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Imagine for a moment that the concept of god never existed, that no one had ever heard of such an idea. The thought of a god had never entered anyone's mind. Inadvertently, everyone would be an atheist, they could not even be agnostic. The question of whether a god did or did not exist would never come up, you wouldn't even know what a god was.

Now imagine that someone came up with the idea of a magical leprechaun overlord that had great power. They offer no proof, also their beliefs contradict the laws of physics, go against established science, and even common sense. To conjecture whether a magical leprechaun did or did not exist would be irrelevant. For without proof there is no reason to believe this magical leprechaun exists in the first place, or to befuddle the mind in useless speculation. Without proof there would be no starting point. You would be trying to prove or disprove a baseless fabricated story.

The confusion comes from being born into a world saturated with strong belief already, statements and questions about a god have already confronted us even as children, believers wrongly take it as an established fact.


nogod4me 8 Aug 12

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To be more precise all people are born Atheists....all sentient species are born without lurking alleged cosmic creators scattering stars nebulae planets asteroids and comets 10 billion light years distant and receding from our nighttime viewpoints.....the gibberish sounds gott gawd gods in any language have no meaning because as you suggest above there is no evidence nor rational definition for little green Irish pots of gold "men" unseen except in drunken stupor of too much Johnny Walker Black Label Blended Scotch Whiskey hallucinations....the dictionary is deliberately WRONG mis-defining Atheism and Atheists as the act or acting in "denial" of assumed extant alleged deities

We should start branding all religions and believers as "conspiracy theory/theorists"


all humans are born non believers, that is a fact

All humans are born without any concepts of our cultural conditioning. Thus, while this talking point MAY be true, it's kind of dumb.

I was born ignorant to the concept of coffee makers, automatic transmissions and voting as well, after all.

Yes, we are born non-believers but humans have a great capacity for belief in the supernatural:

“In a revealing experiment with children, Jesse Bering, a psychologist at Queens University in Ireland, created a puppet show. In the show, a puppet alligator swallows a puppet mouse. Bering then asked the children various questions about the mouse. Does the mouse still eat? Does the mouse miss its mother? The children knew the mouse could no longer eat, but they thought it missed its mother. These young children attributed to a dead mouse a mental state that they were unable to conceive no longer exists. This concept often shows up in debates about abortion rights as some variant of the question, “How would you feel if you had been aborted?” Bering’s simple but brilliant experiment shows that even children demonstrate the mind-body split; this means that belief in the supernatural is not something learned from our culture as we grow from infants into toddlers and more cognizant children. It is original equipment, requiring no social prompting.

Children also demonstrate another aspect of this foundation of religious belief. Almost half of all four-year-olds have imaginary friends. It turns out that those who do generally grow up to be more socially competent. In many ways, a god is our imaginary friend. Whatever version of the supernatural our culture imparts to us, it lands on a mind already biased to accept that human mental life and capacities float free of a living or dead body. The supernatural beliefs of religion merely pirate the way our brain is designed to think about other people, their minds, and their intentions. The mind and all that fills it remains separate from the body. Understanding the attachment system and the mind-body split is just the beginning of understanding the ways in which the mind can be tricked into belief.”

Thomson, J. Anderson. Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith - BookMasters.

@nogod4me as I understand the experiment was made with children aged 5 to 8, these minds are already polluted by religion, in my modest opinion, to be able to draw conclusions you should at least be able to study unpolluted minds, at that age, impossible, so the validity of the experiment is really doubtful. The latter observation about imaginary friends of 4 year olds to me just shows projection of imagination to have a playmate, like when girls serve tea to her imaginary family, to derive belief in the supernatural from that desire to play and make up imaginary families or friends is at the minimum debatable.

@Mb_Man truth is not dumb, just true.

@Mofo1953 In this case, this "truth" is incredibly dumb. Not quite to the level of "all children in Utah are future Mormons!", but very close.

@Mb_Man your opinion is incredibly moronic to the nth degree, and just that, a stupid opinion. What is truthful , again, cannot by definition be dumb, there are no dumb facts or truths, a fact is a fact. It ain't intelligent or dumb, just a fact, as well as truths. But people like all humans can definitely be dumb, and right now you're making a pretty darn good case for that fact.

@Mofo1953 I can live with that designation. If it is the price one pays in avoiding ideological sheep speak, I'll gladly take on any connotation thrown my way.

