A taxonomy of atheism

Algor

Well-known member
Because people were discussing it. A psychological taxonomy of atheism.

Personally, I think temperament and personality have a lot to do with how one settles on atheism as well, and these categories are not mutually exclusive, and may re-enforce each other, but forthwith an abbreviated version of this classification, somewhat modified from here:


1. Rocks and babies: (Mind Blind Atheism ):"If mentalizing supports the mental representation of gods, then weaker mentalizing tendencies, associated with the autistic spectrum and also commonly found in men more than in women, may undermine the intuitiveness of supernatural agents and reduce religious belief. "

2. Nobody on CARM: (Apatheism)
"Most people can mentally represent gods with ease. Beyond mental representation, however, several other factors might motivate people to care about supernatural agents, whether benevolent or malevolent, as sources of order, emotional comfort, and meaning. The term ‘apatheism’ is a useful way to characterize a stance of indifference towards religion that, we argue, arises from conditions of existential security. It has long been hypothesized that widespread human suffering and threats to human welfare encourage motivational states that make many religious beliefs and practices deeply comforting and meaningful ….Religious engagement is far stronger in societies marked by poverty, high infant mortality, short life-spans, economic inequality, and nonexistent or unreliable government services and social safety nets...……Where life is safe and predictable, people are less motivated to turn to gods for succor."

3. All the Cool Kids Aren’t Doing It: "Incredulous atheism results from people simply not receiving cultural inputs that encourage the belief that any god(s) are potent, relevant, or even real …. if an individual grows up in a cultural context comparatively devoid of cues that others believe in any gods at all, religious belief might not take root . Tellingly, even children of religious parents in Scandinavia are likely to become nonbelievers if they do not witness credibility enhancing displays of their parents’ faith . … reliable secular institutions such as governments, courts, and the police can supplant religion in many societies. People perceive God and government as interchangeable sources of external control and stability. Belief in God, commitment to supernatural monitoring, and distrust of atheists all decline as societies develop strong secular alternatives to religion ……strong, reliable governments might be another potent factor underlying incredulous atheism."


4: I Am Very Smart: (Analytic Atheism)
"Finally, some people become atheists also because they turn against the intuitive biases that make some super natural concepts intuitive. If – as much recent research suggests - belief in gods and spirits is supported by core intuitive biases, then atheism can emerge when such intuitions are revised or overruled by more analytic processes. Religious beliefs receive support from many intuitive processes, and reliance on intuitive thinking predicts stronger belief in God and in related supernatural concepts… Conversely, analytic thinkers show weaker religious belief and tend to lose their religious fervor, even if they were initially raised in a religious environment. Moreover, analytic thinkers, when they do endorse religious beliefs, favor less anthropomorphic and more intellectualized religious concepts …..Analytic overriding of intuitions can, but need not, involve effortful processing, because even subtle prods towards analytic thinking (disfluent fonts and implicit primes) encourage religious disbelief. These findings suggest that analytic cognitive strategies, available habitually or situationally, can overrule or block the intuitions that support religious belief, leading to religious skepticism."
 
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5wize

Well-known member
Because people were discussing it. A psychological taxonomy of atheism.

Personally, I think temperament and personality have a lot to do with how one settles on atheism as well, and these categories are not mutually exclusive, and may re-enforce each other, but forthwith an abbreviated version of this classification, somewhat modified from here:


1. Rocks and babies: (Mind Blind Atheism ):"If mentalizing supports the mental representation of gods, then weaker mentalizing tendencies, associated with the autistic spectrum and also commonly found in men more than in women, may undermine the intuitiveness of supernatural agents and reduce religious belief. "

2. Nobody on CARM: (Apatheism)
"Most people can mentally represent gods with ease. Beyond mental representation, however, several other factors might motivate people to care about supernatural agents, whether benevolent or malevolent, as sources of order, emotional comfort, and meaning. The term ‘apatheism’ is a useful way to characterize a stance of indifference towards religion that, we argue, arises from conditions of existential security. It has long been hypothesized that widespread human suffering and threats to human welfare encourage motivational states that make many religious beliefs and practices deeply comforting and meaningful ….Religious engagement is far stronger in societies marked by poverty, high infant mortality, short life-spans, economic inequality, and nonexistent or unreliable government services and social safety nets...……Where life is safe and predictable, people are less motivated to turn to gods for succor."

3. All the Cool Kids Aren’t Doing It: "Incredulous atheism results from people simply not receiving cultural inputs that encourage the belief that any god(s) are potent, relevant, or even real …. if an individual grows up in a cultural context comparatively devoid of cues that others believe in any gods at all, religious belief might not take root . Tellingly, even children of religious parents in Scandinavia are likely to become nonbelievers if they do not witness credibility enhancing displays of their parents’ faith . … reliable secular institutions such as governments, courts, and the police can supplant religion in many societies. People perceive God and government as interchangeable sources of external control and stability. Belief in God, commitment to supernatural monitoring, and distrust of atheists all decline as societies develop strong secular alternatives to religion ……strong, reliable governments might be another potent factor underlying incredulous atheism."


