Are Atheists Born Or Made?

Gosai
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Are Atheists Born Or Made?

A friend of mine once said that everyone is born an atheist. And I replied that, "How do you know, you can't remember that far back."

This is my first quote on this forum and I would like to know your thoughts. Is atheism a natural tendency or is belief in something/someone beyond the forces of the world a natural tendency? In a single word what is the core difference between an atheist and a theist?

Cheers to AllCool


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We're all born atheist -

We're all born atheist - without belief in a god. Kids raised with no exposure to a god-belief tend to remain atheist.

And the difference between atheist and theist is that the theist believes in a god, the atheist doesn't.


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Everyone is born an atheist.

Everyone is born an atheist.


pariahjane
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We're all born atheist.  We

We're all born atheist.  We don't know about the concept of god until we are taught it. 


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Hi Gosai and welcome to the

Hi Gosai and welcome to the forums.

It's my belief that yes, everyone is born Atheist.  The supernatural stuff is introduced.

I don't know if you can ask "What's the core difference between an Atheist and theist?" and get a simpler answer than the theist believes in a god or gods.  The Atheist does not.

However, I would suggest you read up on the thoughts of those here on the forums on Atheists and Agnostics. 

 

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Gosai wrote: A friend of

Gosai wrote:

A friend of mine once said that everyone is born an atheist. And I replied that, "How do you know, you can't remember that far back."

LOL

 

Implicit atheism is the fallback position, so it is our position at birth. But it is important to realize that 'implicit atheism' merely is a complete unawareness of the claims of theism.

In other words, we are born without knowledge of theism. We have to be taught theism.

On the other hand, we are born with the ability to project out anthropomorphic expectations onto the universe. A child can consider a piece of lint, flowing across the floor, as something intentional, sentient... we can call this animism, although I think it's more correct to call it anthropomorphic-projectionism. So I'd say that a child has the ability to create, on their own, a primitive 'weather god' like sense of polytheism/theism....

 

So, we are born implicit atheists, yet, as long as we develop normally, with some positive human contact, we carry with us the potential to create (recreate) a primitive, animistic type of 'god'

 

So, what does this mean? It means that  if you're an atheist, you've read this as proof of the fact that we are all born atheists... and if you're a theist, your take away message is that we are born theists......   Seriously, I think what we should take away from this is that there is no 'proof' of the truth of theism to be taken from human development....   human development provides a more parsimonious explanation for 'god beliefs' than an actual 'god etiology'

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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Welcome Gosai, I will

Welcome Gosai,

I will re-iterate what the others have said, yes we are born atheist.


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True Enough — Well Almost

noor wrote:

We're all born atheist - without belief in a god. Kids raised with no exposure to a god-belief tend to remain atheist.

And the difference between atheist and theist is that the theist believes in a god, the atheist doesn't.

 

Hey Noor,

True enough, most kids I know [including myself] didn't believe in god or anything else when we were born. We were just there and then people started filling our heads with all sorts of stuff. Then at some point we might have become a 'believer in god' or an atheist. But the whole thing had to start somewhere way back in evolution at a time before our ancestors in Africa [or where ever it was that the first humans evolved] began teaching their kids about the 'spirit beings' dwelling in nature — somebody, somewhere in history, for the first time had to come up with the idea that god or gods exist.

So because that actually had to happen somewhere in the hoary past then it could be fair to say that humans evolved a belief in god as a natural tendency within their evolution and that at sometime later some guy finally figured it out that the whole thing was a farce [thus the first atheist]. This guy, whoever he was could be the missing link in the theory of evolution because they propably killed him and disposed of the evidenceSmiling

If this is true or even partially true then my conclusion would be that we are not born atheists or born 'believers' — we are simply born in ignorance and then the journey begins.

Cheers!


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A Concept At Birth — Unless There Was A Previous Experience?

pariahjane wrote:
We're all born atheist. We don't know about the concept of god until we are taught it.

 

Hi Pariajane,

Thanks for your thoughts.

Since atheism is based on a body of knowledge and rational thinking which demonstrates that god doesn't exist [just as theism is based on a mental beleif system] — then how can we explain a conception namely 'atheism' as being present at birth unless there was a previous experience? Certainly atheism cannot be defined simply as the absence of believing in god otherwise who is to say who has the right belief.

I think what we are looking for is knowledge and that's what separates the atheist from the theist.

 

Cheers


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A Warm Welcome

Susan wrote:

Hi Gosai and welcome to the forums.

It's my belief that yes, everyone is born Atheist. The supernatural stuff is introduced.

I don't know if you can ask "What's the core difference between an Atheist and theist?" and get a simpler answer than the theist believes in a god or gods. The Atheist does not.

However, I would suggest you read up on the thoughts of those here on the forums on Atheists and Agnostics.

 

 

Hi Susan,

Thanks for the warm welcome to this forum. I'll take your advice and get more acquainted with the way the folks think on this site.

In the meantime I would have to say that by contemporary analysis of what it means to be a 'theist' [synomous with Christian] then I am a staunch atheist. But when the victory of the atheist is gained against an oponnent as child like as even the greatest Christian theologian or scholar — I remain still unconvinced that the concept of atheism has rightfully claimed the victors crown and glory. I would like to see atheism prevail over more intellectual and knowledge bearing systems of thought than just Christianity. What knowledge do they have in the first place?

Is there a hidden reason why as atheists we don't take on Jewish theology [possibly for fear of being sued!] or Moslem theology [possibly for fear of being nixed!] or the Buddhists, the Krishnas, the Zoroastrians, or a host of others. Is it simply politically incorrect to do so?

