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18-09-2016, 12:30 AM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2016 12:50 AM by Randy Ruggles.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Evolution: Fact or Fiction? - Audio Book Introduction

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeYkHYfDUpk
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18-09-2016, 12:31 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(17-09-2016 10:44 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  "According to Randys "theory" there are 2 sorts of atheists."

No, there are more than that. I will go into the others in minor detail in the book.

And what will the cover say? Will it be honest? Or will it read "Why Atheists Exist" in big bold flashy letters?

(17-09-2016 11:11 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  I've personally already demonstrated days ago that the blank theory is dead.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuQHSKLXu2c

And?

Is that it?

People are born with predispositions. Big surprise. Shocking news.

Read carefully: A predisposition to superstition is not theism.

There is very big gap between the two and you have not bridged it.

"We are born superstitious" does not equate to "We are born theists." Though I'd love to watch you try and sell that one to a church.

The slate is not blank, but neither does it have "Gawd Allmighty" scribbled on it.

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18-09-2016, 12:48 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
The Psychological Science article says repeatedly that her conclusions are tentative and unsupported, and in need of further research. In other words, she has an hypothesis that is not supported by anything more than indirect conclusions about a particular experiment. If you read, all it says is that she thinks the information might, with further research, support a conclusions that there's something more going on than agency detection. It is literally nothing more than speculation based on her conclusions about an agency-detection experiment, and a proposal for later research grants:

This article began by posing a question: Given findings regarding
children’s beliefs about purpose and their ideas about the intentional
origins of nature, is it possible that children are intuitive theists insofar
as they are predisposed to develop a view of nature as an artifact
of nonhuman design?
A review of recent cognitive developmental research reveals that by
around 5 years of age, children understand natural objects as not
humanly caused, can reason about nonnatural agents’ mental states,
and demonstrate the capacity to view objects in terms of design. Finally,
evidence from 6- to 10-year-olds suggests that children’s assignments
of purpose to nature relate to their ideas concerning
intentional nonhuman causation. Together, these research findings
tentatively suggest that children’s explanatory approach may be accurately
characterized as intuitive theism—a characterization that has
broad relevance not only to cognitivists or the growing interdisciplinary
community studying the underpinnings of religion (Barrett,
2000), but also, at an applied level, to science educators because
the implication is that children’s science failures may, in part, result
from inherent conflicts between intuitive ideas and the basic tenets of
contemporary scientific thought.
Further research is required, of course, to clarify how well the
description really holds across individuals and cultures (reliable,
empirical cross-cultural research is limited), how robust the orientation
to purpose and design is, and how it interacts with education over
time. A significant theoretical goal is to empirically discriminate the
present hypothesis that children are inherently predisposed to invoke
intention-based teleological explanations of nature and find them
satisfying (see Bering, 2002, for a related stance) from the milder
hypothesis that children’s teleological orientation arises primarily
from their possession of the kind of cognitive machinery (e.g., agency
detection) that renders them susceptible to the religious representations
of their adult culture—a position that predicts children would
not independently generate explanations in terms of designing nonnatural
agency without adult cultural influence.
A proper discussion of the pros and cons of each position, along
with how to empirically distinguish them, is beyond the scope of this
short article. However, it is worth emphasizing that the kind of research
program proposed here is one that involves focusing on adults
as much as children because although the question ‘‘are children
intuitive theists?’’ implies a dichotomy between child and adult
thought, the current proposal tacitly assumes that the idea of such a
fundamental dichotomy is false: If, as suggested here, the tendency to
think in teleological quasi-artifact terms is a side effect of human
mental design (and pan-cultural experience with artifacts) rather than
socialization, it is likely to remain as a default explanatory strategy
throughout life, even as other explanations are elaborated. This idea
contrasts with the notion that through conceptual change (e.g., Carey,
1985), such an explanatory approach is revised and replaced by a
physical-reductionist view of nature in cultures endorsing such ideas.
Several factors provide support for this suggestion of developmental
continuity. First, reasoning about all aspects of nature in nonteleological
physical-reductionist terms is a relatively recent development in
the history of human thought (see Kelemen, 1999a, for a brief history
of the ‘‘design argument’’), and contemporary adults are still surprisingly
bad at it. For example, evolution is generally misconstrued
as a quasi-intentional needs-responsive designing force, indicating
that even when adults elaborate alternative scientific explanations,
signs of intention-based reasoning about nature are still in evidence

