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Why people believe?

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Stubbly_Dooright
On 2/17/2017 at 0:30 PM, Sherapy said:
" Because human infants recognise agents (entities capable of initiating action)  and non agents ( entities incapable of initiating actions)  in life, they attribute an agency to every event in their life which they observe   If they can't see (or identify, due to a lack of  experiential knowledge ) a real agent, such as a human being or a dog taking their socks away, they will INVENT an agent who does so, and ALSO invent a reason WHY that agents  removes their socks." ( Walker)
 
If one is to look at the role of cognition in a young child or infant the prevailing theory is Attachment Theory and its role in forming behaviors ( as a system). Specifically, to address your post Cognitive behaviors are formed and based on the mental representations of the attachment figure ( Mom or Dad or the primary caregiver) in conjunction with repeated experience these mental models become wired as scripts for the child. John Bowlby suggested these "representational models" then become internalized as cognitive scripts. What you are trying to say is that children can make predictions you just do not have a current/ correct understanding of how/ why this happens. Attachment Theory explains that children are capable of making predictions based on these internal scripts. The predictions a child makes are thought to be at there best if the child has an accurate representation of reality from the attachment figure (AF). For example: Say the attachment figure believes in god and the child experiences church, reading bible stories with mom and dad, and routinely lives in an environment that is immersed in religion as a literal explanation for things the child will most likely see the stork as bringing babies and angels are real or oranges are invisible, and other made up a stories becomes the way to understand reality later on, because that is what they were taught by the AF. Of course it depends on how religion is presented to a child too.
And, now that we know the brain is malleable with intervention the brain can be rewired. It really is important what you tell yourself. We shape our brain in large part due to our early childhood including how to interpret a reality. MW, the Attachment Behavioral System encompasses many processes, including the role of emotions. When we are speaking of the child and his/her process/development of cognition we do so as an integral part of the behavioral system, cognitively  speaking this includes: object permanence, generalization, discernment, judgement, nonconcious processing, selective attention, memory, and interpretation biases. 

I totally agree. I have found various situations, experiences, with similarities to what I remember experiencing as a child, and whether those childhood experiences were either positive or negative, the experiences now, with characteristics that match the past one's, will be the same, the negatives from the past is felt in the present to the new experience, and vice versa with the positive. It's what we're accustomed to, right? 

If we again, use my secular upbringing up as an example, I do not take any deep ( and probably truthful ) credence to any typical belief system, because never was taught it, experienced it in a church or class setting, or was able to attribute miracles to past experiences because I have had no basis to think so. I'm accustomed to think it's more than likely not real to the pure sense, because I haven't see examples of it as a child. Or, have had adults to constantly say so, so I feel there isn't really a basis for me to think it as it is, as an adult myself. 

Another thing is the 'look at me' attitude I have seen constantly in my area, and thinking that's still part of the thinking today, because it's something I'm use to seeing. ( I really have had to exercise that out of me, and I am still trying. :w00t: )  Same thing with my kids, they're Atheists as adults, because of the lack of religious upbringing as children. They believe in certain other aspects, that was practiced through my husband and me during their childhood years. 

It's only natural to have an outlook in which you were raised in. :yes: 

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Stubbly_Dooright
On 2/21/2017 at 11:28 PM, Mr Walker said:

Yep that is exaclty wht i am saying, but its more complex than that.  Very young children differentiate between agents and non agents of change. They ALWAYS attribute an agency to a change  When the agency is unsighted or unknown they attribute an imagined agency to the change  BUT the concpet of these agents grows within a child's mind before language does iThe agents are the precursor of later gods or spirits

I think that's what Sheri said. 

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The children of atheists develop the same internal belief concepts as the children of theists.

Based on my experience and my kids's, I don't think so. 

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Adults never really  stop thinking like this, although with education experience and language they discover OTHER ways of thinking.

 

That's called education. What they feel, is still there and I feel will always be a basis in how one takes in education. 

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Once a child has language skills and begins to relate to others it will restructure its inner basic concepts to align with those of significant adults in its life  (this includes specific religious beliefs and atheism but also many other things like what is good or bad. )But adults dont teach kids to believe in gods. This belief is an evolved cognitive construct, evolving from the awareness of agents of change and our need to be able to explain what is happening in our wordl even when we lack data to do so accurately.    we know this because yong chldren form such beliefs before the yhave the language skills to learn them from others.

I don't think so. I'll use my daughter and something she did. And this was brought on by her observation ( and a friend's experience.) We did go through the usual bit of telling them about Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy, because we felt that was the experience one would entertain kids with. We just felt, let them come to their own conclusion about them when they are ready. My daughter came to the conclusion of the non-existence of the tooth fairy, when a friend told her, that he didn't tell his parents that he lost a tooth,(he felt he didn't think he needed to ) and that he also put it under his pillow expecting the tooth fairy to leave money. So, when it came to the morning, and he lifted his pillow, no money and his tooth was still there. He told my daughter this. Elementary, the logic is, there is no such thing of a tooth fairy. Something that was taught to children, but the logic of the situation shows that a belief cannot be self-taught in kids, but the opposite can, because they see right through it in time. 