4: I Am Very Smart: (Analytic Atheism)
"Finally, some people become atheists also because they turn against the intuitive biases that make some super natural concepts intuitive. If – as much recent research suggests - belief in gods and spirits is supported by core intuitive biases, then atheism can emerge when such intuitions are revised or overruled by more analytic processes. Religious beliefs receive support from many intuitive processes, and reliance on intuitive thinking predicts stronger belief in God and in related supernatural concepts… Conversely, analytic thinkers show weaker religious belief and tend to lose their religious fervor, even if they were initially raised in a religious environment. Moreover, analytic thinkers, when they do endorse religious beliefs, favor less anthropomorphic and more intellectualized religious concepts …..Analytic overriding of intuitions can, but need not, involve effortful processing, because even subtle prods towards analytic thinking (disfluent fonts and implicit primes) encourage religious disbelief. These findings suggest that analytic cognitive strategies, available habitually or situationally, can overrule or block the intuitions that support religious belief, leading to religious skepticism."
Point #2 is huge. You'll notice how many religions are molded around contemporary needs as opposed to objective spiritual truths. Judaism molded around a need for land and a national identity of regional power backed by God Himself that didn't pan out. Christianity around the subjugation of a people and that need for the powerless to be delivered and become powerful yet again even if in some prophesied but not realized kingdom to come. You'll notice the superstitions surrounding the already powerful at that time formed around protecting what they already had or some supernatural alchemy for gaining more.

All the anthropomorphism of want packaged in a supernatural delivery system like some alchemist attempting to change dirt into gold, or gold into more gold.
 
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stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
Christianity [was molded] around the subjugation of a people and that need for the powerless to be delivered and become powerful yet again ......

Is that what you get from the book of Acts? That's as fallacious as reading Das Kapital and concluding that communism was molded around the struggle to freely possess goods without hindrance from the state.

The first martyr, Stephen, didn't lose his life powerfully subjugating people.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
Point #2 is huge. You'll notice how many religions are molded around contemporary needs as opposed to objective spiritual truths. Judaism molded around a need for land and a national identity of regional power backed by God Himself that didn't pan out. Christianity around the subjugation of a people and that need for the powerless to be delivered and become powerful yet again even if in some prophesied but not realized kingdom to come. You'll notice the superstitions surrounding the already powerful at that time formed around protecting what they already had or some supernatural alchemy for gaining more.

All the anthropomorphism of want packaged in a supernatural delivery system like some alchemist attempting to change dirt into gold, or gold into more gold.
Maybe “want” drives people to whatever supplies their needs, and religion fills that gap where its members take care of each other. IOW, members of religious communities tend to help one another so, naturally, outsiders in need would be drawn to the religious community.

It is not that “want” drives people to superstitions, but that want drives people to organizations that meets their needs, in this case, religious communities in undeveloped, poor countries.
 

5wize

Well-known member
Maybe “want” drives people to whatever supplies their needs, and religion fills that gap where its members take care of each other. IOW, members of religious communities tend to help one another so, naturally, outsiders in need would be drawn to the religious community.

It is not that “want” drives people to superstitions, but that want drives people to organizations that meets their needs, in this case, religious communities in undeveloped, poor countries.
The organization structures of religion that provide for their people, as well as their efficacy in that pursuit, are dwarfed by the social organizations that do the same.
 

5wize

Well-known member
Is that what you get from the book of Acts? That's as fallacious as reading Das Kapital and concluding that communism was molded around the struggle to freely possess goods without hindrance from the state.

The first martyr, Stephen, didn't lose his life powerfully subjugating people.
It wasn't Christian subjugation I was referring to.
 

Algor

Well-known member
Maybe “want” drives people to whatever supplies their needs, and religion fills that gap where its members take care of each other. IOW, members of religious communities tend to help one another so, naturally, outsiders in need would be drawn to the religious community.

It is not that “want” drives people to superstitions, but that want drives people to organizations that meets their needs, in this case, religious communities in undeveloped, poor countries.
I think religion does establish itself and spread at least in part because it meets social and personal needs in its particular contexts. And I also think that atheism will increase if the cultural needs for stability and social meaning are institutionalized in government. I’m not keen on that latter process (I don’t see a secular version of a priesthood as any improvement over a theocracy) priest but a lot of people are and I don’t see that trend reversing.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
The organization structures of religion that provide for their people, as well as their efficacy in that pursuit, are dwarfed by the social organizations that do the same.
That may be true in some cases but not all. There is probably more examples in history of religious communities caring for their communities than secular organizations.

Do you know of an example from classical times of a secular social organization in a poor, undeveloped nation giving more support to its citizens than a religious community?

