Why does evolution select against atheists?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by S.A.M., May 9, 2009.

  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    It would seem that atheistic societies are self limiting, they shrink, do not replace their populations, then are overwhelmed by theistic societies.

    What makes atheistic societies self limiting?
     
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  3. PsychoticEpisode It is very dry in here today Valued Senior Member

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    Well if the atheist society shrank then that would mean it once grew which would mean the theistic society it came from had to shrink. I don't see a problem, what's good for one is good for the other.
     
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  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    That would be correct, except that we do not see any surviving atheist societies. In fact the longest surviving societies are the ones where atheism has been the least successful.
     
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  7. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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  8. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I was talking about the last 50,000 years, not the last 50 years.
     
  9. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Atheism is never a target but something in oposition to theism. As the nature of theism changes and declines so too will atheism. It is dependent on theistic belief.

    The changes that are occurring are beginning to reflect a more diverse set of ideas and speculations and more appropriate replacements for the few formal religions.
     
  10. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Probably not a good starting point. We have learnt more about ourselves and the universe in this last century than in the whole of the past 50,000 years. Attempting to judge what is about to happen based on a long period of significant ignorance is a poor choice.
     
  11. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Thats an opinion that has come and gone several times before.

    I'd say the reverse is true. Atheism is strangely "absent" as a movement when bad things happen, e.g. in China and its more and more likely that atheism will become less and less of a choice as society progresses. As a society, we are becoming more religious, not less. Atheism is a dead end that leads nowhere.
     
  12. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    I think either there is a God, or we're simply hard wired to believe in one. Such a belief helps unify societies, helps give people the courage to plod on when times get tough, and serves to instill a common morality and code of behavior. Men's natural proclivity for violence and not taking responsibility for the children he's fathered is reigned in by religion which usually places a strong emphasis on family and children.

    You might look at religion as the cummulative wisdom of the ages on how best to live your life. Yes, it's couched in mystical terms, but the general advice is very good. Every generation thinks their parents are idiots and that they are the ones who (for the first time in human existance) really understands the best way to live. These children soon learn the errors of their ways as they find themselves turning into their parents and following many of the rules laid down in various religious texts.
     
  13. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    Their lack of conquering other societies over their lack of beliefs?
     
  14. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    You put it much better than I did.
     
  15. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    Nothing internal limits the growth of atheistic societies. What does limit the spread of our open-minded ideas is the mass of entrenched ignorants who don't take kindly to the emptiness of their philosophies being exposed to the public. I don't hear stories from the middle east about atheists going on frequent rampages around muslim neighbourhoods, but I do hear frequently about atheists and other apostates being persecuted and even executed by muslims.

    A good philosophy doesn't need violence as a tool for gaining followers and retaining the flock, it stands on its own merit. Just as southern rednecks outbreed their more enlightened northern cousins in the US, so it may well be around the world with the religious outbreeding (and outstarving) the atheists. But seeing as how the exposure atheism receives in the world media and public debates continues to increase, and polls in countries that allow them show a continual increase in the population calling itself atheist (both in sheer numbers and percentage), it would seem evolution does not disfavour atheism at all. Religion has always grown the most strongly amongst the world's most poor and uneducated, who also make up the bulk of the world's population- this is not something to be proud of. Perhaps it's time to abandon your limitless enthusiasm for the ramblings of uninformed desert nomads and get more in touch with the present goings-on; even the Palestinians are starting to do it, maybe you should follow their example?
     
  16. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

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    I don't think atheism has anything to do with a society and its longevity. As long as there has been religion there has been people who doubt it. Even Mother Teresa lost her faith in God (I don't know if it was temporary or until she died), atheism is just a group of dissenters, who like many homosexual people live in the closet. I believe religious societies flourish because their people are easily controlled. Religion is an easy way to control people. The Catholic church had people giving away so much of their money all in God's name and I'm sure they aren't the only religious sect that abused their power. Kids are easy to control when you tell them bad kids don't get presents from Santa Claus, like God he is always watching your every move. Knows when you do bad things and is keeping record of it, so when Christmas time (judgment day) rolls around you have to see if your behavior was satisfactory enough to be rewarded with presents (heaven). The stories seem awfully similar to me.
     