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So a child brought up by an atheist robot who never mentions the concpet of reigion or belief will evolve its own beliefs and indeed religion in order that it can understand/make sense of things it just CANNOT otherwise make sense of .

A belief, or a self-preserving tool that helps them cope? Like an imaginary friend? I feel, that isn't always the case, and think it's religion they are teaching themselves, it's their point of view of what they think, based on their experience in their short lives. My kids never did that. I never did that, coming up with the usual common religion at that age. It wasn't a common factor to come to one's conclusion. 

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The process you describe is a ;later process as it clearly is influenced by a child's abilty to understand language. So parents might influence a child to become an atheist or to follow their own belief systems, but this only occurs well AFTER the child has begun to think in terms of mgicla agents.  This ealry patterning of cognition is believed to be why humans are so predisposed to belief  and why  less than 10 %  of adults world wide profess not to believe in any form of the spiritual/powers greater than themselves . 

Do you really understand the stuff you have quoted here Sherapy or is it just material you have selected to make a point? 

yes we can rewire the brain, even as older people, although it is physically easier in the young   So you can shape a child's beliefs or disbeleifs, values, attitudes, moralities and ethics (And i would argue that this is the duty of every adult and especially family members to a child)

BUT STILL our first patterns of cognition are based on the internal construction of beliefs about mystical/magical agents. and how they shape the environment around us.  One classic study asked very young children how seeds got inside a gourd.  The answer from all types of kids, all over the world, was that someone or something PUT the seeds inside the gourd,   for some purpose of their own.  That is a precursor god construct, which originated inside the child's own cognitive processes. NOT from any learned adult concept. 

it is easy for adults  to confirm a child's natural predilection to belief.  It is MUCH harder to teach them NOT to believe as it goes against the first  internal narratives and concepts which the y construct. . 

I think Sheri understands fully, considering I have see her show an interesting, an understanding, and various links and evidences in the past, that shows her understanding of the subject. 

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Stubbly_Dooright
15 hours ago, Sherapy said:

" God" (any god for that matter) resembles the prototypical attachment of a child to his/ her parents.. This is not news, Freud characterized this as " the exalted father figure" aka the "exalted attachment figure" basically "god" is the mix of the generic  archetypical mother/father/caregiver. Dude, god's are taught by mom and pops, just like there really is no Santa, now who told you there was? Hint hint. Think about this carefully.

 

So you ask, how does this work? When the baby is an infant it crys, oh gosh and it smiles, these are important attachment signals, it fires up the parental  instincts, ever heard a baby cry? Well it is like a loud alarm that you just have to shut off, the parent actually feels this as a strong urge/need/push to go pick the baby up, now!

 

Pay attention the next time you are out, observe what happens internally ( to you) when a baby cries. Nature has designed us this way. so we can bond, so we survive. Mom or Dad pick the baby up (the aversive) is crying this gets the infants needs met, smiling gets the infant hugs and cuddles have you ever seen a baby smile there isn't anything more dazzling, you stop, smile back  and say awww, your heart just melts in love and the family bonds. Meantime, In the brain a script is wired. As the child grows (as a part) of the weaning process we say things like don't be sad little Timmy "god" is always with you even when mommy and daddy are away. Or Timmy, "God will take care of butch the bully, you turn the other cheek." We say things like this  over and over and another mental script is wired.

 

Timmy as an adult will have no problem believing in God as it represents the warm and fuzzies, feeling safe, protected by the attachment figures. Haven't you heard people  say "god is their best friend, having Jesus in my heart is like falling in love." This is attachment/bonding. Haven't you heard a parent say "I fell madly in love with my baby. It is a chemical reaction.  Darv has it right its chemical (shh don't tell the kids) but the folks are behind the scenes pulling the strings. Did you ever see The Wizard of OZ ? God is taught, its not any more profound than that. Doesn't Christianity say get the kids young? Think about it. 

 

There is as many ways to script for "god" as an attachment figure as there are humans. It doesn't mean one shouldn't believe in god, but you don't have to there are all kinds of ways to get through life using other attachment surrogates. Some people just teach their kids to build strong support systems in their friends and family, find practical ways to deal with life's stressors, have a positive outlook, look for the value in things, nurture loving relationships so you have people in the times life is harsh. Etc. etc..

