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Magicjax

Your Road to Atheism?

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Beckys_Mom

I know you do not, but I feel the need to tell you again that this is not my definition but Oxford's.

You still misunderstood the term.. I stand by that

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Mr Walker

See above. Some people are very sensitive tonight.

Having took exception to my post, you've gone and done the same thing.

Im not sensitive, just pedantic. :whistle: Your opinion on the nature of atheism flies in the face of scientific knowledge/ understanding on how beliefs are formed. I accept science as my basis for comprehending myself and my world, and so i accept this scientific knowledge.Thats all. I just am incapable of allowing a view that is factually incorrect to go unchallenged. This gets me into some very interesting positions, both online and in real life.

That doesnt mean it is personal, or that you are not entitled to your pov.

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Mr Walker

No, we're born with no beliefs in anything, much as Atheism is itself. Atheism is the default stance, not a chosen stance. The thing you're failing to understand here is that Atheism is not a belief system or structure, if it was then Atheists would share as many similarities as theists do. By your logic everything we think is a belief.

Let us check the Oxford definition of 'belief': Note

noun

  • 1an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof:his belief in extraterrestrial life

Note the last part of the definition 'especially one without proof'. Theism has no proof, theism has no reality to it and thus is more definable as a belief than Atheism, something with requires no proof for it makes no claims... That is unless you misunderstand the burden of proof argument? Theism is the one making the claim and Atheism is not a rejection as such but a neutral standpoint. Just as one accepts that Unicorns do not exist, one accepts that God does not exist, there is no potential of a belief structure in that. There is also nothing natural about Theism, it was a weak attempt at explaining existence before we had more realistic and provable facts at hand, hence why many see religion to be redundant. I have no faith in Atheism, I have no belief in Atheism and I do not feel connected to any sense of Atheism.

You are incorrect and the definition does not help at all. Saying we are born atheist is like saying we are born dumb. The inabilty to know or express something does not mean that is our position. We are "nothing" when we are born. We learn ALL our world view, just as we learn our language, and neurologically the two are linked. It is our potential and capabiilty for language which gives us our abilty to think as we do; and the use of language which constructs the concepts and symbologies of humanity.

Atheism IS a belief. It is a belief that gods do not exist. A person who is not born or has died has no opinion. That doesnt make them an atheist. One has to acknowlege and state that they are an atheist, to make them one. if you do not believe me google many of the scholarly articles on the construction of belief and disbelief in humn beings.

Your definition uses the word "acceptance". only a cognizant self aware being can "accept" something. Acceptance is a choice and thus your definition inately implies that theism is a conscious choice. Any conscious choice made without evidence can only be a belief. Atheism is a conscious choice, and thus equally requires acceptance.

Scientific studies from all over the world prove that children develop a default belief in "god" by themselves, from observaiton of the natural world and the application of their mind to try and solve things they do not have prior knowledge to solve. Their answer is 'god ' did it.

Even where they use a different term for "god," the symbology of god is present . A child not given any background about god or religion witll inevitably construct their own view of god and, in a way, form their own religious beliefs. This is an evolved property of the human mind/linguistics, and is noted in every culture aruond the world from the time we have records. Even archaelogical records indicate that cromagnons and neandertals has religious beliefs.

Yes of course children will learn, and pick up, parental and cultural beliefs. Tha tis how they come to believe in one singular form of father christmas. But suppose a child is never taught about father christmas, yet sees presents appear every year under a tree. The child WILL inevitably construct a rationale for this occurence. It wiil be logical but flawed, due to insufficient data. It will create a belief about the event. And, probably, that belief given a childs mind will involve a "supernatural" force or purpose. Thus is known, illustrated and proven in many case studies using observation of childen in similar scenarios. Where a cause is unknown, humans, from childhood, atribute one which is logical to them.

Children have to be taught NOT to believe in god or in father christmas, and this can be done deliberately and specifically, or incidenatlly, through parental or cultural education.

ANd, simply, what IS atheism if it is not a form of human belief? It is not "non awareness" That does not exist in a normally functioning human mind. Atheism is a term and construct created through human thought and language. It thus can only be applied within the parameters of human thought and language. For example an animal can't be an atheist and neither, for the same reasons, can a new born child, because they dont have the abilty to comprehend or chose, or not chose, that symbolic/linguistic construction.

