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The Atheist Syndrome

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posted on May, 12 2008 @ 11:59 PM
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John Koster's "The Atheist Syndrome" is a book which espouses the view that Atheists are mentally ill."Rabid Atheists fit a certain psychological profile" is the claim of this theory so called the Atheist Syndrome. The Atheist is attacked more openly than any other religion.





posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 04:53 PM
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I am shocked there were no replies to this yet. They seem to have classified disbelief in God as a psychological disorder.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 04:58 PM
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Atheists can't be irradicated like the pagans were. Therefore it's all about discrediting thiem. I mean, how often do you hear the term "godless" when speaking of a killer, or a rapist, or anyone deemed "evil"? Concidence....?



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by DickieDee
 


It seems to be the trend nowadays to label anyone with alternative opinions as being "mentally unstable".

But then again, I can also remember going to school and being called "crazy" simply because I wore argyle socks and avoided fashion trends.

Some people just never grow out of this mentality, and woe to those who actually think Atheism is some sort of mental infraction.

*edit for minor grammatical error


[edit on 14-8-2008 by GENERAL EYES]



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 05:48 PM
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So some fringe nutbag thinks atheists are mentally ill. Good for him. Doesn't affect me in the slightest.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 05:54 PM
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"the only way you can go to make a clean break from this psychosis is to go deep into faith"

I think that lie breaks his whole argument apart. This video is pure bashing of atheists and does not provide the answers I seek.

Some atheists are nuts, because they suffer from fanatism; the same mental disorder religious bigots have. There is also fanatism in sports, politics and culture and may be root of most of the problems in the world.

We need research that explains this very dangerous trait from a psychriatic point of view, and this video nor the discussed books are it.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 05:59 PM
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Gee...I wonder if this is a response to the show I saw about the belief in god being a derivative of mental retardation...

Could be...



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 06:15 PM
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Heh, just what the forum needed, a Dawkins inspired sockpuppet. Amazingly, this pseudo-psychology video was also used by sockpuppetjack.

Kids, eh?

...think whammy used it at some point as well.

One improvement would be to use a more obscure alias reference, perhaps an amalgam of recent stereotypic baits - say, Pyotr Kropotkin. Would be less tedious at least.


[edit on 14-8-2008 by melatonin]



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 06:27 PM
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I don’t know that I would go so far as to claim that Atheists are mentally ill. Most of the Atheists I know are seemingly more intelligent and rational than the average person. That being said, I also find it a dichotomy because Atheism is essentially an irrational viewpoint at it’s core; which is one of the complaints Atheists generally lodge against religious beliefs. If one equates irrationality with mental illness then I suppose I can see the basis for the argument presented.

The reason being is that if one subscribes to the idea of Atheism as the truth then there is no rational reason to behave. If we accept the premise that there is no God, ergo no afterlife, there is no logical reason why anyone should be “good”, in any manner, and act other than according to their own desires. Atheists should logically be completely opportunistic and self-serving without any regard for mores or morals, i.e. sociopaths. For an Atheist to be moral at all makes no sense whatsoever. Hence a well-behaved Atheist is mentally ill.

So, essentially, we have two different camps: Religious types that believe that actions have an eternal import - which Atheist view as irrational. Then we have the Atheists that believe that actions have no eternal consequence, yet comply with standards of behavior that are therefore totally meaningless - which is irrational.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 06:47 PM
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Atheists should logically be completely opportunistic and self-serving without any regard for mores or morals, i.e. sociopaths. For an Atheist to be moral at all makes no sense whatsoever. Hence a well-behaved Atheist is mentally ill.



I see nothing has changed.

Such an amazing insight, passenger. I wonder if anyone has thought about humans having some intrinsic drive to behave morally, being social beings and all that jazz.

Could be a whole new research field, lots of articles, and publishable academic books studying that sort of thing.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 06:55 PM
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Originally posted by passenger
I don’t know that I would go so far as to claim that Atheists are mentally ill. Most of the Atheists I know are seemingly more intelligent and rational than the average person. That being said, I also find it a dichotomy because Atheism is essentially an irrational viewpoint at it’s core; which is one of the complaints Atheists generally lodge against religious beliefs. If one equates irrationality with mental illness then I suppose I can see the basis for the argument presented.




