Are we all born an Atheist?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Thinking critical
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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Thinking critical » June 22nd, 2018, 8:49 am

Dark Matter wrote:
June 21st, 2018, 11:24 am
Thinking critical wrote:
June 21st, 2018, 7:32 am
...some people just don't give a rats ass about these sort of questions.
Correct. And so they live their lives at the level of a cockroach.
Really? Why so?
People who have this perspection of other human beings must live their lives at the level of a fly, they just hang around annoying people until someone eventually swats them with a rolled up newspaper.
This cocky little cognitive contortionist will straighten you right out

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » June 22nd, 2018, 8:59 am

Eduk wrote:
June 22nd, 2018, 3:26 am
So you believe in God because of the utility of said belief?
Personally I am of the opinion that the greatest utility comes from accuracy.
I don't think it is so easy to separate those two out. And we all follow heuristics, for example, that we consciously or unconsciously, have decided are useful. They get us, or at least we think they do, what we want, or help us deal with what is happening. Unless we are talking about some kind of apriori knowledge, beliefs all have some use and we base our sense on their being accurate on some portion of that use. Like, they allow us to predict things in lab conditions. Or, when I do X, I feel better, get more Y or whatever.
I've never met anyone who does not work with knowledge based on utilility. In fact I have never met anyone who did not believe certain things to be true and act on them - at least in their minds effectively - PLUS these beliefs have not been, for example, confirmed by science. And that includes scientists and atheists and skeptics, etc.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Eduk » June 22nd, 2018, 9:28 am

Separation seem pretty profound to me? Take Pascal's wager where he argued there was greater utility in belief in God. Let us imagine that I believed that claim. I would still not believe in God because belief is not based purely on utility. To give a simpler example if you said you would give me a million pound is I believed you were two hundred feet tall would I be able to believe that? Can you simply decide to believe something in this manner?

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by LuckyR » June 22nd, 2018, 12:04 pm

Dark Matter wrote:
June 21st, 2018, 11:58 pm
Eduk wrote:
June 21st, 2018, 1:51 pm
Ok well I find your choice impossibly vague. Perhaps I have chosen to your satisfaction without even realising that I have done so?
I think you're over thinking things. It really quite simple.

1. Evidence suggests (but does not prove) that humans are born with a natural inclination towards religion.
2. Even if there is not this natural inclination, even if we are born as atheists, no one can seriously question humans are compelled to make sense of the world.
3. As we pursue reality to an ultimate conclusion, we come face to face with a choice: do we believe the impetus is mechanism or will?
4. There is absolutely no reason to choose one over the other. (No choice is also a choice.)
5. Our choice has profound psychological and sociological consequences. .

That it. Pretty simple. This says nothing at all about God`s existence, but I have presented evidence (and can present a lot more) that it is healthier than not to have myth help orient our lives..
Great post. No one can answer the thread's posed question (the are "we all born" part) but the societal pressures of pre-existing religion and intrinsic curiosity as to origin stories are both huge drivers for filling the void of the (typically) unknowable with something, classically myth.
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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Dark Matter » June 22nd, 2018, 12:56 pm

Thinking critical wrote:
June 22nd, 2018, 8:49 am
Dark Matter wrote:
June 21st, 2018, 11:24 am


Correct. And so they live their lives at the level of a cockroach.
Really? Why so?
People who have this perspection of other human beings must live their lives at the level of a fly, they just hang around annoying people until someone eventually swats them with a rolled up newspaper.
There, there. There's no need to get all hot and bothered. It's just that cockroaches don't care about existential questions, either. I can and and paste excerpts that explain why that's not healthy for society or the individual, but there's enough information out there so it isn't really necessary.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Thinking critical » June 23rd, 2018, 7:36 pm

Dark Matter wrote:
June 22nd, 2018, 12:56 pm
Thinking critical wrote:
June 22nd, 2018, 8:49 am