Atheism is the same as theism. It is a construct of belief which requires conscious choice by a self aware entity.

here is the oxford dictionary's definition of atheism

Oxford English Dictionary (OED), Second Edition

Here is how the OED defines "atheism":

atheism
Disbelief in, or denial of, the existence of a god.

disbelieve
1. trans. Not to believe or credit; to refuse credence to: a. a statement or (alleged) fact: To reject the truth or reality of.

deny
  1. To contradict or gainsay (anything stated or alleged); to declare to be untrue or untenable, or not what it is stated to be.

  2. Logic.
    The opposite of
    affirm
    ; to assert the contradictory of (a proposition).

  3. To refuse to admit the truth of (a doctrine or tenet); to reject as untrue or unfounded; the opposite of
    assert
    or
    maintain
    .

  4. To refuse to recognize or acknowledge (a person or thing) as having a certain character or certain claims; to disown, disavow, repudiate, renounce.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/sn-definitions.html

Note that it requires a
conscious choice
to deny or disbelieve in the existence of a god. A disbelief is a form of belief. It cannot be anything else.

Edited by Mr Walker

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Tiggs

Scientific studies from all over the world prove that children develop a default belief in "god" by themselves, from observaiton of the natural world and the application of their mind to try and solve things they do not have prior knowledge to solve. Their answer is 'god ' did it.

How can their answer be "god did it" unless they've been introduced to the word "god"?

If Children develop a default belief in God by themselves, then why are there entire tribes that have never heard of the concept of God?

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Arbenol

Im not sensitive, just pedantic. :whistle: Your opinion on the nature of atheism flies in the face of scientific knowledge/ understanding on how beliefs are formed. I accept science as my basis for comprehending myself and my world, and so i accept this scientific knowledge.Thats all. I just am incapable of allowing a view that is factually incorrect to go unchallenged. This gets me into some very interesting positions, both online and in real life.

That doesnt mean it is personal, or that you are not entitled to your pov.

My original comment, that people took way too seriously (in my opinion), was something of a throwaway one. However, much of it depends on your definitions of terms. To me, atheist clearly means someone who is conscious that there is a choice - to believe or not to believe. It's an active state. To be more accurate, babies are born 'non-believers' rather than atheists. I'd have to be some impressive kind of dumbo to have implied that when babies are born they have an awareness of their own opinions on this. I took it as read that others would appreciate this.

Having said that. I don't dispute what you said. (Except maybe your assertion that children will develop a belief in god all by themselves. As Seeker wrote, they will develop 'magical' thinking, but they need to be taught about god). Only you were talking about how beliefs are formed, I was talking about being born with a lack of belief. These are different things, as I'm sure you appreciate.

Edited by Arbenol68

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Dash--

How can their answer be "god did it" unless they've been introduced to the word "god"?

If Children develop a default belief in God by themselves, then why are there entire tribes that have never heard of the concept of God?

Didn't mankind at one time not have any kind of concept of what a deity is? Did anyone introduce the word God to them?

Why couldn't a child,in his/her secular growth,come to believe in a God?

Even if only one child in a billion believed,without religious inference,then it negates the claim that all children are born atheist

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Tiggs

Didn't mankind at one time not have any kind of concept of what a deity is? Did anyone introduce the word God to them?

That would depend on which religion you believe in.

Regardless - if you're claiming that a 2 year old not only has an experience that convinces them of the existence of the supernatural, but also chooses with their awesome mastery of language to name that supernatural entity "God" - then you're probably going to have a difficult time selling that claim.

Why couldn't a child,in his/her secular growth,come to believe in a God?

Even if only one child in a billion believed,without religious inference,then it negates the claim that all children are born atheist

No. If it's the result of "secular growth" (or any sort of growth whatsoever) - then what it does is completely reinforce the claim that all children are born atheist as an initial state.

What Mr Walker has claimed is that some of those children brought up in a culture which is saturated with belief in the supernatural are subject to believe supernatural experiences.

Darwin would have been shocked, I'm sure.

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Mr Walker

How can their answer be "god did it" unless they've been introduced to the word "god"?

If Children develop a default belief in God by themselves, then why are there entire tribes that have never heard of the concept of God?

Didnt you read the next sentence, "even where they use another name for god." "God", after all, is simply the english language linguistic attachment to a construct, or commonly held view, of an entity with certain parameters. This is what i actually wrote
Their answer is 'god ' did it.

Even where they use a different term for "god," the symbology of god is present .

