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Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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16-09-2016, 04:23 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(16-09-2016 03:41 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(16-09-2016 01:59 PM)Gloucester Wrote:  Chicken or egg?

Is it religiosity that causes a generally low IQ or low IQ that allows religiosity to get a grip?

I don't think it has to do with believing in a god. I think it has has to do with whether the religion encourages independent thinking or tends to be more liberal leaning. I don't know all the nuances of all the Christian denominations, but I think the Episcopals I've met have been well educated and capable of separating their religious views from their otherwise secular lifestyles.

Too bad this sample didn't consider Hindus and Buddhists.

From Discover Magazine:
[Image: IQbyreligion.jpg]

Yes, it occurred to me after I posted that the more important aspect is the "discipline" that is applied and that will vary with culture and time. In the case of Islam the discipline is quite strict and the inherent conservatism that it causes, or vice versa, means it will not change much over time. Anglicanism, at least in Britain and America, tends to be a tad more liberal and has relaxed several important rules.

I am never sure whether the high IQ and academic achievements of some countries and cultures has more to do with cultural factors and traditions, separate from religion per se. However religion often had the infrastructure, funds and motives to establish schools before independent education departments were formed, even then they had a strong influence. Still do here.

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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16-09-2016, 04:54 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(15-09-2016 08:50 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Before I get back to reading and responding to the feedback, I had a thought today. I've had an idea for a few years about writing a book of atheist de-conversions so to speak. People telling their story about why they left religion (or why they were never persuaded in the first place.)

I realize there are many videos like this on YouTube and Richard Dawkins.net has Convert's Corner but I'm not aware of any mainstream books on the subject. (Individual stories maybe - like "godless" by Dan barker.) Conversely, there are many books explaining why atheists embraced theism.

I wonder if any of you would like to participate in an interview that might become a chapter in such a book. I haven't thought about the idea for awhile but attached is a cover I made a few years ago. Of course, you would have to have a compelling story. Obviously, "I've just never seen any evidence" won't quite do it.

With a background in journalism, I am known for being unbiased. You would of course, get full approval of the chapter before it goes to press. And I'll send you a free copy. PM me if you're interested. Thanks. Smile

There are billions who believe that Darth Vader exists in a galaxy far far away. Why don't you believe ?

Did your parents not take you to force gatherings as a child ? Did something traumatic happen to you to make you stop believing ?

Do you hate Vader ?

There are so many books written that were inspired by Darth. What was it about them that caused you not to see the truth in the word ?

As an author, I am completely unbiased, but I find it hard to understand why some people don't believe. Just look around you. The evidence of the force is in all living things. You would have to be a fool not to believe.

I have time traveled back from the year 2978 to show you the way and the truth.

Who are these christians you speak of ?
There is no mention of them in our history archives.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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16-09-2016, 06:55 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(16-09-2016 04:54 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  There are billions who believe that Darth Vader exists in a galaxy far far away. Why don't you believe ?

Did your parents not take you to force gatherings as a child ? Did something traumatic happen to you to make you stop believing ?

Do you hate Vader ?

There are so many books written that were inspired by Darth. What was it about them that caused you not to see the truth in the word ?

As an author, I am completely unbiased, but I find it hard to understand why some people don't believe. Just look around you. The evidence of the force is in all living things. You would have to be a fool not to believe.

I have time traveled back from the year 2978 to show you the way and the truth.

Who are these christians you speak of ?
There is no mention of them in our history archives.

[Image: 43.jpg]

[Image: tumblr_nn45r08TlD1rbam90o2_500.jpg]

"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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16-09-2016, 10:25 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(11-09-2016 10:04 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(11-09-2016 07:00 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  I'm of the opinion that the beginnings of religion developed in our proto-ape ancestors along with their expanding brain power. See this thread.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...f-religion

To answer the OP using the info you provide, the origin of atheism can be found when the first proto-ape said there is a god thus making all the other proto-apes atheists at that very moment.

Ha, ha. Very true. I like that. Smile
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16-09-2016, 10:33 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(12-09-2016 01:46 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  With regards to Bruce Hood's findings I would be happier seeing an abstract of his research rather than an analysis in the Daily Wail. An analysis illustrated by an attractive naked woman in time honoured Daily Wail fashion. Just to give it a hint of spice. [Corrected having reviewed the picture without bleary-just-woken-up eyes and my daytime specs on.]

The Daily Wail, aka The Daily Fail, is well known for inaccuracy, misrepresentation and hyperbole. It appeals to the reactive audience rather than the contemplative but has developed a bit of a pseudo intellectual style for this type of subject.

But, no surprise that bits of the brain light up when the supernatural is thought of, like bits of the brain might like up when nice food is thought of. Or, for some of us at least, when naked women are thought of! For others it might be men, cars, beer, Pokemon . . .

I would not be surprised if part of my brain also lit up If I was asked to think about supernatural entities. But would it hear what that part was actually saying? How does that location compare with locations when we think of others things fundamental to human evolution I wonder?