Really? Why so?
People who have this perspection of other human beings must live their lives at the level of a fly, they just hang around annoying people until someone eventually swats them with a rolled up newspaper.
There, there. There's no need to get all hot and bothered. It's just that cockroaches don't care about existential questions, either. I can and and paste excerpts that explain why that's not healthy for society or the individual, but there's enough information out there so it isn't really necessary.
The views of others in regards to what they believe people ought to think or not think about is of absolutely no interest to me. The need to project personal biases and opinions in order to classify or stereotype people based on such arbitrary things such as the desire to deeply contemplate the origin and nature of reality is nothing more than intellectual masturbation for people with insecurities.
As for the cockroaches, it's not that they don't care about such questions, the difference is one has the ability to think existentially and the other does not. Weather we choose to exercise this ability or not is irrelevant.
This cocky little cognitive contortionist will straighten you right out

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by phenomenal_graffiti » June 24th, 2018, 1:14 pm

Atheist typically means someone who does not believe in the existence of gods after having learned the concept.

Non-theist=someone who can neither believe nor disbelieve in gods as one has not as yet encountered the concept.

If one accepts the above definitions, we are born non-theist.

Depending on the philosophy of one's parents or caregivers, one is then taught to be theist or atheist.

In adulthood, one may experience changes to ones thinking in which an atheist may become theist (very rare) and a theist may become atheist (common).
Q: What exists beyond the "Matrix" that is human consciousness?

A: The conscious and unconscious mind of God

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by ThomasHobbes » June 24th, 2018, 4:05 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
June 24th, 2018, 1:14 pm
Atheist typically means someone who does not believe in the existence of gods after having learned the concept.

Non-theist=someone who can neither believe nor disbelieve in gods as one has not as yet encountered the concept.

If one accepts the above definitions, we are born non-theist.
Non theist is the same as atheist; definitively, etymologically.
Both impose upon a person a concept of god which they either do not accept, or are ignorant of.
Both can only ever exist in a culture that has the idea of a god.
If no idea of god exists a neither phrase would exist.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Dark Matter » June 24th, 2018, 5:55 pm

Thinking critical wrote:
June 23rd, 2018, 7:36 pm
As for the cockroaches, it's not that they don't care about such questions, the difference is one has the ability to think existentially and the other does not. Weather we choose to exercise this ability or not is irrelevant.
Is it? Seem to me choosing not to use that ability makes one lower than a cockroach.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by phenomenal_graffiti » June 25th, 2018, 2:48 am

phenomenal_graffiti wrote: ↑Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:14 pm
Atheist typically means someone who does not believe in the existence of gods after having learned the concept.
Non-theist=someone who can neither believe nor disbelieve in gods as one has not as yet encountered the concept.

If one accepts the above definitions, we are born non-theist.
Non theist is the same as atheist; definitively, etymologically.
Both impose upon a person a concept of god which they either do not accept, or are ignorant of.
Both can only ever exist in a culture that has the idea of a god.
If no idea of god exists a neither phrase would exist.
Not gonna argue with this, but I choose to divide things into non-theist: concept of god one is ignorant of; atheist: concept of god one does not accept. To each their own.
Q: What exists beyond the "Matrix" that is human consciousness?

A: The conscious and unconscious mind of God

Image
The Truman Show, 1998 Paramount Pictures

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Dark Matter » June 25th, 2018, 6:40 pm

phenomenal_graffiti wrote:
June 25th, 2018, 2:48 am

Non-theist=someone who can neither believe nor disbelieve in gods as one has not as yet encountered the concept.

