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Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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19-09-2016, 08:48 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(15-09-2016 12:04 PM)Gloucester Wrote:  
(15-09-2016 11:46 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Hmmm... Your quote is from Aliza, not Randy, and she's talking about the universe, not the earth. I think she just forgot the last three zeros. 15 billion years is in the right ballpark for the age of the universe. To avoid ambiguity (I believe "billion" is not interpreted the same way by Americans and Brits), I will rephrase that as 1.5 x 10^10 years.

Oops, apologies to both Aliza and Randy if I was in error!

Just grown to expect errors from Mr Ruggles.

I billion now accepted as 1000, 000, 000 in Britland as well these days.

I accept your apology - even though I have made no other errors. (Other than the one Aliza pointed out about Kettlewell in 1850.)
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19-09-2016, 08:50 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(15-09-2016 05:55 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  
(14-09-2016 11:34 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Christianity says you can never earn salvation by your good works. It is a free gift through a relationship with Christ.

Randy, kindly reconcile this doctrine with a god that creates people who are physically incapable of belief especially with respect to the afterlife these people can expect to suffer and the morality of said deity.

You said:

"with a god that creates people who are physically incapable of belief"

Which people are that? I know of no such people.
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19-09-2016, 09:08 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(19-09-2016 08:41 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  It is not. But that's a classic atheist tactic. Always accusing someone of lying, quote-mining or misrepresentation.

Because dishonest fuckers such as yourself do it constantly.

(19-09-2016 08:41 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  As an example, if I were to quote Stephen Jay Gould about lack of gradualism in the fossil record, some people protest, "Stephen Jay Gould is an evolutionist!"

Thank you Randy. Sincerely, thank you. You make it so easy.

Quote:Stephen J. Gould Quote on Lack of Gradualism:
"The main problem with such phyletic gradualism is that the fossil record provides so little evidence for it. Very rarely can we trace the gradual transformation of one entire species into another through a finely graded sequence of intermediary forms." (Gould, S.J. Luria, S.E. & Singer, S., A View of Life, 1981, p. 641)

And now, as the saying goes, the rest of the story. Continued later on the same page of Gould's quotation:

Quote:There is an alternative, however. Perhaps the fossil record is not so hopeless, and the observation of no change within species and sudden replacement between them reflects evolution as it actually occurs. Recall Chapter 26: Large, successful, central populations are resistant to evolutionary change. Small, isolated, marginal populations may speciate. The process of speciation, though slow to a human observer (hundreds or thousands of years), is geologically fleeting. In most geological situations, and at most rates of sedimentation, a thousand years translates into a single bedding plane, not a thick sequence of rock. Thus, if speciation is the dominate mode of evolution, we should expect to see exactly what we do see: the unchanging species represents a successful central population; its sudden replacement by a descendent records the migration into the ancestral area of a descendant that arose rapidly in a small population at the edge of the ancestor's geographical range. Thus, it is possible that most evolution occurs in the mode of speciation and that phyletic evolution is relatively unimportant.

Quote:So we see that Gould et al. don't reject evolution, but claim that phyletic evolution takes a second seat to speciation.
- Jon (Augray) Barber

linky linky

That's twice, Randy.

(19-09-2016 08:41 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  If he were a creationist, one might rightly dismiss his statement on account of bias.

Actually, this is worse than bias. What you are doing is taking a partial quote and making it mean something it doesn't.

A woman says: "My husband beat me last night at scrabble."

You are saying: "The woman said her husband beat her."

To use the vernacular: You a lyin' motherfucker!

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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19-09-2016, 09:09 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(19-09-2016 08:50 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  
(15-09-2016 05:55 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  Randy, kindly reconcile this doctrine with a god that creates people who are physically incapable of belief especially with respect to the afterlife these people can expect to suffer and the morality of said deity.

You said:

"with a god that creates people who are physically incapable of belief"

Which people are that? I know of no such people.

Facepalm "Mind-Blind" ring a bell?
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19-09-2016, 09:10 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(15-09-2016 08:07 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(14-09-2016 09:15 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  And while I acknowledge that atheists typically score higher on I.Q. tests, the truth is not quite so simple. First, I.Q. is only one measure of intelligence. And some would argue not necessarily the best one. Second, if you actually look at the data, the difference in I.Q. between believers and unbelievers was about 4 points with believers on average scoring 92 and atheists scoring 96. An I.Q. between 90 and 110 is considered average so these are both well within that range. Atheists will twist this data to say that believers are stupid when the truth is that they are average and atheists are simply MORE average. Wink

Yes.... speaking of twisting the truth. Dodgy

But anyway... I don’t agree that all people are born with an innate belief in G-d. This just goes against my own personal observation of the world around me, and you have not presented a compelling argument to change my mind. I don’t believe that you have the education needed to make an argument that will be effective at convincing anyone to take your position who wasn’t already aligned with your way of thinking. I suspect all you’re doing is repackaging existing information to sell to a market that already agrees with you. Whoopie do.

