What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
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02-04-2017, 11:40 PM
What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
I think we all are if it is successfully implanted from birth by otherwise good parents who hold moderate beliefs which don't too glaringly run afoul of well established science. If the parents are essentially successful in the world with good people skills and get you praying to a God they fervently believe is right there with you .. you're probably hooked. Hell, you might even enjoy it. Many who have contracted god-belief will tell you they do not want the cure.

I don't think believers must be mentally deficient or morally flawed to hold on to their god. Nor do I think those of us who test negative for the condition are necessarily of superior IQ or morally superior for our greater insistence on the Truth.

That said, I'm still happy to live my one, mortal life in as clear a light as I can manage and to see the world as it is, free of any cult beliefs - no matter how highly these may be valued by ones loving parents. Doesn't make me better. It just makes me me.

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
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03-04-2017, 02:16 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
I would agree with most of what you're saying, but I don't think it's necessarily productive to call religious belief a "delusion" or a "condition." There's a great deal that can be attributed to our pattern recognition tendencies, the promise of salvation, and misplaced trust in religious "authorities." People are terrified of death. Should we really be surprised that the most popular religions promise immortality in the form of an afterlife? It's not a disorder - it's wishful thinking. Christianity in particular preys on some of our deepest insecurities and is really quite manipulative.

Considering that most people believe in a God, I think that it would be fair to say that most people are susceptible to religious belief.
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03-04-2017, 03:09 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 02:16 AM)Ordinary Atheist Wrote:  I would agree with most of what you're saying, but I don't think it's necessarily productive to call religious belief a "delusion" or a "condition." There's a great deal that can be attributed to our pattern recognition tendencies, the promise of salvation, and misplaced trust in religious "authorities." People are terrified of death. Should we really be surprised that the most popular religions promise immortality in the form of an afterlife? It's not a disorder - it's wishful thinking. Christianity in particular preys on some of our deepest insecurities and is really quite manipulative.

I would say that religion is no small part creates fear on which it feeds. Nothing scary in nonexistence (for me at least) but if you add place of eternal torment to the mix then fear can be real.

Quote:Considering that most people believe in a God, I think that it would be fair to say that most people are susceptible to religious belief.

Or just most people were indoctrinated during childhood. It isn't as they came with idea of god on their own.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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03-04-2017, 03:46 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 02:16 AM)Ordinary Atheist Wrote:  Considering that most people believe in a God, I think that it would be fair to say that most people are susceptible to religious belief...

I'm not sure where you drew this factoid from? In Australia at our last Federal Census in 2011, 31.7% of the population described themselves as "atheist" or "no religion". Only 61.1% described themselves as "Christian".

I also disagree with your claim that "most" people are susceptible to religious belief; less are in increasing numbers, as religion loses its hold on a scientifically-enlightened 21st-century population. In the same Census, there was an increase of 1,100,725 respondents describing themselves as "atheist"—out of a population of 23 million.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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03-04-2017, 04:50 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(02-04-2017 11:40 PM)whateverist Wrote:  I don't think believers must be mentally deficient or morally flawed to hold on to their god. Nor do I think those of us who test negative for the condition are necessarily of superior IQ or morally superior for our greater insistence on the Truth...

Statistically (and surprisingly) people who have no religious beliefs do actually have higher IQs than theists.

A survey that found that only 7% of members of the American National Academy of Sciences believed in God. A survey of fellows of the Royal Society found that only 3.3% believed in God at a time when a poll reported that 68.5% of the general UK population were believers. [Harvey, J. and Nyborg, H. ]

Another set of studies was based on students of New York’s Hunter College Elementary School for the intellectually gifted. This school selects its students based on a test given at a young age. To study their religiosity, graduates of this school were queried when they were between the ages of 38 and 50. They all had IQs that exceeded 140, and the study found that only 16% of them derived personal satisfaction from religion. [Terman, L. and Oden, M. ]

And this graph illustrates the correlation of "religious" countries with IQ:

[Image: LynnHarveyNyborg-Atheism-IQ-640x426.png]
The relationship between countries' belief in a god and national average IQ
[Richard Lynn, John Harvey & Helmuth Nyborg ]

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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03-04-2017, 06:15 AM (This post was last modified: 03-04-2017 06:23 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(02-04-2017 11:40 PM)whateverist Wrote:  I don't think believers must be mentally deficient or morally flawed to hold on to their god.

One mistake atheists make rather consistenty is to assume that most people should have an interest in being intellectuals, or at least being logically consistent. But evolutionary psychology tells us that people are motivated by whatever assures their survival and propagation. For most people, that means integration into whatever societies serve such motivations. Religions provide common values, mutual support, community, and opportunities to find mates, and those advantages often stand in the way of people leaving their religions That really is all they have to do to be successful.
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03-04-2017, 06:20 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
People with the combination of illogical thinking and preferring comfort to reality.

I also prefer comfort to reality but I'm just not illogical enough to accept the idea of a god to make me feel better even if I want to.

All my favorite people are atheists so I'd say I get more comfort from being an atheist though anyways. I like fitting in with other logical people.

I'd say I was irrational but logical. Lol. I'll happily choose comfirmation bias over reality if it helps me with my depression..........which is why I'm irrational....... buttttttttt I'm good at spotting bad logic.
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03-04-2017, 06:45 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
Sigh.

What I was going to say has been said already, so I'll just add a couple of tables:

The desire (to belong etc.) is innate. Hard wired in our soft tissue.
Thanks Darwin.

The beliefs are the Apps uploaded in our early years:

[Image: slide_18.jpg]

And the theism of choice is the data input by our environment.

And just in case atheists get too smug about IQ, Intelligence is but one of the "Big 5" factors that influence personality.

So low IQ (linked to lack of openness) is quite probably relevant but Agreeableness and Neuroticism (instability) are likely contributors too.

[Image: pq0455.png]

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03-04-2017, 07:06 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
I think everyone is susceptible to religious belief. It's just the standard of evidence that is personally acceptable, and willingness to critically examine said evidence, that varies from individual to individual. Tbh, I don't think that a the majority of theists really give the veracity of their beliefs much thought.

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03-04-2017, 07:13 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(02-04-2017 11:40 PM)whateverist Wrote:  I think we all are if it is successfully implanted from birth by otherwise good parents who hold moderate beliefs which don't too glaringly run afoul of well established science. If the parents are essentially successful in the world with good people skills and get you praying to a God they fervently believe is right there with you .. you're probably hooked. Hell, you might even enjoy it. Many who have contracted god-belief will tell you they do not want the cure.

I don't think believers must be mentally deficient or morally flawed to hold on to their god. Nor do I think those of us who test negative for the condition are necessarily of superior IQ or morally superior for our greater insistence on the Truth.

That said, I'm still happy to live my one, mortal life in as clear a light as I can manage and to see the world as it is, free of any cult beliefs - no matter how highly these may be valued by ones loving parents. Doesn't make me better. It just makes me me.

Anybody with a capacity for imagination. All of us but at varying degrees. The more susceptible of us would also tend to be more susceptible to propaganda in general. Conformists. Tribalists...people drawn to activities that promote the herd instinct. It's inefficient for everybody to have to think and discover for themselves, therefore people defer to accepted ideas.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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