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Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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18-09-2016, 02:18 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(18-09-2016 01:36 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  LOL! But each person would be predisposed to be one over another. You can't really be apathetic to religion and oppose it at the same time.

Yes I can. For example I'm opposed to the catholic church because of their pedophile infestions. On the other hand I am apathetic towards the Jewish religion because they mind their own business and don't protect pedophiles.
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18-09-2016, 02:24 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(18-09-2016 02:11 PM)skyking Wrote:  Here is a link to the (PDF) paper that is summarized in the last working link by the OP.
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7183/a1...fbbd45.pdf
Sentence #1
Quote:Although most people are religious, there are hundreds
of millions of religious disbelievers in the world.

Lousy choice of phrasing, I am not a "religious disbeleiver" I am a "non-believer of religion". There is a distinct difference and those nasty people I mentioned before love loopholes they can exploit when writing for their own brainwashed kind (because no sane person reads their rubbish except to, justifiably, rubbish it.)

But I'll read on...

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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18-09-2016, 02:42 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
What a pity I cannot reproduce Table 1with an extra column of my own comments.

I have experienced some of the factors in the left column but they have certsinly not translated into the redults in the right column - rather the opposite.

So far this is looking like predisposition + experience. Suppose there are two "predispositions" or one with positive and negative aspects? Those with the negative aspect will possibly develop an opposite pattern.

Perhaps I need to read more - tomorrow, coming up for bedtime and I don't want nasty dreams!

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18-09-2016, 02:59 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(18-09-2016 01:27 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  
(18-09-2016 01:20 PM)morondog Wrote:  To you, Randy, we are whichever kind fits best with your pre-conceived and immutable opinions.

That is not only not right, it is not even wrong. My preconceptions would say we are all born atheists. I was wrong.

So are you going to read the paper and answer the question? Or do YOUR biases and preconceptions prevent you from doing so?

I read shit I'm interested in, why should I do your research for you? Your bullshit is still bullshit, even if you flavour it differently. You're looking for ways to confirm your crappy "hypothesis" - that is not how science proceeds. You should be looking for ways to *disprove* it.

From what I've seen of you you're a muddled thinker who can't even *state* a hypothesis coherently, so fuck dancing around playing games answering your daft questions about which category of atheist I fit into.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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18-09-2016, 03:10 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(18-09-2016 01:10 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Last night, I emailed three experts, Paul Bloom, Deb Kellemen, and Justin Barrett and asked them two questions:

1. Can you confirm that your research seems to indicate that most of us are born with a propensity to believe in a God or gods? (ie. see teleology in nature.)

2. How can we account for those people who are born without this innate belief?

Atheist Paul Bloom has responded. He confirmed Number 1 but clarified that seeing teleology in nature did not necessarily equate with belief in a god. He believes the first is innate and the second is not.

Which is what people here have been telling you repeatedly.

Quote:He also sent me a paper which he said addressed my second question. Although the paper was marked, "Do not distribute," I found it elsewhere online. Here it is:

Isn't it the atheists that are supposed to be the immoral ones? You have zero integrity.

Quote:The paper outlines 4 types of atheist:
...
The paper states:
"... These four paths to atheism are theoreti-
cally distinct, but are often intertwined in the real world."

So my question to all of you is this:

Which type of atheist are you: 1, 2, 3 or 4?

Even if I bought into that gross oversimplification, do you not understand the bit about "are often intertwined in the real world"? Is reading only the bits that you think help your case just habitual with you?

Quote:The mind-blind atheist would roughly correspond with my term "atheopath" and because this has some history in the literature, I think I will, in future, switch my term for theirs.

Yes, one inappropriate and derogatory label is as good as the other. In this case, blindness is in the eye of the beholder I suppose.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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18-09-2016, 03:18 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(18-09-2016 02:59 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(18-09-2016 01:27 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  That is not only not right, it is not even wrong. My preconceptions would say we are all born atheists. I was wrong.

So are you going to read the paper and answer the question? Or do YOUR biases and preconceptions prevent you from doing so?

