Why I'm not an Atheist

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posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 07:08 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 



Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
Just like you were born a dog trainer?


Ah. I see you're not reading my posts. I don't know how a discussion can take place when only one of us is listening... From my previous post:


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I wasn't born a dog trainer.




How can a child be born with a vocation or a belief of any sort?


EXACTLY! You're finally starting to understand what an atheist is. One who holds NO BELIEF in a deity. This is why you'll hear atheists say that atheism is NOT a belief. It's the LACK of one. Babies are born, by default, atheists, because they do not have a belief of any sort, as you have stated, including a belief about deities. Yes, I was born an atheist and so were you.



Then what compelled you to respond to my post? To set me straight?


Yes. To give you information that you were obviously lacking or misunderstanding about what an atheist is. I saw the title and (since I am an atheist) became curious about your position, so I read it. When I found it to be full of of misinformation, incorrect assumptions and generalizations, I wanted to have a discussion to give you some information where you were lacking. To "set you straight" if you will. From my previous post: "I am not defending a title. I'm giving you information. Your original post shows me that you are lacking some. There's nothing to defend."

I don't want to "knock you down a peg or two". I want to have a discussion. That's why I'm here on ATS. To discuss things I'm interested in.


Do you also not believe in honesty?


I absolutely do believe in honesty. I have not been dishonest. I have answered every question of yours and been civil and forthcoming. Can you return the favor?

Do you believe in a deity?




posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 08:42 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 





This is why you'll hear atheists say that atheism is NOT a belief. It's the LACK of one. Babies are born, by default, atheists, because they do not have a belief of any sort, as you have stated, including a belief about deities. Yes, I was born an atheist and so were you.

i would disagree to that, babies are not born with a 'clean slate' as it was presumed, they are all uniquely hard wired.

Roger Highfield and Nic Fleming,
wrote a report for the UK
Telegraph titled “We're born with a belief in the supernatural, says
scientist,” 05 Sep 2006 AD. They note that according to Prof Bruce
Hood (University of Bristol)
“‘Magical thinking’ is hard-wired
into our brains…“religions may
simply capitalise on a natural bias
to assume the existence of supernatural forces.”


To get a glimpse into Prof Hood’s
own worldview bias, note that the
“said religion would persist
because people were not going to evolve a more rational mind” (emphasis added). In other words, while supernaturalism is
natural…so is wetting ourselves.
Holding to inborn theism equals
not developing, nay evolving, a
more rational mind. By contrast,
those who somehow manage to accept the one true way—the
pseudo-gospel that Atheism is true
—are more evolved than thou. Prof Bruce Hood elucidates: It is pointless to get
people to abandon
their belief systems
because they
operate at such a
fundamental level that no amount of
rational evidence or
counter evidence is
going to be taken on
board to get people
to abandon these ideas. Again, natural born theism cannot
even be overcome via the
enlightenment of rational evidence
or counter evidence. The report also specifies: Prof Hood
challenged the
assumption of Prof Richard Dawkins and other "ultra
rationalists" that
belief in the
supernatural was
spread by religions
in gullible minds.

and a simple observation makes you question that assumption.
If babies are born atheist then why are their religions? Do adults invent religion? If yes then isnt religion an evolved idea and atheism a less evolved one?
The excerpts i posted says otherwise.
Also by watching tribes uninfluenced by outside forces for thousands of years, its easy to see that theism is more likely to be present. I never heard of an atheist tribe, have you?
edit on 23-2-2013 by logical7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 09:23 AM
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reply to post by logical7
 


You have completely misunderstood the professor's position (deliberately or not, I don't know).

What the good professor is saying is that we have an innate predisposition to "fill in" areas that we don't understand in life with superstition, supposition and the "supernatural". That is absolutely true.

That is a far cry, however, from claiming that babies are born believing in God. Babies may be born with the ability to "fill in" missing information. But that, in no way, indicates that the information they "fill in" has anything to do with "God" or theism.

We're Born with a Belief in the Supernatural



“religions may simply capitalise on a natural bias to assume the existence of supernatural forces.”
...
"Intuitive reasoning observed in children explains many aspects of adult magical beliefs," he said.


That is the key. Religion USES this natural bias and "intuitive reasoning" to indoctrinate their followers. They "fill in" the wonder of how we got here, our purpose in life, and what happens when it's all over, with religious stories, and people, because we have this innate ability to assume the supernatural, believe.

That does not, however, suggest that we are born theists.



Again, natural born theism cannot even be overcome via the enlightenment of rational evidence or counter evidence.


That is a quote from the writer of the examiner article (Mariano Grinbank), NOT from the professor. Is that why you didn't provide a link?
Examiner link

Mariano Grinbank is a Christian apologist, devoted to refuting atheism. He is NOT a scientist.



Originally posted by logical7
If babies are born atheist then why are their religions?


