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Atheist may not exist


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#1    markdohle

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 03:13 PM

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Atheists may not exist.

This rather shocking statement may seem like a bit of click-bait, but it’s actually the conclusion many scientists — some of them avowed atheists themselves — are starting to buy in to.
According to Science 2.0 writer Nury Vittachi, an examination of several scholarly findings puts forth the theory that even atheists believe in something.
Vittachi writes:


Cognitive scientists are becoming increasingly aware that a metaphysical outlook may be so deeply ingrained in human thought processes that it cannot be expunged.
While this idea may seem outlandish—after all, it seems easy to decide not to believe in God—evidence from several disciplines indicates that what you actually believe is not a decision you make for yourself. Your fundamental beliefs are decided by much deeper levels of consciousness, and some may well be more or less set in stone.
This line of thought has led to some scientists claiming that ‘atheism is psychologically impossible because of the way humans think,’ says Graham Lawton, an avowed atheist himself, writing in the New Scientist. ‘They point to studies showing, for example, that even people who claim to be committed atheists tacitly hold religious beliefs, such as the existence of an immortal soul.’

Scientists theorize that “we are born believers, not atheists” and that “Humans are pattern-seekers from birth, with a belief in karma, or cosmic justice, as our default setting,” writes Vittachi.
Read more at http://www.inquisitr...ppp1tirP479m.99

Edited by Paranoid Android, 13 July 2014 - 03:27 PM.
amended topic title


#2    Stubbly_Dooright

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 03:32 PM

Well, one, if I am getting this article right, we have the instinct of talking to whatever? I am not sure, what else I am getting further from this, we think something else is giving us the answers. We hope, that is, something else is giving us the answers. I don't think that means that we instinctly are talking to some higher power, I think we are trying to talk to ourselves. Frankly, so many people talk to themselves, myself including, because we find ourselves the best listeners. I don't think that means we expect it to be a higher power. I think we are working things out in our heads.  Or, it could be looked at this another way, this could be a sign that various parts of the population have some form of mental health problems. (yeah, I'm including myself in this.)
Second, everyone believes differently, I think based on experience, and a lot of people could be believing based on their life experiences. Maybe I couldn't find the sources of the various studies, but what where they?

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#3    markdohle

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 03:39 PM

View PostStubbly_Dooright, on 13 July 2014 - 03:32 PM, said:

Well, one, if I am getting this article right, we have the instinct of talking to whatever? I am not sure, what else I am getting further from this, we think something else is giving us the answers. We hope, that is, something else is giving us the answers. I don't think that means that we instinctly are talking to some higher power, I think we are trying to talk to ourselves. Frankly, so many people talk to themselves, myself including, because we find ourselves the best listeners. I don't think that means we expect it to be a higher power. I think we are working things out in our heads.  Or, it could be looked at this another way, this could be a sign that various parts of the population have some form of mental health problems. (yeah, I'm including myself in this.)
Second, everyone believes differently, I think based on experience, and a lot of people could be believing based on their life experiences. Maybe I couldn't find the sources of the various studies, but what where they?

Actually I think these kinds of articles are funny and don't take them all that serious.  I get tired of them actually LOL.  Like articles written on why do people believe, or why doe people don't believe, is prayer real etc.  I just like the way the tables are turned for once....the article, well I take with lots of salt.  Just I do with new theories about Jesus.  In any case, no article or study can be objective, we all have perspectives that dictate on what we accept on don't......I know it is true for me.

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#4    StarMountainKid

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 03:41 PM

This conclusion by cognitive scientists can be twisted around any way one wishes. My family was not religious. Before I was around 12-14 years old, I never even thought of religion of God. Around 12-14 I started thinking about the subject. The conclusion I came to at that questioning age was the religions and the idea of God was invented by people and didn't make sense to me. Especially religion.

I haven't changed my mind since then. However, I have always had a deep emotion of the mysterious and a feeling of wonder at it all. I would say this feeling is universal in everyone of any intelligence, we can't help wondering about existence. I think this is the basis of the metaphysical outlook mentioned.

In my view, religion and the concept of God is imposed on this fundamental emotion of wonderment and questioning of what existence is all about.

A specific religion or belief in a God is just a practical way to express these feelings, and is secondary to these basic emotions and thoughts.

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#5    markdohle

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 05:15 PM

View PostStarMountainKid, on 13 July 2014 - 03:41 PM, said:

This conclusion by cognitive scientists can be twisted around any way one wishes. My family was not religious. Before I was around 12-14 years old, I never even thought of religion of God. Around 12-14 I started thinking about the subject. The conclusion I came to at that questioning age was the religions and the idea of God was invented by people and didn't make sense to me. Especially religion.

