Skip to comments.Scientists: Atheists May Not Exist—Seriously
Posted on 07/15/2014 9:37:28 AM PDT by EternalVigilance
For some, God doesnt believe in atheists is just a clever (nor not-so-clever) jab directed against the faithless in our culture. But based on the findings of secular researchers, the statement may not be so far from reality.
That is because multidisciplinary research is increasingly backing the idea that human beings are hard-wired to believe in God, according to Science 2.0 writer Nury Vittachi in an article titled, Scientists discover that atheists might not exist, and thats not a joke.
[A]theism is psychologically impossible because of the way humans think, Vittachi cites avowed atheist Graham Lawton as writing in New Scientist. They point to studies showing, for example, that even people who claim to be committed atheists tacitly hold religious beliefs, such as the existence of an immortal soul.
Even atheists hold to several tacitly religious concepts, including the existence of an immortal soul, according to Lawton. The article also cites another atheist researcher who demonstrated that all people engage in internal monologue, regardless of whether the person to whom their thoughts are directed is actually present.
Equally demonstrable is the intrinsic human tendency to believe in divine justice. Vittachi describes both religious and non-religious persons as possessing the innate sense that If I commit a sin, it is not an isolated event but will have appropriate repercussions. This sense of cosmic justice is credited for the popular belief in karma.
This idea, he writes, is played out on a number of differently levelsincluding narrative literature, where even atheist authors invariably write stories that exist to establish that there exists a mechanism or a personcosmic destiny, karma, God, fate, Mother Natureto make sure the right thing happens to the right person.
Even the staunchest nontheists are not exempted from such habits, according to the writer. If a loved one dies, even many anti-religious people usually feel a need for a farewell ritual, complete with readings from old books and intoned declarations that are not unlike prayers, Vittachi writes. In war situations, commanders frequently comment that atheist soldiers pray far more than they think they do.
According to the writer, atheists tend to exhibit the same sociological, psychological dependence on the intangible as religious folk do, even if the former reject the existence of anything supernatural. Statistics show that the majority of people who stop being part of organized religious groups dont become committed atheists, but retain a mental model in which The Universe somehow has a purpose for humanity, says Vittachi.
While Vittachi attempts to connect all these theistic proclivities to an evolutionary source, missing one key bit of evidence: it is the biblical Christian worldview, not the secular humanist worldview, which accurately predicts a human bent towards belief in God.
In Romans 1:18-23, the apostle Paul writes that what can be known about God is plain to themthat is, all menand that 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. He then goes so far as to state that all such people knew God (v. 21). The implication, thus, is that man innately assumes the existence of his Creator until he convinces himself to think otherwise.
This biblical teaching is not unique to Paul. Proverbs 9:10 says, The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding, echoing the same sentiment of other Old Testament passages. In essence, one cannot truly possess wisdom and knowledge if one denies the essential fact of existence: that the transcendent God is the ultimate measure of reality.
While Vittachi may be a few steps short of walking down the aisle at the next altar call, the findings he describes lead to one critical conclusion: perhaps it is atheists, not God, who truly do not exist.
There’s definitely no dead atheists.
The key was for Spock, Kirk et al to not believe in them. Then they disappeared. But not before Spock Kirk et al kicked their bwtts.
(That was a plot flaw, though. Why and how can you kick their bwtts after you know they're not really there?)
Hey, atheists fight what they say they don’t believe in all the time.
Not surprising. Atheism is illogical anyway. The only way they could prove their belief is if they were God Himself, everywhere inside and outside the universe simultaneously. Agnostics are at least intelligent enough to admit they’re not sure. But the study indicates even agnostics are faking their uncertainty.
Kind of like Schrödinger’s cat?
There are degrees. Some people are simply fed up with all organized religions so claim to be atheists. Some are militant and annoying as they consider those who believe in god to be deluded. Others just mind their business. We’ll all die soon enough and find out for ourselves. Too bad everyone just can’t mind their own business. Especially Muslims.
Most atheists are simply believers who are angry with God.
I had to look that up.
I think humans are hard-wired to seek causality. We have a hard time dealing with randomness and will always try to find some explanation for what happens. That gives rise to all manner of superstitions — Lady Luck, curses, angry gods — that purport to trace the source of our fortunes and misfortunes.
But the existence of God is larger than that. It is simply absurd to believe that the vast intricacies of the universe are the products of chance.
I think that’s right.
Interesting thought: if people are biologically religious, then the same rules on things like discrimination that apply other biologically (fill in the blank) groups must also apply to the religious/devout.
So homosexuals, for instance, can’t discriminate against the religious who refuse to bake gay wedding cakes, photograph gay wedding ceremonies, etc.
I always find it humorous how their belief, which they deny, finds expression in the words they use. Words like “creature,” and “hard-wired,” etc. :-)
“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
That’s the truth, this is about people’s guilt and the fear of being judged by God, scares the hell out of them and they are unwilling to change, so they will jut go into denial.
Love it, science to back me up on this now
I like your argument ... I can’t help that I won’t build this cake... I was born that way.
.......the findings he describes lead to one critical conclusion: perhaps it is atheists, not God, who truly do not exist.
“When a man stops believing in God he doesnt then believe in nothing, he believes in global warming.”
ping for later.
