What creates atheism?

ClockCat
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What creates atheism?

A new study shows that rather than education being the primary factor, it could be economic stability.

 

http://www.nrc.nl/international/Features/article2394314.ece/Insecurity_not_education_determines_church_attendance 


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:3

 Whether or not you agree with this study, expect to see people quoting it in the future. That is the way things go.

 

Thoughts?

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


Atheistextremist
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Come on down, Twelve!

 

This is your chance to throw in those ideas you mentioned the other day. As I was reading your wallet analogy the role of stable economies in the breeding of doubts crossed my mind.

Enlighten us about the development of religions in needful societies here if nowhere else. 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Ken G.
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ClockCat wrote: Thoughts ?

     I  read the study and I think that the more important question would be "What causes religion and how can we end it "People must learn how to detect  bullshit and use their common sense.

Signature ? How ?


ZuS
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Atheism is caused by birth.

Atheism is caused by birth. Lack of belief on the other hand does not exist at all - everyone alive has a belief system.

Ken G. wrote:

I  read the study and I think that the more important question would be "What causes religion

I haven't read the study, but I would second the proposition that we need to examine not only causes, but effects of belief systems (belief in the university-taught model of market economics and stock value for example) much more closely.

Ken G. wrote:

and how can we end it "People must learn how to detect  bullshit and use their common sense.

It's a good question - how can we end belief? It's not at all certain it is possible. After all, everyone on this site is willing to bet their life that evolution is "the truth" as presented to us today, even if all the proof they ever got is provided by authority(schools, books, professors, temples, holy books, priests). Well, everyone except me, the crazy theists and anyone fond of Aristotelian ethics.

It's not at all clear that belief is detrimental to humanity in all it's aspects either. A lot of beliefs are heuristics on stuff we don't want to bother to look into, but we do want it to work - some religious beliefs fit into this category and are an absolute marvel of gap-bridging solutions. Some of reality might even work better for us humans compacted in belief format, rather than understood fully and of course falsely. We seem to go an extra mile for something we believe in and pursue it to unexpected ends, while things we think we understand fully often are left alone and not understood at all. Some patently wrong beliefs create exploration rather than exploitation, and anyone who has dealt with search algorithms in complex solution space knows this to be an absolutely essential quality. Some beliefs introduce slack in systems that otherwise risk collapsing due to too slim margins of error, or even mitigate bad effects of total collapse of some "rational" systems (which is what Atheistextremist mentions in this same thread I believe).

Seems to me we need to look at the nature of belief in a complex system that is our world today, and I do mean complex in the terms of complex systems theory. We might find it's not at all what we thought it was as provided by the more simplistic evolutionary understanding - the we-were-too-dumb-to-know-better explanation. As someone once said and I now plagerize: evolution is much smarter than we are.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


ClockCat
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:3

Ken G. wrote:

     I  read the study and I think that the more important question would be "What causes religion and how can we end it "People must learn how to detect  bullshit and use their common sense.

 

I agree reading the study in the fashion of what causes religion to flourish, but that question wouldn't garner as much attention on an atheist forum as this one will.

 

 

:3

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


EXC
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I think the study is

I think the study is evidence that religion is essentially an anti-anxiety drug. If people are less anxious about their economic stability, they have less of a need for religion. So I don't think religion can end with just better atheist arguments or better logic. We need better anti-anxiety treatments because even economic stability is not going to end people's anxieties about sex and death.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:I think the study

EXC wrote:

I think the study is evidence that religion is essentially an anti-anxiety drug. If people are less anxious about their economic stability, they have less of a need for religion. So I don't think religion can end with just better atheist arguments or better logic. We need better anti-anxiety treatments because even economic stability is not going to end people's anxieties about sex and death.

 

Or we just need to teach people secular solutions to those anxieties.  Death is tough though, cuz' it just sucks.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


thoughtcounts-Z
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Maslow

 This fits in very well with something I've heard before, about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (wiki). The theory was, people turn to religion to a degree that satisfies their needs, as organized by this hierarchy. So, if you are poor, struggling to get by, you will find very appealing a religion that says that in the afterlife the poor will become great and powerful and that the people who are currently wealthy and powerful (the Man, as it were) are full of sin. If you have your basic survival needs met and have the time to spend on intellectual pursuits, arts, leisure, etc. ... you don't need an omnipotent sky daddy to watch out for you, into whose hands you turn over your entire destiny. In this category you find a lot of atheists, as well as UUs, liberal Quakers, reform/secular Jews, Buddhists.

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strangebrew
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Hi folks...first post

Hi folks...first post here...be brutal!

Religion needs the poor.

As a movement or even an ideology it can not flourish or survive without plain 'ole ignorance.

And get a significant percentage of the poor in one area barking to the same whistle...you then have a congregation.

That the poor are ignorant is not a reflection on either their intelligence or their political aspirations...but rather on the lack of opportunity for folks to actually learn and be healthy and find economic stability.

The auspices of church and state are in obvious collusion to keep the status quo...seeing as a majority in government are only there by the grace of some spurious god and a church bursary of some description in the early years of their personal education...or by grace of a rich daddy...anyway cheap labor...a body to do...a subset to support and protect the inviolability of church..and a handy scape goat to sacrifice when prudent by said state.

No serious political competition in the government chamber and no intellectual challenge to religious dogma!...a match made in heaven.

Financial reason is obvious,  the poor need a god more then they need money strangely enough...what is not so obvious is why the proportionally richer denizens of the world still adhere to that travesty of humanity called religion?

Tradition...family pressures...media spin...historical art and literature...not to stand out in a crowd and risk of being ostracized... a false assertion that atheist is amoral and fans of Hitler/Stalin... an assertion only peddled by the religious for some reason...go figure...) and possibly the Fear deeply embedded and reinforced every time a priest/pope/minister/pastor opens a gob!

Religion is a childish explanation of the world...but the church are aware that 'if you give them the child they will give you the man!'

 


 

 

“Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”


EXC
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mellestad wrote: Or we just

mellestad wrote:

 

Or we just need to teach people secular solutions to those anxieties.  Death is tough though, cuz' it just sucks.

Like what? I think legalizing marijuana and prostitution would help.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


SammyM.
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What?

I think that common sense plays a good role in that decision making process.


EXC
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SammyM. wrote:I think that

SammyM. wrote:

I think that common sense plays a good role in that decision making process.

But having common sense doesn't do much to provide anxiety relief. Common sense tells people that when they die, that's it. Believing in an all powerful invisible man that loves you and takes care of you for all eternity does provide relief for many. Religious people don't want drugs or sex to be legal because these drugs compete with their drugs, they want a monopoly for their business.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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An interesting take on the

An interesting take on the matter.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.