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    1. #1
      Bio-Turing Machine O'nus's Avatar
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      We Are All Born Believing....?

      There are a few threads running amok debating what beliefs we born with, if we choose our beliefs, or how we choose our beliefs.

      I decided to make this thread specifically for what we are born believing.

      After some careful thought, inspired by these threads, I decided to delve a little more into these details.

      Where I was just so recently debating that we are born Atheist as being implicated by ignorance, I now see it differently. I have yet the confidence in any of the articles I have reviewed to reference them yet, but I have the personal confidence that they are true. Let me explain.

      There are no undeniable claims to prove or disprove God, but that is not what this is about.

      What is undeniable is that we are all born and have instincts. The most fundamental emotion being fear. Of course, there are many other primary emotions, but I am going to single out fear here. As infants, we are easily frightened by the world around us because we have little knowledge about it. We are still learning and need to rely on our elders to teach us what is safe and what is not safe.

      We can also see that, in the animal kingdom, young animals do the same thing. It is easy to see that animals rely on their older animals to help teach them about how to survive (eg. a polar bear showing others how to swim or hibernate).

      Now, it is within this mentality that I delved. What does the brain of a fearful infant think of the elders?

      So I am actually pointing out the "we are all born ignorant" point. I no longer think that we are, in fact, born ignorant. It seems to me now that we are actually born with a predisposition towards spirituality. Now this is not precisely any specific God but just an overbearing spiritual entity that is involved in everything.

      This is evident when we examine different tribes across the lands. Nearly (I say nearly because I have not studied all nor done a meta-analysis) all tribes across the world believe in some spiritual deity or group of Gods. They are all spiritual in description.

      In fact, it almost seems necessary for things to believe in spirituality at birth - especially humans! Imagine the mind of a child that takes everything literally and for granted. For the child to believe in an empirical or existential perspective, it would spell great trouble for them as they would be questioning everything their elders said. Furthermore, it would encourage them to individualize them self away from their families.

      It is actually evolutionary beneficial to be born believing in spirituality. As such, the child will undeniably behave in a way that they think they ought to behave.

      In other lights, we can see how many arts depict parents as equivalent to Gods. We may even say it is better to believe that our parents are God-like in nature. But this is still functioning off the idea that the child ought to have a predisposed position for spirituality (ie. parents are spiritual and powerful).

      I have yet to find empirical evidence that we are born predisposed to spirituality, but I have found some books and journals that claim to. I will share them when I explore them deeply. In the meantime, please share your thoughts.

      (Note: I left this in ED as a neutral position to wait and see how the conversation carries on to better decide which forum to place it; it could very easily turn scientific, religious, philosophical, etc.).

      ~

    2. #2
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      I don't think we are born believing anything. But the curiosity, imagination, and fear can easily facilitate religion or spirituality. It's plausible to imagine that we are born with an innate (is that redundant?) sense of spirituality. By observing humanity over the years you can see we have always been geared towards spirituality and religion from the Egyptian era to Rome and Greece to Modern civilization.

    3. #3
      Sleeping Dragon juroara's Avatar
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      it's interesting that the first emotion you attribute to birth is fear. the first emotion I attribute is love. that is self-love!!!

      it doesn't matter how ugly, how deformed, or how unwanted by it's parents, all babies are the same. they think the world revolves around them.

      other baby animals can't afford to cry and scream, the noise could attract a predator. well lucky for us we've been on top of the food chain. human babies are not born with the fear of death.

      why do we cry and scream then? because we are losing something we all from time to time still seek...the womb. the womb has been and always will be one of the most sacred symbols and places for mankind. those who are disgusted with everything having to do with pregnancy - are just in denial.

      ever just wanted to curl up in your blanket?........warm.....and safe? ahem...womb .

      when we were babies, religion, spirituality, God - those thing's aren't on our mind. Only one thing is.......'MEEE!!'. Me. Me. Me. Me. ME!!

      but it was through our selfish self-love, that we could center on ourselves and develop our self awareness and self identity, and grow into healthy independent individuals. when children aren't given the love and attention they need - then we see a stunt in the growth of independence and individuality.





      where does religion and spirituality fit in the mix?

      first we need to clearly define what spirituality and religion is

      "In fact, it almost seems necessary for things to believe in spirituality at birth - especially humans! Imagine the mind of a child that takes everything literally and for granted. For the child to believe in an empirical or existential perspective, it would spell great trouble for them as they would be questioning everything their elders said. Furthermore, it would encourage them to individualize them self away from their families.

