2 of 3
2
The Origins of Atheism
Posted: 26 April 2007 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1377
Joined  2004-12-21

We are all born atheists, each and every one of us.  The propensity to believe without question what we are told by parents and authority figures is a result of natural selection.  This is sometimes a good thing, when it relates to survival skills, like staying out of traffic, but not such a good thing when parents pound religion into some of us, or a religious authority figure pounds something else.

Yes, I suppose we all like to believe in the supernatural early on, it is a function of our ignorance.  When we grow up, however, hopefully we realize that there is no Santa, the tooth fairy is a myth, and the earth is still warm (even after 4.5 billion years) and earthquakes, volcanoes and tidal waves are the result of disturbances in the earth’s crust, not the result of insufficient prayer and supplication to some non-existent deity.

I ask this:  If all religions suddenly disappeared from the earth this moment, do you think there would be any reason whatsoever to reinvent them?  Of course not, mankind is no longer bound by the fear and ignorance that made them necessary in the first place.

 Signature 

http://powerlessnolonger.com

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 April 2007 06:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5404
Joined  2006-09-27
[quote author=“mentor”]Also, a belief in materialism does not eliminate anything. “Spiritualism” still exists, even if only in our minds, as software exists on computers. To those who believe it, it is their reality. Salt Creek, please bring us back to “objective reality.”

[quote author=“Rod”]I also think the more natural state of mind tends to superstition. Atheism is the rational alternative. I am agnostic only to the extent that I am agnostic about the possibility that my desk will one day talk to me.

[quote author=“mentor”]Perhaps the insistance that there is a universal consciousness or an all knowing god is a manifestation of our desire to hold onto that simple infantile state of being that each of us starts with. Belief in the supernatural is an expression of our desire to not want to grow up. Perhaps resestance to growing up is hard wired, and in that sense, our tendency toward irrational belief is too. Or maybe it’s just easyer to make something up than to find the truth.

Perhaps the insistence that there is a universal consciousness is a manifestation of the fact that somebody had an insight about the power of his emotional attachment to his budding sense of wonder, and invented the phrase “universal consciousness” and taught it to someone else, and someone else found that he could form an emotional attachment to whatever he thought he meant by the phrase in the same way that somebody learns the phrase “Jesus loves me” and forms an emotional attachment to that phrase. Belief in the supernatural is something that is taught to people. In fact, there is very little that adult people are capable of thinking, saying, or doing that they have not been taught by pre-existing humans. Humans are pathetic when it comes to knowing how to do much of anything at birth besides eat, sleep, and sh!t. You can make myths about the innocence of children, but methinks that is an outgrowth of religious myths specifically designed to ensnare children or other child-like minds. It is not much of a competitive advantage in the world to have the mind of a child in a (dangerous) world where everyone has the mind of a child.

Now somewhere along the way, the physical structures to think, say, and do these things evolved by a process of natural selection, unless you believe that something came down and left us a big black monolith back when we were just chimps bashing each other over the head with femurs from the skeletons of our dead relatives. Is that real enough yet?

So you have natural selection. Then you have the use of the word “natural” in the sense that Rod is using it above, which renders the word essentially meaningless, since one can then say that anything that happens in the world is “natural”, or part of nature. So teaching mumbo jumbo to your kids is also “natural”. Or seeking out a guru and having him teach it to you is “natural”. So religious belief, or strange theories of disembodied consciousness are “natural”.

So you can say anything you want about anything, and by golly, it’s “natural”. It’s just “discourse”. So is a bull session over an empty keg in the frat house at 2AM Sunday morning. Human beings have now evolved to a stage where childhood can be made to last three decades or longer. If this is the destiny of the phenomenon of consciousness, the future looks bleak, gentlemen, for the species sapiens.

 Signature 

INVEST in cynicism!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 April 2007 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2821
Joined  2005-04-29

[quote author=“Salt Creek”]. . .
Perhaps the insistence that there is a universal consciousness is a manifestation of the fact that somebody had an insight about the power of his emotional attachment to his budding sense of wonder, and invented the phrase “universal consciousness” and taught it to someone else, and someone else found that he could form an emotional attachment to whatever he thought he meant by the phrase. . . .

My apologies, Salt Creek, for not being able to read any further into your message without commenting. You have just fucking summed up everything. End of discussion. It’s a wrap. I’ll get back to the remainder of what you’re saying later.

 Signature 

Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 April 2007 07:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  221
Joined  2007-01-24
[quote author=“Atheiststooge”]The absence of a known author and time of origin of such a highly embraced philosophy is a strange phenomenon.

Yes, and it is a testament to the universality of Atheism as opposed to the local religious varieties.

Thanks.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 April 2007 03:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2927
Joined  2006-12-17

[quote author=“homunculus”][quote author=“Salt Creek”]. . .
Perhaps the insistence that there is a universal consciousness is a manifestation of the fact that somebody had an insight about the power of his emotional attachment to his budding sense of wonder, and invented the phrase “universal consciousness” and taught it to someone else, and someone else found that he could form an emotional attachment to whatever he thought he meant by the phrase. . . .

