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Do you think that human genetics which gave us higher levels of abstract thought and language, also can sometimes make us vulnerable to indoctrination by irrational beliefs ?

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  • 17 votes
Fernapple 8 July 9
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29 comments

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6

You need to have an imagination before you can have an imaginary friend. So Yes

Yes, at an even more basic level the question is little more than, do genetics have any effect on the way we think and behave.

@Fernapple The link between genetics and the way that we think and behave is well understood. There are a number of psychopathies that highly correlated with genetic factors.

@anglophone Yes quite so. I started this poll. Which may not be very well worded, because of an on going dispute with a member who claims that the members here are too ignorant of science to understand that.

@Fernapple Aha! 🙂

I must admit that the wording struck me as being slightly obfuscatory, and that is far from your usual style.

As an atheist who studied Life Sciences (primarily microbiology and genetics) I can state with a degree of confidence that there is a genetic link to some forms of mental illness. Further to that statement, mental illness can be defined as psychologically induced behavior that is outside the norms of society and if religious thought is the norm then it suggests that logical and scientific thought patterns would be outside the norm, or at best in the minority.
Adults cling to imaginary friends and imaginary think like a young child clings to a ratty old security blanket, perhaps because most of us do a very poor job of maturing beyond the level of teenagers, at least that's my observation.

@Fernapple
Where has a member claimed “that the members here are too ignorant of science to understand that”? Could you provide a link to that claim so we can all understand what this post is really about? Thanks.

@skado I think maybe my “dictionary gene” joke didn’t go over so well.. possibly, can’t say for sure. 🤔🤣

6

A dog figures out you are not going to throw the ball sooner than a human will figure out their "master" is lying about a specific date of the last days.

5

It’s like asking if having eyes makes us susceptible to mirages… uh yeah.

Exactly yes. It is a response to a poll by another member which tried to prove that in effect, not only does having eyes make us susceptible to mirages, but that it makes us susceptible to specific mirages, such as seeing cats eyes in bowls of soup. In other words the claim that having language and abstact thinking compels religion.

@Fernapple
Link or it didn’t happen. What member? What poll?

@Fernapple I don’t think having abstract thought compels religion. We just simply could not have religion without it, much like the eye/mirage analogy.

@skado It is not that easy to evade. You have to understand the two in context of one another.

Is religious belief natural or man made?

[agnostic.com]

@Fernapple
The two what? My two posts?

5

Of course ,how else can you explain the existence of liberals.

And all other forms of belief both rational and irrational.

and Conservatives?

@Robecology Yes of course conservatives .When it comes to behavioral Genetic Predispositions it is subjective if it is a positive or negative .

The exact same way one explains the existence of conservatives.

4

I can't understand why anyone would say no to this. Genetics are responsible for everything, no?

Is there a "stupid" gene? (Asking for the kid at the back of the class.)

@Davekp No but intelligence in its many forms , is perhaps controlled by a suite of genes.

@Davekp Technically there's an everything gene or genes, even if we're unsure where/what they are or have the ability to manipulate them.

@JeffMurray
I understand what you’re saying here, and basically agree, with one caveat. Genes do provide us with all of our capacities, but how we express the specifics of those capacities relies on cultural rather than genetic evolution. Example: genes give us the capacity for language, but they don’t give us English or Spanish. They give us the capacity for religion, but not Christianity or Buddhism.

@JeffMurray Is that kinda like taking it on “faith” that what you think is correct then?

@skado Sure, but you're not in control of any of that either, so it's basically the same answer. There isn't any cultural group immune to indoctrination/irrational beliefs, so it must be true that genetics, at minimum, allows for it.

@Davekp Not at all. We already know that our genes are responsible for many things, specifically, and our knowledge of the specifics grows exponentially. To think that our genes are responsible for millions of traits, but that just some of our traits we haven't specifically located the gene or genes responsible for are instead the cause of some external, metaphysical property would be the belief system that would require faith. Mine only requires logic. That would be like if we found a new green leafy plant in the rainforest and said it was a matter of faith to assume it synthesized its energy from the sun. Is it possible both of these things are wrong? I guess it's possible, but to assume that either of them are is the faith-based, less likely, and thus, illogical position to hold.

