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Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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08-09-2016, 09:57 PM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2016 10:52 PM by DLJ.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Gloucester Wrote:Like many of my fellow members I also have particular problems with your second contention.

To me mind we are all born atheists, atheopaths. whatever word you want to use for ''those who believe only in observable, testable reality''. That is the default position.

Thanks for your detailed response. It was great. The belief that we are all born atheists, while a popular talking point with some of the New Atheists, seems to not be supported by the latest scientific research.

Even if we are born believers, as the evidence suggests, that does not mean we must accept the proposition that "God exists." Why could this atheopathy, though rare, not be viewed as an evolutionary adaptation? Perhaps we are finally out-growing our need for a god to explain natural phenomena.
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08-09-2016, 10:02 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 04:39 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  The word "atheist" should not exist, but it does because others in human history make bad gap filling claims about invisible sky wizards. As may others in the skeptic community have said in the past. "There is no word "a-unicornist" or "a-spidermanist".

"atheist" is simple a result of THINKING without blindly swallowing.

Human progress from going from nomadic migrating grunters to evolving into settling into cities and farming is a result of our species ability to figure things out. "Atheist" really is no different from going from belief in Santa to the realization your parents are full of shit and they are the ones lying to you.

Thanks for your reply. As a Christian theist, I, of course, disagree with pretty much everything you said. However, my personal theological views have no bearing on this hypothesis so I'd rather not lose focus and keep this about science.
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08-09-2016, 10:08 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 05:30 AM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  At work.

HELLO! Big Grin

Hug

Hi Randy (Yes, being a 'foreigner' I am giggling inanely at a colloquial connotation of said name) you claim to have a 'God detector'.

Can I see yours/it?

Can it touch it, please?

Big Grin

Very much cheers to all

LOL! Yes, I get that a lot from those in the U.K. - if that's in fact where you are. My full name is Randall if that works better for you. Smile

I don't claim to have a 'God detector.' But the latest scientific research seems to indicate that we all have God detectors. So the question becomes, "Why are some people born without it?" That is the question I am trying to address.

Interestingly, there are people who have a condition - its name escapes me at the moment - where they have trouble recognizing faces. These same people tend to be atheists. This supports my hypothesis that something is defective with their "pattern-recognition software."
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08-09-2016, 10:08 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 09:15 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  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?

Those are valid questions. But this is not my theory. I use the rabbit example because I think I heard Michael Shermer use it once but here is a similar example cited from the link below at Live Science:

Picture this: You're a human being living many thousands of years ago. You're out on the plains of the Serengeti, sitting around, waiting for an antelope to walk by so you can kill it for dinner. All of a sudden, you see the grasses in front of you rustling. What do you do? Do you stop and think about what might be causing the rustling (the wind or a lion, for example), or do you immediately take some kind of action?

"On the plains of the Serengeti, it would be better to not sit around and reflect. People who took their time got selected out," Clark told Live Science. Humans who survived to procreate were those who had developed what evolutionary scientists call a hypersensitive agency-detecting device, or HADD, he said.

In short, HADD is the mechanism that lets humans perceive that many things have "agency," or the ability to act of their own accord. This understanding of how the world worked facilitated the rapid decision-making process that humans had to go through when they heard a rustling in the grass. (Lions act of their own accord. Better run.)

But in addition to helping humans make rational decisions, HADD may have planted the seeds for religious thought. In addition to attributing agency to lions, for example, humans started attributing agency to things that really didn't have agency at all.

http://www.livescience.com/52364-origins...liefs.html

Clark is no scientist. His degree is in Philosophy. Humans LEARNED from their tribal members how to hunt and how to survive in Africa. He has proposed no tests for his hypersensitivity, has not really defined it, or said exactly how it relates to religion.....or to agency, AND it would be fairly easy to demonstrate other great apes have a degree of it. He's full of hot air. In fact it's a PERFECT example of how religion fails in almost all of it's "proofs" and discussions of gods and reality. They assume that what appears to humans to be "intuitive" is true. That's patently false, (as well as why, for example, Kalam is false).

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, 10:13 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 10:08 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  I don't claim to have a 'God detector.' But the latest scientific research seems to indicate that we all have God detectors. So the question becomes, "Why are some people born without it?" That is the question I am trying to address.

What "scientific research" ? You don't have a "god detector". You have a NEED for cognitive closure and explanations for what you see. If you don't see another answer, you cook up a god to fill the gap. It's a gap detector, gap avoider, gap filler .... "gawd done it". Humans are pattern seeking monkeys. You WANT to find a pattern, whether there is one or not.

