The psychology of atheists and theists

Discussion in 'Religion' started by James R, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    I used to do the same sort of thing but with Bolero

    Currently in hotel watching National Geographic Secrets of the Space Shuttle and having a minor minor earthquake

    Arrh the Wonders of the Universe

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  3. Acitnoids Registered Senior Member

    lol ... don't say I didn't warn you *smile*
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  5. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    I have been reading about the Summarians and it seems they had the notion of the garden of Eden an "paradise" ( which meant only a place where the animals were kept.. all prior to the Hebrews such that one could wonder if the Sumarians were not first to construct the notions set out on page one of the good book ....

    In any event the question remains ... who was the witness to creation such that they could describe the various steps that God took in creation.

    Who..or did God hold a press conference after?

    The account is less than least with hear say we get " George told me" or similar yet we dont even have that for page one.

    A profound statement of creation made by??????

    Did God take someone aside and explain his step by step process? If so who did he tell?

    All we have is an account by an unidentified author pretending they were there...who was there such that the account could be given.
    Does not this hint at it just being made up by someone?

    Well of course it does.

    Well no one is presented and belivers do not find that a problem????

    Did God create a human to witness creation?

    Who was the witness to God making humans? Such an important event and the reporter is unknown?

    Its all made up that much is obvious....if not who was the witness?
    Imagine going onto a court room and presenting facts with no witness...
    So how do you know these facts are facts...they just dismissed for lack of supporting evidence and lack of witnesses...

    Jan knows his way around and demonstrates a foxy cleverness and as such must avoid the only clear conclusion that can be drawn...I say Jan is an atheist who acts and posts the way he does to draw attention to the countless flaws in the thinking of theists..

    He can not be so clever yet so dumb.

    He has us pointing out the problems whilst he sits back happy with the fact believers suffer due to his performance.

    He plays us all..provides countless opportunity to say he is dishonest and misinformed...and its all good because of the site traffic he generates by his performance.

    The site owners must be happy to have Jan working here.
    You know sometimes I think Jans behaviour os more consistent with being a site owner than a mere member...but I do i.aginw a lot of stuff..but its possible .

    Jan is all we need on a science site ..

    Clever but presents as baseless leaving us all content that we have nailed a crazy theist...If Jan is really a theist I would be very surprised.

    In any event there is no evidemce of an eternal God but indeed plenty of scientific observation suggesting an eternal universe universe.

    The big bang tells us the universe evolved from a hot dense state which certainly suggests no point of creation but hints at an eternal cycle of finite universes in which no creator is evidenced or required.

    The matter is closed given there is no theist available to present a reasonable counter arguement.

    Jan is atheist presenting as uninformed stuborn and dishonest theist merely to errode the credibility of all theists and in this tegard he has done an excellent job.

    What we dont have is a genuine theist coming forward to offer a presentation of honesty and credibilty ...and so Jans atheist plans unfold as he obviously has planned.

    On the bright side he leads us quickly to the various shortcomings that believers entertain and shows their error by his lack luster replies, avoidance and general poor treatement of facts presented.

    He has become the theist you love to attack but of course he is not a theist that much is clear.

    A person of his intelligence should not be underestimated...Jan the perfect he has others point out the obvious whilst appearing to be on the side of the believers.

    Think about it folks..we all run around pointing out the obvious whilst Jan revs us up.

    And all good for site traffic which probably is the teal motivator behind Jans posts.

    Jan if I am right you are one clever human..if I am wrong...

    ...well we dont need to go there as I am never wrong☺.
    I do not believe Jan could not have researched evolution and found it to be the way it is...I do not believe Jan could look to Craig as offering evidence...the man has nothing...certainly he has no evidence and that is qhy Jan offers him up...clever but a all shows Jan is the atheist working a missiob impossible strategy to promote his secret beliefs as an atheist.
    Jan is an honest person I believe and qill not reject what I put forward.

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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Like so many other threads in the Religion forum, this one is drifting off topic. I urge participants to read the opening post again to see what the thread is supposed to be about.

    In particular: this is not about arguments for or against the existence of God. Nor is it about evidence for God; there's an entire, separate, dedicated thread for any of that stuff that theists might like to present, if they ever find any.