“Good and wise men, in all ages...have supposed, that the deity, from the relations, we stand in, to himself and to each other, has constituted an eternal and immutable law, which is, indispensably, obligatory upon all mankind, prior to any human institution whatever...This is what is called the law of nature, which, being coeval with mankind, and dictated by God himself, is, of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries at all times. No human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid, derive all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.”
“Upon this law, depend the natural rights of mankind, the supreme being gave existence to man, together with the means of preserving and beautifying that existence. He endowed him with rational faculties, by the help of which, to discern and pursue such things, as were consistent with his duty and interest, and invested him with an inviolable right to personal liberty and personal safety.
“Hence, in a state of nature, no man has any moral power to deprive another of his life, limbs, property, or liberty; nor the least authority to command, or exact obedience from him....
“Hence also, the origin of all civil government, justly established, must be a voluntary compact, between the rulers and the ruled; and must be liable to such limitations, as are necessary for the security of the absolute rights of the latter; for what original title can any man or set of men have, to govern others, except their own consent? To usurp dominion over a people, in their own despite, or to grasp at more extensive power than they are willing to entrust, is to violate that law of nature, which gives every man the right to his personal liberty; and can, therefore, confer no obligation to obedience.”
“When human laws contradict or discountenance the means, which are necessary to preserve the essential rights of any society, they defeat the proper end of all laws, and so become null and void.”
I don’t believe in .atheists.
Most atheists just don’t like God.
Uuuuhhh I think these “scientists” are morons. Plenty of atheists exist that don’t hold any “tacitly religious” idea. None of the atheists I know believe in the soul, partly because we all know if we did we wouldn’t be atheists.
But you are a soul.
If you weren’t you wouldn’t be here.
It’s kinda self-evident.
Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.
Maybe in your beliefs. I don’t see a soul here, that’s a religious non-scientific concept that’s unprovable and not useful. So I don’t believe in it, and I’m not interested in it. What’s actually self evident is that mystic beliefs rely on circular logic, another reason I have nothing to do with them.
Kind of like the premise of the American claim to liberty and self-government, right?
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...”
As Christians we believe our souls are our minds, our wills, our emotions, created free, in the image and likeness of God.
What exactly do you think you are if you’re not a soul endowed with a mind, a will, and emotions?
Actually if you throw out the Creator part it still stands pretty well. There’s a self evident truth that people are all roughly equal, should be treated as such, and if you don’t give them a government that treats them well they will eventually over throw you.
Well, there are no dead atheists, that’s for sure...
An accident of stardust...
So... what moral claim could one accident of stardust make on another?
What right would one accident of stardust have to tell another one that it is “wrong”?
No right. No right whatsoever.
Actually, the opposite is true. Throw out "the Creator part" and it crumbles into dust.
You're pretty much proving the article to be correct.
Chemical reactions in an evolved portion of the anatomy makes up the mind and will. Emotions are primarily the result of lower portions of the mind (and even the body, and just genetic code) manipulating higher portions of the mind. The genes want to perpetuate, the body has a whole section devoted entirely to genetic immortality, the lower mind makes us fall in love so that we can acquire a breeding partner.
It’s all pretty straight forward stuff actually. Pretty well explained these days backed up by experimentation, and manipulable through drugs (both with and without supervision). Religions were designed by pre-scientific people to explain things they didn’t understand. But a lot of that stuff is very understandable now. There are identifiable chemical reactions to these things now, we can look at a brain scan and say “this guy is happy, this one is depressed, this one is in the early infatuation stage of love, this one is in the long haul comfortable partner stage”. It ain’t tough, and it ain’t mystical.
Not at all, there’s nothing about a soul, of mystical rewards in what I said. It’s simple understandable science. Barring birth defects and genetic oddities people come out with a range of highly predictable physical and mental attributes. AKA “equal”. Among those attributes are the ability (need actually, because physically we’re a pretty pathetic species and our survival relies heavily and clustering) to organize ourselves. And part of that ability to organize is the ability to see that the current organization sucks, time to try again. Don’t need any kind of God for that, every social animal on the planet has some form of ability to change how they’re organized.
Nope. Stands up fine. Because it’s built on self evident truths, and they remain self evident without mysticism. We can see that humans (and other animals) seek happiness and security. We can see that they form governments. We can see that they overthrow those governments when the government fails them. All self evident without any concept of God.
Oh, what a happy accident.
The writers of the Declaration were not talking about equality of physical and mental attributes. They were asserting as self-evident truth equality of God-given, and therefore unalienable, rights.
Don’t you just love it when others tell you they know what you believe better than you do?
If the only counter argument you have is an insult you don’t actually have a counter argument. You really just admitted you’re wrong, that the facts and logic don’t support you.
Does this offend your sense of justice?
Why do you care?
Where did you acquire that sense?
From the article:
"...atheists tend to exhibit the same sociological, psychological dependence on the intangible as religious folk do, even if the former reject the existence of anything supernatural."
Your argument has no basis except self reference.
I’m surprised that someone who inherently claims intellectual superiority can’t see the baselessness of a self-referencing argument.
That’s pretty much the one thing they do that bugs me. Don’t really care if people have religion, just don’t try to tell me what I think. I don’t say “well you’re Christian therefore...”, it would be rude even though I spent some time on that side of the fence and have a pretty good grip on it.
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