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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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Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Thinking critical » November 9th, 2011, 7:34 pm

Are we born an atheist then come to believe in god as we are educated about religion?

Or does a neonate have a cognitive predisposition to believe that a higher power must exist?

Perhaps we are born agnostic, unaware that later on in life we are given a choice?

Is it an infants lack of knowledge in regards to the natural world that leads him to veiw the world as result of the supernatural? Thus opening the door for the belief system of a higher power as we age?
Last edited by Thinking critical on November 10th, 2011, 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Scott
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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Scott » November 9th, 2011, 11:17 pm

I think it is misleading in an everyday context to refer to fetuses, newborns, mice or even trees simply as atheists--particularly since people often falsely use the words atheist and agnostic as mutually exclusive in an everyday context. Technically, however, these--the fetuses, et al.--all would presumably fall into the category of implicit atheists which is the weakest form of atheism, defining atheism simply as the lack of positive belief that one or more gods exist.
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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Belinda » November 10th, 2011, 5:16 am

Every human being has at some time whether newborn or later in life to learn a concept of God, or any other concept. God gets a fearsome reputation when his teachers whoever they are are unkind.
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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Jellymeat » November 10th, 2011, 7:16 am

If you define God as a shirtless, bearded man in the clouds that hurls lightning bolts, then yes.

If you define god as "the good", then every living thing great and small; young and old yearns for it. So no.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by enegue » November 10th, 2011, 8:55 am

Based on the idea that, "Whoever is not with me is against me", I would have to say we are born atheist.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by thomas1974 » November 10th, 2011, 11:36 am

i do not think so most of this anti-GOD stuff is learned by & from others this is where they get the information from other mortals.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Thinking critical » November 10th, 2011, 3:41 pm

thomas1974 wrote:i do not think so most of this anti-GOD stuff is learned by & from others this is where they get the information from other mortals.
Hi Thomas, Maybe we have a different definition of Atheism. I wouldn't say Atheism is anti-GOD stuff any more than not being a Doctor is being anti-doctor stuff. Atheism is absence of belief in regards to GOD.
I was never aware of a God until I went to primary school, therefore I was an Atheist due to the fact I was unaware of the concept. But I was never Anti God as in the fact I didn't like God, Religion or the idea of them.
They are great concepts I like the idea of them, I just don't accept them has being an accurate explanation
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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by stormy phillips » November 10th, 2011, 5:46 pm

We are born agnostic, and regardless of what anyone believes, we remain agnostic. All I know amounts to not knowing all I know, but nothing.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Existence » November 10th, 2011, 10:09 pm

Thinking critical wrote:Are we born an atheist then come to believe in god as we are educated about religion?

Or does a neonate have a cognitive predisposition to believe that a higher power must exist?

Perhaps we are born agnostic, unaware that later on in life we are given a choice?

Is it an infants lack of knowledge in regards to the natural world that leads him to veiw the world as result of the supernatural? Thus opening the door for the belief system of a higher power as we age?
I don't think it is possible to be born an atheist, There would be no intellectual comparison until the idea of god was introduced. At which point one would choose to believe or not.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Thinking critical » November 10th, 2011, 10:58 pm

Existence wrote:
Thinking critical wrote:Are we born an atheist then come to believe in god as we are educated about religion?

Or does a neonate have a cognitive predisposition to believe that a higher power must exist?

Perhaps we are born agnostic, unaware that later on in life we are given a choice?

Is it an infants lack of knowledge in regards to the natural world that leads him to veiw the world as result of the supernatural? Thus opening the door for the belief system of a higher power as we age?
I don't think it is possible to be born an atheist, There would be no intellectual comparison until the idea of god was introduced. At which point one would choose to believe or not.
So if God was not introduced, this would equate to the absence of belief in God(s) which is an Atheist by definition.
If we were all born as an Atheist should this be reason to take offence?
Do theist' consider the word Atheist as a noun or an adjective?
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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Existence » November 11th, 2011, 7:26 am

Thinking critical wrote:
Existence wrote: I don't think it is possible to be born an atheist, There would be no intellectual comparison until the idea of god was introduced. At which point one would choose to believe or not.
So if God was not introduced, this would equate to the absence of belief in God(s) which is an Atheist by definition.
If we were all born as an Atheist should this be reason to take offence?
Do theist' consider the word Atheist as a noun or an adjective?
There can be no "absence of belief in God(s)" if the notion of God(s) did not exist. It would be just living life as it was presented to us. I suppose the true meaning of living in the moment. There would be no thought of an after life. Good and Bad would be defined by the human condition. Instead of "Religions wars" they would just be economic wars, and so on. The same atrocities would exist, the same beauty would exist, It would just be accepted as part of living life. Knowing that death is inevitable may cause one to live a more conscious life, because one would consciously know life does not last forever.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Thinking critical » November 11th, 2011, 6:20 pm

existence:
This would infer that one must learn about God then make a choice as to weather they believe in him or not. This would then lead to the fact that one "doesn't believe in God" which is what I presume you would refer to as Atheism.
The bigger picture I want to create is this. If a person spent the first ten years of his life completely oblivious to religion or a deity he would not believe in God for the fact it was not an option. His entire belief system of a God would be absent. Not believing could be called natural. One may come to create there own "definition of god" so he would be a theist in respect to his own perception of God. Until that time he would be an Atheist by definition in my opinion.
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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Existence » November 11th, 2011, 8:25 pm

Thinking critical wrote:existence:
This would infer that one must learn about God then make a choice as to weather they believe in him or not. This would then lead to the fact that one "doesn't believe in God" which is what I presume you would refer to as Atheism.
The bigger picture I want to create is this. If a person spent the first ten years of his life completely oblivious to religion or a deity he would not believe in God for the fact it was not an option. His entire belief system of a God would be absent. Not believing could be called natural. One may come to create there own "definition of god" so he would be a theist in respect to his own perception of God. Until that time he would be an Atheist by definition in my opinion.
I appreciate you thoughts, but Atheist can not exist unless there is a God to deny. Ask yourself which one must be present before the other can exist? A belief in God can exist without Atheist's but Atheist's can not exist with out the notion of God.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Jellymeat » November 11th, 2011, 9:32 pm

I appreciate you thoughts, but Atheist can not exist unless there is a God to deny. Ask yourself which one must be present before the other can exist? A belief in God can exist without Atheist's but Atheist's can not exist with out the notion of God.
Can someone who doesn't collect stamps exist without the existence of stamp collecting?

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Existence » November 12th, 2011, 9:17 am

Jellymeat wrote:
I appreciate you thoughts, but Atheist can not exist unless there is a God to deny. Ask yourself which one must be present before the other can exist? A belief in God can exist without Atheist's but Atheist's can not exist with out the notion of God.
Can someone who doesn't collect stamps exist without the existence of stamp collecting?
Your use of the word "someone" is vague and would need clarification to determine if the question you pose can be answered. "Someone" is a pronoun used for "referring to a person when you do not know or do not say who the person is"
(Macmillan Dictionary) "Atheist" is a noun used to define the "someone who believes that God does not exist" (Macmillan Dictonary) Who is your someone? And if they don't collect stamps why would they care if stamp collecting existed or not?

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