Quote:Interestingly, there are people who have a condition - its name escapes me at the moment - where they have trouble recognizing faces. These same people tend to be atheists. This supports my hypothesis that something is defective with their "pattern-recognition software."

Prove it. Where is the research that demonstrates this ?
It's a fallacy. The fact that these (few) people (if they are) atheists, IN NO WAY proves that there is a determinant of atheism in others who don't have it, or that there are not MULTIPLE determinants.

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, 10:17 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 05:39 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  This is " completely naturalistic and scientifically testable and falsifiable hypothesis. "????


I don't think so.


What you're suggesting is that the predisposition to religious belief is genetically encoded.

Considering genetically encoded traits are the result of evolution - and evolution favors traits with a survivability value --- it's ridiculous to suggest that religion is an added value survival trait - in that far more people have been killed or died over religion than atheism.

..........


In fact - the reverse would be (and possibly is) true ---

Atheism is a better trait to be genetically inherited.

Your claim "it's ridiculous to suggest that religion is an added value survival trait - in that far more people have been killed or died over religion than atheism" is simply not true - but once again irrelevant to my thesis.

"In their Encyclopedia of Wars, authors Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod attempt a comprehensive listing of wars in history. They document 1763 wars overall, of which 123 (7%) have been identified and listed as primarily religiously motivated. Of these, religious wars account for less than 2% of all people killed in warfare. This includes 3 million during the Crusades and 3,000 during the Inquisition.

"The Encyclopedia of War, edited by Gordon Martel, using the criteria that the armed conflict must involve some overt religious action, concludes that 6% of the wars listed in their encyclopedia can be labelled religious wars."

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

If we accept the notion that atheism is merely a lack of belief in God, then of course atheism can't motivate anyone to do anything. But it is a simple fact that anti-theism has been the greatest cause of genocide. Over 100 million murdered in the last century alone - which dwarfs by comparison all the deaths caused by religion throughout all of human history.

But again, I cannot allow this thread to degenerate into a discussion about Christian apologetics. Let's stick to science.
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08-09-2016, 10:17 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 09:07 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  
I Wrote:Kinda. I'm saying that I accept that 'a capacity to believe' (the ability to 'represent' a concept) is innate i.e. built into the operating system (by evolution) but 'what gets believed' (the actual concept) is the software that's loaded in our informative years.

Or to continue the IT analogy, belief in a god or gods or goddesses is the customisation rather than the configuration.

And the bible? Well. that's just a poorly written Operating Manual / Policy Framework.

Wink
Ha, ha. Good one. Smile

So it seems like you are saying all our beliefs are learned. But that goes against much of the latest research in neuroscience which has largely discredited the "blank slate" theory. 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.

http://sites.bu.edu/ombs/2012/02/22/are-...knowledge/

I did not say that and nor am I an upholder of the blank slate notion.

But if I had to hazard a guess at a dividing line between nature and nurture, I'd put most but not all 'desires' in the nature camp whereas 'beliefs', yes, would be in the nurture camp.

Think of it a bit like this:
Hardware, Operating System, Software Programs, Application Programs and then data (that is input).

I suspect that you are thinking (or feeling) that the god-stuff is part of the operating system. Whereas, I think that desires are in the OS, beliefs are in the software, deism is the app and a particular brand of theism (e.g. catholicism etc.) is the data entry.

So you are saying "corrupt" software and I am saying that I didn't upload the app.

Thumbsup

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08-09-2016, 10:20 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 10:17 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  If we accept the notion that atheism is merely a lack of belief in God, then of course atheism can't motivate anyone to do anything. But it is a simple fact that anti-theism has been the greatest cause of genocide. Over 100 million murdered in the last century alone - which dwarfs by comparison all the deaths caused by religion throughout all of human history.

Germany was a CHRISTIAN nation.
Where is the data that says that anti-theists were the cause of killing anyone.
What the hell are you even talking about ?

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, 10:22 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
"Barrett is grasping at straws and force fitting his seminary views into his observations, they are tainted imo."

Except Barret is not the only one. Atheist Paul Bloom, Andrew Newberg and others. If I remember correctly even Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion and Stephen Jay Gould have defended this view - albeit not religion as an evolutionary advantage but as a by-product of something else that is.
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08-09-2016, 10:22 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Randy, what's your view on the doctrine of hell? Who, if anyone, do you think goes there, and why? Do you have any difficulty reconciling this doctrine with your "born without the detector" analogy?

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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