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harvey1
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:30 am  Are atheists born or made? Reply with quote

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.
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 21: Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:26 pm
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Religious people are brainwashed into religion. They are born without religion and through there parents and religious leaders brainwashed into a certain belief system.. Why does one think that almost ALL people follow there parents religion? Why are Muslim children Muslin and not Christain?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 22: Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:16 am
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Re: Are atheists born or made?

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harvey1 wrote:

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...

Have you considered the possibility that these beliefs are continually defended by intelligent folks simply they make rational sense to us intelligent folks?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 23: Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:03 pm
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Re: Are atheists born or made?

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harvey1 wrote:

[Replying to post 8 by Divine Insight]

DI we've already established that you're very happy living in a godless world. It would literally take months to go through each of these points to show how unsound your objections are, but you would just continue to fight tooth and nail to defend a set of beliefs that make you happy. I don't see the point. It would be better to wait until a person shows up who doesn't feel like they must put up every cavil possible to defend their beliefs.

<bolding mine>

harvey1, you’re setting the debate up to fail if you expect your debate opponent(s) to refrain from making objections.

You first stated four ‘beliefs’ and then offered your opinion that
Quote:
each of these beliefs strike me as ridiculous


Note that you haven’t taken any time at all (let alone ‘months’) to ‘go through each of these points to show how unsound your objections are’. You further claim (again, unsupported) that basically any amount of debate/evidence would be insufficient to change your opponent’s position.

Furthermore, you would seem to prefer to restrict debate only to those who won’t put up ‘petty objections’. That leaves you plenty of wriggle room to avoid answering any point you don’t like by the simple method of declaring it ‘cavilling’.

And finally, despite a fairly clear thread title, you early on in the debate post this:

Quote:
I'm mostly concentrated on what beliefs appeal to people as they become more aware of the issues that divide theism and atheism.

This presupposes that atheists are ‘made’, as ‘becoming aware of the issues’ obviously happens after birth.

I do acknowledge that you seem receptive to a more ‘narrow focus’ debate in future, so I look forward to that.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 24: Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:52 am
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I doubt that atheism is physiological. I think it's more likely psychological. Organized religion has presented the world with a picture of Deity which is, in many instances, highly objectionable. I suspect that atheists would rather believe in no God at all than believe in a cruel and unjust God, so they tend to accept arguments which justify that preference. Not that all of those arguments are particularly good.....

Claiming that religious people are simply "brainwashed" into religion is a circumstantial ad hominem fallacy.

Trying to justify atheism by stating that we're all "born atheists" is a naturalistic fallacy (the fact that we're all born illiterate doesn't mean that there's no merit in learning to read).

Taking theists' questions about the existence of the universe and applying them to God may seem to have merit but, looked at the other way, it's just a tu quoque argument: "If you don't have to explain God, why do I have to explain the universe?"

Materialists may clearly have the universe, but all that gives them is a universe which is self-evident; it doesn't give them a universe which is self-explanatory.

Atheists may accuse theists of not understanding their position, and that accusation may be justifiable to some extent, but there's a lot that atheists themselves don't understand about theism. Not that this is entirely their fault; organized religion offers a severely limited and often badly-distorted take on theism. Science recognizes that there are scientifically unanswerable questions and good scientists know this, so if atheists are "made", I suspect that more atheists are made by bad religion than are made by good science.*

(*I am NOT suggesting that atheists can't be good scientists.)

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 25: Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:35 am
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[Replying to post 24 by Athetotheist]

Quote:
Science recognizes that there are scientifically unanswerable questions and good scientists know this, so if atheists are "made", I suspect that more atheists are made by bad religion than are made by good science.


In my case (having been raised in a Christian household and assuming what I was taught as a child by my parents and at church, school, etc. was true), I became atheist from considering the probability that gods of any kind actually do exist, whether humans having afterlives was actually a real possibility, why humans invented literally thousands of gods and god concepts over the millennia yet not one of them has "shown itself", etc.

It wasn't because of bad religion, but simply a realistic evaluation in my own mind of the possibility that gods actually do exist, which prompted a study in my late 20s of the different religions of the world, their histories and primary beliefs, and whether they were compatible with each other and if not, why not. After spending a few months at this effort the only logical conclusion I could reach was that none of the many religions and god concepts could be valid. I saw no reason to justify believing that one religion was right to the exclusion of all others, or any way that they could all be correct. And gods are no longer needed to explain nature which was a major justification for them before science became developed.