I will cut to the chase. Do you know of any atheist organizations in classical times caring for the needs of its communities more than the predominant religious organization?
 

docphin5

Well-known member
I think religion does establish itself and spread at least in part because it meets social and personal needs in its particular contexts.
Certainly.
And I also think that atheism will increase if the cultural needs for stability and social meaning are institutionalized in government.
Most likely.
I’m not keen on that latter process (I don’t see a secular version of a priesthood as any improvement over a theocracy) priest but a lot of people are and I don’t see that trend reversing.
Agreed. Atheism is nihilistic at its core and we have seen what a-theism reaps when it banishes a religious conscience.
 

Algor

Well-known member
Certainly.

Most likely.

Agreed. Atheism is nihilistic at its core and we have seen what a-theism reaps when it banishes a religious conscience.
I think we may have the same conclusion about the desireability of a process, but I don’t think atheism is nihilistic at its core. I think that idea stems from a misapprehension of meaning. I’d also note that the dehumanizing aspects of totalitarianisms are hardly confined to atheistic totalitarianism (e.g. ISIS) so again, pinning that on atheism is a bit reductive. I’m simply highly suspicious of any institution that contains groups of unaccountable people who insist on telling me what my own good is.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
I think we may have the same conclusion about the desireability of a process, but I don’t think atheism is nihilistic at its core. I think that idea stems from a misapprehension of meaning.
I am not saying every atheist is nihilistic because there are many reasons for individuals becoming atheists. Instead, I mean the ideology of atheism is ultimately nihilistic because its definition of good or bad is relative.

I’d also note that the dehumanizing aspects of totalitarianisms are hardly confined to atheistic totalitarianism (e.g. ISIS) so again, pinning that on atheism is a bit reductive.
I was referring to atheistic China and atheistic Soviet union as examples of atheism suppressing a religious conscious. Both governments rationalized brutality arguably because nothing restrained them from doing so. If there is nothing guiding a nation for good of humanity, then what is left, but pursuit of power by any means. In the west where religion was not suppressed the religious conscience served to restrain the pursuit of power by any means.

I’m simply highly suspicious of any institution that contains groups of unaccountable people who insist on telling me what my own good is.
 
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Algor

Well-known member
I am not saying every atheist is nihilistic because there are many reasons for individuals becoming atheists. Instead, I mean the ideology of atheism is ultimately nihilistic because its definition of good or bad is relative.


I was referring to atheistic China and atheistic Soviet union as examples of atheism suppressing a religious conscious. Both governments rationalized brutality arguably because nothing restrained them from doing so. If there is nothing guiding a nation for good of humanity, then what is left, but pursuit of power by any means.
Mmm....Atheism is compatible with moral realism, so I’m not sure what you mean by the “atheist ideology”...there is a pretty broad spectrum of ideologies associated with atheism.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
Mmm....Atheism is compatible with moral realism, so I’m not sure what you mean by the “atheist ideology”...there is a pretty broad spectrum of ideologies associated with atheism.
If an a-theist borrows from religion the Golden rule and claims it for himself/herself then kudos. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But when one scratches off the veneer, the propaganda of a-theists, and gets them to admit that they fundamentally don’t believe in an absolute good, the darkness peeks out and discloses itself for what it is. An a-theist will do whatever is necessary to survive beyond his neighbor because good is defined by the necessity of the moment.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
The golden rule predates the time when your religion borrowed it and claimed it for itself.
Do you have a reference for that? I am pretty sure the golden rule existed in one form or another going all the way back to the Egyptian religion 4-5 thousand years ago. If you know of an a-theist civilization before them who taught the rule then that would be new.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
Do you have a reference for that? I am pretty sure the golden rule existed in one form or another going all the way back to the Egyptian religion 4-5 thousand years ago.
Why would you need a reference if you're agreeing with me?
 

docphin5

Well-known member
Why would you need a reference if you're agreeing with me?
If you subscribe to the golden rule then kudos but you will be hard pressed to show it originated with an a-theist community anywhere in the history of man. You are essentially borrowing from religion.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
If you subscribe to the golden rule then kudos but you will be hard pressed to show it originated with an a-theist community anywhere in the history of man. You are essentially borrowing from religion.
No more than Christianity is borrowing it from earlier cultures. The concept of reciprocity is so obvious that it has occurred everywhere, and you hardly need religion to come up with it.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
No more than Christianity is borrowing it from earlier cultures. The concept of reciprocity is so obvious that it has occurred everywhere, and you hardly need religion to come up with it.
Except religion did come up with it, unless you can reference an a-theist who came up with it before the Egyptian religion.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
Except religion did come up with it, unless you can reference an a-theist who came up with it before the Egyptian religion.
Irrelevant given that it is so obvious and does not require religion. There is nothing specifically religious about the concept of reciprocity.
 
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