Perhaps the total lack of evidence.
Perhaps the inconsistencies and/or falsehoods in scripture.
Perhaps the demand that any new knowledge conform to currently accepted mythology.
Perhaps the poor moral structure of most religions, and particularly that of their god(s).
There are lots of reasons to seriously doubt the ancient myths of our ancestors.
"[...]If you read the Bible or the Koran or the Torah cover-to-cover I believe you will emerge from that as an atheist. I mean, you can read "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins, you can read "God Is Not Great" by Hitchens... but the Bible itself, will turn you atheist faster than anything." - Penn Jillette
Because I need a reason to believe stuff. Belief is not a default state.
Actually, if you look at human history, that's not true. Belief in a higher power is the default state as its nearly universally accepted amongst indigenous cultures that there is a spiritual aspect to life that ties all of us, and all of the natural world, together. The rise of atheism ebbs and flows with the availability of information and logical/philosophical thought. For example, Western Atheism dates back at least as far as the 5th Century BC in ancient Greece. Beginning with the fall of the western Roman Empire (400 AD) all the way through to the 15th Century, the same century that the printing press was invented, cumulative information gained throughout history wasn't readily available. The masses were generally left to depend on the interpretations of the few who had access. Atheism re-surged in the later portion of the Age of Enlightenment as information became more and more accessible.
Any given person is not born knowing about religion and not born with the concept of God. Someone had to tell you about it. And then you need a reason to believe them.
I am talking about default, native-born, state.
Right, me too, and the default/native born state of humans is belief in a higher power. It's not Christianity or Islam or anything in particular, just belief. Even the simplistic reasoning of a child suggests that you came from your parents, they came from their parents, who also came from parents, and so on. It is not the default state to believe this progression started from nothing. in fact, you have to be pretty smart and pretty informed to even grasp the concept of how it could potentially have come from "nothing". This is not the default state. Belief in a higher power is nearly universal, with atheistic leanings only rising in those ages I pointed out.
I think that is nonsense. A child is born with no knowledge.
They *may* come to believe some kind of God for some kind of reason. It is an acquired belief.
I have not encountered such a reason, therefore I have no such belief. That is my point.
Just look at humanity throughout the ages. True, children are not born with knowledge. But once they begin to conceptualize the world around them, they do not begin in a 'default state' of believing the world around them came from nothing until they're informed differently. Just look at the nearly universal standpoint of indigenous cultures throughout the world and throughout the ages, established long before any of the world's major religions. The default state would seem to be that there is a spiritual aspect at play that animates the world around us. It is only through logical assessment and reason that people historically arrive at a no-God concept, as our documented history illustrates. You may find it nonsense, but it's simply a matter of looking at the facts.
"True, children are not born with knowledge. But once they begin to conceptualize the world around them, they do not begin in a 'default state' of believing the world around them came from nothing until they're informed differently."
That is exactly what I am saying. They have the default state of having no belief about where the world came from. You seem to be going to a lot of trouble to agree with me using different words.
To enter into any belief at all a person must be given sufficient reason. Thus I have no need to justify not having entered a belief state supporting Christ.
There is no specific reason that has not happened. I have no idea what theoretical happening that never happened would have caused me to have that belief. Because it didn't happen.
Thus I cannot answer the question as phrased with any hope of accuracy.
Well, if you're speaking of a 'default state' as being where we are at birth then you're right. But that's simply how the conscious mind works. It establishes a concept of the external world by storing information via the senses throughout life experience. So, yes, at first there's no belief because there's no concept of existence needing an explanation. But before long you begin to establish that what's here now was established by people who came before. Reaching the eventual conclusion from there that there is no god is just that, a conclusion reached. And as history shows, it's not a conclusion arrived at very 'naturally'. There are very specific ages and regions where atheism's roots are found. And in both cases these conclusions were based in an age when logic and philosophy are employed. The 'default state', the conclusion first reached, is that there is a higher power that set things in motion. That there is a system in place. A spiritual aspect. If there is a default state of humanity, then human history (and prehistory) overwhelmingly shows that default state to be belief in a higher power.
