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Thread: Hi

  1. #1
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    Default Hi

    I'm new and I have joined to be able to talk to others who are atheists. I was raised very religious, but once I got to teen years I found I couldn't help but question the miracles and killings etc. that are all part of the Bible. I have tried to keep the peace by not expressing my thoughts for a number of years. But I don't want to do that any more, particularly because I have kids that are the age I was when I was indoctrinated and I don't want to do that to my kids. I don't want to raise them full of fear and guilt!

    Has anyone read anything interesting about why people are so eager to believe in God what is the drive behind it all?

    Mod note: moved, as it deserved a Welcome thread of its own.
    Last edited by Logic please; 28th February 2012 at 01:03 AM. Reason: explained post move

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hi

    Hi Abee

    This is a message sent to all who find their way to these forums.

    We like people, and we like facts too!

    We're friendly but we're skeptical, and if somebody calls for proof, it's not an accusation. Only the strong ideas thrive here: we try to respect people. (We do not tolerate personal abuse.)

    You may already have visited these other handy places:
    * New Member Information
    * Welcome from AFA president
    * For those interested in learning, I recommend the Atheism Resource Thread maintained by Fearless.
    * And a quick look at our reserved spot for belief-based discussion, Fantasy Island, includes The Great Big List, a sort-of "things we've seen before" for those of faith, and general rules of argument for the forum.

    If you've got questions, please ask. Moderators have red name tags, but many of our friendly people may have the answers you need.

    Enjoy the forums. We hope to see plenty from you in discussions.

    Have fun.
    New Members please read the FAQ | AFA Members please PM for info regarding the Members forum

  3. #3
    Logic please's Avatar
    Logic please is offline Some need an imaginary wingman Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Hi

    Hi Abee, welcome to the forum, hope you enjoy the community.

    Nice intro post.
    Quote Abee said View Post
    Has anyone read anything interesting about why people are so eager to believe in God what is the drive behind it all?
    There's plenty of discussion about that here. For example, this has been cited in other threads, but this paper suggests an evolutionary basis for it:
    Quote Why do people believe in invisible beings? said
    However, we also explain by appealing to agents - beings who act on the basis of their beliefs and desires in a more or less rational way. Why did the apple fall from the tree? Because Ted wanted to eat it, believed that shaking the tree would make it fall, and so shook the tree. Why are Mary's car keys on the mantelpiece? Because she wanted to remind herself not to forget them, so put them where she thought she would spot them.
    Barrett suggests we have evolved to be overly sensitive to agency. We evolved in an environment containing many agents - family members, friends, rivals, predators, prey, and so on. Spotting and understanding other agents helps us survive and reproduce. So we evolved to be sensitive to them - oversensitive in fact. Hear a rustle in the bushes behind you and you instinctively spin round, looking for an agent. Most times, there's no one there - just the wind in the leaves. But, in the environment in which we evolved, on those few occasions when there was an agent present, detecting it might well save your life. Far better to avoid several imaginary predators than be eaten by a real one. Thus evolution will select for an inheritable tendency to not just detect - but over detect - agency.
    Look forward to seeing you in discussions.
    *Gods* are not only a legal fiction, but a fiction in every way. Just ask the nearest hippie...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hi

    Welcome,

    I'm sure the Family Matters subthread will be of great value to you. My currently favoured view of why people are religious at all is due to cultural and social reasons that pin people down, after a brief period of doing what evolution has led our species towards i.e. following what the parent does allows for the greatest chance of survival. This instinct is useful, but as human we now live far beyond what we would have 10000 to 100000 years ago, and our automated survival system is not trained beyond 20-25 years (which is around the time the brain becomes fully functional - i qould quote the source if i could find it)

    Hope you find these forums as valuable a resource as I do.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hi

    Hi Abee, Welcome.
    It's great to have yet another person actively seeking to understand the root cause of the problem, which is crucial to formulating an effective solution.

    Here is a link to a preview of J. Anderson Thomsons "Why we believe in God(s): a concise guide to the science of faith".
    http://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Believe...der_B0053VLW3U

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hi

    Quote Abee said View Post
    I'm new
    <snip>
    Howdy Abee,

    Welcome to the forums.

    I'm heartened to hear your response to your own problematic upbringing is to focus on avoiding indoctrination for your children. A small point to offer which I hope you consider (frankly you probably have already) is that it would perhaps not good to avoid ALL association but allow some direct experience similar to a benign viral immunisation. That said I'm certain there are threads here and many post full of helpful knowledgeable advice.

    I offer you sentiments of success on your personal endeavor and in the search for knowledge and fulfillment.

    4lan
    Last edited by 4lan; 28th February 2012 at 12:22 PM. Reason: removed superfluous quote.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hi

    Heloo hymenoptera, wot's the buzz?

    Hmm, the belief in godz thing?

    Micheal Shermer's "How we Beleive: Science, skepticism and the search for god" (Freeman, New York, 2000) is good.

    Even better is Pascal Boyer's: "Religion explained: the evolutionary origins of religious thought" (2001, Basic Books)
    Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifiable hypotheses to destruction.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Hi

    Quote Darwinsbulldog said View Post
    Heloo hymenoptera, wot's the buzz?
    Haha, I've learnt something, thank you!
    At first I thought it had something to do with looking into vaginas

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hi

    Hello Abee, welcome to the forums.
    .
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    The Nizkor Project- Logical Fallacies

    Atheist: n; A person to be pitied in that he is unable to believe things for which there is no evidence, and who has thus deprived himself of a convenient means of feeling superior to others.
    —Chaz Bufe, The American Heretic’s Dictionary

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hi

    Quote Mark Sean said View Post
    Haha, I've learnt something, thank you!
    At first I thought it had something to do with looking into vaginas
    Get to know your Greek & Latin roots!
    Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifiable hypotheses to destruction.

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