In which has me wondering. If it is to be believed that infants are self-teaching themselves religion, how is it the Jewish infant happens to do that in their Jewish family, or that a Catholic infant does that coincidentally in a Catholic family, or a Baptist infant in a Baptist family? I think one can see a pattern here. 

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Mr Walker
On 23/02/2017 at 11:58 AM, Sherapy said:

" God" (any god for that matter) resembles the prototypical attachment of a child to his/ her parents.. This is not news, Freud characterized this as " the exalted father figure" aka the "exalted attachment figure" basically "god" is the mix of the generic  archetypical mother/father/caregiver. Dude, god's are taught by mom and pops, just like there really is no Santa, now who told you there was? Hint hint. Think about this carefully.

 

So you ask, how does this work? When the baby is an infant it crys, oh gosh and it smiles, these are important attachment signals, it fires up the parental  instincts, ever heard a baby cry? Well it is like a loud alarm that you just have to shut off, the parent actually feels this as a strong urge/need/push to go pick the baby up, now!

 

Pay attention the next time you are out, observe what happens internally ( to you) when a baby cries. Nature has designed us this way. so we can bond, so we survive. Mom or Dad pick the baby up (the aversive) is crying this gets the infants needs met, smiling gets the infant hugs and cuddles have you ever seen a baby smile there isn't anything more dazzling, you stop, smile back  and say awww, your heart just melts in love and the family bonds. Meantime, In the brain a script is wired. As the child grows (as a part) of the weaning process we say things like don't be sad little Timmy "god" is always with you even when mommy and daddy are away. Or Timmy, "God will take care of butch the bully, you turn the other cheek." We say things like this  over and over and another mental script is wired.

 

Timmy as an adult will have no problem believing in God as it represents the warm and fuzzies, feeling safe, protected by the attachment figures. Haven't you heard people  say "god is their best friend, having Jesus in my heart is like falling in love." This is attachment/bonding. Haven't you heard a parent say "I fell madly in love with my baby. It is a chemical reaction.  Darv has it right its chemical (shh don't tell the kids) but the folks are behind the scenes pulling the strings. Did you ever see The Wizard of OZ ? God is taught, its not any more profound than that. Doesn't Christianity say get the kids young? Think about it. 

 

There is as many ways to script for "god" as an attachment figure as there are humans. It doesn't mean one shouldn't believe in god, but you don't have to there are all kinds of ways to get through life using other attachment surrogates. Some people just teach their kids to build strong support systems in their friends and family, find practical ways to deal with life's stressors, have a positive outlook, look for the value in things, nurture loving relationships so you have people in the times life is harsh. Etc. etc...

NO  a god construct is NOT simply a child's prototypical   attachment to its parents although yes it may RESEMBLE this. Iit alos invoves a child's recognition of many forms of agents and the imagined construction of many types of intelligent self motivated agents which make the world behave a s it does.   eg   Why does a tree move? (because an invisible spirit makes it do so)

Such god constructs are not just emotional responses to the parental figure, either, although I can see the argument for this  For a young child the world is filled with mysterious powerful agents which operate invisibly and make alterations in the child's world It is on THIS early cognitive construct that later, more sophisticated, god constructs are built.  Thus an adult from an early time might see the sun or moon as gods, or powerful agents which affect their lives and must be propitiated with worship and sacrifice. 

Of course humans dont HAVE to believe in "gods" but our minds are wired from birth /early cognitive development to do so in order to make sense of, and progress, in a world which we don't fully understand, and thus almost every human being does have some form of this belief  Have you noticed that children who do not have loving parents who respond to their needs are more likely to become atheists? Of course not  The biological attachment between parent and child  is not he prime cause of god construction in young children, . if it contributes at all.

And yes there a re many healthy ways parents can teach their kids to be empowered resilient and positively adapted to life  Remember i was brought up as a secular humanist, by parents who did not believe in god.  

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Mr Walker
11 hours ago, Stubbly_Dooright said:

In which has me wondering. If it is to be believed that infants are self-teaching themselves religion, how is it the Jewish infant happens to do that in their Jewish family, or that a Catholic infant does that coincidentally in a Catholic family, or a Baptist infant in a Baptist family? I think one can see a pattern here. 

Infants self teach themselves that "gods" (mysterious and powerful agents of change with their own agendas)  exist.

 Parents shape and form the particular religious style, if any, which evolves from that first belief construct  The parents and community build on the pre existing belief, constructed in a child's mind, that there are powerful agents, who manipulate the environment around them .  This makes it easier not only for parents to teach a child religion, but it also makes adults susceptible to religious belief. 

