Well, well, well, I have just read a very interesting article entitled "Disbelief Is Not a Choice": (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-humanity-naturally/201109/d...). It offers a rather innovative approach to atheism I think. At least, it helps me figure out some things I couldn't put words on.

I'd love to hear what you guys think about it, if you agree with the author or not.

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Replies to This Discussion

I think you can suspend disbelief by a force of will for a long time, even when most of your brain is telling you something is bunk.  But you really are just fooling yourself and delaying the inevitable.
I agree.  I did that for several years because it was easier, in the environment that I was in at the time, to play mind games and not let myself let it go, when it was really already gone.
I'm not really sure.  For someone who likes to investigate things from nearly every perspective available, like me, I would say that that atheism isn't a choice, because eventually, you're going to collect enough information about religion to discredit it, at least in your eyes.  For someone who is content with things simply working and don't question how or why they work, then it would be a choice.
BALDERDASH!  I do not believe that JUNK for a moment.  Every single person is absolutely 100% responsible for every goddamned moment they spend here on earth;  I will hold each and every rotten one of them fully accountable...In fact, I AM GOD;  I just realized...
By the way, don't take Anything or Anyone too seriously.  Life is Fleeting.  Bask in the Absurd as often as possible.  But, at the same time, only YOU are accountable for your ACTIONS, and, conversely, your INACTIONS, here on earth. NEVER look away from HUMAN SUFFERING.  We are all held, absolutely and without any exceptions, every single person on earth, we are ALL accountable for every single thing that we do.  I do NOT believe in FORGIVENESS.  One MAY NOT commit one horrible, atrocious act after another, over and over again, and expect to be FORGIVEN (in the end or at any other time).  I do NOT believe that for a second;  Further, I do NOT BELIEVE FOR ONE SECOND that there is a god;  however,  I do want to be certain that I am on the side of Right...ALWAYS for ALL INVOLVED.  That's where this world has become so mean and so treacherous;  there is no regard for other people.  It's all promoting one's own self-interest and myopic short-term (usually monetary) gains, without taking into account a broader perspective on others, and just how our actions or inactions will affect those around us...
Cheers,
Christ...ina
Well, once I lost my beliefs I wasn't able to force myself into believing again.  You can't force a belief.  You can be indoctrinated into it, like I was.  But with critical thinking and education with some good atheists professors I was able to question enough that the belief system went away. Now -- no more belief.
Actually, belief can be forced, when the Stockholm Syndrome occurs or a someone  breaks the will of another. Humans are remarkably plastic, under extreme duress, otherwise slavery would never have been possible. The irony is that the person who undergoes the Stockholm conversion or battered woman syndrome usually isn't consciously aware of betraying him or her self. Conversion by force or brainwashing techniques such as starvation and sleep deprivation is used by cults and major religions.

Right! I forgot about the Stockholm Syndrome. Good one.

 

Yes, that is true. I guess I was thinking in normal situations. I learned about that in psychology class - another example would be Pavlov and conditioning.
Initially, the only way I can justify this idea (without reading the Psychology Today article...which I will) is to concede that I am, after all is said and done, a prisoner of evidence and reason. To that extent, much of what I believe is deterministic, that is, it's not optioned out to chance, myth or superstition. So in that sense it is not subject to personal choice. 
BTW. I don't rely much on psychology and its view of human nature since I see it as sociology's self-indulgent, poor sister.

I *mostly* agree with the author, in that I think that our environments play a very large role in determining what paths our thoughts follow and what seems true to us and therefore what it seems reasonable to believe. But I disagree in that I do think it is possible to *choose* to believe or to disbelieve. I've noted elsewhere that to say that people should be allowed to believe whatever they want to seems like an odd phrasing, since we generally believe whatever we are *convinced is true* rather than what we merely *want to believe*. Yet, I've met a pastor who told me that she believed in God because she wanted to--that that was her reason for belief. (I was appalled.) And I can *imagine* myself choosing to believe otherwise than I do simply because I wanted to. I lack a sufficiently strong desire to believe otherwise than I do, but I can *imagine* it. (And, of course, what I *want* is influenced by my environment--but not necessarily in predictable ways.)

So, mostly, I agree, but I don't *entirely* agree.

Great article.  Thanks for sharing.  It must not have been a choice for me because even when a small child, I had doubts.  It never made sense to me.  I never saw a god, never heard from a god, and never saw any real evidence there was a god.  Possibly a god could have made our universe and left for far places but I now don't have any reason to believe this.  I do believe that LGBT's have no choice but I can't see how with our ever increasing knowledge of evolution, physics, astronomy, etc., people can have a choice to believe in gods today.

I was born into a non-religious family.  I actually TRIED to believe to either fit-in, see what it was like, etc.  Just couldn't do it.  I already knew.

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