Why are atheist politically, socially and culturally obscure?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by aaqucnaona, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member

    True...however i'm cautious of how delevoped that community becomes. organized atheisim can or could lead to a sect of faith that belive in not having exsetintial or supernatural forces run their lives.if the organizations become too powerful or dogmatic then they will be no better than the religons that they are trying to fight
    Who Is thes JUNG fellow? When did he or she discover that Homo Sapiens are pre-disposed to the supernatural and if so how does this account for atheist?
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  3. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member

    Carl Gustav Jung (English pronunciation: /ˈjʊŋ/ YUUNG, German: [ˈkarl ˈɡʊstaf ˈjʊŋ]; 26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist, the founder of analytical psychology. Jung is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as "by nature religious" and make it the focus of exploration. Jung is one of the best known researchers in the field of dream analysis and symbolization. While he was a fully involved and practicing clinician, much of his life's work was spent exploring tangential areas, including Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, and sociology, as well as literature and the arts.



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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    What exactly would "organized atheism" be??? To organize a community around the absence of religious faith seems as odd as organizing one around a lack of interest in football or around the inability to appreciate music. What would these people talk about when they get together? Not having something in common with the majority of the population does not translate into having something in common with each other.

    Yes, there actually are a few "atheist organizations," but they are almost entirely reactive. They are typically organized around fighting prejudice against atheists by religionists, around removing requirements for atheists to participate in religious rituals in schools and elsewhere in public life, around teaching the religious that their beliefs are purely instinctive and/or learned and have no basis in fact or logic, etc. If religious belief ever starts to wane, atheist organizations will have no raison d'être.

    It is in fact on the wane in Europe and the Antipodes. Perhaps our Aussie and Kiwi members can tell us whether their countries have much of an "atheist movement" anymore.
    I don't understand what you mean by not having (or having) an "existential force" run my life. What exactly is an existential force??? The four fundamental forces of the universe (gravity, electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces)? Because without them the universe would be filled with quarks and bosons moving in random directions and not interacting with each other, so matter and energy as we know them could not exist?
    There's a gigantic difference between an organization that teaches the truth and one that lies to people by telling them that fairytales are real. I think it's obvious that the former is indeed far better than the latter.
    Jung discovered the concept of the archetype, which is a ritual, legend, behavior, artistic image, etc., that occurs in nearly all societies in early all eras. In other words, they appear to be instincts.

    Instincts are programmed into our neurons by DNA. Many instincts are obviously survival behaviors that we all have because any individual who lacked it would have died before becoming old enough to have offspring. For example most vertebrates have an instinct to flee from a larger animal with both eyes in front of its face, because those are the predators. Anyone who has to stop and think, "Gee, I wonder if this animal wants to eat me or if I should stay here and start a conversation," will be eaten and never have children so his genes will disappear.

    But other instincts are not so easy to figure out. They may have arisen in a time when the threats to human existence were much stranger than and different from the threats we have today, so we can't imagine them. Yet it's also quite likely that a few of them are simply mutations that happened to be passed down through a genetic bottleneck or genetic drift, so we all have them even though they serve no purpose.

    I have suggested that religious archetypes may have been a survival advantage in the Late Stone Age (the Neolithic Era: the invention of agriculture) when humans had to learn to live together in much larger communities than the nomadic tribes of a couple of dozen extended-family members that characterized the Paleolithic Era. In the Early Stone Age tribes were virtually forced by nature to be hostile to each other, because there was barely enough food to go around and in a lean year they had to literally fight each other for survival. But agriculture required them to come together and form larger communities, because economies of scale and division of labor make farming and animal husbandry more efficient and productive for bigger villages.

    When two tribes who distrusted each other discovered that they believed in the same legends and the same supernatural creatures and forces, this may very well have encouraged them to trust each other and try working together.

    Unfortunately, today these archetypes have been elaborated into huge, ornate mythologies, so the large communities which adhere to the various "religions" now find themselves very much at odds with each other. What was once a force for unification and peace is now a force for distrust and war. Particularly among the strange monotheistic religions, which have oversimplified the rich, useful old traditional 23-dimensional paradigm of archetypes to the point that all of human culture has been squeezed down into a pathetic one-dimensional scale with "Good" at one end and "Evil" at the other. We no longer have any leeway for understanding one another. If you're not like us, then you're "evil."

    Jung had nothing but contempt for the modern monotheistic religions. As he noted, "No wars in history have been as bloody as those among the Christian nations." He seems to have overlooked Genghis Khan, but otherwise he's right.
    The most wonderful feature of Homo sapiens is our enormous forebrain, which is larger than our midbrain and hindbrain combined. No other animal has this configuration. This gives us the unique ability to objectively analyze the instincts that percolate up from our midbrain, and make a conscious choice to override instinctive behavior with reasoned and learned behavior. For example, all animals without wings have a very strong instinct to avoid stepping into an abyss. Yet every day thousands of humans strap on parachutes and jump out of airplanes and off of cliffs and bridges... for fun!

    My favorite example of overriding instinctive behavior is the fact that we all walk away and leave our babies in the care of domesticated wolves. The baby looks into those predatory eyes on an animal larger than himself, and reasons, "Oh well, I guess if Mommy trusts him, I can trust him too. Maybe he'll come play with me."

    So there's no reason that we can't override our instinctive belief in the supernatural, with all the reasoned and learned knowledge we pick up in our schools. The vast majority of atheists are, in fact, former religionists.

    However... there is another force at work. I am not a former religionist, nor were my parents. I never believed in the supernatural; in fact I never heard of religion until I was seven and when another little boy started explaining it to me I rationally assumed that he was just making up an interesting story so I started laughing.

    I'm a third-generation atheist. Obviously there are a few humans who have a mutation that lost the gene which programs the brain for irrational belief in fantastic creatures and forces from an invisible, illogical supernatural universe. We were born without the archetypes.
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  7. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member

    The fifth type of " force" that christians would call god's divine will or the supernatural..i don't buy into that bull nor need it as way to justify or validate my life.

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