There is much more to the world than atheism Vs Theism. Such is but a tiny speck in the mountain of specks that makes up all the knowledge that humans and animals are born without. Since no one ever thought to make light of the fact that we're also born without any knowledge of cruise ships or social media, I also apply the same rule to this area.

Because "Everyone is born a non-believer- FACT!" sounds strikingly similar to "Everyone in Saudi Arabia is born future Wahabi Muslims!". No, the statements are not anywhere close to equal. None the less, a brain running on ideology often doesn't comprehend external nuances.

Because ideology always has the answers. No think, just recite.

@Mb_Man your recitation is too long and still sucks.

@Mofo1953 It was around double the length of your previous reply. If that is too long for you . . . lol


If rainbows shot out of my ass I might be able to make Shittles. We can say "what if" all we want, but we live in the "what is". Imagine for a moment the concept of a concept didn't exist, but it does.

I think the concept of a God would have always come up. At least one person was curious enough to bring it up. So why is it so unbelievable to think that as the population grew that it wouldn't have been brought up anyway? The questions always would have arisen. Why am I here? How did I get here? What is my purpose here? How was I created? Etc., etc., etc.

The point of my comment was not about a "what if" scenario.

Without a god concept, these questions: "Why am I here? How did I get here? What is my purpose here? How was I created?", would not necessarily lead to a god at all.

@nogod4me Yeah, but I think it would be probable. How did the God concept come up in the first place? At least one human had to be curious about their existence and think about it and if that one person thought about it then what's to say after many many more billions of people living throughout history that at least some of them wouldn't have come up with the God concept? We know we're all curious by nature. The logic that nobody would have thought about it is faulty because people have already thought about it. It's not like the "God concept" was spelled out for humans on a big rock by another being and then they stumbled upon it without having a thought about it on their own.

@Piece2YourPuzzle Yes, that is one of my points, the other point is that we should resist the temptation.

The video points that out very well.


The video states that we are the only species that has self awareness. I don’t think that’s true.

I’m not sold on the idea that religion was developed because of fear. I suppose that could be a factor, but if I were an ancient I think I’d be more afraid of Woden, Thor and the like than of thunder and lightning. I think religion developed as a collection of artistic expressions.

All that self-promotion about mankind’s dazzling achievements does not impress me. Sure, we’ve advanced in knowledge and understanding but that knowledge is superficial. At heart we are just as ignorant as ever.

The video makes some bald-faced claims that are actually nothing but opinion.

Actually, the fear of death has a lot to do with religion.

Eric Hoffer explains why people reject themselves and others in order to be "saved":

"By renouncing the self we are getting out from underneath the only burden that is real. For however much we identify ourselves with a holy cause, our fears on its behalf can never be as real and poignant as our fear and trembling in behalf of a perishable self. The short-lived self, teetering on the edge of irrevocable extinction, is the only thing that can ever really matter. Thus the renunciation of the self is felt as a liberation and salvation."

@nogod4me I was just thinking that In European mythology only the gods and goddesses were immortal for the most part. That would preclude fear of death as a reason for inventing those gods and goddesses wouldn’t it? For that matter I’m not sure if the Old Testament is all that clear about an afterlife for everyone. I’m no bible scholar though.

So far as self-renunciation, that sounds like Hindu philosophy. Self-renunciation would give scant comfort to anyone hoping to be whisked off to heaven, retaining their current sense of personhood with their unique memories and personal characteristics. A person who renounces the self has come to the realization that the thing he thought was himself is nothing at all and that what he thought was “his” conscious awareness did not belong to him but is universal. Of course there is comfort in thinking that conscious awareness is primary and indestructible I suppose, and that by identifying with that at least the only vital part of our selves lives on—was not born and can not die.

Just because a metaphysical idea brings joy and comfort doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s false. I feel drawn to the Hindu philosophy and if it gives me pleasure to think about, what of it?

@WilliamFleming - Sounds like more religious nonsense. How does “his” conscious awareness not belong to him but be universal.

I'm sure there are many reasons humans invent religion, however, the fear of death has a lot to do with religion. It couldn't be more obvious, worshipping a dead man on a cross that has supposedly conquered death and hell and invites you to do the same.