After all, beating up the little kids on the block doesn't really say much but if we can take on someone with the strength of for example Mike Tyson then at least we have something to boast about.

What I am saying is that in my years of study and research in the theist vs atheist debate I have not been that impressed with the arguments on either side although each has scored at least a few points in my opinion.

Theist or atheist — ultimately in this case I am neither. But I am looking for the truth.

Cheers!


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Gosai wrote:   Is there a

Gosai wrote:

 

Is there a hidden reason why as atheists we don't take on Jewish theology [possibly for fear of being sued!] or Moslem theology [possibly for fear of being nixed!] or the Buddhists, the Krishnas, the Zoroastrians, or a host of others. Is it simply politically incorrect to do so?

I think we all feel the same about all the religions, and speak about issues with the other religions as well as christians.  I think that the reason you see the anti-christian more often is because in America christianity is much more prevalant then the other religions so we atheists deal with christianity a lot more than the other religions.  If America was a predominatly hindu we definatly would be addressing it more than christianity.  And as for the muslims, the christians have taken over bashing them for us that we don't have to expend as much energy on that one.


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Pigeon Crap

American Atheist wrote:
Everyone is born an atheist.

 

Hi AA,

Great wit. I like that part about the pigeons. My neighbor keeps pigeons and the things crap all over the place.


But hey, what happened to:

"Innocent till proven guilty" American Judicial System

Cheers


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Gosai wrote: American

Gosai wrote:

American Atheist wrote:
Everyone is born an atheist.

 

Hi AA,

Great wit. I like that part about the pigeons. My neighbor keeps pigeons and the things crap all over the place.


But hey, what happened to:

"Innocent till proven guilty" American Judicial System

Cheers

 

The "God can be presumed false until proven true" quote in my signature? Well, deludedgod said that and I've put in my signature. ^_^


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For the wrath of God is

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. [Rom 1:18-23]

 For this passage to work, we'd have to be born without a disposition to believe in God.  This fits with the idea that we are dead in sin, unable to respond to God's call.

The last few verses detail what happened when the apostle penned these words: people started worshiping creation rather than Creator.  Nowadays, a very different transaction takes place: people worship NOTHING.

People are born atheists.  Let's call them default atheists.  Some learn of God, some do not.  The ones that do not may perhaps remain default atheists, or they may discover God's "invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature" and "clearly percieve" them "in the things that have been made."

Those that learn of God, either by parents or by "clearly percieving" Him in creation will perhaps become more studied in sciences, like many of the people here, and then realize that there is, at best, sketchy evidence in favor of God.  They might perhaps decide that there is no God, and so graduate from being a default atheist to what most people here are: intellectual atheists.

I'm not sure if I just answered your question or wrote another essay!  Cool

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. --Galileo Galilei


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Cory T wrote: For the

Cory T wrote:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. [Rom 1:18-23]

For this passage to work, we'd have to be born without a disposition to believe in God. This fits with the idea that we are dead in sin, unable to respond to God's call.

The last few verses detail what happened when the apostle penned these words: people started worshiping creation rather than Creator. Nowadays, a very different transaction takes place: people worship NOTHING.

People are born atheists. Let's call them default atheists. Some learn of God, some do not. The ones that do not may perhaps remain default atheists, or they may discover God's "invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature" and "clearly percieve" them "in the things that have been made."

Those that learn of God, either by parents or by "clearly percieving" Him in creation will perhaps become more studied in sciences, like many of the people here, and then realize that there is, at best, sketchy evidence in favor of God. They might perhaps decide that there is no God, and so graduate from being a default atheist to what most people here are: intellectual atheists.

I'm not sure if I just answered your question or wrote another essay! Cool

 

Good to have you back around and posting, Cory. We were all making posts wondering where you have been in your intro thread. 

"The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously." [Albert Einstein, letter to Hoffman and Dukas, 1946]


Cory T
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Mordagar wrote:   Good to

Mordagar wrote:

 

Good to have you back around and posting, Cory. We were all making posts wondering where you have been in your intro thread.

 

I saw that, and I saw that most people seemed to miss my insight.  I've been so sad lately because it doesn't seem that anyone cares about what I write.  Here's the long explanation.  And then I saw some actual support from a very unexpected source... so I decided to come back.

Coincidence?  God lending me some moral support?  I'd say the latter, but I know what everybody here is gonna say.  Wink

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. --Galileo Galilei


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HADD

While it's true that babies are born without god-belief, I find it a bit specious to call them atheists - for the same reason that Richard Dawkins feels we should recoil at the terms "Catholic child" or "Muslim child." Babies do not have the cognitive capacity to assign ultimate meanings to things.

 

However, as a baby grows into an adult, it will not develop god-belief unless taught so by other humans. A young child may, as Todangst discussed, see intention where there is none - this is known as dualism in psychology, and animist religions are very much a product of dualism. Someone (I can't recall who, but they were mentioned in Dawkins' The God Delusion) said that human brains were Hyperactive Agent Detection Devices or HADDs, because we perceive objects with intention (agents) when they may be, in reality, indifferent or even inanimate. So in that sense, we do have a natural tendency to believe in things that are false - but beliving in any particular definition of a deity is not inevitable. It comes from culture!