(see Evans, 2000a, for review). Second, recent research with American
college undergraduates has found that although such populations
endorse teleological explanation in a selective, scientifically appropriate
way in the evaluative context of a forced-choice ‘‘scientific’’
experiment, in a less evaluative environment they will more promiscuously
generate teleological explanations of why animals and
inanimate natural objects exist. These results suggest that even in a
post-Darwinian culture, continuity rather than conceptual change may
be at play in educated individuals’ preference for teleological explanation
(Kelemen, 2003). Finally, and significant to the conjecture
that scientific educations suppress rather than replace teleological
explanatory tendencies, research with scientifically uneducated
Romanian Gypsy adults has found that they have promiscuous teleological
intuitions much like scientifically naive British and American
elementary-school children (Casler & Kelemen, 2003b). In conclusion,
the question of whether children and adults are intuitive theists
provides fertile ground for future research.

Bold emphases my own. This entire paper is simply asking the question of why, in the light of our knowledge about evolution, are people so likely to still make up stories about agency where we know there is none. Her proposed idea is that many of us are hard-wired to assign agency to things, even when it's not there (I agree with that proposal, even though it is not yet demonstrated), which may be a genetic legacy of our evolutionary development.

But there is absolutely no way to as yet draw conclusions from her speculations, and in no way does this suggest the things in the articles to which you are citing.

The other study does not "show atheists are most closely aligned with psychopaths", as the biased religious article you cited to states. PLOS ONE is a "pay to publish" journal, leaving it for people who come after to "peer-review" it for accuracy. They don't discriminate between crap and reality, leaving it for others to do so upon review.

The article redefines the psychopathy (and autistic) spectrum and then suggests that atheists are morally deficient. Essentially, they take a well-known psychological trait (that rational people tend to focus on reason above emotion) and project it into a whole new concept (moral reasoning). It's a correlation study of a small group size, mostly of college students, and starting with altered definitions of basic terms. The methodology is so bad that they even address it in the article.

In short, this is an attempt to use a pay-to-play journal to slip in some modern Christian equivalent of the "Race Science" which showed Jews weren't as good as Aryans, and then trumpet it in popular articles (I found several) that say "see? It's in a science journal!", not understanding what little significance one published article has until it has met peer review.

Finally, on a personal note, I am a pretty die-hard atheist, and yet my empathy rating is almost off the scale (I had occasion to be tested on this and other factors by one of the psychologists, Dr. Robert Barnett, who was on the team who invented the MMPI-2 personality test). Indeed, the entire concept of Secular Humanism--the dominant viewpoint found among atheists--is based on empathy for our fellow human beings.

Even if I were to accept that your PLOS ONE researcher did find the correlations in his tiny sample group among college kids, I cannot see how that explains anything about the atheism of regular adults. If you'll look around this forum, you'll see overwhelming examples of strong empathy and decisions/positions based on our empathy for fellow human beings. This research simply does not jive with what I have known about my fellow atheists, having spent a great deal of my time among atheists in the half of my life I have been one. I more than a bit strongly suggest that it is a religionist having a "go" at atheists via pseudoscience-- that which sounds scientific but is not, and has an agenda, a purpose other than honest, rational investigation of truth.

"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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18-09-2016, 12:53 AM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2016 12:56 AM by Randy Ruggles.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Are We Born With Knowledge?

