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Interesting - but problematic statistics: Autism and Atheism

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posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 03:18 PM
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Originally posted by racasan
reply to post by Maxmars
 


Boston University you say

Here in Europe >not< being religious is seen a sign of having good mental health

And those wacky American evangelical types are thought of as odd


I promise you, despite the effective marketing to the contrary, many "wacky evangelical-types" are perceived as 'odd' here as well.




posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by Maxmars
reply to post by steveknows
 


That explains the approach. I understand your sensitivity. I would suggest you take a bit more time to assess whether I am the type of poster who uses an agenda like that. But I will spare you any claims to the contrary. Hopefully given time, you will see that I am not inclined to behave that way.

At any rate, should anyone think this is about trying to make the point that atheism may be in part caused by some 'autism-like' aspect of the the mind; I suggest you read the study more closely.

I admit that I am unaware of the persons who conducted the research or the article author... should they have an agenda I can only ask you not associate with me.

I simply thought it was significant enough to bring here for opinions.

I find myself wondering if there is some substance to the idea that this is meant to disparage Atheism. I know it has obviously had that effect at least perceptually.. but could that have been the point? I was prepared to think not, but now I will be more circumspect about who these researchers are, and whether they have displayed a pattern of studies or reports that focus disproportionately on associating negativity with atheism..

Meanwhile, if I have offended anyone by relaying the material and asking questions that could be taken the wrong way, I sincerely apologize.



It's not my belief that has caused me to find it repugnant but rather my humanity. I assure you that if I was a church going Christian I would still find it repulsive as it can be seen as using the trials and tribulations of the challenged as an arguement to believe in God. And that's a direction no one has a right in which to go.



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 03:25 PM
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Given that they're autistic, my guess is that they have enough problems to distract them from having to invent fairy tales...or follow fairy tales that have no grounds in reality.

The thing is, if no one would indoctrinate religion in people, they simply wouldn't believe in it. Why? Because there's ZERO objective evidence. I'm the best example of this if you want. My parents didn't indoctrinate religion from an early age, saying that I can chose once I'm old enough to think rationally. Well...I can do that now, and given that there's no evidence supporting any of the religious theories, I chose to be an atheist. If there is something like a god, then he didn't leave any evidence behind...and a TON of religious claims have been completely debunked over the years. Giant global floods, complete nonsense. Humans just popping up on earth in their current form without evolution, demonstrably wrong. God(s) causing disease, also nonsense. And the list goes on. The whole "god did it" thing has an abysmal track record when it comes to being right


You need to be indoctrinated to believe. The reason people believe is because their parents or someone else who influences them pulled them in. Either that, or they fill a GAP IN KNOWLEDGE with god. An autistic person has enough trouble to learn stuff as it is, so of course they'll have a harder time being indoctrinated with something.



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 03:27 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


Well ok

But I think if the statistics where done in say London then the results would be very different – which I think says something interesting about statisticians but nothing useful about atheist



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 03:31 PM
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Originally posted by racasan
reply to post by Maxmars
 


Boston University you say

Here in Europe >not< being religious is seen a sign of having good mental health

And those wacky American evangelical types are thought of as odd


I know what you mean. Good family friends live in Kentucky, and they are typical bible belt Christians who pray before every meal and go to church regularly. Whenever I'm there and they pray before dinner, I feel so out of place. Like a high school quarterback joining a nerdy Dungeons & Dragons session...with the difference being that the highschool guys realize D&D isn't reality



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 03:37 PM
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I think it's more that people with autistic traits, Aspergers, Autism have a more rigorously logical thinking structure. My son is autistic. Things are either logical and believable or they're not.

Since his diagnosis, my family and I have come to the realization that I have several "autistic traits" and am likely dealing with aspergers. One thing that always confused me was my inability to believe in a religion. I was baptized Methodist at 4 and attended church until 7 or 8. Spent my high school years in a Baptist church with my friends. I'm a baptized Mormon as that was the best fitting religion for my children when I was looking for a church home. But I no longer attend church, because as much as I want to believe in a religion, I don't. Plain and simple, a personally involved deity makes absolutely no sense to me.

Back in 2004 Time Magazine had an in-depth piece about a possible "God Gene" that was interesting reading. Maybe that's part of the issue and folks with autism/aspergers may also deal with damage in this part of the chromosome?