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Question is slightly more

Question is slightly more complicated that it seems

 

Our believes are based on two factors

1) our biological computer hardware (the brain), which exists from around 20-24 weeks after conception

2) its programming which occurs throughout life

 

We definitely do have a genetic tendencies to assign explanations to thing we do not understand (it can help us survive) and there does seem to be a tendency to think we are somehow not 100% material. There is obviously zero tendency from birth to believe in any religion thats just programming

 

If you define an atheist as 'someone who has thought about whether god exists' then obviously no baby is an atheist

 

If you define it as 'I do not believe in god' then of course a baby is one in the same way as they won't believe in an aircraft,a tree, a rock until they see one


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Cory T wrote: And then I

Cory T wrote:
And then I saw some actual support from a very unexpected source... so I decided to come back.

Coincidence?  God lending me some moral support?  I'd say the latter, but I know what everybody here is gonna say.  Wink

Neither I'd say. It looks like the support came from the humans who post in this forum.

Unless God is supporting the RRS now!

Back on topic: I think scientific advancement has alot to do with it too. A child under no influence may think there's a god if they can't explain things like how clouds form, or where lightning comes from. The less a god is needed to explain these things, the less likely a child will believe in a 'God of Thunder' and so on.

Unless a child is taught differently, they may believe the world is flat, as did our ancestors. New knowledge and evidence is needed to supplement the child's natural curiosity and intellectual boundaries.


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I think this is a classic

I think this is a classic example of talking past the issue. Taken in themselves, both are correct.

Everyone is born an atheist in the sense of our not being born with a belief in god.

But it's also true that atheists are made in that one can study the history and arguments as one grows and 'becomes' an atheist in the sense of having an informed perspective on the atheist/theist question.


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serotonin_wraith

serotonin_wraith wrote:
Cory T wrote:
And then I saw some actual support from a very unexpected source... so I decided to come back.

Coincidence? God lending me some moral support? I'd say the latter, but I know what everybody here is gonna say. Wink

Neither I'd say. It looks like the support came from the humans who post in this forum.

Unless God is supporting the RRS now!

Back on topic: I think scientific advancement has alot to do with it too. A child under no influence may think there's a god if they can't explain things like how clouds form, or where lightning comes from. The less a god is needed to explain these things, the less likely a child will believe in a 'God of Thunder' and so on.

Unless a child is taught differently, they may believe the world is flat, as did our ancestors. New knowledge and evidence is needed to supplement the child's natural curiosity and intellectual boundaries.

 

Hey guys,

Just to give a little support to Cory — I was thinking that if we say that 'god' was invented as a way to explain things they couldn't understand like " how clouds form, or where lightning comes from" — then what's to stop a guy like Cory from saying that "Darwin invented the theory of evolution because he could not understand how there could possibly be an all powerful entity that was beyond cause and effect, namely a creator."

And by the way can anyone remember the year in which the Theory of Evolution became a proven fact? Or are we still believing one theory and Christians just another?

Just curious.

Cheers


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Gosai wrote:pariahjane

Gosai wrote:

pariahjane wrote:
We're all born atheist. We don't know about the concept of god until we are taught it.

Hi Pariajane,

Thanks for your thoughts.

Since atheism is based on a body of knowledge and rational thinking which demonstrates that god doesn't exist [just as theism is based on a mental beleif system] — then how can we explain a conception namely 'atheism' as being present at birth unless there was a previous experience? Certainly atheism cannot be defined simply as the absence of believing in god otherwise who is to say who has the right belief.

I think what we are looking for is knowledge and that's what separates the atheist from the theist.

Cheers

Well, personally I don't even think there should be a term 'atheist'.  I forget who originally coined the term.  Atheism also isn't necessarily based on knowledge, per say.  Its simply a lack of belief in a supernatural being.  For example, lets say you had an indigenous tribe somewhere who held no god-belief themselves and had never been exposed to any other god belief.  They have no knowledge and they still don't have a belief in god.  All atheism is ia a non belief.

Edited for grammar

If god takes life he's an indian giver


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Gosai wrote: what's to stop

Gosai wrote:
what's to stop a guy like Cory from saying that "Darwin invented the theory of evolution because he could not understand how there could possibly be an all powerful entity that was beyond cause and effect, namely a creator."

Facts, proof, evidence. Those things.

Wasn't Darwin a theist at first, and after researching the scientific evidence he had to make a choice which to believe? Facts or faith?

Gosai wrote:
are we still believing one theory and Christians just another?

A scientific theory is something to describe a set of facts. It's different to the common use of the word theory, which is all the Christians have when it comes to God.


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Gosai wrote: And by the way

Gosai wrote:
And by the way can anyone remember the year in which the Theory of Evolution became a proven fact? Or are we still believing one theory and Christians just another?

I don't know what year that was, but I figure it was some time after the Theory of Gravity was proven fact and some time before Quantum Theory was proven fact.

Do some reading on the scientific method. Scientific fact is always called theory because the default position of the skeptic is to assume that his knowledge is incomplete. This is a formal use of the word "theory" and should not be confused with colloquial uses in which "theory" means something unproven.

Evolution is fact in the same way that heliocentrism is fact. 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown


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Just A Believer

Hey guys,

I am having difficulty accepting that the belief that there is no god makes someone any different than the person who believes that there is. What is belief anyway? An electrical impulse in the mind? A gut feeling or what? I can't' accept that atheism is simply a belief or the lack thereof. In my thinking atheism is an idea or a conception which should be supported by verifiable knowledge. Theists says god exists — what's their proof? Atheists says god doesn't exist — what's their proof?

I believe, I believe — I don't believe, I don't believe. Sounds childish.

Back to my original question about being born an atheist or being made an atheist. It seems undenyable that the first stage of life after birth is ignorance [not atheism] and anything to come along later like theism or atheism is a question of exposure to knowledge and life experiences.

