown's human universals. Every society every discovered has had a "belief in the supernatural and religion."

http://joelvelasco.net/teaching/2890/bro...ersals.pdf
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09-09-2016, 11:30 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 11:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  I have addressed many of these points elsewhere and see no reason to give this comment any more attention than it deserves - which is none.

You have not. You know nothing about science. You have ignored every inconvenient post, (just like all the other nuts we get .. who think they're on to something special). You can't "get back to science". You never even started with any.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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09-09-2016, 11:32 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 05:02 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  
(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

I am still waiting for an explanation to this contratiction. Drinking Beverage

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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09-09-2016, 11:36 PM (This post was last modified: 09-09-2016 11:51 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 11:30 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  
(08-09-2016 09:00 PM)tomilay Wrote:  One survival value of belief in a god that I have often heard is that it was useful for identifying group membership. It is so irrational that people not belonging to the group in question were unlikely to independently come up with the same idea. A bit like a secret code. Interestingly, this view argues for learned rather than innate beliefs.

The other one I am aware of is social order and control. How so? If you look at ancient societies, there was no separation of state and religion. They are more often than not synonymous. Superstitious beliefs were primitive attempts at explaining the unknown. When displaced by enlightened society, religions become cultural vestiges. Is that an argument for congenital innate beliefs? Hardly.

If belief in God is something we are born with, it should be easy to demonstrate. E.g. by showing that every primitive society for example believes in more or less the same woo. But if you look at history, the Jew had totally different ideas of woo than the Pygmy.

I need to make it clear that there is distinction between being predisposed to seeing teleology in nature and being born with a particular religion in mind. Nowhere am I claiming that people are born with an innate belief in the Judaeo-Christian God. I suppose I need to be more clear about that in the future.

But here is a list of Donald Brown's human universals. Every society every discovered has had a "belief in the supernatural and religion."

http://joelvelasco.net/teaching/2890/bro...ersals.pdf

Wrong again.

http://www.shh.mpg.de/38601/Complex_soci...y_Big_Gods
http://www.nature.com/news/complex-socie...ty-1.17040
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirah%C3%A3_people
http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/disbe...s-religion
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-...-societies
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/a...finds.html
http://evolution-institute.org/article/d...societies/
http://phys.org/news/2016-02-punitive-om...human.html
http://www.askwhy.co.uk/judaism/0010Reli...opological
http://www.askwhy.co.uk/judaism/0010Reli...#Scholarly
http://www.askwhy.co.uk/judaism/0010Reli...php#Eliade
http://www.askwhy.co.uk/judaism/0010Reli...s.php#Holy
http://www.askwhy.co.uk/judaism/0010Reli...p#Paradise
http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB1000142405...0997846742
http://www.china-mike.com/chinese-cultur...confucius/

That was ridiculously easy. You really are an ignoramus.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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09-09-2016, 11:42 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 09:30 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  2. Theism is the default position. We are all born believers. Evolution has caused us to be this way due to its survival advantage.

Except no. That's neither a fact, nor is it something supported in the bible. In fact, the exact opposite is what's supported in the bible.

You and I are from different religions, but your religion is founded on my religion, Judaism. Whether you believe that the world was created in six literal days or billions of years, Judaism teaches that the Torah was given to the Jews well into the development of human history. This leaves a period of time before the Jews were instructed on how to worship G-d. During this period of time, humanity lives by a set of rules we now call call the seven Noahide laws. A requirement to worship G-d is not listed among these laws; only that if a person does choose to worship, it can't be to an idol.

Clearly, atheism was a valid position to take at least at one point in time, so I don't think you can convincingly make the argument that all people are theists by default... especially when your beliefs are built upon a Jewish foundation.

Actually the Bible, in the New Testament, says we are all born believers. But I realize you are Jewish and are referring to the Torah - or what Christians call the Old Testament. (Hope that does not offend you. Most Christians I know have a strong affection for Jewish people - me included.)

You mention a "requirement to worship G-d." But is that not different from an awareness of God's existence? Satan (I understand some Jews don't believe in Satan) knows God exists but does not worship him. And I know of many atheists (Matt Dillahunty for example) who say that even if God existed they would never worship him. What I'm saying is that I'm not sure if biblically - whether Old Testament or New - we can say atheism was ever a valid position to take. That won't mean much to atheists who don't accept the authority of the Bible but that is the Christian position and, as far as I can see, should be the Jewish one as well.
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09-09-2016, 11:48 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 09:32 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Hello. This is my first time posting and even visiting here.
Welcome.
(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  I must say at the outset that I am not an atheist but a Christian theist.
OK
(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  I have a tremendous interest in science and am considering writing a book about a new hypothesis I have been working on for the origin of atheism.
Not sure that science is the right topic with regards to "the origin of atheism".

(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  A common claim from atheists I encounter is that we are all born atheists, that atheism is the default position and that people typically come to their theistic beliefs through childhood indoctrination.

But new research in neuroscience, however, is showing that this appears not to be the case and that we are actually all born believers.
Believers in what? In who?
How do test a new born baby and conclude that it believes in a god, which god does it believe in? Does it know what a god is? Can the person assessing the beliefs of babies even define what a god is?
(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  For evidence, I point to the work of Dr. Justin Barrett (see link below) and also Dr Paul Bloom.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion...laims.html

OK so the definition of believes in god comes down to
Quote:a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose
My question for you. Does a new born baby understand the concept of "purpose" or "designed", or "intelligent being"?
Personally, I think our intuition could easily look at the complexity of life and living things and assume these complex creatures were designed. We can see their complexity, we can see that they have legs which help them to move from a to b, a mouth which helps them to eat, eyes which helps them to see. It seems as if the mouth has a purpose, it seems as if the eyes have a purpose. It seems as if these things come together to make a complete living thing which can be successful at surviving and procreating. When seeing these things it would make sense to come to the superficial conclusion that they were designed.

So, yes, I kind of agree with you, but not for a new born, but instead when a developing child (without knowledge of science) starts to think about things it can easily be understood that they might come to a conclusion that living things have been designed and the things such as eyes and mouths have a designed purpose. If they start to think, well who designed it, then they might come up with the idea of a magical invisible, timeless, powerful intelligent creator.
This isn't really science though.

BUT I certainly agree, Life gives the appearance of design and purpose and (without scientific knowledge) may make one think about who the designer was. It would be a natural question, and this is philosophy rather than science.

Thanks for your insightful response. You are quite right that the belief in a designer is philosophy but I think we can investigate how we came to arrive at those beliefs by using science. When we are done, we will be no closer to answering the question of whether those beliefs are actually true or not.
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09-09-2016, 11:53 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 09:37 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  But if we are truly born believers, I would like to propose a hypothesis for what I call "atheopathy" - being born without a belief in God. Please note, I use the term "atheopath," not in a derogatory manner, but simply for someone born without a belief in God - much the same way a sociopath is born without empathy.

Protip here, Randy...

Sociopaths suffer from a recognized psychological disorder. You're comparing emotionally sufficient, productive, educated adults to sociopaths. Like they have some kind of theism disorder. Even if you add the words, "no offense," you kind of come off as lacking a little empathy there.

.... little bit of sociopathic behavior if you ask me.

If you're trying to curry enough favor with people to get them to hear your point and have a serious conversation with them, don't tell them that their brains are defective.

LOL! You have a point. Elsewhere, I have amended my position. But I do find it an interesting charge considering that most atheists I know have no problem with telling religious people they are delusional while simultaneously trying to curry favour (we spell it with a "u" here in Canada Wink) with them to embrace reason, logic and atheism. Physician, heal thyself. Wink
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