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Tags atheism , atheists , clive james , obituaries

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Old 1st December 2019, 08:57 AM   #41
Apathia
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Having no belief in a god (atheism) is the default (original) position of all people, as is having no belief in a Santa (aSantaism)
I agree, but I'm getting this funny scenario in my head about this kid who just found out Santa was a lie, telling his schoolmates, "I'm an Asantaist now."

Children, beware the militant Asantaist!
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Old 1st December 2019, 09:29 AM   #42
ahhell
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
This is my thought also. It seems to me that some kind of supernaturality has to be the default. This is then shaped by the culture in which the person finds themself born.

Null hypothesis, yes, logically I agree. But evidence suggests otherwise. To me, at least.
I agree, null hypothesis absolutely. Clearly not the default of the human mind, the null hypothesis never its.
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Having no belief in a god (atheism) is the default (original) Tposition of all people, as is having no belief in a Santa (aSantaism)
Originally Posted by dann View Post
Having no belief in anything is the default condition of all newborns.
Its the default position of newborns but as soon as children start asking "Why", it is no longer the default.

Last edited by ahhell; 1st December 2019 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 1st December 2019, 09:35 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Clive James has died.

Clive amused us with comments like: "advertising agencies for a product that doesn't exist" when describing religions, and saw atheism as the obvious default position to take.

Hard to argue against this presumption I think, given that children raised without being indoctrinated in a particular religion, tend to reject them all. Well this has been my observation anyway.

It's interesting that even if kids are sent to religious schools, (as a very high percentage are in Australia), they don't embrace the religion they are exposed to there. Parental shove seems necessary.
A good example of children going to a religious school and not embracing the religion of said school is illustrated well in a book by Edward Lewis Wallant called "Children at the Gate". Its about Jewish children going to a Catholic school.
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Old 1st December 2019, 10:24 AM   #44
theprestige
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We've reached the stage of diverging terminology.

In one sense - the boring sense - atheism is indeed the obvious default. It's obvious that humans aren't born with any in-built belief in a theos. If that's all that's being said, then it probably doesn't require much discussion.

In another sense, atheism isn't an obvious default at all. Quite the opposite: It seems pretty clear that the default behavior among humans is to invent and believe in supernatural things.

But more importantly, it seems like the default behavior of humans is to invent and practice religion. A lot of atheists seem to think theism is the problem. I think the real issue is the religious impulse in humans, regardless of whether it incorporates a theos or not.
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Old 1st December 2019, 10:46 AM   #45
dann
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Almost everything you wrote is what I was about to write in response to the previous quote, until I saw that you already had, except the highlighted bits.

Calling one's religion "comforting" is pretty uncommon. (I'd almost say it's uniquely Christian because I've heard the "comforting" thing nowhere else, but it wouldn't surprise me if somebody managed to dig up some rare obscure version of something that's non-comforting in its mainstream forms... especially Judaism or Islam, where it would hypothetically be easy to pick up from Christianity. But even Christianity still has a tendency to slip and expose that the "comfort" that's claimed to be there is a false modern disguise for its true ages-long nature as the worship of a god of fear, hatred, and suffering.)

Most religions treat their gods as just characters in stories, with various relationships with humans, from caring for us to hating us to ignoring us to making demands and needing to be appeased, so the forces of nature that they control end up having all kinds of effects on us from the best to the worst, whether deliberately or as a side effect of something else they were really after. With no pretense that it's all about love & comfort, they have no need to pretend that the bad-for-us behaviors by their gods are somehow driven by love in ways we can't understand; they can just call it what it is.

But yes, the thing about babies being born with no supernatural beliefs is a worthlessly trivial distraction to bother pointing out, and language is another good example of why, along with the combination of balance & motor control & coordination that it takes to walk bipedally and use tools and play sports. Babies being born without things that they are built to develop later is meaningless. And when it gets used as an argument about those things being unnatural and getting imposed on us instead of part of most people's own innate development, it shifts from meaningless to false.

