Scientists discover that atheists might not exist, and that’s not a joke

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Jan Ardena, Apr 8, 2018.

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  1. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I am better than that.
    I got everything set up and a couple of runs on an object I am not sure about..a little glob of dust..but thats interesting could be hundreds of light years across. ..it makes you wonder how it all got here.
    Maybe we get visited by a clearly more advanced species MR knows are already around and they could demonstrate a total understanding of cosmology and show it wasnt a god that did it but can explain what went on before the big bang ...whatever but yhe truth...bt would they really know...will we get to know.
    There are a few speculations from scientific based to a creator approach favored by theists..I wonder did the microbs in our bodies do it all and created the universe and us to have a place to live and all together generate a group conscience that manages the human race...another cult is born...a book a movie???
    Alex
     
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  3. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Jan do the thing you talked about so I have something to read please.
    Alex
     
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  5. akoreamerican Registered Senior Member

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    You are ignoring the truth
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Nor do they have to invent reasons to believe in Norbert the Giant Flying Fox, or that the moon is made of cheese. Theists can believe whatever they like, with no reason at all. You're right - reason needn't come into it.

    I'm not sure why an otherwise intelligent person would be content to believe something for no reason at all, but it's your prerogative.

    The studies pointed out in the article show that people may be predisposed to hold certain supernatural or religious ideas, not for logical reasons but for evolutionary reasons.

    Human intelligence has bestowed upon us the capacity to be rational, but we certainly aren't forced to employ that capacity in forming our beliefs, nor are we forced to use it to make sure our beliefs are well founded and sensible. And, as we so often see, lots of people don't bother.

    To understand that food is essential does require logic, of course. It might be your experience that if you don't eat then you get unwell, but only logic can enable you to connect the lack of food with the illness.

    There's no analogous evidence that belief in God is essential to our well being, by the way.

    You don't. You could just concede the point to the atheists that God probably doesn't exist. Are you willing to do that, or would you like to argue the issue? All indications so far are that you want to argue it, but you can stop defending any time you like.

    If the whole world professed atheism, God wouldn't be a topic of discussion.

    You appear to be asserting that if people naturally believe in God, then God must be real.

    See what happens when you think you don't need a reason to believe?

    How do you know?
     
  8. Michael 345 Bali in Nov closer Valued Senior Member

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    Knowing just IS

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  9. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    I Jan said he may do a JamesR, and do a sumarisation, but clearly he has given up.
    No sumarisation presumably because Jan now realises what such a sumarisation would show and simply consolidate evidence of his evasive behaviour.
    Alex
     
  10. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Jan you forgot to present your summation like you said you would...or might..I guess it was only...might.
    Alex
     
  11. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    ///
    Most atheists were theists.
    Not that I expect anything.
    When slavery was much more accepted, theists quoted the bible to support it. Now they ignore or try to twist those scriptures.

    <>
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
  12. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Many theists would claim the aliens are demons.

    <>
     
  13. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Coming from someone who consistently denies reality.

    <>
     
  14. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    Atheists do not have to invent reasons to not believe in Norbert the Giant Flying Fox, or that the moon is made of cheese, which renders your point irrelevant.

    Nobody can James.

    I've never said that James.

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    What is it I am content to believe without reason James?

    We both know that ''evolution'' is just another word for ''God'' that is accepted by atheists.
    But how is it that you resort to the idea that theism is an evolutionary bi-product?

    Who and what is ''us'' James, that we can utilise the capacity to be rational?
    What is ''human intelligence''?
    How and why did it bestow it self upon ''us''?

    No it doesn't, unless your saying a new born baby is a logical being.
    We have knowledge James, and we didn't have to acquire it. It comes with the package.

    No. Stomach pains, nausea, and weakness will connect you to that.

    You're not the best person to make that claim because you deny, and reject God.

    That would simply make me an atheist. What would be the point of that?

    The only thing to argue is why do you deny and reject God.

    I beg to differ. Atheism has to be maintained. It needs continuous effort to deny, and reject God.

    Your the one that is asserting God isn't real. I'm just being natural.

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    If I needed a reason to believe in God, then I could just as easily have a reason not to believe in God.
    That would mean I only believe in God, based on that reason. But that's not what it is to believe in God.

    Because God Is.

    jan.
     
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Exactly. Nor do they have to invent reasons to not believe in God.
    That God (and Santa Claus) are real.
    No, it's not. Redefining a word is a quick way to make you think you won an argument, but intelligent people do not accept such dishonesty.
    He didn't. Scientists did. (The same scientists who you are supporting, in fact.)
    It is a pronoun used by a speaker to refer to himself and one or more other people as the object of a verb or preposition.
    Some of us can. Most theists can't.
    A description of the human ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.
    Same way it bestowed itself on elephants, and apes, and dogs, and rats.
    It is not a logical being. If you leave a newborn baby alone in a room full of open, easily accessible and swallowable food, it will starve to death - because it has not yet developed the skills needed to feed itself, nor the knowledge to do so, nor the logical background to experiment and see what will solve its hunger problem.