To "fill in" or explain that which we do not understand.



Do adults invent religion? If yes then isnt religion an evolved idea and atheism a less evolved one?


Yes, adults invented religion. And before religion, was atheism. So, religion is an "evolved" idea, in that it came from being uncomfortable with the unknown. An even more "evolved" idea is learning to be comfortable with not knowing. That's where many atheists (myself included) reside.
edit on 2/23/2013 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 09:35 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
[

I don't take the label 'man,' I was born this way and can prove it. You weren't born an atheist, nor a christian, nor a muslim. It is your choice.


This is not true. We were all born atheists. And, we would still be atheists if no one told us god stories.



But like the christian, the muslim, and the atheist, you stand here defending that choice, all the while promoting an ideology that for some just doesn't work. Can you not go about not believing in deities without letting everyone know about it?


We don't have to defend that choice. We have to defend humanity before these religions utterly destroy us. I promise you, the hand that presses the nuclear button that sets off the destruction of the world will be the hand of a man that will do it in the name of a god.



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 10:21 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


i am not proving that babies are born theists, i am rather disproving your claim that they are born atheist.
They are actually born with an inclination to accept 'any explanation'(God, fairy tales etc) rather than suffering the unknow as unknow.
1)Atheist make peace with it as you have already said.
2)It contradicts the natural desire to know the unknown, thats what science is all about right?
Now isnt that a conflict?
Thats cognitive dissonance. Our brains will go to elaborate lengths to minimise it by making rationalisations/justifications. The ones who cannot will actually lose their 'conciousness' and literally go on 'auto pilot'(being an animal, better a party animal!)
the very unfortune ones will even commit suicide (more common among atheists)
The only way to eradicate this dissonance is to 'know it all'
so we are doomed to have a 'belief system'(God or non god) until we become ALL KNOWING.
Which will practically never happen. So we have a need, a void that can be only filled by a belief.
Now i have tried to prove that we are born to be theists(to have a belief)
What do you say?



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 10:35 AM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 




This is not true. We were all born atheists. And, we would still be atheists if no one told us god stories.


Actually, we were all born nihilists, without any meaning whatsoever. Atheism is a religious stance, a choice, an opinion in regard to deities. If we had no clue about deities, we would not have to choose whether to believe in them or not. No one is born an atheist, or an agnostic, or a christian, or a muslim.



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 



Ah. I see you're not reading my posts.


And you didn't read the OP, because you did not address any of the arguments there-in. You posted in a knee-jerk fashion.

That's fine. It was expected.



One who holds NO BELIEF in a deity. This is why you'll hear atheists say that atheism is NOT a belief. It's the LACK of one. Babies are born, by default, atheists, because they do not have a belief of any sort, as you have stated, including a belief about deities. Yes, I was born an atheist and so were you.


Sorry, but to not believe in deities, you must first know what a deity is.

If you were to find an undiscovered tribe who had no concept of a God would they call themselves atheist? No, you would call them atheist, because you understand what a deity is. To say everyone is born atheist is to say infants are born with innate ideas, which is simply untrue.

edit on 23-2-2013 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 10:53 AM
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reply to post by logical7
 



Originally posted by logical7
i am not proving that babies are born theists, i am rather disproving your claim that they are born atheist.
They are actually born with an inclination to accept 'any explanation'(God, fairy tales etc) rather than suffering the unknow as unknow.


They are born without beliefs of any kind, but with the inclination to accept a superstitious explanation rather than suffering with the unknown. A belief is not the same as an innate inclination. Before becoming a believer in a deity (which is the definition of theism), they have to have the cognitive ability to wonder and/or the linguistic ability to understand what is taught them.

They know nothing of the world, much less have the ability to wonder why we're here, or what happens when we die.
They have to learn what they DON'T know before they can "fill in" those gaps of unknown with superstition.



Now i have tried to prove that we are born to be theists(to have a belief)


To say that we are born with the ability and inclination to be theists is different than saying "We are born theists". The word theist is SPECIFICALLY a belief in GOD or gods, not just to have a belief, as you state above. Theism is particular to God. Babies are not born with that belief. They are born willing and able to accept any fanciful explanation. It's just that religion is the first explanation made available to them (in most cases), and therefore they believe it. If a parent taught their child other stories of the spaghetti monster (or Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny) they would believe those, too, until they figured out the truth on their own.

The existence of God is purposely created by man to be unprovable, one way or the other. My feeling is that it's possible that there is a god or gods, with the same possibility that there's a Santa Claus. That's why I take the label, "atheist".



What do you say?


