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Are humans hardwired to believe in something greater?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by jeager106, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    Unless you're the prototypical human, the blueprint on which the rest of us are mere variations, your own lack of belief is hardly proof that evolutionary influences aren't at work.

    Besides, one of the nifty things about sapience is the ability to overrule our own wiring. We can choose to fast, to sacrifice for a greater purpose, to fly to the moon, to believe as makes most sense to us.
     
  2. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    Calling the spirits Gods is pure Westernization, I'm afraid, and many, many tribes also claim that the Great Spirit was introduced by missionaries....
     
  3. Desert Snake

    Desert Snake Veteran Member

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    Evolutionary influences to believe in god?:confused:

    Yes, it's called faith. You can believe without proof or knowedge, but that isn't relevant. Or, it rather supports my argument.
    You can also believe in a god through rational means, but again, where is the 'god gene'?
     
  4. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    *sigh*

    Yes. You might want to at least skim the thread.
     
  5. Shad

    Shad Veteran Member

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    It is relevant as people take coincidence as an act of agency where there is none. A river dries up so some people assume an agency is the one behind it rather than a drought or lack of snow fall in source mountain streams.

    I addressed the question by pointing out we are hardwired to see patterns which people mistake as agency or acts of God. They confusion of how the brain function leads to the conclusion of being hardwired to find God rather than God being merely a pattern not the mechanic behind it. It is the concept of agency which is assigned to God. Toppling the agency undermines the God concept which utilizes agency it in it's arguments for the concept of God. Many Gods or one God the concept of agency remains merely becoming plural rather than singular or vice versa.

    Define "something greater". This is an ambiguous term. There are many things greater than man which are tangible objects with no relation to God, or is not longer associated with a particular religion. Planets, stars, galaxies, etc are all greater than man but require no concept of God or even a casual relation to God to be "something greater"
     
    #65 Shad, Dec 24, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
  6. jeager106

    jeager106 Learning more about Jehovah.
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    I don't quite understand either.:D
    Something greater as in an unseen powerful force that is in control. If not in control then an unseen Creator.
    An entity that perhaps communicated with man, thru certain inviduals to give instruction.
    That's last is a broad brush and quite controversial, perhaps out of context with the original question.
    An unseen force acting as a Creator of man and the entire universe. Yeah, that fits.
     
  7. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    Fine, I'll grant that. If you'll grant that it's no more relevant than it would be if Republican Jeebus personally wired us to do so precisely so we'd always know he was watching and waiting to cast us into eternal torture if we slip up and act like decent people instead of shrieking venom about that dirty Muzlum furrener in the WHITE House. And he used actual wires, too!

    The advantages of attributing agency were already raised as a contributing factor to the evolution of religion, by me (with a hat tip to Jay, who beat me to the point, but didn't really elaborate). I'm aware that that's relevant.

    However, discussing the factors that contribute to the human predisposition to believe in some form of divinity, and whether or not they remain sufficiently powerful to call modern humans 'hard-wired' is wholly and mutually irrelevant to the question of whether some form of divine entity exists. The questions don't even affect one another.

    Yes, necessarily so, as any discussion of hard wiring must reach back to the dawn of the species and account for concepts that far predate theism.

    All of which are ruled out by context, so I'm not much inclined to humor this bit.
     
  8. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    I'd expect there to be a complex of genes which predispose some towards belief in higher powers or the presence of another non-physical consciousness. But some of us utterly lack that trait.
     
  9. Desert Snake

    Desert Snake Veteran Member

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    Right.. there could be. Perhaps. However, from personal observation oh how people view religion, in my experience, it just doesn't seem to be evident. At least one person has indicated to me however that they were definite theists, so may be they have that gene. Or may be it's not a gene. One thing i'm pretty sure of, claiming that evolution is somehow 'directing' a belief in deity is too far fetched for me.
     
  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Evolution does favor desire for & strength in pattern recognition & in social cooperation. Perhaps this desire can lead some to find large scale patterns which aren't (or are) there, eh? And there would be variation in desirability & ability to read patterns. Still sound so far fetched?
     
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  11. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    Thinking in terms of 'a gene' is pretty oversimplified, I think. Things like pattern recognition - even patterns that aren't really patterns, like faces in wood grain or baked goods - aren't a variation limited to to individuals.

    They are, however, contributing factors to belief.
     
  12. Desert Snake

    Desert Snake Veteran Member

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    Yeah, it does.
     
  13. Cephus

    Cephus Relentlessly Rational

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    Or have used our higher brain functions to overcome that trait.
     
