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markdohle

Atheist may not exist

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Posted (edited)

Atheists-Could-Be-As-Real-As-Christianity-665x385.jpg

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
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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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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.

Peace

mark

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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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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

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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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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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(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

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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

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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.

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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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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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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.

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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.

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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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Do you mean in modern times, or as an origin for religious beliefs?

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I think people view religion the wrong way, like its some kind of school or just a bunch of meaningless gestures. 

Let me guess, the right way for viewing Religion is to just believe?

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. 

No.Humans have a long history of making things up, but some people have trouble with that concept.

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. 

They did not know Neurology and other sciences.

God was just a force unknown to people but felt. 

That's why they took psychotic drugs to get closer.

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. 

It's basicly predator awareness turned on it's head.

God wasn't fully known by the people of the past, but now He is. 

Thanks to ConMen and gullibility.

Ask the Jews, they believe in God because God came to them not because they decided to believe one day. 

God is the ultimate propaganda and mind control tool.

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. 

Ask Proffesor Israel Finklestein of Tel Aviv University about this so called history.

To even wonder about your own existence means you understand that you are something more than just an accident. 

There's a big difference between just wondering, and following it up with real research.

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.

That's true if everyone just prayed to a Fairy Tale forever.Now if we worked towards the advancement of technology, then future generations can control the Stars.

Welcome to UM

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I don't think the writer of the article understands what "atheist" means.

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Now if we worked towards the advancement of technology, then future generations can control the Stars.

The home experiment need produce better results preliminary to any expansion planned by :gun: control freaks.

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Let me guess, the right way for viewing Religion is to just believe?

No.Humans have a long history of making things up, but some people have trouble with that concept.

They did not know Neurology and other sciences.

That's why they took psychotic drugs to get closer.

It's basicly predator awareness turned on it's head.

Thanks to ConMen and gullibility.

God is the ultimate propaganda and mind control tool.

Ask Proffesor Israel Finklestein of Tel Aviv University about this so called history.

There's a big difference between just wondering, and following it up with real research.

That's true if everyone just prayed to a Fairy Tale forever.Now if we worked towards the advancement of technology, then future generations can control the Stars.

Welcome to UM

Well to counter point,

#1 people misunderstand religion because they have no feeling or spiritual connection, faith is a living thing. Believing is all an atheist can do too, it takes faith to believe God doesn't exist, and can not be proven, that would be against the laws of science. Either direction you come from, its always going to be a personal decision to believe or not. Once you understand faith, then you can begin to understand the purpose of the practices. You can not however dismiss something you don't fully understand, that is weak minded.

#2 Its true that people have a history of making things up, even in science, false theories have been purposefully put forth to support someones own wild fantasy. History supports the notion that people have always believed. One could go all night on this subject, but millions of people have died (and they continue to), even willingly went through gruesome torture for this so called "belief". If you want to believe in a made up story then go ahead, but made up things can't stand the test of time. You would have to bury your head in the sand or be completely delusional to think that the entire human race has always been dumb and ignorant.

#3 Even with all the science today, people still believe, and the Bible and some other religious texts are still discussed and talked about with much importance, its not going anywhere.

#4 I don't know any religious people that take drugs to get closer to God, drug addictions are sinful and hurtful to the body. No, faith and thought, prayer and humility, charity, thats how you get close.

#5 Do you call your parents, or your own father a predator for raising you?

#6 Propaganda is needed for those that can't think for themselves, truly faithful people are given faith through deep experiences with God, one without faith could not understand what an experience with God is

#7 Israel finklestein is not much different than a minimalist, even he admits some of his views are wrong, and there is too much criticism on his work to even be remotely bothered with anything he has to say. Its propaganda for atheists basically. Like many arguments between atheists and theists on science, this is just gonna go nowhere and end up full circle back to the beginning.

#8 No matter how much research you do, you will still wonder about your origin and the purpose of the universe

#9 Controlling the stars, that is unrealistic, and even so, the elite will be the ones to leave everyone behind including you, the Earth could be gone by then, and even if you control the stars, the universe will collapse in on you and bye bye to all those billions of years of hard work and planning.

Thanks for your welcoming to the form, Atheists need to argue with non atheists because really, an atheist is always searching for a definitive answer only to be disappointed that it comes down to your own choice to believe or not. I do hope that you find the right path and leave all pride behind, arrogance leads to the destruction of the human being, but humility is the key to understanding. Anyway, good discussion.

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#1 people misunderstand religion because they have no feeling or spiritual connection, faith is a living thing. Believing is all an atheist can do too, it takes faith to believe God doesn't exist, and can not be proven, that would be against the laws of science. Either direction you come from, its always going to be a personal decision to believe or not. Once you understand faith, then you can begin to understand the purpose of the practices. You can not however dismiss something you don't fully understand, that is weak minded.

