What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
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04-04-2017, 08:48 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(04-04-2017 03:59 AM)SYZ Wrote:  Oh dear... I'm sorry now I ever suggested that 61% of a population doesn't count as "most" of it... Rolleyes

It's certainly stirred up the grammar pedants!

I can't blame them.

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, 08:51 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(04-04-2017 08:12 AM)SYZ Wrote:  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

I just went by that number that self-identify as atheists, but I stand corrected, if we include non-self identifying atheists, you're still left with about 75% of folks who believe in God of some sort.

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

Well, then you clearly don't know much about theism, lol. If you're not an athiest, as you put it among the 25% who don't believe in any gods, your a theists of some form of the other.

Quote: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.


Being religious and being a theist don't mean the same thing. If the OP was why are some people susceptible to being religious, your point might be relevant, but instead it was a question about belief in god.

"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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04-04-2017, 08:52 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(04-04-2017 08:12 AM)SYZ Wrote:  
(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.

Ouch indeed. Thumbsup

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04-04-2017, 09:17 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(04-04-2017 08:23 AM)tomilay Wrote:  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.

Well, I'd say when your dealing with beliefs common to 97% of the world population, closer to a 100% in the past, you're no longer speaking of the psychology of some subset of people, but humanity, human beings in general, and not "theist" per se.
That it starts to venture on the silly to say that same underlying psychological phenomenon, doesn't exist for atheists as well, just with a different set of corresponding beliefs.

What I take issue with is tendency to imagine such a common psychological phenomena, and remove yourself from that equation, when you should consider thinking a bit more inward, because it's all a bit more complicated that we let on, in our crude explanations of others.

For example, if the tendency towards theism, is influenced by positive experiences, and exposure to individuals who hold theistic/religious beliefs, then it follows that positive exposure to people who hold certain beliefs, theistic, or non-theistic, influences whether you eventually hold those beliefs or not.

I.E negative exposure to atheists, such as on internet forums, might make one, such as myself less inclined to become an atheist, and positive exposures might make one more inclined.

"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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04-04-2017, 09:48 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(04-04-2017 09:17 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(04-04-2017 08:23 AM)tomilay Wrote:  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.

Well, I'd say when your dealing with beliefs common to 97% of the world population, closer to a 100% in the past, you're no longer speaking of the psychology of some subset of people, but humanity, human beings in general, and not "theist" per se.
That it starts to venture on the silly to say that same underlying psychological phenomenon, doesn't exist for atheists as well, just with a different set of corresponding beliefs.

What I take issue with is tendency to imagine such a common psychological phenomena, and remove yourself from that equation, when you should consider thinking a bit more inward, because it's all a bit more complicated that we let on, in our crude explanations of others.

For example, if the tendency towards theism, is influenced by positive experiences, and exposure to individuals who hold theistic/religious beliefs, then it follows that positive exposure to people who hold certain beliefs, theistic, or non-theistic, influences whether you eventually hold those beliefs or not.

I.E negative exposure to atheists, such as on internet forums, might make one, such as myself less inclined to become an atheist, and positive exposures might make one more inclined.

Suppose 100% of humans, are religious. What does that have to do with anything in this discussion? It's still a psychology worth examining.

Of course the psychology behind atheism is interesting, even if it is not the subject of this thread.

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, 11:58 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 07:51 PM)Aliza Wrote:  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.
Not enough to pick that battle, I'd say. I have come to believe that even liberal / loosely held religious beliefs that don't conflict in any meaningful way with science, are not 100% innocuous, and can at times lead to irrational or poorly adapted behavior. Still, I can't see such people as any sort of significant threat vector to myself personally or to society. And I cannot make the claim that atheists are somehow 100% rational actors. Everyone has to do what they have to do to get through their days, and as my late wife used to joke, I'll take a false sense of security if it's all I can get.

It is not that I think unbelief is the only way, or even the better way for all comers, just that I think it's far more likely to lead to good outcomes, all things being equal.