Note the quotation marks around god. That was meant to illustrate that the term was not literal, but a symbolic construct, with the same nature and structure as we use for god. If you watch some of the interviews with such children you will hear a variety of terms and explanations, but they all involve the insertion of a self aware and purposeful entity, directing events beyond the child's control.

Rather than, say, use the concept of "magic,' they endow an "operator with self aware purpose" to make inexplicable and unobserved changes in their environment.

There is a simple explanation for this process and attribution. One of the first signs of self aware consciousnesses in the universe, is the consciousness of ones own self aware consciousness and abily to manipulate the environment with intent and purpose. This develops in children, along with increasinly complex language abilities, between the ages of 2 and 4. Thus young humans (and those adults without greater knowledge) endow all events, even the movement of the sun, with the same self aware intent and purpose which they recognise as existing within themselves.

Children, as I originally pointed out, universally create a "deus ex machina " to explain the inexplicable to them. They will use terms from their own cultural and language base to name that entity or construct. But such a "deus ex machina" in symbolic or linguistic terms is precisely what a construct of god is. An entity devised or constructed to explain the inexplicable.

I have heard the idea that a tribe some where has no concept of god, (On this forum only) but as far as i know that may be just an urban legend.

Again it depends on the term" god". Spirits are a form of god, so all animists, for example, are deists/theists. I am not denying such a tribe exists, but i would be interested just what their beliefs are.

After a quick google

http://freethinker.c...nto-an-atheist/

This may be the source of that urban legend, but it actually says nothing about the tribes understandings of the unknown, or gods, except that they had no creation myths or supreme deity. The form of god I am speaking of would most likely still be found in their beliefs. Humans simply do not accept the unknowns of the world without trying to understand them, and the creation of gods is a part of that process.

Edited by Mr Walker

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Mr Walker

That would depend on which religion you believe in.

Regardless - if you're claiming that a 2 year old not only has an experience that convinces them of the existence of the supernatural, but also chooses with their awesome mastery of language to name that supernatural entity "God" - then you're probably going to have a difficult time selling that claim.

No. If it's the result of "secular growth" (or any sort of growth whatsoever) - then what it does is completely reinforce the claim that all children are born atheist as an initial state.

What Mr Walker has claimed is that some of those children brought up in a culture which is saturated with belief in the supernatural are subject to believe supernatural experiences.

Darwin would have been shocked, I'm sure.

Im not claiming any such thing. I am reporting on widespread, scientifically validated, experiments/observations with children which clearly show that childen from many cultures and backgrounds construct their own concept of gods, from their own thought processes. It was shown that even where children were not introduc ed to the concept of god externally, they created it internally. The construction of the concept of gods is a part of our sapient thought process, like logic emotional thought and intuitive thought. No child has to be taught this. They devise it internally as part of the process by which they attempt to explain the unknowns in their world. The same process has been observed and recorded across the world in adult humans, in societies which do not have a scientific understanding of the universe because they lack data and knowledge to develop such scientific understandings. Teach a child nothing and it is even more likely to develop its own individual belief structures. They come from within our individual thought process, and do not have to be taught or learned, at all.

However they are linked to language, because human level thought, itself, is closely asociated with language. A human being who is never taught how to speak (even if they cannot physically speak) cannot think using the symbolic processes needed to develop such concepts as god.

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Mr Walker

My original comment, that people took way too seriously (in my opinion), was something of a throwaway one. However, much of it depends on your definitions of terms. To me, atheist clearly means someone who is conscious that there is a choice - to believe or not to believe. It's an active state. To be more accurate, babies are born 'non-believers' rather than atheists. I'd have to be some impressive kind of dumbo to have implied that when babies are born they have an awareness of their own opinions on this. I took it as read that others would appreciate this.

Having said that. I don't dispute what you said. (Except maybe your assertion that children will develop a belief in god all by themselves. As Seeker wrote, they will develop 'magical' thinking, but they need to be taught about god). Only you were talking about how beliefs are formed, I was talking about being born with a lack of belief. These are different things, as I'm sure you appreciate.

I accept this is what you meant, even if it did not sound that way. Babies are born without belief or disbelief. Belief and disbelief require conscious self awareness, which develops in children between the ages of 2 and 4.