Now the question arises in my mind of how much knowledge do we actually have from which we can derive atheistic conclusions?

An ignorant atheist is no better off than an ignorant theist. God bless them allSmiling

Cheers


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I'm not quite sure what you

I'm not quite sure what you mean in your first sentence.  I have friends who are theists (and deists) and the only difference between us really is the fact that they think god(s) exist and I don't.  A belief can become quite dangerous when that belief is used to harm other people or to deny other people rights.  White Europeans believed that black Africans were inferior and enslaved them. 

Atheism really is a lack of belief.  Therefore, there is no belief. I don't see proof of a supernatural being, so I consider myself 'atheist'.  If I have proof of god, then I will become a theist. 

I can agree with your assessment of the 'ignorance' position of an infant.

I'll also agree that ignorance in atheism or theism should not be tolerated.  I think you'll find that most people here strive to educate themselves and diminish ignorance.

If god takes life he's an indian giver


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Tilberian wrote: Gosai

Tilberian wrote:

Gosai wrote:
And by the way can anyone remember the year in which the Theory of Evolution became a proven fact? Or are we still believing one theory and Christians just another?

I don't know what year that was, but I figure it was some time after the Theory of Gravity was proven fact and some time before Quantum Theory was proven fact.

Do some reading on the scientific method. Scientific fact is always called theory because the default position of the skeptic is to assume that his knowledge is incomplete. This is a formal use of the word "theory" and should not be confused with colloquial uses in which "theory" means something unproven.

Evolution is fact in the same way that heliocentrism is fact.

 

Hi Tilberian,

OOPS, looks like I struck a never there. Sorry about that.

However, gravity, quantum mechanics, and heliocentrism are all more or less mathematically verifiable but evolution isn't. In fact mathematically speaking evolution is a near absolute impossibility. And as we know numbers don't lie or do they? 

 Cheers


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Gosai wrote: Hey guys, I am

Gosai wrote:
Hey guys,

I am having difficulty accepting that the belief that there is no god makes someone any different than the person who believes that there is. What is belief anyway? An electrical impulse in the mind? A gut feeling or what? I can't' accept that atheism is simply a belief or the lack thereof. In my thinking atheism is an idea or a conception which should be supported by verifiable knowledge. Theists says god exists — what's their proof? Atheists says god doesn't exist — what's their proof?

I believe, I believe — I don't believe, I don't believe. Sounds childish.

Back to my original question about being born an atheist or being made an atheist. It seems undenyable that the first stage of life after birth is ignorance [not atheism] and anything to come along later like theism or atheism is a question of exposure to knowledge and life experiences.

Now the question arises in my mind of how much knowledge do we actually have from which we can derive atheistic conclusions?

An ignorant atheist is no better off than an ignorant theist. God bless them allSmiling

Cheers

 

To be ignorant of a concept is to necessarily not believe in it. You are trying to draw a distinction between 'being ignorant of a god concept' and 'not holding as true', or 'not holding a belief in a god concept', that does not exist. If I have never heard anyone mention the concept of a god then I am an atheist in no different way than one who finds the god concept completely unbelievable is an atheist. Why would you require one to have knowledge of non-existence to deny a concept that there is no evidence to support in the first place, or even worse, as in the case of the god concept, one that is  fundamentally incoherent?

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Good Stuff

Hey Todangst,

I had to back up  a bit to  get back to your post.

Simply put, you took the words right out of my mouth — except the part about atheism being the default. I'm looking for something a little deeper, a little more concrete.

In the meantime I'm going parasailing tomorrow but I'll try to get back to this forum upon my descent.

Cheers 


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Gosai wrote: Hey guys, I am

Gosai wrote:
Hey guys,

I am having difficulty accepting that the belief that there is no god makes someone any different than the person who believes that there is. What is belief anyway? An electrical impulse in the mind? A gut feeling or what? I can't' accept that atheism is simply a belief or the lack thereof. In my thinking atheism is an idea or a conception which should be supported by verifiable knowledge. Theists says god exists — what's their proof? Atheists says god doesn't exist — what's their proof?

I for one do not say god does not exist. In fact, my favorite atheistic argument is that it is right to be an atheist EVEN IF there is a god.

Quote:
I believe, I believe — I don't believe, I don't believe. Sounds childish.

Back to my original question about being born an atheist or being made an atheist. It seems undenyable that the first stage of life after birth is ignorance [not atheism] and anything to come along later like theism or atheism is a question of exposure to knowledge and life experiences.

Now the question arises in my mind of how much knowledge do we actually have from which we can derive atheistic conclusions?

I think for most it happens because people tell you all sorts of things god can do or will do and none or it ever happens. At this point one is right to doubt the claims of theists. So I still think that atheism is doubt about theism more than it is a positive assertion that theists are wrong.

Quote:
An ignorant atheist is no better off than an ignorant theist. God bless them allSmiling
Absolutely. I feel I have no right to argue issues about which I know nothing.


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Gosai wrote: noor

Gosai wrote:
noor wrote:

We're all born atheist - without belief in a god. Kids raised with no exposure to a god-belief tend to remain atheist.

And the difference between atheist and theist is that the theist believes in a god, the atheist doesn't.

 

Hey Noor,

True enough, most kids I know [including myself] didn't believe in god or anything else when we were born. We were just there and then people started filling our heads with all sorts of stuff. Then at some point we might have become a 'believer in god' or an atheist. But the whole thing had to start somewhere way back in evolution at a time before our ancestors in Africa [or where ever it was that the first humans evolved] began teaching their kids about the 'spirit beings' dwelling in nature — somebody, somewhere in history, for the first time had to come up with the idea that god or gods exist.

