Simply put, we tend to use more prefrontal cortex to compensate for our lack of instinctive/empathic communication. We tend to be more objective, more logical, more likely to require evidence before accepting an out-there claim and more likely to question even our own out-there claims.

While there are definitely religious Autistics (just visit Wrong Planet's Politics, Philosophy and Religion forum), it seems to me that if one could do a study, our numbers would come out with more Atheists per capita than NTs. 

 

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I knew for a fact that only sperm whale could swallow a human, but the person would be killed by the whale’s stomach acid. Needless to say I got in trouble for trying to explain this to my fellow classmates.

LOL! That's a definite Aspie moment!

I really loved the Greek gods when I was a kid. Some part of me always put the Christian god into a similar category but also tried not to think too hard about it. Because I also knew that the world at large seemed to take the Christian god a lot more seriously.

The older I got and the more seriously I saw people taking Christianity, the harder it got for me to pretend to go along with it anymore.
Evolutionary psychologists suggest that, just as the eye is an evolved organ for seeing, and the wing an evolved organ for flying, so the brain is a collection of organs or “modules” for dealing with a set of specialist data processing needs. If the thesis of the God Delusion is correct, then it’s plausible that religion could be seen as a by-product of the misfiring of several of these modules, for example the modules for forming theories of other minds (Many people with autism lack the ability to understand how other people reason as they do), for forming coalitions, and for discriminating in favor of in-group members and against strangers.

When autism has largely eroded the possibility of "encountering" God, it depends on a lovely, apparently inoffensive intervention: a grandma telling stories for kids about the Greek gods. An autistic child knows himself to be, in some sense, without any way of comprehending the role a god would have in the continuity of his life.

For how do you teach those who, for the most part, have difficulty with inner facts - the facts of human experience -, and no particular compulsion to acquire them, whose mind was not designed for abstraction, who won’t make eye contact and who fight bitterly for the right to remain sealed in their own world?

However, autism is also a darkness, in which you are seen by God’s eye alone. Some can engage in an imaginative interplay between origins and endings, between absolute nothingness and consciousness. Others are engulfed in terror at the encounter of mystery; they cannot tolerate the shock of incomprehensibility, the fact of being chosen for an alternative form of brain … yet to be understood.

From the point of view of the autistic child, it testifies to the impossibility of living in a community. An anger, which expresses itself as an engulfing sadness, makes the child flee – and desire – the reenactment of the original shock. It returns, in dreams, ghostly shadows, and if its parents takes the child to Church, he or she would stirs, unknowingly, in the contemplation of a cross and the body that hangs on it.
However, autism is also a darkness, in which you are seen by God’s eye alone. Some can engage in an imaginative interplay between origins and endings, between absolute nothingness and consciousness.

Hmmm, I can see that as being conducive to religious belief. I definitely had as a child (and daresay, still have as an adult), a rich 'second life' so to speak: Complete with imaginary friends or sometimes real friends but in imaginary roles. In the sense of god(s) as an imaginary friend who really and truly 'gets' you, there is definite use for god(s) in the Autistic mind.

However, my imaginary friends/worlds are all rooted in reality. Almost like an internal sim game where I can play out situations and practice responses. Ultimately, from as far back as I could remember, I always felt the concept of god(s) even as imaginary friends, to be horribly egotistical. "Here is the superpower being that created the entire universe and I'm so arrogant as to think it interacts with me personally? That it gives me the truth above and beyond the rest of the world's population? Doesn't it have something better to do like feed a starving child in Ethiopia?"

That was perhaps the biggest childhood block of all preventing me from truly believing in god. God is supposed to be all-knowing/all-powerful and also loving and merciful. Given the ills of this world, at least one of those assumptions must be wrong.
Dear Jo, may I ask what your diagnosis is?

This is a sentiment which often occurs in autism, whether expressed in words or implied in the testimonies of those who are autistic. It is like the experts have picked all the children whose neurological structure seems to be wired differently and put them under a big umbrella called “Autism Spectrum Disorder.”

The reason I say this is because I don’t think that Asperger is really autism. Yesterday, I visited the web-site of “Wrong-Planet”, and they look to me as a bunch of eccentrics eagerly trying to demonstrate how different you could be.

As a child you have made many assumptions about God that I was quite incapable to do. If your mind was able of creating mental concepts and having an imaginary friend, it indeed does not appear to me as autism.

In case of severe autism, the mind is locked to imaginary plays too.

