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Does being an Atheist make you closed minded? [Answered: NO]


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I was wondering about once you "STATE" yourself an "Atheist",

 

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Most in this forum understand the universe on many levels, and most religions do not agree with what is known in science.

 

I do not follow any written religion but I would not call myself an atheist.

 

Do you lose some of that spark of "human imagination/freedom of thought" once you state yourself an Atheist, only believing in what you can prove?

 

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The dictionary definition of closed minded -- having a mind firmly unreceptive to new ideas or arguments -- seems to be the antithesis of the scientific mind, which has to be open to new ideas and arg

Stereotypes are often accurate.

1) I haven't mentioned my beliefs, so I'm not sure how this applies.   2) My beliefs are irrelevant. I would have taken you to task if you've made the same bigoted statements about Christians, Jews

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Being an atheist makes you the target of many religious people who would prefer you were dead. I think it is strange the amount of people who aren't atheists to be honest. Who would believe in something they don't have any proof of?

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Do you lose some of that spark of "human imagination/freedom of thought" once you state yourself an Atheist, only believing in what you can prove?

 

 

In my case, that's putting the cart ahead of the horse. When I started trusting only those explanations that were based in reality and were supported by evidence, religion filtered itself out, and so merits none of my attention. Why waste my free imagination on poor quality information?

 

I'm a non-philatelist as well, and spend an equal amount of time on my anti-stamp collecting pursuits.

 

Close-minded? I've found that the people who don't want to hear something are usually ignorant about it, and are using primarily their emotions to make their decisions about it. These are the "100% sure" people. They convince themselves of their surety rather than letting the evidence do it.

 

If you're a scientist, you rarely make such generalizations. When you replace your ignorance with knowledge, you understand that life is nuanced at all levels. You learn to close your mind to the trivially false and focus on those explanations that are better supported. Unfortunately, to a believer, that makes you look close-minded. Who's at fault?

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So what do you believe in?

I have yet to define what I believe in, maybe a cross between taoism/hinduism/universal consciousness.

Being an atheist makes you the target of many religious people who would prefer you were dead. I think it is strange the amount of people who aren't atheists to be honest. Who would believe in something they don't have any proof of?

Peer pressure?

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Do you lose some of that spark of "human imagination/freedom of thought" once you state yourself an Atheist, only believing in what you can prove?

 

No.

Why would it?

Atheism refers to just one thing; whether or not there's a God.

It has, in principle, no relation at all on whether I believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden.

But once I gave up trying to believe the credo I was brought up with, I realised I could believe in lots of other things that had been "forbidden".

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In the United States atheists tend to be more intelligent than the religious and also atheists tend to be more knowledgeable about religions, so I conclude atheists are actually more open-minded than the religious.

 

Religiosity and intelligence

...

Several Gallup poll studies of the general population have shown that those with higher IQs tend not to believe in God."[12] A study published in Social Psychology Quarterly in March 2010[13] also stated that "atheism ...correlate with higher intelligence".[14] ...

U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey

 

Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions. ..

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.

 

If you're a scientist, you rarely make such generalizations. When you replace your ignorance with knowledge, you understand that life is nuanced at all levels. You learn to close your mind to the trivially false and focus on those explanations that are better supported. Unfortunately, to a believer, that makes you look close-minded. Who's at fault?

For the primative man/civilization Religion must come before science, it is only now that we have a choice.

Is religion first needed to get us to this time and place where we now have that choice.

 

 

But once I gave up trying to believe the credo I was brought up with, I realised I could believe in lots of other things that had been "forbidden".

I like forbidden :eek:

 

it makes me wonder whether intelligent life goes Hand in hand with religion, you can't have one without the other.

Could a civilization of "Atheists" arise, What would be their values/traditions?

 

Ancient man would have looked at the stars and imagined gods, which then lead us to want to understand these "gods" which would then have led to the beginning of science.

Religion the stepping stone to science? So science is a branch of religion.

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For the primative man/civilization Religion must come before science, it is only now that we have a choice.

Is religion first needed to get us to this time and place where we now have that choice.

 

I like forbidden :eek:

 

it makes me wonder whether intelligent life goes Hand in hand with religion, you can't have one without the other.

Could a civilization of "Atheists" arise, What would be their values/traditions?

 

Ancient man would have looked at the stars and imagined gods, which then lead us to want to understand these "gods" which would then have led to the beginning of science.

Religion the stepping stone to science? So science is a branch of religion.

One non sequitar after another. :rolleyes:
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Is religion first needed to get us to this time and place where we now have that choice.

 

I guess anything that would have been able to highlight the gaps in our knowledge with unsatisfying, unreasonable answers would have worked. It was only necessary to have answers we can check against reality, and then we were able to start filling in those knowledge gaps. Wrong scientific theories teach us how NOT to do it, in much the same way religion does, or Archie Bunker.

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, or Archie Bunker.

