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Atheism or atheisms?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Augustus, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    The rhetoric question leads to an answer that is a non sequitur.

    people before they believe are not applicable, unkown, or not part of the equation all together.

    To try to categorize them is equivalent to categorize me as one of the greatest basketball defense players since neither Julius Irving, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or LeBron James ever scored a basket while playing against me.
     
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  2. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    Christianity, Buddhism and Islam didn't appear out of nowhere.
    All of them have an origin on some other form of religion. They are not completely 'new'.
    Believers often add or subtract things from their religions.

    Let ask you something: Have you ever asked your mother for evidence that she is your biological mother ?
    I know I haven't, and I think it is fair to say the vast majority of people haven't either.

    To think that we would necessarily require evidence for statements is a major misunderstanding on how we behave.
     
  3. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    no, but its not "lack of belief". its a belief and a positive assertion about the nature of the world.

    o_O

    [​IMG]


    I'd like to know what the distinction is between saying "god exists" and "my mother is my biological mother" without having proof for it. I would think that its a basis for a religious belief. that's really what I'm looking for as it means you can say 'no' when someone asks you to produce evidence to back up your position on RF. (he says with some relief). :)
     
  4. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    Do you mean you don't consider your mother to be your biological mother ?
     
  5. JoStories

    JoStories Well-Known Member

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    I don;'t know if I agree with that Tom. I am a theist, in that I believe in God but am not truly a part of a religion per se. I follow my own path, loosely based on Buddhism. I agree, however, with your remarks about people's understanding of atheism and that it can be confusing for some. For me, people like Benjamin Franklin was a deist but not a theist. Its an unclear and oft confusing distinction but one I believe still exists.
     
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  6. JoStories

    JoStories Well-Known Member

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    For me, I think the distinction here is one of atheism V agnostic. An atheist who admits that God could exist means, at least to me, agnostic.
     
  7. JoStories

    JoStories Well-Known Member

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    An interesting question. I don't know if the god would cease to exist as much as change with time and with culture. The idea of what a god is or was has changed dramatically over the centuries. Ancient man thought many things were 'God' but the idea of the word now almost in all religions connotes a 'being' of some kind. Not a tree or the sun or moon, although modern Pagans might argue with me on that point.
     
  8. JoStories

    JoStories Well-Known Member

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    IMO, manifestations of what people have come to believe is a god. They are the myriad faces of God, IMO. Such as God to the Christian is Jesus, while for a Pagan it might be Diana or Artemis. They are ideals of what God is for each person and even from one person to the next, it can and does change.
     
  9. JoStories

    JoStories Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Well pointed out.
     
  10. JoStories

    JoStories Well-Known Member

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    A good question and one I would say comes of fear or longing or a need for something. A need to define the inexplicable for one. Thor may have risen out of a need to define thunder. Christ out of a need to assuage guilt and a fear of death and what may or may not lie beyond that. Etc.
     
  11. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Why is the default set at birth? The default at birth is that people can't walk, we don't consider that people in wheelchairs have 'reverted to the default'. We consider the default is that people can walk.

    We don't take 'at birth' as meaning 'natural' for most things, why then should it be for atheism?

    There are many scientists who suggest that humans are predisposed towards believing in 'god(s)', and that if a child grew up on a desert island then they would most likely believe in god(s) (obviously not any specific Religion's god(s) though)

    An example:

    "These results suggest that the tendency to view nature as designed is rooted in evolved cognitive biases as well as cultural socialization... Results from Study 1 revealed that even though religious participants’ baseline tendency to endorse nature as purposefully created was higher than non-religious participants’ tendency to do so, non-religious participants also increasingly defaulted to understanding natural phenomena as purposefully made in the being-made group when they did not have time to censor their thinking."
    The divided mind of a disbeliever: Intuitive beliefs about nature as purposefully created among different groups of non-religious adults, Cognition, Issue 140, 2015

    http://www.bu.edu/cdl/files/2015/04/Creator-online-publication1.pdf


    This suggests that it takes cognitive effort to view the world atheistically, rather than the other way round. Why must people accept, with no evidence, that the default must be atheism?

    The scientific consensus on 'whether or not humans are predisposed to believe in god(s)' would be that it is an interesting area that warrants further research.

    The fact that almost all societies in human history have developed gods/religious concept is also pretty decent evidence that religious beliefs may be the default.


