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Topic: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally? (Read 603 times) previous topic - next topic - Topic derived from Are there any deserts...

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  • RexT
The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Well, they were a little more forthcoming than that. The exchange was over believing in god as somewhat a separate thing from requiring the bible make sense. I agreed that the two worked better when kept gently separated. They were pretty clear that YEC was something that had come to their attention and that they were trying to assess it.
My first step out of my childhood indoctrination was to tentatively hold on to the possibility of god while rejecting much of the bible.

Eventually I rejected all of it,  helped by folks like yourself.

If a large survey looked at christian vs atheist conversions based on the effect one group had on the other, I'd wager more christians become atheists than the other way round.

  • SkepticTank
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Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #1
If a large survey looked at christian vs atheist conversions based on the effect one group had on the other, I'd wager more christians become atheists than the other way round.

Starting at what age?  Atheism (or ignorance of religion) is the default position at birth.

Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #2
way to ST up the thread there, ST.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • RexT
Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #3
If a large survey looked at christian vs atheist conversions based on the effect one group had on the other, I'd wager more christians become atheists than the other way round.

Starting at what age?  Atheism (or ignorance of religion) is the default position at birth.
Good point.

I'd set the age around 21

I can't prove it, but I'd also wager that any child allowed to develop without any sort of indoctrination would probably seldom become religious on their own.

  • SkepticTank
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  • Calmer than you are
Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #4
way to ST up the thread there, ST.

Heh, if this derail is going to continue it should probably be split off from Dave's desert greening thread. Or we could just let it die.

eta:  RexT has not yet reached the Post Atheism stage.

Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #5
I think it has to do with lifetime exposure units. I was never exposed to religion so it just looks anachronistic to me. Consequently, atheism isn't really a counter position for me.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • RexT
Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #6
eta:  RexT has not yet reached the Post Atheism stage.
heh, you may be on to something.

I look forward to the day when religion is a non-issue, but as long as religious fanatics keep fucking things up for the rest of us...

  • VoxRat
  • wtactualf
Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #7
... as long as religious fanatics keep fucking things up for the rest of us...
... which appears to be for the foreseeable future in the USA.

I saw a news clip  yesterday where Trump had a big pow-wow with "leaders of the evangelical community", where he promised he was going to deliver them from the harsh persecution they've been enduring for the last 7&1/2 years, being denied religious freedom and all.  :rolleyes: 

They didn't get any more specific than that, but I'm pretty sure that's code for "we're going to let you discriminate against anyone you want on the basis of whatever you feel your religion justifies".

I don't know if there are any "let's put prayer back in schools" or "teach the controversy!" embers still burning, but I'm sure Trump is not the only politician cynical enough to want to reignite those flames.

"I understand Donald Trump better than many people because I really am a lot like him." - Dave Hawkins

  • Pingu
Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #8
Talking of Trump and Dave - there's a classic IKYABYAI going on right now.

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/6/22/1541289/-Trump-goes-on-attack-against-Hillary-Clinton
I have a Darwin-debased mind.

  • RAFH
  • Have a life, already.
Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #9
Well, they were a little more forthcoming than that. The exchange was over believing in god as somewhat a separate thing from requiring the bible make sense. I agreed that the two worked better when kept gently separated. They were pretty clear that YEC was something that had come to their attention and that they were trying to assess it.
My first step out of my childhood indoctrination was to tentatively hold on to the possibility of god while rejecting much of the bible.

Eventually I rejected all of it,  helped by folks like yourself.

If a large survey looked at christian vs atheist conversions based on the effect one group had on the other, I'd wager more christians become atheists than the other way round.

Dunno. On a numbers of individuals, probably, simply because there are so many more xians than atheists.
On a percentage of the specific populations, I wouldn't hazard a guess.

First of all, you'd have to define exactly what constitutes each of populations.
Are we there yet?

Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #10
Nah. Atheism has been the default for a hundred years simply because education has been a priority. Religion has been receding since the enlightenment and its only remaining relevance is provincial politics. The religious who see the writing on the wall know that violence and information control are their only hope. But information can outrun the armies of the Pope and the armies of the caliph. It's a lost cause even though the last gasps are extremely violent.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • VoxRat
  • wtactualf
Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #11
Nah. Atheism has been the default for a hundred years simply because education has been a priority. Religion has been receding since the enlightenment and its only remaining relevance is provincial politics. The religious who see the writing on the wall know that violence and information control are their only hope. But information can outrun the armies of the Pope and the armies of the caliph. It's a lost cause even though the last gasps are extremely violent.
:unsure:

Have you spent much time in the midwest, or south?
("America profunda" as a friend of mine from Spain calls it, with eyes widened with trepidation)
  • Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 08:52:26 AM by VoxRat
"I understand Donald Trump better than many people because I really am a lot like him." - Dave Hawkins

  • RAFH
  • Have a life, already.
Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #12
Nah. Atheism has been the default for a hundred years simply because education has been a priority. Religion has been receding since the enlightenment and its only remaining relevance is provincial politics. The religious who see the writing on the wall know that violence and information control are their only hope. But information can outrun the armies of the Pope and the armies of the caliph. It's a lost cause even though the last gasps are extremely violent.

Then why are atheists only a relatively small percentage of the population, particularly in the US, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East?


Are we there yet?

  • Pingu
Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #13
I don't think atheism is a "default" at all.  It seems to me that moving from magical thinking to empirical, provisionally held models is something our forebears learned how to do, and which we now teach (with difficulty sometimes) our children to do.  Ascribing intention to what we know now to be inanimate phenomena seems to me to be very natural.  My son aged 3 memorably asked me: "how do tornadoes see where to suck?"
I have a Darwin-debased mind.

Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #14
Nah. Atheism has been the default for a hundred years simply because education has been a priority. Religion has been receding since the enlightenment and its only remaining relevance is provincial politics. The religious who see the writing on the wall know that violence and information control are their only hope. But information can outrun the armies of the Pope and the armies of the caliph. It's a lost cause even though the last gasps are extremely violent.

Then why are atheists only a relatively small percentage of the population, particularly in the US, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East?




In the US I don't believe they are actually a minority. That gets into a definition game but I think the case is pretty easy to make.

The other places you listed are not highly developed or at least their education history is limited.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #15
I don't think atheism is a "default" at all.  It seems to me that moving from magical thinking to empirical, provisionally held models is something our forebears learned how to do, and which we now teach (with difficulty sometimes) our children to do.  Ascribing intention to what we know now to be inanimate phenomena seems to me to be very natural.  My son aged 3 memorably asked me: "how do tornadoes see where to suck?"
I meant post-atheism is the default and I meant in cultures which have a history of education. The idea of religion or no religion is equally abstract if you aren't indoctrinated with a particular religious ideology at a young age.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • RexT
Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #16
Nah. Atheism has been the default for a hundred years simply because education has been a priority. Religion has been receding since the enlightenment and its only remaining relevance is provincial politics. The religious who see the writing on the wall know that violence and information control are their only hope. But information can outrun the armies of the Pope and the armies of the caliph. It's a lost cause even though the last gasps are extremely violent.
Testy nailed it again. Kudos my enlightened friend.

Light always conquers dark, for darkness is nothing but the absence of light. Same with knowledge and ignorance. When the light moves into the darkness the darkness is powerless to stop it. The fundies can only put up diversions, barriers, such like. Dave has really mastered this technique. I salute thee o master of darkness for thy craftiness, but alas shall you fall to the relentless waves of living light.

It has been long known that the end of darkness would be as a wild creature in its death throws. Much terrifying violence to witness. This is no time to become complacent lest the armies of ignorance should prove again that might makes right. Rather it be that light makes right.

Yeah, I got a bit poetic there. Fuck it, you'll get the point.

  • VoxRat
  • wtactualf
Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #17
...

In the US I don't believe [atheists] are actually a minority. That gets into a definition game but I think the case is pretty easy to make.
How easy the case is to make depends entirely on how that definition game gets played, of course.

"I understand Donald Trump better than many people because I really am a lot like him." - Dave Hawkins

  • SkepticTank
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Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #18
In the US I don't believe they are actually a minority. That gets into a definition game but I think the case is pretty easy to make.

