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Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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14-09-2016, 10:14 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 09:05 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(07-09-2016 11:02 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Thank you, Full Circle. I will read those links with great interest.

Well? Did you read them?

Yes I did. Thank you. The first (which cites the second) seems to be a reaction specifically to Justin Barrett's work. But there are many other experts making similar claims - even some who are atheists. Names include: Andrew Newberg, Steven Pinker, Michael Shermer, Jesse Bering, Paul Bloom, Phil Zuckerman, and Pascal Boyer among others.

It's not a radical claim to say that we are born with a propensity to believe because it confers an evolutionary advantage. What might, in fact, be the "dangerous idea" is that anyone is born as an atheist. That would truly falsify my entire hypothesis. Can anybody supply me with some actual data which shows that anyone is a true atheopath?
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14-09-2016, 10:14 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(14-09-2016 09:15 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  "'Far from always conflicting with science, under the right circumstances religious belief may positively promote scientific creativity and insight,' Dr Jack said."
The thing about the scientific method.

It is a method for objective discovery rather than creativity.
If theists are promoting scientific creativity then they are doing pseudo science.
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14-09-2016, 10:16 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(14-09-2016 09:37 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  And fourthly just because I lack patience for your nonsense, doesn't mean I'm trolling you.
Did I use your lack of patience as my reasoning for labelling you as a troll?

Take a look at what I actually said.
(14-09-2016 06:07 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Anyways, you are a troll, proved by your stating you went to "prestigious" Patriot University.
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14-09-2016, 10:43 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(10-09-2016 09:05 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(07-09-2016 11:02 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Thank you, Full Circle. I will read those links with great interest.

Well? Did you read them?

I forgot to mention that I was already aware of that study. Also please note that Kathleen Corriveau's statement that, "her research suggests that Barrett’s Born Believers thesis is wrong — that children don’t possess an “innate bias” toward religious belief" is her opinion and not a fact.

Here is another take on that study. Quotations of interest:

"This study proves a benefit of religion, not a detriment, because research shows how imaginative and fictional thinking, fantasy play, aid in the cognitive development of children," writes Eliyahu Federman in USA Today. "Raising children with fantastical religious tales is not bad after all."

"Not only is there benefit in allowing children to think imaginatively without forcing them into the mindset of perceived reality, but according to at least one study, raising children with religion also increases self-esteem, lowers anxiety, risk of suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, and dangerous sexual behaviour."

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-28537149

And one more point I'd like to make. See the 3 examples of religious, fantastical, and realistic stories featuring Joseph on the sidebar at the link. A lot if it has to do with the word choice. Imagine a story that went like this:

A long time ago, a man named Edwin peered through his huge telescope and, by seeing the light from distant stars moving quickly away from each other, he discovered that everything you see popped into existence from absolutely nothing.

Many children would conclude that was a fantasy story. (Many adults still do. Wink ) Repeat the above example with the double-slit experiment or Schrodinger's cat. Scientific fact is often stranger than fiction.
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14-09-2016, 10:52 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(11-09-2016 04:30 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(09-09-2016 11:55 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  Because there is only one truth surrounded by a variety of lies.


Sounds like a very Christian belief. Of one truth surround by distortions and lies.

Why not hold that there is no such thing as truth, rather than hold to a belief in a hidden and rare truth, elusive to mankind.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Tomasia, I hope you were kidding when you wrote, "Why not hold that there is no such thing as truth . . ." Because from your previous comments I think you would agree with me that to deny absolute truth is logically fallacious. The person who claims there is no such thing as truth believes his statement itself is true. It is self-refuting and therefore false by definition. No one can rationally deny absolute truth - although I meet people (many of whom are atheists) who do it all the time.
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14-09-2016, 11:11 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(11-09-2016 05:34 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(11-09-2016 04:27 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Such individuals would be akin to the ten percent of atheists who also claim to believe in God, ...

Citation required. Drinking Beverage

This might be the study Tomasia was thinking of - although I don't see the ten percent figure:

http://www.pewforum.org/files/2012/10/No...e-full.pdf

Interestingly, this article says:

"Estimating the number of atheists in the U.S. is complicated. Some adults who describe themselves as atheists also say they believe in God or a universal spirit. At the same time, some people who identify with a religion (e.g., say they are Protestant, Catholic or Jewish) also say they do not believe in God."

So we have atheists who claim to believe in God and Christians who say they don't. (Here's a hint, fellas. Belief in God is kind of a prerequisite to be a Christian. Wink ) The fact is many people who say they are Christians are not and many who say they are atheists are not.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/201...-atheists/
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14-09-2016, 11:21 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(11-09-2016 03:42 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(09-09-2016 11:48 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  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.
How some people came to those beliefs, I'm tempted to say is still philosophy, but perhaps there is a bit of psychology as well. And psychology is a science (albeit soft science). So perhaps.

We are not born with a belief in gods.
So lets just say that we are most definitely born atheists.

When we are young children, we don't really understand existence or the rules of reality. Pretty much anything goes, until we start to learn the rules.
We will believe in santa, easter bunny, fairies, monsters, magic etc because we we don't know better and there are so many people telling us that these things are real.

Of course we aren't born believing in fairies. We need someone to bring the idea up. To explain or show us what a fairy is supposed to look like. When we get told that a fairy takes our old fallen out tooth and replaces it with money, then we want to believe it. Then when our tooth disappears and in its place is a shiny coin, well, that's the proof right there.

As young kids we don't know how to be sceptical, we don't know how to verify if something is true or not. We don't know what stories seem too far a stretch and what stories seem mundane. We don't understand why people (including our parents) would go out of their way to fool us.

This doesn't mean that the default position is that fairies do exist and therefore the burden of proof is on those to prove that fairies don't exist.

That's not the way it works.


"Good" parenting, IMO involves lying to your children. This will teach them to be skeptical, to look for ways to verify your claims. It will teach them to think for themselves rather than to appeal to your (and other people's) authority.

It's about giving your kids life skills rather than knowledge. They can work out knowledge for themselves.

Interesting point of view. I've never heard someone say they think lying to children is good parenting but I see what you're saying about life skills and knowledge.

You said:

"We are not born with a belief in gods."

Correction. We are not born with a belief in particular gods. But we are born with belief in a sense of purpose, order and design in nature from an agent. That's what most people think of as God.

You said:

"So lets just say that we are most definitely born atheists."

No let's not because it's false. Wink
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14-09-2016, 11:26 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(14-09-2016 10:52 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Tomasia, I hope you were kidding when you wrote, "Why not hold that there is no such thing as truth . . ." Because from your previous comments I think you would agree with me that to deny absolute truth is logically fallacious. The person who claims there is no such thing as truth believes his statement itself is true. It is self-refuting and therefore false by definition. No one can rationally deny absolute truth - although I meet people (many of whom are atheists) who do it all the time.
Tomasia is an idiot (to be generous to him)

He performs caricatures of atheism and runs with it despite our many attempts to correct him. This is typical troll behaviour.

If we look toward the scientific method for guidance (to be clear, atheists do not have to accept scientific method) on discovering what truth there is to the universe. This method can never provide us 100% positive truth. It can of course filter out incorrect hypothesis through meeting the falsifiable criteria. But even if a position stands the test of time (perhaps 100+ years) such as Newton's law of gravity. We might get a guy like Einstein come along and give an alternative hypothesis which provides different predictions in some extreme circumstances. We test those and find Einstein to be more correct than Newton. Perhaps in future someone will come up with something to be even more correct than Einstein? All we know is that Einstein's model accurately predicts all observations in all situations that we know about, except we have some issues with "Dark Matter" and singularities and quantum entanglement etc.

I would say that science is a great method of progressing ever closer to to the truth (about the physical universe) by filtering out incorrect hypothesis. By testing falsifiable criteria, by finding differing predictions of competing hypothesis and testing those to find which hypothesis (if any) is closer to the truth.
To state that there is no truth, is not recognising that science is fine tuning our understanding to a very close approximation of the elusive truth.

I think it makes Tomasia very happy to believe that we (atheists) ought to just throw our arms in the air and state that there is no truth so we may as well just believe whatever it is that makes us happy. (psttt - I think he wants to equate our position on the same level as the theists).

Religion is about assuming truth about un-testable and un-falsifiable things, and turning a blind eye to conflicting ideas. the truth for you guys is whatever your religious leader tells you that you must believe, or perhaps if you have a religion all of your own making, it is whatever you interpret from your endeavours to make sense of your religious text in light of your personal experiences and ideologies.
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14-09-2016, 11:27 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(11-09-2016 04:47 PM)SYZ Wrote:  
(11-09-2016 04:27 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  [...]
Such individuals would be akin to the ten percent of atheists who also claim to believe in God, or Christians who claim that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship, or in other words confused, about the very thing they claim to believe.

This is flat out incorrect. The second someone says they believe in gods or are absolutely certain gods exist, they are not atheists. So the actual number is 0 percent. It is zero. This is because atheism is already defined. If you don’t fit that definition, you’re not an atheist. Simple. So someone who claims to be an atheist, then says god exists is simply wrong about their self-labelling, or willfully lying.

[It's] suspected many people wrongly believe that atheism means having no religion. These people should be corrected, not added to the atheist category of a study.

Rebuttal to Pew Research 3 November 2015

Seems you didn't read carefully enough and understand the point Tomasia was making. He said, "in other words confused, about the very thing they claim to believe." He agrees with you.

Many people have told me they are atheists but say they believe in a higher power. When I explain to them what atheism means, I often discover that they merely reject organized religion. Similarly, if you have person who says they are Catholic but they don't believe in God they are obviously not a Christian. They simply mean they were raised in a Catholic home. In fact, most of my atheist friends where raised Catholic. If I had been raised Catholic, I'd probably be an atheist right now too.
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14-09-2016, 11:34 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(11-09-2016 05:01 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(11-09-2016 04:27 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Such individuals would be akin to the ten percent of atheists who also claim to believe in God, or Christians who claim that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship, or in other words confused, about the very thing they claim to believe.

Well, if Christianity isn't a religion then maybe the government should reexamine their tax exemption status.

Ha, ha. Smile

To clarify - why many evangelical Christians say Christianity isn't a religion, it's a relationship is because most other religions require certain actions in order to merit favour with God. Christianity says you can never earn salvation by your good works. It is a free gift through a relationship with Christ.

I think if you pinned them down, most would admit Christianity is technically a religion. Most people would consider me religious but I don't because I think of being religious as performing rituals. I don't attend church or give money to one. I don't often pray or read my Bible regularly. I study science and that leads me to God.
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