I thought you were equating atheism with the form of non belief that babies have because, literally, that is how it sounded. ( I dont know how dumb or smart you are. I could only read what you had written and try to understand what you were saying..) :innocent:

As to details on how and why humans develop a concept of "god", see myprevious post.

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Dash--

Quote

That would depend on which religion you believe in.End quote

Any.It just shows that mankind,in its infancy,believed in (a)God without the input from any outside source.Unless you believe in divine intervention?

Point being.That these early humans created or was inspired by (a)God,without being "introduced" to the concept from any religious source.There had to be a first.right?E

Quote

Regardless - if you're claiming that a 2 year old not only has an experience that convinces them of the existence of the supernatural, but also chooses with their awesome mastery of language to name that supernatural entity "God" - then you're probably going to have a difficult time selling that claim. End quote

I don't remember making any such claim as to know what a 2 year old (your number) believes or doesn't believe.I'm not sure at that age a child would be aware or entertained by the notion of (a)God.But it still stands that that child could,in his/her development,conceive of such a notion without religious inference.Who knows?But to imply that it would not happen would require an absolute truth.I don't believe either of us holds that knowledge.

Quote

No. If it's the result of "secular growth" (or any sort of growth whatsoever) - then what it does is completely reinforce the claim that all children are born atheist as an initial state.End quote

Never said it was the result of their growth.I asked why couldn't a child,who has had secular growth(non religious involvement),conceive the notion of (a)God.And how would that completely reinforce the claim that all children are born atheist?How do we know that notion wasn't in the subconscious at birth?Waiting for the child to mature to a level of understanding these notions?

Also I'd like to Add that with the studies of neurology, and neurotheology,scientists are discovering more and more about how our temporal lobes are connected to spirituality and religious events.Now,correct me if i'm wrong,but i'm pretty sure we are born with our temporal lobes.Which leads me to believe that a child could be born wired to theism,as well as atheism.It's very interesting.you should check it out.

Also check out the effects of Dmt and its effects on the brain.It is natural, occurring in small amounts in human cerebrospinal fluids.Again,something we are born with.

I would also like to touch on what you mentioned earlier.About the tribes that have never heard about the notion of (a)God.

Can we actually say, that given enough time,these tribes wouldn't conceive of a god? I mean has their evolution ceased?Be it mental or spiritual evolution?Who's to say?They could very well be on the verge of religion as I type this.

Could it happen next year? next decade? next century? Unless we know for sure that their(or our) own evolution has stopped progressing,We can't know for sure.To say so would be saying you know knowledge that Darwin himself would not possess.

Maybe your statement should have read,There are tribes that haven't conceived of God as of this date in time? Maybe that's what you were implying with your statement?If so,I retract my previous remark,with apologies.

Quote

Darwin would have been shocked, I'm sure.End quote

Yes,Darwin would have been shocked

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Beckys_Mom

( I dont know how dumb or smart you are. I could only read what you had written and try to understand what you were saying..) :innocent:

:w00t: That sentence alone just made me chuckle... doesn't matter who it is aimed at.. I think it is how you worded it !!

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Magicjax

I think the comments about a child not being introduced to a god might still develope a perception of a super natural or "magical" being stems from an instinct we are born with. And that's the instinct to be parented. Do in a sense be "imprinted" by someone that we'll have to rely to be cared for. Though I think imprinting is a somewhat different process. But it's similar to the need to cling to someone as our care giver such as a parent.

An infant needs someone to care for them, to feed them, teach them the skills they'll need to survive. To feel safe and secure.

But a person that receives this care, learns from them and receives the skills and knowledge to survive will still eventually fib have questions their "parents" cannot answer. In this sense I can see how a person might someday make up a "mystical all knowing figure" that we might view as god even if they've never been introduced to the idea of religion. In a sense an imaginary friend that they can gain some comfort from by telling themselves that I don't understand it but my magical invisible friend is all knowing so he/it must have the answers. The feeling of the answer to the questions existing even if it hasn't been revoked to them personally can bring a sense if comfort.

So I believe it is possible for someone that's never been introduced to the concept of religion could indeed make up a similar line of thinking as religion. In fact I believe this is the reason religion was developed in the first place. But we aren't born with it. It's learned even when it's developed by a single individual. In other words without the ability to communicate with each other as well as humans can. Anyone that developed a "god" would be an individual invention only thought up to bring comfort to ones self. God would not have a name and each individual that created their own "god" would be very different from each others.