      It is actually evolutionary beneficial to be born believing in spirituality. As such, the child will undeniably behave in a way that they think they ought
      to behave."

      that's NOT spirituality. spirituality has NOTHING to do with behaving in a certain way. in fact, spirituality is NOT even something you believe in.

      we you are describing is CULTURE. evolution shows that we are social creatures that have always lived in a 'tribe'. and nature shows that all 'tribes' even in the animal kingdom develop 'rules'. such as "I am alpha". the more complicated our rules became, the more we needed reasons for having them.




      what is spirituality then?

      spirituality is: A PROCESS OF MENTAL, EMOTIONAL AND SELF EXPANSION. spirituality says there is bigger picture than we currently know. AND we should become consciously aware of this bigger picture

      that bigger picture can mean God. It can mean Heaven.............but it can also mean YOU. does this mean science is spiritual? It can be. And there is a very famous spiritual scientist, Einstein.

      when does science stop being spiritual? It stops being spiritual when it's materialistic and says "there is nothing more to life than what you see now". Because that's not an expansive view is it? It does just the opposite. It makes reality feel smaller.




      Spirituality is in our blood.
      It's the very fabric of our evolution. Something made us convinced there is more to life, there is more to the heavens, there is more to ourselves than we currently know. It changed us so much, we crawled into dark and dangerous caves just to worship this unknown.

      Our endeavor to know what this larger picture is spawned two of our greatest creations.......Religion and Science.

      Both have from time to time fallen in the same dead ends. Religion became a dead end when it stopped asking questions. When it stopped the expanding force found in spirituality. That's when we turned to science. When science became a dead end and says you're nothing but a victim to DNA - people became upset and depressed. And what happened? Thousands of people stopped looking to science for their answers and turned to ancient religions instead.



      You may think spirituality is a creation of man. The concept yes. But not the forces involved in it.


      There are two main forces seen in spirituality, which parallel the forces of the universe.........Contraction and Expansion. The spiritual person starts their journey by first CENTERING on them self. They sit and meditate.

      The universe also centers on itself, we call it gravity. In life we also see the centering on ourselves, we call it childhood.

      Think of a star, exploding outwards because of incredible it's self-centering. That is the path of the spiritual person. To eventually radiate love, wisdom, joy, truth, wisdom, knowledge, and to become more than what they are. In biological life....the expanding force is sex and evolution!

      Being religious doesn't mean being spiritual. Religion has rules and laws, morals, conduct, and has pre-defined reality. Spirituality isn't any of those things. It is simply a force of nature that man is wholly enveloped in. However, the spiritual force is described in virtually all religions. In Christianity it is the Holy Ghost.




      Honestly, the sooner we realize we are all spiritual by nature, the sooner the world can be a happy place . Spirituality beckons us to worship (which means to be in awe), to center and ground ourselves, but also to celebrate and enjoy ourselves, each other and every moment. We are still, and always will be, the wild humans dancing around a fire.

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      Bio-Turing Machine O'nus's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by juroara View Post
      it's interesting that the first emotion you attribute to birth is fear. the first emotion I attribute is love. that is self-love!!!
      It's irrelevant really; you can probably utilize any emotion that is attributed to a God. I was just choosing fear as it is easy to illustrate in animals as well.

      other baby animals can't afford to cry and scream, the noise could attract a predator. well lucky for us we've been on top of the food chain. human babies are not born with the fear of death.
      All things are intrinsically born with an aversion to pain and death. Though I think what you may mean is that they may not fully comprehend what death is. However, we can certainly agree that all things are born with a fear of pain.

      ever just wanted to curl up in your blanket?........warm.....and safe? ahem...womb .