Interesting position.  I'd like to see your definition.  I'll use my wife as an example.  She self-identifies as Christian, though she doesn't attend church, or say prayers. I'm not really sure about her thoughts on an afterlife, and lives a nominally secular life style.  She has some kind of belief in a god of her own definition that is loosely based on the biblical god.

I think a large number of people who self-identify as Christian in the US would generally fit that description.  Does your definition of atheists include those people?

  • VoxRat
  • wtactualf
Re: Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #19
I think there are two categories of self-described theists who might be considered atheists.

(1) Cynics (I would guess nearly all politicians fall in this category - including the ones I support) - people who really know darn well that no god anything like the ones described by their professed religions exists, but it's the path of least resistance to simply go along with the social norm. (In the case of politicians, it would almost always be political suicide to out yourself as a nonbeliever. In the US anyway).

(2) People who assume that, yeah, god must exist because look at all the smart people who have said so. But they assume it in the same way they assume the theory of relativity is valid: it has no effect on their lives, they're not that interested or motivated in learning more about it, and for all practical purposes that they're aware of, it might just as well NOT be valid.
"I understand Donald Trump better than many people because I really am a lot like him." - Dave Hawkins

  • Brother Daniel
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  • predisposed to antagonism
Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #20
I can't prove it, but I'd also wager that any child allowed to develop without any sort of indoctrination would probably seldom become religious on their own.
Here's something I posted a few months ago on another forum.  It could be taken, perhaps, as mild anecdotal support for your view here.
Quote from: Brother Daniel
I recently had a bit of a God-related chat with my daughter, Torpedo Girl (age 9).

I can't remember how it was brought up, but we were talking about how different people believe many different things about God.  Early on in the conversation, TG was trying to explain to me that God is "a supernatural being", etc.  Something about the way she said it made it sound as if she had developed a pretty strong theistic belief.  That was my impression, at least.

I really don't have a problem with that.  Whatever floats your boat.

I don't put any pressure on the kids to have (or to lack) any particular belief.

Anyway, I told her a bunch of things that I meant to tell her years ago.  This is the stuff that I do feel strongly about:

  • Whatever you believe (or don't believe) is ok.
  • You don't have to agree with me, or indeed with anyone in particular.
  • If ANYONE tells you that you're bad, or that you're stupid, for disagreeing with them, then they're wrong.


What came next was a total surprise to me.

Without missing a beat, she said:  "Oh.  In that case, I think God is just imaginary."

And then I admitted that I agree with that view.

But at no point before that had I so much as hinted toward any kind of atheistic view.  At least, not knowingly.

  • RexT
Re: Re: Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #21

Have you spent much time in the midwest, or south?
("America profunda" as a friend of mine from Spain calls it, with eyes widened with trepidation)
Exactly! Yeah, I've lived almost my whole life in the south -- Ala-fuckin-bama and Florida mostly, Louisiana, . Fortunately, there are plenty good folks here, but the dominate politics and power here remains deeply religious. And they don't mind flexing their muscle.

Just a thought really, but it's one thing when the religious fanatics win in places like the middle east, quite another should some mad-man, not necessarily himself religious, but via those that are religious and desperate for another taste of the power they once held, get control of the US military. Is it just me, I'm seeing a striking similarity between Trump and Hitler.

  • VoxRat
  • wtactualf
Re: Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #22
Is it just me, I'm seeing a striking similarity between Trump and Hitler.
It has been widely remarked upon.

"I understand Donald Trump better than many people because I really am a lot like him." - Dave Hawkins

Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #23
...

In the US I don't believe [atheists] are actually a minority. That gets into a definition game but I think the case is pretty easy to make.
How easy the case is to make depends entirely on how that definition game gets played, of course.


of course. That's why I wrote that it would be making a case. ;)
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • RAFH
  • Have a life, already.
Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #24
...

In the US I don't believe [atheists] are actually a minority. That gets into a definition game but I think the case is pretty easy to make.
How easy the case is to make depends entirely on how that definition game gets played, of course.


of course. That's why I wrote that it would be making a case. ;)

I can make a case for everyone in Tupolo Mississippi is a rabid martian barbeque sales agent. Depending on how I define what a rabid martian barbeque sales agent is.
Are we there yet?

Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #25
In the US I don't believe they are actually a minority. That gets into a definition game but I think the case is pretty easy to make.

Interesting position.  I'd like to see your definition.  I'll use my wife as an example.  She self-identifies as Christian, though she doesn't attend church, or say prayers. I'm not really sure about her thoughts on an afterlife, and lives a nominally secular life style.  She has some kind of belief in a god of her own definition that is loosely based on the biblical god.

I think a large number of people who self-identify as Christian in the US would generally fit that description.  Does your definition of atheists include those people?
post atheism is really a better description but yeah. When religion is only a cultural thing, the stuff that happens in the megachurches is just headlines in the wtf papers. In my social life, I only know one person who attends a church and she is a science teacher with whom I've collaborated on curricula and lesson plans many times. Her religion is real but has nothing whatsoever to do with what or how we understand the physical world. The religious concept of scriptural and church authority over social values is anachronistic. In a world that has next to nothing in common with the world that inspired the old norms, those who desperately cling to ideas that no longer actually work in practice are just in the way.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #26
...

In the US I don't believe [atheists] are actually a minority. That gets into a definition game but I think the case is pretty easy to make.
How easy the case is to make depends entirely on how that definition game gets played, of course.


of course. That's why I wrote that it would be making a case. ;)

I can make a case for everyone in Tupolo Mississippi is a rabid martian barbeque sales agent. Depending on how I define what a rabid martian barbeque sales agent is.

Well, I guess I am beginning with the assumption that the case I might make would be worth considering.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #27
Nah. Atheism has been the default for a hundred years simply because education has been a priority. Religion has been receding since the enlightenment and its only remaining relevance is provincial politics. The religious who see the writing on the wall know that violence and information control are their only hope. But information can outrun the armies of the Pope and the armies of the caliph. It's a lost cause even though the last gasps are extremely violent.
:unsure:

Have you spent much time in the midwest, or south?
("America profunda" as a friend of mine from Spain calls it, with eyes widened with trepidation)
Not a lot but some. Yes I recognize that religion is more prevalent in areas with more homogeneity and less contact with people with different backgrounds. There's a reason I took gelatoguy's side in the gelatocaust. When confronted with unfamiliar and mildly threatening people, his first reaction was both logical and predictable. His second reaction was deeply human and spiritual even. The seeds of ignorance have their own undoing right in the texts used to justify the original authoritarian and xenophobic tendencies.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • RexT
Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #28
Brother Daniel,

sounds like you raised yours similar to how I raised mine. My son never developed any religious tendencies. My daughter did, but I think it's because I allowed them to go their own way and she started going to church because her friends invited her. I just remained neutral and she chose to believe, but later around 10 or 11 when the church thing started. She's pretty smart and I think she'll find her way out. Now that she is an adult whenever she brings up the subject I usually disagree with her and I explain why.

  • Brother Daniel
  • Global Moderator
  • predisposed to antagonism
Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #29
Brother Daniel,

sounds like you raised yours similar to how I raised mine.
:fistbump:
Quote
My son never developed any religious tendencies. My daughter did, but I think it's because I allowed them to go their own way and she started going to church because her friends invited her.
yeah, these things happen.
Quote
I just remained neutral and she chose to believe,
Uh-oh, you accidentally pushed one of my buttons with this turn of phrase.

I'm tempted to say:  I hope she arrived at the belief without choosing it.

  • RexT
Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #30
Quote
I just remained neutral and she chose to believe,
Uh-oh, you accidentally pushed one of my buttons with this turn of phrase.

I'm tempted to say:  I hope she arrived at the belief without choosing it.
You're right. It was an accident.

Poor choice of words on my part. I think I meant to say she choose to go to church. I didn't attempt to dissuade her. I raised both my kids to think for themselves, question everything. So I had given her some critical thinking skills to, if not choose, maybe decide things based on good evidence. So it was her choice to go to church and a part of me thinks that a part of her does have some choice in what she believes. I mean I'm not sure she really believes as much as she might want to because she has her critical thinking skills. Whether she chooses to use them on her beliefs, probably at times.

  • Brother Daniel
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Re: The growth of Atheism -- split from Are there any deserts presently greening naturally?
Reply #31
Heh.  Fair enough.  :)