Belief in god was likely invented from fear of the unknown. It gave people comfort long before scientific explanations for a lot of the unknown were discovered. Belief in an afterlife also relieves people from a fear of dying.

And in China and other countries atheistic philosophies have lasted for centuries without children ever coming to believe in a god at a later age.

Quote:
So because that actually had to happen somewhere in the hoary past then it could be fair to say that humans evolved a belief in god as a natural tendency within their evolution and that at sometime later some guy finally figured it out that the whole thing was a farce [thus the first atheist]. This guy, whoever he was could be the missing link in the theory of evolution because they propably killed him and disposed of the evidenceSmiling

Not too sure but I think East Asia was where explicit atheism started. Once it started, they've remained atheistic ever since.

Quote:
If this is true or even partially true then my conclusion would be that we are not born atheists or born 'believers' — we are simply born in ignorance and then the journey begins.

Cheers!

It's not about ignorance vs. knowledge, it's about belief vs. lack of belief. A baby has no knowledge of a god therefore no belief.


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Gosai wrote: A friend of

Gosai wrote:

A friend of mine once said that everyone is born an atheist. And I replied that, "How do you know, you can't remember that far back."

This is my first quote on this forum and I would like to know your thoughts. Is atheism a natural tendency or is belief in something/someone beyond the forces of the world a natural tendency? In a single word what is the core difference between an atheist and a theist?

Cheers to AllCool

Everyone is born an atheist. Most people get brainwashed into religion beginning as a toddler. Some fall to it as a confused adult or adolescent. Some break free, some don't. I never had to, I've always been an atheist. I always will be, unless a/all god(s) proves itself/themselves.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Cory T wrote: Mordagar

Cory T wrote:
Mordagar wrote:

 

Good to have you back around and posting, Cory. We were all making posts wondering where you have been in your intro thread.

I saw that, and I saw that most people seemed to miss my insight. I've been so sad lately because it doesn't seem that anyone cares about what I write. Here's the long explanation. And then I saw some actual support from a very unexpected source... so I decided to come back.

Coincidence? God lending me some moral support? I'd say the latter, but I know what everybody here is gonna say. Wink

Welcome back, Cory T!

You're right.  It's just a coincidence in timing.  We don't have a whole lot of theist members that we actually miss when they're not around.

We like you! 

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Gosai wrote: American

Gosai wrote:

American Atheist wrote:
Everyone is born an atheist.

 

Hi AA,

Great wit. I like that part about the pigeons. My neighbor keeps pigeons and the things crap all over the place.


But hey, what happened to:

"Innocent till proven guilty" American Judicial System

Cheers

I see this error all the time. To pronounce innocence or guilt is to already accept the existence of the accused.

The more accurate analogy is proven or not proven.

Once you use the more accurate, analogy, you can see the error for yourself: No evidence, nothing 'proven'.

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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Gosai wrote: Now the

Gosai wrote:


Now the question arises in my mind of how much knowledge do we actually have from which we can derive atheistic conclusions?

here is the total amount required to justify atheism:

{}

The empty set. Zero. None.

Atheism is a fallback position. Wherever a case is not supported, non belief is justified.

Unless a theist can present a coherent case for theism that does not commit an anthropomorphic fallacy, then atheism is justified.

 

 

What then, brethren, shall we say of God? For if thou hast been able to understand what thou wouldest say, it is not God. If thou hast been able to comprehend it, thou hast comprehended something else instead of God. If thou hast been able to comprehend him as thou thinkest, by so thinking thou hast deceived thyself. This then is not God, if thou hast comprehended it; but if this be God, thou has not comprehended it. - St. Augustine

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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serotonin_wraith

serotonin_wraith wrote:

Unless God is supporting the RRS now!

No, just using the RRS.  He used the most unlikely people at the least likely times.  That seems to be a persistent theme throughout that book you guys hate so much. 

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. --Galileo Galilei


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Susan wrote: Cory T

Susan wrote:
Cory T wrote:
Mordagar wrote:

 

Good to have you back around and posting, Cory. We were all making posts wondering where you have been in your intro thread.

I saw that, and I saw that most people seemed to miss my insight. I've been so sad lately because it doesn't seem that anyone cares about what I write. Here's the long explanation. And then I saw some actual support from a very unexpected source... so I decided to come back.

Coincidence? God lending me some moral support? I'd say the latter, but I know what everybody here is gonna say. Wink

Welcome back, Cory T!

You're right. It's just a coincidence in timing. We don't have a whole lot of theist members that we actually miss when they're not around.

We like you!

Thanks, that actually means a lot to me.  Really, all of the nice comments I got on this website is what gave me the energy to 1) get out bed this morning and 2) start the research to open up my own freelance writing business; target to open: 3 to 6 months!

I figure if I can write coherent theistic arguments that atheists enjoy (or at least can read without puking on their computer desk), then SOMEBODY out there will surely buy my writing. 

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. --Galileo Galilei


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Cory T wrote: No, just

Cory T wrote:
No, just using the RRS. He used the most unlikely people at the least likely times. That seems to be a persistent theme throughout that book you guys hate so much.

What? I don't hate mythology! LOL. 


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Religion has its place in

Religion has its place in fantasy and fiction.

The Omen (first one) was a wonderful film, Battlestar Galatica where even the robots are religious another great program

 

I hate religion (but not most religious people) because they tend to bring this fantasy into the real world causing serious damage

 


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Quote: I figure if I can

Quote:
I figure if I can write coherent theistic arguments that atheists enjoy (or at least can read without puking on their computer desk), then SOMEBODY out there will surely buy my writing.

