In regards to atheism.

Discussion in 'Religion' started by garbonzo, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Which would you say dominates in your family, introversion or extroversion?
    Seeing as Western culture favors extroversion and Eastern favors introversion, I wonder how the theists/atheists shake out in each culture?
    I don't think it has anything to do with rate of progress. Just the recognition that, given enough time, progress is ultimately unlimited...even for humans. That seems to imply a pinnacle of being. Not a compelling implication...just an implication.
    Is pride an inherent emotion, or a response to the idea of social approval? Satisfaction may be a natural reaction to a goal accomplished, but pride seems to denote a sense of self-worth derived from the possible admiration of others. Pride is something to display and trumpet. So the admonition against pride may help to ground self-worth internally rather than externally.
    Yeah, happier people may just generally be more optimistic and accepting of possibilities, where the less happy may be more pessimistic that new possibilities may lead to good things. Although I'd expect a larger intersection of theists with belief in ghosts, aliens, etc. if that were all. What makes sense is largely subjective, with theists believing in god and many atheists believing in aliens....even though neither provide compelling evidence.
    Routledge explains that those who believe in aliens have a common thread: they’re non-religious or out-right atheists. Routledge goes on to ponder the strange significance of this finding:

    “If atheists reject a belief in God, why would they, or at least some of them, believe that there are intelligent alien beings monitoring the lives of humans (these are the types of paranormal ETI [extraterrestrial intelligence] beliefs we measured)? In this research we looked at the motive to perceive life as meaningful. We found support for a model in which low religiosity (and atheism) were associated with low perceptions of meaning and a high desire to find meaning (what is called search for meaning), and this desire for meaning in turn predicted ETI belief. In other words, people who were not getting meaning from religion were vulnerable to deficits in meaning and these deficits inclined them to search for non-traditional sources of meaning.”
    - http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/atheists-are-more-likely-believe-aliens-why
    I would think theists would be more contemplative of consequences. Conscience may be more subjectively malleable among atheists. More justification after the fact than weighing the consequences beforehand?
    So physical connection alone? If your mind is all you can know exists, and solipsism were true, how could others (or even the physical connection) be anything but imagination?
    ...solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind. As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist.
    - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solipsism
    On the other hand, if others are already part of the same being (your "mind", just currently inaccessible to you), even solipsism doesn't detract from their identity.
     
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  3. Ted Grant II Registered Senior Member

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    Newton's fame has reached dizzy heights, albeit, tempered by 20th century discoveries. It is well to remember that he spent more time thinking about myths than science.
     
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  5. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Introversion, with some exceptions. But religiosity cuts through both. Little correlation in my own family, for sure. I'm introverted and atheist, my father similarly introvert but religious. And my brother extrovert and religious.
    From what I can find the pervading view in the west used to be that introverts tended more to religiosity, but that this is coming under some question, not that I can find much at all. There's an article on wiki about religiosity and personality, which I'll try to digest at some point. I think it's likely to be predominantly western-biased though.
    That seems a rather anthropecentric view, don't you think? Given lack of evidence of other similar intelligences, given our rather low sample of one life-sustaining planet, I see it more as a question of the nature of intelligence itself, rather than human intelligence per se. i.e. what limits intelligence in a given species, and what implication does that have for others.
    Also, is it not questionable that we, as a species, are actually progressing? Yes, we're more technologically advanced, but we are a tchnologically cumulative species, building on the achievements of our ancestors rather than continually reinventing and then exceeding. Are we happier as a species? Are we safer? To what are we actually progressing toward, in your view?
    Sure, when pride spills over and becomes excessive and/or outwardly focused. But I would classify even self-satisfaction as pride, seeing pride as satisfaction at one's own accomplishment, and a sense of ownership of them even, rather than satisfaction through situation.
    But if we're talking about the ego-driven sense of one's own value or achievement in conjunction with interaction with others, then I'd agree.
    I've never thought of looking at that correlation, and that quote certainly makes sense.
    So what is it that makes people want to perceive life as meaningful? And what is it that separates those that find meaning in God and/or religion and those that find it in the paranormal?
    On what basis do you think this? You may be right but I don't recognise it. I would have thought the weighing of consequences would be independent of belief, albeit that one's view of what the consequences might be would differ.
    A more malleable conscience? Possibly. However, would not an atheist who has had to construct his own moral code be more consistent with it than a theist who has been given one to live by and thus might struggle with it? Both would seemingly be just as open to justification after the fact, whereas one might be more willing to consider the justification as a permanent change?
    In my own experience I see a greater correlation of contemplation of consequence with introverts than with extroverts.
    Okay, but I'm not sure I could take solipsism as a metaphysical position, and would only ever be agnostic on the matter.

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    So if the question was assuming metaphysical solipsism, as in only the mind is real and the rest doesn't exist, is true then unless one can control the others' apparent existence freely I do not see that my relationship with them would change. They would be just as inaccessible as they are now, only knowable in the same way they are now. That they are part of my mind or not seems irrelevant to that, unless being part of my own mind gives me some control over them that I wouldn't otherwise have.
     
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  7. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Given no other example of a pinnacle of being, an anthropocentric view would seem to be the null hypothesis.
    I'm not sure why progress shouldn't be cumulative. We are indeed happier, healthier, and safer by any measure of the past.
    All progress is toward some ideal state...but unlimited progress would mean no such state is attainable. It's the journey that matters.
    I think all intelligence seeks understanding. Coupled with emotion, that becomes meaning. Seems a natural consequence.
    The generally paranormal makes no moral obligation on the individual, where a god/religion does. If both provide some sense of meaning, that would seem to be the single greatest difference. What do you think?
    An individual always has an easier time lying to themselves, especially where justifying their own actions is concerned.
    A theist differs in that it is not his own reasoning alone that constructs or polices his moral code. A theist has also cultivated an objective, god's eye view. The idea that someone external is observing and judging you at all times. It can be difficult to recognize our own bias when judging our own actions, but as social animals, the idea of an outside observer's judgement may be easier to maintain. I'm not sure if there's anything similar for an atheist....aside from those few suffering paranoid delusions of "being watched".
    In my experience, theists tend to follow varying degrees of ideal observer theory, divine command theory, and moral realism...the only overarching theme being universalism. Those hewing closer to straight divine command theory may very well struggle with it, but also seem to consider the challenge itself a vehicle for growth. Actually, I'd hazard to say that if you don't struggle with your moral code, to some extent, it may only be a code of convenience.
    I would agree that introverts are generally more contemplative of consequences.
    Solipsism itself is ultimately agnostic...to everything but one's own thoughts. IMO, beliefs that diverge from solipsism must make choices not wholly justifiable as knowledge (epistemological solipsism).
    Either way, the apparent lack of control is ultimately nothing but a self-imposed choice. Regaining the ability to control others would reveal them imaginary in one case and individual in the other.
    Nothing compelling there, but I thinking anything compelling subverts free will.
     

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