Alf Garnett to us Brits :)

In the United States atheists tend to be more intelligent than the religious and also atheists tend to be more knowledgeable about religions, so I conclude atheists are actually more open-minded than the religious.

 

Religiosity and intelligence

U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey

 

 

 

Researcher Gregory S. Paul's findings suggest that economic development has a closer relationship with religiosity.[16] He argues that once any "nation's population becomes prosperous and secure, for example through economic security and universal health care, much of the population loses interest in seeking the aid and protection of supernatural entities." Other studies have shown that increased wealth is correlated with a decline in religious beliefs.[17][18]Indeed, the majority of the nations that showed a strong relationship between low religiosity and high IQ in the 2008 study were developed nations.[4]

It does seem once religious beliefs no longer control a nation they prosper. It is why I worry slightly about the effect of the growing Muslim religion in the western world.

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Does my not believing in Puff the Magic dragon make me close minded? If not, then why would my not believing in Thor, Zeus, Odin, Vishnu, Shiva, Allah, Yahweh, or any of the countless others invented by humans make me "close minded?"

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It’s not really surprising to see this topic appear, when this thread has run its course; ignorance and logic seldom share a bed.

The reason I started this topic was with John saying he was a Atheist.

 

Which set me thinking about Atheists and whether or not I was an Atheist.

 

I cannot abide most religious doctrine(they tend to suppress the people),

I do not see "god" how most do, But I am always aware of something, something I communicate with in my own ways, ways that are only possible in this "modern age".

 

So I wondered whether it is hard wired in us to believe in something, But something we should find for ourselves, in our own time and way.

And perhaps when you define yourself an Atheist you close doors of further exploration.

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I have yet to define what I believe in, maybe a cross between taoism/hinduism/universal consciousness.

 

There is a big difference between being so "open minded" (gullible) that you will believe any old mystical piffle, and being truly open minded: sceptical but willing to accept anything which is backed up by evidence or logic.

 

It could be argued that the religious are closed minded because they just believe what they are told and reject anything else. However, I won't argue that because I don't have any evidence for it.

most religions do not agree with what is known in science.

 

Do you have any evidence to support that? I don't believe it is true.

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most religions do not agree with what is known in science.

Do you have any evidence to support that? I don't believe it is true.

 

The very definition of "god" is in principle disagreement with science inasmuch as science is an investigation of nature and gods are held to be above nature, i.e. supernatural.

god @ The Free Dictionary

1. God

a. A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.

 

b. The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.

 

2. A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality.

...

Life-after-death also comes to mind as a religious principle/belief that is antithetic to science.
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The very definition of "god" is in principle disagreement with science inasmuch as science is an investigation of nature and gods are held to be above nature, i.e. supernatural.

god @ The Free Dictionary

Life-after-death also comes to mind as a religious principle/belief that is antithetic to science.

 

Not all religions believe in a (literal) life after death. But those things are not in opposition to science, they are just outside the scope of, or irrelevant to, science. After all, science cannot prove there is not a god or life after death (any more than it can prove that there is).

 

Most major mainstream religions seem quite happy to accept the findings of science.

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Not all religions believe in a (literal) life after death.

But many if not most do. Going to heaven, paradise, reincarnate, etcetera. Hedging by 'literal' is a cop out.

 

But those things are not in opposition to science, they are just outside the scope of, or irrelevant to, science. After all, science cannot prove there is not a god or life after death (any more than it can prove that there is).

It's not a matter of proving anything and you seem only to present the old 'science is a religion' saw.

Most major mainstream religions seem quite happy to accept the findings of science.

Until or unless the findings of science contradict or seem to contradict some particular religious tenet.
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It's not a matter of proving anything

 

Exactly, religion doesn't (or shouldn't) need proof. Science is (or should be) independent of individual scientists beliefs, biases or preferences.

 

and you seem only to present the old 'science is a religion' saw.

 

Huh? I am saying the exact opposite. Science is obviously not a religion. But religion is irrelevant to sceince; religion is not, by definition, amenable to science.

 

Until or unless the findings of science contradict or seem to contradict some particular religious tenet.

 

Most mainstream religions seem to find some way of reconciling their beliefs with reality.

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It's not a matter of proving anything.

Exactly, religion doesn't (or shouldn't) need proof. Science is (or should be) independent of individual scientists beliefs, biases or preferences.

 

Then why do the religious go to so much effort to prove their beliefs by citing scripture and other such justifications? Who are they trying to convince of some truth or other if not unbelievers?

 

 

...

and you seem only to present the old 'science is a religion' saw.

Huh? I am saying the exact opposite. Science is obviously not a religion. But religion is irrelevant to sceince; religion is not, by definition, amenable to science.

 

Religion is amenable and relevant to scientific investigation. History, psychology, archaeology to name three areas. And clearly science is relevant to religion else we would not be having this discussion.