I have joked with religious writers before that their arguments range from appaling to pathetic. I would consider the pathetic arguments outnumbering the appaling ones a definite improvement!


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Cory T

Cory T wrote:
serotonin_wraith wrote:

Unless God is supporting the RRS now!

No, just using the RRS.  He used the most unlikely people at the least likely times.  That seems to be a persistent theme throughout that book you guys hate so much. 

Can't... control... what I type... eeurgh... >< ...I... missed youuu!

Oh my God, you're right!


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Gosai wrote: A friend of

Gosai wrote:

A friend of mine once said that everyone is born an atheist. And I replied that, "How do you know, you can't remember that far back."

This is my first quote on this forum and I would like to know your thoughts. Is atheism a natural tendency or is belief in something/someone beyond the forces of the world a natural tendency? In a single word what is the core difference between an atheist and a theist?

Cheers to AllCool

 

If you were born in a place where religion (or anywhere such an ideology that a 'creator' exists) did not exist, chances are, you wouldn't have a god to believe in. Because the earth exists as it would if there WERE no creator, it's safe to say that if there weren't man made ideology, yes, we would all be without religion. 

One word to describe the difference between atheists and theists? Comprehension. People who are theist tend to comprehend things in a profoundly different manner than people who are not. If you were taught how to think and analyze at a young age and then were introduced to something that defied all logic and means of comprehension you had been taught, something that in it's very essense threw out every method of thinking and analytical capabilities you had honed to perfection all of those years and one day you are asked to forget it all and just dive right in without question...it would seem pretty absurd to believe in something that could never be proven, wouldn't it? Atheists are those who were either born without religion or who were able to teach themselves to comprehend properly. I myself questioned at a young age, was stiffled by theists then found through a philosophy course on God, ironically, how to accurately question and analyize. It's all been uphill from there. 

Most theists were taught from an early age that some things are not to be questioned or to be answered, they just "are." But people who were taught to question and analyize ideas typically are not fooled by religion. If someone can not understand or comprehend how something can exist without some unknown creature creating it...chances are...they haven't yet done enough analyzing yet.

Theists comprehend differently because they were programmed to think in a manner counterproductive to the human mind. We are meant to ask questions and if an answer is not good enough we should keep seeking answers.

The reason that science never has been interested in the idea of "god" is because everything on this earth exists as can be explained and as it would had a creator not existed as humans claimed once did. If it can't be explained by science it stands to reason that it shouldn't be explained by non-science.

It's all in the method of comprehension.  

Flemming Rose: “When [christians] say you are not showing respect, I would say: you are not asking for my respect, you are asking for my submission….”


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Lynette1977 wrote: If you

Lynette1977 wrote:

If you were born in a place where religion (or anywhere such an ideology that a 'creator' exists) did not exist, chances are, you wouldn't have a god to believe in. Because the earth exists as it would if there WERE no creator, it's safe to say that if there weren't man made ideology, yes, we would all be without religion. 

One word to describe the difference between atheists and theists? Comprehension. People who are theist tend to comprehend things in a profoundly different manner than people who are not. If you were taught how to think and analyze at a young age and then were introduced to something that defied all logic and means of comprehension you had been taught, something that in it's very essense threw out every method of thinking and analytical capabilities you had honed to perfection all of those years and one day you are asked to forget it all and just dive right in without question...it would seem pretty absurd to believe in something that could never be proven, wouldn't it? Atheists are those who were either born without religion or who were able to teach themselves to comprehend properly. I myself questioned at a young age, was stiffled by theists then found through a philosophy course on God, ironically, how to accurately question and analyize. It's all been uphill from there. 

Most theists were taught from an early age that some things are not to be questioned or to be answered, they just "are." But people who were taught to question and analyize ideas typically are not fooled by religion. If someone can not understand or comprehend how something can exist without some unknown creature creating it...chances are...they haven't yet done enough analyzing yet.

Theists comprehend differently because they were programmed to think in a manner counterproductive to the human mind. We are meant to ask questions and if an answer is not good enough we should keep seeking answers.

The reason that science never has been interested in the idea of "god" is because everything on this earth exists as can be explained and as it would had a creator not existed as humans claimed once did. If it can't be explained by science it stands to reason that it shouldn't be explained by non-science.

It's all in the method of comprehension.  

Hell yeah! What she said.


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Gosai wrote: Hey

Gosai wrote:

Hey Todangst,

I had to back up a bit to get back to your post.

Simply put, you took the words right out of my mouth — except the part about atheism being the default.

Then we aren't actually agreeing on anything!

 

Quote:
 

I'm looking for something a little deeper, a little more concrete.

 

There's nothing more concrete, nothing more certain, than a complete lack of any knowledge being a (implicit) fallback position.

Here's a proof:

Did you believe in aflaufoiahvgoqwjhfp9oawmr7pc9182   prior to my just mentioning it? Can you even say, as of now, whether you 'believe in it' or not?

You must remain as you were, an implicit lack of believer in aflaufoiahvgoqwjfp9oawmr7pc9182. 

"god" is an incoherent term. No one can believe in a cipher. What you believe in is an anthropomphism of the term, and to believe in that you first have to have a set of experiences of humanity. 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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I've had this discussion

I've had this discussion with theists before. I was told that everyone believes in god. The knowledge of god, and his moral laws, are written in your heart. Those that say they're atheist are simply in denial of gods holy word ingrained within them. (carved there in the womb with his boney finger I guess) I've also been told that a lack of knowledge would make rocks and animals atheists too. So to the uber-fundie the answer is, "No, there are no atheists."