    So we get the arbitrary statement that the 'default' is set at birth, and that atheism therefore remains the default for the rest of someone's life, even though there is scientific debate as to whether or not religious beliefs are hardwired into us.

    This view is presented by people who consider themselves 'rational', yet they consider it axiomatic that atheism must be the default because 'it just is, ok' and deny that they are making any value judgements amidst numerous unsupported assumptions.

    Saying atheism is the default requires assumptions about babies minds, what constitutes a default and whether or not 'god' is hardwired into us (amongst others).

    Whether or not atheism is the default is something I personally lack the evidence to support, so I'll not profess any judgement on it.
     
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  12. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    No. if you can believe something such as that your mother is your biological mother without proof, why isn't the same of god's existence? isn't that faith? if you accept that your mother is your biological mother without proof, it means the proof is not a necessary basis for belief. Hence, atheism/lack of belief cannot be the default position; belief is the default position. it just isn't necessarily religious.
     
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  13. leibowde84

    leibowde84 Veteran Member

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    How so? "Agnosticism" deals with knowledge of God and the possibility of attaining such knowledge, not belief in the existence of God.

    "Agnosticism" is the view that the truth values of certain claims – especially metaphysical and religious claims such as whether or not God, the divine or the supernatural exist – are unknown and perhaps unknowable. This is why I consider myself an Agnostic Christian. I believe in God, but I also don't think that knowledge of God is attainable, at least not in this life.
     
  14. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    Theoretically a religion could be something that does not require beliefs about the nature of the world, just a way of being a part of the world or an attitude towards things. I've learned this from several people including Gnostics, mystics and some Eastern, mainly Dharmic religions

    Perhaps I'm wrong. It's possible most people don't care about proof to have beliefs and then the default is whatever is taught to them, unless they are like me and never took on belief despite being taught it. But before you are taught your belief, what is the default? It's nothing, no belief.

    I wouldn't think I was that special since I clearly remember not having belief in gods when it was introduced to me. How was it for you?

    Their default is not being basketball players, not having skills or the right training to play.
     
  15. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    In this sense I consider myself an agnostic atheist. I lack belief, but I could change my mind given proof.
     
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  16. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    Atheism is not a skill to learn like walking.

    Are you sure they were talking about "gods" instead of false pattern recognition and how did they study these children?

    Perhaps the gods forgot to put that piece in my brain as it never felt like the world was designed to me. Interesting if this should be true for larger groups of people. It would explain how I never made sense of religions.

    Has it always been that way for you?

    Each religious concept is separate.

    It seems you have made the judgment that atheism is not the default.
     
  17. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    that is true. so your right on that. :)

    Well, thats the thing. the "lack of belief" of an adult is not the same as no belief of a child. In order to be an atheist we necessarily have to have a naturalistic bias and have some ideas about how the world works. we chose evolution over creation because we accept that science is a valid view of the world. this is why the need for proof ulimately falls down as it confirms our pre-existing bias to naturalistic explanations. this is particuarly true if we are dealing with a conception of god that is inferred from natural processes rather than direct observation. We see thunder and lightening; a long time ago, it was attributed to god, but now we say it is a natural process. So the atheists "lack of belief" cannot be divorced from the other beliefs they have. the "no belief" of a child is more like a 'blank slate' or tablu rasa. they aren't born with ideas, and they are neither innately religious or atheist. So I agree and disagree on this.
     
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  18. leibowde84

    leibowde84 Veteran Member

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    I understand your point that "lack of belief" is different in adults and children, but that distinction is not specified with the term "atheism", is it?
     
  19. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    not exactly. atheism is about lack of belief in god, whereas infants have a lack of belief in anything. they've yet to learn a language, vocalise words, associate words with objects, and then words with more abstract concepts to identify causes for why objects have properties and behave the way they do. If I argue that children are a blank slate and don't have such concepts, they can't know what god is to believe or even lack belief in it. there is a certian overlap between religious ideas that children are born with a soul and therefore have an innate belief in god, and the idea that children are innately atheist and that is the default position. An atheist who says a child is born atheist is attributing the faculties of adulthood to the child. A "lack of belief" in god conventionally implies reasoning and argument, but that doesn't apply to children because they haven't developed that faculty yet.
     
  20. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    I like the above post. The atheists have not challenged the figures in the post.
    Regards
     
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