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Tiggs

Didnt you read the next sentence, "even where they use another name for god." "God", after all, is simply the english language linguistic attachment to a construct, or commonly held view, of an entity with certain parameters. This is what i actually wrote

Note the quotation marks around god. That was meant to illustrate that the term was not literal, but a symbolic construct, with the same nature and structure as we use for god. If you watch some of the interviews with such children you will hear a variety of terms and explanations, but they all involve the insertion of a self aware and purposeful entity, directing events beyond the child's control.

Rather than, say, use the concept of "magic,' they endow an "operator with self aware purpose" to make inexplicable and unobserved changes in their environment.

There is a simple explanation for this process and attribution. One of the first signs of self aware consciousnesses in the universe, is the consciousness of ones own self aware consciousness and abily to manipulate the environment with intent and purpose. This develops in children, along with increasinly complex language abilities, between the ages of 2 and 4. Thus young humans (and those adults without greater knowledge) endow all events, even the movement of the sun, with the same self aware intent and purpose which they recognise as existing within themselves.

Children, as I originally pointed out, universally create a "deus ex machina " to explain the inexplicable to them. They will use terms from their own cultural and language base to name that entity or construct. But such a "deus ex machina" in symbolic or linguistic terms is precisely what a construct of god is. An entity devised or constructed to explain the inexplicable.

Mr Walker - there is not a single scientific study in the history of the world that claims that children of the ages 2-4 years old construct their own Creator of the Universe as an explanation of "Magic".

I have heard the idea that a tribe some where has no concept of god, (On this forum only) but as far as i know that may be just an urban legend.

Again it depends on the term" god". Spirits are a form of god, so all animists, for example, are deists/theists. I am not denying such a tribe exists, but i would be interested just what their beliefs are.

After a quick google

http://freethinker.c...nto-an-atheist/

This may be the source of that urban legend, but it actually says nothing about the tribes understandings of the unknown, or gods, except that they had no creation myths or supreme deity. The form of god I am speaking of would most likely still be found in their beliefs. Humans simply do not accept the unknowns of the world without trying to understand them, and the creation of gods is a part of that process.

I think you'll find that they don't. The Pirahã

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Tiggs

Im not claiming any such thing. I am reporting on widespread, scientifically validated, experiments/observations with children which clearly show that childen from many cultures and backgrounds construct their own concept of gods, from their own thought processes. It was shown that even where children were not introduced to the concept of god externally, they created it internally. The construction of the concept of gods is a part of our sapient thought process, like logic emotional thought and intuitive thought. No child has to be taught this.

Then it should be trivial for you to provide evidence.

In particular - I want to see any cases where the researcher's claim that the children were not introduced to the concept of God externally.

Because I want to discover exactly how they monitored that for the child's lifespan and how the child's surroundings and environment were taken into consideration.

Curious minds want to know.

Edited by Tiggs

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Tiggs

Any.It just shows that mankind,in its infancy,believed in (a)God without the input from any outside source.Unless you believe in divine intervention?

Point being.That these early humans created or was inspired by (a)God,without being "introduced" to the concept from any religious source.There had to be a first.right?

Fairly sure that Adam was introduced to the concept of God by a religious source. Namely, God.

So - if you're an Abrahamic, then no is the correct answer.

If you're an Atheist - then there have been more Gods created throughout history than there are breakfast cereals.

I don't remember making any such claim as to know what a 2 year old (your number) believes or doesn't believe.I'm not sure at that age a child would be aware or entertained by the notion of (a)God.But it still stands that that child could,in his/her development,conceive of such a notion without religious inference.Who knows?But to imply that it would not happen would require an absolute truth.I don't believe either of us holds that knowledge.

Yes. Somewhere in the infinite vastness of space and time it's possible that eventually a small child may come to knowledge of God without outside inference and he will name himself

.

Never said it was the result of their growth.I asked why couldn't a child,who has had secular growth(non religious involvement),conceive the notion of (a)God.And how would that completely reinforce the claim that all children are born atheist?How do we know that notion wasn't in the subconscious at birth?Waiting for the child to mature to a level of understanding these notions?

Also I'd like to Add that with the studies of neurology, and neurotheology,scientists are discovering more and more about how our temporal lobes are connected to spirituality and religious events.Now,correct me if i'm wrong,but i'm pretty sure we are born with our temporal lobes.Which leads me to believe that a child could be born wired to theism,as well as atheism.It's very interesting.you should check it out.