Chief of gene structure at the National Cancer Institute, Hamer not only claims that human spirituality is an adaptive trait, but he also says he has located one of the genes responsible, a gene that just happens to also code for production of the neurotransmitters that regulate our moods. Our most profound feelings of spirituality, according to a literal reading of Hamer's work, may be due to little more than an occasional shot of intoxicating brain chemicals governed by our DNA.


www.time.com...



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 03:46 PM
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Social intelligence goes hand in hand with religion I think it could be said. Those with autism tend to lack in social intelligence. Not really a matter of how bright or dim someone with autism is when they're lacking that ability to understand people on par with others. Some of the scientists with the highest IQ can be pretty dumb when it comes to "people", yet they find no problems with their intellect which is a bit near sighted.



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 03:47 PM
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reply to post by MrXYZ
 


I’m sure they are good people



I was brought up in a totally secular home – none of my family, friends, neighbours are or were religious


Over here Christians are seen as a bit feeble minded (not trying to pick a fight over this, just relaying a fact) – however it’s my understanding that in America, there is a stigma attached to been an atheist – so I’m still wondering about these statistics



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 03:55 PM
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Originally posted by Turq1
Social intelligence goes hand in hand with religion I think it could be said. Those with autism tend to lack in social intelligence. Not really a matter of how bright or dim someone with autism is when they're lacking that ability to understand people on par with others. Some of the scientists with the highest IQ can be pretty dumb when it comes to "people", yet they find no problems with their intellect which is a bit near sighted.


Nonsense!!

That's like saying only religious people have morals



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 03:58 PM
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Originally posted by racasan
reply to post by MrXYZ
 


I’m sure they are good people



I was brought up in a totally secular home – none of my family, friends, neighbours are or were religious


Over here Christians are seen as a bit feeble minded (not trying to pick a fight over this, just relaying a fact) – however it’s my understanding that in America, there is a stigma attached to been an atheist – so I’m still wondering about these statistics


Oh yeah, they're great people. Always make me and my family feel at home, and I've known them all my life. They know I'm an atheist, but they're cool with it. They respect me for keeping my mouth shut during prayer, and the only time I hear them be critical of my opinion is when they're with other local friends and those friends try to talk about religion. They usually make them shut up by saying "don't get him started"


On the plus side, I now convinced their 80+ year old grandparents that evolution isn't a "myth". Took HOURS of talking and explaining, and I totally respect them for having the guts to go through with it in their age. They now switched their opinion to "god uses evolution to..."



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by steveknows
reply to post by CynicalDrivel
 


It looks to me like your'e saying that people suffer their challenges as a result of lack of belief in God. So are you saying that lack of belief in God causes an ilness be it mental, nuorlogical or physical ?
Not at all! This is talking basic human behavior when they find themselves in a tight spot. They blame the powers that be, then they decide the powers that be shouldn't or aren't in power. Typical human psychological progression. Now, do people get challenged by a Creator God? Maybe, but that's got nothing to do with what I stated. Bible clearly states that rain falls on both the corrupt and the just. That's the whole point of Job. So this is not about what a staunch Christian follows, even.


That is so dark age. Seriously dark age. It falls into dark age church way of thinking that a person having an epileptic seizure is possessed by satan or wheat blight is caused be witches.
Horse ploppy. If you want to see it that way, I cannot stop you, but my mind isn't even in this direction or even misdirection. Fine with me if you see it as a boogy-man issue. *shrugs*

Originally posted by steveknows
Perhaps he's just more aware than the average person when it comes to science and he's sick of the God squad trying to confuse the issues and devaluate long scientific research by comparing a scientific theory to a guess.
Perhaps. But a the same time, if someone's inferior, what in the world is the point of getting emotionally so upset that you have to rant in long strings of thought and blast the whole world with them? It comes across as a lack of maturity, no matter what his personal intent was. You can't reach people you're that visibly upset with. And the whole point of Critical thinking is to control your emotions, as they're not supposed to have anything to do with logic in most arguments. Steven Hawking has proven to not do this in a few cases.


Originally posted by steveknowsI'm not spoiling for a fight at all I'm just having trouble getting my head around what it implies.
That's the problem. Implication is often merely reading between the lines for something that was not said or done. It is closely related to "Drama Queen" behavior and diverges off the intended topic. Now, are there consequences in a line of reasoning unchecked? You bet'cha. The difference is learning that the end consequences do not have to be the end result of the conversation at hand. We can throw on the breaks and draw a line, stating "We go no futher!"