  17. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    It seems the atheists confuse one generation with evolution. Human trends and the persistence of religion are pretty consistent throughout history. Thinking you are somehow better or different than previous generations is merely a sign of not having read what other people have already espoused on the topic.
     
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    History says what?

    Examples in history?

    Depends on the society in question, which is why examples from history are so important.

    In a broader question, though, the question asked in the thread title is curious.

    Religious ideas developed in order to explain natural phenomena that the early human mind couldn't comprehend. Polytheistic myths represent our intellectual infancy. Monotheism represents its childhood. We find this as far back as ancient Greece, at least, because there was always the question of what kept the gods in their place. Polytheism evolved toward monotheism—the abstract authority limiting the many gods being the supreme power, referred to in some works as the Unmoved Mover—during the same period that humanity began developing deeper philosophical outlooks that would eventually dominate the world for millennia. This period would represent a transition toward adolescence. The Christian usurpation could thus be said to be an adolescent rebellion, and in that sense Islam part of the experimentation process that occurs during adolescence. In this illustration, the atheistic condition could be said to represent some stage of intellectual maturity; to the other, I think atheistic identification would be just another form of adolescent turbulence.

    That's just one way of looking at it, but Abramic monotheism will eventually become a relic of human history. At least, if it doesn't kill the lot of us first.
     
  19. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    One should not dismiss the teachings of previous generations out of hand, nor should one refrain from questioning them. I think enough questions have been asked about the religions of the ancients that today we can see both their blatant disagreement with scientific fact as well as the complete lack of testability attached to their claims. As for atheism, I was very much taking past trends into account- there were a few scattered atheists who popped up from time to time over the last few thousand years, including many notable philosophers living in muslim societies. With the emergence of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, those numbers increased drastically (for instance, the founding fathers of America were as close to atheism as you can get while still believing in a creator). Now in the age of information, the numbers of atheists are exploding. A general trend is very clear- an increase in a society's knowledge and information tends to coincide with a reduction in religious authority and superstitious beliefs. So much for evolution opposing atheism- rather it would seem atheism is evolutionarily strong enough to have survived and grown despite the continuous attempts of existing establishments to repress it.

    Of course, there are exceptions to the rule of increased information coinciding with decreased superstition. Societies like Iran come to mind, where oil can be traded for western technology which is then used to further repress the spread of information and free thought rather than enhancing it.
     
  20. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Buddhism, Jainism, Carvakas, Rome, Greece.



    Sorry, I disagree. For all the reasons that madant has so eloquently given. Atheism is of no use to the society, it is the luxury of the diletante individual.

    Even atheists will not live in an atheist society.
     
  21. PsychoticEpisode It is very dry in here today Valued Senior Member

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    Society's current theistic leanings are well established and could very well be around for centuries to follow. However there is constant pressure from the atheistic argument and to some extent from the theists themselves to change. Is there or has there been enough pressure to cause an adaptation or two and in which direction will it evolve?

    Theism depends on one thing, that there is a god, somewhere. The longer God does not appear, coupled with the advancement of science and the incredible amount of knowledge still waiting to be learned will produce an extraordinary pressure on theistic society to maintain its beliefs. How will they respond?

    I think we see the answers to that being played out today. I won't single out any one group in particular but it is increasingly evident that something has to give. We're not going to suddenly wake up one morning and be atheists however. Evolution is gradual and takes many roads, successes and failures.
     
  22. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    In all of which atheism has nothing to give to society.

    In fact, one could say that increasing atheism in a society is a sign that it is moving towards collapse.
     
  23. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    It's not a matter of what atheism gives to society, it's a matter of what atheism doesn't take away.
     

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