Also check out the effects of Dmt and its effects on the brain.It is natural, occurring in small amounts in human cerebrospinal fluids.Again,something we are born with.

Babies do not come out of the birth canal praising the Lord of the Universe, attending confessional and saying Hail Mary's.

A predisposition for belief is not the same as being born with a belief.

Feel free, of course, to prove otherwise.

I would also like to touch on what you mentioned earlier.About the tribes that have never heard about the notion of (a)God.

Can we actually say, that given enough time,these tribes wouldn't conceive of a god? I mean has their evolution ceased?Be it mental or spiritual evolution?Who's to say?They could very well be on the verge of religion as I type this.

Could it happen next year? next decade? next century? Unless we know for sure that their(or our) own evolution has stopped progressing,We can't know for sure.To say so would be saying you know knowledge that Darwin himself would not possess.

Maybe your statement should have read,There are tribes that haven't conceived of God as of this date in time? Maybe that's what you were implying with your statement?If so,I retract my previous remark,with apologies.

It's probably a little late now for them to be able to evolve the concept themselves, given that the entire concept has now been introduced to them.

Yes,Darwin would have been shocked

Or, y'know, Not.

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Dash--

Fairly sure that Adam was introduced to the concept of God by a religious source. Namely, God.

If this is your belief,then i concede.This is not far from my own belief.

So - if you're an Abrahamic, then no is the correct answer.

Correct

If you're an Atheist - then there have been more Gods created throughout history than there are breakfast cereals.

If this,then your still not explaining how the initial notion came about without religious influence.As for breakfast cereals.lol.I agree.

Yes. Somewhere in the infinite vastness of space and time it's possible that eventually a small child may come to knowledge of God without outside inference and he will name himself

.

lol.I don't think it would take the infinite vastness of space and time.I would just like the results out of 100? 1000? Surely it must be proven in order to state that.The infinite vastness of space and time.WOW

If no testing has been done,then it is merely speculation.Cause how would we know?educated guesses? Sorry.in order to convince me,i would need something a little more empirical.lol.This< coming from a theist.lol

Babies do not come out of the birth canal praising the Lord of the Universe, attending confessional and saying Hail Mary's.

that would be a sight! but a physical act of a belief,is not the same thing as the notion of a belief.It could just be wired into the mainframe.

A predisposition for belief is not the same as being born with a belief.

Do you agree that a child could be born with a predisposition for belief?Then, is having a predisposition for a belief a theist characteristic or an atheist characteristic?

Feel free, of course, to prove otherwise.

I await your responses

It's probably a little late now for them to be able to evolve the concept themselves, given that the entire concept has now been introduced to them.

Understood.Although you worded your sentence ; then why are there entire tribes that have never heard of the concept of God?When it should have read; Why are there entire tribes that had never heard of the concept of God?

To this statement,I would give the same response.That given enough time,they could have.Science itself shows us what capabilities time has.Given enough time,the unlikely may become likely.

Who's to say this tribe wasn't in its spiritual development before inference?

As for Darwin wordplay

You can have the last word,I don't mind.

Editted.haven't quite got the hang of the multi-quote,but I'm working on it

Or, y'know, Not.

Edited by Dash--

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Tiggs

If this,then your still not explaining how the initial notion came about without religious influence.As for breakfast cereals.lol.I agree.

For some reason, you seem to think that I've somehow claimed that it's impossible for humans to invent God. Which would be rather ironic - seeing as I'm an atheist and you're a theist.

I've claimed that humans are not born Theists, nor do they grow into such until they're old enough to at least have the mental capacity to understand the concepts of "Universe" and "Creator of".

Thus - during that period prior - they are implicit atheists.

lol.I don't think it would take the infinite vastness of space and time.I would just like the results out of 100? 1000? Surely it must be proven in order to state that.The infinite vastness of space and time.WOW

If no testing has been done,then it is merely speculation.Cause how would we know?educated guesses? Sorry.in order to convince me,i would need something a little more empirical.lol.This< coming from a theist.lol

As per my response to Mr Walker - there is not a single scientific study in the history of the world that claims that children of the ages 2-4 years old construct their own Creator of the Universe as an explanation of "Magic".

In short - the incidence is currently running at absolute zero.

Feel free to prove otherwise.

