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Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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08-09-2016, 08:18 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  1. Our starting assumption is not that a god exists or doesn't exist but that its existence is outside of the purview of science. We will not consider supernatural or non-natural explanations.

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.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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08-09-2016, 08:53 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 08:18 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  1. Our starting assumption is not that a god exists or doesn't exist but that its existence is outside of the purview of science. We will not consider supernatural or non-natural explanations.

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.

Damn, how could i miss that one. Weeping
Couldnt see the forest for the trees Facepalm

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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08-09-2016, 09:37 AM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2016 09:51 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
What is a "god" ? There is no coherent definition of the word, and this poster has not provided one, so there is no way to begin discussing something which is undefined. There is no such
recognized "thing" as "atheopathy". It's total bullshit. No professional organization recognizes that concept, AND there is no evidence that lack of belief is a "pathology".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignosticism

Christians (for the most part) have no clue that they worship the Babylonian War god, (Yahweh) who was the 40th son of their chief god, El Elyon, and brother of the Ababic moon god Sin, who turned into Allah.
What god are you even talking about ?

Believers have low ambiguity tolerance and the need for cognitive closure, (google them), see patterns where there are none, (apopohenia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophenia
and pareidolia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareidolia

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid160188
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...ble-Bull-s
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...+Testament

Children pick up and LEARN (not "are born with") cues from THEIR OWN individual specific cultures, from people they trust and desire to please. There is NO correlation between what Aboriginal (Australian) children LEARN, and what Chinese or Hindu children learn. None.

There are no "supernatural" or "non-natural" explanations. All explanations are human and humanly devised. Some have evidence to support them, some are wild speculations.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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08-09-2016, 10:02 AM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2016 12:21 PM by Gloucester.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 06:37 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(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.

While I too take issue with #2 let’s also look at #3.

I cited a paper earlier, here is the Abstract:

"In two studies, 5- and 6-year-old children were questioned about the status of the protagonist embedded in three different types of stories. In realistic stories that only included ordinary events, all children, irrespective of family background and schooling, claimed that the protagonist was a real person. In religious stories that included ordinarily impossible events brought about by divine intervention, claims about the status of the protagonist varied sharply with exposure to religion. Children who went to church or were enrolled in a parochial school, or both, judged the protagonist in religious stories to be a real person, whereas secular children with no such exposure to religion judged the protagonist in religious stories to be fictional. Children's upbringing was also related to their judgment about the protagonist in fantastical stories that included ordinarily impossible events whether brought about by magic (Study 1) or without reference to magic (Study 2). Secular children were more likely than religious children to judge the protagonist in such fantastical stories to be fictional. The results suggest that exposure to religious ideas has a powerful impact on children’s differentiation between reality and fiction, not just for religious stories but also for fantastical stories.”

It seems to me that instead of an “agency detector” being broken in children who don’t believe when NOT exposed to religious teachings, what this paper shows is that (please pardon the slang) the “bullshit detector” has been currupted by the religious teachings.

Speaking from experience my “pattern recognition software” was originally corrupted by bad data "coded” by my elders.

Barrett is grasping at straws and force fitting his seminary views into his observations, they are tainted imo.

Very interesting citation there, FC, well worthy of study.


Later:
Er, having to pay for it not so interesting, but . . . everything costs I suppose.

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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08-09-2016, 12:16 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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.

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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08-09-2016, 12:40 PM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2016 12:43 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 07:51 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(08-09-2016 12:17 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  I have a problem with #2 as well.

In your indtroductory explanation you mentioned rabbits hearing rustles in the bushes being of an evolutionary advantage (the "false positives"). I agree that this would be an favourable trait.
However, while believing that an intelligent agent creating the universe being a similar trait to detect a "false positive" agency is of the same category, it is on a completely different level. How is one justified to jump from assuming primitive thinking like "i think something is near, based on some sensory input" to a much higher evolved (in terms of intellect) thinking (admittedly of a similar category) of "when i sit down and consider the origin of everything around me, i come to the conclusion that an intelligent agent created it"?
Pattern recognition on a "tactical" level in day to day survival is one thing, but why relate it to "strategic" (philosophical level) thinking about the origin of everything around me. Is this really justified?