@JeffMurray
I’m not in disagreement about groups. Individuals can effect a certain amount of latitude but still not total immunity.

@skado I'm trying to approach this from the perspective of someone who doesn't yet realize that free will doesn't exist so that the argument is more widely persuasive, but it's difficult. Gonna give it a try though.
So we don't choose where or when we're born. We don't choose any mutations, which dominant or recessive traits take hold, any birth defects, who our parents are, who they introduce into our lives, whether or not they used drugs or had heredity diseases we inherited, etc. Even if you believe in free will, there are so many millions of things that affect you before you could even exercise it for the first time. Major things like who you trust, and how much you trust, are usually so formed, they're likely impossible to "choose" to overcome.
Think about someone you know who's really gullible. Don't you think they wish they weren't gullible (or as gullible)? Why don't they just choose to stop being gullible?
What's even worse in the case posed by the OP is that while gullible people may at times realize that people are pulling their legs because it's fun to fuck with them, indoctrinated people never know it's happening while it's happening and rarely even realize it later.

@JeffMurray Exactly. I could not explain ahead of time because it would bias the results, but it was to discover if members appreciated the difference between belief in general, and the specific sub-set of culturally created beliefs called religion, which I would hold are not inevitable and natural, even though belief may be. A few members I think did not understand because I deliberately made the wording difficult, in order to stop any wish to please bias, but the members are a smart lot.
It was a response to these joint postings, and some now deleted comments.

Is religious belief natural or man made?

[agnostic.com]

@JeffMurray Genes being responsible for “many” things doesn’t make them responsible for this “specific” thing. Does it? An enquiring mind wants to know. 😁

@Davekp Literally every single thing about you is in whole, or at least in part, dictated and/or controlled by your genes. So yes, this specific thing is included in everything.

More specifically, your genes dictate your capacity for intelligence, and as a result, your ability to comprehend what you're told and read (and even your ability to learn a language in the first place). Without this, you wouldn't be able to comprehend what people are saying to try to indoctrinate you. Given this, the OP statement is necessarily true.

Unless you deny that your genes dictate your capacity for intelligence despite the very clear evidence presented by afflictions that result in "developmental delay"? Unless you think extra chromosomes isn't an issue involving genetics? I'm not really sure why you're trying to argue what should be an easily discernable, very settled question.

@JeffMurray Yes.. you are no doubt correct about the gene thing. I tend to believe as you do. I am not arguing at all. My point is.. you ( or anyone apparently) can’t definitively point to one thing to absolutely prove your point. Therefore there is s level of faith that what you think you know about genes , up to this point, is correct and so can make a solid statement of what is clearly conjecture on your part. As it turns out that’s how this whole indoctrination thing works. Lol Lead someone to believe what they think is true then watch them champion it. “The election was stolen.”..? Etc.

History is full of things we thought we knew for sure.

@Davekp That is not the case with what I'm saying here. It is necessarily true that your genes, even if only the fact that you don't have 3 21st chromosomes, cause an increased ability to understand the words that one would use to indoctrinate you and thus, you have undeniable proof that the OP statement was true. I'm pointing to one exact thing that absolutely proves my point. There is no faith involved. I'm not sure what you're not getting about this.

@JeffMurray No lol.. you don't . Listen.. we aren't talking about the same thing and.. I said you were "probably right' about the genetics thing. Just take yes for an answer. Be happy you won and move on.

@Davekp Can you please detail what I'm saying and what you're saying and how they're different?
It doesn't seem like I "won" when it still seems like you're contradicting me. 😝

@JeffMurray I got no more time for this Jeff. Yes.. genetics are responsible for everything. . No contradicting you. You are correct.

