Atheists might not exist

Atheists might not exist

Postby Bill » Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:38 pm

According to this serious article in Science 2.0, it is possible that we humans may be so hard-wired into believing things of a meta-physical nature, that it may be physically impossible to be A True Atheist - despite what Mr Dawkings yells at us.

Deeply hidden - well, not that deeply - in the piece it is hinted that we really have no control over what we believe; and therefore any attempt to distance ourselves from the standard underlying core is merely an illusion. A passing nod to mythicism is given by observing that if Harry Potter had been slain at the end of the series of books, "everyone" would have felt that it was the wrong outcome. Since "everyone" would be in agreement on that, it hints that we all have the same concept of when justice should triumph over evil.

Of course, that beliefs may be hardwired do not make those beliefs true: it just explains where they might come from. And outside of fiction, we know that Harry Potter may well have lost his battle in just the same manner as Brazil being chopped to pieces by Germany in the recent World Cup semi-final.
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Re: Atheists might not exist

Postby romansh » Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:58 pm

Well lets start with the little bit of invective that is repeated quite often.
Here is Dawkins yelling at the ex Archbishop of Cantebury
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religio ... exist.html
The article starts off poorly in my opinion with militant atheism ....

As to the substance itself:
1) That we don't control our beliefs is of no surprise to those that don't trust the concept of free will. Plus a little bit of introspection will confirm that in a jiffy. eg we could ask ourselves to believe in a literal Abrahamic god for the next five minutes. (Abel could try disbelieving it). Now are some beliefs hard wired? I am not sure. I am fairly confident evolution has endowed us a capability of belief, and this capability has been filled with social mores etc. I think experience has the capability to overwrite any hard wiring. Possibly we have a hard wired belief in cause and effect - ultimately a metaphysical subject, at least for some.

2) Regarding our stories being a little formulaic ... this is in essence Jung's observation of archetypes. Now on the Joseph Campbell website, people more knowledgeable than I regarding archetypes and the collective consciousness suggest these are actually evolutionary in origin.
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Re: Atheists might not exist

Postby Carol » Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:54 pm

Reminds me of the "god helmet" that supposedly taps into that hardwired portion of the brain. If this be true, then there may be something to this "notion" of free will. If we are controlled by impulses that trigger belief, pleasure, a sense of oneness with something outside ourselves then how is it we control outcome? Just a question...

Also, if we are hardwired to believe, then non-belief would be considered belief. I don't think an Atheist would venture to say they don't believe anything. Therefore, we do all have that bent toward strong belief.
"These people believe there is no truth to seek in nature, but only in the comparison of texts." Galileo
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Re: Atheists might not exist

Postby whateverist » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:15 pm

Just listened to this TED talk by Dawkins. I remain unmoved by his attempt to motivate me toward militant atheism.

http://youtu.be/CoJyONmcGbM

When it comes to questions not answerable by science I see no reason to coerce bibles out of anyone's hands. If and when religion ever goes away, I suspect coercive efforts to hasten the decline of religious belief can only have the opposite effect. The idea that we are 'evolving' as a species toward some superior state seems on the face of it absurd. The continued advancement of science requires extreme specialization. What is known collectively advances but individuals are not carried along by that. There is extreme knowledge inequality.

So I reject calls to join the crusades against theism. Besides, what can be pointed to as damnable about religion is invariably of the fundy sort. Maybe the more useful direction for reform would be to improve the quality of theism rather than eliminate it.
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Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”
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Re: Atheists might not exist

Postby Carol » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:29 pm

Hi Mark, good to talk to you again.
I belong to two Atheist groups in my community and I do hear a lot of remarks and activities akin to militant Atheism. I feel the same as you as far as joining the crusades against the Religious. Should I care if the Ten Commandments are at my courthouse?

I came out of militant Christianity and I don't care for more of the same.

If it's true that we're hardwired to believe something....than guess no one can help themselves anyway! Back to the free will question....I'll leave that one alone.
"These people believe there is no truth to seek in nature, but only in the comparison of texts." Galileo
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Re: Atheists might not exist

Postby AB517 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:56 am

For me, evolution solves for every solution to some degree. That would help it change through time ya know. I see no reason for people to be assembled in such a way that they feel no connection to the world around them.