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Frank Merton
6 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

NO  a god construct is NOT simply a child's prototypical   attachment to its parents although yes it may RESEMBLE this. Iit alos invoves a child's recognition of many forms of agents and the imagined construction of many types of intelligent self motivated agents which make the world behave a s it does.   eg   Why does a tree move? (because an invisible spirit makes it do so)

Such god constructs are not just emotional responses to the parental figure, either, although I can see the argument for this  For a young child the world is filled with mysterious powerful agents which operate invisibly and make alterations in the child's world It is on THIS early cognitive construct that later, more sophisticated, god constructs are built.  Thus an adult from an early time might see the sun or moon as gods, or powerful agents which affect their lives and must be propitiated with worship and sacrifice. 

Of course humans dont HAVE to believe in "gods" but our minds are wired from birth /early cognitive development to do so in order to make sense of, and progress, in a world which we don't fully understand, and thus almost every human being does have some form of this belief  Have you noticed that children who do not have loving parents who respond to their needs are more likely to become atheists? Of course not  The biological attachment between parent and child  is not he prime cause of god construction in young children, . if it contributes at all.

And yes there a re many healthy ways parents can teach their kids to be empowered resilient and positively adapted to life  Remember i was brought up as a secular humanist, by parents who did not believe in god.  

A tree moves with the breeze.  It is not in the nature of tree-ness to be concerned with how it is blown this way or that each day.  The important things to it happen over the course of the seasons, and in these things it makes its own decisions.  That it is concerned with things other than our concerns, and that it reacts differently than we react to things, is its business, and is what it finds best for it.

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Mr Walker
12 hours ago, Stubbly_Dooright said:

I think that's what Sheri said. 

Based on my experience and my kids's, I don't think so. 

That's called education. What they feel, is still there and I feel will always be a basis in how one takes in education. 

I don't think so. I'll use my daughter and something she did. And this was brought on by her observation ( and a friend's experience.) We did go through the usual bit of telling them about Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy, because we felt that was the experience one would entertain kids with. We just felt, let them come to their own conclusion about them when they are ready. My daughter came to the conclusion of the non-existence of the tooth fairy, when a friend told her, that he didn't tell his parents that he lost a tooth,(he felt he didn't think he needed to ) and that he also put it under his pillow expecting the tooth fairy to leave money. So, when it came to the morning, and he lifted his pillow, no money and his tooth was still there. He told my daughter this. Elementary, the logic is, there is no such thing of a tooth fairy. Something that was taught to children, but the logic of the situation shows that a belief cannot be self-taught in kids, but the opposite can, because they see right through it in time. 

A belief, or a self-preserving tool that helps them cope? Like an imaginary friend? I feel, that isn't always the case, and think it's religion they are teaching themselves, it's their point of view of what they think, based on their experience in their short lives. My kids never did that. I never did that, coming up with the usual common religion at that age. It wasn't a common factor to come to one's conclusion. 

I think Sheri understands fully, considering I have see her show an interesting, an understanding, and various links and evidences in the past, that shows her understanding of the subject. 

I am using scientific information from many experts and disciplines.   What you say about your own child actually supports my pov   The FIRST form of cognitive awareness is belief As a child grows older is more exposed to other ideas, develops more experience, and evolves different ways of thinking like logic, it can change   How it changes will depend on many influences brought to bear  on the child 

  In this instance sherapy is not completely wrong but is looking with two narrow a view   Loving parents don't make kids respond with a similar  attachment to a god construct The need for them to be able to make sense of their world does this. 

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Sherapy
12 hours ago, Stubbly_Dooright said:

I totally agree. I have found various situations, experiences, with similarities to what I remember experiencing as a child, and whether those childhood experiences were either positive or negative, the experiences now, with characteristics that match the past one's, will be the same, the negatives from the past is felt in the present to the new experience, and vice versa with the positive. It's what we're accustomed to, right? 

If we again, use my secular upbringing up as an example, I do not take any deep ( and probably truthful ) credence to any typical belief system, because never was taught it, experienced it in a church or class setting, or was able to attribute miracles to past experiences because I have had no basis to think so. I'm accustomed to think it's more than likely not real to the pure sense, because I haven't see examples of it as a child. Or, have had adults to constantly say so, so I feel there isn't really a basis for me to think it as it is, as an adult myself. 

Another thing is the 'look at me' attitude I have seen constantly in my area, and thinking that's still part of the thinking today, because it's something I'm use to seeing. ( I really have had to exercise that out of me, and I am still trying. :w00t: )  Same thing with my kids, they're Atheists as adults, because of the lack of religious upbringing as children. They believe in certain other aspects, that was practiced through my husband and me during their childhood years. 