    However, put a newborn on a mother's breast (or reasonable facsimile) and it will suckle - because it is born with that reflex.
    No, we are born with reflexes. We are not born with knowledge. Same as most animals.
    So if someone stabs you in the stomach, and you have severe stomach pain, and you start feeling weak, your first thought will be "I better eat?"

    No. Your first thought will be to get to a hospital or to call 911. That's because you have acquired the knowledge that the feeling of hunger is satiated by eating, and the feeling of pain (and observation of stabbing) makes you realize you have been seriously injured. Further, you can employ logic to connect the event (stabbing) with a feeling (pain) and realize that it is not hunger that has caused that pain.

    Every point you make is another argument against the existence of God.
     
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Jan Ardena:

    For the atheists, it's easy. Not believing in Norbert, the cheesy moon or God all comes down to lack of evidence. In contrast, you need three different ad hoc reasons if you want to believe in Norbert, the cheesy moon or God. Well, not you personally, because you're apparently content to just believe for no reason. But reasonable people.

    Sure they can.

    It's what your argument for God reduces to, time and again, once we dig through the obfuscation.

    God. You said so yourself: theists don't need a reason to believe in God. Did you forget what you said?

    Oh dear. It's worse than I thought.

    Evolution is a scientific theory, Jan, supported by abundant evidence. God is not a scientific theory. Ergo, evolution is not just another word for God.

    Possibly it would help you if you tried to learn a little about evolution.

    That's a bit too complicated to explain in a short post. The argument has been made at book length by a number of different authors, who put a persuasive case.

    You might like to start with Pascal Boyer's Religion Explained (2001). Here's a wikipedia description:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_Explained

    There's a fair bit in that article that is relevant to the current topic, too.

    By "us" I mean the human species. We have evolved rationality, although that faculty is not unique to human beings.

    Again, a concise definition is tricky. It is a generic term for a collection of certain evolved capacities of human brains.

    Again, too difficult to explain in a short post. We'd need to delve into the evolution of the human brain.

    You're confusing reflex and instinct with knowledge.

    Newborn babies have an instinct to suckle. They feel hunger. But they don't know that milk is essential for them. That comes later.

    Stomach pains, nausea and weakness are examples of those experiences I mentioned. Only logic can connect the feeling of hunger to the understanding that food is essential.

    And Norbert, and that the moon is made of cheese.

    Considering all the things you don't believe in, it's a wonder you're not exhausted with all the mental effort you need to continuously expend to remain skeptical, isn't it? How do you do it, Jan?

    No I'm not.

    And irrational.

    That would depend on the nature of reality. Again, you fail to make the basic distinction between the objective and the subjective. This is something you fail at again and again. I think it explains a lot about how fervently you argue for your beliefs. It simply doesn't occur to you that your subjective reality might differ from objective reality.

    So you keep saying.

    We're in agreement about these things: (1) you don't have a reason to believe in God. (2) You don't think you need any.

    Unlike you, I do require a reason, or reasons, to believe in God. You're certainly not suggesting any.
     
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    JamesR, there seem to be a number of notions that Jan Ardena's position is founded upon:
    1. That belief in metaphysical notions is natural.
    2. That being natural means that there doesn't have to be a reason for it, rather that one needs a reason to go against it.
    3. That being natural means that it is the truth.

    Offering my opinion on each briefly in turn:
    1. That belief in metaphysical notions is natural.
    Well, Jan Ardena did raise an article that pointed to a study that seemed to show this but, as was argued at the time, there is a vast chasm between holding a metaphysical notion and belief in God.

    2. That being natural means that there doesn't need to be a reason for it...
    Well, this is just silly, to be honest. Any conclusion we reach is based upon reasoning, whether that reasoning is flawed or not. In the case of metaphysical belief it is part and parcel of being pattern-seekers, which also gives rise to superstitious beliefs. So any belief we hold is held for a reason. One may not initially have questioned one's own reasoning before but there is a reason, whether it be "it's what I've been told and doesn't seem wrong" or a fully thought out justification that has explored the minutiae of the belief, or simply due to correlations that one thinks they have seen, or even "gut feeling". No one can hold a belief without a reason, although the reasons might not initially be clear.

    2. ....one needs a reason to go against it.
    Well, yes, as with the holding of any belief, one needs a reason to not hold it, at least once the idea of holding that belief has been raised. As exampled, if someone raises the notion of holding a belief that the moon is made of cheese, one will instinctively reason either why they hold that belief or why they do not.
    Usually the more important the holding of the belief is to one's society, or personal circumstance, the more thought through the reason is for not holding it. But this is in no way evidence that to hold the belief requires no reasoning. Holding or not holding a belief that has been suggested requires a reason / justification, irrespective of whether one considers the holding of the belief to be natural or not.
    But if one is not aware of the notion of holding a certain belief, one needs to have no thought-out reason for not holding it. The reasoning comes when the notion of holding the belief is first raised.

