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We need better gods

We need better gods
May 05, 2011, 03:34:53 AM
Quote
Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford's Centre for Anthropology and Mind, claims that young people have a predisposition to believe in a supreme being because they assume that everything in the world was created with a purpose.

He says that young children have faith even when they have not been taught about it by family or at school, and argues that even those raised alone on a desert island would come to believe in God.

"The preponderance of scientific evidence for the past 10 years or so has shown that a lot more seems to be built into the natural development of children's minds than we once thought, including a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"If we threw a handful on an island and they raised themselves I think they would believe in God."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/3512686/Children-are-born-believers-in-God-academic-claims.html?sms_ss=facebook&at_xt=4dc1c0cff9b82164%2C0

Quote
In fact, Blume’s research also shows quite vividly that secular, nonreligious people are being dramatically out-reproduced by religious people of any faith. Across a broad swath of demographic data relating to religiosity, the godly are gaining traction in offspring produced. For example, there’s a global-level positive correlation between frequency of parental worship attendance and number of offspring. Those who "never" attend religious services bear, on a worldwide average, 1.67 children per lifetime; "once per month," and the average goes up to 2.01 children; "more than once a week," 2.5 children. Those numbers add up—and quickly.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=gods-little-rabbits-religious-peopl-2010-12-22

LOL sodomized by Christ.

Re: We need better gods
May 05, 2011, 03:48:02 AM
Salvation guaranteed or triple your money back.

Anyways, I think the findings of those studies are extremely relative and misleading. For example what if humans were not taught language as they grow up, then I bet they would tend to gravitate towards believing in a higher power even more... so it's largely a matter of what your brain is fed. We're not born knowing how to speak English, how to use the toilet or how to manage our emotions, these are all things we learn and it's right that we learn them. Today I am pleased to say I do not feel compelled to pee in random places around the house, nor do I feel compelled to adopt a faith-based approach towards life.

Re: We need better gods
May 05, 2011, 04:26:45 AM
Salvation guaranteed or triple your money back.
Did you really laugh at that? Did you really think they were clever by comparing religion to Nazi Germany? Come on dude, really.

Anyways, I think the findings of those studies are extremely relative and misleading.
I am totally in agreement.

For example what if humans were not taught language as they grow up, then I bet they would automatically tend to believe in a higher power even more... so it's largely a matter of what your brain is fed.
I think I might know what you're saying here, but you're going to have to elaborate. Nothing happens "automatically" in the bigger picture, and we are discussing the biggest picture there is, God.

It's largely a matter of what your brain is fed, so why do people tend to default to religion until they are fed irreligiousness?

Re: We need better gods
May 05, 2011, 06:30:45 AM
Salvation guaranteed or triple your money back.
Did you really laugh at that? Did you really think they were clever by comparing religion to Nazi Germany? Come on dude, really.

Cut me some slack.

For example what if humans were not taught language as they grow up, then I bet they would automatically tend to believe in a higher power even more... so it's largely a matter of what your brain is fed.
I think I might know what you're saying here, but you're going to have to elaborate. Nothing happens "automatically" in the bigger picture, and we are discussing the biggest picture there is, God.

Sorry, you can replace "automatically tend to believe" with "tend to gravitate towards believing", it's more clear that way.

It's largely a matter of what your brain is fed, so why do people tend to default to religion until they are fed irreligiousness?

Because before you're taught lots of things reality seems magical in a make-believe sort of way and when people don't understand things they start speculating - perfectly logical reactions for a logical animal to have, and though they may in effect lead to faith in a higher power, they themselves are merely logical and logically it's understandable for people to speculate about things they don't understand and try to fill in the holes with things like myth and imagination. It's a logical process and I think it can be misleading to suggest humans are innate geared towards a faith-based approach to reality. There's no 'faith switch' innately flicked to the 'on' position when we're born, faith is just something that creeps up in the absence of logic (later on in life as a more informed decision you can deliberately, purposively choose to have faith, but that's different, it's your own choice not a predisposition).

Re: We need better gods
May 05, 2011, 10:39:01 AM
So basically: we have an innate need to have a model with which to orient ourselves and give us the ability to make sense of the world. The old Religion model is no longer good enough, the Science model is no longer good enough, so we need a new model.

Science and Religion are both just symbolic systems which cause us to interact with the world in a particular way. They were both created by man based on natural law, but neither system is powerful enough to explain all of the natural law which we have intuitive access to, and thus need to be replaced.

Any suggestions?

Re: We need better gods
May 05, 2011, 06:04:32 PM
Why not use both models?  Surely better than just one.  I mean, it worked for the Ancients.

Re: We need better gods
May 05, 2011, 09:40:52 PM
Neuron patterns are trained over generations and passed along in genetic code. If we take a sample from a population who have been monotheistic for a thousand years, we would probably find that they are predisposed to a Creationist view, due to their brains having these particular pathways from heredity.

This article is typical of science. Find more evidence of psychological trait heritability from a seemingly representative sample then assume they are universal constants of the human condition because the television says we're all the same. Jesus loves you.