    This thread is also not an attempt to educate Jan Ardena out of his creationist beliefs and misconceptions about evolutionary theory. It's just fine if you all want to try that, but please do it in a different thread. We have lots of existing ones from various evolution deniers. You could have the discussion in one of those, or just start a new one to address Jan's specific misunderstandings and miseducation. Let's keep that diversionary nonsense out of this thread, OK?
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Jan Ardena:

    This is a reply to your post from a while back, #143.

    If you could explain how you know, then we'd have the answer to both questions, wouldn't we?

    Is your God belief the only area in your life where you claim to know something yet can't say how you know it, or are there other areas of knowledge where you can't tell how you know?

    As you will recall, I invited you in another thread to tell me what evidence should entail, and moreover to provide specific examples of such evidence. You came up blank. If you, as a theist, can't tell me what evidence for God would entail, or show any, how do you expect me as an atheist to produce some for you?

    Doesn't it worry you at all that you've hit this wall?


    As usual, you have it backwards. If there is no evidence, then (maybe) there's no God. That's how it works for me. In contast, you're on the record as saying you don't give a damn about evidence for God. The psychological motivations behind that attitude of yours are the real topic of this thread, not the evidence itself (which we can discuss elsewhere, if you ever find any).

    And there's no true Scotsman.
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Jan Ardena:

    There are lots of problems with this scenario, both conceptual and logical.

    Firstly, logically, if females greatly outnumbered males, there would be no need for males to rape or murder anybody in order to propagate their genes to the next generation. All things being equal (which they never really are, of course, but let's run with the simplistic premise and see where it leads), the women would all be fighting each other to compete for the opportunity to have the men's babies, thus passing on their own genes. If anything, it would be the females wanting to rape the males and murder the competing females. The males would presumably have no shortage of sexual partners.

    Interestingly, something a little like this is playing out right now in China, though not in such a violent way. The one-child policy led to an oversupply of male children and a deficit of female children, so that now China has many single men with little prospect of marriage or children. As for the women, they are much sought after, and can now afford to be very picky about the men they marry. The result is that men with fewer resources (economic, educational, social, etc.) are finding it difficult or impossible to find a life partner for marriage and/or children. I don't know what the rape statistics are like in China - if there are any reliable statistics - but they could make an interesting study.

    Secondly, when you write "would it be okay ... to rape and/or murder...", what do you mean? Would it be okay from an evolutionary perspective, evolution being morally blind? Or would it be okay from the perspective of a moral human being making a decision?

    The answer the question from an evolutionary perspective is often more complex than it appears on the surface. Although rape might be an "okay" way to spread ones genes, in a morally neutral sense, there tend to be social repercussions to going around raping people. Those tend to have flow-on impacts on one's reproductive success, too. For example, if you are in jail for rape, there's usually not much chance for you to spread your genes to the next generation.

    Being evolutionarily "fit" in the Darwinian sense means having good "fitness" in all the circumstances you find yourself: environmental, personal, and social. Being a rapist doesn't usually endear somebody to his fellow human beings, and that has inevitable impacts on his evolutionary fitness. So, even from a morally neutral Darwinist perspective, the rape strategy is often not an evolutionarily productive one, for many reasons.

    There is doubtless an interplay between other evolutionary pressures and the social environment in which codes of behaviour and "morality" develop, in both human beings and other animals. So, what is considered morally evil often has correlates with what is evolutionarily a bad strategy for survival and reproduction. The idea that this is always the case is, however, false.

    To equate what is "good" from an evolutionary perspective with what is morally "good" is a fallacy known as Social Darwinism. It is a fallacy because human beings are not automatons driven solely by genetic imperatives. Rather, human beings are thinking and feeling creatures who can make decisions based on complex information and ideas, not all of which are compatible with blind evolution. The genes may be selfish, but that doesn't mean that human beings have to be. We are not just our genes.

    Where else could morality come from, other than from human beings? Who else talks about or writes down moral codes and discusses what it means to be a good person?

    Perhaps you think that God dictates morality. If you think that, you immediately hit two major obstacles. One is the problem of whether God's morality is arbitrary. If it isn't, then where does God's morality come from? The other is the problem of evil. If God is so good, why does he allow such evil in the world?