With that said, I do believe that some people may have a genetic link which may incline them to believe in a god, while others do not (note I said "I believe" and not "I know for sure"). I also suspect that link can potentially override one’s environmental exposure. A good way to test this may be to interview adoptees whose adoptive families hold a different position than their biological families. Have you conducted any interviews like this for your book?

I cannot accept that people who don’t believe in G-d must have something defective in their brains. It’s really arrogant to even suggest that, especially given that atheists are more educated, more intelligent (as you pointed out) and less selfishly motivated for doing acts of charity than Christians are. They're also under represented in prisons.

You said:

"I don’t agree that all people are born with an innate belief in G-d."

Neither do I - hence my hypothesis. Wink

You said:

"I suspect all you’re doing is repackaging existing information to sell to a market that already agrees with you."

I don't know what existing information you are referring to. There is very little information on this topic to begin with. And the irony is that, as I said before, most atheists will reject my premise because they think everyone is born atheist and Christians will reject my premise because they think everyone is born with an innate belief in God. So there will really be no one who already agrees with me.

That fact remains that the literature of the last 10 years says we have an innate predisposition to see teleology in nature. I am taking the word of some atheists who claim they were born with no such predisposition (admittedly I have no good evidence for that claim at this point) so I am trying to propose a scientific reason why this should be the case. Nothing more. No hidden agenda.

As a theist, the whole hypothesis goes against my personal beliefs which I think makes me an ideal candidate to investigate it since I have nothing invested in it other than discovering truth. I can be honest enough with myself to admit that I could be wrong and that maybe God does not exist. If that is true, we would still need a scientific explanation for why some people are born with this natural predisposition and others are not.

I think some people just have a hard time believing that someone can be so objective. But I don't find it difficult to step out of my worldview and say, "What if everything I think I know is wrong? What other explanation would there be?"

A few months ago, on FaceBook, I asked friends to ask me questions and I put myself in the place of an atheist. One person asked me where I derive meaning in my life without God. I said I think although there is no overarching objective meaning to life handed down from on high somewhere, I find meaning in music, in writing, in my friends and family, in studying science, etc.

I said that it is made all the more precious because this is the one and only life I'm ever going to have so I want to live life to fullest. Now, that's not how I really feel but that is how I would feel if I were an atheist. The experiment really helped me understand another point of view and have true love and compassion for people who don't think the way I do. Because I could be wrong.
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19-09-2016, 09:17 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(19-09-2016 08:50 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  You said:

"with a god that creates people who are physically incapable of belief"

Which people are that? I know of no such people.

*wave wave wave* Hi, Randy. I'm one of those people.

I've never been able to suspend disbelief to the degree required for religious faith, although I gave it a good try in earlier years. As near as I can figure, there's some sort of "safety" mechanism in My brain whereby one hemisphere is constantly assessing the other.

The overall effect is an always-on "Yeah, riiiiight..." generator that automatically short-circuits any attempt to believe something that is not supported by real-world evidence. At best I can pretend to believe something absurd for a short time, but it simply won't stick and there is never 100% commitment to the idea.
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19-09-2016, 09:22 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(15-09-2016 08:07 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(14-09-2016 09:15 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  And while I acknowledge that atheists typically score higher on I.Q. tests, the truth is not quite so simple. First, I.Q. is only one measure of intelligence. And some would argue not necessarily the best one. Second, if you actually look at the data, the difference in I.Q. between believers and unbelievers was about 4 points with believers on average scoring 92 and atheists scoring 96. An I.Q. between 90 and 110 is considered average so these are both well within that range. Atheists will twist this data to say that believers are stupid when the truth is that they are average and atheists are simply MORE average. Wink

Yes.... speaking of twisting the truth. Dodgy

But anyway... I don’t agree that all people are born with an innate belief in G-d. This just goes against my own personal observation of the world around me, and you have not presented a compelling argument to change my mind. I don’t believe that you have the education needed to make an argument that will be effective at convincing anyone to take your position who wasn’t already aligned with your way of thinking. I suspect all you’re doing is repackaging existing information to sell to a market that already agrees with you. Whoopie do.