Atheism, for me, is just the logical conclusion that gods most likely do not exist as this is the most consistent and sensible answer to the whole conundrum. The fact that science cannot yet answer some fundamental questions such as origin of the universe, or life, just means these are open scientific problems. No need to invoke gods just because science has yet to find the answers, yet that is the default position many religious people take, and even use as part of their justification for their belief that gods do exist (specifically, the one(s) their religion supports). The atheist position is easy to take for some people, simply because it fits observations better than any other position.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 26: Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:10 am
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[Replying to DrNoGods]

The problem with dismissing the origin-of-the-universe question as something science just hasn't revealed yet is that it's an "appeal to the future" fallacy, a materialistic version of "We'll know when we get to heaven."

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 27: Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:36 pm
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Athetotheist wrote:

I doubt that atheism is physiological. I think it's more likely psychological.



You think it is more likely psychological? What you think of course is irrelevant. The issue is the evidence that can be presented to support your claim. You've provided none.

Quote:


Organized religion has presented the world with a picture of Deity which is, in many instances, highly objectionable. I suspect that atheists would rather believe in no God at all than believe in a cruel and unjust God, so they tend to accept arguments which justify that preference.



You suspect? More irrelevance. Another case of a conclusion reached absent evidence.


Tcg

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 28: Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:07 pm
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[Replying to post 26 by Athetotheist]

Quote:
The problem with dismissing the origin-of-the-universe question as something science just hasn't revealed yet is that it's an "appeal to the future" fallacy, a materialistic version of "We'll know when we get to heaven."


That doesn't make any sense. First, saying science has yet to definitively explain how the universe formed is not an "appeal to the future" fallacy. It is a simply a statement of fact. And saying it is a materialistic version of "we'll know when we get to heaven" makes even less sense.

I don't believe there is any such place as heaven (I've yet to meet an atheist who does), but stating a scientific fact concerning hypotheses on the origin of the universe is not a materialistic version of anything, especially concerning imaginary places like heaven.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 29: Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:47 pm
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Athetotheist wrote:


Claiming that religious people are simply "brainwashed" into religion is a circumstantial ad hominem fallacy.

Trying to justify atheism by stating that we're all "born atheists" is a naturalistic fallacy (the fact that we're all born illiterate doesn't mean that there's no merit in learning to read).


You need to discard the truth by saying something that makes you feel bad as "circumstantial ad hominem fallacy". Of course most religious people are brainwashed into there religion.

Why don't you explin why children of Muslims grow up being Muslim? You are religious did your parents not discuss religion with you until you were 18 and then presented all religious and the atheist views? I bet not. I bet you were brought to church and told to pray. Religious leaders preached at you and if you went to Christain school you were further brain washed into a religion.

So, tell me I am wrong and that the majority of children are not subjected to the parents religious ideas.

You know I an telling the truth d and just to dismiss it instead of having an actual discussion.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 30: Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:12 pm
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Donray wrote:

Athetotheist wrote:


Claiming that religious people are simply "brainwashed" into religion is a circumstantial ad hominem fallacy.

Trying to justify atheism by stating that we're all "born atheists" is a naturalistic fallacy (the fact that we're all born illiterate doesn't mean that there's no merit in learning to read).


You need to discard the truth by saying something that makes you feel bad as "circumstantial ad hominem fallacy". Of course most religious people are brainwashed into there religion.

Why don't you explin why children of Muslims grow up being Muslim? You are religious did your parents not discuss religion with you until you were 18 and then presented all religious and the atheist views? I bet not. I bet you were brought to church and told to pray. Religious leaders preached at you and if you went to Christain school you were further brain washed into a religion.

So, tell me I am wrong and that the majority of children are not subjected to the parents religious ideas.

You know I an telling the truth d and just to dismiss it instead of having an actual discussion.

I said the claim that religious people are *simply* brainwashed is a fallacy.

My parents hardly ever discussed religion with me. They never forced me toward any kind of religious belief or practice, and as I grew up I had complete freedom to make my own religious choices. Today I subscribe to a deeply personal and utterly non-traditional kind of theism. Kind of derails your assessment of me, doesn't it?

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