 

Most mainstream religions seem to find some way of reconciling their beliefs with reality.

:lol: Sure they do. When reality disagrees with belief the religious set about attacking -whether rhetorically or physically- the presenters of reality or per se atheists.

 

Why Be An Atheist?

Mind you I am just quoting parts I find germane to the discussion here.

 

This is a very good question; unfortunately, it isnt very easy to answer. There are perhaps as many reasons for being an atheist as there are atheists.

...

One common reason for atheism is contact with a variety of religions. It isnt unusual for an atheist to have been raised in a religious household and to have grown up living with the assumption that their religious tradition represented the One True Faith in the One True God. However, after learning more about other religious traditions, this same person may adopt a much more critical attitude towards their own religion and even religion generally, eventually coming to reject not only it but also belief in the existence of any gods.

...

Many atheists find their way to disbelief through science. Over the centuries science has come to offer explanations of aspects of our word which were once the exclusive domain of religion. Because scientific explanations have been more productive than religious or theistic explanations, the ability of religion to demand allegiance has weakened. As a result, some people have come to entirely reject not only religion, but also belief in the existence of a god. For them, gods are useless as an explanation for any feature of the universe and provide nothing worth investigating.

...

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Then why do the religious go to so much effort to prove their beliefs by citing scripture and other such justifications? Who are they trying to convince of some truth or other if not unbelievers?

 

Well, it is hardly surprising that they will look to their own sources to back up their beliefs. That isn't looking for "proof", just confirmation. The point at which it becomes odd (to my mind) is when they try and interpret or twist science to claim it supports their beliefs.

 

Religion is amenable and relevant to scientific investigation. History, psychology, archaeology to name three areas.

 

Well, obviously. But the subject of religion (i.e. metaphysics and God or gods) is, by definition, outside the scope of science (which deals with understanding the natural world, not the supernatural).

 

When reality disagrees with belief the religious set about attacking -whether rhetorically or physically- the presenters of reality or per se atheists.

 

Some might. Most don't. And, of course, many of those advancing our understanding through science are themselves religious.

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Well, it is hardly surprising that they will look to their own sources to back up their beliefs. That isn't looking for "proof", just confirmation. The point at which it becomes odd (to my mind) is when they try and interpret or twist science to claim it supports their beliefs.

I guess we need to ask 'they' if what they proffer is proof or no.

 

 

Religion is amenable and relevant to scientific investigation. History, psychology, archaeology to name three areas.

Well, obviously. But the subject of religion (i.e. metaphysics and God or gods) is, by definition, outside the scope of science (which deals with understanding the natural world, not the supernatural).

 

Erhm...but I posted that obviosity in response to you saying

...religion is not, by definition, amenable to science.

:blink: Oh but I see, you meant 'the subject of religion'. But then that too is a subject of science insomuch as science is concerned with identifying the falsifiability of things.

 

When reality disagrees with belief the religious set about attacking -whether rhetorically or physically- the presenters of reality or per se atheists.

Some might. Most don't. And, of course, many of those advancing our understanding through science are themselves religious.

 

Might? Really? Good grief man this very board is littered with examples of religious attacks on science. As to ascertaining whether 'those advancing our understanding through science' (why not say scientists here?), I doubt either you or I can accurately quantify the percentage, much less adjudge each and every instance wherein a religious belief might be in conflict with the science at hand.

 

Demographics of atheism

[bolding mine]

Statistical problems

 

Statistics on atheism are often difficult to represent accurately for a variety of reasons. Atheism is a position compatible with other forms of identity. Some atheists also consider themselves Agnostic, Buddhist, Hindu, Jains, Taoist, or hold other related philosophical beliefs. Some, like Secular Jews and Shintoists, may indulge in some religious activities as a way of connecting with their culture, all the while being atheist. Therefore, given limited poll options, some may use other terms to describe their identity. Some politically motivated organizations that report or gather population statistics may, intentionally or unintentionally, misrepresent atheists. Survey designs may bias results due to the nature of elements such as the wording of questions and the available response options. Statistics are generally collected on the assumption that religion is a categorical variable. Instruments have been designed to measure attitudes toward religion, including one that was used by L. L. Thurstone. This may be a particularly important consideration among people who have neutral attitudes, as it is more likely that prevailing social norms will influence the responses of such people on survey questions that effectively force respondents to categorize themselves either as belonging to a particular religion or belonging to no religion. A negative perception of atheists and pressure from family and peers may also cause some atheists to disassociate themselves from atheism. Misunderstanding of the term may also be a reason some label themselves differently.

...

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The reason I started this topic was with John saying he was a Atheist.

 

Which set me thinking about Atheists and whether or not I was an Atheist.

 

Oops!

Sorry, I should have explained that the universe does not give a flying one about your beliefs (or lack of them). If I had pointed that out, we could have avoided a pointless thread.

Can I ask one of the mods to close this thread now?

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