If one accepts the above definitions, we are born non-theist.
Non theist is the same as atheist; definitively, etymologically.
Both impose upon a person a concept of god which they either do not accept, or are ignorant of.
Both can only ever exist in a culture that has the idea of a god.
If no idea of god exists a neither phrase would exist.
Not gonna argue with this, but I choose to divide things into non-theist: concept of god one is ignorant of; atheist: concept of god one does not accept. To each their own.
A fair distinction with severe philosophical consequences for the latter.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Steve3007 » June 26th, 2018, 3:58 am

Dark Matter wrote:Is it? Seem to me choosing not to use that ability makes one lower than a cockroach.
When cockroaches were first mentioned as an example of a species that does not contemplate philosophical questions, I assumed that "lower" and "higher" were being used in this context to mean something close to "less complex" and "more complex". i.e. not as a value judgement. Simply as a description of the complexity and abilities of the brains of cockroaches and humans. But I guess the above sentence doesn't fit that assumption. Clearly a creature who chooses not to think about such questions has more complexity and ability than a creature who doesn't think about them because it is unable to make that choice.

So I guess you're using "lower" as a value judgement? You have a low opinion of people who choose not to think about what you regard as the deep philosophical issues of life? You dislike them? Or you consider them morally wrong in some way?

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Dark Matter » June 26th, 2018, 5:08 am

Steve3007 wrote:
June 26th, 2018, 3:58 am
Dark Matter wrote:Is it? Seem to me choosing not to use that ability makes one lower than a cockroach.
When cockroaches were first mentioned as an example of a species that does not contemplate philosophical questions, I assumed that "lower" and "higher" were being used in this context to mean something close to "less complex" and "more complex". i.e. not as a value judgement. Simply as a description of the complexity and abilities of the brains of cockroaches and humans. But I guess the above sentence doesn't fit that assumption. Clearly a creature who chooses not to think about such questions has more complexity and ability than a creature who doesn't think about them because it is unable to make that choice.

So I guess you're using "lower" as a value judgement? You have a low opinion of people who choose not to think about what you regard as the deep philosophical issues of life? You dislike them? Or you consider them morally wrong in some way?
It’s more a logical assessment of the situation than a value judgement. A cockroach is always a cockroach 100%; only a human can make a conscious choice to be less than what he/she is. Relatively speaking, that makes the human lower than a cockroach. I know that in this politically correct climate this is about as popular as a Trump supporter on a college campus, but I’m guessing this is still primarily a philosophy forum.

Or is my guess wrong?

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Steve3007 » June 26th, 2018, 5:24 am

Dark Matter wrote:It’s more a logical assessment of the situation than a value judgement. A cockroach is always a cockroach 100%; only a human can make a conscious choice to be less than what he/she is.
I still don't know the sense in which this logical assessment of the situation is using the word "lower". I don't know any sense in which this apparent flexibility of humans, compared to cockroaches, makes them lower. But the context seems to imply that it is a value judgement - the judgement that it is morally wrong ("low") to choose not to full-fill one's mental potential.
I know that in this politically correct climate this is about as popular as a Trump supporter on a college campus, but I’m guessing this is still primarily a philosophy forum.
I don't know what political climate, in what environment/country, you're talking about. And I don't know why any of these thoughts about the relative abilities and choices of humans and cockroaches would be deemed to be political.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Thinking critical » June 26th, 2018, 8:46 am

Dark Matter wrote:
June 24th, 2018, 5:55 pm
Thinking critical wrote:
June 23rd, 2018, 7:36 pm
As for the cockroaches, it's not that they don't care about such questions, the difference is one has the ability to think existentially and the other does not. Weather we choose to exercise this ability or not is irrelevant.
Is it? Seem to me choosing not to use that ability makes one lower than a cockroach.
Or perhaps it is simply that some people are more concerned with where humanity is going as opposed to how it all began. Everyday there is an abundance of unnecessary pain and suffering, global food and water shortages, extreme climate changes and acts of terror to a name a few. Many are fortunate in that there are people out their who proactively fight the good fight an put the needs of others before themselves.
It is possible that allot of people find more value and meaning in life in helping others than in investing a great deal of time pondering questions which since the dawn of civilisation have not been answered.
If these people are less than cockroaches I would hate to think of your opinion of the rest of us that sit on technology debating topics in order to inflate ones own ego.
This cocky little cognitive contortionist will straighten you right out

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