I read shit I'm interested in, why should I do your research for you? Your bullshit is still bullshit, even if you flavour it differently. You're looking for ways to confirm your crappy "hypothesis" - that is not how science proceeds. You should be looking for ways to *disprove* it.

From what I've seen of you you're a muddled thinker who can't even *state* a hypothesis coherently, so fuck dancing around playing games answering your daft questions about which category of atheist I fit into.

Quote:You're looking for ways to confirm your crappy "hypothesis" - that is not how science proceeds.

But that is creationist standard practice - start with your preconception then carefully select only the evidence that supports it. Or bend the counter evidence through 180 degrees to fit. Even if it neans lying by omission.

Perhaps JC will smack their wrists for bring naughty when they reach their promised land?

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18-09-2016, 03:20 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(17-09-2016 10:55 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  My God you people are stupid.

I'll just leave this here.

Atheists also are more likely to be white (78% are Caucasian vs. 66% for the general public) and highly educated: About four-in-ten atheists (43%) have a college degree, compared with 27% of the general public.

#sigh
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18-09-2016, 04:50 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
I must say that the paper I posted earlier which was sent to me today by Paul Bloom is really an amazing confirmation of many of the things I've been saying and thinking, both here on the forum, and over the last few months. I came to many of these conclusions myself so as I'm reading the paper, I'm predicting what they are going to say and then they say it. Here's an example:

"If mentalizing supports the mental representation of
gods, then weaker mentalizing tendencies, associated with
the autistic spectrum and also commonly found in men
more than in women, may undermine the intuitiveness of
supernatural agents and reduce religious belief. Recent
studies provide support for this hypothesis. First, the autism
spectrum is associated with lower levels of belief
in a personal God [24]. Second, men tend to be less religious
than women, and men are overrepresented among atheists
[32]. Crucially, mentalizing tendencies statistically mediate
both of these effects, controlling for a number of potentially
confounding factors [24]. Taken together, these
findings support the hypothesis that one path towards
greater disbelief arises from comparatively weak mentalizing
abilities, which render the representation of personified
divine beings unintuitive."

Here's the paper again for your convenience:

https://psychology.as.uky.edu/sites/defa...TiCS_0.pdf

And as I have previously mentioned, dopamine has been correlated to spiritual experiences (see the link below) so lower dopamine levels in the brain would inhibit those experiences.

https://aeon.co/essays/the-dopamine-swit...nd-fanatic

This is site says:

"Psychiatrically speaking, it is probably not a coincidence that dopamine related disorders, such as schizophrenia, addiction, ADHD and autism are more common in men, whereas the serotonin/norepinephrine linked anxiety and depressive disorders are more common in women."

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evo...en-and-men

So back to my original hypothesis, it could be that lower dopamine levels in the brain could also be responsible for mind-blind atheism (what I previously called atheopathy). And what causes lower dopamine levels? Perhaps a genetic mutation - as I originally proposed - or maybe it happens during the development of the fetus in the womb as is the case with homosexuality. This requires further investigation.
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18-09-2016, 05:30 PM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2016 05:52 PM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
I think Randy has totally misunderstood what Dr. Gervais is saying. When I found the link broken, I read another paper that was linked to the same page, and found a discussion of (basically) "Why is it so hard for people to realize that evolution is reality?" (My paraphrase, but I think an accurate one.) In that paper, he discusses belief vs. nonbelief, and talks about the mechanism Randy has been misinterpreting. Sorry for the oncoming spam. Bolding, of course, my own.

The fact that organisms have evolved, and continue to evolve, is scientifically speaking
not controversial. Evolution by natural selection is among the most successful ideas in the
history of ideas.
Despite this, billions worldwide view it with suspicion and instead prefer
supernatural creationist accounts of the origins of species. It is possible that reliably developing
intuitions regarding essentialism, teleology, order, and agency converge to make creationism
intuitively compelling and evolution a tougher sell. However, people are not blindly led by their
intuitions, they can also engage in analytic thinking to (at least sometimes) inhibit or override
their intuitions. In the domain of supernatural cognition, analytic thinking tends to reduce belief
in supernatural agents.
Combined, these various lines of research suggest, perhaps, that a tension
between intuitions and analytic thinking may influence people’s endorsement of evolution.
Specifically, people who are more willing or able to engage analytic thinking might be more
likely to endorse evolution than people who tend to trust their intuitions. If true, then measures of
analytic thinking should predict greater endorsement of evolution. In the present paper, two large
studies tested this core hypothesis.