      when we were babies, religion, spirituality, God - those thing's aren't on our mind. Only one thing is.......'MEEE!!'. Me. Me. Me. Me. ME!!

      but it was through our selfish self-love, that we could center on ourselves and develop our self awareness and self identity, and grow into healthy independent individuals. when children aren't given the love and attention they need - then we see a stunt in the growth of independence and individuality.
      This is digression. I was really just singling out that emotion to demonstrate an entirely different point.

      where does religion and spirituality fit in the mix?

      first we need to clearly define what spirituality and religion is

      that's NOT spirituality. spirituality has NOTHING to do with behaving in a certain way. in fact, spirituality is NOT even something you believe in.

      we you are describing is CULTURE. evolution shows that we are social creatures that have always lived in a 'tribe'. and nature shows that all 'tribes' even in the animal kingdom develop 'rules'. such as "I am alpha". the more complicated our rules became, the more we needed reasons for having them.
      We really do not need to debate the semantics of which kind of spirituality a child believes. I am just stating that it is clearly evident that we a born with a leniency towards spiritualism. It may also be because all of our ancestors were born that way and it is, in fact, genetic now. How it manifests in our future life is another topic entirely. What my point simply was is that it is actually evolutionary beneficial to be born believing in spirits. Thus, we are.

      Culture and society, on the other hand, are also very important concepts. I entirely agree about their importance. However, it is not really what I am aiming at.

      what is spirituality then?

      spirituality is: A PROCESS OF MENTAL, EMOTIONAL AND SELF EXPANSION. spirituality says there is bigger picture than we currently know. AND we should become consciously aware of this bigger picture

      that bigger picture can mean God. It can mean Heaven.............but it can also mean YOU. does this mean science is spiritual? It can be. And there is a very famous spiritual scientist, Einstein.

      when does science stop being spiritual? It stops being spiritual when it's materialistic and says "there is nothing more to life than what you see now". Because that's not an expansive view is it? It does just the opposite. It makes reality feel smaller.
      Well, I do not think what you are saying here contradicts what I have been saying. So, I am dubious that you are seeing my point. I am simply debating the idea that we a born with a predisposition towards spirituality and it then manifests relative to the culture we are born in.

      As for science becoming a "non-expansive view" - I have to significantly disagree. However, that is another topic. I would just refer you to look up Existentialism and then tell me that that is "non-expansive" without a twinge of guilt.


      Spirituality is in our blood. It's the very fabric of our evolution.
      Something made us convinced there is more to life, there is more to the heavens, there is more to ourselves than we currently know. It changed us so much, we crawled into dark and dangerous caves just to worship this unknown.
      I cannot tell if you are debating against me or for me now. I have basically already said this. So.. I agree.

      Both have from time to time fallen in the same dead ends. Religion became a dead end when it stopped asking questions. When it stopped the expanding force found in spirituality. That's when we turned to science. When science became a dead end and says you're nothing but a victim to DNA - people became upset and depressed. And what happened? Thousands of people stopped looking to science for their answers and turned to ancient religions instead.
      I think you may find that the numbers point quite to the opposite. There are, in fact, more growing people not believing in God and they are smarter and happier. I can quote the numbers for this, but I have done so in so many other threads that I suspect you may have already seen it.

      Being religious doesn't mean being spiritual. Religion has rules and laws, morals, conduct, and has pre-defined reality. Spirituality isn't any of those things. It is simply a force of nature that man is wholly enveloped in. However, the spiritual force is described in virtually all religions. In Christianity it is the Holy Ghost.
      We can still say that being religious is nearly synonymous to being spiritual. Either way, my argument was that we are born predisposed to spiritual/religious ideals. I don't even know if I would call it an argument.

      Honestly, the sooner we realize we are all spiritual by nature, the sooner the world can be a happy place . Spirituality beckons us to worship (which means to be in awe), to center and ground ourselves, but also to celebrate and enjoy ourselves, each other and every moment. We are still, and always will be, the wild humans dancing around a fire.
      I do think we are born spiritual in nature. However, I think that it is only beneficial as we are children. As we get older, I would argue that religion and spirituality are actually delusions (just like Santa Claus) and that, in fact, taking scientific approaches are all around better in all aspects. This is still giving room for the possibility of being wrong on things. Though this is a little digressive my main idea.

