"Scientist Discover Atheists Might Not Exist..." "This is not a Joke!"

by JWCart 28 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • JWCart

    Crofty can you please break this article and main points down for the average individuals to understand, I found this article and thought of you, thought you might be interested in this topic too. I don't fully understand it, can you please help us, you are our "resident expert" on this topic! Will you please break it down for us as to what it means and how it affects us brains? Thank you!


  • Coded Logic
    Coded Logic

    It's just a sensationalist attention grabbing headline and nothing more. Even if the conclusions from the data were true - that 38% of agnostics were believers - it still doesn't get you anywhere near "atheist might not exist". However, the far larger crime is that this article is blatantly committing the fallacy of false equivocation. An "atheist" is someone who lacks a belief in God. You can be an atheist and still be "spiritual". You can be an atheist and still believe in predetermination. You can be an atheist and still believe in the supernatural. None of these are exclusive propositions to atheism.

    In regards to "INTERNAL MONOLOGUES" they author is merely describing decoupled cognition. This has nothing to do with a belief in God or in the supernatural. It's a process of meta awareness that allows us to bounce our ideas off of an imagined third party. Most of the time people imagine what dad or mom would say or someone whose opinion they respect.

    As for "EVOLUTIONARY PURPOSES" Sam Harris has written on this extensively about the importance of ritual and special words for special occasions:


    I think mostly what is happening with this article is they are addressing the "nones" (people who don't belong to a religion) as though they are agnostics. This simple isn't the case. The majority of nones have a belief in God. It truly is just a poorly written article all the way around.

    Here's a much more informed article upon the topic: http://www.religionnews.com/2014/03/13/none-atheist-christian-evangelical-pew/

  • Ruby456

    excellent article, jw cart -thanks for sharing.

    Modern atheism does have a view of God that is as metaphysical as modern theism's conception of God and both are two sides of the same coin. I agree that to a very great extent humans have certain hard wired ways of thinking along ideological lines (I say ideological rather than religious and for me they are interchangeable I'm afraid as "beliefs" figure prominently in both), but you know if the commitment is more towards to social justice, freedom and democracy than towards dualistic antagonisms that sideline people who may be struggling and suffering, I would be happy to back it.

  • abiather

    Atheists are prepared to go only till their scientific tools (which are dependent on your senses) can go. That means if an atheist is happened to be around a man whose senses do not work, then the existence of this very atheist will be in question!

    As the writer points out, atheists will cherish their own beliefs in privacy. For many of them, this life is all there is. There is nothing before, after or any time else, and following death, its a return to nothingness. Some atheists offer themselves whimsical comfort by saying that before this slice of life happened, there was an infinite period when we didn’t exist and after we die, there is going to be another infinity when we won’t either. Nevertheless since there is no evidence to the contrary we may find ourselves continuing in some kind of post-mortem existence, with no overtones of paradise, retribution or any kind of divine paraphernalia. Of course, this is an area that only fringe researchers explore, yet even some prestigious scientists, notably the impeccably credentialed Ian Stevenson, who was director of the Division of Personality Studies at the University of Virginia, have endorsed it. Among other things, he devoted the last 40 years of his life to the scientific documentation of past-life memories of children from all over the world. In the end, he had over 3, 000 cases on record in his files and many people, including sceptics and scholars, agree today that these offer the best evidence yet for life after death. But here is the twist: almost all non-spiritual atheists regard his work or the evidence he may have garnered over a lifetime as nonsense, while conveniently forgetting that Dr Stevenson was as much an atheist as any of them, if not more. Its just that some people believe in a far richer non-theistic experience than one that has only an arid landscape on the horizon with little other than chance and nothingness calling the shots.

  • Coded Logic
    Coded Logic

    Alright abiather, as you seem so extraordinarily confident in your position I'll offer you a simple challenge. If you were the man you describe - a man who senses do not work - how would you tell the difference between standing next to an atheist and standing next to no one?

    If you senses didn't work, how could you possibly make ANY claims about the world around you?

  • cofty
    Crofty can you please break this article and main points down for the average individuals to understand

    Will do. Later tonight. By the way it's Cofty.

  • abiather

    Coded Logic , what you are asking me is already implied in what I wrote, and you are throwing back my ideas back to me in different wordings: If God is standing next to an atheist, how can the atheist know “difference between standing next to God and standing next to no one” as atheist is not prepared to go beyond PHYSICAL senses can go? How can atheist say somebody who cannot be subjected to physical senses does not exist while trusting only their PHYSICAL senses?

    Sometimes we are worse than some animals who sense tsunamis even before our sophisticated scientific equipments could do it and escape—something obviously humans could not? (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/01/0104_050104_tsunami_animals.html)

  • cofty

    JWCart - The author of the blog is simply taking some very well known facts about the psychology of belief and cobbling them together under a provocative headline that he fails to support in what follows.

    Much of the post is true...

    We are pattern seeking creatures

    We do tend to ascribe agency to random events

    As children we have a tendency to invent imaginary friends and some people never grow out of it

    These factors probably lie at the root of religious belief and some people appear to be more genetically predisposed to it than others.

    As the author rightly points out many people who identify as atheists actually believe in all sorts of supernatural nonsense. The lure of superstition is very strong.

    However he totally fails to justify the risible claim made in his title.

    There are plenty rational people who totally eschew all supernatural and superstitious beliefs.

  • UFCFan
    I had no idea it was April Fool's already.
  • neverendingjourney
    As the author rightly points out many people who identify as atheists actually believe in all sorts of supernatural nonsense. The lure of superstition is very strong.

    Full disclosure: I'm an atheist.

    I was watching a YouTube clip of an interview with an English physicist. The interviewer is a science enthusiast who usually posts videos of a scientific nature. The multiverse came up as a topic and the physicist quite reasonably argued that it's a promising hypothesis in that it would provide an explanation for a lot of phenomenon that science can't currently explain. However, there is no physical evidence substantiating the theory and it's difficult to conceive how such a theory could be testable. Therefore, it isn't science and can't be considered "real."

    This line of reasoning was not well received and the interviewer fell back on arguments usually heard from the mouths of creationists. "But you can't prove the multiverse DOESN'T exist." "Just because there is no physical evidence for the multiverse doesn't mean it's not real." That sort of thing. If you had replaced the "multiverse" with "god" you would easily think it was a creationist arguing with a scientist.

    I'm worried that scientists are overselling string theory and untested or untestable hypotheses to the public. I re-watched the original Cosmos and there was very little speculation in it (outside of Sagan's confident comments regarding the probability we'd eventually find evidence of life on Mars' soil). It stands the test of time as opposed to the Neil deGrasse Tyson remake that prominently features yet-unproven speculation.

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