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Ten years
#51

Ten years
(04-08-2021, 03:35 PM)Cavebear Wrote:
(04-08-2021, 02:53 PM)Dom Wrote:
(04-08-2021, 02:32 PM)Cavebear Wrote: What research?  Does a new-born baby suddenly declare there is a Deity?  Does a toddler seek a Church?

I think we are born liking repetitive events, rituals if you may. Rituals give us a sense of calm and safety. They release dopamine. We like dopamine. (We are not alone in this, animals like rituals also, daily routines that can be counted on).

We can get dopamine from all kinds of activities, but church rituals and prayer are what is shoved down our throat when we are kids as the way to achieve that calm and safety, that ritual that provides us with dopamine.

Dopamine can be an addiction, some people want/need a lot more of it than others. You can get it from all kinds of things, jogging, singing, dancing, and many, many more. 

I suppose in that way we are born being receptive to religion, however, if it was not shoved down our throats, we would likely pick something more suitable to our personalities.

This is something I will disagree with you entirely.  Theism is merely a matter of organized ghost and monster-thoughts.  It ranks up there with aliens from Mars and Mole-People from the Center of the Earth.  It is not real.  It exists because we are afraid of death,  It is a scam that tells us we live past our actual existence.  All my ancestors are as dead as swatted flies.  They do not live "somewhere else".  They are as dead as slaughtered cows.  

We are not born receptive to theisms.  We create them from fear and superstition only when we understand that we will die some day.  All theisms are denials of reality.  We sneak up on the idea of dying gradually.  Our grandparents die, but that is far off when you are young.  Then our parents die and that frightens most people.    So we seek some "out".  Maybe there is a "Being" out there  that will save US from ceasing to exist.  Dream on...  

You are going to cease to exist.  I am going to cease to exist.  Everyone is going to cease to exist eventually. The youngest child born today who will live to the oldest age will cease to exist.  Your thoughts will end.  No one will ever truly remember them.  You are DONE and GONE!  

If I could go back in time and kill every damn idiot that came up with the concept of an "afterlife" or a deity, I would happily do so.

You are not disagreeing with me. You are describing what religion is/does, I am describing why we are physically receptive to it.

Not the same topic.
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#52

Ten years
(04-08-2021, 03:47 PM)Dom Wrote:
(04-08-2021, 03:35 PM)Cavebear Wrote:
(04-08-2021, 02:53 PM)Dom Wrote: I think we are born liking repetitive events, rituals if you may. Rituals give us a sense of calm and safety. They release dopamine. We like dopamine. (We are not alone in this, animals like rituals also, daily routines that can be counted on).

We can get dopamine from all kinds of activities, but church rituals and prayer are what is shoved down our throat when we are kids as the way to achieve that calm and safety, that ritual that provides us with dopamine.

Dopamine can be an addiction, some people want/need a lot more of it than others. You can get it from all kinds of things, jogging, singing, dancing, and many, many more. 

I suppose in that way we are born being receptive to religion, however, if it was not shoved down our throats, we would likely pick something more suitable to our personalities.

This is something I will disagree with you entirely.  Theism is merely a matter of organized ghost and monster-thoughts.  It ranks up there with aliens from Mars and Mole-People from the Center of the Earth.  It is not real.  It exists because we are afraid of death,  It is a scam that tells us we live past our actual existence.  All my ancestors are as dead as swatted flies.  They do not live "somewhere else".  They are as dead as slaughtered cows.  

We are not born receptive to theisms.  We create them from fear and superstition only when we understand that we will die some day.  All theisms are denials of reality.  We sneak up on the idea of dying gradually.  Our grandparents die, but that is far off when you are young.  Then our parents die and that frightens most people.    So we seek some "out".  Maybe there is a "Being" out there  that will save US from ceasing to exist.  Dream on...  

You are going to cease to exist.  I am going to cease to exist.  Everyone is going to cease to exist eventually. The youngest child born today who will live to the oldest age will cease to exist.  Your thoughts will end.  No one will ever truly remember them.  You are DONE and GONE!  