"Other scholars such as Scott Atran, Jesse Bering, Pascal Boyer, Stewart Guthrie, Robert McCauley, and Ilkka Pyysiainen have identified additional factors that may make belief in some kind of God relatively natural. Further, Ara Norenzayan and Dominic Johnson have each argued that belief in some kind of morally interested, watching deity may also be part of an adaptive gene-culture complex that then is selectively reinforced. Belief in a super observant moral police may make us more trustworthy and generous community members, leading to better fitness."

http://sites.bu.edu/ombs/2012/02/22/are-...knowledge/
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18-09-2016, 01:07 AM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2016 01:11 AM by Randy Ruggles.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Oh lookie. Another book from an anthropologist claiming theistic beliefs are innate. And he used the word "theory" in the subtitle instead of hypothesis. I presume you'll all be contacting Mr. Guthrie to call him a liar.

Faces in the Clouds: A New Theory of Religion

https://www.amazon.ca/Faces-Clouds-New-T...0195098919

Someone put the entire book online:

http://www.slideshare.net/antoniochavezs...plete-book
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18-09-2016, 01:11 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(17-09-2016 11:24 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  I don't reject all of evolution

But then the product description for "Evolution: Fact or Fiction" by Randy Ruggles reads:

Quote:Now, many scientists claim that new discoveries in biology, astronomy and paleontology have rendered evolution dead and that the truly scientific evidence points clearly and unequivocally toward the existence of an Intelligent Designer.

Emphasis mine.

So which is it? Live or Dead? This isn't Shroedinger's Cat.

[Image: Ixhb2Dc.png]

Perhaps we're dealing with Intelligently Designed atheopaths here. Please, tell us how Intelligent Design explains atheopathy. Go ahead, we brought popcorn.

PopcornPopcornPopcornPopcornPopcornPopcornPopcornPopcornPopcornPopcornPopcorn




---
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18-09-2016, 01:12 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(18-09-2016 01:07 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Oh lookie. Another book from an anthropologist claiming theistic beliefs are innate. And he used the word "theory" in the subtitle instead of hypothesis. I presume you'll all be contacting Mr. Guthrie to call him a liar.

Faces in the Clouds: A New Theory of Religion

https://www.amazon.ca/Faces-Clouds-New-T...0195098919

Um, here's the summary of the book on Amazon link you just posted. Note that it says EXACTLY what we have been saying, here, all along:

Religion is universal human culture. No phenomenon is more widely shared or more intensely studied, yet there is no agreement on what religion is. Now, in Faces in the Clouds, anthropologist Stewart Guthrie provides a provocative definition of religion in a bold and persuasive new theory. Guthrie says religion can best be understood as systematic anthropomorphism--that is, the attribution of human characteristics to nonhuman things and events. Many writers see anthropomorphism as common or even universal in religion, but few think it is central. To Guthrie, however, it is fundamental. Religion, he writes, consists of seeing the world as humanlike. As Guthrie shows, people find a wide range of humanlike beings plausible: Gods, spirits, abominable snowmen, HAL the computer, Chiquita Banana. We find messages in random events such as earthquakes, weather, and traffic accidents. We say a fire "rages," a storm "wreaks vengeance," and waters "lie still." Guthrie says that our tendency to find human characteristics in the nonhuman world stems from a deep-seated perceptual strategy: in the face of pervasive (if mostly unconscious) uncertainty about what we see, we bet on the most meaningful interpretation we can. If we are in the woods and see a dark shape that might be a bear or a boulder, for example, it is good policy to think it is a bear. If we are mistaken, we lose little, and if we are right, we gain much. So, Guthrie writes, in scanning the world we always look for what most concerns us--livings things, and especially, human ones. Even animals watch for human attributes, as when birds avoid scarecrows. In short, we all follow the principle--better safe than sorry. Marshalling a wealth of evidence from anthropology, cognitive science, philosophy, theology, advertising, literature, art, and animal behavior, Guthrie offers a fascinating array of examples to show how this perceptual strategy pervades secular life and how it characterizes religious experience. Challenging the very foundations of religion, Faces in the Clouds forces us to take a new look at this fundamental element of human life.

