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Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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09-09-2016, 02:46 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 11:05 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  
(08-09-2016 08:18 AM)Chas Wrote:  I'm afraid you failed right out of the gate. Your thesis #1 is self-contradictory.

If something is not supernatural or non-natural, it is within the purview of science.

I'm guessing you don't actually understand what science is.

I'm guessing you didn't actually understand what I wrote since that's what I said. Wink

My book will not conclude that we are born with a belief in God because God put it there but because evolution did. In fact, there will be no mention of a god in the actual hypothesis part because science does not appeal to supernatural explanations. That's methodological naturalism.

We are born with agency detection abilities, not beliefs. You seem to be conflating the two.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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09-09-2016, 03:02 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 01:05 AM)Vosur Wrote:  The article OP referenced doesn't even dispute the notion that children are born as atheists. Dr. Barrett's research showed that young children are predisposed to believe that even things in nature were created with a purpose in mind; it didn't show that they believe in a monotheistic, all-powerful deity from the moment they are born or that they believe this deity to be the one who created things in nature. Maybe Dr. Barrett should have asked these children who they thought created those birds instead of inserting his views in place of their own.

Why would Barrett have asked that, since that wasn't his claim or suggestion?

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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09-09-2016, 03:12 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 10:43 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Excellent point, Tomasia. But since some people claim to have been born without this, it calls out for an explanation. One problem I might have is collecting data on is exactly what percentage of atheists are true atheopaths and what percentage are atheists for other reasons (eg. they don't see any evidence) because I think there simply hasn't been enough research done into this area. Who wants to volunteer for an MRI? LOL!

Well if they truly were born without a predisposition to teleological views, I'd likely agree that it's the result of a biological abnormality, akin to what would be the case with autistic children and their handicapped inferential capacities.

I'd argue that my counterpart whose child-self was absent of such predispositions, and my child-self inclined to it, that our differences here are likely to be more innate than merely environmentally driven. More akin to the difference between my child self, and an autistic child, than two kids born in two different social environments.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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09-09-2016, 03:13 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 03:02 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Why would Barrett have asked that, since that wasn't his claim or suggestion?
Your question is based on a false premise. This quote comes straight from the article: "Dr Barrett said there is evidence that even by the age of four, children understand that although some objects are made by humans, the natural world is different. He added that this means children are more likely to believe in creationism rather than evolution, despite what they may be told by parents or teachers."

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09-09-2016, 03:20 AM
Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 03:13 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(09-09-2016 03:02 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Why would Barrett have asked that, since that wasn't his claim or suggestion?
Your question is based on a false premise. This quote comes straight from the article: "Dr Barrett said there is evidence that even by the age of four, children understand that although some objects are made by humans, the natural world is different. He added that this means children are more likely to believe in creationism rather than evolution, despite what they may be told by parents or teachers."

I'm not sure how that quote changes anything here, since Barret didn't appeal to monotheism, just that children's propensity to a teleological view of nature, makes them more likely to be drawn to creationism more so than non-teleological views like evolution.




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"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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09-09-2016, 03:28 AM
Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 06:48 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(08-09-2016 01:47 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I doubt there are many 5 year olds who view life as meaningless noise, nihilist, or imagine their existence is a product of some cosmic accident. They'd be inclined to believe the opposite. . A variety of studies indicate that children are inclined to teleology, even when raised in non-religious households. And hence the predominance of religious tendencies, the prevalence of spiritual beliefs, beliefs in a sacred order, found in some for or other in every civilization that has existed. I'm not sure how you can account for such a near universal beliefs, without a predisposition to it.

You really don't get it do you ? Your head is SO FAR up your judgmental ass. Of course they don't. But what they perceive is not granted by deities, you fool. Let's see these "varieties of studies", and PROVE they were not influenced by their environment. Does the Chinese child believe in the gods from Utah ? Fuck you are stupid. Children LEARN from their environment, which is why the VAST majority believe in the gods from the culture they grew up in. Your ASSertions are dismissed, as they are unsupported by ANY data.


The Chinese child and the Utah child are inclined to believe some sort of created order, a belief in some sort of non-human creator, teleology, the specifies of these particular teleological beliefs, and the disparity between the two can be linked to social and cultural influences.

What the Chinese child and the Utah child would have in common is a belief that nature is a part of a teleological order, that it's purposeful, and intentional at its foundation. This is a product of their biological disposition




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"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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09-09-2016, 03:35 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 02:08 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(08-09-2016 08:53 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  Damn, how could i miss that one. Weeping
Couldnt see the forest for the trees Facepalm

I think you guys may be misreading his statement. He's not going to look for scientific evidence of God's existence. He has already admitted that that question is outside the realm of science. Therefore, he is not considering that question at all. What he is considering is whether or not humans are born with a default tendency toward "belief" -- and that question may be amenable to scientific investigation. I think that's all he's saying, and I don't think it's contradictory. Granted, he could have said it more clearly.

Short version: This thread is not about God's existence. It's about belief in God's existence. Subtle but important difference.

If what he meant was "This discussion is not about God's existence or not" then he could have written "This discussion is not about God's existence or not" instead of the contradictory crap he actually wrote.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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09-09-2016, 03:35 AM
Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 06:52 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
Quote:2. Theism is the default position. We are all born believers. Evolution has caused us to be this way due to its survival advantage.

Prove it. Anthropologists know approximately when religions arose VERY VERY late in human history. You're simply dead wrong there. How does believing in fairies promote survival ?

The same way that a belief that your life is meaningful promotes survival, or Hope promotes survival, that your life serves a purpose promotes survival. Communal Nihilism, likely wouldn't get a society too far.

If you're sending men off on a ship to war in the ancient world, it's best to believe that there's a transcendent power that's on their side, that protects them, rather than in the blind and indiscriminate forces of nature.




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"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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09-09-2016, 03:36 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(08-09-2016 11:05 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  
(08-09-2016 08:18 AM)Chas Wrote:  I'm afraid you failed right out of the gate. Your thesis #1 is self-contradictory.

If something is not supernatural or non-natural, it is within the purview of science.

I'm guessing you don't actually understand what science is.

I'm guessing you didn't actually understand what I wrote since that's what I said. Wink

My book will not conclude that we are born with a belief in God because God put it there but because evolution did. In fact, there will be no mention of a god in the actual hypothesis part because science does not appeal to supernatural explanations. That's methodological naturalism.

No, that is not what you said. You attempted to dress it up and in doing so made it incoherent.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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09-09-2016, 03:36 AM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(09-09-2016 03:20 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I'm not sure how that quote changes anything here, since Barret didn't appeal to monotheism, just that children's propensity to a teleological view of nature, makes them more likely to be drawn to creationism more so than non-teleological views like evolution.
What exactly do you think "creationism" means?

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