@Davekp I love when I know my argument has been defeated and I pretend like it hasn't but that I don't have any more time so I concede the argument in an exaggerated way signaling I'm not actually conceding just to make it look like I know I'm right but the other person is too dumb to understand... all to save face, even though there's absolutely nothing wrong with admitting defeat and amending my position. It's my favorite move.

@JeffMurray Then you should be very pleased with yourself. Glad I could be of help in this matter. Always happy to make another feel good about themselves. It's in my genes, as it were.🤣

@Davekp Ooh, I forgot my follow up move where I pretend the sarcastic thing they said to make fun of me and call me out they were actually saying about themselves because I also think anyone reading is too dumb to figure that out for themselves.

Wait, I thought you didn't have any more time for this? Be careful, people might deduce you were the one that was just spouting bullshit to save face...

@JeffMurray 😂😂😂 now it’s just funny. you must be a real riot at social gatherings. You should tag team with Mofo1953 you both seem Genetically pre-programmed to continue to stab the dead body.

4

It's our ability to see patterns even where they are misleading. Rational thinking may help to compensate this bug/feature, but only to a certain extent. I think so...

Yes you hit it on the head. I could not explain ahead of time because it would bias the results, but it was to discover if members appreciated the difference between belief in general, and the specific sub-set of culturally created beliefs called religion, which I would hold are not inevitable and natural, even though belief may be. A few members I think did not understand because I deliberately made the wording difficult, in order to stop any wish to please bias, but the members are a smart lot.
It was a response to these joint postings, and some now deleted comments.

Is religious belief natural or man made?

[agnostic.com]

3

Look at religion and trumpers

3

Hahahaha.

To contend, as another poster did, that opinion polls offer evidential support for a genetic predisposition towards belief in god(s) is as risible as the resurrection.

The pursuit of knowledge and understanding is one of the motives behind inventive explanations of reality.

My thoughts exactly

Where has someone claimed that opinion polls offer evidential support for a genetic predisposition towards belief in god(s)? That sounds pretty silly.

@skado Not opinion polls no, that would be very silly.

Is religious belief natural or man made?

[agnostic.com]

@Fernapple
Indeed. You will notice that nowhere does that opinion poll or linked post claim that “opinion polls offer evidential support for a genetic predisposition towards belief in god(s)”.

@skado I am taking the two in context.

@Fernapple
In the context of what? Nothing I’ve said.

3

The sun is similarly responsible for rainy days…

I could not explain ahead of time because it would bias the results, but it was to discover if members appreciated the difference between belief in general, and the specific sub-set of culturally created beliefs called religion, which I would hold are not inevitable and natural, even though belief may be. A few members I think did not understand because I deliberately made the wording difficult, in order to stop any wish to please bias, but the members are a smart lot.
It was a response to these joint postings, and some now deleted comments.

Is religious belief natural or man made?

[agnostic.com]

3

I think it's only obvious.

I could not explain ahead of time because it would bias the results, but it was to discover if members appreciated the difference between belief in general, and the specific sub-set of culturally created beliefs called religion, which I would hold are not inevitable and natural, even though belief may be. A few members I think did not understand because I deliberately made the wording difficult, in order to stop any wish to please bias, but the members are a smart lot.
It was a response to these joint postings, and some now deleted comments.

Is religious belief natural or man made?

[agnostic.com]

3

Maybe, for the benefit of us without the dictionary gene the question can be posed as, "Can you be genetically "stupid"? lol

Exactly. I could not explain ahead of time because it would bias the results, but it was to discover if members appreciated the difference between belief in general, and the specific sub-set of culturally created beliefs called religion, which I would hold are not inevitable and natural, even though belief may be. A few members I think did not understand because I deliberately made the wording difficult, in order to stop any wish to please bias, but the members are a smart lot.
It was a response to these joint postings, and some now deleted comments.

Is religious belief natural or man made?