My apologies, Salt Creek, for not being able to read any further into your message without commenting. You have just fucking summed up everything. End of discussion. It’s a wrap. I’ll get back to the remainder of what you’re saying later.

And perhaps emotional attachment is part of exactly the thing that prevents the experience of something more universal.  Some people on this forum certainly react emotionally to anything that might require questioning of their beliefs.  If one investigates emotions carefully, from a first person perspective, they turn out to be grounded in patterns of visceroautonomic and kinesthetic sensation.  Not recognizing this organic base can lead to attachment to experiences of the sensation, diverting attention from whatever it is that led to the sensations in the first place.  This attachment, of course, gets justified in terms of words and in fact transfers to an attachment to the words themselves (a philosophy professor I know is attached in this way to the experience of righteous indignation, naturally she specializes in ethics and moral philosophy smile )

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 April 2007 03:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  501
Joined  2005-02-22

[quote author=“hampsteadpete”]
I ask this:  If all religions suddenly disappeared from the earth this moment, do you think there would be any reason whatsoever to reinvent them?  Of course not, mankind is no longer bound by the fear and ignorance that made them necessary in the first place.

The short answer…

Yes. Afraid so. Not enough of us are secularized yet. The world that binds us all together would collapse, and so would our ability to sustain the organizational complexity that our lifestyles require. In one generation, our infrastructure will be a pile of shit. Worse, no more posting.
In two, maybe three generations, a critical mass of knowledge will be lost. The survivors we be those who can handle farming and husbandry.

The minds we know would be lost. Our capacity to sustain a self-conscious social ego would again become a competition, and cults would form around those who did it best. Successful cults grow into cultures that are sustained by organized religious experience. Culture provides an objective reality for the ego to live in. Religion provides a subjective reality that can serve as the world where our mental (and physical) experience took place. Soon their would be competing mental realities all over the place, and at mostly at the local level where the real mayhem can occur. And the only things of any lasting value that we will leave behind are our impressive tools of mayhem.

It would start all over again, and just when we’ve gotten closer to the edge of that world than quite probably EVER before.

We have to do this very carefully! We cannot squander the secular world as others have done before. (Akhenaton, Larry Flynt) Don’t forget that we have to live with religious people after we kick their mental butts. Do you want to change their world, or do you want to piss them off?

There are postings here that mention “ science replacing the role of religion in my life”. Don’t forget what science is telling us, and try to take it to heart; nothing, least of all science, must ever take the role of religion in your life. I hear everyone at least half saying that, or am I hallucinating? “there is no religion… there is no ghost… there is no spoon…” Don’t forget that we’re still left with a lot of subjective realities to fill.

A steady diet of science will create the ground we will stand on when the religious world falls. Preferably, without even a thud. If a civilization fell in Disneyland and no one had bought a ticket that day, would it make a sound?

Our conscious minds are tools for organizing our thoughts and our other non-internet persona, or ego. They can do that a lot better if we get out of the way. Egos are for the religious, both leaders and followers. For us, egos should be a handy errand boy, a means of social access and someone who can’t remember our social security number, but can understand what it’s for. Egos should be something we do, not something we are. The rest of us will have a lot more fun when it’s no longer in charge.

Being more fun is how we will win.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”

 Signature 

Delude responsibly.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 April 2007 03:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  501
Joined  2005-02-22

[quote author=“burt”]”] perhaps emotional attachment is part of exactly the thing that prevents the experience of something more universal.

Emotions are rooted in our physicality with its long established emphasis on individuality. Would anyone sympathize with a sadness that wasn’t there?

The only universes we can think about are the ones we create in our heads. We can share them and live in them together, but they such fragile little things when compared to the Universe. Think of how much of reality had to be here already in order for us to read posts or examine our emotions. If there is a universal experience to find, I suspect that it’s back the other way.

“a camel would never fit through the eye of a needle”

[quote author=“Salt Creek”]So you have natural selection. Then you have the use of the word “natural” in the sense that Rod is using it above, which renders the word essentially meaningless, since one can then say that anything that happens in the world is “natural”, or part of nature. So teaching mumbo jumbo to your kids is also “natural”. Or seeking out a guru and having him teach it to you is “natural”. So religious belief, or strange theories of disembodied consciousness are “natural”.

Here’s the other half I keep hearing. It’s not like you to be shy, come out and say it- It’s “artificial”.
Just like our conscious minds, and everything we’re conscious of. Part of good diet of science is a well-defended concept of “natural”, and an honest look at the line that separates it from artifact.

If this is the destiny of the phenomenon of consciousness, the future looks bleak, gentlemen, for the species sapiens.

“Amen.”

 Signature 

Delude responsibly.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 May 2007 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  222
Joined  2006-07-03

At first I thought this thread was made tongue in cheek.

Nope, I was mistaken. The author is just sincerely misguided.

The simplest answer is that the first atheist likely appeared shortly after the first theist in the same way as someone must say something before another can disagree.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 May 2007 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  558
Joined  2006-11-17

WOW, I am shocked that you are posting on this site, atheiststooges, seeing as how you cannot delete the oppossing viewpoints. Goodness knows, that you must have deleted about 20 of mine on your own site that you could not refute.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 May 2007 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  1
Joined  2007-05-10

Atheiststooge wrote:

Not even the most “educated” atheists - particularly those associated with the most elite universities throughout the world can truthfully inform you when and by whom atheism originated.