It's only natural to have an outlook in which you were raised in. :yes: 

 Kids that talk, 18 months on make sense of the world by asking tons of questions and depending on the answers depends on the type of the conclusions they draw. My boys asked questions till my ears fell off. I remember telling my middle son that there are just not answers for everything. Lol 

 

My gosh, my youngest grew up in the beginning of the technological age, he was on a computer fluently in 2nd grade. He was in an online charter school till he graduated. . I have never stood in the way of my children exploring the world of knowledge, I put the computer in the front room and let them go. I kept an eye out for them, but I let my kids learn. They were reality based, the world is different now. I live in California, an incredibly diverse place (on many levels) we just don't trip out on religion, who cares what religion someone is it doesn't matter. You were on the cutting edge of inclusiveness with your parenting. We are a product of our enviornemts, our influences, our experiences and our brain. Great examples Stubbs. 

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Mr Walker
2 minutes ago, Frank Merton said:

A tree moves with the breeze.  It is not in the nature of tree-ness to be concerned with how it is blown this way or that each day.  The important things to it happen over the course of the seasons, and in these things it makes its own decisions.  That it is concerned with things other than our concerns, and that it reacts differently than we react to things, is its business, and is what it finds best for it.

YOU know that.  An infant less than a year old does not, and so constructs from within its own mind a reason why the tree moves.  Both children and primitive adult humans ALWAYS attach purpose to events and construct purposeful entities of change. This is understandable as first we observe how some entities initiate change and we soon also become ware of our own mind and direction  Thus we always tend to attribute intelligent purpose, like our own, to all events and changes in the world around us until we understand the actual/scientific reason. 

 Early pepole saw spirits and aware intelligence in EVERYTHING around them. and this certainly persisted and is recorded up to the Sumerian and Babylonian civilisations where if a beer didn't brew properly it was due to malign spirits or failure to propitiate the spirit of beer making,    nothing like we would consider scientific reasons. The same principle is recorded applying to brick making.

I like your description of the nature of a tree,  even if it is actually a human perspective and not gained from a tree. :) 

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Sherapy
14 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

Infants self teach themselves that "gods" (mysterious and powerful agents of change with their own agendas)  exist.

 Parents shape and form the particular religious style, if any, which evolves from that first belief construct  The parents and community build on the pre existing belief, constructed in a child's mind, that there are powerful agents, who manipulate the environment around them .  This makes it easier not only for parents to teach a child religion, but it also makes adults susceptible to religious belief. 

MW, infants are pre-linguistic how could they  "self teach" themselves about god? The answer is they can't. 

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Mr Walker
8 minutes ago, Sherapy said:

 Kids that talk, 18 months on make sense of the world by asking tons of questions and depending on the answers depends on the type of the conclusions they draw. My boys asked questions till my ears fell off. I remember telling my middle son that there are just not answers for everything. Lol 

 

My gosh, my youngest grew up in the beginning of the technological age, he was on a computer fluently in 2nd grade. He was in an online charter school till he graduated. . I have never stood in the way of my children exploring the world of knowledge, I put the computer in the front room and let them go. I kept an eye looke dout for them, but I let my kids learn. They were reality based, the world is different now. I live in California, a incredibly diverse place on many levels we just don't trip out on religion, who cares what religion someone is it doesn't matter. You were on the cutting edge of inclusiveness with your parenting. We are a product of our enviornemts, our influences, our experiences and our brain. Great examples Stubbs. 

By the time they are talking, young children have already constructed god concepts and identified agents of change.  You are speaking of children with some knowledge and learning. At first a child has no data or experience to help it, yet STILL is compelled to explain its environment, in order to feel secure  Language exposes children to external influences, understandings and knowledge and hence is the beginning of a childs evolution of cognitive process.  

I have no argument with anything you say in this post but this is the second stage of cognitive development, and occurs AFTER children evolve their own god concepts. 

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Sherapy
19 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

YOU know that.  An infant less than a year old does not, and so constructs from within its own mind a reason why the tree moves.  Both children and primitive adult humans ALWAYS attach purpose to events and construct purposeful entities of change. This is understandable as first we observe how some entities initiate change and we soon also become ware of our own mind and direction  Thus we always tend to attribute intelligent purpose, like our own, to all events and changes in the world around us until we understand the actual/scientific reason. 

 Early pepole saw spirits and aware intelligence in EVERYTHING around them. and this certainly persisted and is recorded up to the Sumerian and Babylonian civilisations where if a beer didn't brew properly it was due to malign spirits or failure to propitiate the spirit of beer making,    nothing like we would consider scientific reasons. The same principle is recorded applying to brick making.

I like your description of the nature of a tree,  even if it is actually a human perspective and not gained from a tree. :) 

MW, Google pre-linguistic.

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Sherapy
21 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

By the time they are talking, young children have already constructed god concepts and identified agents of change.  You are speaking of children with some knowledge and learning. At first a child has no data or experience to help it, yet STILL is compelled to explain its environment, in order to feel secure  Language exposes children to external influences, understandings and knowledge and hence is the beginning of a childs evolution of cognitive process.  