[agnostic.com]

2

Peer pressure plays a huge role in all of this. I was raised in a catholic family and a heavily ethnic catholic small town. It was a cultural piece of everyone's identity - the Irish kids went to St. Mary's, the Italian kids went to St. Anthony's, us polaks and eastern europeans went to St. Casimir's, the Russians and the Ukies went to St. Michael's. Each parish had a social hierarchy. I was an altar boy, FFS, mostly because I liked the juice it gave me socially. I ALWAYS thought that the dogma was horseshit, but I played along laughing up my sleeve the whole time. There was no abstract dimension to the religion I was by happenstance thrust into. Now, as far as everyone else was concerned, a lot of those folks sincerely believed that crap, but a lot of it was about them clustering together in tribal parishes, speaking their native languages and cooking ethnic foods for the church picnics, feeling superior to the other ethnic groups. But I did answer yes to the poll question. The abstract thought part surely plays a role for most folks, but there are other factors involved as well.

zeuser Level 8 July 11, 2021

I hear ya. Go along just to get along. Growing up in Kansas, that was the model of the day. Declaring you were an atheist could get you killed in some parts of the state.

2

Isn't what ur really asking " does being smarter make us dumber?"?

Yes almost.

2

Nah. "Monkey brain says MAGIC."

2

The question isn't clear. Genetics is the science that explains natural selection and evolution. Can some families select behaviors that make them more "vulnerable to indoctrination by irrational beliefs' - as in becoming religious or superstitious?

Sure.

But these behaviors - while leading to more procreation - are also leading to less survival skills - more obesity, less health consciousness, more unwise decisions that might enrich their wealth but not necessarily their survival nor their health. In other words....the religious are less likely to survive as well as the un or non-religious.

Look at what's happening to the COVID delta victims. Over 99% of them are those who intentionally avoided the vaccine - some would say for political reasons, others for pseudo-science reasons (fear of complications - that have been proven inaccurate), and still others...I'm afraid it's those who are "vulnerable to indoctrination by irrational beliefs"...

Read; "Fauci: More than 99% of people who died from COVID-19 in June were not vaccinated"

[thehill.com]

In some population-genetic studies it's been proven that the thought levels of the organisms studied didn't seem to be relevant to their survival...but these studies were done with fruit flies, rats, or ants...none that I know of were done with humans.

Read; Population Density and Social Pathology
JOHN B.CALHOUN, PH.D., National Institute of Mental Health

[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]

Yes my thoughts exactly. Genetics creates general trends but not specific occurences.

I could not explain ahead of time because it would bias the results, but it was to discover if members appreciated the difference between belief in general, and the specific sub-set of culturally created beliefs called religion, which I would hold are not inevitable and natural, even though belief may be. A few members I think did not understand because I deliberately made the wording difficult, in order to stop any wish to please bias, but the members are a smart lot.
It was a response to these joint postings, and some now deleted comments.

Is religious belief natural or man made?

[agnostic.com]

2

What it boils down to is this…….YOU control your own mind. You make the efforts by studying or by memorizing certain things that shape your thoughts. Nothing or nobody else does….. unless your weak and allow others to do so.

I could not explain ahead of time because it would bias the results, but it was to discover if members appreciated the difference between belief in general, and the specific sub-set of culturally created beliefs called religion, which I would hold are not inevitable and natural, even though belief may be. A few members I think did not understand because I deliberately made the wording difficult, in order to stop any wish to please bias, but the members are a smart lot.
It was a response to these joint postings, and some now deleted comments.

Is religious belief natural or man made?

[agnostic.com]

2

I think irrational beliefs that result i religion are instinctual hold overs from our past. To fear change and the unfamiliar was once a part of our survival instincts.

That is the point exactly. I could not explain ahead of time because it would bias the results, but it was to discover if members appreciated the difference between belief in general, and the specific sub-set of culturally created beliefs called religion, which I would hold are not inevitable and natural, even though belief may be. A few members I think did not understand because I deliberately made the wording difficult, in order to stop any wish to please bias, but the members are a smart lot.
It was a response to these joint postings, and some now deleted comments.

Is religious belief natural or man made?