So wait, you are going to have to explain something to me here. The belief that something that there is no proof of doesnt exist is irrational, because supposedly without a higher power there is no morality? That is folly.

Have you considered that for man to move to the next point in their existance, the realization must come that there need not be punishment for immorality, because it is a choice that man must make for himself?

Believing in some holy spirit because you are scared of a life that is lived for the now is irrational. Chosing to live morally because you want to is not.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 06:59 PM
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Originally posted by passenger
The reason being is that if one subscribes to the idea of Atheism as the truth then there is no rational reason to behave.


So you think that if somebody doesn't believe in some kind of poorly-defined God, which is there to mete out punishment for doing wrong, then they'll just go wild with no one to ultimately answer to? That's interesting, because how often do you see an atheist just go around killing and looting with no regard for anyone else? Or, in the reverse, how often have very religious people gone around crazy, killing their kids or other people they believe are "possessed," or some other nutty thing?

I'd say the percentages would be about the same. About what you'd expect a small percentage of mentally ill people would represent. So belief or disbelief probably isn't much of a factor in somebody "misbehaving." Otherwise, why are God and Jesus and Mohammed seemingly so popular in prison?

In general, we all want to obey the laws, protect ourselves and the people we care about, and generally stay out of trouble, because the way society is set up, life gets really painful and difficult if you don't. We behave because it makes sense to behave, not because some scary boogie man is threatening us with a spanking.


[edit on 14-8-2008 by Nohup]



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 07:10 PM
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Originally posted by melatonin
[Such an amazing insight, passenger. I wonder if anyone has thought about humans having some intrinsic drive to behave morally, being social beings and all that jazz.

Could be a whole new research field, lots of articles, and publishable academic books studying that sort of thing.


I was hoping for this sort of reply.

Yes, I am aware of the various articles, etc. that deal with the various aspects of human social co-dependence and inherent drive to be accepted. I am also aware that bees, ants and other sundry beasts also follow arbitrary “rules” that their society sets for them. Worker bees will work themselves to death for the queen and soldier ants will sacrifice themselves as bait to defend the colony. That does not make those actions rational or an intelligent choice; it simply means they are instinctual.

So what you are saying is, that by following the dictates of your genes in being a social creature, you are acting as rationally and intelligently as a bee. They behave as bees because they have to, no matter how self-destructive the course of action is. Are you saying you follow the same behavior patterns, even when you have a conscious choice? To what end? How is that rational? What ultimate difference does it make if you act in a “good” or “bad” manner? From an Atheistic viewpoint the answer must be no difference at all.

Therefore any behavior of an Atheist, counter to their own desire, is intellectually dishonest at best and cowardly at worst.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by passenger

Originally posted by melatonin
[Such an amazing insight, passenger. I wonder if anyone has thought about humans having some intrinsic drive to behave morally, being social beings and all that jazz.

Could be a whole new research field, lots of articles, and publishable academic books studying that sort of thing.


I was hoping for this sort of reply.

Yes, I am aware of the various articles, etc. that deal with the various aspects of human social co-dependence and inherent drive to be accepted. I am also aware that bees, ants and other sundry beasts also follow arbitrary “rules” that their society sets for them. Worker bees will work themselves to death for the queen and soldier ants will sacrifice themselves as bait to defend the colony. That does not make those actions rational or an intelligent choice; it simply means they are instinctual.

So what you are saying is, that by following the dictates of your genes in being a social creature, you are acting as rationally and intelligently as a bee. They behave as bees because they have to, no matter how self-destructive the course of action is. Are you saying you follow the same behavior patterns, even when you have a conscious choice? To what end? How is that rational? What ultimate difference does it make if you act in a “good” or “bad” manner? From an Atheistic viewpoint the answer must be no difference at all.

Therefore any behavior of an Atheist, counter to their own desire, is intellectually dishonest at best and cowardly at worst.






You are making the very naive mistake of crossing morality and religion again. Read my previous post. The ability to judge and make the choice between good and bad is not a matter of a god. It is a matter of critical thinking.

To suggest that a story and a make believe super hero are the only thing between society and chaos is hilarious.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 07:45 PM
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Originally posted by cautiouslypessimistic
You are making the very naive mistake of crossing morality and religion again. Read my previous post. The ability to judge and make the choice between good and bad is not a matter of a god. It is a matter of critical thinking.