I googled "comfort religion" and got "About 302.000.000 results (0,44 seconds)", and at least on the first paged they seemed relevant, i.e. not coincidental combinations of the two words.
I have mentioned Santeria before. Unlike Christianity, the gods (Orishas) in Santeria are neither omniscent nor omnipotent creatures. They are neither the vengeful Jahve nor the forgiving, self-sacrificing Christ, and there is no expectation of rewards for the meek in Paradise. The Orishas are much more like the Gods of Mount Olympos or Valhalla: capricious and egotistical like people. But they are still powerful, and you can still appease them. Even at a concert with the popular Afro-Cuban group Yoruba Andabo, you will see people from the audience approaching the Orisha dancers asking them (i.e. the Orishas that they incorporate) for favours, depending on the realms of life that they represent. If you want them to help with your love life, you go to Ochun, if it's your (male) sexual prowess, you go to Changů, if you can't get pregnant. He is also the god of thunder, an Afro-Cuban Thor. Yemaya is the Orisha of motherhood, Babalu Ayť is in charge of health and disease, Oya of hurricanes. And just to make sure, the dancers will go into the audience to make sure that everybody is blessed.

This is my translation of the (salsa) song ŅY que tu quieres te den?, a kind of popularized introduction to Santeria:

Quote:
They came from Africa
and stayed with us
all those warriors
who became part of my culture

Obatala of mercy,
Ochķn is Charity,
Santa Barbara is Changů
and La Regla is YemayŠ,

The ceremony is about to start
let's be charitable

The house is packed, there's no room for more,
And everyone wonders what ElegguŠ will say:
He opens the roads, that is the truth,
Let's give him coconut and see what he gives us.

People come and go
And everyone asks for whatever they want
I'm going to ask for good things for my mom
and tranquility for my family,

That everyone on this earth
Are good and war stops.
There are people who tell you that they don't believe in anything
and go to consult (the Orishas) in the early morning
Don't be sad, ask for something for yourself,
Don't ask for bad things that you will regret

Chorus:
And what do you want them to give you?
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This is the comfort that religion gives you: The belief/comfort that you can influence the things that are beyond your control. Incurable disease, infertility, the forces of nature.
And even when we watch all the supernatural monsters of horror movies, they still tell us that we are control of them to some extent even when (or in particular when) they scare the **** out of us: If we are American teenagers, it seems to be mainly about not having sex!
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I know! It's a weird thing to have to give up in order to appease the gods, but a very Christian one. I don't think that the Orishas would ask you to sacrifice that. They usually want only rum or sweets.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st December 2019, 10:56 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It seems pretty clear that the default behavior among humans is to invent and believe in supernatural things.

No, not at all. If people lead fulfilling, comfortable and secure lives, i.e. when they don't have the need to invent and believe in supernatural things, they don't do so. When people's basic needs are met - and being able to feel safe and sound is a very basic need - they aren't tempted to look for imaginary comfort. When they are properly fed, the don't dream of pie in the sky.
That's the reason why God is dying. It's not because our genes have suddenly changed.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st December 2019, 10:56 AM   #47
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The Orishas only want rum and sweets for the easy stuff. The placebos. The confirmation bias. The comforting superstition. For the serious stuff - vast wealth, immortality, raising the dead - the price gets pretty steep pretty quick.
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Old 1st December 2019, 11:02 AM   #48
dann
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Originally Posted by Apathia View Post
Children, beware the militant Asantaist!

They are the worst! They are worse than the Grinch who almost stole Thanksgiving!
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I AGREE
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st December 2019, 11:09 AM   #49
dann
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The Orishas only want rum and sweets for the easy stuff. The placebos. The confirmation bias. The comforting superstition. For the serious stuff - vast wealth, immortality, raising the dead - the price gets pretty steep pretty quick.

Yes, it probably does. (And in Santeria you can also find babalawos who abuse their position to take advantage of people asking for the "easy stuff.") But I haven't seen anybody ask for what you call the "serious stuff," here or in Cuba.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st December 2019, 11:13 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
We've reached the stage of diverging terminology.