I actually do believe in God but I don't believe in the bible or the church. Nor do I believe God rules mankind and I don't believe that lack of faith is an ilness which is what the thread implies and you know it.
Some people don't see fully function Autism as an illness at all, so this is painting a very large brush here.



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 04:31 PM
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Originally posted by MaxmarsIf we go down the path that physical affectations have metaphysical effects, we will be treading on really slippery ground.
It ain't metaphysical when there is a real side effect. He plain gets frustrated with religion, and has stated that there would be no reason for him to be disabled if there was a loving God. If he had not made this a physical real world issue, I 'd have not pointed him out.

First off, I am fairly certain that Dr. Hawkins' condition is not related to a manifestation of autism.
No, I was using an illustration of my point from a person who is considered to be of a VERY sound mind. I don't think there's a thing wrong with his mental capacity, yet he has issues, like everyone else: knee-jerk reactions that without a lot of work will color his decisions. Simple.


And he is far from alone in the world in being disabled as he is - although few get as good care as he does. Also, one personal anger can manifest itself in many ways which could include denying god, or wishing to turn people away from god... but you do realize that such a position by definition means they believe in him.
I am aware of this. It's why I tell people I think that man has a stronger relationship with God than most Christians.
With or without a real belief in God's existence, the man has more of an emotional tie to this thing he disbelieves in than of most the people he gets frustrated with.


If god does not exist any emotions directed at him/her/it would be defacto wasted.
It goes further. If God does not exist, than any emotions directed at him/her/it's followers is just as wasted.


I am leery of accepting that theory.
I'm more indifferent. I resist things being true because I resist things being true, so I've got less of a need to be leery. I have to remind myself more that I might need to be more accepting of new ideas than not, but that becomes somewhat moot with self-awareness.


Originally posted by steveknowsIt's not my belief that has caused me to find it repugnant but rather my humanity. I assure you that if I was a church going Christian I would still find it repulsive as it can be seen as using the trials and tribulations of the challenged as an arguement to believe in God. And that's a direction no one has a right in which to go.
I applaud you for this. I wasn't even getting into the aspect of whether or not this is proof of god being real, nor did I take the OP that way. Even if an Autistic is "designed to disavow God", that would not be proof or not of God existing. It would be merely an abnormality that changes the nature of human reasoning, for better or for worse. It's not a statement on where the change came from, and it certainly would cast doubt over why many believe in a God anyway. Is it really a good thing to tell people that they are wired to believe in a God? 2 ways that one falls, and neither of them are pretty. (I.e., you can't trust your belief as being rational, or your fear of this subject. Neither one of them have done most folks any good.)



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 04:42 PM
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Originally posted by MaxmarsI promise you, despite the effective marketing to the contrary, many "wacky evangelical-types" are perceived as 'odd' here as well.
As my Bible-thumping Daddy says:

"Yes, we're called to be a peculiar people, but that doesn't mean we have to act that way!" There's Christians out there that plain freak other Christians out.

Originally posted by MrXYZ
You need to be indoctrinated to believe. The reason people believe is because their parents or someone else who influences them pulled them in. Either that, or they fill a GAP IN KNOWLEDGE with god. An autistic person has enough trouble to learn stuff as it is, so of course they'll have a harder time being indoctrinated with something.
The problem is that if you teach ot a test in school systems (It's blatant, teachers everywhere are complaining) you're not teaching them to think for themselves but regurgitate the information that they are given. You may not have gotten pressure for your beliefs in your home life, but don't kid yourself that you didn't get pressure to become the person you are today--whether they were in the right or wrong for it. And I'm not talking some big hulking conspiracy, it's just the way the system grinds on.

Originally posted by racasan
Over here Christians are seen as a bit feeble minded (not trying to pick a fight over this, just relaying a fact) – however it’s my understanding that in America, there is a stigma attached to been an atheist – so I’m still wondering about these statistics
Nah, the stigma goes both ways in America becuause both sides take as much time as they can making the other look as mentally incompetent as possible. Going to college got me attacked for me stating my beliefs because I shouldn't possibly disagree with everyone else...and the Baptists tried to bully you from the same conversation every waking moment. (Buddy, form same college, far more agnostic than I had a convo. that went: "Do you believe in Jesus?" "yes" "let me tell you about Jesus and persuade you to believe in him." I think he wanted to strangle the chick.)