"The fanatic is perpetually incomplete and insecure. He cannot generate self-assurance out of his individual resources - out of his rejected self - but finds it only by clinging passionately to whatever support he happens to embrace. This passionate attachment is the essence of his blind devotion and religiosity, and he sees in it the source of all virtue and strength - He easily sees himself as the supporter and defender of the holy cause to which he clings. And he is ready to sacrifice his life." - Eric Hoffer - Author of The True Believer

"Both Faith and Terror are instruments for the elimination of individual self-respect. Terror crushes the autonomy of self-respect, while Faith obtains its more or less voluntary surrender. In both cases the result of the elimination of individual autonomy is - automatism. Both Faith and Terror reduce the human entity to a formula that can be manipulated at will." - Eric Hoffer

@nogod4me I agree absolutely that Christianity is all about surviving death, but Christianity is a relative newcomer. Christianity doesn’t represent the invention of religion.

You can quote Eric Hoffer all day long and you won’t persuade me of anything—I’m no fan. I rely on my own thoughts and intuitions. Hoffer himself is a kind of fanatic, clinging with religious-like zeal to his simplistic world view.


Universal Consciousness







Lest the idea of a unitary, group, or universal mind be dismissed as new-age woo-woo, we should note that some of the most distinguished scientists of the 20th century have endorsed this perspective. The renowned physicist David Bohm said, "Each person enfolds something of the spirit of the other in his consciousness. Deep down the consciousness of mankind is one. This is a virtual certainty... and if we don't see this it's because we are blinding ourselves to it." Anthropologist and psychologist Gregory Bateson: "The individual mind is immanent but not only in the body. It is immanent also in the pathways and messages outside the body; and there is a larger Mind of which the individual mind is only a sub-system..." Physicist Henry Margenau: "There is a physical reality that is in essence the same for all... [This] oneness of the all implies the universality of mind... If my conclusions are correct, each individual is part of God or part of the Universal Mind." Nobel physicist Erwin Schrodinger also believed that minds are united and one. He said, "To divide or multiply consciousness is something meaningless. There is obviously only one alternative, namely the unification of minds or consciousness... [I]n truth there is only one mind." []

@WilliamFleming I realize your are trying to be contrary and argumentative in order to convince yourself that you are enlightened.

However, it comes across as just being trite, ignorant, and bordering on childishness.

Concerning your universal mind theory: it would not matter if every genius, scientist, leader, or philosopher in the world and throughout history believed in a universal mind, it still would not prove that this universal mind exists, just as: it would not matter if every genius, scientist, leader, or philosopher in the world and throughout history believed in a god, it still would not prove that a god exists.

Just because a respectable person accepts unsubstantiated beliefs, doesn't make their beliefs worthy of respect.

You state: "The video states that we are the only species that has self awareness. I don’t think that’s true."

Do you know of another species that has: "conscious knowledge of one's own character, feelings, motives, and desires"?

@nogod4me It would be hard to know unless you were them. You are the one who wants to have everything proven to you. The burden of proof is on you.

@nogod4me “I realize your are trying to be contrary and argumentative in order to convince yourself that you are enlightened.”

Sounds like you are pretending to be a psychiatrist. It is not a valid argument to psychoanalyze your debate opponent. You have to present arguments based on substance. Offer evidence, not your psychiatric opinion. And I don’t care how I come across to you. I am speaking from the heart. Your reaction to what I say is your problem only.

And you continue to harp about proofs. No one knows or understands universal consciousness fully, and the concept might never be understood. On the other hand, someday someone might devise experiments that bring light. Sounds like you are forbidding us to talk about universal consciousness.

When Einstein introduced his theories on evolution they were met with skepticism and even scorn. People didn’t read his papers and say, “Aha! Proof!” No, it was years before physicists were persuaded.

I will continue to think about and discuss metaphysical ideas. If those ideas disturb you maybe it is time to psychoanalyze your own self.

@WilliamFleming “A doctrine insulates the devout not only against the realities around them but also against their own selves. The fanatical believer is not conscious of his envy, malice, pettiness and dishonesty. There is a wall of words between his consciousness and his real self.” - Eric Hoffer, The True Believer

First you tell me about the universal mind as if it is real. Then you snake yourself around a wall of words and in a deceptive manner finally admit that it's not proven yet and needs more research.

I asked you a simple question: Do you KNOW of anyone who doesn't need or use money. First you come up with lame examples that are irrelevant to the question and then you snake yourself around a wall of words and in a deceptive manner finally admit that you don't KNOW of anyone who doesn't need or use money.