Re: We need better gods
May 05, 2011, 11:55:58 PM
Neuron patterns are trained over generations and passed along in genetic code. If we take a sample from a population who have been monotheistic for a thousand years, we would probably find that they are predisposed to a Creationist view, due to their brains having these particular pathways from heredity.

This article is typical of science. Find more evidence of psychological trait heritability from a seemingly representative sample then assume they are universal constants of the human condition because the television says we're all the same. Jesus loves you.

Unless the research into the field of survival of the fittest has changed in the last five year's, it's my understanding that behavioral repetition does nothing to promote that behavior generationally on a genetic level. You say neuron patterns change and get passed along in genetic code... are you saying some genes get weeded out because the non-religious have less children than religious people, or are you saying that in the context of a single lifetime one's neuron patterns actually transform one's very genetic make-up? If you're saying the latter, you would be describing a remarkable transformation, and I would ask you to elaborate on it.

Personally I believe it's possible for humans to 'activate' genes and patterns of genes within them, in fact with far more options than a dual 'on' / 'off' switch, but I haven't investigated if this activation actually gets passed down; at first glance since the genes are just like blueprints with multiple options present within it I would think the entire blueprint gets passed down to offspring, allowing for each generation to make their own choices and activate their own genetic patterns (i.e. the blueprint that gets passed down is neutral, not activated in any particular direction).

Re: We need better gods
May 06, 2011, 12:12:43 AM
Unless the research into the field of survival of the fittest has changed in the last five year's, it's my understanding that behavioral repetition does nothing to promote that behavior generationally on a genetic level. You say neuron patterns change and get passed along in genetic code... are you saying some genes get weeded out because the non-religious have less children than religious people, or are you saying that in the context of a single lifetime one's neuron patterns actually transform one's very genetic make-up? If you're saying the latter, you would be describing a remarkable transformation, and I would ask you to elaborate on it.

He might be talking about this.

Re: We need better gods
May 06, 2011, 04:21:50 AM
Unless the research into the field of survival of the fittest has changed in the last five year's, it's my understanding that behavioral repetition does nothing to promote that behavior generationally on a genetic level. You say neuron patterns change and get passed along in genetic code... are you saying some genes get weeded out because the non-religious have less children than religious people, or are you saying that in the context of a single lifetime one's neuron patterns actually transform one's very genetic make-up? If you're saying the latter, you would be describing a remarkable transformation, and I would ask you to elaborate on it.

He might be talking about this.

Thanks for the link, that's a really nice article. It seems lots of stuff has changed over the last few years after all.

The article says:

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Can epigenetic changes be permanent? Possibly, but it's important to remember that epigenetics isn't evolution. It doesn't change DNA. Epigenetic changes represent a biological response to an environmental stressor. That response can be inherited through many generations via epigenetic marks, but if you remove the environmental pressure, the epigenetic marks will eventually fade, and the DNA code will — over time — begin to revert to its original programming. That's the current thinking, anyway: that only natural selection causes permanent genetic change.

This seems to dovetail with what Scourge was saying: tendency towards faith in God is generated by environmental / social influences. Of course to a significant extent humans create their own environment, and their genes effect their creations... so I guess it depends how much you weigh nature versus nurture.

Re: We need better gods
May 06, 2011, 06:04:54 AM
First of all I have come to believe that religion is essential for a complete philosophy and for understanding (or recognizing) the will of the universe. As I have said in some posts of mine I believe (roughly) that the steps out of masturbation into honest religion (in youth years) are 1) Rejection and Oposition to the religions of the Crowd (The DRI state), 2) First encounter with total nihilism, reactionary aggressions against inherent values, brake from the left (The Kaczynski state) (some choose fatalism after this), 3) After a glimpse from the Reality world, a new spirituality based on the will of the cosmos (The Pagan state). If you reach step 1 and not go to step 2, you remain a quasi-leftist or a full blown one. If you reach step 2 and not go to step 3, you are going to quickly become a bitter technofutilist empty agressor or simply a anti-left, anti-right, anti-bad, anti-good, anti-fish, anti-life/reality fatalist. THERE I recognize the need for a belief in gods.

Of course we need better gods, but this is very easy, we only need to understand gods as WILL towards something, that means they exist in reality and not unreality, and explain that if there was no will at all there wouldn't be evolution and general movement/struggling. And second we need to portray these gods according to a realistic version of the will. I mean it is of no use if some idiot recognizes that there is WILL in the universe, and WILL is GOD who is REality and .... ahem... that will is the will to make the earth a utopia where we are all equal. Like the communists say that the final stage of the world will be a happy state of communism (while they do not believe in god in heaven, they completely misunderstand the will of the gods of realityland).

If a kid was raised in a forest, he would definately believe in god(s) especially if he has a creative mind. I remember when I was very young before I was ushered into the scientific/brain dead world of fuction and dirty industrial machines, I believed there is something in those houses in England where they say they witnessed ghosts or strange wild cats ets, I am sure I believed in UFOs and sometimes as a kid I would stay up long hours fascinated by the night sky, looking for some hint that Fox Mulder was right all along. I mean that as kids we create mythology. Then the masses will try to torch this to the ground wether through christian witch huntign or scientific witch hunting.