Re: Dawkins was right all along

From: Robin Faichney (
Date: Sat Sep 22 2001 - 18:58:29 BST

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    Subject: Re: Dawkins was right all along
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    In-Reply-To: <[]>; from on Sat, Sep 22, 2001 at 11:32:21AM -0400
    From: Robin Faichney <>
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    On Sat, Sep 22, 2001 at 11:32:21AM -0400, Wade T.Smith wrote:
    > Hi Philip Jonkers -
    > >BTW, I share the opinion that religion is like a virus
    > >of the mind; I was infected myself virtually from birth
    > >but had the fortunate de-brainwashing capacity to rid myself
    > >of it in the recent years.
    > "Beliefs, including religious ones, are learned. Which makes atheism a
    > normal state of affairs and religious beliefs a learned "abnormality".

    So it's more normal not to have learned than to have learned?

    > No
    > psychological theory is necessary to explain the causes of a normal base
    > state.

    Plenty of psychological theory is necessary to explain the state of a
    newborn child. The words "normal" and "base" have no other function
    there than to cover a normative assumption.

    > Any psychological theory of learning, attitude change or
    > socialization can explain the causes of religious belief."

    Any such theory can also explain the causes of any other belief, including
    that in the non-existence of some or any god.

    > - Rosemary Lyndall, clinical neuro-psychologist

    Are we supposed to be impressed by that? I know psychologists who
    are fruitcakes and arseholes. The frequency of their distribution is
    probably just about the same as in any other academic discipline -- ie,

    > The fact that all children are atheists is an often overlooked one.

    Is there really no significant difference between (a) never having
    thought about something, and (b) thinking about it then deciding you
    don't believe in it?

    > And
    > saying so can get you killed in some places.

    I doubt whether that's true, but it's strictly irrelevant.

    > But atheists do not remain children, even if they never 'grow up'.
    > Growing up often means not growing more.
    > And cultured plants are often seedless.
    > And denying childhood is a common religious tactic.

    Didn't Christ have something to say about children?

    I'm an atheist myself[1], but I hate the irrational and dishonest tactics
    of the militant sort.

    [1] I aspire to absolute agnosticism, because I don't "believe in"
    belief or disbelief, but I have not yet conquered my habitual tendency
    to believe in some things and disbelieve in others, and the Christian
    god falls into the latter category.

    "The distinction between mind and matter is in the mind, not in matter."
    Robin Faichney -- inside information --

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