In one sense - the boring sense - atheism is indeed the obvious default. It's obvious that humans aren't born with any in-built belief in a theos. If that's all that's being said, then it probably doesn't require much discussion.
God and other supernatural beliefs are more common in those that find reality "boring". Do you find reality boring?

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
In another sense, atheism isn't an obvious default at all. Quite the opposite: It seems pretty clear that the default behavior among humans is to invent and believe in supernatural things.

But more importantly, it seems like the default behavior of humans is to invent and practice religion.
You (and many others) conflate "default" and "common". It's common to have religious and other supernatural beliefs because such beliefs have been historically common and actively promoted. I'm nearly 69 and have never had a single god/supernatural belief. This isn't currently common (one day I naively hope), but it's far from unique.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
A lot of atheists seem to think theism is the problem. I think the real issue is the religious impulse in humans, regardless of whether it incorporates a theos or not.
In my experience, those that don't think theism is the a problem are most likely theists.
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Old 1st December 2019, 11:18 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Yes, it probably does. (And in Santeria you can also find babalawos who abuse their position to take advantage of people asking for the "easy stuff.") But I haven't seen anybody ask for what you call the "serious stuff," here or in Cuba.
Why would what you have or haven't seen be significant?

Have you spent so much time in Cuba that you must surely know about every human sacrifice to raise the dead? Have you really penetrated the mysteries of every santeria practice on the island of Cuba?
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Old 1st December 2019, 11:21 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post

But yes, the thing about babies being born with no supernatural beliefs is a worthlessly trivial distraction to bother pointing out, and language is another good example of why, along with the combination of balance & motor control & coordination that it takes to walk bipedally and use tools and play sports. Babies being born without things that they are built to develop later is meaningless. And when it gets used as an argument about those things being unnatural and getting imposed on us instead of part of most people's own innate development, it shifts from meaningless to false.
Without parents and other trusted adult authority influences telling kids "Santa exists and is real", at what age would kids believe Santa exists and is real by default? Replace "Santa" with any "god" of your choice,
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Last edited by ynot; 1st December 2019 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 1st December 2019, 11:24 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Without parents and other trusted adult authority influences telling kids "Santa is real", at what age would kids believe Santa is real by default? Replace "Santa" with any "god" of your choice,
If nobody is born with religion, where did the first parents get the religion they passed on to their children?
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Old 1st December 2019, 11:36 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If nobody is born with religion, where did the first parents get the religion they passed on to their children?
Silly question - If nobody is born with a "Santa exists and is real" belief, where did the first parents get the "Santa exists and is real" belief they passed on to their children? Do you believe everyone is born with a "Santa exists and is real" belief?

If everyone is born with religion, why do they need parents to pass it on at all?

If everyone is born with religion, how come different people are born with different religions, that just happen to be the religions of their parents/community (usually)?

That developing human brains have the default ability to develop beliefs doesn't mean any particular beliefs are a default of human brains.
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Old 1st December 2019, 12:15 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
We've reached the stage of diverging terminology.

In one sense - the boring sense - atheism is indeed the obvious default. It's obvious that humans aren't born with any in-built belief in a theos. If that's all that's being said, then it probably doesn't require much discussion.

In another sense, atheism isn't an obvious default at all. Quite the opposite: It seems pretty clear that the default behavior among humans is to invent and believe in supernatural things.

But more importantly, it seems like the default behavior of humans is to invent and practice religion. A lot of atheists seem to think theism is the problem. I think the real issue is the religious impulse in humans, regardless of whether it incorporates a theos or not.
Pretty much.
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Old 1st December 2019, 12:19 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
They are the worst! They are worse than the Grinch who almost stole Thanksgiving!
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Yes! Dear Leader saved Christmas, so we all can sing, "Let him bring us silver and gold!"
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Old 1st December 2019, 12:34 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
But more importantly, it seems like the default behavior of some humans is to invent and practice religion and other supernatural beliefs.
Added for more correctness and relevance.

A default behavior isn't a default belief.
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Old 1st December 2019, 12:49 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Why would what you have or haven't seen be significant?

Have you spent so much time in Cuba that you must surely know about every human sacrifice to raise the dead? Have you really penetrated the mysteries of every santeria practice on the island of Cuba?