      ~

    5. #5
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      Spirituality and Religion are actually opposites.
      Spirituality means to follow only ones own experience and conclusions, while
      religion tells you what to believe and what to do. Entirely different.

      (You know what I mean by opposite.. but they are contradictory)
      Last edited by dajo; 10-29-2009 at 07:26 PM.

    6. #6
      Bio-Turing Machine O'nus's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by dajo View Post
      Spirituality and Religion are actually opposites.
      Spirituality means to follow only ones own experience and conclusions, while
      religion tells you what to believe and what to do. Entirely different.
      This is not really what I am trying to frame here. Semantics at this level is immaterial.

      Spirituality has a lot of moral tones with it and so does religion. A mass majority of religions claim to at least believe in spirits. Could we not say that religion is a manifestation of an infantile belief in spirituality?

      Perhaps I should re-phrase it;

      We are born with a predisposition towards spirituality and religion.

      However, this is only for the pedantic people because religion involves so much more than a basic idea of a spirit. Why are we muddling up this evolutionary idea with a semantics debate of spiritualism vs religion? It is really irrelevant as far as I see it. Isn't it? I mean, you may as well be debating with the main point over when people are really born or start to believe something.

      ~

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      not so sure.. Achievements:
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      Call it pedantic, but it wasn't irrelevant to me. Since I personally
      am drawn to one and opposed by the other. Just wanted to point
      that out. (Spirituality involves so much more as well than just the
      idea of a spirit btw, but that of course differs).

      Anyway, I don't think we are believing anything really when we're born.
      But as soon as the sensory organs start working we build up our reality
      as we go and therefore form our world. To me that shows when I look
      at other cultures (e.g. fear of death, fear of pain, behaviour, etc).

      Everyone is basically born with a thirst for knowledge and in many
      cases it ceases after a few years do to laziness, due to answers like
      "because that's how it is" or due to the realization that it sometimes
      is easier to just accept and go along. But our brain does "want to
      evolve, learn and experience". Hope I didn't miss the topic.
      Last edited by dajo; 10-29-2009 at 07:46 PM.

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      Bio-Turing Machine O'nus's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by dajo View Post
      Call it pedantic, but it wasn't irrelevant to me. Since I personally
      am drawn to one and opposed by the other. Just wanted to point
      that out. (Spirituality involves so much more as well than just the
      idea of a spirit btw, but that of course differs).
      That is my point though - as an infant, it is just the idea of the spirit that resides. Later on it manifests into more (eg. religious beliefs, further spiritualism, etc.)

      Anyway, I don't think we are believing anything really when we're born.
      But as soon as the sensory organs start working we build up our reality
      as we go and therefore form our world. To me that shows when I look
      at other cultures (e.g. fear of death, fear of pain, behaviour, etc).
      See you look at other cultures and take their commonalities but I am mentioning the fact that cultures are all born with the idea of spiritualism. Why is that? Apparently it is a possible genetic predisposition to be inclined to spiritualism. (Again, I am not confident in the source yet to reference but I will soon enough).

      Everyone is basically born with a thirst for knowledge and in many
      cases it ceases after a few years do to laziness, due to answers like
      "because that's how it is" or due to the realization that it sometimes
      is easier to just accept and go along. But our brain does "want to
      evolve, learn and experience". Hope I didn't miss the topic.
      Well this is delving into cognitive development. In this case, we are certainly always learning until plasticity is significantly decreased in our elder years really. Otherwise, we are still learning for the mass majority of our lives.

      Either way, you have not really addressed the idea that we are born inclined to spiritualism. Apparently you think we are born with no beliefs? This is the equivalent of a rock, yes? A rock has no beliefs. Implicit atheism is having no belief in God. Are you saying we are all born as Implicit Atheists? Much like all rocks are implicit atheists?

      ~

    9. #9
      Antagonist Invader's Avatar
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      I think that by observing the behavior of an infant when exposed to an uncomfortable
      stimulus is what will allow others to understand where you're coming from.

