Re: Dawkins was right all along

From: Bill Spight (
Date: Sat Sep 22 2001 - 19:17:19 BST

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    From: Bill Spight <>
    Subject: Re: Dawkins was right all along
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    Dear Wade,

    > "Beliefs, including religious ones, are learned. Which makes atheism a
    > normal state of affairs and religious beliefs a learned "abnormality". No
    > psychological theory is necessary to explain the causes of a normal base
    > state. Any psychological theory of learning, attitude change or
    > socialization can explain the causes of religious belief."
    > - Rosemary Lyndall, clinical neuro-psychologist

    Dr. Lyndall is confusing no belief in God with belief that there is no
    God. Ever worse, she shows an ignorance of child psychology. Children
    have many beliefs that are not learned. Anyone who has studied Piaget
    knows that. The innate mind is not a tabula rasa.

    There was a time when I was a child that I thought that chocolate milk
    came from calves. ;-) Nobody taught me that. Children form beliefs as
    they try to make sense of the world. Learning is only part of the
    process, and a good bit of learning involves unlearning misconceptions.

    > The fact that all children are atheists is an often overlooked one. And
    > saying so can get you killed in some places.

    Overlooked because it is not so. If anything, untutored children are
    animists, I expect. They attribute life to movement and change. The idea
    of a Rain God or Thunder God is one that could arise spontaneously from
    such attribution, for instance.



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