I have no argument with anything you say in this post but this is the second stage of cognitive development, and occurs AFTER children evolve their own god concepts. 

A child feels secure because it attaches/ bonds to the Attachment Figure(s). Read up on Bowlby and Ainsworth, We are in the third decade of understanding the brain and how it works thanks to Neuroscience, Attachment Theory is the go to these days.

 

 

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Sherapy
1 hour ago, Mr Walker said:

I am using scientific information from many experts and disciplines.   What you say about your own child actually supports my pov   The FIRST form of cognitive awareness is belief As a child grows older is more exposed to other ideas, develops more experience, and evolves different ways of thinking like logic, it can change   How it changes will depend on many influences brought to bear  on the child 

  In this instance sherapy is not completely wrong but is looking with two narrow a view   Loving parents don't make kids respond with a similar  attachment to a god construct The need for them to be able to make sense of their world does this. 

It is an attachment system of behaviors that involve cognition, the role of emotions, the fear system, the exploratory system, the sociable system, the caregiving system, etc. etc. If you are interested, you could read the Handbook of Attachment (Theory, Research, and Clinical Applications). Then we could discuss this. You are just missing too much background for this to be fruitful. I am open to a discussion but the narrow view is on your end.  Why not use examples from the hundreds of kids you raised like Stubbs does or I do to help us make sense of what you are trying to say. 

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Sherapy
1 hour ago, Mr Walker said:

YOU know that.  An infant less than a year old does not, and so constructs from within its own mind a reason why the tree moves.  Both children and primitive adult humans ALWAYS attach purpose to events and construct purposeful entities of change. This is understandable as first we observe how some entities initiate change and we soon also become ware of our own mind and direction  Thus we always tend to attribute intelligent purpose, like our own, to all events and changes in the world around us until we understand the actual/scientific reason. 

 Early pepole saw spirits and aware intelligence in EVERYTHING around them. and this certainly persisted and is recorded up to the Sumerian and Babylonian civilisations where if a beer didn't brew properly it was due to malign spirits or failure to propitiate the spirit of beer making,    nothing like we would consider scientific reasons. The same principle is recorded applying to brick making.

I like your description of the nature of a tree,  even if it is actually a human perspective and not gained from a tree. :) 

An infant less than a year old would not be wondering why the tree moves, they are pre-linguistic. The "concern" and (this is not the best word to use) it is more of an instinct (impetus) which is to keep the attachment figure(s) in proximity. Re-read my first  few posts to help make sense of this. 

Edited by Sherapy
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Mr Walker
1 hour ago, Sherapy said:

MW, infants are pre-linguistic how could they  "self teach" themselves about god? The answer is they can't. 

Now you are getting to it.  Infants think and learn from before birth and increasingly as the ir sight develops    God constructs evolve BEFORE spoken language has become sophisticated. It is a childs processing of data form the world around it driven by a biological imperative to make sense of that data This is a evolutionary imperative intended to make us feel safer more secure and thus more functional.  Children begin thinking in internal  cognitve processing well before they can physically form their mouth tongue palate etc correclty to make intelligible words  The ablty to physically speak and  to form words takes a lot of observation imitation and practice to develop . Ie we think internally well in advance of our ability to speak .

At first, then, a child may gather meaning through your tone of voice, inflection, gestures and facial expressions.  Studies have shown that soothing words and tones register differently to an infant than distressed and angry sounds or words.  But it is also stunning to realize how quickly very young children understand the meaning of words themselves.  From the earliest days of their lives, children are developing their vocabulary. At this young age, the child's ability to understand words far outstrips her ability to speak words.  This is one reason it makes good sense to talk a lot with very young children... they are learning words and meanings long before they can speak!

It is a thrill when parents realize how much a child is processing and learning before she utters her first word.  Finally, they can talk to their children and be clearly understood.  "Please bring your shoes to me so we can put them on"... and lo and behold the child delivers her sneakers.  "Will you please pick up your trains off the floor so no one steps on them and breaks them?"  And he picks up his trains.  The child may not be able to speak yet, but he is accumulating an understanding of many, many words - far more than he will be able to put voice to for months and months. 

So, a child is never too young to understand what's going on (even if on a purely emotional level) and a child is never too young to talk to. 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/great-kids-great-parents/201201/children-talk-they-understand-lot

Hence this is how and why children can form internal god concepts or identify agents from non agents WELL before they can ever speak a word  The language of mind precedes the spoken language often by several years. 

 

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Mr Walker
1 hour ago, Sherapy said:

MW, Google pre-linguistic.

I've been away walking the dogs.  I've  provided the psychological/ cognitive reasons why children can develop concepts internally before they can speak. In a sense there is NO "pre linguistic"  phase in children,  if we a re speaking of the language  of the mind. . 