If I could go back in time and kill every damn idiot that came up with the concept of an "afterlife" or a deity, I would happily do so.

You are not disagreeing with me. You are describing what religion is/does, I am describing why we are physically receptive to it.

Not the same topic.

Actually, you are describing why we are "psychically" receptive to theism. An afterlife or a deity suits our fears. And I deny we should be.
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#53

Ten years
(04-08-2021, 03:35 PM)Cavebear Wrote:
(04-08-2021, 02:53 PM)Dom Wrote:
(04-08-2021, 02:32 PM)Cavebear Wrote: What research?  Does a new-born baby suddenly declare there is a Deity?  Does a toddler seek a Church?

I think we are born liking repetitive events, rituals if you may. Rituals give us a sense of calm and safety. They release dopamine. We like dopamine. (We are not alone in this, animals like rituals also, daily routines that can be counted on).

We can get dopamine from all kinds of activities, but church rituals and prayer are what is shoved down our throat when we are kids as the way to achieve that calm and safety, that ritual that provides us with dopamine.

Dopamine can be an addiction, some people want/need a lot more of it than others. You can get it from all kinds of things, jogging, singing, dancing, and many, many more. 

I suppose in that way we are born being receptive to religion, however, if it was not shoved down our throats, we would likely pick something more suitable to our personalities.

This is something I will disagree with you entirely.  Theism is merely a matter of organized ghost and monster-thoughts.  It ranks up there with aliens from Mars and Mole-People from the Center of the Earth.  It is not real.  It exists because we are afraid of death,  It is a scam that tells us we live past our actual existence.  All my ancestors are as dead as swatted flies.  They do not live "somewhere else".  They are as dead as slaughtered cows.  

We are not born receptive to theisms.  We create them from fear and superstition only when we understand that we will die some day.  All theisms are denials of reality.  We sneak up on the idea of dying gradually.  Our grandparents die, but that is far off when you are young.  Then our parents die and that frightens most people.    So we seek some "out".  Maybe there is a "Being" out there  that will save US from ceasing to exist.  Dream on...  

You are going to cease to exist.  I am going to cease to exist.  Everyone is going to cease to exist eventually. The youngest child born today who will live to the oldest age will cease to exist.  Your thoughts will end.  No one will ever truly remember them.  You are DONE and GONE!  

If I could go back in time and kill every damn idiot that came up with the concept of an "afterlife" or a deity, I would happily do so.

Quote:In a recent series of experiments, Bering and Bjorklund (2004) found that questions dealing with the mental capacities of dead agents lead young children to make a number of perplexing ‘errors’ during such interrogations. For example, although kindergartners reason that biological imperatives (e.g. the need to eat food) cease at death, they continue to reason that the psychological states attending these biological imperatives persist after death (e.g. dead agents retain the capacity for hunger). Bering and Bjorklund also reported that the frequency of mental cessation responses (i.e. responses indicating a belief that agents lose the capacity for experiencing mental states upon death, referred to as discontinuity responses by Bering and Bjorklund) increased with age. They interpreted these findings as evidence against a strict learning model of religious indoctrination on the topic of the afterlife, as this hypothesis would predict that mental cessation responses would actually decrease over time as children become more culturally aligned with prevailing metaphysical beliefs. An overwhelming majority of adult Americans believe in life after death, and this general belief system is strongly culturally recurrent (Boyer, 2001; Greeley & Hout, 1999; Reynolds & Tanner, 1995).

Bering and Bjorklund (2004, Experiment 3) also showed that although older children (M¼11; 8) and adults gave significantly more mental cessation responses than kindergartners overall, they were more likely to state that the capacity to experience certain types of mental states (i.e. psychobiological [e.g. hunger, thirst] and perceptual [e.g. seeing, hearing]) was lost at death than they were for other types of mental states(i.e. emotion [e.g. love, anger], desire [e.g.wanting, wishing], and epistemic [e.g. knowing, believing]). In contrast, the youngest children (M¼5; 3) treated four of the five categories equivocally by stating that the psychological states associated with each category were equally likely to continue after death (The exception was for the perceptual category, which elicited more mental cessation responses than the emotion and desire questions).

