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Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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10-09-2016, 05:24 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 12:11 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  The condition is known as prosopagnosia or face blindness. It is a form of autism

No, it is not. Where do you get your pseudoscience?

Quote:and most autistics are atheists.

Citation required.

Quote:As I recall, there is a stronger link than that but I cannot find the source at the moment. If and when I do I'll post it.

I also acknowledge that my hypothesis does not and cannot explain all forms of atheism. Many - maybe even most - atheists come to their views later in life through reason and a thorough study of the evidence - or lack thereof. I'm referring to what I can atheopaths - those people who are born without a belief in God.

No one is born with a belief in gods. Your thesis is bullshit.
Mammalian brains evolved pattern recognition which includes attributing agency.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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10-09-2016, 05:34 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 12:47 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  I believe anything because it is comforting.

QFT

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10-09-2016, 05:37 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 05:20 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  
Quote:It would be nice, just once, for one of these theists who comes in here under the guise of scientific methodology and intellectual rigor to actually address the glaring flaws in how they have come to view the data.

Aw, c'mon, RS, do you think they are stupid?

Um, hang on, Facepalm I'll have to rethink that question

No, I don't think they're stupid. I think they're incapable of being honest. If they were, they'd realize that their premises are fatally flawed, and would have to re-evaluate the most cherished beliefs they have come to hold.

Therefore, intentionally or not, they slip into misrepresenting the truth. Sometimes it's because they don't truly understand the scientific method and just think of science as a label you can slap on philosophy in order to give it additional weight in an argument, or else it's really because they filter everything through the "does it fit my preconceptions?" screen before they can even start to piece together the patterns.

It's the great irony of his argument: he is essentially claiming that atheists have a broken pattern-seeking apparatus in our brains, when in reality religion serves to damage that apparatus in otherwise intelligent people so that it can sustain itself. That's why almost every organized religion you see will have some version of "...and lean not on your own understanding" in its basic theological outlook.

"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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10-09-2016, 06:33 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 10:55 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  ...And yes I know what a hypothesis is. I also know that a scientific theory is not merely a hunch or conjecture but is a well-established explanation of the data. I have been working on a cover for the book - if I ever actually write it - and I plan to put "theory" in the subtitle for its accessibility to the lay reader and explain in the Introduction that it's really at the hypothesis stage and not a theory. It will also serve to catch those critics on Amazon who have not really read the book but only the cover. (See the cover below.) Wink

So you are planning to use intentional deception to mislead the audience. Noted.

(10-09-2016 12:42 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Except that it is a well-established fact that science arose and prospered in the West because nearly all the major branches of science were founded by Christian theists. No one is jumping on the science bandwagon. It appears that you have bought into the false notion that there is some conflict between science and Christianity. Sadly, your comments are full of incorrect assertions.

Christian theism can not honestly claim the early scientific thinkers. The value of their work came from setting aside the dogma and investigating the world as it actually is and not as their religion said it was. There is an inherent conflict between science and any religion that many are able to overcome. Cognitive dissonance is a powerful force.

Some of them may have been inspired to examine nature in order to better understand the god that tey believed in but theism provides no tools or guidance for doing that. They can't get reliable answers from their holy books; they can only advance science by doing science whatever they may also personally believe.

(10-09-2016 12:54 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Thanks. I'll try to put it succinctly. The common view is that people are born without a belief in God. But new research indicates that, nowadays, babies actually have a predisposition toward belief.

Even if that is true (and if you posted any reputable references supporting it then I missed them), that is not a contradiction. A predisposition towards belief is not the same as a belief in a god. The former may make it easier to teach the latter but it doesn't guarantee it.

Quote:Yet, some are still born without it. How do we account for this? My hypothesis attempts to give an evolutionary explanation for this "lack of belief" - namely a genetic mutation which corrupts the "pattern-detector" the rest of us are born with. Does that make it clearer?

How will you show that the atheist has the corrupted pattern detector and that it is not that the theopath's is the one that is corrupted? Perhaps the change that introduced the agency detector was beneficial but then got out of control.

I'm not entirely sure what the point of this is anyway. Assuming you are 100% correct it only means that atheists have discarded an evolutionary adaptation that has outlived its usefulness and that theopaths are outdated.

It also has no bearing on the question of whether the theopaths are right or not. Neither a predisposition to believe (as the result of an overactive HAAD) nor the belief itself supports the contention that a god actually exists.

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10-09-2016, 06:49 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 05:37 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(10-09-2016 05:20 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  Aw, c'mon, RS, do you think they are stupid?

Um, hang on, Facepalm I'll have to rethink that question

No, I don't think they're stupid. I think they're incapable of being honest. If they were, they'd realize that their premises are fatally flawed, and would have to re-evaluate the most cherished beliefs they have come to hold.

Therefore, intentionally or not, they slip into misrepresenting the truth. Sometimes it's because they don't truly understand the scientific method and just think of science as a label you can slap on philosophy in order to give it additional weight in an argument, or else it's really because they filter everything through the "does it fit my preconceptions?" screen before they can even start to piece together the patterns.