That is such an old believer trick, it is so tiresome. That is why I said you seem trite, ignorant, and childish. It doesn't take any analysis, it just takes you not lying to yourself.

You couldn’t be any more disingenuous than with this statement: “It would be hard to know unless you were them.”

Actually, I think your intelligent enough that you do know. You just continually obfuscate to delude yourself.

I couldn’t care less about your spiritual mumbo-jumbo.


Exactly. Believers wrongly take it as an established fact. The adults pass this all on to their children. Before long you see 6 year old with eyes shut and waving their hands up in the air babbling like idiots. Oh, she's got the Holy Goat!


There’s no harm in coming up with ideas, even if they can’t be proven. Ideas sometimes develop into great inventions or deep understanding. The metaphysics of today might be the physics of tomorrow.

The problem is declaring that your idea is absolute truth, and in trying to coerce people into belief.

Belief is way overrated. Belief is only a value judgment—an emotion. So far as proof, nothing can be proven absolutely because every logical system depends on assumptions and definitions.

So far as the God question, ultimate reality is way above our heads. It is useless to argue over something that you can’t define and don’t understand.

I don't need to define or understand the multitude of beliefs, imaginations, and even the machinations of believers, actually, it would be impossible and a waste of time. Belief is divergent and fickle.

The person making an assertion, must prove the assertion, it is the responsibility of the theist to prove the assertions they make. Just as it would be the responsibility of a scientist to prove the assertions they make. If you can't prove the assertion then stop making the assertion, just because you believe something doesn't make it true.

As I said, "for without proof there is no reason to believe this [god} exists in the first place, or to befuddle the mind in useless speculation. Without proof there would be no starting point. You would be trying to prove or disprove a baseless fabricated story."

@nogod4me I am not a believer in the burden of proof concept. We are not in a courtroom and you are not sitting on a jury. The only burden, if there is one, is for each interested person to examine all the available evidence with an open mind. There’s no such thing as an airtight proof because proofs are based on assumptions and definitions, however, if you ponder the evidence you might spontaneously begin to lean toward belief or disbelief, or you might remain undecided. I have a right to bring forth whatever ideas I wish. If you are sitting there waiting for me to “prove” all my assertions you might wait until doomsday.

The concepts of belief, disbelief, time, space, matter, and existence itself are all human mind things and have no meaning from a cosmic perspective. We don’t understand conscious awareness or know from whence it arises, and therefore we have little idea what we ourselves are.

All those gods and goddesses that have been invented are obviously phantasy, but because something has been wrongly described does not necessarily invalidate that thing. Ultimate Reality beyond our symbolic sense bubble is beyond our reach and can not be understood. Yet there IS an ultimate reality.

@WilliamFleming That is exactly what a True Believer would say.

As I said, I couldn’t care less about your spiritual mumbo-jumbo.

You are dishonest don't talk to me anymore.


I love sharing this story so I apologize to anyone who has seen it before.

When I moved to Korea with my kids, I didn't do anything for Easter for a couple of years. Finally I decided to do a small Easter egg hunt for the kids. They were young enough that they'd forgotten about Easter from before. As I was preparing, I started telling my oldest daughter about this big bunny that would hide colored eggs. She looked at me like I was crazy and I trailed off, feeling like a complete idiot.

So yeah, I think it would be something like that.


There have been groups of people who had never heard of the "god" idea, and once introduced to it, found it ridiculous.


Yes, imagine telling an educated adult without religious indoctrination about Noah's Ark, a man walking on water, raising the dead, multiplying food, etc. I would love to see their face.

The confusion comes from being born into a world saturated with strong belief already, statements and questions about a god have already confronted us even as children, believers wrongly take it as an established fact.

@nogod4me One really doesn't even have to imagine. Just ask any believer to consider the myths and teachings of a foreign religion, with the caveat that they are to consider them as literally true. Laughter is usually the reaction.


Religion is often the first thing we think of when we think of controlling cults, but religion isn't the only concept that fits the bill. Cults can and have been based on politics, business, science fiction and pseudo-science to mention a few. We humans seem to be able to latch onto almost any concept and take it too far. The point here is that even if we remove the concept of Gods and diety, we seem to have the potential to create the same zealousness for other ideas - factual or fictitious - as we do for religion.