This trend, whereby certain psychological states are more resistant to cessation reasoning than others, has been replicated in a separate, age-appropriate study with adults (Bering, 2002). In this modified study, Bering showed that even people who classified themselves as ‘extinctivists’ (individuals who believe that personal consciousness ceases to exist, or becomes extinct, at death; Thalbourne, 1996) found it more cognitively effortful (as measured by percentage of mental cessation responses and latencies to make such responses) to state that emotion, desire, and epistemic states ended upon a protagonist’s accidental death than they did for psychobiological and perceptual states (for commentaries on this study, see Barrett, 2003; Bering, 2003;Boyer, 2003; Pyysia ¨inen, 2003). The author interprets these findings from a simulationist perspective, arguing that because knowledge about the fate of mental states after death cannot be informed by firsthand experience, theoretical constructs dealing with the self and others’ minds after death suffer from the logical impoverishment of hypothesis disconfirmation. Consciously representing states of un-consciousness poses an impassable cognitive constraint.

The development of ‘afterlife’ beliefs in religiously and secularly schooled children
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#54

Ten years
(04-08-2021, 03:59 PM)Cavebear Wrote:
(04-08-2021, 03:47 PM)Dom Wrote:
(04-08-2021, 03:35 PM)Cavebear Wrote: This is something I will disagree with you entirely.  Theism is merely a matter of organized ghost and monster-thoughts.  It ranks up there with aliens from Mars and Mole-People from the Center of the Earth.  It is not real.  It exists because we are afraid of death,  It is a scam that tells us we live past our actual existence.  All my ancestors are as dead as swatted flies.  They do not live "somewhere else".  They are as dead as slaughtered cows.  

We are not born receptive to theisms.  We create them from fear and superstition only when we understand that we will die some day.  All theisms are denials of reality.  We sneak up on the idea of dying gradually.  Our grandparents die, but that is far off when you are young.  Then our parents die and that frightens most people.    So we seek some "out".  Maybe there is a "Being" out there  that will save US from ceasing to exist.  Dream on...  

You are going to cease to exist.  I am going to cease to exist.  Everyone is going to cease to exist eventually. The youngest child born today who will live to the oldest age will cease to exist.  Your thoughts will end.  No one will ever truly remember them.  You are DONE and GONE!  

If I could go back in time and kill every damn idiot that came up with the concept of an "afterlife" or a deity, I would happily do so.

You are not disagreeing with me. You are describing what religion is/does, I am describing why we are physically receptive to it.

Not the same topic.

Actually, you are describing why we are "psychically" receptive to theism.  An afterlife or a deity suits our fears.  And I deny we should be.

I am not. I am talking about the brain releasing the chemical dopamine as a response to rituals, and how we and other creatures need the dopamine to feel calm and safe. I am not talking about only religious rituals, you can have the exact same effect from dancing or jogging etc. You need to re-read the original post. Afterlife and religious concepts have zero to do with what I am saying. Dogs don't become religious to obtain dopamine from rituals, they get it from regular pets, regular feeding times, all sorts of predictable events. I am talking about a purely physical reaction to rituals, and how that predisposes us to being indoctrinated.
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#55

Ten years
If we want to argue that we are all chemical creatures at basic level, I can't really disagree. But that gets into what causes intelligence and organized thought among billions of oddly arranged and cooperative cells and quite frankly, it baffles me. I mostly have to start with "cogito ergo sum" and go from there.

That children have understandings or misunderstandings about the differences of possible states of existence is not a surprise. Children examine the world without adult knowledge. When I was 11, my close-age cousin drowned and I still vaguely thought he would be "there" somehow when we visited in the Summer. I did not understand "death" at that age and I was having serious doubts about GOD even then. Given something like that, it is just too much to expect children to understand "ceasing to exist" themselves.

I think the interpretation of the linked study is flawed.