It's the great irony of his argument: he is essentially claiming that atheists have a broken pattern-seeking apparatus in our brains, when in reality religion serves to damage that apparatus in otherwise intelligent people so that it can sustain itself. That's why almost every organized religion you see will have some version of "...and lean not on your own understanding" in its basic theological outlook.
My post was tounge-in-cheek and a little ambiguous (by design).

The other aspect is that some have a genuine belief in what they have to say. Though, in this case all my instincts seem to shout "wind-up!" There does, as yourself and others have pointed out, seem to be inconsistencies in Randy's concepts and responses.

Interrogators ask the same question many times to test the consistency of a witness' perception, memory and story. A witness that will not or cannot conform with this process, or is inconsistent, naturally loses credulity.

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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10-09-2016, 07:24 AM
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.

Your responses where inadequate to say the least.

(09-09-2016 11:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  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.

You called us broken, corrupted, mutants. You compared atheism to stigmatized mental illnesses, a double slur.

And you have the nerve to complain about personal attacks?

Do you know what the word "hypocrite" means? If not, I suggest a dictionary or a mirror. Either will suffice.

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Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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10-09-2016, 07:46 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 11:04 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Also, why do you say I "likely can't properly understand" atheism?

Because of the nonsense spewing from your keyboard.

(09-09-2016 11:04 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  "Before I am accused of attacking a straw man, allow me to establish my understanding of the atheist's position. I don't equate atheism with Satanism, communism, Naziism, anarchism, Darwinism, liberalism, humanism or any other -ism you care to name.

So far, you have equated atheists to broken, corrupt, mutants, compared atheism to mental illness, and misconstrued the link between atheism and autism.

(09-09-2016 11:04 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  I am well aware that atheists like to define atheism, not as a belief, but as a lack of belief in any gods, deities or supernatural forces.

It's not what atheists "like". Unlike yourself, atheists do not tend to redefine words to suit their own needs.

(09-09-2016 11:04 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  I have no illusions that atheism is a religion or a belief system. As atheists are fond of asserting, if atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby. (I will, however, challenge this definition of atheism later.)"

Oh goody. Drinking Beverage

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Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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10-09-2016, 07:55 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 12:42 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Except that it is a well-established fact that science arose and prospered in the West because nearly all the major branches of science were founded by Christian theists.

Since so much of what you post is wrong, cite that statement.

I'll give you a hint: the religious scientists who are reliable and reputable are the ones who separate their religion from their science.

(10-09-2016 12:42 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  No one is jumping on the science bandwagon. It appears that you have bought into the false notion that there is some conflict between science and Christianity.

That whole Galileo thing, the Ark-idiots in Kentucky and Europe, Ken Hamm, Ray Comfort, Young Earth Creationists, Anti-evolutionists...

Seriously, ARE YOU REALLY THIS STUPID???

(10-09-2016 12:42 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Sadly, your comments are full of incorrect assertions.

You would be an expert on that wouldn't you?

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Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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10-09-2016, 08:36 AM (This post was last modified: 10-09-2016 08:39 AM by cactus.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 12:42 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Except that it is a well-established fact that science arose and prospered in the West because nearly all the major branches of science were founded by Christian theists.

and Algebra was invented by the grace of the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

Care to elaborate on how you've established this causation that you've just asserted?


(10-09-2016 12:25 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  ....Then, after a year-long study of the Bible in Hebrew and Greek, I came to the conclusion that it does not teach that we have an immortal soul which survives death and that so-called hell is only a temporary form of punishment.....

....I think those who aren't "saved" will ultimately cease to exist forever...
So you're saying that the immortal soul only exists after a person has become convinced by some version of the animal sacrifice narrative that's described in the gospels? Once a person opts in to this deal, can they opt back out once they get to heaven and gasp in horror as they realize that God actually fits his description from the Torah?

Do you view autism as an extra hurdle to be overcome on the path to salvation, or do they get handicap points from YHWH?

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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10-09-2016, 08:48 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 10:55 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Thank you, Paleophyte. Some helpful advice there. And yes I know what a hypothesis is. I also know that a scientific theory is not merely a hunch or conjecture but is a well-established explanation of the data. I have been working on a cover for the book - if I ever actually write it - and I plan to put "theory" in the subtitle for its accessibility to the lay reader and explain in the Introduction that it's really at the hypothesis stage and not a theory. It will also serve to catch those critics on Amazon who have not really read the book but only the cover. (See the cover below.) Wink

Then the term "Theory" would be misleading and entirely dishonest.

A hypothesis is tested against the evidence. If it can explain the evidence then it may be considered a theory. If it fails to explain the evidene then it is either revised or discarded.

Your hypothesis fails to explain the non-random geographical or temporal distribution of atheists. It fails to explain conversions in adults. Since it cannot explain the evidence, it is a failed hypothesis. Calling a failed hypothesis a theory is a lie.

Your cover design shows that you are this Randy Ruggles:

[Image: 51uagaxafOL.jpg]

By what standard do you discard the theory of evolution while simultaneously calling your failed hypothesis a theory? The standard of a mendacious hypocrite by the sounds of it. Pardon me while I amuse myself at your inability to follow the most basic of your God's Commandments. You're a beautiful example of moral relativity but little else.

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Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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