I don’t know why anyone would have trouble answering this question.

Atheism began 4000 million years ago, in a mud puddle. You see, the first self-replicating protein molecule obviously did not believe in God therefore it was the world’s first “atheist”. Subsequent multicellular creatures also were atheist. As a matter of fact, atheism dominated the world for countless millions of years. However, about 200 thousand year ago hairless apes started asking questions like “why does that big orange thing appear in the sky each morning?”. They couldn’t really figure it out, but they knew the big orange thing was important, and so they started trying to make friends with it and began to kiss-up to it. These were the first theist. Thousands of years later the hairless apes decided that the big ball of fire probably wasn’t the one running the world. Running the world would be complicated and it would take a whole family of folks to do it. This family was just like them, but had “super powers”. No one had every seen this family, but it didn’t really matter, they could still kiss-up to ‘em. After a while, kissing-up to all those family members got to be to much trouble, so they decided to kiss-up to only one invisible super-being. This super-being was very powerful, but he didn’t run everything by himself. He had a son, a spirit, and lots of helper super-beings. Today most people kiss-up to him.

So the real mystery is not “where did atheism” come from but “where did this desire to kiss-up up to invisible, mute, super-beings come from?”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 October 2007 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  8
Joined  2007-10-12

First, you’ve drawn the wrong conclusion. Second, you’ve compounded your mistake by imagining a source for your wrong conclusions that you cannot empirically prove.

There are far more reasonable explanations than yours.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 October 2007 12:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  233
Joined  2007-10-18

-deleted-

[ Edited: 14 March 2011 02:36 PM by J.C.]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 October 2007 07:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5404
Joined  2006-09-27
Armhouse - 19 October 2007 04:12 AM

Before the advent of religion, we may have been born atheists, but that is not necessarily true anymore.  Studies have shown that the human brains architecture leads us to want to believe in a God.  This makes sense, since religion has been a part of our psyche for so long as we have evolved through many generations.

Oh, splendid. One I haven’t seen before: A Lamarckian Deist.

I don’t really mean that, since I more or less understand the argument you’re trying to construct. It’s just that the exceptionally clumsy way you’re going about it leaves you open to bad jokes like mine.

You probably have a point in there somewhere. A more subtantive comment is to ask you what structure of the brain is the part that “wants” to believe in a god? I know, it’s the pineal gland.

Galileo - 10 May 2007 10:12 PM

about 200 thousand year ago hairless apes started asking questions like “why does that big orange thing appear in the sky each morning?”. They couldn’t really figure it out, but they knew the big orange thing was important, and so they started trying to make friends with it and began to kiss-up to it.

Now that we know that the idea of gods and supernatural entities is somewhat discredited, at least in terms of our understanding of the big orange thing, and the rest of the natural universe, you may wish to try to explain what motivates people to go on believing in them. One simple explanation (obeying the dictates of Occam’s Razor, and empirical to boot) is that parents teach religious myths to their kids long before the kids have enough independent judgement to know whether they want to believe in such batshit insane fantasies.

[ Edited: 19 October 2007 07:30 AM by Traces Elk]
 Signature 

INVEST in cynicism!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 October 2007 02:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  585
Joined  2007-10-11

Why a God ?

All people of the earth sooner or later invent a God. Even primative (comparatively speaking ) races, like the “Native American” had some kind of a wise and all-seeing deity . WHY ?

I think it would be sensible to realize why human beings desire a God . then we can understand what makes a deviant, like us. (?) How can we step out of a the realm of religious belief ?

My theory is :  when we are children we have the world. We don’t really know when there is danger That is we have the guidance of loving parents, shelter that seems to automaticly ours, food ( chosen and prepared for us ), garments to protect and adorn us ,warmth, love, protection, someone to look up to who can answer us, someone to always hear us and teach us right from wrong, someone who we see as wise and can lean on , someone to turn to when we are feeling bad or are scared ; we didn’t want to displease those ruling parents, and we desired to win thier favor ,-in other words , we have parents and a safe and fun haven of home .And there’s curiousity so we are never bored; we can always look ahead be interested .And then we grow up and leave all that behind. From then on we are subconsclously seeking that wonderful life ; those parents , someone we can turn to and guide us. Those parents were God and our home heaven; . This looking for God comes from desire and fear we could say.

I’ve tried to find an aswer to why mankind needs God, and this is the best theory I could come up with . I beieve I’m right about this . I just can’t get away from thinking of it this way .

Why do you think there was a time when “atheists” appeared ? There have always been those who’ve not believed. I guess there was a time when they
gave those people a name - you could look at it that way.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 October 2007 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2006-12-26

There have ALWAYS been atheists.
That is why they, more than any other group, are condemned in every holy text there is.
There were Arabs laughing at Mohammad’s fanciful notions, there were ancient Hebrews that are vituperated in the Bible, and so on.

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 3
2
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed