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Do Religious Minds work differently than Atheists Minds?

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  #31  
Old 05-07-2014, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnConstantine View Post
This would really piss on a lot of religious doctrine, in the sense that a large proportion of us were created not to believe and therefore, some would say, genetically predestined for hellfire. Cheers God.
Again you are being Christiancentric - not all the world is. China certainly never was; as Buddhism was the national religion many did not believe in God when they were religious.

Only two books of scripture are affected.

I think if your God is Liverpool FC then relegation is more likely than hell fire although I have heard some compare the two.

becoming one of the most notorious anti-theists we have today.
So she was religious and swapped one religion for another? My religious beliefs have varied widely over the years. As I said you can be religious for a variety of reasons - that is not the same as a deep seated faith in God. A "call" to a religion is different to simply being religious.

I know many religious people who need to parrot. Then again there are many for whom God is an intrinsic part of their make up.

I'm not sure why knowing a religious Chinese, Russian or European person for that matter makes much odds.
I know more than 13 of each. My representative sample is larger than that of the study in the OP. On my bed is a doll made by a Chinese dissident who had a very simple faith - it saddens me that I know his story and not his name.

A lot of Chinese people still have a form of religious life in the way they live.

In my view the numbers of people with God hardwired as an integral core of their personality is far less than those who believe.

To continue the analogy with sexuality some people are hardwired heterosexual, some are totally bi, some are hardwired homosexual. However, an awful lot of people are shades in between.

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Old 05-07-2014, 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnConstantine View Post
Take Ayaan Hirsi Ali, she says in her books for her early life she was a devout and pious Muslim. No form of doubt entered her mind even when she fled an arranged marriage to holland. It wasn't until she went to university and studied the enlightenment and the scientific revolutions of the West that she set on a path to becoming one of the most notorious anti-theists we have today.
...
If Ayaan Hirsi Ali attended a public discussion one day, would we have the four horsemen of New Atheism...? That is beside the point... the point is... if New Atheism vehemently opposes religious beliefs will religious beliefs get stronger or weaker... or something similar to that of China/Russia...?

Then we start to get to the meat of the discussion... what are the less salient aspects of religion, and what purpose may this have given...? Ah yes... a genetic predisposition to 'religion' may have evolved with respect to social organisation... as it does not matter how efficient a pre-Homo sapiens society was, only how many get through to the following generation... and heaps of other weirder shit has evolved for this purpose, just look at the peacock, I mean... what the fuck is going on there...?
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  #33  
Old 05-07-2014, 04:14 AM
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The peacock preens his plumes, and the celebrity sports his limousine, each certain of getting his pick of the harem.
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by AnyaKimlun View Post
Again you are being Christiancentric - not all the world is. China certainly never was; as Buddhism was the national religion many did not believe in God when they were religious.
No, I’m not. I said it pisses on a lot of religious doctrine. Those two books have been infinitely interpreted, studied, written about, they represent billions of people.

Originally Posted by AnyaKimlun View Post
I think if your God is Liverpool FC then relegation is more likely than hell fire although I have heard some compare the two.
Liverpool isn’t, and will never be a God. I can’t see why we need to make this comparison or how it has relevance to your point. To say that it does, it to water down your point to meaninglessness. Because now it’s not a predisposition to the belief in God, and rather just a predisposition to worship, which I think we’re all predisposed to.

Originally Posted by AnyaKimlun View Post
So she was religious and swapped one religion for another?
Well we can’t have it both ways here. Firstly you were saying belief in God and religion are not the same, now you’re using a contradictory argument. Remember we’re talking about a predisposition to the belief in God… not religion. Therefore, Ayaan must have been, according to you, predisposed to disbelief and was only convinced of Allah’s existence against her own genetic nature. Ie: her conversion to Atheism was an expression of her true genetic makeup, she was ‘coming out’.
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Franklin View Post
The peacock preens his plumes, and the celebrity sports his limousine, each certain of getting his pick of the harem.
That's right... but watching a peacock run must be extremely funny... I suppose according to 'peacock New Atheists' a peacock ought cut off his tail to become more rational...
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnConstantine View Post
Well we can’t have it both ways here. Firstly you were saying belief in God and religion are not the same, now you’re using a contradictory argument. Remember we’re talking about a predisposition to the belief in God… not religion. Therefore, Ayaan must have been, according to you, predisposed to disbelief and was only convinced of Allah’s existence against her own genetic nature. Ie: her conversion to Atheism was an expression of her true genetic makeup, she was ‘coming out’.
Depends on what the genetic disposition is... suppose it is related to social organisation, language etc and therefore also having an environmental component... take, for example, those kids that are away from a language-based environment during a critical period of their development, even though they have the genetic make up for speech... speech does not develop... put a male baboon amongst bigger males and then watch how submissive it is, but the same male amongst smaller males and you watch it talk the talk and walk the walk; the behaviour is presumed to be influenced by genes...

Alas, put a pacifist amongst a group of fascists and, on average, how does it develop...?
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  #37  
Old 05-07-2014, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnConstantine View Post
Liverpool isn’t, and will never be a God. I can’t see why we need to make this comparison or how it has relevance to your point.
I don't think the choice of God or religion is restricted to the likes of Christianity etc And your arguments in all these debates may not be intentionally so but as soon as you mention hell that defines your comments to only really two religions. Hell fire I think is restricted to Christianity and even then only certain sects.

Remember we’re talking about a predisposition to the belief in God… not religion. Therefore, Ayaan must have been, according to you, predisposed to disbelief and was only convinced of Allah’s existence against her own genetic nature. Ie: her conversion to Atheism was an expression of her true genetic makeup, she was ‘coming out’.

Ayaan in my opinion is predisposed to religious life. In order to be a devout Muslim she had to believe in God. Which is why she swapped her devout Muslim beliefs for equally devout anti-theism; not believing in God is part of being a devout atheist. God isn't the main element in the equation for her religion is.

There are many people who believe in God who are not remotely religious about that belief. There are many atheists who are not anti-theists and for whom it is not a religion. There are shades of both and it can overlap.

I don't need to be religious to believe in God - my experiences with God have not changed all that much from religion to religion. My desire to express that belief with a religion is independent. I have a predisposition to both.

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  #38  
Old 05-07-2014, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by AnyaKimlun View Post
Ayaan in my opinion is predisposed to religious life. In order to be a devout Muslim she had to believe in God. Which is why she swapped her devout Muslim beliefs for equally devout anti-theism because for not believing in God is part of being a devout atheist. God isn't the main element in the equation for her religion is.
^This is a good point... is Richard Dawkins religious...?
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  #39  
Old 05-07-2014, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by PickleBottom View Post
^This is a good point... is Richard Dawkins religious...?
I believe very much so. He is more evangelical than some Mormon missionaries I have known . If he had opted for Islam he would be an Iman in Buddhism maybe a monk.

He would believe in God not because of an inner core belief in something greater but because his religion required him to.
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by AnyaKimlun View Post
Ayaan in my opinion is predisposed to religious life. In order to be a devout Muslim she had to believe in God. Which is why she swapped her devout Muslim beliefs for equally devout anti-theism; not believing in God is part of being a devout atheist. God isn't the main element in the equation for her religion is.
OK, but then aren't we just talking about a predisposition to; devotion, worship, dedication... the object of which can be whatever... God... no God... Liverpool... etc?
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by PickleBottom View Post
Alas, put a pacifist amongst a group of fascists and, on average, how does it develop...?
This is what I mean about nurture overriding whatever perception we might have of someone's predisposal to something.

I don't think we could say someone is predisposed to fascism. We might get away with that they're predisposed to obedience and the appreciation of order. But remove the environment which may be able to develop those predispositions into something ugly and your subject will probably just get into stamp collecting, or whatever.
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  #42  
Old 05-07-2014, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnConstantine View Post
OK, but then aren't we just talking about a predisposition to; devotion, worship, dedication... the object of which can be whatever... God... no God... Liverpool... etc?
In the case of people with a predisposition to religion yes.

In the case of those with a predisposition or "call" to God no. I think those are far fewer in number.

Some have a predisposition to both.

As I have stated I do not think God and religion are automatically the same thing. There are times when they coincide.
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  #43  
Old 05-07-2014, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by AnyaKimlun View Post
In the case of people with a predisposition to religion yes.
OK, I can live with that.

A predisposition to devotion, or worship can manifest itself in an infinite amount of ways, many of which don't really have to be about Religion or God. In essence, I don't think we need to describe someone's worship of something, ie: Liverpool, as the same as God worship, or someone's devotion to something, ie: science, as the same as a 'religious life'.

Aside from that we're probably just splitting hairs.
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:51 AM
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I don't think there is much difference in worshiping a popstar and going to every concert or attending every single match a team plays to going to church on Sunday.

But there is a difference between someone

who is religious because they believe in God

and someone who

believes in God because they are religious.
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by AnyaKimlun View Post
I don't think there is much difference in worshiping a popstar and going to every concert or attending every single match a team plays to going to church on Sunday.
It wouldn't be, in a sense, unless the pop-fans started thinking it was their duty to encourage everyone else to worship the same performer and started to create a constitution by which pop-fans must abide.
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnConstantine View Post
It wouldn't be, in a sense, unless the pop-fans started thinking it was their duty to encourage everyone else to worship the same performer and started to create a constitution by which pop-fans must abide.
Someone can be religious without that. Not every religion is evangelical. There are religions which you have to be born into. Others have no reason to encourage others.

And not every religion has a constitution.

However football clubs do have rules you have to follow to be allowed in the grounds, you can be banned and ever heard anyone slag off the supporters of a different team? No parent has ever encouraged their child to support the same team.

Lady Gaga, Madonna etc have fanatical fans. Take That vs Boyzone anyone?
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:17 AM
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I don't dispute that at all Anya. My issue was saying that someone is specifically predisposed to believe in God.

Now we seem to have come to the conclusion that people are predisposed to things which are clearly inherently human, such as worship and devotion, and that these predispositions manifest themselves in infinite ways.

That makes perfect sense, we're ALL predisposed to those things, it is our experience which determines how these things are manifest in our lives.
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:19 AM
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Yes but I believe others are predisposed to believing in God rather than just following a religion.

I don't remember when God became a part of my life. It did not come from my parents or even grandparents.
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnConstantine View Post
A predisposition to devotion, or worship can manifest itself in an infinite amount of ways, many of which don't really have to be about Religion or God.
Again, I'm quoting from an article I don't have in front of me, but we all have a predisposition to religion. That's why it took off so fast and spread so widely.

And having a population that obeys the rules for fear of dark retribution is good for a nation, which is why states with religion - Rome, Egypt, Arabia, etc - rose to power while places like England languished until we found Christianity.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
Again, I'm quoting from an article I don't have in front of me, but we all have a predisposition to religion. That's why it took off so fast and spread so widely.

And having a population that obeys the rules for fear of dark retribution is good for a nation, which is why states with religion - Rome, Egypt, Arabia, etc - rose to power while places like England languished until we found Christianity.
I'd say we're predisposed to forming groups and to devotion to a common cause. Religion is a useful vehical for that, but not essential, Soviet Russia is a case in point.

If we're just going to say that the Soviets beliefs were religious in nature, then that's fine, but we'd have to define religion as something which needn't include the supernatural, and God as anything which demands a certain degree of devotion and worship.

In which case, I am God.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:47 AM
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We don't need to redefine the word as that has already happened. Definition two in the OED: A pursuit or interest followed with great devotion:
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:53 AM
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"Religion is a useful vehical ..."

Which is likely why the Romans made Jesus a deity a hundred years after the crucifixion. Wisely, Christianity, like other organized religions, has incorporated local practices as it spread.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by AnyaKimlun View Post
We don't need to redefine the word as that has already happened. Definition two in the OED: A pursuit or interest followed with great devotion:
Ok, but this is semantic. With regards to the OP we're clearly moving away from the distinctions implied between the religious and the non-religious.

Like I've been saying if we're going to define religion as simply a cause to which people are collectively -- even individually -- devoted, then it's pretty obvious that we're all predisposed to that.

Which then means that this predisposition offers no distinction between to two groups in the OP.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:17 AM
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I don't agree with the premise in the OP which is what I said originally. A control group of 26 is not enough to determine anything.

There are atheists I have a lot in common with mentally, intellectually etc and their religious zealots with whom I have none.

God is a different thing to religion. Most of us have "religious" minds and many believe in God as a result of that. Fewer have a belief in God which is independent of that. However I believe the latter is an intrinsic part of a person. In a number of cases it can be the thing that causes you to move away or redefine the establishment.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by AnyaKimlun View Post

God is a different thing to religion. Most of us have "religious" minds and many believe in God as a result of that. Fewer have a belief in God which is independent of that. However I believe the latter is an intrinsic part of a person. In a number of cases it can be the thing that causes you to move away or redefine the establishment.
So of the religious zealots and the atheists. Provided that all parties belief or disbelief is entirely 'natural' (I don't believe it is but for the sake of argument) You think though you have more in common with the latter (the nice intellectual atheists) there is some genetic predisposition which you share with the zealots which isn't present in them?

Essentially that true natural atheists may have the 'religion'
Gene but not the 'God' gene.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:42 AM
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Yes I think I have more in common with a "natural" atheist than a religious zealot. Whereas someone like Richard Dawkins has more in common with the zealot.

In terms of values, morals, views etc the two people in my life I have been most like: one is an atheist zoologist and the other a monk from Canada. The latter was a short, very intense friendship forged in the early days of online. After a couple of months he decided it counted as breaking his vow of silence.

A religious zealot does not necessarily have a predisposition to believe in God. Their religion is why they believe.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:52 AM
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So based on this, how do we explain the vast amount of indifference towards god in the last 50 - 100 years?
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:04 PM
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Religious zealots can focus on Kim Kardashian's arse instead. They have more outlets for it.

Those that genuinely believe in God rather than believing in him because they go to church/synagogue/temple/mosque/fairy glen etc have always been in the minority,
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by AnyaKimlun View Post
Those that genuinely believe in God rather than believing in him because they go to church/synagogue/temple/mosque/fairy glen etc have always been in the minority,
That's surprising.

So you think perhaps this is natural atheists coming out of the closet now they no longer feel the pressure to pay lip service to god. Ie: that Scandinavia is a naturally godless region and all that pagan stuff was largely insincere.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnConstantine View Post
That's surprising.

So you think perhaps this is natural atheists coming out of the closet now they no longer feel the pressure to pay lip service to god. Ie: that Scandinavia is a naturally godless region and all that pagan stuff was largely insincere.
As has always happened those who are "religious" have new and more varied religions to follow. These days it is possible their religion does not have a traitional god.

Those that believe in god believe in god but the name may change.

It has happened throughout history.
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