If, as seems possible, the supernatural has been part of our mental environment from our earliest attempts to understand and explain our world then it has certainly been part of our thinking for a lot longer than has science.

That does not make it right, it could still be a 2 My old mistake of the imagination due to 1.999 My of understandable ignorance.

For that ignorance to continue, via active promotion, is neither understandable nor acceptable.

You might be interested in this where Bruce Hood clarifies his position:

https://brucemhood.wordpress.com/2009/09...ever-said/
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16-09-2016, 10:39 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
[Image: Theopathy_zpszzqsgp8b.png]

A gripping read that examines the evolution of the psychopathology of religion.

No offense intended™.

---
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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16-09-2016, 10:43 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(12-09-2016 02:06 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  Randy, did you write that book, "Evolution: Fact or Fiction? - The Secret Truth Darwinists Don't Want You to Know" ? You have not responded to our critique of it. Have not mentioned it at all.

What say?

Yes, I responded to it a few days ago. And, yes, I wrote it. Remember that I am but one person reading and responding to multiple people so I'm going to get a little behind. I have devoted over 6 hours to this now and I'm less than half way through all the posts. Smile

The thesis of my other book on evolution is largely irrelevant to this topic because it doesn't presume molecules-to-man evolution. What I'm saying is that even if God had created the universe, earth and man in six literal 24-hour days, my hypothesis could still be true.
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16-09-2016, 10:49 PM (This post was last modified: 16-09-2016 11:02 PM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(16-09-2016 10:43 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  The thesis of my other book on evolution is largely irrelevant to this topic because it doesn't presume molecules-to-man evolution. What I'm saying is that even if God had created the universe, earth and man in six literal 24-hour days, my hypothesis could still be true.


When you assume Magic, anything could be true.



But why should we assume not just magic, but specifically magic that favors your particular bronze age desert war god mythology?

Possibility is not the same as probability.

If you do not assume magic, your 'hypothesis' is critically improbable. If we assume magic, then everything is possible, and your 'hypothesis' is equally probable to all other hypotheses. If you assume magic, your god creating the universe is as probable as it being created by a herd of invisible pink unicorns, or that your universe creating god was created by a Nork (a Nork is, by definition, a being that creates universe creating gods). Why? Because magic explains everything, by explaining nothing.


You level of scientific ineptitude is staggering. I wouldn't trust you to critique a match of tic-tac-toe, let alone the entire field of evolutionary biology.

[Image: E3WvRwZ.gif]
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16-09-2016, 11:11 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(12-09-2016 06:06 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(11-09-2016 11:02 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Think of it this way: If there really is no God, and if it's true, as the evidence seems to suggests, that most people are born with a predisposition to believe, and if it is further true that some people are not, how would you explain that scientifically? What makes the most sense? What conclusion would you come to? What causes us to be born without other things we no longer need?

That seems like s basic tenet of evolution by natural selection. There is always variation among members of a species. Being born with something useful gives a survival advantage and would be selected for. Being born without something necessary is a disadvantage and would be selected against. Being born with something different but essentially neutral would result in no net selection effect. There is no cause needed apart from normal variability.

If your conjecture is correct (and I consider that a HUGE 'if'), it would only mean that a HAAD used to be an advantage and no longer is. People with the tendency to claim agency where none exists no longer have a selection advantage.

(11-09-2016 11:26 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  I said theism is the default because that is what current research shows.

Again, the most you can claim is that a predisposition for belief is present but that is not the same as being a theist. The way you continually conflate the two says that you either don't understand the difference or that you are being intentionally dishonest about it.

I'm still trying to figure out what it would mean if this turned out to be true. If would not be a justification for theism, only an explanation for it. It might help atheists be more tolerant of theists because it identifies a flaw in human perception that they are victims of.

You said:

"Again, the most you can claim is that a predisposition for belief is present but that is not the same as being a theist. The way you continually conflate the two . . ."

If I'm conflating them, then so are the rest of the scholars who do the research because that's what they are saying.

You said:

"I'm still trying to figure out what it would mean if this turned out to be true. If would not be a justification for theism, only an explanation for it."

I agree. But the theism part has already been explained. This hypothesis is attempting to explain atheism. See this article from New Scientist. The authors say, "What we need now is a scientific study not of the theistic, but the atheistic mind. We need to discover why some people do not "get" the supernatural agency many cognitive scientists argue comes automatically to our brains. Is this capacity non-existent in the non-religious, or is it rerouted, undermined or overwritten - and under what conditions?"

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/print43456.htm
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16-09-2016, 11:26 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(12-09-2016 09:00 PM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  At work.

(12-09-2016 08:52 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Anybody know of an easier way to navigate this message board? Every time I respond to a comment, it takes me to the end of all the messages. Then, I must click #1 to get back to the beginning, and then #7 to see more pages and then find the page I was on and the next comment. It's cumbersome and time-consuming.

Hello! Big Grin

Not sure how helpful it might be but clicking on the little green arrow in posts will take you back to the original.

Thumbsup

Oh, thanks. But I just started using the Back button in the browser and that does the trick. Should've thought of that before.
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