Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Disbelief is not a choice.

Here is an article that expresses very well what I have tried many times to convey to those who think that I have chosen to be an atheist.

If more individuals today are religious skeptics than in centuries past, that is mainly because accumulated knowledge has inclined more people toward such doubt.
This is definitely true for me. As long as I was a little country gal living in the shadow of my ignorant parents I was a believer. I didn't know the difference. I mean no disrespect to my parents as they didn't know any different either; they followed their parents.

Interestingly, we can see that in many ways believers don't really choose either, but when we consider theistic beliefs we see different causal environmental factors at work. Early childhood indoctrination by family, for example, is a key environmental factor that promotes such beliefs in many, as is the pro-religion conditioning that one receives from the community and broader society. Even if the overt promotion of religiosity by society is mild (which usually isn't the case in much of America), prevailing social views that disapprove of open disbelief will often discourage serious exploration of secularity.

Since I have become active in the atheist community I am surprised at my fellow citizens who will deny in public their disbelief. I have a friend, a member of a social group I belong to who still goes to church on Sunday because she doesn't want her children to know that she doesn't believe. There so much pressure to conform in scociety.

I was thrilled when Mayor Blumberg refused to allow the 9/11 observence to become a religious service. There are so many of us who are patriotic citizens of this country but who do not believe in prayer to an unseeable god. To exclude us from society is unfair and unAmerican.


rick b said...

I dont care what they say in the article, Belief is a choice. If people want to say everything we believe or do is aresult of mere chemicals or what other people say or do, then as I said before, lets just let everyone out of jail and let people do what they want. Remove all laws and lets go crazy, since no one really has free will or choice to do it.

Also I know people raised in Japan who if they chosse to leave their religion to follow Christ, their familys will dis-own them and perform a funeral and view them as dead. That is a choice.

I was raised an atheist, I lived how I pleased, did drugs, My parents did not, I broke into houses and had the cops come to visit almost weekly, and even had a restraining order put on me from a pastor of a church because of things I did to him and his family.

These were choices I made, my parents were nothing like me, and my brother was an atheist also, but he was straight laced, No drugs, went to school stayed out of trouble Etc. We were complete opposites.

So the way I choose to live was not influenced by my family or life, I choose to live that way. Also if anyone ever says, I doubt Rick was like that, he is just trying to sound like a bad boy, I will be more than happy to give you great details about where I was raised, went to school, towns I lived in everything. You can check my back ground and if you can get an FBI to do all the checks feel free.

Everything I did was done before the age of 18. After I turned 18 I still did a lot of stuff, but was never arrested for it and have no record of it, so it might be hard to get details to verify from a person under 18. But I have no problem having my life on display to prove what I say. and I am now 41 so going back past 18 will be tough and might require the FBI to get that info.

Interested said...

Can you choose to believe in unicorns?

rick b said...

I can choose to believe in what I want and what I dont want.

Here is the problem as I see it. Atheists are always claiming science, Now I believe in science and use it, I cook and bake, their is lots of science right their.

But the problem is, I pointed out before the scientific theory and it's steps. You guys use that to point out lots of stuff and call it evidence. You believe in things because you feel you have evidence.

You choose to not believe in things because you feel you dont have evidence. This all comes down to a choice. I know many people who are atheists, My mom and dad and brother for 3 examples. They have zero evidence that UFO's exist, yet they believe in them.

I know of a lot of scientists that believe in the Big bang, yet they were not around to see it happen, they have no proof it happened, Yet they really want to believe it happened and teach it did happen.

That is all a result of choice and free will. They were simply not born believing in that, or it's not in their DNA to believe in the Big Bang.

How can something you never heard of or know anything about be in your DNA? I dont know anything about Planes or how they work, does that mean I was not born with that in my DNA? What about people born 1,000 years before planes were created, they were not born with it in their DNA. So this stuff is a belief and choice.

Interested said...

"I can choose to believe in what I want and what I dont want."

You are a much more capable person than I because I cannot choose to believe what I want. I either believe it or I don't. I simply cannot make myself believe something because I want to. I think many people think they are choosing but they are just going along. Belief is intrinsic and not something we can control. We can control what we show the world but we cannot control what is really inside.

rick b said...

Every one believes something, Some people joke and I have seen it on T-shirts saying, I believe I will have another beer.

We do sometimes believe simply want we want, some people believe the big bang, yet have zero evidence. Others believe in UFO's despite zero evidence. But we all believe in something, even if it is saying I believe their is no God.

People take others to court and sue, the judges decide based upon the evidence who is right or wrong. They dont simply say, well I believe you are honest or lying with out evidence. So we all do have a choice and choose to believe or not believe.

Interested said...

"People take others to court and sue, the judges decide based upon the evidence who is right or wrong. They dont simply say, well I believe you are honest or lying with out evidence. So we all do have a choice and choose to believe or not believe."

Rick I think you are confusing belief with acceptance. A judge uses the law to "judge" the evidence even when he may not believe it. There is a difference in what one beleives and what one accepts.

rick b said...

Either way, People believe in things like the big bang and UFO's with out evidence, Unless of course you want to say, we/they just accept it with out evidence.

rick b said...

Hello interested,
Well I said Disbelief is a choice and you said it is not. So here is a quote for you showing that it is a choice.

This Scientist, George Wald who is/was a Harvard Professor Emeritus of Biology, and a 1971 Nobel prize winner in Biology.

Said this:
There are only two possible explanations as to how life arose: Spontaneous Generation arising to evolution or a supernatural creative act of God...
There is no other possibility.

Spontaneous generation was scientifically disproved 120 years ago by Louis Pasteur and others, But that leaves us with only one other possibility...
that life came as a supernatural act of creation of God, but I can't accept that philosophy because I do not want to believe in God.

Therefore I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible, spontaneous generation leading to evolution.
George Wald "Origin, life and evolution," Scientific American (1978).

I give him credit for being honest, but he shows it is a choice not to believe.

Now here is one more example of someone choosing to believe what they want despite the evidence.

we read about a new find, soft tissue in dinosaur bones showing they are not millions of years old.
It was in the Discover Magazine 2006 April

Mary Schweitzer's Dangerous Discovery:

She is talking about a coworker of hers.
in the April 2006 discover Magazine Mays says,

I had one reviewer tell me that he didn't care what the data said, he knew that what I was finding wasn't possible.

I wrote back and said, well, what Data would convince you?

and he said, None.

This guy is closed mined, and this is what us Christians are accused of.

Schweitzer goes onto say,
I am a slam dunk scientist, [Schweitzer] says.
I would have much rather held the paper back until we had reams and reams of Data. But without publishing a journal article, she says, she could never have hoped for funding.

Sadly it boils down to "follow the Money" She would rather not have said anything, but if she said nothing, she would have received nothing, but on the other hand, she could have lost her job speaking this out loud.

Then in the Book, How to build a dinosaur by Horner and Gorman, pg 80-81 2008 we read,

When Mary S was first working on this material, she called me up to say she had found osteocytes.

osteocytes are the things that make bone grow.

Horner replied with,
I assumed she meant the spaces where the osteocytes would have been, which is what I suggested.

Mary said: No Jack, actually we have the cells and they have filipodia and they have nuclei.

Horner said: Mary, the freaking creationists are just going to love you.

Mary said, Jack, it's your dinosaur.

It seems disbelief is a choice. Or at least these guys seem to choose not to believe.