Coping With Atheism (Long-ish Post...sorry!)

by humblepotato 72 Replies latest jw friends

  • fulltimestudent


    Official publications of Jehovah’s witnesses have been exposed as misusing quotations by various non-witnesses. Put simply it means they LIE, through that mis-use.

    Perry, uses the same manipulative technique.

    In this thread, defender of truth asked Perry to provide evidence to support his (Perry’s) statement that ALL people know that god exists.

    A very sweeping statement when you consider that surveys indicate that 66% of Chinese are atheists.

    defender of truth: Perry said: "However, ALL people know God exists deep down."
    What evidence do you have to support such a blanket statement, that you have made on behalf of the entire human race?

    In response, Perry with a great degree of confidence responds with this statement

    Perry: Here you go D of T,
    Extra-biblical source above.


    So we can go to the link, and indeed we find a headline to an article that states:

    Children are born with a belief in God

    We also see the web-site name, “Uncommon Descent – Serving the Intelligent Design Community.

    So the function of the web-site is to attempt to support a belief in creationism.

    Let’s review the article. The lead paragraph states:

    Researchers from Oxford’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind have found evidence that children are predisposed to believe in God or a supreme being. This is because of a natural assumption that everything in the world exists for a purpose and was therefore created.

    Those statements can be challenged, but let’s leave them aside and check who made the claim>

    We find it’s a person named Dr. Justin Barrett, who on investigation, turns out to be a devout Christian. (Are you surprised?) (See, ) Of course, Christians can do good research like anyone else. That’s not the issue at stake here. What’s at stake is the manipulation of the work of others.

    The quite short article further argues:

    At a lecture at Cambridge University’s Faraday Institute, Barrett cited psychological experiments carried out on children that reveal an instinctive belief in children towards acceptance of design and purpose. This leads to a natural belief in creation rather than evolution, even when they are told differently by parents or teachers. Anthropologists have found that in some cultures children accept belief in God even when specific religious teaching is withheld. He commented;

    “Children’s normally and naturally developing minds make them prone to believe in divine creation and intelligent design. In contrast, evolution is unnatural for human minds; relatively difficult to believe.”

    Barrett’s supporting evidence is research that concluded that there was an, “instinctive belief in children towards acceptance of design and purpose.”

    Don’t you agree Perry, that having a mind construction that tends to look for an object’s ‘design’ and ‘purpose,’ is a long way from being born with a belief in God.

    Did you read the full article before posting? Or, did you, with the same mindset as a witness, just accept the statement without examination. (Perhaps on the basis that faith is credulous)

  • fulltimestudent

    Further! When we spread our investigative net wider, we find that Barrett DOES believe that children have an innate belief in god, but that he denied (on at least one occasion that he meant to imply the claim that Perry makes.

    On the site: Patheos

    ( )

    there is an account of an attack on Barrett's claims by another Oxford academic:

    Here’s what Grayling had to say about it:

    Barrett and friends infer from the first half of these unexceptionable facts that children are hardwired to believe in a supreme being. Not only does this ignore the evidence from developmental psychology about the second stage of cognitive maturation, but is in itself a very big – and obviously hopeful – jump indeed. Moreover it ignores the fact that large tracts of humankind (the Chinese for a numerous example) have no beliefs in a supreme being, innate or learned, and that most primitive religion is animistic.

    - See more at:

    In response to that attack:

    Barrett responded by complaining:

    Had Grayling attended the seminar as Brown did (or read my book, Why Would Anyone Believe in God?), he would know that I do not say that religion is “hardwired” or “innate” – rather that children have propensities to believe in gods because of how their minds naturally work.

    - See more at:

    So Perry, your christian brother Barrett, cuts the ground right away from under you, so that you fall into the chasm of being a mere propagandist.

    A 'propensity' (tendency) is a long way from everyone "knowing" that god exists.

    Footnote: the link again for that discussion is:

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot
    Children are easily fooled.
  • Perry


    Are you aware that Michael Shermer, atheist professor and publisher of Skeptic Magazine published an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled:


    In that article he states:

    "That is, your culture may dictate which God to believe in, but the belief in a supernatural agent who operates in the world is universal to all cultures because it is hard-wired in the brain"

    While he attempts to explain away this fact within an atheist paradigm, he does not attempt to contradict God's truth that ALL people believe that God exists.... at least initially until they suppress that obvious fact.

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot
    Perry, are we infants?
  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot
    I haven't read the whole article but I know that neurologists claim that our brains are predisposed to having spiritual experiences - not necessarily belief in a god. We also have predispositions to superstition - like yours. It is an artefact that arose from several hundred thousand years of the brains evolution not a gift from 'God'.
  • Perry

    Village Idiot:

    Children are easily fooled. Perry, are we infants?

    Yes, we are easily fooled. The mind is capable of all sorts of self deceptions. Life without God leaves the mind and emotions to itself. Sometimes we get things right, sometimes we don't. The mind and emotions are capable of extraordinary feats of deception to try and make sense of things.

    Below: Squares A & B are identical. Test it here.

    Best optical illusion checker shadow

  • DarioKehl


    micheal shermer did say that and your visual example on color is noteworthy.

    however, neither one of those get us any closer to a virgin birth, walking on water or rising from the grave after 3 days.

  • cofty
    The mind and emotions are capable of extraordinary feats of deception to try and make sense of things.

    Which is why we must rely on objective evidence rather than subjective feelings and superstitious fears.

  • DarioKehl

    Just because something is instinctive does not mean that it's correct or based on fact. At best, instinct evolved over time, naturally selected by the environment, giving the population an adapted advantage.

    Having innate behavior is not evidence that we were zapped into existence by a Cosmic Carpenter with multiple personality disorder.

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