    I should note that all of the above discussion is off-topic for this thread, except insofar as it addresses issues of human psychology. It is because of that connection that I am posting it here.

    Needless to say, the topics of evolutionary morality and of the sources of morality in general, are huge, interesting topics in themselves, but they would be more appropriately discussed in the Philosophy or Morality and Justice subforums.
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    On the same topic, a later post:

    There is contradiction in your scenario here.

    On the one hand, you say the children are "well brought up", despite the fact that they are happy to live in a society in which a certain segment of their population is routinely raped and murdered. Indeed, some of them are apparently happy in themselves to rape and murder. Moreover, all men in this hypothetical society "thought it was good".

    But on the other hand, you imply that this situation is somehow wrong, despite the "positive development of society".

    You can't have it both ways. Either this scenario represents a society which is good, or it represents a society which is seriously flawed in some way. Looked at this way, the answer to your question should be obvious. Could it ever be right? Well, if the society really is "thriving", "intelligent", "well brought up", "passing on positive genes", and producing "more balanced husbands and fathers", what's bad about that? Alternatively, maybe this hypothetical society of yours is not quote as "thriving", "intelligent" or "passing on positive genes" as you say it is.

    I think you need to pinpoint the problem, if you think there is one, in your hypothetical society. Once that's out in the open, then you'll be in a better position to consider whether the way this society works is "right" or "wrong".

    For example, perhaps you believe it is evil, in principle, to kill innocent people, for any reason. If so, then it is hard to see how you could simultaneously think that this society was "well brought up" and "passing on positive genes".

    So, over to you.

    This was addressed to Alex, not to me, but seeing as I'm responding, I'll chip in.

    I don't think it's always wrong to kill. I think it's wrong to murder, but that's not the same thing. I don't, for example, say that the lion who kills to eat is morally evil. Nor, for that matter, do I think that a woman who chooses to terminate a pregnancy is morally evil.

    I have such a preference. I'm sure you do, too.
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    For the purposes of this thread, I'm willing to work with a very loose definition of "psychology". I expect that much of the content will ending up being more pop psychology than anything that would be considered scientifically rigorous. Still, it's interesting to think about it.

    You're right. It's not an easy question. As for nature vs nurture, most personal traits are a combination of influences. Religious belief and the inclination towards or away from it is very unlikely to be an exception.

    One's attitudes to authority is likely to be important in this regard, too.

    I don't think that many atheists would consider somebody a theist merely because they happened to have read Homer.

    I agree.

    I think that a person's capacity for being curious does not determine what he or she is curious about. I think it's easy to sit comfortably in a faith-based belief system if you're unaware of, or not curious about, the right things. Level of awareness, of course, brings us back to discussions about education, upbringing, and socio-economic status.
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Obviously, proof is not needed to believe that God exists. Literally billions of people believe that God exists, despite the lack of proof.

    A growing minority of people have questioned whether belief in God is a reasonable belief to hold, however, especially given the lack of evidence for God.

    Theism might be "correct". If so, it would be nice if the theists could present at least a little evidence for their position. Don't you think?

    The alternative, regarding scriptures, is that some scriptures, at least, are God-made (or alien-made?)

    There's no evidence for that proposition, as far as I'm aware. If you had any, I'd say you could have presented it in the "Evidence for God" thread by now, but you haven't. Why not?

    What alternative standard of proof do you propose? That if enough people believe it, it must be true?

    You haven't suggested any empirical data where God is the best explanation. In fact, you came up blank on any empirical data for God in the "evidence for God" thread.

    Some agnostics believe the question is unanswerable in principle. Many agnostics merely ask for evidence, agnostic atheists being one example.