"Although children attending Catholic school were generally more likely to state that functions continue after death than children attending secular school, the pattern of change with regard to question type did not differ between the Catholic and secular groups" focusses on patterns". The more straight-forward observation is that religiously-taught students were more likely to think life continued after death than were secularly-taught students (and oh boy secular-taught students still get a big heap of theism by assumption even now).

I would wonder what an atheist school test might reveal.
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#56

Ten years
From research by Deborah Kelemen, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at
Boston University:  Reasoning About Purpose and Design in Nature.

Given findings regarding children’s beliefs about purpose and their ideas about the
intentional origins of nature, is it possible that children are intuitive theists insofar
as they are predisposed to develop a view of nature as an artifact of nonhuman
design?


A review of recent cognitive developmental research reveals that by around 5 years
of age, children understand natural objects as not humanly caused, can reason about
non-natural agents’ mental states, and demonstrate the capacity to view objects in
terms of design. Finally, evidence from 6- to 10-year-olds suggests that children’s
assignments of purpose to nature relate to their ideas concerning intentional nonhuman
causation.

Together, these research findings tentatively suggest that children’s explanatory approach
may be accurately characterized as intuitive theism
—a characterization that has broad
relevance not only to cognitivists or the growing interdisciplinary community studying
the underpinnings of religion, but also, at an applied level, to science educators because
the implication is that children’s science failures may, in part, result from inherent conflicts
between intuitive ideas and the basic tenets of contemporary scientific thought.
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#57

Ten years
(04-08-2021, 09:23 AM)Cavebear Wrote: It is important to understand that no child is born a theist.  They have to be carefully taught to think that way.  If no parents taught their children to be theists, it would all end in a couple of generations...

I can't speak for other atheists, but this was true for me. I can still recall how, when I was four years old, my mother telling me that, "There is a God, and he made the world from nothing." Even at that tender age, it sounded as stupid an idea as it does to me today.  Consider
“I expect to pass this way but once; any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” (Etienne De Grellet)
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#58

Ten years
(04-08-2021, 02:32 PM)Cavebear Wrote:
(04-08-2021, 02:14 PM)Dānu Wrote:
(04-08-2021, 09:23 AM)Cavebear Wrote: It is important to understand that no child is born a theist.  They have to be carefully taught to think that way.  If no parents taught their children to be theists, it would all end in a couple of generations...

The research is not settled on this.

What research?  Does a new-born baby suddenly declare there is a Deity?  Does a toddler seek a Church?

I wouldn't say "newborn", but clearly religion as a concept arose from minds that were born not believing in god(s). Who taught those folks?
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#59

Ten years
(04-09-2021, 03:31 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: I wouldn't say "newborn", but clearly religion as a concept arose from minds that were born not believing in god(s). Who taught those folks?

For that, you'd have to go way back to the times when people started worshipping the sun, the moon and fire. People always tended to ascribe something divine to matters they don't understand. And Dom also has a point. People love their rituals. They make them feel secure and to be part of a group of peers.
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#60

Ten years
(04-09-2021, 03:57 PM)abaris Wrote:
(04-09-2021, 03:31 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: I wouldn't say "newborn", but clearly religion as a concept arose from minds that were born not believing in god(s). Who taught those folks?

For that, you'd have to go way back to the times when people started worshipping the sun, the moon and fire. People always tended to ascribe something divine to matters they don't understand. And Dom also has a point. People love their rituals. They make them feel secure and to be part of a group of peers.

Sure. But my point is that religion per se is not always inculcated, evidently, because people invented it. At some point, a guy who wasn't taught to believe in deities invented them, for whatever reason. That was the point I was addressing, made by @Cavebear.

It logically follows that early-childhood indoctrination cannot be completely explanatory. Plenty of people the world over had to have invented their religions before they could teach them to their children.
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#61

Ten years
(04-09-2021, 05:42 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: At some point, a guy who wasn't taught to believe in deities invented them, for whatever reason. That was the point I was addressing, made by @Cavebear.