Agree and disagree. I would submit that religion and morality are intertwined because of the potentially self-destructive capability of the human mind’s capacity for rational and independent thought. Religion, and by extension morality, is a meme that is constructed to prevent a fatal flaw in human consciousness: self-awareness. Bees and ants don’t have to struggle with this problem, humans do. Now, when self-awareness started to emerge in humans there must have been a conflict between an instinct for communal benefit and desire for self-gratification. There still is today. The meme of religion is constructed to prevent humans from looking around the hive and saying: “Why the hell should I do this?” But if we take it as a given that Atheism is true, then consciously submitting to rules and regulations counter to ones own individual desires is duplicitous.

Granted, there are circumstances when one must obey. But given a lack of supervision or potential blame there is no reason not to act accordingly to one’s own desire. That’s one of the reasons religious types don’t like Atheists: they can’t fathom why an Atheist would behave when no one is watching. I would query the same.



Originally posted by cautiouslypessimistic
To suggest that a story and a make believe super hero are the only thing between society and chaos is hilarious.


Yes. I agree wholeheartedly. But who ever said that I believed in a guy that made fish magically appear and would return to save the world? Or did you mean Batman? I do believe he can save us all…



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 07:53 PM
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Originally posted by passenger

Originally posted by cautiouslypessimistic
You are making the very naive mistake of crossing morality and religion again. Read my previous post. The ability to judge and make the choice between good and bad is not a matter of a god. It is a matter of critical thinking.


Agree and disagree. I would submit that religion and morality are intertwined because of the potentially self-destructive capability of the human mind’s capacity for rational and independent thought. Religion, and by extension morality, is a meme that is constructed to prevent a fatal flaw in human consciousness: self-awareness. Bees and ants don’t have to struggle with this problem, humans do. Now, when self-awareness started to emerge in humans there must have been a conflict between an instinct for communal benefit and desire for self-gratification. There still is today. The meme of religion is constructed to prevent humans from looking around the hive and saying: “Why the hell should I do this?” But if we take it as a given that Atheism is true, then consciously submitting to rules and regulations counter to ones own individual desires is duplicitous.

Granted, there are circumstances when one must obey. But given a lack of supervision or potential blame there is no reason not to act accordingly to one’s own desire. That’s one of the reasons religious types don’t like Atheists: they can’t fathom why an Atheist would behave when no one is watching. I would query the same.



Originally posted by cautiouslypessimistic
To suggest that a story and a make believe super hero are the only thing between society and chaos is hilarious.


Yes. I agree wholeheartedly. But who ever said that I believed in a guy that made fish magically appear and would return to save the world? Or did you mean Batman? I do believe he can save us all…

Well, consider that the questions of morality could very easily be CAUSED by the religious indoctrination of generation upon generation of humans.

Throw in the fact taht MOST of the most heinous crimes in this world are perpetrated in the name of one religion or another, and I dont see how this holds any water whatsoever.

Also, it was an obligatory statement, not an accusation of what you believe.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 08:29 PM
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Originally posted by cautiouslypessimistic
Well, consider that the questions of morality could very easily be CAUSED by the religious indoctrination of generation upon generation of humans.


Agreed. That is a tricky one. But I believe that ties in with my argument: Religion as a necessary meme to combat the influence of anti-social tendencies in an independent and self-centered awareness. Again, the human mind has the capacity to say to itself: “I am more important than anyone else.” The meme of religion acts as a counter to this and therefore protects society from disintegration. I cannot see why Atheism is beneficial in this sense. Atheism seems to imply that the whims of an individual are completely temporal and therefore, logically, meaningless. Therefore, morality has no meaning and thus there is no need to be “good”. Doing “good” is thus, ultimately, inconsequential.


Originally posted by cautiouslypessimistic
Throw in the fact taht MOST of the most heinous crimes in this world are perpetrated in the name of one religion or another, and I dont see how this holds any water whatsoever.


Disagree - partially. Were the Romans motivated by religious fervor in conquering? Was Genghis Khan? Were Hitler and Stalin? This is a very debatable issue. I wouldn’t absolve religion of causing great strife but I wouldn’t lay the blame for “most” of the crimes of humanity at it’s door either.



