What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
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04-04-2017, 07:31 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 10:07 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(03-04-2017 10:01 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  I disagree, it impacts mine and everyone else’s. It impacts real world decision-making.

I’ll use one example, environmental issues. Because thinking that their time on earth is but a pit-stop on our way to heaven those people end up treating the planet with incredible short-sightedness. Jeebus is going to rapture me and make all this a moot point changes how they interact with the world and others.

I am a theist. I believe in G-d, as you're well aware. Yet my religion teaches its followers to heal the world. We're taught to live in the here and now and not spend time dwelling on the idea of an afterlife.

Do I need to be cured?

Meh. Maybe it's better if you don't answer that. I might not like the response. Dodgy

You practice a benign form of religion Aliza. It makes no difference to me because I don’t perceive it impacting me in any way. You don’t proselytize and it appears you support keeping church and State separate. If only all the religious were like you the world would be a better place.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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04-04-2017, 07:33 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 09:00 PM)Aliza Wrote:  ALL groups of people can hold beliefs that are irrational, illogical, based on faulty data, or based entirely on personal preferences. ALL people need to learn the skill of thinking critically. I'm pretty sure if we could all do that, we wouldn't care if someone also believes in Jesus, Vishnu, or they choose to wrap their heads in a scarf, or whatever else.

I'm a lot less worried about what people think in their heads than I am about how those thoughts affect them mentally, socially and developmentally. Thinking Jesus is real doesn't negatively impact someone's life. Being unable to function in normative society is the real problem.

It may be true of all people, but it is more true of some people than others, and it is especially true of people who belong to communities where strong belief is considered a primary virtue. When people are so encouraged, it's just a short step from strong belief to claims of knowledge.

No doubt many of such people can compartmentalize their beliefs so they don't interfere with their functioning in normative society, but why try to handicap them at all with ideas which are unlikely in the extreme?
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04-04-2017, 07:48 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(04-04-2017 06:56 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  I think different people will be susceptible to different beliefs.

A jihadist and an evangelist both believe in god, but the mental and physical manifestations of those beliefs are vastly different.

I would also caution reliance on statistics. Statistical data must be weighed, verified and considered. Relevance, accuracy and bias must be taken into account, as well as the purpose for which the statistics are being used.

There are some people who are susceptible to some messed up political beliefs. Even before we were associating certain religious groups with certain parties, people were polarized to some degree or another when it came to running the government.

Even now, we gave atheist republicans and democrats in the US. Of course, I know which party is right, but I must contend with these brainwashed nut jobs on the other side.
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04-04-2017, 07:52 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(04-04-2017 07:31 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(03-04-2017 10:07 PM)Aliza Wrote:  I am a theist. I believe in G-d, as you're well aware. Yet my religion teaches its followers to heal the world. We're taught to live in the here and now and not spend time dwelling on the idea of an afterlife.

Do I need to be cured?

Meh. Maybe it's better if you don't answer that. I might not like the response. Dodgy

You practice a benign form of religion Aliza. It makes no difference to me because I don’t perceive it impacting me in any way. You don’t proselytize and it appears you support keeping church and State separate. If only all the religious were like you the world would be a better place.

But OP is referring to moderate people whose beliefs don't go against well supported science, not the fundamentalists.

I strongly oppose fundamentalism, but moderate religious people don't bother me at all. If they want their Jesus in their home and they're productive members of society, then why would I care if they think pro-Jesus thoughts?
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04-04-2017, 07:59 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
"What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?"

My personal opinion is anyone is susceptible to the god delusion. For as long as the human species has been in existence humans have had a desire to believe in something greater than themselves. Much of what people believe depends on the region of the world they were born into and the myths they have been taught while they were children. I was (as probably most on here were) taught that there is a supreme being that created this world and depending on the religion / religions rules this world with varying degrees of control.