As was my point. People looked at the sun, the moon, fire or other phenomenons, such as lightning, couldn't explain them, were frightened, maybe, called them gods and started worshipping them.
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#62

Ten years
(04-09-2021, 06:43 PM)abaris Wrote:
(04-09-2021, 05:42 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: At some point, a guy who wasn't taught to believe in deities invented them, for whatever reason. That was the point I was addressing, made by @Cavebear.

As was my point. People looked at the sun, the moon, fire or other phenomenons, such as lightning, couldn't explain them, were frightened, maybe, called them gods and started worshipping them.

Which means that religion is not always a matter of indoctrination.

We haven't even touched upon atheists who've adopted religion later in life, either.

Suffice it to say that:

(04-08-2021, 09:23 AM)Cavebear Wrote: They have to be carefully taught to think that way.

... is probably not accurate in all cases. That was the point I was addressing, and nothing you've written changes that.
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#63

Ten years
(04-09-2021, 06:49 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: ... is probably not accurate in all cases. That was the point I was addressing, and nothing you've written changes that.

No, certainly not. Just strip your knowledge you have on natural phenomenons, planets and suns and you get the picture. For the longest time, people worshipped the sun, the moon and natural phenomenons. And, barring all knowledge, the can be quite impressive. Religion comes from the unknown. Today we live in an age of organised religion, with books and codices. But that's a pretty recent development. In some ways our ancestors may also be indoctrinated by their forebearers. In the sense of being born into a certain society already having a belief system.
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#64

Ten years
Comparing religion and our propensity for it today and at the dawn of humanity comes quite close to comparing apples and oranges.

We are, above all, pattern- and meaning-seeking creatures, who are (like many other (maybe most) animals) prone to rituals and superstitions (yes, animals have them too). This, coupled with our natural curiosity about the world around us is all that's necessary for any belief system to arise, perfectly naturally.

Would a human being, on their own, without *any* knowledge of other belief systems but with all modern-day knowledge at their disposal, come up with a deity and religion all their own?
“We drift down time, clutching at straws. But what good's a brick to a drowning man?” 
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#65

Ten years
(04-09-2021, 07:16 PM)Vera Wrote: Comparing religion and our propensity for it today and at the dawn of humanity comes quite close to comparing apples and oranges.

We are, above all, pattern- and meaning-seeking creatures, who are (like many other (maybe most) animals) prone to rituals and superstitions (yes, animals have them too). This, coupled with our natural curiosity about the world around us is all that's necessary for any belief system to arise, perfectly naturally.

Would a human being, on their own, without *any* knowledge of other belief systems but with all modern-day knowledge at their disposal, come up with a deity and religion all their own?

"How could this pothole be so perfectly shaped to me, a simple puddle?"

Magical thinking comes in lots of varieties, some of which might be informed by science even as they ignore its precepts.
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#66

Ten years
Story telling, people. In days gone past, there was just song and dance and story telling for entertainment. 

Enter a dude with the gift of gab, and general ignorance about the environment, and he can weave the most alluring and amazing stories around the sun and moon and thunder and.....  Enter a dude making a rhythmic drumming sound, some dance and song, and you have a nice little church ritual going.
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#67

Ten years
(04-09-2021, 08:09 PM)Dom Wrote: Story telling, people. In days gone past, there was just song and dance and story telling for entertainment. 

Enter a dude with the gift of gab, and general ignorance about the environment, and he can weave the most alluring and amazing stories around the sun and moon and thunder and.....  Enter a dude making a rhythmic drumming sound, some dance and song, and you have a nice little church ritual going.

Jimi Hendrix is -- er, was -- God.
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#68

Ten years
(04-09-2021, 11:49 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: Jimi Hendrix is -- er, was -- God.

Uh... no mate.   That was Lemmy.     Tongue
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#69

Ten years
(04-10-2021, 01:23 AM)SYZ Wrote:
(04-09-2021, 11:49 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: Jimi Hendrix is -- er, was -- God.

Uh... no mate.   That was Lemmy.     Tongue

Your god roadie'd for my god. Big Grin
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