It is a conclusion I and millions of others arrived at completely naturally.
And having do so I cannot say what the characteristics of an alternative reality would be that would have made me Christian.
Ergo I can't answer the question.
I don't know how to say it any clearer.
Natural processes can lead to diverse people without any of those people being abnormal or unnatural. I mean, female psychology use to be listed as "abnormal" psychology books because male was seen as' normal'* and therefore 'natural' and everything else was by definition deviant and required explanation.
*By males, of course.
It's a conclusion you and millions of others reached 'naturally' given the age and location in which you live, based on our historical data. It's clearly an environmental thing considering you've got 90%+ percent of humanity throughout history going one way, and the vast minority, limited to two specific ages and regions, one of which you live in, going the way you have. If we're talking about 'default states' of humanity or what is or isn't arrived at 'naturally', then the best approach would be to evaluate humanity as a whole and recognize the tell-tale signs that best explain our results. Your results in this case appear to be dependent on the environment because you live in one of just two ages/regions where this result was arrived at by large numbers of people. That should be taken into account, I would think.
It is clear you think only the majority state is natural and all diversity is unnatural. I have already provided gender as an obvious example of the limitations of this point of view.
If you are also assuming natural= true: It also suggests that human in regions where the majority of people believe in many Gods are living somehow in a different reality. And that as countries creep over 50% non-theist, God will cease to exist.
Nevertheless the only point I actually made was that I have no idea why I don't believe in Jesus. The issue has never really come up in my life.
I get what you're saying and I don't want to give the impression I'm missing, trampling, or just ignoring your point. I just wanted to address your statement about belief not being the default state, as I've heard that stated more than once. To be clear I'm not putting either viewpoint in a 'natural vs. unnatural' category. I'm simply pointing out that if human history is taken in its entirety, then it's clear that the tendency is to believe, with disbelief being a rather uncommon occurrence, and limited to specific regions and eras.
And I'm not trying to make a larger point about whether or not this view or that is particularly "true", as far as being 'right' or 'wrong'. I'm only addressing this idea about humanity's default state, why I don't believe that's true, and what I base that conclusion on.
The only way to know for sure what you say is right is if we experiment of the isolation of individual people. Most often, I suspect, one would be to occupied with survival to have to to speculate. It's simply impossible to know as we can't experiment of individual humans.
Or, you could look at the entirety of human history. With indigenous cultures you have animism across the board, spanning Australia, Africa, and north/south America, in cultures geographically isolated from one another. Then you have the Mesopotamian gods, the Nordic gods of eastern Europe, the Greek and Roman gods of western Europe, and Buddhism and Hinduism throughout Asia. None of which includes the major religions of today. Yet documented cases of actual atheistic viewpoints are limited to ancient Greece and Rome, then nearly 1000 years of silence throughout the dark ages, with a resurgence of atheism with the age of enlightenment only in the past few centuries. If a lack of belief were the default state then that should be the other way around.
All of which would be irrelevant to the point I was making.
*Every* child has experiences, some of those experiences lead to them having certain beliefs.
It is impossible for anyone to comment authoritatively on what experience they failed to have that would have caused them to believe differently. It would be pure speculation.
Let's not forget Buddhism. It appears that atheism passes down through generation through Buddhism. As I said, we'd have to suspend thousands of infants alone on islands for decades and then pick them up 40 years later to find out. Is the brain susceptible to lying to itself is what needs to be studied.
Their default state is not belief in god, but belief in their parents and authority!
psycheskinner, I suggest that say something is "nonsense" when it has come from some one's careful thinking is not really good discussion.
Maybe I have been guilty of this too, on occasion. Must be more careful myself.
Believing in Jesus?
Perhaps you mean believing what the bible says about a man called Jesus?
Lack of evidence and knowledge that indicates the bibles contradictions and misinformation.
Why Jesus specifically and christianity and not the other thousands of good claims throughout history? They ask have the same amount of proof - none.
by James Q smith 14 years ago
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by enderw1ggins 8 years ago
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