(Bold emphasis mine.)

"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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18-09-2016, 01:17 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
And another complete book making similar claims:

Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought

"Many of our questions about religion, says renowned anthropologist Pascal Boyer, are no longer mysteries. We are beginning to know how to answer questions such as "Why do people have religion?" Using findings from anthropology, cognitive science, linguistics, and evolutionary biology, Religion Explained shows how this aspect of human consciousness is increasingly admissible to coherent, naturalistic explanation. This brilliant and controversial book gives readers the first scientific explanation for what religious feeling is really about, what it consists of, and where it comes from."

http://www.slideshare.net/antoniochavezs...plete-book
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18-09-2016, 01:18 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(17-09-2016 11:51 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  I'll just leave this here:

http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/religion%2...rticle.pdf

Whoa, dude. Kids play make-believe. That's going to change the paradigm of child psychology.

Once again, you have demonstrated a predisposition for superstition.

One thousand time thou shalt write: Theism is not equivalent to superstition.

---
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18-09-2016, 01:23 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(18-09-2016 01:12 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(18-09-2016 01:07 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Oh lookie. Another book from an anthropologist claiming theistic beliefs are innate. And he used the word "theory" in the subtitle instead of hypothesis. I presume you'll all be contacting Mr. Guthrie to call him a liar.

Faces in the Clouds: A New Theory of Religion

https://www.amazon.ca/Faces-Clouds-New-T...0195098919

Um, here's the summary of the book on Amazon link you just posted. Note that it says EXACTLY what we have been saying, here, all along:

Religion is universal human culture. No phenomenon is more widely shared or more intensely studied, yet there is no agreement on what religion is. Now, in Faces in the Clouds, anthropologist Stewart Guthrie provides a provocative definition of religion in a bold and persuasive new theory. Guthrie says religion can best be understood as systematic anthropomorphism--that is, the attribution of human characteristics to nonhuman things and events. Many writers see anthropomorphism as common or even universal in religion, but few think it is central. To Guthrie, however, it is fundamental. Religion, he writes, consists of seeing the world as humanlike. As Guthrie shows, people find a wide range of humanlike beings plausible: Gods, spirits, abominable snowmen, HAL the computer, Chiquita Banana. We find messages in random events such as earthquakes, weather, and traffic accidents. We say a fire "rages," a storm "wreaks vengeance," and waters "lie still." Guthrie says that our tendency to find human characteristics in the nonhuman world stems from a deep-seated perceptual strategy: in the face of pervasive (if mostly unconscious) uncertainty about what we see, we bet on the most meaningful interpretation we can. If we are in the woods and see a dark shape that might be a bear or a boulder, for example, it is good policy to think it is a bear. If we are mistaken, we lose little, and if we are right, we gain much. So, Guthrie writes, in scanning the world we always look for what most concerns us--livings things, and especially, human ones. Even animals watch for human attributes, as when birds avoid scarecrows. In short, we all follow the principle--better safe than sorry. Marshalling a wealth of evidence from anthropology, cognitive science, philosophy, theology, advertising, literature, art, and animal behavior, Guthrie offers a fascinating array of examples to show how this perceptual strategy pervades secular life and how it characterizes religious experience. Challenging the very foundations of religion, Faces in the Clouds forces us to take a new look at this fundamental element of human life.

(Bold emphasis mine.)

Help me out here, quick RS76.

#1 So Guthrie says: Humans attribute human characteristics to nonhuman things and events "
#2 Theists attribute all kind of natural events to their respective god(s)
Randys conclusion is: Because people are in general presdisposed to #2 (due to #1), Atheists (who are actively trying to resist #2) are genetically deficient emotionless beings?

I think i can clearly see now how that demonstrates...Randys dishonesty.

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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