Nobody Chooses To Be Atheist! Disbelief just happens, regardless of intent.

Disbelief cannot be intentional.

Either a person believes in something or they don't.

An equivalent scenario is like a person who grew up believing the Earth is flat.

Then he decides to study science and learns that the Earth is a globe and it explains night and day as well as the seasons, far better than the Flat Earth Theory.

Now he is reasonably certain that the Earth is a globe.

The Flat Earth school mates call him a heretic and no longer accept him into their friendship.

He becomes lonely and wishes he could believe in a Flat Earth again, so he pretends to, hoping to regain his once held belief.

But, this is impossible, because he has serious doubts concerning the Flat Earth Theory, which he finds cannot explain days, and seasons adequately.

So he feels out of place in his old companionship.

So he finds a group in a university which considers the Earth as global, and moves into their fold.

He now has friends, and finally resigns himself to forever being taunted and called a heretic by his previous friends.

This is like my own experience when studying the Bible, led me to disbelief in it and the god within.

I never chose to disbelieve, as I was trying to be a better believer.

Disbelief just happened, and it was almost overnight, while re-reading Leviticus, but doubts arose from the start of Genesis and they were well confirmed by the time I reached Leviticus, I awoke the next morning a disbeliever and no matter how hard I tried, I could never get it back.

In spite of the attempts of those around me to tell and convince me that god is indeed real.

I'm certain many being helped by 'The Clergy Project' have had a similar experience and the discomfort of preaching what they no longer believe, must alarm them greatly.

I'm certain many of them wish they could get their belief and confidence in their position/job back.

But, such is life.

No atheist ever chose their disbelief.

They either never believed from birth like my brother, or lost belief due to rational thought as I did.

Nobody should ever be condemned for something that was never in their control.

No atheist made a choice to not believe, they simply were never given enough evidence for god to create a genuine reason to believe.


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Okay, DD; I get it.

With the word "judge" and some of its forms and the first person plural pronoun "we" and its forms, you can prevent or close discussion.

The Catholicism I knew used a variety of tactics to do the same and had an advantage you don't have: its own schools. They made heavy use of judging and I'm still pissed.

Children, from moments after they are born, start using a series of tactics to satisfy their needs. Their first tactic? They make noise. It usually succeeds.

Their next tactic? At about 18 months they start saying "No! to every suggestion or request they hear. Some parents call this period the terrible twos.

Their third tactic, which most are using by their fourth birthday, may be the first that requires the mental process we know as judging. They decide which questions to ask.

Et cetera into their teens.

I was eleven when my kid sister started using these tactics. Years passed before I saw them as a series of tactics that kids use unless adults intervene.

You are applying Erikson's out-dated psychological stages.

The trouble with Erikson, is that like Freud, it is all based on uncontrolled and poorly controlled observations and is thus Bad Science.

They need to scrap much of Erikson's work and look at doing proper science to establish what really happens.

Erikson's ideas are mostly taken on Faith, they are not really knowledge, as they have no sound (validated) clinical (experimental) basis for their existence.

This is where psychology becomes a religion.

The religion of Eriksonism.

Time to revise all of Erikson's stages clinically with the help of such tools as fMRI and neuroscientific studies and correct the many errors that exist in them.

DD, I looked at and tossed Erickson's stages DECADES ago.

I dislike cliches but we have apples and oranges here.

You're referring to studies of childhood.

I'm referring to the use by adults of a range of tactics they started "finding in themselves and using" soon after they were born and continued finding and using during their teen years and beyond.

It's an awakening process, awakening to political rights and using them.

Oh dear! my age is showing! I was trained more than 30 years ago. We understood that Freud was not accurate in his conclusions, however, it was a start in understanding human behavior. 

The psychology of Alfred Adler is traditionally considered to be one of the three in-depth psychoanalytic therapies, the other two being the theories of Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung.

I followed Adler and his disciple Rudolf Dreikurs  author of  "Children the Challenge". The next generation included Don Dinkmeyer, Sr., Gary D. McKay and Don Dinkmeyer, Jr., authors of The STEP Program (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting)

These concepts replaced the ancient "spare the rod and spoil the child" philosophy. 

Basic Adlerian Concepts
Children are social beings
A child's behavior is goal oriented
A child's primary goal is to belong and feel significant
A misbehaving child is a discouraged child
Social interest or responsibility, a desire to contribute
A child is equal in value to adults
Mistakes are opportunities to learn
Make sure the message of love gets through

These concepts were based on observation and definitions. The use of fMRI provides a way to compare and contrast the brain activity of children trained using the STEP method and children raised using the rod, 

Those seem like very good concepts, Joan. They should still work in today's world.