I say we are born with the inclination to establish beliefs of some sort as we grow and learn about the unknown aspects of the world in which we live. ANY belief (God, fairies, spaghetti monster, etc) must be implanted OR imagined before a belief can be established. And newborn babies do not have the cognitive ability to realize the unknown, much less to form beliefs about it.




posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 11:12 AM
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It is absolutely clear why you aren't an atheist - it is because you don't understand atheism. The fundamental problem is the idea the the lack of belief in god has to be replaced by an equal and opposite belief in another idea. The lack of belief is not an ideology it is simply a lack of belief, in things that take faith to believe in. It is simple and doesn't leave us atheists adrift is some empty black void that you seem to think is the only option to not believing.



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 11:58 AM
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Yet another Les'


I have always found the various "standards" of atheism to be quite interesting. One common claim is being born in such a state of choice. Inherently, this absolves all responsibility of it being a choice as it is viewed as a dogmatically natural state. This even implies, though generally unintentionally, that anyone disagreeing is living in an "un-natural" way. Quite a similarity there with theism, and its various intentional claims of the same vein. Interestingly, as the "anti" position, this manifests mostly unintentionally in the sermons of atheists.

I am a bit surprised I havent seen more people bring up "agnostic atheism." It is probably the most peculiar trait to me. It is a position solely taken for its perceived rationale. Though, to keep the moniker "atheism" in there, some semantic play is needed. I also like the term "mental gymnastics."

I think its neat that in such a stance, you can very clearly see the self-imposed limitations. But, when we are in the middle of that forest, we are seemingly incapable of seeing the forest for the trees...



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 12:04 PM
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reply to post by spyder550
 



It is absolutely clear why you aren't an atheist - it is because you don't understand atheism. The fundamental problem is the idea the the lack of belief in god has to be replaced by an equal and opposite belief in another idea. The lack of belief is not an ideology it is simply a lack of belief, in things that take faith to believe in. It is simple and doesn't leave us atheists adrift is some empty black void that you seem to think is the only option to not believing.


Actually I'm not an atheist for the reasons I stated.

I said nothing of black voids, which you think I seem I claimed was the only option.



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 12:10 PM
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reply to post by loglady
 




You ask why we feel the need to come here and argue? Because you are misrepresenting Atheists and our position. We have no dogma, and deal only in facts.


Your position on what? Correct, your position on God. Only the religious have opinions in regards to deities. If you truly didn't believe in deities as you claim, there would be no need to take a stance on them one way or the other, simply because there is no logical reason to have an opinion on something that doesn't exist.



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 12:14 PM
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reply to post by Serdgiam
 



I have always found the various "standards" of atheism to be quite interesting. One common claim is being born in such a state of choice. Inherently, this absolves all responsibility of it being a choice as it is viewed as a dogmatically natural state. This even implies, though generally unintentionally, that anyone disagreeing is living in an "un-natural" way. Quite a similarity there with theism, and its various intentional claims of the same vein. Interestingly, as the "anti" position, this manifests mostly unintentionally in the sermons of atheists.

I am a bit surprised I havent seen more people bring up "agnostic atheism." It is probably the most peculiar trait to me. It is a position solely taken for its perceived rationale. Though, to keep the moniker "atheism" in there, some semantic play is needed. I also like the term "mental gymnastics."

I think its neat that in such a stance, you can very clearly see the self-imposed limitations. But, when we are in the middle of that forest, we are seemingly incapable of seeing the forest for the trees...



Nicely put.



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 12:30 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 



I say we are born with the inclination to establish beliefs of some sort as we grow and learn about the unknown aspects of the world in which we live. ANY belief (God, fairies, spaghetti monster, etc) must be implanted OR imagined before a belief can be established. And newborn babies do not have the cognitive ability to realize the unknown, much less to form beliefs about it.


Newborns are ignorant of everything—lions, oceans, the sun, broccoli etc. But the atheist doesn't call himself atheist to show he is ignorant does he? No, because he needs to first understand what deities are, and form an opinion or a belief in regards to them.


opinion |əˈpinyən|
noun
a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge: I'm writing to voice my opinion on an issue of great importance | that, in my opinion, is dead right.
• the beliefs or views of a large number or majority of people about a particular thing: the changing climate of opinion.
• (opinion of) an estimation of the quality or worth of someone or something: I had a higher opinion of myself than I deserved.



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 12:40 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


The unwavering response you will receive is that it is not a belief, but a lack of belief.

I am not entirely sure how, or even if, the human mind is capable of intentionally creating a void where data used to exist. For me, it took some mental gymnastics to do it, but I certainly convinced myself of it for many years.

I think the thoughts we create can not be uncreated. We all have our views on "x." But to discuss "x" while claiming one has zero beliefs on it seems to be a position that is difficult, at best, to maintain honestly. If there was truly a lack of belief in the way atheism claims, a word would not be spoken of it at all since there is nothing to say.