You're the one who came up with the idea that: "For the serious stuff - vast wealth, immortality, raising the dead - the price gets pretty steep pretty quick."
I merely said that I haven't seen it, so you appear to be the one who claims to have "penetrated the mysteries of every santeria practice on the island of Cuba."
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st December 2019, 12:53 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If nobody is born with religion, where did the first parents get the religion they passed on to their children?

Exactly! The idea appears to be that somebody, the great manipulator, once invented religion and indoctrinated everybody else, and then it has been passed on by parents, generation after generation. However, it doesn't explain why people are drawn to religion. Nor does it explain why (some) people stop believing, but it's usually implied that it's because they're so ******* brilliant that they were able to logically deduce that there is no God, unlike the others who weren't.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st December 2019, 12:54 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, not at all. If people lead fulfilling, comfortable and secure lives, i.e. when they don't have the need to invent and believe in supernatural things, they don't do so. When people's basic needs are met - and being able to feel safe and sound is a very basic need - they aren't tempted to look for imaginary comfort. When they are properly fed, the don't dream of pie in the sky.
That's the reason why God is dying. It's not because our genes have suddenly changed.
I'm curious what your evidence is for this. It seems plausible but when you look at the most atheist countries, its a grab bag of prosperous western countries and not so prosperous former communist countries.

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Without parents and other trusted adult authority influences telling kids "Santa exists and is real", at what age would kids believe Santa exists and is real by default? Replace "Santa" with any "god" of your choice,
I don't think anyone is saying that believe in any particular god is the default but rather a tendency to believe in the supernatural causative thing. This can be filled by any number of gods or other super natural entities. All the parents and society seem to do is answer the question, "who is responsible for this!"

It really does seem as though the human default is to look at the world and go, "Isn't this amazing, there must have been something that created it?" Even if Dann is correct and that's only the default for folks who don't have all of there needs fulfilled, that's still the default for most people for most of history.
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Old 1st December 2019, 12:55 PM   #61
dann
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Silly question - If nobody is born with a "Santa exists and is real" belief, where did the first parents get the "Santa exists and is real" belief they passed on to their children? Do you believe everyone is born with a "Santa exists and is real" belief?

If everyone is born with religion, why do they need parents to pass it on at all?

If everyone is born with religion, how come different people are born with different religions, that just happen to be the religions of their parents/community (usually)?

That developing human brains have the default ability to develop beliefs doesn't mean any particular beliefs are a default of human brains.

Where did somebody claim that "everyone is born with religion"?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st December 2019, 01:13 PM   #62
ynot
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Where did somebody claim that "everyone is born with religion"?
Pedantic obfuscation perhaps? I'm happy if you replace "everyone" with "someone" as it doesn't change the context and content of the points made (which you haven't addressed).

Are you claiming some people are born with a god belief and some aren't?

Can you provide any credible evidence that anyone is born with a god belief?
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Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a godís existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

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Old 1st December 2019, 01:29 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Having no belief in anything is the default condition of all newborns.
Then by definition, all newborns are atheists. Disagree? Go ahead and state what god all newborns believe in.

You appear to be making the classic error of assume that atheism is a belief system. It isn't. It is merely a privative.
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Old 1st December 2019, 01:33 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
the thing about babies being born with no supernatural beliefs is a worthlessly trivial distraction to bother pointing out... Babies being born without things that they are built to develop later is meaningless.
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Do you believe everyone is born with a "Santa exists and is real" belief?

If everyone is born with religion...

If everyone is born with religion...
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
That developing human brains have the default ability to develop beliefs doesn't mean any particular beliefs are a default of human brains.
Weird.

You just responded to yourself with precisely how & why your own depiction of what somebody else had said did not represent what that person had actually said. And you did it in the very same post along with the original misrepresentation.

Instead of building a straw man and immediately calling yourself on it, why not just not build it?
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Old 1st December 2019, 01:35 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Then by definition, all newborns are atheists. Disagree? Go ahead and state what god all some newborns believe in.

