Are atheists born or made?

Creationism, Evolution, and other science issues

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harvey1
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Are atheists born or made?

Post #1

Post by harvey1 »

I think there's a reasonable case to be made that some people have a physical predisposition toward atheism. Having talked to atheists for many years I notice a preference to these points as being reasonable beliefs:

1) Something can come from absolutely nothing.
2) There could exist a cause for every effect going back in time without any beginning.
3) Fine-tuning presupposes a design objective that when nature is properly understood does not exist so there is no coincidence problem with the physical constants.
4) Consciousness is merely electrochemical processes in the brain that results (or is identical with) consciousness that is itself causally efficacious as an emergent system of the brain.
5) Etc.

Now each of these beliefs strike me as ridiculous once we get to the nitty gritty as to what they actually mean. But, surprising to me, atheists continue to defend these beliefs, and not only defend they often expect others to think it is irrational to deny them.

So, given that these are often intelligent folks making these claims, this leads me to ponder whether there is a physical predisposition to see the world atheistically. It seems that there is reason to believe this is the case.
People say of the last day, that God shall give judgment. This is true. But it is not true as people imagine. Every man pronounces his own sentence; as he shows himself here in his essence, so will he remain everlastingly -- Meister Eckhart

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Post #31

Post by Donray »

[Replying to post 30 by Athetotheist]

So your parents did not baptize you? They never took you to church? They never prayed at a meal?

What religion were/are your parents and what religion are you?

What religions did you study before selecting the one you selected?

Answer me why the vast majority of children wind up with there parents religious ideas. I think you were unusual. Most Christian families I know (all) took there children to church and made them pray.

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Post #32

Post by brunumb »

[Replying to post 30 by Athetotheist]
I said the claim that religious people are *simply* brainwashed is a fallacy.
What explanation do you offer for the majority of people who end up in the religion of their family, their community and even their country? There will always be outliers for whatever reason, but the geographical distribution of religious beliefs is very strong evidence for the effects of childhood and peer group indoctrination.
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Post #33

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to Donray]

My family was informally Christian, not really churched. I've been through numerous religious phases and the belief I now hold is athetotheism [my own term]. I coined it from the Greek words "atheto theo", meaning "ineffable God". I believe that there is some manner of creator whose full and exact nature is beyond human comprehension. It's somewhat like Deism, but doesn't hold as closely to Deism's traditional "watchmaker" concept of God; it's a more eclectic approach.

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Post #34

Post by Athetotheist »

brunumb wrote: [Replying to post 30 by Athetotheist]
I said the claim that religious people are *simply* brainwashed is a fallacy.
What explanation do you offer for the majority of people who end up in the religion of their family, their community and even their country? There will always be outliers for whatever reason, but the geographical distribution of religious beliefs is very strong evidence for the effects of childhood and peer group indoctrination.
Children are first exposed to the beliefs of their families, but it's a jump from there to an assumption of "brainwashing". Children tend to mirror their elders' political sentiments as well. Is that brainwashing? If someone retains the religious beliefs of their childhood as an adult, you can't automatically assume that they haven't formulated their own reasons for doing so.

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Post #35

Post by brunumb »

Athetotheist wrote:
brunumb wrote: [Replying to post 30 by Athetotheist]
I said the claim that religious people are *simply* brainwashed is a fallacy.
What explanation do you offer for the majority of people who end up in the religion of their family, their community and even their country? There will always be outliers for whatever reason, but the geographical distribution of religious beliefs is very strong evidence for the effects of childhood and peer group indoctrination.
Children are first exposed to the beliefs of their families, but it's a jump from there to an assumption of "brainwashing". Children tend to mirror their elders' political sentiments as well. Is that brainwashing? If someone retains the religious beliefs of their childhood as an adult, you can't automatically assume that they haven't formulated their own reasons for doing so.
Let me try again. What explanation do you offer for the majority of people who end up in the religion of their family, their community and even their country?
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

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Post #36

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to brunumb]

I offer tradition. I don't offer "brainwashing" or "indoctrination".

Now, theocratic teaching in public schools.....that would be indoctrination, like the atheocratic teaching in the schools of the old Soviet Union.

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Post #37

Post by brunumb »

[Replying to post 36 by Athetotheist]
Now, theocratic teaching in public schools.....that would be indoctrination, like the atheocratic teaching in the schools of the old Soviet Union.
I would argue that what you call tradition is equivalent to theocratic teaching within the home. The outcome is more consistent with indoctrination than merely following tradition.
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Re: Are atheists born or made?

Post #38

Post by Aetixintro »

[Replying to post 1 by harvey1]

I think "Atheists" are made and it has the following reasoning.

Children have a natural tendency to be kind and "Atheism" rejects this natural kindness, that is, the Humanism side of it. As children grow older, they develop intellects and with these intellects come a tendency toward (white-list) religion and deep conviction.

Therefore, I think that (white-list) religion is also more natural than "Atheism" and the (theoretical) Humanism.

See also The Fantastic Phenomena and Freak Nature as Accounts of Reality, on Facebook and elsewhere: https://www.facebook.com/notes/lukas-f- ... 606236984/.
I'm cool! :) - Stronger Religion every day! Also by "mathematical Religion", the eternal forms, God closing the door on corrupt humanity, possibly!

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Re: Are atheists born or made?

Post #39

Post by Tcg »

Aetixintro wrote:
Children have a natural tendency to be kind and "Atheism" rejects this natural kindness, that is, the Humanism side of it.
Atheism is the lack of belief in god/gods. In what way can atheism reject kindness?


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To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

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Not believing isn't the same as believing not.

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I must assume that knowing is better than not knowing, venturing than not venturing; and that magic and illusion, however rich, however alluring, ultimately weaken the human spirit.

- Irvin D. Yalom

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Re: Are atheists born or made?

Post #40

Post by benchwarmer »

Aetixintro wrote: [Replying to post 1 by harvey1]

I think "Atheists" are made and it has the following reasoning.
You're right, atheists are made. It's called procreation. Everyone is born without beliefs in gods (or anything for that matter).
Aetixintro wrote: Children have a natural tendency to be kind and "Atheism" rejects this natural kindness, that is, the Humanism side of it. As children grow older, they develop intellects and with these intellects come a tendency toward (white-list) religion and deep conviction.
Baloney. Please link us to the edicts of atheism that require rejecting kindness. You have this backwards. It is many theisms - including Christianity - which actually ask people to reject others.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... ersion=NIV
Luke 14:26 New International Version (NIV)
26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.

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