Why do atheists become atheists?
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31-01-2015, 05:23 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(30-01-2015 07:07 PM)bencandide Wrote:  The ´borne atheist´-statement is as true as the born theist statement. It is obvious, that first comes education and indoctrination (nearly the same), so an atheist society produces atheists and theist society produces theist.
That's trivial.

Nope. "A-theist" is without belief in gods. We are born without belief in gods. We are born atheist.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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31-01-2015, 05:59 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
Gary Edwards says atheism is the judgement that it is more unlikely that a god exists than likely, whereas theism is the judgement that it is more likely that a god exists than unlikely.




I'm happy to leave the whole "atheist babies" and "atheist rocks" arguments aside. If you are not capable (yet) of forming a judgement on the probability of a god then I am happier if neither side tries to claim you. People are born without the ability to form a judgement on this issue. I'm happy to leave them in a third category, neither atheist or theist.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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31-01-2015, 06:01 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(31-01-2015 05:23 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(30-01-2015 07:07 PM)bencandide Wrote:  The ´borne atheist´-statement is as true as the born theist statement. It is obvious, that first comes education and indoctrination (nearly the same), so an atheist society produces atheists and theist society produces theist.
That's trivial.

Nope. "A-theist" is without belief in gods. We are born without belief in gods. We are born atheist.

Well, that is true. But, the concept of atheist would not exist but for the concept theist.

So, from the baby's point if view, neither theism nor atheism exist. Until some nitwit implants it in baby's brain.

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31-01-2015, 06:08 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(31-01-2015 05:23 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(30-01-2015 07:07 PM)bencandide Wrote:  The ´borne atheist´-statement is as true as the born theist statement. It is obvious, that first comes education and indoctrination (nearly the same), so an atheist society produces atheists and theist society produces theist.
That's trivial.

Nope. "A-theist" is without belief in gods. We are born without belief in gods. We are born atheist.

My position is: We are born as a kind of blank, with some genetic disposition maybe for skepticism, curiosity, logic thinking and so on, but superstition could be another part of our genetic disposition.
I remember when I was a small child (4-6 years) during the night I did not dare to stretch out my legs outside the blanket, because I feared that demons could grab my feet. My parents never gave me any reason to believe that. I heard from others that they had similar anxieties.
Than have a look at all those people believing in astrology, strange numbers and other esoteric things - this is for me part of our religious or superstitious disposition.

In an age between 12 and 15 years I believed in the existence of a personal god - not thinking anything which could be read in the bible to be true.

So, how will this blank be filled and in which direction will it lead us?

For me it is impossible, to decide, whether I had a kind of atheistic or deistic (religious) disposition. Can you honestly decide this for you?

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31-01-2015, 06:25 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(31-01-2015 05:06 AM)Dom Wrote:  Whatever happened to plain common sense?

When you are born you don't know shit from shinola. You are not theist because nobody has been feeding you that crap as yet. You are not atheist because there is no theism as yet. If there is no theism, there is no atheism.

True. So true.

Still the question is (for me): how came the evil (theism, religion) into the world?

Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.
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31-01-2015, 06:48 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(31-01-2015 06:25 AM)bencandide Wrote:  
(31-01-2015 05:06 AM)Dom Wrote:  Whatever happened to plain common sense?

When you are born you don't know shit from shinola. You are not theist because nobody has been feeding you that crap as yet. You are not atheist because there is no theism as yet. If there is no theism, there is no atheism.

True. So true.

Still the question is (for me): how came the evil (theism, religion) into the world?

Many reasons. The need for social order, all social animals establish an order that is enforced. The lack of knowledge - intelligence always looks for patterns and explanations.

I think probably the core root of organized religion is story telling. Story tellers have been around for a very, very long time. They were the rock stars of entertainment for centuries - along with musicians. They garnered following.

Social evolution can be painstakingly slow. Parents instill in their children what their ancestors have been instilling in children for a long time, we are programmed that way. In some ways this is necessary for survival (don't eat those berries, they are poisonous).

So these old stories are passed along and doubtlessly embellished. It is kind of disappointing that parental conditioning is so persistent, but on the other hand, what parents pass on becomes more and more complex as our knowledge base increases.

I believe that we are at the brink of a break through though. Information from non parental sources reaches kids at an earlier and earlier age. We have entered the information age. My guess is that this is what will cause religion to decrease substantially.

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31-01-2015, 07:43 AM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(31-01-2015 06:48 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(31-01-2015 06:25 AM)bencandide Wrote:  True. So true.

Still the question is (for me): how came the evil (theism, religion) into the world?

Many reasons. The need for social order, all social animals establish an order that is enforced. The lack of knowledge - intelligence always looks for patterns and explanations.

I think probably the core root of organized religion is story telling. Story tellers have been around for a very, very long time. They were the rock stars of entertainment for centuries - along with musicians. They garnered following.

Social evolution can be painstakingly slow. Parents instill in their children what their ancestors have been instilling in children for a long time, we are programmed that way. In some ways this is necessary for survival (don't eat those berries, they are poisonous).

So these old stories are passed along and doubtlessly embellished. It is kind of disappointing that parental conditioning is so persistent, but on the other hand, what parents pass on becomes more and more complex as our knowledge base increases.