Babies do not come out of the birth canal praising the Lord of the Universe, attending confessional and saying Hail Mary's.

that would be a sight! but a physical act of a belief,is not the same thing as the notion of a belief.It could just be wired into the mainframe.

A predisposition for belief is not the same as being born with a belief.

Do you agree that a child could be born with a predisposition for belief?Then, is having a predisposition for a belief a theist characteristic or an atheist characteristic?

I believe that you're willfully missing the point. Regardless of whether Bob decides to become a Buddhist or not at 28 - for the prior 27 years, Bob is an atheist.

Understood.Although you worded your sentence ; then why are there entire tribes that have never heard of the concept of God?When it should have read; Why are there entire tribes that had never heard of the concept of God?

Tenses. They're tricky when you're a Timelord. Or when you're unsure whether or not all of the tribes that don't believe in God have been found.

To this statement,I would give the same response.That given enough time,they could have.Science itself shows us what capabilities time has.Given enough time,the unlikely may become likely.

Who's to say this tribe wasn't in its spiritual development before inference?

The individual members of the Tribe and the anthropologist that found them.

If there's something comforting to you about the thought that in a thousand years, perhaps one of the then members of the tribe might have one day wondered who put the sun there, then be my guest. I have absolutely no idea why you believe that that would matter in the slightest.

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Dash--

Hi Tiggs.enjoying the discussion very much.

However,before we can continue,I believe we need to have a mutually agreed upon definition of the word atheism or atheist.

From Cambridge dictionaries

someone who believes that God or gods do not exist

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/atheist?q=atheist

From Encyclopedia Brittanica

atheism, in general, the critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or spiritual beings

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/40634/atheism

From Oxford Dictionary

disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/atheism

From The Skeptics Dictionary

Atheism is traditionally defined as disbelief in the existence of a god. As such, atheism involves active rejection of belief in the existence of at least one god.

http://skepdic.com/atheism.html

From Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

‘Atheism’ means the negation of theism, the denial of the existence of God.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/atheism-agnosticism/

Which one is the right one and why?

Which one is your idea of atheism? and why is it a better definition than any other?

As these are the generally accepted terms that i've become aware of,would you still say that with all these definitions that a newborn fits into all these categories?

These are the generally accepted definitions.Are or they not?

Let's look at belief and disbelief

Cambridge

disbelief -the refusal to believe that something is true-http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/disbelief

belief- the feeling of being certain that something exists or is true-http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/belief?q=belief

Oxford

disbelief-inability or refusal to accept that something is true or real-http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/disbelief

belief-1an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof:

2 (belief in) trust, faith, or confidence in (someone or something)-http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/belief?q=belief

Now i'm not an atheist,but the ones I run across(daily)and know personally(quite a few),would qualify as having characteristics of all these definitions.

so,would a newborn child qualify as having all these characteristics?

Sorry,but i still don't see how a newborn child could be labeled atheist or theist.They're just unaware.

By your way of thinking,wouldn't my dog be considered atheist too?

As for Bob,I wouldn't know what "hypothetical" worldviews he would have held,prior to becoming a buddhist.He may very well have been an apatheist(uncaring).With Bob being your fictional character,and you being atheist,I would imagine I'll be told that Bob was an atheist.

As for my Comfort and the Godless tribes.

You brought it up here: Quote:If Children develop a default belief in God by themselves, then why are there entire tribes that have never heard of the concept of God?

So i asked you the question: Quote:Didn't mankind at one time not have any kind of concept of what a deity is? Did anyone introduce the word God to them?

We both stayed on topic.

You seem to now agree that mankind,tribes,and children could conceive of (a)god.as seen in posts #41 and #43.All it becomes now is just the argument on a timeline.

But that will have to be later.

Thanks for the intelligent conversation.It is much appreciated. :tu:

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Tiggs

My preferred definition of Atheism comes in two types: Implicit and Explicit.

Explicit Atheism is the type where the atheist is aware of the possibility of the existence of at least one Deity. Implicit atheism is "Atheism by default", where the atheist is unaware of any possibility of there being a Deity.

If you'd rather call them "unaware" because you have a particular aversion to the thought of children ever being "Atheist" - then again - be my guest.

As the Wiki article points out - Baron D'Holbach said way back in 1772 - "All children are born Atheists; they have no idea of God".

My position on children and tribes is that if it were in any way common for children to naturally develop belief in God by themselves, then it should be vanishingly unlikely for an entire tribe to exist without any sign of belief of a god within it.