  14. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Well, I would never want to claim anything which suggests my personal enlightenment. I'm more about unlightenment.
     
  15. Shad

    Shad Veteran Member

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    The factors which you believe to contribute to believing in some form of divine are based on the same error type mistakes as someone thinking a lion is in the bush when it is really just the wind. So faulty senses followed by lack of proper evaluation led to false conclusions. This shows why our sense can be fool as well as our minds which undermines the whole divinity concept hard-wiring. It undermines the conclusion based on God's agency due to the shear amount of deity we not longer consider real. This is a high failure rate of pattern seeking follow by false conclusions which have spun out into religion.

    A vague term is not necessary as it is only a useful bulwark for those with undeveloped ideas or claims to hide behind. It is a typical god of the gaps and argument from ignorance. It is also useful as one can change their definition on the fly in response to any criticism. There is no reason for me to accept such vague terminology nor grant you your bulwark to hide behind.

    As you said other forms of your ambiguous terms are ruled out by context. This means that your vague term can be refined since it becomes applicable to different types of contexts. Hence you have contradicted yourself by claim the term needs to be ambiguous while in the next comment defining what context can be applied to to your vague term. Hence the context of false gods pointed out above can be applied to your vague term and that of God. Which does little to bolster your views or that it is exempt from the same mistakes which created other deities. After all you have defined your use by talking about God several times but failed to realize you are defining the term you wish to be vague. However since there are cultures with no creator concept you need to return to your vague term to move the goal post since the claim of seeking divinity is not a unverifiable truth but one of culture. A culture with no concept of a creator has no hard-wiring to seek God which renders your points moot.
     
  16. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    So, your rebuttal is that you can't understand nuance or even the concept of an umbrella term? I can't say as I'm impressed.

    By the way, I never said anything about false Gods at any point. I said that the concepts have changed over time, which is why the category of ideas needed to be broad. Not the same thing.
     
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  17. Shad

    Shad Veteran Member

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    I can understand an umbrella term. However you have defined this concept several times then retreat back to your vague terms when your more detailed concept has it's errors pointed out. I am just pointing out how contradictory you own comments have becomes and the "umbrella" you hide under for your god of the gaps thinking. I am claiming your umbrella term is in fact fallacious in the form of a hasty generalization. Believing in a triple O creator God is different than believing in spirits which are not creators. Believing in Greek mythology in which chaos was first is different than the triple O God which was always there. Asking for clarification is not a rebuttal. The refusal to clarify a term is a cop out by you. An umbrella term can and does have more detailed catagories which I have clearly point out above is the case. I am just pointing out I find your lack of detailed terminology to be a weak point and one which can be dismissed for being ambiguous.

    There is no need for you to mention other gods. However the concept you are using to promote the idea of "hard-wiring" has led people to develop religions and deities which are now considered false. I am showing you the failure rate of the mechanic based concept you are promoting. I am pointing out your concept of god is prone to just such errors as those concepts of gods no longer believed in. I am pointing out there are groups of people with no supreme being concept in isolated cultures. If "hard-wiring" was a fact these people would have develop the god concept as well but they did not. Buddhism would of never developed.

    Yes concepts have changed over time however the "hard-wiring" concept is prone to a large failure rate so is unreliable as a basis to promote the divine. The major changes are not the "hard-wiring" concept but the value people put on the conclusion they draw by faulty methodology of "hard-wiring" arguments.
     
  18. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    Actually, the only thing you've shown is that you have no idea what I'm talking about and see no need to ask.

    Next time you want to expose the errors in a concept, take the time to figure out what the concept is instead of just assuming.

    I do not believe in a theistic God, let alone an omnimax Creator. I was not promoting any such God. I was not promoting any God at all. I was trying to discuss the evolutionary origins of human religiosity, which exist independent of any divine entity's existence or lack thereof.

    But I give up, since that conversation obviously not the one the rest of you want to have. Y'all have fun with the fool's game of trying to dis/prove God.
     
  19. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Actually, that much is all but self-evident, although it is unlikely to be due to a specific gene.

    Beliefs in deities are known to be very useful in creating a sense of community and convincing people to join efforts. And that sense of community is enormously advantageous from a natural selection standpoint.

    Quite frankly, there is little else as ways of explaining the continued survival of the concept of deity.
     
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  20. Looncall

    Looncall Well-Known Member

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    I haveread a suggestion that religion comes from humanity's lack of the alpha member found in other primates' groups. The missing boss becomes the imagined god.
     
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