Originally posted by cautiouslypessimistic
Also, it was an obligatory statement, not an accusation of what you believe.


No harm there. Truthfully, sometimes I’m not even sure what I do believe. I admit that I am somewhat sensitive to statements of this type. It’s difficult because I often use the tactic of playing “Devil’s Advocate” to understand and explore my own opinions and beliefs. When someone immediately dismisses me as a zealot or heretic in order to belittle my arguments it can be disheartening. I understand that you were making the statement in a general sense and I actually agree with the sentiment you presented.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 08:49 PM
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Originally posted by passenger
blah blah


"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it." Voltaire


Originally posted by passenger
Atheism seems to imply that the whims of an individual are completely temporal and therefore, logically, meaningless. Therefore, morality has no meaning and thus there is no need to be “good”. Doing “good” is thus, ultimately, inconsequential.


rofl

That's a hella non-sequitur.

You have little insight into an atheistic viewpoint, you are just projecting how you think you don't have internalised moral mechanisms. You just follow a bunch of written rules like a drone, and without the rules you think you would be a sociopath.

Indeed, I do accept that an ABC guide for not acting like a social moron might be useful for some.

However, I use my inherent ability for empathy, altruism, moral sentiment, and reason to guide my behaviour.

[edit on 14-8-2008 by melatonin]



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 09:01 PM
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Originally posted by passenger


Agreed. That is a tricky one. But I believe that ties in with my argument: Religion as a necessary meme to combat the influence of anti-social tendencies in an independent and self-centered awareness. Again, the human mind has the capacity to say to itself: “I am more important than anyone else.” The meme of religion acts as a counter to this and therefore protects society from disintegration. I cannot see why Atheism is beneficial in this sense. Atheism seems to imply that the whims of an individual are completely temporal and therefore, logically, meaningless. Therefore, morality has no meaning and thus there is no need to be “good”. Doing “good” is thus, ultimately, inconsequential.



Disagree - partially. Were the Romans motivated by religious fervor in conquering? Was Genghis Khan? Were Hitler and Stalin? This is a very debatable issue. I wouldn’t absolve religion of causing great strife but I wouldn’t lay the blame for “most” of the crimes of humanity at it’s door either.



No harm there. Truthfully, sometimes I’m not even sure what I do believe. I admit that I am somewhat sensitive to statements of this type. It’s difficult because I often use the tactic of playing “Devil’s Advocate” to understand and explore my own opinions and beliefs. When someone immediately dismisses me as a zealot or heretic in order to belittle my arguments it can be disheartening. I understand that you were making the statement in a general sense and I actually agree with the sentiment you presented.


First off, I have to say it's great to have a debate on here without being called a troll or it turning personal. props for that.


I dont think Atheism is necessarily beneficial in terms of moral high ground. Most the atheists I know, though, are very compassionate people. Most have a sense of doing good, because of the feeling they get by doing so. So, I guess maybe it comes down to each individual, when speaking of what makes them do good or bad things.

I also think that many people that consider themselves atheist are actually agnostic or pagan, which murks things a bit. Agnostic/pagans tend to be much more earth and love focused, which does lean a little toward the
"religion defines good or bad actions" argument, although with a different overall viewpoint.

The Romans WERE driven be religion when they set out to destroy the pagans (as has most every major power in history). Hitler was definately religously driven. Stalin and Khan were more ethnically driven, but there is a fine line between ethnics and religions.

The crusades were specifically religiously driven. 16th century France was nothing but religious wars.The thirty year war. Every war in the Middle East. Religion has claimed more lives than anything else in this world.



[edit on 8/14/2008 by cautiouslypessimistic]



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 09:06 PM
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Interesting subject.

Who is to call whom mentally unstable, etc. when this particular subject can't be proven, or disproven??

Now in your typical everyday subject, not involving religion, who would be labeled "unstable"...

- someone who doesn't believe something unless they have proof

-someone who believes something based on their feelings, gut, what others believe, stories they were told, etc...

Hmmm...sceptics vs. believers sound familiar?

I have no opinion other than to state that maybe people shouldn't cast stones (the person in the video of course, not the OP)..

There would be so much more peace in the world if everyone would just worry about themselves, and not care what the heck everyone else believes in or is doing....



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