You appear to be making the classic error of assume that atheism is a belief system. It isn't. It is merely a privative.
FTFY
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Old 1st December 2019, 01:37 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
I'm curious what your evidence is for this. It seems plausible but when you look at the most atheist countries, its a grab bag of prosperous western countries and not so prosperous former communist countries.

It's very difficult to come up with bulletproof evidence for this - the scope of scientific experiments is limited - but ...

1) The prosperous Western countries that you mention.
2) The former communist countries that you mention. They may not be as prosperous as the western countries we usually refer to, but the ones that remain irreligious tend to better off than the ones who don't.
3) Cuba, for instance, was seized by religion of the Afro-Cuban variety when the Special Period began.
4) Psychological experiments. If you make people insecure, they are more likely to be superstitious.
5) Professions where people tend towards superstition: They aren't usually the ones where people have both secure (!) and well-paying jobs. They are usually jobs with a high level of insecurity: professional sports, stockbrokers, performers, for instance.
6) Individual cases like the children in Beslan. Or the 'atheists in foxholes'. That there are no atheists at all is an obvious exaggeration, but the tendency that it describes isn't wrong.
7) The reasons why people believe: 'It makes me happy.' 'Have you heard the good news? 'I've never heard Christians tell me that the reason why they believe in God is that they sat down and seriously deduced that God must exist and they believe in him for this reason. I think you can find people like that online, but probably only when they are trying to legitimize religion to skeptics.
(When I was a child, we used to sing this song In my local Baptist church: "I am happy, I am happy, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I am happy, I am happy, 'cause Jesus is my best friend")
8) Education is always mentioned as the reason why people stop believing in weird things, but even educated people seem to be just as much in denial about reality as uneducated people when confronted with death.

My collection of links: http://www.internationalskeptics.com...04#post9447804
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st December 2019, 01:46 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Then by definition, all newborns are atheists. Disagree? Go ahead and state what god all newborns believe in.

You appear to be making the classic error of assume that atheism is a belief system. It isn't. It is merely a privative.

No, I don't think that atheism is a religion.
You are the one who makes the mistake of thinking that there is only one kind of atheism, and you argue from the point of view of the most absurd one of them: an absence of belief.

Quote:
Atheism is, in the broadest sense, an absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is a rejection of the belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists.
Atheism (Wikipedia)

According to your definiton, anybody in a coma is an atheist: They have no consciousness, so they have no idea of anything at all, so they don't believe in gods.
The faith of some atheists comes very close to religion!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st December 2019, 01:46 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Weird.

You just responded to yourself with precisely how & why your own depiction of what somebody else had said did not represent what that person had actually said. And you did it in the very same post along with the original misrepresentation.

Instead of building a straw man and immediately calling yourself on it, why not just not build it?
Talk about "weird".

Neither of my two posts you quoted were a response to your post you quoted. Seems you have created the straw man. Please explain in more detail if I have misunderstood your post.
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Old 1st December 2019, 01:48 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Pedantic obfuscation perhaps? I'm happy if you replace "everyone" with "someone" as it doesn't change the context and content of the points made (which you haven't addressed).

Are you claiming some people are born with a god belief and some aren't?

Can you provide any credible evidence that anyone is born with a god belief?

Where did somebody claim that anyone is born with religion?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st December 2019, 01:53 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Where did somebody claim that "everyone is born with religion"?
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Pedantic obfuscation perhaps? I'm happy if you replace "everyone" with "someone" as it doesn't change the context and content of the points made (which you haven't addressed).

Are you claiming some people are born with a god belief and some aren't?

Can you provide any credible evidence that anyone is born with a god belief?

I would add ynot that any posting here who suggest that atheism is not the default position must be suggesting that theism is the default.
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Old 1st December 2019, 01:54 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Where did somebody claim that anyone is born with religion?
Well . . .
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If nobody is born with religion, where did the first parents get the religion they passed on to their children?
Heavily implies at the very least that somebody must be born with religion.
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Old 1st December 2019, 01:59 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I would add ynot that any posting here who suggest that atheism is not the default position must be suggesting that theism is the default.
I'm sure some might claim agnosticism is the default .