It didn't take me long to figure out for myself that this was all bullshit and made up fairy tales but there are many that never make it out of that stage of what I tend to refer to as "mind infancy". Even the most normal, rational thinker can (and does) believe in a higher power. My mother is a prime example of just that type of person. Extremely intelligent but still vehemently believes that Jesus died on the cross for her sins and she will spend eternity in heaven. Of course me being an Atheist is a disturbing fact that she faces but we have come to terms with both of our beliefs. I don't try to convert her as long as she doesn't try to convert me (and especially my 11yr old daughter).

I usually use this as a very good example of what I believe and it is a pretty spot on description of why people believe what they believe.




I get to decide what my life looks like, not the other way around.
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04-04-2017, 08:08 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(04-04-2017 07:31 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  ...
you support keeping church and State separate.
...

And there are atheists who do not support that.

So there's that.

Domesticate it by making it compulsory and boring. Job done.

Yes

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04-04-2017, 08:12 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(04-04-2017 06:17 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I'm not sure why atheists always want to conflate non-religious and atheists. Self-identifying atheists makeup about 10% of the Australian populations. The nones, predominately tend to believe in a God of some sort, even though they don't identify with any particular religion.

Nope. Total bullshit. According to a 2004 study, 25% of Australians do not believe in any gods. [Norris, P. and Inglehart, R. 2004, Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press ]

Quote:So in reality, in consideration of the trends here, about 90% of Australians believe in a God of some-sort, are victims of the God delusion, 10% seems to have been able to be cured or remain uninfected.

Again; total bullshit. Incidentally, the 22.3% who declare "no religion" can hardly be considered theists by any stretch of the imagination LOL.

Additionally, the proportion of Australian respondents to the World Values Survey saying religion is "not at all important" to them has increased from 19% in 1994-98 to 37% in 2010-2014. Ouch.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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04-04-2017, 08:20 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
I'd presume everyone is susceptible in the right context. There's plenty of bullshit I've bought into, even if briefly, that just didn't happen to be spiritual in nature.

I was paranoid about using microwaves for a while because of some irrational reasoning about how it drains energy from food. I only drank raw milk for about a year. In my early years as a martial artist I went through a phase where I believed in qi. I may not have ever believed in anything we'd call God or define as a god but, as a human, my mind is, as Neil DeGrasse Tyson would put it, a poor data taking device. I make a point to apply skeptical analyses to new information, and when I discover that I haven't been doing that I then make a point to reapply it to things I already believe to be true, but irrational ideas creeping into my mind undetected are an inevitability.

'Murican Canadian
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04-04-2017, 08:23 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 07:47 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(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.

Its pretty hard to form a single psychological explanation for a phenomenon that affects about 97% of the global population, compared to the remaining 3%. Particularly when we're speaking in the billions, and across every culture, economic level, education, etc....

But I do think there's some truth to your assessment, I read a study recently, that showed that if you had positive religious influences in your life, you're more likely to be a believer, we're as negative experiences with religious people, lends more to rejecting that religion.

And as a religious person myself, I can say that having a religious mother, who I idealize in some way, has been a significant contributor to my sustained religious beliefs, friends, and community also play a role as well. I'd imagine if I was more receptive to the crowds who tend to see religion as a great evil, or a world of religious villains I might have been more receptive to disbelief.

Indeed there are more religious people. This makes disbelief the deviation from the norm. But it is a mistake to think that it confers a blanket of immunity from interrogation for the norm. There is still a psychological explanation for normal things and you shed some light on it in your post.

You allude obliquely to something I think is at play. Religion is like a drug - I don't mean this in a negative way. It makes believers feel good; they get to strengthen social bonds by sharing their collective helplessness in this world. The idea that someone not as helpless is looking out for them is restorative. To make it last, they internalize it as a fact.

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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04-04-2017, 08:36 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 07:51 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(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.

So if a person has been raised in a good home with stable, successful parents who impart moderate religious values that don't clash with science, then what exactly is there to cure?

Edit: (as Full Circle pointed out below) I'll change what I said from religious values to religious beliefs.

To be fair, whateverist refers to moderate beliefs which don't too glaringly run afoul of well established science. Your response appears to attempt to obscure the qualifiers.

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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