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Mr Walker
45 minutes ago, Sherapy said:

An infant less than a year old would not be wondering why the tree moves, they are pre-linguistic. The "concern" and (this is not the best word to use) it is more of an instinct (impetus) which is to keep the attachment figure(s) in proximity. Re-read my first  few posts to help make sense of this. 

Answered.  We know that indeed they ARE wondering why it moves and answering their own question  in simple terms 

 

e. Nonetheless, a growing body of converging evidence is leading many to reduce the age at which they are willing to grant infants the ability to attribute simple mental states such as perception, attention or goals. This evidence comes from at least three general (overlapping) sources, each of which will be reviewed below along with related counter-arguments: (1) infants’ interpretation of people as indexed by their active interactions with others – yielding gross dependent measures based on productive behaviors; (2) infants’ interpretation of people as indexed by their passive observations of others – yielding subtle attentional measures; and (3) infants’ interpretations of non-human agents. Less direct research exists in this third area, so both sorts of dependent measures will be discussed together. Infants’ interpretation of people: measures of active interaction The onset of communicative gestures and joint attention behaviors between the ages of nine and 12 months is typically seen as the first plausible sign of mentalistic attributions. At this age infants begin reliably to produce and comprehend gestures such as pointing, showing and requesting12–17.

, Johnson et al. suggested that around the same age that infants seem able to attribute mental states such as perception and attention to people (12 months), infants are also able to attribute these mental states to novel entities other than people (see Box 2). In other work that tested infants’ interpretations of the behavior of non-human agents, Gergely and his colleagues showed that 12-month-olds develop visual expectations about the movements of computer-animated dots based on apparent interpretations of the dots’ goal-directedness4

 

read the whole article for the entire debate/discussion  but certainly by  9-12 months infants have all the skills necessary to identify agents and to attribute agents as the cause of changes in their environment.  

http://www.ucd.ie/artspgs/semantics/ToMInInfancyTiCs.pdf

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Mr Walker
1 hour ago, Sherapy said:

A child feels secure because it attaches/ bonds to the Attachment Figure(s). Read up on Bowlby and Ainsworth, We are in the third decade of understanding the brain and how it works thanks to Neuroscience, Attachment Theory is the go to these days.

 

 

I m not arguing you are wrong with this, only arguing that it is NOT why infants develop belief in gods, or at least not the most important/ significant reason .

 That comes from very young infants (under 12 months for some)  attributing purpose to agents of change which they construct in their own minds to explain the things they  see around them. This is KNOWN to be true, not only from some of the work done with infants of this age, but by questioning slightly older children, as they enter the linguistic phase.  

Edited by Mr Walker

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Stubbly_Dooright
9 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Infants self teach themselves that "gods" (mysterious and powerful agents of change with their own agendas)  exist.

:o  :no:  HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW?!?!?!? :no:  :o  How do they do that? Do you have links that shows the investigative scientific experiments on them that show they do that? I ask, because if you remember I raised two children, from infancy ( birth ) and there is no way I have seen them self taught themselves to believe in any god. Remember, I said they became Atheists. They were taught about Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, and the tooth fairy ( remember how I explained about my daughter coming to conclusions of the none existence of the tooth fairy?!? ) 

In fact, here's a question for you. If infants teach themselves about god, a generic god so to speak, what keeping them  from forming themselves about the Baptist God within a Catholic family, or a Jewish God within a Muslim family? Despite most common religions of just one god, there does seem to be vast differences in the god of each. 

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Stubbly_Dooright
9 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

I am using scientific information from many experts and disciplines.  

I don't care if you tell me you found out by dancing the two step with a top hat on, singing the song that the little lizard guy from "SpaceBalls" sings. I know, from a certain logic point of view, if it makes sense, that that it must be. That means, you would show me, how the result occurred by showing how your scientific information from many experts and disciplines. I could tell you about findings (that you would probably disagree with ) that were given to me by a little birdy told me by whispering it in my ear and I would have you believe me, because of that. And of course, you would say you didn't believe me. 

Quote

What you say about your own child actually supports my pov   The FIRST form of cognitive awareness is belief As a child grows older is more exposed to other ideas, develops more experience, and evolves different ways of thinking like logic, it can change   How it changes will depend on many influences brought to bear  on the child 

You're reaching!!!! :no:  Your point is stemming from infants teaching themselves. My example against you're point, is my daughter at a later age, in which children are in the process of getting to know their awareness and coming to their own conclusions. Your reaching of my daughter's experience still doesn't explain how she would have taught herself as an infant. And the rest of this paragraph of your's is matching what I have said, so it's not explaining (still ) how infants is teaching themselves. 

Quote

In this instance sherapy is not completely wrong but is looking with two narrow a view   Loving parents don't make kids respond with a similar  attachment to a god construct The need for them to be able to make sense of their world does this. 