The video keeps repeating... only when we do X will everything start to be ok. It’s saying we are not currently behaving properly and need to be saved by a correction in our behaviour.
God isn’t dead; he just changed his name to Science.

skado Level 9 Aug 12, 2019

"Imagine for a moment that the concept of god never existed" the problem imo is that this is not really cognizant of how our concept of gods and God formed; beliefs do not develop out of thin air, yeh? And fwiw God hates religion more than you do, the OT is a record of the failure of a theocracy, right? "Believers" are roundly condemned throughout the Bible as opposed to Doers who refused to acknowledge a king--Samaritans and other rebel types, iow--and refused to even walk the same side of the street as Priests and Levites if a fellow human was in need. So wisdom might be hidden from the wise after all?


I see religion as a "Culturally supported delusion," a phrase of my own devising. The concept of religion, in my perspective, came before the concept of using it to control people, as a tool of manipulation and control.
But, as pointed out, clearly visible today, people seek patterns, people are also afraid of the randomness they sense running the world, and invented gods as ways to explain, attempts to find explanations, causes, for how the world works. That gives them the fantasy that they can have some control, agency, over the workings of the world. As in If you pray 23 rosaries on an odd dated Tuesday, when it is sunny before 10:00 A.M., and throw 23 bits of salt over your shoulder, god will listen to your prayers." Right!!

I agree that religion is intricately intertwined with culture. Years ago (and perhaps today as well, I haven't heard about them in a long time) there was an organization known as Jews for Jesus. As I understand, these were Jews who came accepted Jesus as Christians do, but they wanted to maintain their Jewish traditions. Also, many of the Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter were adapted from Pagan holidays which occurred about the same time of the year.

@Shouldbefishing - No doubt this is true, but modern day Jews for Jesus were those Jews who took just a bit longer to get the Jesus message. By then the Christian culture had changed just a little. 😊

@RussRAB Yes, I have a cousin who was into that for a while, many years ago. these days, she is into Trump. Is it the same wish for a savior? Probably.


To begin with, God cannot be proven to exist. Nor, can God be proven not to exist.
It is possible to prove that a specific God does not exist. It is not possible to prove that ANY God does not exist. No matter how hard they try, both the theists and the atheists are arguing about something which they both know can't be proven one way or the other.
However, it is possible to speculate upon God.
If God exists, what form would God take?
If God exists, what would God's relationship to the universe be?
If God exists, what would God's relationship to humanity be?
If God doesn't exist then naturally these questions would be all be mute.
If God does or doesn't exist, what difference does that make? If there is no God, then all the questions are " how " questions. How does the Sun shine? How does the grass grow? How do the stars move in the galaxy?
However, if God does exist, then you get to ask " why " questions. Why does the Sun shine. Why does the grass grow? Why do the stars move in the galaxy? It opens up a whole new level of speculation.
We could have a universe with God or without God. If nothing else, the idea of God makes the universe more interesting.

More interesting? Why, because we can have an endless debate?

Maybe god has a social phobia and all the people searching for it is just pissing it off.


in this world if ppl don't believe in god then they need a pretty good alternative/drug. b/c otherwise there is no point whatsoever of existing.

I would agree, that there is no "point" to existing, but since we do, apparently as a random fluctuation, if you will, of the laws of physics and chemistry, we might as well be kind, and caring, for all the other "accidents" of life, humans included.

@BirdMan1 ,
true. i try to follow Plato's dictum: "be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle". i would word it slightly differently: a hard losing battle..


"Imagine for a moment that the concept of god never existed."

I can't imagine it. Ricky Gervais imagined a world where the concept of lying never existed. In the movie, "The Invention of Lying," the invention of lying is shortly followed by the invention of the "Big Man in the Sky."

I agree with Genessa, our nature is to seek patterns, even where none exist, and to invent "agents" that will calm our fears.


never happen. thing is, humankind itself wasn't born into a scientifically knowledgeable world. there was plenty of time for us to have questions with no apparent answers and it is human nature to make shit up rather than let things go unexplained. there always would be fantastic explanations, be they gods, leprechauns or something we can't even imagine. in an unsaturated world we would begun saturating. it's how we are.



I like to look back on the world before the "one gawd" concept....since there were hundreds, if not thousands, of deities people MINDED THEIR OWN BUSINESS!


Pretty sure I'd be calling bullshit on anyone making such claims.


>The confusion comes from being born into a world saturated with strong belief already, statements and questions about a god have already confronted us even as children, believers wrongly take it as an established fact.<

The Catholic church did quite a job!

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