Last year in September, an interesting article caught my eye... "Atheism as mental deviance"
.... I thought to myself "That has got to
be a deliberately shallow attempt to anger many readers into clicking on the article." Responding as the authors most likely intended, but not for
the reason they engendered... I clicked.
Clicking led me to reading; and thus to sharing my perceptions with with my friends so I create a thread here on ATS
Interesting - but problematic statistics: Autism and Atheism
... (note I took the
liberty of at least attempting to make that title less inflammatory.)
As could be expected, the matter was met "reflexively" ... many, perhaps most, members participating were angered by the inferences they drew from the
study I cited.
Once we had dispensed with the vetting of whether I was attempting to "promote" the idea, as opposed to sharing it, some very insightful comments
followed. However, as conversation do, it strayed toward a direction that was more about how atheism is a conscious rational choice... not a matter
of hard-wired 'defects' of the human brain. It should also not need elaboration that a great deal of defensiveness was evoked..,
I return to you with a different article; one perhaps better structured but ostensibly equally suspect...
Autism study strengthens idea that we read
Please understand, I do not go "looking" for these articles, but I cannot help but be amused by the consistently 'creative' way they are entitled....
this title has a particularly redeeming metaphorical application; but on it's face it nevertheless risks completely misdirecting a would be reader....
I can't help but wonder why this is consistently so?
From the article:
People with autism appear less likely to believe in God – a discovery that has strengthened theories that religious belief relies on being able
to imagine what God is thinking, a capacity known as "mentalising".
One of the hallmarks of autism is an impaired ability to infer and respond to what other people are thinking, so the investigators wondered whether
this would affect their likelihood of believing in God.
In a study of adolescents questioned on their beliefs, those with autism were almost 90 per cent less likely than non-autistic peers to express a
strong belief in God.
The theory goes that if you are not capable of empathizing, understanding social context, and projecting or sensing emotional conditions in others, or
as a response to your actions (as those suffering from Autism seem to be) you are less capable of harboring "strong faith" in your personality.
It seems a vaguely 'wanting' theory.. and my own limitations may be responsible for my difficulties fully understanding it. However, "mentalising" may
be a suitable concept for rationalizing how worship takes place in the brain. Subjectively projecting oneself as an 'object' to a larger
all-encompassing intellect must require some exercise to that effect.
Perhaps our members who revel in atheism will find this entry less offensive... after all it is brought to us, in this instance, by researchers who
have apparently greater affinity for not characterizing the similarities of atheism and autism as a disease.... even though that seems to infer the
converse may be true... that faith is an act of self-delusion and perhaps an offshoot of a narcissistic ideal.
This discussion may be better served now. Since it appears of late that many evangelical theists and atheists are on vacation engaging in the
political sport "cheer-leading."
I can only hope that my comments will not engender more angst my way...
edit on 31-5-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason
edit on 31-5-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)