I haven't changed my mind since then. However, I have always had a deep emotion of the mysterious and a feeling of wonder at it all. I would say this feeling is universal in everyone of any intelligence, we can't help wondering about existence. I think this is the basis of the metaphysical outlook mentioned.

In my view, religion and the concept of God is imposed on this fundamental emotion of wonderment and questioning of what existence is all about.

A specific religion or belief in a God is just a practical way to express these feelings, and is secondary to these basic emotions and thoughts.

I think religion came along because in the past people accepted many of their experiences at face value.  Today they are being studied, the NDE, the OBE, death bed visions etc.  Shamanism is I believe the same all over the world because of these experiences.  Perhaps people believe in God, because it is true, normal and part of who we are.  Now the uses of such beliefs, just like political beliefs is another matter entirely.....

Peace
mark


#6    StarMountainKid

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 05:31 PM

markdohle said:

I think religion came along because in the past people accepted many of their experiences at face value.  Today they are being studied, the NDE, the OBE, death bed visions etc.  Shamanism is I believe the same all over the world because of these experiences.  Perhaps people believe in God, because it is true, normal and part of who we are.  Now the uses of such beliefs, just like political beliefs is another matter entirely.....

(Bold typeface mine) I disagree that we believe in God because it is true and a normal part of who we are. In my view, that's adding an 'extra' to who we are, to our original nature.

A feeling of 'the mysterious' I would consider a normal part of who we are, but adding to this basic emotion all sorts of dogmas and traditions established by organized religions only leads to a distortion of this basic psychological feeling of the wonder of our existence.

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#7    Tiggs

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 07:15 PM

I'd really like karma and/or cosmic justice to exist. I'd really like to live forever, too. Sometimes, I wonder if the Universe is cyclic, and if I'll come back round again. Mortality is a difficult hurdle to jump.

I don't think it's unusual for anyone to want those things. No-one really wants evil to be unpunished, or to die before their time.

Wanting something to be true and believing that it's true, however, are two different things.


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#8    markdohle

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 07:39 PM

View PostStarMountainKid, on 13 July 2014 - 05:31 PM, said:

(Bold typeface mine) I disagree that we believe in God because it is true and a normal part of who we are. In my view, that's adding an 'extra' to who we are, to our original nature.

A feeling of 'the mysterious' I would consider a normal part of who we are, but adding to this basic emotion all sorts of dogmas and traditions established by organized religions only leads to a distortion of this basic psychological feeling of the wonder of our existence.
I

I like your clarity even if I don't always agree with you.  The universe is made up of laws, lots of information as well, not even going in to the mathematical underpinnings of everything.  It is also has laws that are rational, they have a direction, they keep things together.  For me this points to an underlying reality.  The word we use is 'God', perhaps we need something else.  In any case, to think the universe came into being out of nothing, with no cause, and that it developed into a human being as complex, intelligent and talented as you, for me takes a greater leap than seeing an underlying intelligence in what makes up the universe......just me of course, not trying to convince you or anyone else.

Peace
Mark


#9    markdohle

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 08:02 PM

View PostTiggs, on 13 July 2014 - 07:15 PM, said:

I'd really like karma and/or cosmic justice to exist. I'd really like to live forever, too. Sometimes, I wonder if the Universe is cyclic, and if I'll come back round again. Mortality is a difficult hurdle to jump.

I don't think it's unusual for anyone to want those things. No-one really wants evil to be unpunished, or to die before their time.

Wanting something to be true and believing that it's true, however, are two different things.

Not sure it is always about wanting something to be true.  I think that if we could find out and prove that there is no God, or an  afterlife, and that the worst possible reality is true, we would adapt, we do that.  God is, or God is not.....hell even the word 'God' has little meaning when we talk about this reality.  We talk about perceptions, ideas, they are constructs idols of God that really don't exist, they are ideas.  We will never get to the bottom of the question.  Fundamentalism as well as atheism is too simple an approach to reality for me.  I think we are on a journey wherein our understanding of reality will continue to expand.

I believe the reason the study of NDE's is continuing, is because all the counter augments about their reality have been overridden, so now the study is expanding.  We will see where that goes.

Peace
Mark


#10    aquatus1

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 10:08 PM

I can't say I disagree with the article's premise that a "narrative voice" is built into our evolutionary system, however I find it a bit of an unfortunate use of words tying this to religion.  To equate God and Jiminy Cricket is silly on its face, and to claim atheists don't exist because of this is similar to claiming that pacifists don't exist because we are all instinctively predisposed to violence, or that the celibate don't exist because we are instinctively predisposed to sex.