In addition, these studies attempted to view analytic thinking and evolution within a
broader cultural context. Supernatural belief and disbelief does not simply come down to a tug-
of-war between intuitions and analytic thinking: cultural learning is also a key component (e.g.,
Norenzayan & Gervais, 2013). While intuitions might make some supernatural concepts (including,
it seems, creationism) compelling, they do not in isolation produce beliefs
(e.g,. Banerjee & Bloom,
2013; Gervais & Henrich, 2010; Gervais, et al., 2011). Indeed, supernatural beliefs may require
cultural learners to observe people actually acting on them in order to foster belief in naïve learners.
These actions are termed credibility enhancing displays (or CREDs, for short) of others’ beliefs

(Henrich, 2009). Credibility enhancing displays of religious faith have previously been linked to individual
differences in supernatural beliefs (e.g., Gervais & Najle, revision invited; Lanman, 2012;
Lanman & Buhrmester, under review). Plausibly, they also help bolster creationist beliefs.


In other words, Randy has the cart before the horse. People are not born with a tendency toward theism, but a tendency toward rational thinking or toward intuitive thinking (this idea is old as the terms "left brain" versus "right brain", which are of course misnomers but are still used to describe rationalists and intuitive types, respectively). Rationalists are less likely to let their agency-assigning hardware and other "feelings" get in the way of their eventual analysis of the issue at hand, while intuitivists are more likely to see angels in the clouds, so to speak.

Most importantly to note, in that link/paper, is that it's not an on/off switch. People have varying degrees of intuition and rationalism, and one may or may not be dominant. This is further compounded by cultural training and whether or not that person has been subjected to cultural training (CREDs) that tell them they should go along with the group belief (after all, I love my family and all these people in my social circles, and they can't be crazy, not like those moon-worshipers over in the next valley!), and to what degree they are resistant to the go-along urge which encourages them to see the same patterns in the world as their peers and family. In other words, religionists may be people who have adapted to be more tribal and go-along and/or submissive... I suspect this is why so many religions emphasize submission, while rationalists tend to buck the system. Too many of those in a tribe, and you have poor cooperation; too few, and you have no visionaries or leaders. I suspect it is out of this dichotomy that the "priest class" was born... or as we like to joke, "when the first liar met the first sucker".

But it's not an insult to religionists or atheists, it's just an application of certain types of brains and certain types of cultural exposure. It's a good thing that we have intuitivists in this culture; we need art, and music, and poetry, and literature, et cetera, and we certainly were helped along in our evolution by the rise of the tribes who were more cohesive and better able to survive. It's also a good thing that we have rationalists, so we can have this conversation on a computer.

The takeaway here is that it's not an on/off switch or an either/or... that's why there are Christian evolutionary biologists, and atheist artists. Like most things in neurological development, it's a vast pattern of various grey-shades.

To try to take that complex picture, gloss over the first tentative research into the idea of how we might explain that vast landscape of the mind... then to coin a term like "atheopath" and twist that research to say what it does not really say for the purpose of assuring yourself that those dirty-dirty-people-who-don't-believe-as-I-do are somehow damaged or broken is simple scumbaggery.

P.S. - I bolded "most successful ideas in the history of ideas" not for reasons of this discussion. I just wanted to point out just how off his rocker Randy is, and that even this professor would think so if he read Randy's other ideas.

"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, 05:31 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
More links:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the...male-brain

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empathizin...ing_theory

It's interesting to note that more males are atheists; more males are autistics; more males are scientists. Science requires systemizing. Males are also lower in empathy than females and so are atheists.

So are low dopamine levels connected to less empathy? Turns out they are:

http://psychcentral.com/news/2015/03/20/...82561.html
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