    3. That being natural means it is the truth.
    Well, it is certainly the truth that being natural means it happens. Probably quite a lot. But being natural to hold certain types of belief in no way gives weight to the veracity of the tenet of those beliefs. From an evolutionary standpoint it merely means that having the underlying behaviour (pattern-seeking) that, amongst other things, gives rise to such beliefs has been of benefit, while the particular beliefs that the behaviour has given rise to has not been detrimental (thus far) to survival.

    Holding the belief that a loved one is alive and well can be a comfort, but holding that belief does not change the reality of whether that loved one actually is alive and well. The benefits of holding belief is not evidence of the veracity of the belief.
     
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  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Sarkus,

    Thanks for your post. My own additional comments, as applied to Jan's argument, are as follows:
    I have no issue with this. This is the part of the article in the opening post that is supported by the science that it cites. Besides, many atheists have been aware of this for years. I suspect it's a novelty to Jan, which explains his enthusiasm.

    There may be a natural tendency to believe in gods/God. When we talk about the reason why a particular person holds the belief, we could certainly say that one reason is that they have a natural tendency to believe. Jan claims that he doesn't need a reason to believe in God, but he has actually spent the entire thread arguing, in effect, that the reason he believes in God is this natural tendency he has. In other words, he doesn't recognise that in making the argument that "it's natural" he is actually giving a reason for his belief. He thinks the reason he believes is "it's natural for me".

    In reality, I don't think "it's natural" is the whole reason, because a mere predisposition to accept a belief doesn't automatically mean that one accepts it. This is obvious from the fact that all the atheists here are, like Jan, human beings who share the same evolutionary heritage as Jan (and, indeed, common ancestors (eek!)). By Jan's own argument, we are all predisposed to believe in Jan's God, yet none of the atheists actually believe. We can only conclude that the reason that "it's natural to believe in God" is not sufficient, in itself, to cause belief.

    Accepting or rejecting a given belief is obviously not just a matter of having a natural predisposition. One must be exposed to the belief before the predisposition even becomes relevant. Then, a number of factors come into play. This is mostly because beliefs do not exist in a vacuum. What I believe or do not believe about God interacts with what I believe or do not believe about lots of other things. The same is true for Jan, of course.

    The fact is: Jan is telling us a half-truth. If we concede that it is "natural" for him to believe in God, the question still remains as to what the reasons are for his belief. We have only the beginnings of an explanation. In light of his predisposition, it makes sense that he believes. His predisposition is consistent with his belief, but the same predisposition also consistent with my lack of belief, as it must be. The reasons that Jan believes and I do not lie elsewhere than "it's natural". Maybe his believe gives him comfort or warm fuzzy feelings inside. Maybe it makes him feel more included in his community. Maybe he enjoys the ritual. Who knows? He isn't telling. But the reasons are there.

    Jan argues that he doesn't need a reason to believe, but rather that you and I need a reason to deny. You and I both know that 'deny' is the wrong word, because what we actually have is non-acceptance of a belief, not denial of an established truth. Do we have reasons not to accept Jan's God? Clearly we do, just as Jan has reasons to accept it. The possibility of belief was out there for each of us (you, me and Jan), and each of us made a considered decision. In Jan's case, that decision might have been to simply jump into the offered belief system without thinking about it very much, but it's still a decision, and there are reasons for every decision. Jan might not even know why he believes, when it comes down to that. The reasons might actually be subconscious, but they must be there. The only alternative is that there is no explanation for Jan's belief, and that's just silly, especially since Jan has spent the better part of this thread giving us a partial explanation.

    Jan has a problem separating the subjective from the objective. Objectively, he holds a belief in God. It is objectively true that he holds the belief. Since Jan's subjective truth is that God Is, then as far as Jan is concerned the case is closed. God Is because Jan believes, and Jan can't distinguish that situation from the one where Jan believes because God Is.

    The veracity or otherwise of the subject matter of Jan's God belief - as opposed to the veracity of his holding that particular belief - is properly a separate question to the one that is under discussion in this thread, although inevitably we have also been discussing that, as far as is possible given Jan's limitations.
     
  19. Michael 345 Bali in Nov closer Valued Senior Member

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    And the more the delusion is fed the more he pats himself on the back with the twisted logic

    "I must be correct because I am in a discussion"

    Of course the thread is not a discussion

    It's Ping Pong with word definitions

    Go into a thread with the generally understood rules of discussion and then letting twisted definitions bounce around

    Bye bye common sense

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  20. pluto2 Registered Senior Member

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    We don't even know how the human body works or how the human body was created and we also don't know how life on Earth got started.

    So saying that a God exists for sure (and created humans as they are) is a perhaps a bit premature.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  21. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Some or most atheists may have reason(s) to not believe in god(s) yet not believing does not necessarily require reason(s).

    ///
     
  22. river

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    But it does . Not believing is a stance based on an idea(s) .
     
  23. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    No. Not believing is not a stance & it does not necessarily require an idea.

    <>
     
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