#11    davros of skaro

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 03:07 AM

From:

Should we come down from the Tree to seek Food and reproduction activities and risk being eaten today?

To:

I better believe this Book that tells me that I am under an ancient magical curse that makes me eat and romp around too much.This way I will not be eaten up by flames after I am dead.

Atheism for me is not a choice but a logical conclusion to begin with, and as a result my mind is free to look for answers.The Theist has the answers from a Book that's obviously written by Men only, and want to believe it as a plan lovingly laid out for them.

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#12    Doug1o29

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 03:08 AM

View Postmarkdohle, on 13 July 2014 - 03:13 PM, said:

Atheists may not exist.
I better tell my daughter.  She doesn't know she doesn't exist.

My other daughter is a Buddhist.  She considers that statement irrelevant.
Doug

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#13    Faithfulliving

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 06:15 AM

View PostStarMountainKid, on 13 July 2014 - 03:41 PM, said:

This conclusion by cognitive scientists can be twisted around any way one wishes. My family was not religious. Before I was around 12-14 years old, I never even thought of religion of God. Around 12-14 I started thinking about the subject. The conclusion I came to at that questioning age was the religions and the idea of God was invented by people and didn't make sense to me. Especially religion.

I haven't changed my mind since then. However, I have always had a deep emotion of the mysterious and a feeling of wonder at it all. I would say this feeling is universal in everyone of any intelligence, we can't help wondering about existence. I think this is the basis of the metaphysical outlook mentioned.

In my view, religion and the concept of God is imposed on this fundamental emotion of wonderment and questioning of what existence is all about.

A specific religion or belief in a God is just a practical way to express these feelings, and is secondary to these basic emotions and thoughts.

I think people view religion the wrong way, like its some kind of school or just a bunch of meaningless gestures. Their is alot of history and meaning behind religion, its ridiculous to say that people invented it, its ingrained in the human being, no other creature on Earth can be aware of the spiritual the way human beings are. People believed in all cultures and in all time periods because there is a spiritual connection happening. But the thing is that most people never knew or could put a finger on what God actually was. God was just a force unknown to people but felt. But in the Christian belief God has been made known as a Father, and people are apart of that family, more personal than an unseen force. God wasn't fully known by the people of the past, but now He is. Ask the Jews, they believe in God because God came to them not because they decided to believe one day. The entire history and all the actions of the Jews for almost 2000 years is solely based on what God had revelaed to them and told them to do. To dismiss God means you have to dismiss the entire Jewish history. To even wonder about your own existence means you understand that you are something more than just an accident. And if you are just an accident then ultimately you have no purpose because no matter what you accomplish, no matter what the human race accomplishes, it will all come to an end when the universe collapses on itself as nothing is everlasting.


#14    aquatus1

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:50 AM

I don't think anyone is using the term "invented" as if this was a story they sat down to write one day with the intent to deceive anyone.  Of course religions evolved, taking millennia to reach the stage they are at today.  While it is certainly true that there is a lot of history, culture, and ritual, behind religion, it doesn't mean that all that history, culture, and ritual necessarily has a factual foundation.  The simple fact of the matter is that meaningless gestures can be made to have meaning, there is no actual requirement for the source of a particular religious belief to have been factual in order to be taught as being factual.  The use of the word "invent" is used to denote something that was not there before.

If God was not there before, the Jews would still have done everything they had done.  They didn't do what they did because they had factual confirmation that God told them to.  They did it because they believed God told them to.  They believed God told them to because that is what they were taught (literally, in Hebrew school) to believe.

In short, yes, many people do view religion as something that must be taught, as if one was in school, and one which is replete with gestures (more appropriately, rituals) that are only meaningful to those who have been taught their meaning.  And I can't really say they are wrong about that, regardless of whether or not any deities actually do exist.


#15    MyOtherAccount

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:35 AM

There are a few characteristics I am considering right now that seem to be innate and seem to lead to thoughts or inventions of a spiritual nature:
  • sleep paralysis--down right spooky things don't happen but do seem to happen during that kind of experience
  • schizophrenia and other mental health issues
  • witnessing a life of destitute people be it an IQ of 10 or never-ending pain, etc.--leads to thoughts/hopes/a need for reincarnation (The thinking being, "If such a person only gets one such chance in life, it sucks." Then there is also the thinking of the contrary, "Death might present an exhilarating enough an existence, far beyond what this life offers." In either thinking suffering brings about "spiritual" responses.
Can you think of others. More importantly, can you think of why we are prone to turning such experiences into spiritual responses?





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