Quote:
Romans 1:19-21 where Paul says: 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Notice Paul says that God made Himself evident to man, even his "divine nature." Hence it is not merely moral laws that God wrote on the heart of man, but the very knowledge of God himself, verified by the things which God made. Paul further says that, because of the divine knowledge placed within them, men were required to "honor" and "give thanks" to God, but they refused to do so. What is "honor" and "thanks" to God but worship of God? In fact, as the rest of the context tells us, it is only after they refused to worship God that they fell into all kinds of moral debauchery against their neighbor (cf., Romans 1:22-32). So we see that the worship laws written on man's heart have a unique relationship with the moral laws written on his heart.
/now back to the Stanley Cup play-off. GO CANUCKS!

Ever "hang-ten" on the bow of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier at 30+ knots?


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Default Atheism a Product of Ignorance


Most everyone here seems to agree on the idea that atheism is the default position at birth. I don’t agree with that line of thinking. In my way of thinking atheism or anything else that is not based in knowledge is a product of ignorance. Ignorance is the default position at birth.

Take for example, no one told you about hygienic toilet practices when you were born and so the default position is that out of ignorance you pass stole and urine on yourself. Also because we have not yet been told what to put in our mouth a baby will sometimes try to eat everything and anything in sight, pills, safety pins, toys, even their own stool. Yea, that does happen sometimes and all because of ignorance.

Go on analyzing and see how many default positions at birth you can find that are actually good. There aren’t any. So why is default atheism anything to be proud about?

Gradually various natural propensities develop in a human child like walking, etc. but at birth there are only two things that a baby does or wants to do by default that are essential for live and even those often require prompting and assistance.

Are there any mothers here who would like to tell us what those two things are?

Without critical analysis of any given subject we cannot have complete knowledge of it and if we are going to know for sure if god exists or not then critical analysis will be required. Simply lack of belief in god isn’t enough — you could be wrong. Go deeper.

If you have your English to Sanskrit dictionary handy — the type of critical analysis I am talking about is Sankhya. Read up on that in your spare time.

My conclusion: Atheism as a default position is a product of ignorance. Thus unless an atheist takes the trouble to gain comprehensive knowledge about what life actually is he/she remains in ignorance and is thus no better off than the Christians that he/she so regularly bashes.


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Cory T

Cory T wrote:
serotonin_wraith wrote:

Unless God is supporting the RRS now!

No, just using the RRS.  He used the most unlikely people at the least likely times.  That seems to be a persistent theme throughout that book you guys hate so much. 


Maybe he got the memo that he needs to supply more rational evidence for him? Hmm... Smiling

Back on topic, I would go with that everyone is born atheist and later on they learn about the concept of god (or possibly invent their own).

"What right have you to condemn a murderer if you assume him necessary to "God's plan"? What logic can command the return of stolen property, or the branding of a thief, if the Almighty decreed it?"
-- The Economic Tendency of Freethought


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Nimitz68 wrote: I've had

Nimitz68 wrote:
I've had this discussion with theists before. I was told that everyone believes in god. The knowledge of god, and his moral laws, are written in your heart. Those that say they're atheist are simply in denial of gods holy word ingrained within them. (carved there in the womb with his boney finger I guess) I've also been told that a lack of knowledge would make rocks and animals atheists too. So to the uber-fundie the answer is, "No, there are no atheists."
Quote:
Romans 1:19-21 where Paul says: 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Notice Paul says that God made Himself evident to man, even his "divine nature." Hence it is not merely moral laws that God wrote on the heart of man, but the very knowledge of God himself, verified by the things which God made. Paul further says that, because of the divine knowledge placed within them, men were required to "honor" and "give thanks" to God, but they refused to do so. What is "honor" and "thanks" to God but worship of God? In fact, as the rest of the context tells us, it is only after they refused to worship God that they fell into all kinds of moral debauchery against their neighbor (cf., Romans 1:22-32). So we see that the worship laws written on man's heart have a unique relationship with the moral laws written on his heart.
/now back to the Stanley Cup play-off. GO CANUCKS!

Ever "hang-ten" on the bow of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier at 30+ knots?

 

Hi Nimitz68,

 

No I never hung- ten on the bow of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier at 30+ knots but I did "hang-5" on the bow of the USS Saratoga when we were docked in Mayport back in 1963-64.

These days I prefer a 19' runabout with a 50hp OBM or an old fashion 10' banana model nose rider.

Cheers


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todangst wrote: Gosai

todangst wrote:
Gosai wrote:

A friend of mine once said that everyone is born an atheist. And I replied that, "How do you know, you can't remember that far back."

LOL

 

Implicit atheism is the fallback position, so it is our position at birth. But it is important to realize that 'implicit atheism' merely is a complete unawareness of the claims of theism.

In other words, we are born without knowledge of theism. We have to be taught theism.

On the other hand, we are born with the ability to project out anthropomorphic expectations onto the universe. A child can consider a piece of lint, flowing across the floor, as something intentional, sentient... we can call this animism, although I think it's more correct to call it anthropomorphic-projectionism. So I'd say that a child has the ability to create, on their own, a primitive 'weather god' like sense of polytheism/theism....