Alas, in the messy Real World, not all things are equal. The mental and emotional stress of deconversion for some combinations of people and situations, can be a net negative, for example. I am never eager to disturb someone's religious slumber just to notch some sort of "rightness points" for myself. I'm always keeping in mind that when I deconverted, the cognitive dissonance between what my faith of origin promised and what it actually delivered, was simply replaced by the absurdity of an indifferent, impersonal universe and the difference between what I expected / hoped for in life and what I got. It is not as if the comforting lies were replaced by comforting truths. Dead people stay dead, unrealized dreams mostly don't become realizable, particularly past a certain point in life. Religious faith may offer false hope, but it is hope at least. And if it's hope that works for someone, then my motivation to try to open their eyes to reality has very little to do with the belief that in so doing I will make them happier and more self-actualized. My motivation has to do with preventing the harms their beliefs inflict on others. These harms aren't even strictly religious in nature; authoritarianism for example doesn't require a religious justification to exist.
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04-04-2017, 12:14 PM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(04-04-2017 08:12 AM)SYZ Wrote:  Incidentally, the 22.3% who declare "no religion" can hardly be considered theists by any stretch of the imagination LOL.
People who are areligious are not making a statement about their belief position on deities, they are making a statement about whether they participate in any particular religious clubhouse or identify with any particular religious practice. While a lot of that 22.3% are either unbelieving or don't conduct their lives any differently than an unbeliever, they still potentially could have any sort of theistic beliefs. The only ones you can take to the bank don't believe in any deities are the ones willing to say so explicitly.

It is logical to assume that a significant number of people don't believe or have extremely serious doubts, but still aren't willing to admit it, even to themselves. One of my surviving brothers fits that description. He was raised with unbelief in the category of "unthinkable", so it is just not a place he goes to in his thoughts. He hasn't been to church in thirty years, has no prayer or devotional life, but he still keeps a few church-y sayings on the walls of his apartment and will answer yes if you ask him if he's a Christian. Privately, to me and probably his wife, he will admit that he doesn't believe in god, but somehow he can't bring himself to apply the A-label. He is not one who would say "Atheist" on a survey. He can't bring himself to admit it. He's conditioned to see it as a personal failure.
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04-04-2017, 07:14 PM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 08:22 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(03-04-2017 08:14 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  To be fair you changed “moderate beliefs” to “moderate religious values” not that if you interchanged them it would substantially change your question, or would it? Consider

I didn't notice the slip. To me religious values and beliefs are pretty much the same thing, but that may be because I'm from an action based religion, not a faith or belief based religion. I don't think it changes the question, though. Even if someone was raised to believe in Jesus, does that automatically mean that they need to be cured? Adding to that, the question is about someone from a well adjusted home.

What exactly is there to cure?

Not addressed to me, and no disrespect intended, but values and beliefs the same? I can see how values are something you hold on faith in a sense, no matter how you choose to rationalize them. I guess used in the religious sense "believe" expresses what you have confidence in beyond the hope of proof. I guess that is really what is meant by faith. I have faith my wife loves me. To say I hope she loves me doesn't really convey the same sense I suppose. I don't think I need a cure for believing my wife loves me either.

Somehow it bothers me to use "believe" to describe that which I "hope" is true rather than what I think there is good reason to believe. But in regards to that which there are no conclusive reasons to go on I suppose I can see why you do it.

“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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04-04-2017, 07:28 PM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 08:32 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(03-04-2017 08:22 PM)Aliza Wrote:  What exactly is there to cure?

It would be an excellent start if we could cure theists of thinking they know what they only believe. All sorts of mischief springs from that proclivity.


Yeah, I think it behooves everyone to embrace their ultimate agnosticism, believers as much as atheists. It is fine to hang in there on faith regarding what there is no hope of verifying in conventional ways. But what's wrong with admitting that's what you're doing, especially to yourself?

“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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04-04-2017, 07:47 PM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(04-04-2017 05:32 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I feel like it's to do with the ability and desire to uniformly apply scepticism/critical thinking. If you lack either, and you're surrounded by believers, you'll probably become one.

I'm always interested in what would have happened if I was indoctrinated into religion. I feel like I'd probably have found my way out, but I'm sure that hard enough indoctrination could break anyone.


We probably disagree about this, but I find I much more often agree with you. I don't know that one can by skepticism and critical thinking alone put together a meaningful set of goals and values. There is more than that to being a person I think but I don't have a rock solid interpersonal case to make for this. So you go be you.

“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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