I would have been unable to understand the meaning of a word such as “egotistical” and if someone told me that God was a “superpower being,” I would rather derive that they were talking about Superman and picture in my mind a movie-scene of Christopher Reeve.

And I perfectly felt (without thought) the difference between whatever God was and a movie-star.
No official diagnosis (in AZ it's a weird set of hoops I haven't had the money or will to jump through). But unofficially, between my own studies, a shrink or three, and the Autism support group I occasionally meet with (docs and teachers included), I'm definitely Asperger's. High functioning and one of many an Aspie who has learned to conceal it well enough that you wouldn't suspect it upon a casual meeting.

As for the debate of whether or not Asperger's should be considered a form of Autism, I think it should. I see other Autistics at various points along the spectrum and it really does seem to me to be two very different ends of the spectrum. I think the distinction comes with whether you're looking at symptoms or looking at cause and how individual people react to that. The latter makes a lot more sense to me.

It's why I often compare it to a hearing impairment. E.g.; I dated a guy who had zero hearing out of one ear, but could hear fine out of the other. He definitely made adjustments to his life but very different ones than, say, someone profoundly deaf.

Similarly, if Asperger's is a slight impairment of the mirror neurons while Low-Functioning Autism is a profound impairment, each individual responds to that very differently. Even within the same end of the spectrum; I might compensate for my dulled mirror neurons differently than someone else does.

And the new DSM V has gotten rid of the Asperger's dx altogether and lumps us in under 'Autism.' I've already seen where it causes confusion. I was in the ER last night and when I mentioned to the doc I'm Autistic he said, "No way, you totally don't present as Autistic." I said, "Well, Asperger's high-functioning." He said, "Oh that makes a lot more sense. That I can see given this, this, and that..."

Anyway, as far as imaginary friends, I've found (and heard) that quite a few Autistics and Aspies alike think in pictures; always envisioning scenarios and putting them together in their heads. For some, like me, it lends itself naturally to playing out an entire scene in my head. Usually with people I know, sometimes with made-up characters.

Though I got razzed a lot as a kid that even my scifi-fantasy pretend games had to be rooted in reality. E.g.; We can't just yank G.I. Joe off my dresser and take him down to the kitchen table to play. He doesn't have the power to fly or teleport. First he needs to find a way to safely climb down off the dresser without falling and breaking his neck. Then navigate the shag carpet and the stairs, then find a way to climb up onto the kitchen table...
Imagining scenarios a lot, eh? I used to do that, and I seem to be starting back up again, with this rise coming alongside the rise of a lot of other things that I used to do before I studied and practiced human social behavior. (I never really did "get" why people go around with a stick in their butt when they could just approximate their feelings into words like I have to every single time I speak.)

Interestingly enough (to me anyway), my confidence level has correlated positively with the degree of internality (non-externality, e.g. not speaking or mumbling it out loud or acting it out) of these scenarios. I'm curious as to whether and how much this correlation holds for others.
As for the debate of whether or not Asperger's should be considered a form of Autism, I think it should.

Researchers seem to have found a brain scan that would detect autism. This seems to work whatever the variety of autism. If this is true, this would confirm that Asperger's is only a variety of autism.

Here's the link:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-10929032
"I'm definitely Asperger's. High functioning and one of many an Aspie who has learned to conceal it well enough that you wouldn't suspect it upon a casual meeting."


Me too, most people have no clue.
When autism has largely eroded the possibility of "encountering" God, it depends on a lovely, apparently inoffensive intervention:

I have had this experience as an adult. I became a Christian after reading a New Testament that had been left by the Gideons in a holiday let. The reported sayings of Jesus impressed me then. A few years later, I could no longer accept the doctrine of the church, and left.
We tend to be more objective, more logical, more likely to require evidence before accepting an out-there claim

it seems to me that if one could do a study, our numbers would come out with more Atheists per capita than NTs.


I'm not sure. Religion is not just about belief. It's also about having a reassuring structure around oneself (provided by the church), and a fellowship of people willing to accept you. These are aspects that must attract a lot of autistic people. In fundamentalist religions, the beliefs provide reassuring certainties. This must be appealing to many autistic people too.
Not even Aspies are like that

I recognize myself in a lot of your description. Not all of it, but a lot of it.

It is important to remember that every Aspie is an individual. Feeling "more different" than most Aspies doesn't make you any less Aspie.
We tend to be more objective, more logical, more likely to require evidence before accepting an out-there claim

I would also like to point out that, while the trait that you are describing may cause many of us to reject religion, there are also many Aspies who are in the habit of perseverating very hard in defending views contrary to the evidence.

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