I believe that we are at the brink of a break through though. Information from non parental sources reaches kids at an earlier and earlier age. We have entered the information age. My guess is that this is what will cause religion to decrease substantially.

I pray (sorry for that expression) that you are right.
Today I see only a minority of countries where a discussion like this one here is possible, but you are right, there was progress and there should be progress on the long run.

Parallel with the slowly diminishing influence of religions in the western world there is as we all know the fierce back-fighting of parts of the muslimic world against information and free-thinking. The point is, that somebody like us would not live long in a muslimic society.
So I fear, there will be a long period of bloodshed triggered by the muslimic part of the world (where the imam tells the wrong stories to the young wild guys).

Let me put it this way: ethical thinking atheist (I hope there are many of them in this community) are still in a pitiful minority and nearly not existing in many parts of the world.
What it needs is a kind of organization which makes a powerful movement out of this bunch of independently acting free thinking people.
But perhaps that is an illusion because many of them don't like to be organized and so the freethinkers just have to infiltrate the governments, slowly and more or less clandestine.

Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.
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31-01-2015, 08:53 AM (This post was last modified: 31-01-2015 09:14 AM by Free.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
Here is some more history:

Quote:The meaning of "atheist" changed over the course of classical antiquity. The early Christians were labeled atheists by non-Christians because of their disbelief in pagan gods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Cla..._antiquity

More here:

Quote: Thus while Socrates was accused of atheism (Plato, Apol., 26,c.) and Diagoras called an atheist by Cicero (Nat. Deor., I, 23), Democritus and Epicurus were styled in the same sense impious (without respect for the gods) on account of their trend of their new atomistic philosophy. In this sense too, the early Christians were known to the pagans as atheists, because they denied the heathen gods; while, from time to time, various religious and philosophical systems have, for similar reasons, been deemed atheistic.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_E...3)/Atheism

These two quotes above demonstrate that as far back as Socrates, those who did not subscribe to theism were considered atheists. Those who were born into rival religions were called atheists. And of course, those who were completely "godless" from birth were considered atheists, which according to history, even included those born into rival religions and non theistic philosophies.

Hence historically, atheism is not a position held, but rather it is a state of being godless. And that is the way we are all born.

And ... that is history.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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31-01-2015, 10:23 AM (This post was last modified: 31-01-2015 12:53 PM by Free.)
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
(31-01-2015 04:25 AM)bencandide Wrote:  
(30-01-2015 10:46 PM)Free Wrote:  Well, you got one thing correct; you don't want to give anyone lessons in Greek history, especially to someone like me who specializes in it.

And I don't need Google. I use it only because people who are like you don't know anything but.


So you've got some secret definition for it?


Boring to argue with historians, is it? Other than you obviously not having a clue about historical fact, you cannot even muster up any reasoning as to why you could ever conclude that I somehow do not understand what I am writing.

You are an idiot doing a masterful job masquerading as a retard.


See below:


No, that's what I mean. YOU don't understand what I'm writing. Therefore, as others have already told you, STFU.


The topic is why atheists become atheists, and various different points of view are expressed. My view is historical, others are modern, but all views can be distinct and can be justified.

You act as if your point of view somehow merits more credulity than others. It does not. In fact, it's insignificant.


You seem put off by the intelligence and education many of us here actually have. Did you think you would come to this forum and find it riddled with idiots? We have some of the most highly educated people online on this very forum for the simple reason that intellectuals enjoy this atmosphere.

So don't even try coming in here with all your pretense, because we see it daily and from dozens of pretentious people who clearly demonstrate far greater intellectual capacity then you are capable of.

Now go sit your ass in a corner somewhere, zip your lip for 5 minutes, and maybe we'll toss you a bone from time to time.

Drinking Beverage

You are a historian? Well, well, interesting. Do you think, that makes your argumentation better?

It makes it far more informed, and therefore denotes a greater degree of credibility.

Smartass

Quote:I am overwhelmed by your intellectual capacity. I am sure you were born that way, a highly educated atheistic baby-historian with true love to logic and four-letter words.

Without logic and reasoning, we could not even add 1 + 1. Four letter words? What the fuck are you on about?

Censored

Quote:Sorry, if you cant see, that the historic argumentation you started gives no prove at all for your ´borne atheist` statement, it makes no sense to prolong this kind of exchange of ´arguments!.

Okay, "theist," if you say so. And don't pretend you are not, as your posts demonstrate a degree of cognitive dissonance. You clearly still have a large degree of theistic values.

If you don't like history, you should go get Stewey Griffin's time machine and go back and change history. With a little luck, you will obliterate yourself from the time-line and we won't need to deal with your sorry ass anymore.

Drinking Beverage

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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31-01-2015, 02:19 PM
RE: Why do atheists become atheists?
If we forget about labels for a second and instead think about the options.

(31-01-2015 05:59 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  I'm happy to leave them in a third category, neither atheist or theist.

Neither atheist or theist, really means
Neither "without belief in gods" or "with belief in gods"
What would be the middle ground?


(31-01-2015 06:01 AM)Dom Wrote:  Well, that is true. But, the concept of atheist would not exist but for the concept theist.

So, from the baby's point if view, neither theism nor atheism exist.
It doesn't matter that the baby doesn't comprehend the labels.
To be an atheist you don't need to know what atheist means.

The question really is: Does the baby have a belief in gods, or does it lack such belief?
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