    Are you claiming there is internal, non-physical evidence? What might that look like?
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
  13. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    I tried.
    I listed the differences as I saw them.
    No one commented to say I was right or wrong.
    But few addressed the topic as I say that I did...I made comparrision out of a determination to address the op.
  14. Acitnoids Registered Senior Member

    These are actually good mythological questions. Kind of like asking; "Where was Thors Hammer forged?" There are answers to your questions. I would be more than happy to answer them for you, within the confines of this particular creation myth, if you are truly interested. It will take a little bit of effort on my part to present it properly but I won't mind if you are actually interested in the answers.
  15. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    I am interested however as my information is via utube I seem to be sorting thru a bit of dubious views...there are some who think aliens were involved so I am inclided to disregard that ... I am looking at propositions claiming a civilization existed that was near wiped out approx 11,000 years ago and a few survivors influenced the Sumarians.
    I am even taking another look at Atlantis which I never believed but in the context of massive sea level rise 11000 years ago there may be something to the myth ... it may be that the claimed sea level rise is where the great flood story finds its place.
    I suppose I am agnostic at least with these various stories or myths and can understand more you taking an undecided position.
    Anything re history I find interesting.
    Thank you for your offer.
  16. Acitnoids Registered Senior Member

    You don't have to be a dick. You are confusing religion with the question if a ... ummm ... "higher power" exist. Those are two different beasts.

    Obviously your question was a "staw man" meant to bait someone into inflating your own ego. You really don't care about the answer. All you wanted to do was replicate Jans tactics which you seem to constantly bitch about yet you have no shame to do the exact same thing.

    To bitch about the very thing you are guilty of is hypocrisy and telling of the psychology of your example of an atheist.

    There is another example for your post James.
  17. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Sorry I did not mean to be.
    I dont see it that way.
    Anyways I will leave you to think what you will.
  18. Acitnoids Registered Senior Member

    If you are seriously interested in the mythology of your questions I will be happy to take the time and answer them. If you were just trying to get a rise out of Jan then .... *shrug*

    Which will it be? I am more than happy to share my knowledge of the history of Christian theology.
  19. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    I wasnt trying to get arise outta Jan honest.
    But heck if I can that would be great...I think Jan enjoys playing with me as much as I like playing with him.
    We may insult each other even but it happens.

    I guess it boils down to which span of history you work in and how you interpret what you discover so as to the matters between us...

    I come from the vid I posted trying to determine how folk watching the stars worked it into religion.

    I suppose my question would be are you aware of the observations in the vid and the proposition of many human god types shared similar characteristics relating to the stars.
    I like astronomy so I find this aspect interesting.
  20. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    This is a similar vid sounds like the last one but I like that history or astronomy or superstition is covered and I dont know if you cover that history.

    I suppose the next thing is to find out more about each thru Wiki to see how the facts there line up.

  21. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    The idea of the Sun in the cross mentioned in the vid means the idea could only come from places where the cross is observable maybe meaning the latitude may feature in where the idea first came from.
    Should have a look at the planetarium ...what latitude will have to be to observe the cross? 30 degrees? ... The great pyramid is at 30 degree ...they may well see the Sun on the Cross at horizon level at that latitude ...

    And there are mothers of these human gods whose name does not start with "M" as claimed in in that vid or the earlier one...and they were Greek I think so maybe Greeks called the constellation differently...D I think was their choice of letter but must look into that aspect.
    And no doubt a thread related observation...I doubt if many Christians (on behalf of some other religions who incorporate a human God) would like to learn their religion related to astrology or astronomy in this context sort of☺
    An atheist would probably find the vid more plausible than a Christian I expect.
    The Old Testament is looking better to me without the new testament concerns I now have with the many Solar Human Gods.

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  22. Acitnoids Registered Senior Member

    Well, golly gee, I'd be happy to. It is Late here so I hope you can wait until tomorrow.

    I will not be explaining history, I will be explaining mythology. I hope that is alright. After all that is the only way to answer your questions.

    My historical focus starts in the 4th century B.C.E (conquest of Alexander the Great) and ends with the Roman Emperor Constantine 4th century C.E. (The legalization of Christianity in the Roman Empire). I tend to focus on some portions more than others and I hold a +/- 100 yr tolerance to either side.

    You seem like an intelligent person. You do know UTube is not a reliable source for accurate information yes? I'm sure/hope you do.

    It is late here so if you want to know the mythology behind your questions. .... I'll do so after work tomorrow.
  23. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Looking at a planetarium the three kings dont point exactly at Sirus but they do sort of point to the cross which is pretty much on the horizon at 30 approx...


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