I am with mark on this. I see no reason to attack people. It's funny that when I do fight back they consider me the aggressive one. The problem I am having is the discussion takes an hour to teach people what "science" is and what "scientist" do. They just dont understand that basing a belief on what we know today versus what they knew back then is the major disconnect. Jesus did a great job for what he did know. No rational person on either side admits to knowing it all.

see no reason to take "Hope" from people because I think different. I do see a need to stop pastors from bullying people to believe what they believe. Be them an atheist pastor or a theist pastor.
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Re: Atheists might not exist

Postby AB517 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:08 am

Carol wrote:Hi Mark, good to talk to you again.
I belong to two Atheist groups in my community and I do hear a lot of remarks and activities akin to militant Atheism. I feel the same as you as far as joining the crusades against the Religious. Should I care if the Ten Commandments are at my courthouse?

I came out of militant Christianity and I don't care for more of the same.

If it's true that we're hardwired to believe something....than guess no one can help themselves anyway! Back to the free will question....I'll leave that one alone.


on free will ...

:scare:

she's goonaaa bbbbllloooowwwwwwww!!!!!!
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Re: Atheists might not exist

Postby Chapabel » Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:30 am

Personally, I believe every person is created with an innate desire to know God. I believe there is a “God Hole” in each person that only God can fill. People try, in futile attempts, to fill this hole with various things…alcohol, drugs, sex, false gods, material possessions, even non-belief. Nothing will adequately fill this hole outside of Jesus Christ.

If mankind is “hardwired” to believe in God or a higher power, who did the hardwiring?
The Bible will always be full of things you cannot understand, as long as you will not live according to those you can understand. – Billy Sunday
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Re: Atheists might not exist

Postby romansh » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:21 am

whateverist wrote:Just listened to this TED talk by Dawkins. I remain unmoved by his attempt to motivate me toward militant atheism.
http://youtu.be/CoJyONmcGbM

Esentially I disagree with Dawkins on two counts ... one can disprove something ... luminiferous ether is a classic example.

I strongly disagree with his closing line ... I think we should be respectful, whether it is of dead mythologists, Abel, Hitchens and to come that we should be respectful of the Stalins and Hitlers of this world. Now that does not mean we should not disagree with them or even go to war with them.

This is always an interesting problem for moderators .... quite often on fora there is a mantra that we should be respectful of the person but we don't have to be respectful of the ideas and beliefs that person holds. So my skill testing question for this type of position is where does the person end and the his beliefs begin?

I thought Dawkins was quite mild apart from the last line.

Abel ... apparently I was born deformed ... no G/god sized holes in me ... but if there is one there it has been filled with curiousity.
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Re: Atheists might not exist

Postby Bill » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:43 am

To be fair, it would have been a very odd god indeed if it created beings totally incapable of believing in it, should it be that those beings were expected to spend their life times in solemn obedience of god made law.

Having said that, the capability to believe does not prove anything at all other than the existence of a capability to believe. And I think that some are giving more import than it deserves to the human capacity to determine if something is true or false based on personal knowledge, experience and logic.

Holes that have to be filled with belief seems to completely miss the mark. Children do not have Santa Claus holes in their brains waiting to be filled by sugar plum fairies and the like, but their belief transcends all logic. And lasts for a fair number of years.

Which sort of illustrates that not all beliefs are of equal validity. Should you wish to believe that the earth is flat, you will find scant scientific data to support your world view, but that absence might not stop your conviction. And the same may be said for many ancillary beliefs we all carry, from which is the best sports team ever through to dreaming of how one intends spending one's lottery winnings.

It would seem to me that the lack of validity is no guarantee that people will have strongly held beliefs. And some of those beliefs will be unable to stand close scrutiny by those of a skeptical nature. The problem arises when you start demanding that everyone in the world should change their belief to match yours on the grounds that your belief is the only correct one. Its not so much the belief, but the way in which you abuse it that really matters.
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