Spiritual connection has lots of biochemistry people do not look into.Just like certain species of female Spiders that has a biochemical switch turned on so it does not eat her offspring.So do we have self produced biochemicals that make us feel good for survival learning.People mistake these feelings for a relation to other dimensions.

An Atheist looks at the evidence and it does not take faith to not believe in Bigfoot.The evidence for Bigfoot is very weak to nonexistent and anyone believing in it does so more out of wanting to.

It's not a personal decision for me to not believe in God.I read the Bible and researched the history behind it.My mind came to the conclusion and to say it's a personal decision is like saying I chose to believe in Rain.

I understand faith as I understand accepting things on feelings.I rather think than shut my mind off or put on autopilot in a weakened state.

#2 Its true that people have a history of making things up, even in science, false theories have been purposefully put forth to support someones own wild fantasy. History supports the notion that people have always believed.  One could go all night on this subject, but millions of people have died (and they continue to), even willingly went through gruesome torture for this so called "belief". If you want to believe in a made up story then go ahead, but made up things can't stand the test of time. You would have to bury your head in the sand or be completely delusional to think that the entire human race has always been dumb and ignorant.

Just because people believe it does not make it true no matter how long and how many.

There've been great Men and Woman throughout history, but to deny we are evolved primates is the ultimate delusion.

#3 Even with all the science today, people still believe, and the Bible and some other religious texts are still discussed and talked about with much importance, its not going anywhere.

Thank you Internet.

#4 I don't know any religious people that take drugs to get closer to God, drug addictions are sinful and hurtful to the body. No, faith and thought, prayer and humility, charity, thats how you get close.

I am talking about origins and I have posted evidence before that gives credence to this.

#5 Do you call your parents, or your own father a predator for raising you?

No, but I call Fisher of Men predators of the mind.

#6 Propaganda is needed for those that can't think for themselves, truly faithful people are given faith through deep experiences with God, one without faith could not understand what an experience with God is

I experienced what people mistake for God, but I researched Neurology instead of thinking I was in touch with the answers.

#7 Israel finklestein is not much different than a minimalist, even he admits some of his views are wrong, and there is too much criticism on his work to even be remotely bothered with anything he has to say. Its propaganda for atheists basically. Like many arguments between atheists and theists on science, this is just gonna go nowhere and end up full circle back to the beginning.

I bet you love Lee Strobel.

#8 No matter how much research you do, you will still wonder about your origin and the purpose of the universe

I am Stardust and it's arogent to think the Universe has a plan for me.

#9 Controlling the stars, that is unrealistic, and even so, the elite will be the ones to leave everyone behind including you, the Earth could be gone by then, and even if you control the stars, the universe will collapse in on you and bye bye to all those billions of years of hard work and planning.

If I could not think beyond Jesus on a Cloud joined by Angels blowing Trumpets, I would agree with you.

Thanks for your welcoming to the form, Atheists need to argue with non atheists because really, an atheist is always searching for a definitive answer only to be disappointed that it comes down to your own choice to believe or not. I do hope that you find the right path and leave all pride behind, arrogance leads to the destruction of the human being, but humility is the key to understanding. Anyway, good discussion.

Your welcome.

I cannot speak for every Atheist, but I like to rub the cognitive dissonance now and then.

I no more chose to believe or not believe like someone that thinks Solar Roadways is a good idea or not.

I follow the evidence and logic, but not the emotion.Emotion is better directed where it's better served.

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The home experiment need produce better results preliminary to any expansion planned by :gun: control freaks.

You can pray yourself away from danger, or do the legwork.

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Posted (edited)

#1 people misunderstand religion because they have no feeling or spiritual connection, faith is a living thing.

Garbage. Faith isn't even close to a "living thing", it's easier to claim people don't understand than supporting baseless assertions.
Believing is all an atheist can do too, it takes faith to believe God doesn't exist, and can not be proven, that would be against the laws of science. Either direction you come from, its always going to be a personal decision to believe or not. Once you understand faith, then you can begin to understand the purpose of the practices. You can not however dismiss something you don't fully understand, that is weak minded.

I don't fully understand scientology, but I reject it because the parts I do isn't supported by evidence. Is that weak minded? Is it necessary to understand the excruciating ignorant details? Edited by Rlyeh
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It was so ingrained in my psyche not to believe, it took me until the age of eleven before I gave into the pressure I was under from fundamentalist parents to get 'saved' or go to hell. I never felt comfortable with the idea of a deity and afterlife, and lost my faith completely by the time I was 19. I don't need a faith.

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