Mike, you are up bright and early. A good way to begin the new year,

Joan, when I think of the disregard religion and religious people have for concepts such as Adler's, I want to destroy religion.

I'm sure the disregard is the result of religious people's fear and/or greed, and these have to be addressed.

I've never had any arguments with social workers over Adlerian theory, not that many of them even know anything about Alfred Adler's theory.

Adler didn't go into making grandiose claims/assertions, not supported by clinical observation as Freud and Erikson did.  

Adler allowed for more freedom of individual differences.

That is how I read it when I was researching it several years ago.

Though like religion, some social workers do take aspects of such psychological theories too far and simply dismiss those they suffer cognitive dissonance with.

So, social workers and more recently I had an argument with a school chaplain (also an Erikson freak) who have cherry picked theories and sort of developed their own dogmatic approach to counselling.  

Much of their counselling is quite nonsensical, because they have dismissed those theories that are more applicable to their clients, due to cognitive dissonance.

Which is why all those social workers I argue with are religious nutjobs, as for some reason Erikson's development model is favoured by these Christian wingnuts.  So religion interferes with psychology in this regard, cognitive dissonance or conflict with their religious views, appears to cause them to dismiss more open theories of human development/interaction. 


Just yesterday I was attacking a vlog from Dennis Prager of Prager University on his assertion that we are born bad and was attacked by a wingnut Xtian apologist, citing Erikson.  They don't give up, do they.

I set him straight with some of the work of Paul Bloom and his team as well as France de Waal's "Moral Behaviour in Animals". 

I haven't had a response from him as yet, he may have ducked for cover, as they often do and never respond.

I was recently attacked by a Christian girl on Google who is all ate up with her Jesusy sweetness. I told her it was all a pack of lies and there is no hell, and she replies "pretty soon now you will know." WTF? I might be 69 but now you are psychic and tell me I'm gonna die soon. She might be hit by a truck. This is insanity!

People think you die and suddenly you are either "up there" or "down there" doing or experiencing something. They can't even define a direction, let alone understand that you are dead. In today's Christianity you are suddenly just thre (wherever it is) without benefit of resurrection. My, how it all has changed. They are terrified of death!

Yes Mike,

It is the old: "No atheists in foxholes fallacy".

Theists wrongly think that atheists will automatically see the light at death's door and become believers.

They couldn't be further from the truth.

My father-in-law, as we waited for him to slowly fade away, told the priest his concerned sister sent to bless him, to fark-off.  My grandfather did exactly the same to the priest his concerned daughter sent.  In both cases I remember these priests skulking away, looking extremely embarrassed.  

Those were the only highlights of their passing   :-(  :-(

I've had numerous arguments with social workers over the years regarding developmental models of behaviour, and most social workers are trained in Erik Eriksons 8 +1 (thanks to his wife) stages of psychological development.

Yet, much of the scientific studies of children and human neurology disagrees with the Erikson model, and I have pointed this out to these social workers, who then deny or ignore the scientific studies, that demonstrate flaws in the Erikson model.  

One idiotic social worker attacked me with: "You are stupid in believing science!"

Thus making her appear no more rational than a young earth creationist denying evolution.

Thus, in my experience, many of these  social workers are clinging to a psychological development model that has little or no scientific validation in exactly the same way theists cling to their religion.

I always ask these social workers to show a genuine scientific evaluation of Erikson's model, to which none as yet have been able to present, in the same way that no YEC advocate has been able to do the same for their nonsense.

The research I have seen, shows no genuine scientific methodology, mostly are examinations of samples with little or no controls for the possibility of other influences and reasons for the behaviour. With the conclusions made from presumptions and assumptions made of past studies that in some cases show little resemblance to the study in question.  Where these past studies, also had poor controls.  No double-blind studies were ever shown to me.

So, any time somebody asserts or attacks my own concepts, often grown from genuine scientific research I have read or viewed, with what they were trained to think as a social worker, such as the Erikson model of development.

Excuse me for slamming it as nonsense!

Because it is, until you can show a genuinely, properly conducted (without flaws) scientific study, asserting that conclusion.

If you can, I will admit I'm wrong!

Though another funny thing, many childcare workers and those working in rehabilitation clinics, many doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists which have open minds and keep up with scientific research are on my side in my debates with social workers.





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