I'm waiting for someone to claim "our" definition of atheism is that dogs, cats and rocks are atheists
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Old 1st December 2019, 02:00 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, I don't think that atheism is a religion.
You are the one who makes the mistake of thinking that there is only one kind of atheism, and you argue from the point of view of the most absurd one of them: an absence of belief.




According to your definiton, anybody in a coma is an atheist: They have no consciousness, so they have no idea of anything at all, so they don't believe in gods.
The faith of some atheists comes very close to religion!

Oh boy! What a jumbled up piece of scribble have we here.

Atheism not a religion but atheists having faith all mixed up in one post.
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Old 1st December 2019, 02:08 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, I don't think that atheism is a religion.
You are the one who makes the mistake of thinking that there is only one kind of atheism, and you argue from the point of view of the most absurd one of them: an absence of belief.
There's only one definition of "atheism" (not "atheist") that I accept as being valid - "Doesn't believe in a god or gods" - as it's the only definition that covers all atheists. There are many "kinds" of atheist however.
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Old 1st December 2019, 02:12 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Well . . .

Heavily implies at the very least that somebody must be born with religion.

Yes, if you choose to neglect (or never read) what he wrote in an earlier post:

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
In another sense, atheism isn't an obvious default at all. Quite the opposite: It seems pretty clear that the default behavior among humans is to invent and believe in supernatural things.

But more importantly, it seems like the default behavior of humans is to invent and practice religion. A lot of atheists seem to think theism is the problem. I think the real issue is the religious impulse in humans, regardless of whether it incorporates a theos or not.

You obviously aren't born with something that you need to invent in order for it to exist. He seems to be saying that people have an innate tendency to turn to religion and superstition.
I disagree with him. I think that people have an innate tendency to find ways of making sense of the world. In specific circumstances this tendency makes them want to believe in weird things. And for most people, these circumstances have lasted from time immemorial until now if you consider the whole population of Earth.
Some of us, a more and more significant minority, are better off than the majority, however, to the extent where we don't even seriously consider the idea of gods anymore. We don't need them. And we tend to think of ourselves as irreligious or non-religious (or apatheists) rather than atheists: We think that it's a ******* waste of time to have a serious discussion about the existence of gods!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st December 2019, 02:14 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
There's only one definition of "atheism" (not "atheist") that I accept as being valid - "Doesn't believe in a god or gods" - as it's the only definition that covers all atheists. There are many "kinds" of atheist however.

So you would also consider the comatose to be on your side, then. You could never seriously argue that they believe in a god or gods.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st December 2019, 02:18 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I'm sure some might claim agnosticism is the default .

I'm waiting for someone to claim "our" definition of atheism is that dogs, cats and rocks are atheists

Why not? Do you claim that they are theists???
They seem to live up to the "only one definition of "atheism"" that you "accept as being valid - "Doesn't believe in a god or gods"".
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st December 2019, 02:22 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
So you would also consider the comatose to be on your side, then. You could never seriously argue that they believe in a god or gods.
No - Ever wondered why people don't go to sleep as theists and wake up as atheists? Hint - They never lose their belief, they merely temporarily lose their consciousness of it, but they retain it subconsciously.
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Last edited by ynot; 1st December 2019 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 1st December 2019, 02:29 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Why not? Do you claim that they are theists???
They seem to live up to the "only one definition of "atheism"" that you "accept as being valid - "Doesn't believe in a god or gods"".
Oh dear!!!

Okay, I'll play your silly game . . .

Theism and atheism are uniquely the products of human brains. Do you think dogs, cats and rocks have human brains?
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Old 1st December 2019, 02:40 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
There's only one definition of "atheism" (not "atheist") that I accept as being valid - "Doesn't believe in a god or gods" - as it's the only definition that covers all atheists. There are many "kinds" of atheist however.
Originally Posted by dann View Post
So you would also consider the comatose to be on your side, then. You could never seriously argue that they believe in a god or gods.

I think dann missed the point in spectacular fashion ynot.

There are male, female and even transgender atheists. Big ones, little ones, white ones, black and brown ones. Need I go on?
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