First, Sheri is the last person to have a narrow view. 

Second, I think you need to construct a better sentence of the one I have in bold. What does that sentence mean? It looks unfinished. 'Loving parents don't make kids respond with a similar attachment to a god construct.............'  I'm waiting for a 'and?' or a 'by' or which ever. Am I the only one who feels that sentence is unfinished? ( this question was not to you Mr. Walker ) 

Plus, then the last sentence doesn't make sense either. 

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Stubbly_Dooright
9 hours ago, Sherapy said:

Kids that talk, 18 months on make sense of the world by asking tons of questions and depending on the answers depends on the type of the conclusions they draw. My boys asked questions till my ears fell off. I remember telling my middle son that there are just not answers for everything. Lol 

 

My gosh, my youngest grew up in the beginning of the technological age, he was on a computer fluently in 2nd grade. He was in an online charter school till he graduated. . I have never stood in the way of my children exploring the world of knowledge, I put the computer in the front room and let them go. I kept an eye out for them, but I let my kids learn. They were reality based, the world is different now. I live in California, an incredibly diverse place (on many levels) we just don't trip out on religion, who cares what religion someone is it doesn't matter. You were on the cutting edge of inclusiveness with your parenting. We are a product of our enviornemts, our influences, our experiences and our brain. Great examples Stubbs. 

Thank you! :)  And what you said, BINGO!!!! :tu: My kids did the same! :yes: 

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Stubbly_Dooright
9 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

YOU know that.  An infant less than a year old does not, and so constructs from within its own mind a reason why the tree moves.

How can it know that, if it doesn't see it. Meaning, it doesn't know a tree exists yet! Can that get any more logical than that? 

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Stubbly_Dooright
9 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

By the time they are talking, young children have already constructed god concepts and identified agents of change.  You are speaking of children with some knowledge and learning. At first a child has no data or experience to help it, yet STILL is compelled to explain its environment, in order to feel secure  Language exposes children to external influences, understandings and knowledge and hence is the beginning of a childs evolution of cognitive process.  

I have no argument with anything you say in this post but this is the second stage of cognitive development, and occurs AFTER children evolve their own god concepts. 

By popular understanding, I would think, infants have no way of constructing anything. You say this, but don't show how or why or sources. There is no way I can see how this is true, when there is no way of logically seeing this would happen. 

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Stubbly_Dooright
7 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

 

9 hours ago, Sherapy said:

MW, infants are pre-linguistic how could they  "self teach" themselves about god? The answer is they can't. 

Now you are getting to it.  Infants think and learn from before birth and increasingly as the ir sight develops    God constructs evolve BEFORE spoken language has become sophisticated. It is a childs processing of data form the world around it driven by a biological imperative to make sense of that data This is a evolutionary imperative intended to make us feel safer more secure and thus more functional.  Children begin thinking in internal  cognitve processing well before they can physically form their mouth tongue palate etc correclty to make intelligible words  The ablty to physically speak and  to form words takes a lot of observation imitation and practice to develop . Ie we think internally well in advance of our ability to speak .

At first, then, a child may gather meaning through your tone of voice, inflection, gestures and facial expressions.  Studies have shown that soothing words and tones register differently to an infant than distressed and angry sounds or words.  But it is also stunning to realize how quickly very young children understand the meaning of words themselves.  From the earliest days of their lives, children are developing their vocabulary. At this young age, the child's ability to understand words far outstrips her ability to speak words.  This is one reason it makes good sense to talk a lot with very young children... they are learning words and meanings long before they can speak!

It is a thrill when parents realize how much a child is processing and learning before she utters her first word.  Finally, they can talk to their children and be clearly understood.  "Please bring your shoes to me so we can put them on"... and lo and behold the child delivers her sneakers.  "Will you please pick up your trains off the floor so no one steps on them and breaks them?"  And he picks up his trains.  The child may not be able to speak yet, but he is accumulating an understanding of many, many words - far more than he will be able to put voice to for months and months. 

So, a child is never too young to understand what's going on (even if on a purely emotional level) and a child is never too young to talk to. 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/great-kids-great-parents/201201/children-talk-they-understand-lot

Hence this is how and why children can form internal god concepts or identify agents from non agents WELL before they can ever speak a word  The language of mind precedes the spoken language often by several years. 

Do you fully understand the point in the link? There is nothing in that link to say how an infant is teaching itself about God. Yes, the link is correct, the infant is fully aware of what it is experiencing within it's world view. And of course, that is mostly what they understand from their parents. But, if the parents are not instructing about God, then it's not aware of God, just what they are aware of from their parent's communication. 

Your point of infants teaching themselves about God and the link's reasoning of how the infant is aware of what it is being taught doesn't connect to each other. 

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