 

So, we are born implicit atheists, yet, as long as we develop normally, with some positive human contact, we carry with us the potential to create (recreate) a primitive, animistic type of 'god'

 

So, what does this mean? It means that if you're an atheist, you've read this as proof of the fact that we are all born atheists... and if you're a theist, your take away message is that we are born theists...... Seriously, I think what we should take away from this is that there is no 'proof' of the truth of theism to be taken from human development.... human development provides a more parsimonious explanation for 'god beliefs' than an actual 'god etiology'

 

 

 

You say, “we are born with the ability to project out anthropomorphic expectations onto the universe. A child can consider a piece of lint, flowing across the floor, as something intentional, sentient... we can call this animism, although I think it's more correct to call it anthropomorphic-projectionism. So I'd say that a child has the ability to create, on their own, a primitive 'weather god' like sense of polytheism/theism....”

Are you saying this is an innate, inherent ability or characteristic of the homo sapien? You call it “anthropomorphic-projectionism”. Why would the human not automatically project a more scientific materially rational view of his surroundings instead of projecting mysticism?

As the human evolves will we leave behind “anthropomorphic-projectionism”.


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Gosai wrote:Most everyone

Gosai wrote:

Most everyone here seems to agree on the idea that atheism is the default position at birth. I don’t agree with that line of thinking.

Why not? All implicit atheism is is a lack of awareness of the claims of theism.

How can one be a theist without any knowledge of theism?

To make the claim, you'd have to demonstrate that people are born with knowledge of theism. This is a falsifiable hypothesis. It can be examined to see if there are any humans, anywhere, who are unaware of the tenets of theism.

Quote:

In my way of thinking atheism or anything else that is not based in knowledge is a product of ignorance. Ignorance is the default position at birth.

That is what implicit atheism is.... a total lack of awareness of the claims of theism.

So you actually agree.

So, it's likely that you are reading the word 'atheism' to denote something other than a lack of belief.

Quote:

Take for example, no one told you about hygienic toilet practices when you were born and so the default position is that out of ignorance you pass stole and urine on yourself. Also because we have not yet been told what to put in our mouth a baby will sometimes try to eat everything and anything in sight, pills, safety pins, toys, even their own stool. Yea, that does happen sometimes and all because of ignorance.

Babies also don't make poor stock investments or set up pipe bombs in school gymnasiums ... you've managed to focus solely on what supports your belief, and to ignore anything that falsifies it.

Quote:

Go on analyzing and see how many default positions at birth you can find that are actually good.

There may well be an infinite amount.

Quote:

There aren’t any.

You're confusing your limited imagination for the world.

There's a lack of belief in scientology, and the value of human sacrifice, or incest rape, a lack of belief that Gilligan's Island should be considered modern shakespeare, there's a lack of belief in an infinite array of possibly bad ideas.

 

Quote:

So why is default atheism anything to be proud about?

Well, leaving aside your strawman of the issue, who says anyone is proud of default atheism?

It seems to me that the truth is that it bothers you that implicit atheism is the default.

 


Quote:

My conclusion: Atheism as a default position is a product of ignorance.

That's what implicit atheism is in the first place.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


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Sam.Udra wrote: You say,

Sam.Udra wrote:

You say, “we are born with the ability to project out anthropomorphic expectations onto the universe. A child can consider a piece of lint, flowing across the floor, as something intentional, sentient... we can call this animism, although I think it's more correct to call it anthropomorphic-projectionism. So I'd say that a child has the ability to create, on their own, a primitive 'weather god' like sense of polytheism/theism....”

Are you saying this is an innate, inherent ability or characteristic of the homo sapien?

Yes. Well, it's not my idea, it comes from the ancient Greek philosophers:


"Man is the measure of all things" - Protagoras

And from more modern philosophy too, such as Thomas Hobbes (if memory serves).

Basically the point is that we begin by knowing ourselves, and we procede by projecting out what we know (ourselves) onto the world.... we learn through analogy, and the basic analogy is from the unknown to ourselves. So it's no wonder that our first 'science' was to create gods as the cause of the workings of nature:

Boom! Lightning! That's scary! Being able to predict it or control it or at least understand it would be helpful!

Wait... when I get angry, I might throw something and make a lot of noise! So that's it! There's a really big guy, like me, who gets mad, and throws things!

 That said, one could say that the modern computer is also based on the same general tendency to project... after all, what is a computer if not an attempt to recreate our own brains?

Quote:

You call it “anthropomorphic-projectionism”. Why would the human not automatically project a more scientific materially rational view of his surroundings instead of projecting mysticism?

Ah, I'm so glad I came up with the example of a computer above, as it points to a more comprehensive view of my idea... anthropomorphic-projection is not inherently mystic or non-scientific, or non-rational, although, developmentally, it begins that way.

I think the best way to unfold my idea is to look at Comte's conceptualization of the development of man: We begin through a primitive mysticism: a theological stage, we then move towards a 'philosphical' or metaphysical stage, and then end up at a scientific stage. All are 'human' stage and we may project out any of these stages onto the universe.

Look at how we viewed the universe through history:

First, the universe was our country. Then, our planet, at the center, with a sun flying around it each day.

Then our universe became a solar system, a galaxy, and ....

Eventually, we now have (possibly) a multiverse.

Notice how the universe 'got bigger' as we ourselves matured and were better able to handle 'being smaller'... as we as a species grew in confidence, our universe grew larger.

I'm not saying that anthropomorphic-projection is the sole cause of this change... and, furthermore, the process is interactive, but I do think it played a part.  

Quote:

As the human evolves will we leave behind “anthropomorphic-projectionism”.

I don't think we can escape ourselves, nor should we want to.... at best, we can recognize the limit (and philosophers have recognized it for eons) and accept that it is always a limit on what we can really know... The only way to avoid the problem is to leap outside of ourselves and become nothing.... i.e. avoid having any nature at all....  which of course is impossible.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.