With that said, I do believe that some people may have a genetic link which may incline them to believe in a god, while others do not (note I said "I believe" and not "I know for sure"). I also suspect that link can potentially override one’s environmental exposure. A good way to test this may be to interview adoptees whose adoptive families hold a different position than their biological families. Have you conducted any interviews like this for your book?

I cannot accept that people who don’t believe in G-d must have something defective in their brains. It’s really arrogant to even suggest that, especially given that atheists are more educated, more intelligent (as you pointed out) and less selfishly motivated for doing acts of charity than Christians are. They're also under represented in prisons.

You said:

"A good way to test this may be to interview adoptees whose adoptive families hold a different position than their biological families. Have you conducted any interviews like this for your book?"

No, I am just at the very beginning stages. Although I think I was reading something about that the other day. And certainly know of people who were raised in atheistic homes with no mention of God and yet they claimed to have always believed. Here is one such person (Watch starting at 03:15):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6HLg2XUFOg

You said:

"I cannot accept that people who don’t believe in G-d must have something defective in their brains."

I'm not saying that.

"It’s really arrogant to even suggest that, especially given that atheists are more educated, more intelligent (as you pointed out)"

Actually the better educated ones were more likely to be believers. And more intelligent by 4 points but still average.

"and less selfishly motivated for doing acts of charity than Christians are."

That part is complete false as I explained elsewhere.

"They're also under represented in prisons."

That is true. Christians admit they are broken. Many atheists are more moral than some Christians. No one claims they aren't. The problem is that atheists have no foundation for saying what is right and what is wrong. Most do not believe in objective morality. Like Dawkins said, there is no good and no evil (River Out of Eden) and objective morality usually comes from religion (The God Delusion.)
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19-09-2016, 09:29 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(15-09-2016 09:07 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(15-09-2016 08:50 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  ... Of course, you would have to have a compelling story. Obviously, "I've just never seen any evidence" won't quite do it.
...

com·pel·ling
adjective
not able to be resisted; overwhelming.

"... the lack of evidence was overwhelming."

(15-09-2016 08:50 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  ...
With a background in journalism, I am known for being unbiased.
...

I've seen some Murikan journalism on YouTube so I know that's a non sequitur.

Tongue

But you've already determined the true answer to the book title's question ... it's an '-opathy'.

Drinking Beverage

No. Remember I said that -opathies are only a very small percentage. Most arrive at their atheism for other reasons. Apathy, rejection of religion, reason. Dawkins said he became an atheist when he discovered Darwin. Hitchens said it was when his teacher gave him a dumb answer like, "Tress are green because God likes the colour green" and he just knew that answer was wrong.
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19-09-2016, 09:38 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(19-09-2016 08:50 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  
(15-09-2016 05:55 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  Randy, kindly reconcile this doctrine with a god that creates people who are physically incapable of belief especially with respect to the afterlife these people can expect to suffer and the morality of said deity.

You said:

"with a god that creates people who are physically incapable of belief"

Which people are that? I know of no such people.

How else am I to read this statement?

(07-09-2016 10:12 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  3. Atheopaths lack a belief in God. They are "born that way." Their "agency detector" is broken.

What you describe here is a person who is physically incapable of belief. They are born with a broken agency detector. Mind blind.

Since you are an adherent of ID I must assume that you believe that the AllMighty designed them that way.

We are thus left wondering for what purpose did god create people who would be incapable of knowing him. We are told that he loves us wants a "relationship" with us but according to scripture these poor atheopaths must be hell-bound from conception.

Hardly seems fair. Perhaps you'd like to correct any theological mistakes I've made here.

---
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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19-09-2016, 09:39 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(15-09-2016 09:27 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(15-09-2016 08:50 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  (Individual stories maybe - like "godless" by Dan barker.)

You could always start with this.

Read it. Excellent book. have it here on my bookshelf beside me. (See photo.) It gave me the idea to write an essay called, "Why I am Not an Atheist." I was working on it when Hitchens died and I dedicated it partially to him and my friend Eric:

I dedicate this essay to the late Christopher
Hitchens - every bit as brilliant, eloquent and
witty in his rhetoric as he was misguided in his
theology. Although I strongly disagreed with
many of his views, I had a deep appreciation
for his charm and intellect. I will miss him.

And to my good friend Eric, a highly-intelligent
non-believer - wise beyond his years - who recently
helped me through a very rough time in my life.
Love ya, buddy.


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