      Babies cry. It doesn't really matter if it's due to fear or frustration, the point is that the baby
      cries in order to appeal to a higher authority than itself. The baby doesn't have to
      understand what a higher authority is, or where it comes from, all it cares about in the end
      is it's deliverance from discomfort.

      It follows then that as the human being develops, though it may stop crying altogether,
      will still express the innate behavior of appealing to something "higher" (more capable) than
      itself in order to relieve it's suffering.

      And what is it people pray for? Deliverance from evil? From suffering? I think (unless I
      distorted your original message) that I can see eye to eye on this view of yours.

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      Bio-Turing Machine O'nus's Avatar
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      Precisely invader. Well said.

      ~

    11. #11
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      Ok, I think I understand and agree. Basically.

      Quote Originally Posted by O'nus View Post
      See you look at other cultures and take their commonalities but I am mentioning the fact that cultures are all born with the idea of spiritualism. Why is that? Apparently it is a possible genetic predisposition to be inclined to spiritualism.
      Either way, you have not really addressed the idea that we are born inclined to spiritualism. Apparently you think we are born with no beliefs? This is the equivalent of a rock, yes? A rock has no beliefs. Implicit atheism is having no belief in God. Are you saying we are all born as Implicit Atheists? Much like all rocks are implicit atheists?
      But why do you connect this to being inclined to anything spiritual?
      Maybe it is more in the line of instinct, or since a child or infant lacks
      the capability to understand, it feels drawn to a more knowledgable
      authority figure. Just seems natural to me.

      On the other hand, you could call it being drawn to spiritual guidance, though.

      But if the parent has god as an authority figure and passes this on to
      a child, of course it doesn't question this (at first). The more open minded
      parents raise the children, the less likely they will be choosing any
      "spiritual master" for themselves, I guess. (I hope I'm not missing
      the point again, but I do agree with you and Invader).
      Critical thought, same as the concept of sarcasm, occur later on.

      I do have difficulty saying a child is born atheist, since the concept of
      religion did not occur yet and there has not been a choice or a decision
      made in any actual direction, other than looking up to the, usually, mother.
      (Yes, belief is either a choice, based on guidance, thought or experience,
      but I do think it's a choice. We certainly are not concious of most decisions
      we make, but that doesn't negate it being one, even if subconcious, IMO).

      But a child doesn't come empty into the world, even though it is in a way
      a blank paper. There are genes for once and when I was listening to a
      lecture by Leonard Suskin he was talking about animals and that they do
      have a knowledge of certain things, which are embedded into the species.
      It would be the same with humans obviously.

      I hope I adressed, what you asked me. And I hope that made sense.
      Looking forward to your sources, though.

    12. #12
      procurer of fine cheeses ebullere's Avatar
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      This is coming from an atheist.

      I think that humans have an inherent tendency to be spiritual and religious. It's hardwired into our brains. Religion brings a society together, and thus makes that society more successful. Emile Durkheim called this 'collective effervescence.' His gist is that an intense "boiling up" of emotion through collective worship binds a community together.

      Victor Turner also wrote about this, saying that collective worship gives people a brief illusion of class equality.

      The more together your society is, the more likely it is that it's going to survive, and, therefore, that you and your offspring will survive. Which is why I think, through evolution, the tendency toward religion and spirituality are now universal in humans. As I said, I'm an atheist, so obviously some of us veer away from that, usually consciously and through choice.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Invader View Post
      I think that by observing the behavior of an infant when exposed to an uncomfortable
      stimulus is what will allow others to understand where you're coming from.

      Babies cry. It doesn't really matter if it's due to fear or frustration, the point is that the baby
      cries in order to appeal to a higher authority than itself. The baby doesn't have to
      understand what a higher authority is, or where it comes from, all it cares about in the end
      is it's deliverance from discomfort.

      It follows then that as the human being develops, though it may stop crying altogether,
      will still express the innate behavior of appealing to something "higher" (more capable) than
      itself in order to relieve it's suffering.