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Dash--

My preferred definition of Atheism comes in two types: Implicit and Explicit.

Explicit Atheism is the type where the atheist is aware of the possibility of the existence of at least one Deity. Implicit atheism is "Atheism by default", where the atheist is unaware of any possibility of there being a Deity.

If you'd rather call them "unaware" because you have a particular aversion to the thought of children ever being "Atheist" - then again - be my guest.

As the Wiki article points out - Baron D'Holbach said way back in 1772 - "All children are born Atheists; they have no idea of God".

My position on children and tribes is that if it were in any way common for children to naturally develop belief in God by themselves, then it should be vanishingly unlikely for an entire tribe to exist without any sign of belief of a god within it.

Nope.No aversion from me.Your definition actually sits well with me.It's when someone makes a generalized statement such as all children are born atheist,then i disagree.But if one was to stick with your definition of atheism,which is pretty much "without by default" I can agree to that.It's close enough to what i would believe,which is "unaware by default".Tomatos,tomatoes

But,as you can see and probably already know,there are more than a few definitions of what it is to be an atheist. A lot of which would not fit the claim that all children are born atheist.

However,if you do see it that way,why label a child as atheist at all? Why not just say he/she is unaware? Why attach a label that,to the general population,is synonimous with the definitions I listed?

Nothing against you.you didn't create the label.I understand that.I do however foresee future confusions with labeling newborns as atheist,without giving exacting definitions of what is implied.But not by me.I now understand the definition You use.

It may very well be" uncommon",or"vanishingly unlikely" that a tribe would turn out theistic by nature.But it does not mean it could not happen.As the same happened with some early tribes of mankind.

But,I think we have come to some form of agreement on these issues?So my point is moot.

off to bed

Thanks again for the intellectually stimulating conversation.

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Mr Walker

Mr Walker - there is not a single scientific study in the history of the world that claims that children of the ages 2-4 years old construct their own Creator of the Universe as an explanation of "Magic".

I think you'll find that they don't. The Pirahã

Ive documented them before. they were written up in the new scientist over nearly a full year, as a very interesting debate on this precise issue unfolded.It was posssibly 2009 or 2010 from memory.They gave all the studies and conclusions. That is precisely the scientific conclusion from these widespread studies across a number of continents and cultures.

As to the other, your very source confirms precisely wha ti was saying

However, they do believe in spirits that can sometimes take on the shape of things in the environment. These spirits can be jaguars, trees, or other visible, tangible things including people.[12] Everett reported one incident where the Pirahã said that “Xigagaí, one of the beings that lives above the clouds, was standing on a beach yelling at us, telling us that he would kill us if we go into the jungle.” Everett and his daughter could see nothing and yet the Pirahã insisted that Xigagaí was still on the beach.[13]

My bold

So they are theist/deists, and they worship spirits as a part of their own explanation for the effects of nature and their relationship to nature.

Edited by Mr Walker

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Mr Walker

Then it should be trivial for you to provide evidence.

In particular - I want to see any cases where the researcher's claim that the children were not introduced to the concept of God externally.

Because I want to discover exactly how they monitored that for the child's lifespan and how the child's surroundings and environment were taken into consideration.

Curious minds want to know.

Been there done that. Provided the precise sources a year or more ago in a similar thread. I am content to know I am right. ("and I am always right' .. prince humperdink... the princess bride) If you are really sure I am wrong, check out the new scientist for that period and read the articles, or continue believing as you please. :innocent:

Because my brain has gone soft from writing 100 reports i have helped you out. i ggogled "new scientist How young children construct god" and got a number of hits. the first sumamrise two debates in the magazine, one about a god spot in the brain, the other the mechanisms and defaults by which children construct god. Itis a later commentary on the articles.

http://www.mindpowernews.com/BrainGod.htm

Edited by Mr Walker

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Beckys_Mom

Because my brain has gone soft from writing 100 reports

I hope they are good reports, otherwise the parents heads will go soft reading them lol... It is that time of year again.. school report card time.. ohh I love that...Beckys is due soon too... :D

Takes me back to the days when I used to catch my younger brother hiding his school report down the back of the sofa and other weird places lol

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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Tiggs

My bold

So they are theist/deists, and they worship spirits as a part of their own explanation for the effects of nature and their relationship to nature.

They don't worship anything, Mr Walker. They claim to see things collectively that you and I don't see.

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