Like with the term enlightenment, I have said that doesnt exist outside of the perceiving/creating mind. This is a claim that has many similarities to atheism's claims towards God and religion. However, for me to say I have a lack of belief would be nullified the instant I spoke about it at all. It is my belief that it does not exist, but with a caveat. That also puts me into a position where I am liable to be incorrect. As debate is one of the past times of many atheists, this position is one that is avoided at all costs.

By claiming my words are driven by a lack of belief, it absolves responsibility for the conscious choices that truly drive the words. This is done in the same way as many theists who believe they can do anything they like and it will just be absolved by a deity. But, like I said before, one is intentional (theism) and the other is unintentional (atheism), but inherent to the process.

In the end, I find atheism (and all belief systems) to be one of the most intriguing areas of psychology and the mind. It is profound to me and it includes everything from the placebo effect to a constant appeal to authority.
edit on 23-2-2013 by Serdgiam because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 12:51 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 



Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
Your position on what? Correct, your position on God.


Wrong. The atheistic position is on the existence of one or more deities, not a position on the God we don't believe in. How could one have an opinion about something they don't believe in? I guess that's what you're saying. And that's how you misunderstand atheism.

I notice you've given up answering any questions I might have about YOUR position on these things. Are you afraid to share your positions? From reading a few of your posts, I am going to say that you're an atheist, because you don't seem to think God exists, beyond being a word or the name of a concept. And that, I agree with. But since you say you are not a atheist, I'll let it be.

I also noticed your avatar line:

LesMisanthrope
I am not a philosopher.
Member

So, this is apparently something you like to do... make statements about what you are NOT, yet you deride people for stating the stances they do take, as if that's any different from claiming that you are NOT something. I find that interesting. I see a thread of yours that talks about The Absurdity of Labels, yet you label yourself as "NOT a philosopher" and "NOT an atheist"... Whatever floats your boat... But don't fool yourself into thinking that taking a stance and accepting a label is any different than taking a stance and rejecting those labels.



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 12:57 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


i do agree with you on some things and you similarly agree with me.
You however dint comment on the more important point.
Belief being a need rather than a choice. The choice is only what to believe.
So do you agree to this?
EDIT: we have a disagreement on definition of atheism.
Atheism is a belief in no god not a lack of belief. How can a newborn baby have a negative idea of God not existing? The best is no idea. No idea is not atheism.
edit on 23-2-2013 by logical7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 01:00 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 



Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
Newborns are ignorant of everything—lions, oceans, the sun, broccoli etc. But the atheist doesn't call himself atheist to show he is ignorant does he? No, because he needs to first understand what deities are, and form an opinion or a belief in regards to them.


OK. I don't disagree with that. What's your point?

Actually, Yay! Something we agree on.


As we are raised, we learn the concept of deity. And then we decide whether or not we believe in one. Just like Santa.

I saw someone mention "agnostic atheism" which is what I consider myself. People seem to want to spit on the label, but I don't care. It's what I choose for me.

I don't KNOW (agnostic), but I don't BELIEVE (atheism) in a deity or god. An excellent video. Please watch it.

edit on 2/23/2013 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 01:06 PM
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reply to post by logical7
 



Originally posted by logical7
i do agree with you on some things and you similarly agree with me.


Isn't it great to find things in common?




Belief being a need rather than a choice. The choice is only what to believe.
So do you agree to this?


If I understand your point, I'm not sure I agree. I don't NEED to have a belief about where we came from, why we're here, what our purpose is and what happens after we die. I don't know ANY of those answers (aside from scientific theory - but even that, I can't say I "believe in"... ) and I don't have a need to choose a belief about it.

Did I understand you correctly?



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 01:10 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 




Wrong. The atheistic position is on the existence of one or more deities, not a position on the God we don't believe in. How could one have an opinion about something they don't believe in? I guess that's what you're saying. And that's how you misunderstand atheism.


Sorry I didn't mention the plurality of deities. I don't see the need to elucidate on things that don't exist.



I notice you've given up answering any questions I might have about YOUR position on these things. Are you afraid to share your positions? From reading a few of your posts, I am going to say that you're an atheist, because you don't seem to think God exists, beyond being a word or the name of a concept. And that, I agree with. But since you say you are not a atheist, I'll let it be.

I also noticed your avatar line:

LesMisanthrope
I am not a philosopher.
Member

So, this is apparently something you like to do... make statements about what you are NOT, yet you deride people for stating the stances they do take, as if that's any different from claiming that you are NOT something. I find that interesting. I see a thread of yours that talks about The Absurdity of Labels, yet you label yourself as "NOT a philosopher" and "NOT an atheist"... Whatever floats your boat... But don't fool yourself into thinking that taking a stance and accepting a label is any different than taking a stance and rejecting those labels.


Ad hominem. Please, find anyway you can to discredit me, it's irrelevant and doesn't prove anything. You're only proving my OP by resorting to petty tactics to avoid engaging my arguments. Do whatever you must do to defend your atheism, I wouldn't expect anything less.





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