      And what is it people pray for? Deliverance from evil? From suffering? I think (unless I
      distorted your original message) that I can see eye to eye on this view of yours.
      I agree, natural instinct is to avoid danger and the idea of a god that relieves pain, suffering and fear would be quite appealing.

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      You know, I think I was born a Christian. I remember I had that right before I was born, I had a dream about being in the night sky. There were three angels, and the one in the center might've been God. He said, "Be born, and I remember a white flash. That's about it. So, that proves to me that God exists.

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      Hm... I don't think we are born inclined to religion or spirituality. You can have things the easy way depending on your economic status, so not all babies/kids have to worry about something higher and unexplainable to have an easy life.
      Another case, of fear, would be the fear of death most kids have, instinct, so they go for an higher being or something existing after death, right? But, for example, I was afraid of eternal life, in which case, I thought all of the "god" thing my mother said was silly and fearful, and clustered on the non-belief lol

      I agree, natural instinct is to avoid danger and the idea of a god that relieves pain, suffering and fear would be quite appealing.
      Seeing how the most popular religion has a god that sends people to hell and orders them to do whatever he says... yeah, don't think thats natural instinct <.<

      Also, I wonder if the other human-ancesters had a religion. They couldn't explain everything, or much at all, doesn't mean they had to care though. I bet religion has more to do with how society was set up long before humans were to move around all the continents than it has to do with how we are born.
      Kids tend to accept what their parents tells them anyway, so atheist parents would breed atheist sons, and viceversa. It is just a matter of time to find out!
      Creating a new persistent realm, claiming it and breaking the last seal I made back in the beggining of my journey are my goals right now

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      Quote Originally Posted by Walms View Post
      Seeing how the most popular religion has a god that sends people to hell and orders them to do whatever he says... yeah, don't think thats natural instinct <.<
      This most popular religion also wasn't the first one. There is not a straight line in evolution, biological or otherwise. So it really doesn't matter if the religion evolved into what it is today. But after saying this I must also point out:

      If you've ever listened to some general christian, you'll always notice that God is good. God doesn't send people to hell, he saves people from hell. So the concept of hell doesn't exactly "disprove" these presumably naturally instinctual characteristics of religions.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Bonsay View Post
      This most popular religion also wasn't the first one. There is not a straight line in evolution, biological or otherwise. So it really doesn't matter if the religion evolved into what it is today. But after saying this I must also point out:

      If you've ever listened to some general christian, you'll always notice that God is good. God doesn't send people to hell, he saves people from hell. So the concept of hell doesn't exactly "disprove" these presumably naturally instinctual characteristics of religions.
      Uh, I wasn't disproving it, I was saying that natural instinct doesn't have to do with it, after all another thing Christians know is that God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, right? So that equals being in fault of anything bad that happens, which they explain as the plans of god. Then again the young rarely ever look into that, so not much point. Other than they accepting what their parents tells them.
      Also, what you said supports society making people religious, yay!
      (And I should stay away of off-topic... walks away)
      Creating a new persistent realm, claiming it and breaking the last seal I made back in the beggining of my journey are my goals right now

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      Well I said "disprove" so, ok... The natural instincts that would promote a religious view O'nus and Invader presented, we coulds say, might have been overshadowed by the indoctrination children recieve from their parents; so I wouldn't be too quick to attribute it all to that. Seeing the cognitive capacities of humans in general alongside this instinctual nature, the emergence of these spiritual and religious concepts does make sense to me.
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    19. #19
      procurer of fine cheeses ebullere's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Walms View Post
      Seeing how the most popular religion has a god that sends people to hell and orders them to do whatever he says... yeah, don't think thats natural instinct
      I think the appeal of hell for most Christians is that OTHER people are going to go there. There are some radical Christian sects that think everyone is constantly in danger of going to hell, even Christians, but the majority of Christians, I think, view hell as a sucky afterlife jail for people like Hitler.

      Anyway, according to Christianity, Jesus's death liberates humans from eternity in hell, therefore "relieving pain, suffering, and fear" by making it so that one doesn't have to live a perfect life to avoid hell.

    20. #20
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      Fucking hell. They're extremist, not radical. They're pretty damned conservative, in fact.

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