What i am talking about is that comparing the two is possibly a fallacy of false analogy unless you have scientific data to support the link of the two?

Possibly because out default theism is built on some other sets of consideration, more to do with out innate desire for meaning, hope, purpose, a sense of life which posses some sense of meaningful order.

In this regard one does see life as a cosmic accident, but intentional, "designed" so to say.

If these sort of beliefs are our default tendencies, than it goes without saying that we're intuitive theists in this regard.

Nice try there sport.
We see what you did there ... but you're wrong, AND you have not established IN ANY WAY, your premise (bolded above).

You explain to me how theism answers those questions for parents with a 5 year old, dying of cancer. Facepalm
These gods certainly do serve something, I'm not so sure "order and meaning" is that thing.
https://owlcation.com/humanities/10-Weir...-Goddesses
Weeping

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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08-09-2016, 01:47 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 12:40 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  You explain to me how theism answers those questions for parents with a 5 year old, dying of cancer. Facepalm
These gods certainly do serve something, I'm not so sure "order and meaning" is that thing.
https://owlcation.com/humanities/10-Weir...-Goddesses
Weeping

I doubt there are many 5 year olds who view life as meaningless noise, nihilist, or imagine their existence is a product of some cosmic accident. They'd be inclined to believe the opposite. . A variety of studies indicate that children are inclined to teleology, even when raised in non-religious households. And hence the predominance of religious tendencies, the prevalence of spiritual beliefs, beliefs in a sacred order, found in some for or other in every civilization that has existed. I'm not sure how you can account for such a near universal beliefs, without a predisposition to it.

"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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08-09-2016, 02:08 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 08:53 AM)Deesse23 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.

Damn, how could i miss that one. Weeping
Couldnt see the forest for the trees Facepalm

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.
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08-09-2016, 06:27 PM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2016 06:33 PM by Paleophyte.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Welcome to the forum.

Quote:Here is my hypothesis:

1. Our starting assumption is not that a god exists or doesn't exist but that its existence is outside of the purview of science. We will not consider supernatural or non-natural explanations.

Good start. I'd add that you are examining a belief in God, not God itself. The former is such a common cultural experience that it's pretty much axiomatic, though many will want to examine the specific nature of that belief.

Quote:2. Theism is the default position. We are all born believers. Evolution has caused us to be this way due to its survival advantage.

Sorry, but mal-adapted flight reflexes only gets you as far as superstition. The bunny jumping at a noise in the bushes for no good reason is a very long way from religion.

Quote: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.

4. One mechanism that we know of which tends to break things and corrupt information is genetic mutation.

5. So, my testable, falsifiable prediction is that one or more genetic mutations are responsible for atheopathy.

[Image: e7e9ef0befa15bfbfc14e6c55aa11e08.jpg]

OK, a hypothesis must make some testable predictions and yours does:

Does your hypothesis explain the geographical and temporal distribution of atheism/theism? It is extremely difficult to accept them as random, the result of hereditable traits or some mutagenic agent. Societal forces seem a much more plausible explanation (Paul, 2005).

Does your hypothesis explain adult coversions, both atheist to theist and theist to atheist? I see this as a problem for it since mutation has little to no affect on adult organisms.

Quote:Any feedback from members is sincerely appreciated. This is a serious hypothesis that I believe deserves careful consideration and study with the intent to understand why some people are born without a belief in God.

Pick up a few good intro psych courses. There are some decent ones available online and for free. Belief is going to be a great deal more complex than a single factor such a flight reflexes and mutations thereof. If it were that simple we'd have a pill for it.

It's been refreshing to talk with a theist that knows what a hypothesis actually means though.

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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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08-09-2016, 06:32 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
PS:

(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.

If you want to keep the discussion cordial, try not to refer to a world view that you don't possess and likely can't properly understand as a pathology and then make an analogy to a stigmatized disorder that tends to end with a trunkload of dead hookers. Some people might take that the wrong way.

---
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