[agnostic.com]

@Fernapple I do think it is possible to over come out instincts with rationality.

2

My no vote comes from my semantic analysis of your question.

I could not explain ahead of time because it would bias the results, but it was to discover if members appreciated the difference between belief in general, and the specific sub-set of culturally created beliefs called religion, which I would hold are not inevitable and natural, even though belief may be. A few members I think did not understand because I deliberately made the wording difficult, in order to stop any wish to please bias, but the members are a smart lot.
It was a response to these joint postings, and some now deleted comments.

Is religious belief natural or man made?

[agnostic.com]

@Fernapple Aha! I like you experimental technique. 🙂

1

I don't know enough...I do think we are most vulnerable when we fail to listen to our own voices, and begin to give responsibilty and authority to others for that failure

1

Not if they are starting out with rational beliefs.

This seems borderline circular...

1

There's likely a genetic programming to make most people worship authorities because for many thousands of years we've had vicious rulers who simply murdered people who didn't conform to all the required beliefs. Conforming is survival, and being a vicious defender of the authority further increases your success. That is be aided by stupidity. So we have two rival pressures which work against each other and prevent further increases in intelligence. Humans have only just reached the level of full general intelligence, but most people are shackled in their thinking and never do anything other than follow, and most of them follow the wrong leaders. Religions have exploited this defect. The original religions were different: they had spirits which were based on real evidence, such as weird noises from creaking trees, voices shouting back at you out of empty caves, and drug-fueled visions. Those developed into systems of control though where experts emerged and laid down the law as to what was what, but with those experts fully aware that they were actually just manipulating others for their own selfish ends, so even in small tribal communities you can find vicious leaders branding people as witches and having them murdered.

1

Human being seem to have a need or desire to find explanactions for events around them. Michael Shermer discusses in one of his books about how humans are pattern seeking creatures. Experiments have shown that humans find patterns in sequences that are intentionally randomized with no patterns intended. Believing something true and disbelieving something false can have survival advantages, while believing something false or disbelieving something true could have negative survival consequences or not. Some beliefs in false things could have no immediate negative consequences. Common beliefs whether true or false could assist with cohesion of a group and help define individuals place in the hierarchy. Such definitions could very well have survival advantages.

Yes that is a very good short overview. Thank you.

1

Humans are emotional beings and often have abstract thoughts. There is always a possibility that something inspirational or compelling might tap into my subconscious mind, and I might develop a "belief" as such, rational or irrational - I just might...

Ryo1 Level 7 July 9, 2021
1

As sellected by evolution yes.

I could not explain ahead of time because it would bias the results, but it was to discover if members appreciated the difference between belief in general, and the specific sub-set of culturally created beliefs called religion, which I would hold are not inevitable and natural, even though belief may be. A few members I think did not understand because I deliberately made the wording difficult, in order to stop any wish to please bias, but the members are a smart lot.
It was a response to these joint postings, and some now deleted comments.

Is religious belief natural or man made?

[agnostic.com]

1

The question is contradictory to abstract thought theory, as indoctrination, a proven mental weakness within humanity, especially within the political arena among citizenship. With the world citizenship under a constant 24 hour programing of negative propaganda towards conditioning to manage our perception towards a false reality to benefit the ruling class, abstract thought is obviously lacking when the majority of this citizenship can't recognize when they're being indoctrinated into compliance against societies own spoken principles. Even worse, when the leaders they continue to vote for break these same principles as they use orchestrated tribal division, unable to recognize this we offer ourselves to be sacrificed. Even worse, our children to be killed in false manufactured wars.

Exactly that. I could not explain ahead of time because it would bias the results, but it was to discover if members appreciated the difference between belief in general, and the specific sub-set of culturally created beliefs called religion, which I would hold are not inevitable and natural, even though belief may be. A few members I think did not understand because I deliberately made the wording difficult, in order to stop any wish to please bias, but the members are a smart lot.
It was a response to these joint postings, and some now deleted comments.

Is religious belief natural or man made?

[agnostic.com]

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