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 04:45 PM
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reply to post by CynicalDrivel
 


i think you're spot on with your analysis. we tend to be very vengeful. we like things that are fair and equal out. many of us are probably atheist in an attempt to piss god off. he makes life for us hard, so we ignore him. that is perfectly logical to me.

however, when confronted with facts, i have to accept what i believe is true, no matter what. i'd say i'm angry with my creator alot, but this condition does have benefits, and i can't deny him when i know he's real.



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 04:51 PM
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Interesting stuff. I've got dyslexia which is part of the Autistic spectrum, different cheeks of the same arse really, and also suspected full blown autism / adhd. I'm too old to get help to get tested now.

I have some insight into what a full blown autistic person would be like, more than some anyways
.

For me personally, its a case of joining up the dots and seeing bigger patterns to things. I rarely remember facts, but I do see the bigger picture more than most.

I don't know what I am, but I don't beleive in god, I suppose I beleive quite firmly that there is no god, not too much of a grey area for me. Is that an athiest ?

The reason that I don't beleive in god is that I think religion is a human creation, for human purposes.

Used in England in medieval times etc, to control the masses. Make people fear and they are more complient, that sort of thing. The term ' God fearing people' sums it up for me. They beleive in god because they fear him/it/she.

Gods are a good way of making an understanding of something beyond your comprehension. Thats why so many things about the sky are super natural. The god of thunder etc. Sun worshiping etc. It's human nature to try to undstand the world they are in, understanding can bring comfort. To me, religion answers all the big questions for a person, that needs to know big answers.

Personally, its not about not being able to imagine a god being real, its more about understanding why humans have made them up.
edit on 19-9-2011 by pot8er because: (no reason given)

edit on 19-9-2011 by pot8er because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
Or maybe it's because they simply know B.S. when they see it. The above quote is a highly arrogant claim, and one that is embedded within a common misunderstanding of atheism: that one doesn't believe in deities because of a mental illness (lack of theory of mind) resembling a selfishness or inability to recognize feelings other than their own. I'm uncertain as to how such a condition renders impotent any belief in the supernatural, but whatever.


I agree with you.

Autism umbrellas a very large spectrum.

Every kid that "day dreams" and doesn't focus in class - - would now be placed under that umbrella.

Kids that focus - follow direction - and do what they are told - - - are not considered Autistic.

Seems to me the pattern is more - - "those who follow" and "those who don't".



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 05:03 PM
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Originally posted by BrianDamage
Atheism also seems to be more prevalent in the more educated countries.
Is Autism more prevalent in more educated countries?


I think its just that more educated countries expect certain restricted behaviors.



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 05:20 PM
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Originally posted by Bob Sholtz
reply to post by CynicalDrivel
 


i think you're spot on with your analysis. we tend to be very vengeful. we like things that are fair and equal out. many of us are probably atheist in an attempt to piss god off. he makes life for us hard, so we ignore him. that is perfectly logical to me.

however, when confronted with facts, i have to accept what i believe is true, no matter what. i'd say i'm angry with my creator alot, but this condition does have benefits, and i can't deny him when i know he's real.
I don't know about the quantity of those that are like that. For instance, even if Steven Hawking does subconsciously believe in God or wants to, I firmly doubt that's his reasoning on th subject. I doubt he even sees it, or allows people around him that will tell him that his new clothes are a bit "nekked". It's just more of: It's illogical to have a relationship with something you don't believe in and then turn around and chew out someone else for reveling in theirs. Noe, if you admit to your own level of relationship (I have a hate/hate relationship with a creature I doubt exists!) you'll be more lenient to others who disagree. you're more likely to walk them through your reasoning without vitriol.



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 05:30 PM
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I have to say I am a bit relieved.

Firstly, the discussion which seemed a bit harsh has evolved into something much more productive. And I appreciate all of you contributing to that.

Secondly, I have grave misgivings about the exercise of making determinations of choice or decision, versus, hard-wiring ... it poses intellectual problems to me that I have yet to reconcile.

My deepest appreciation for the dialogue!



posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 05:35 PM
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You aren't responsible for your hard-wiring. You are responsible for your response to your hard-wiring. Simple enough.



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