It is my contention that Atheism defined for this purpose herein as the "absence of belief in gods" is the natural state of humankind, as I presume it is for all natural life on the planet. A baby is born into this world pure and unadulterated, and only becomes a Theist, if it becomes a Theist at all, through either family indoctrination, or as a result of the effects of social osmosis from the wider community or peer group or through some other earthly, natural cause in contradistinction to some supernatural cause.

If the above is the case then couldn't it be asserted that Atheists are Natural, and Theists Unnatural. We are Pure, and Unadulterated in that respect whereas Theists are Impure?!

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In thinking about your statements above. I used to think that a new born was an atheist. However, isn't atheism and theism a conclusion or decision arrived at after much thought. If that is so, a newborn is neither an atheist or a theist. The new born has not made such a decision. He has not yet been mentally polluted by the world yet. In the sense that he doesn't believe in a deity, he is a non-theist, and he doesn't even know it yet.
Well I suppose it's all in the definition you use. I used the absence of belief definition, therefore anyone who does not hold the belief the gods exist no matter why is considered an atheist. Babies are therefore under that criterion all born as atheists. They could not be considered as anti-theists, as they do not yet have the reasoning ability to make that decision but I think it is safe to say that they are as of yet not imbued with a belief in gods. They are absent that belief. They do not have that belief inside them, so they are Atheists.

I am cancer free. I do not have cancer cells in my body. I was born this way, and have not had to first rid myself of cancer to now claim that I am noncancerous. The above and the analogy are not conclusive, but merely fodder for debate. I am amenable to persuasion and correction, so let me have it.
I agree the definition is very important here. I would hope that babies are atheistic, but how do we know this for sure? The fact that nearly all cultures have or used to have religious beliefs seems to point to some commonality in humans about this. It would seem unusual that all around the world, religions popped up if there wasn't something in our wiring that favored belief in the supernatural.

It would make sense to me then that babies must unfortunately have at least some disposition towards theistic or supernatural beliefs, even if they don't actually have a well-thought out idea of what this might be. No baby is going to be born believing in Yahweh, for example, but they may even at a young age be trying to figure out why the world is as it is and, not knowing fully how nature works, come up with non-natural or supernatural hypotheses.

Culture would just affect then how these working theories about life are shaped, confirmed, or disconfirmed. I wonder if we'll ever know for sure.
Yes there is that problem alright. Perhaps it lays waste to my assertion, but raises another question in the process. If it is the case that all babies are coded, or hardwired with a blueprint for belief in the gods, then perhaps it would be more accurate to describe them as pre-theistic, and not A-theistic. If we are all born pre-theistic, with a god shaped hole in us just waiting to be filled, then once that hole is plugged or that missing puzzle piece finally put in place is there really any way to really dislodge it completely, or do we just give it our best try by proclaiming ourselves Atheist? Are we at some deep level saddled with this metaphysical system level programming for the rest of our lives?
When I was a young and foolish teen, many years ago in the sixties, I didn't much care whether there was a god or not. I had other things on my mind. I didn't know enough about it to make an opinion. Did that make me an atheist or a theist?
Sounds like you had a rocking good time actually.

A baby doesn't have enough information to make a decision like that, its not even cognitive of what it means.

It does not know if there is a god or what a god might even be. It is as close to a completely neutral point of view as is possible. There is no way to maintain that however because neutral isn't a natural state.

I am not even sure at what point a baby has enough ability with language to even consider the question.

Babies are atheistic in thought (not sure that's the right word) but they are not Atheists, not until they understand the question. Atheism isn't a natural state, it implies a conscious choice. The same thing also implies to the choices for Theism.
Perhaps when standing back to observe the bigger picture, the existence or not of the gods means as little now as it did back in your carefree days of youth. If it mattered little or not at all back then, why should it matter now or indeed why should it matter at all. Thanks for passing on that grounding insight John, it may be of use to me at some point in time when counseling someone who is in pivoting on the precipice of crisis.
I have a bad habit of quickly typing out my comments in a stream of consciousness mode without checking for syntax, spelling, and grammatical errors so I apologize for the above errors and for all past and future similar errors. I trust that the thinkers here will have no trouble correcting my mistakes on the fly as you read along, and will afford me the same slack as I extend to everyone else for their laxity in writing style and form. This is not a peer reviewed submission after all so let's not get all stuffed shirt technical about punctuation for Poseidon's sake. That being said I do sometimes avail myself of the 15 minute opportunity to go in and decrapify my comments to a certain extent. I know.....not decrapified nearly enough right!
If it mattered little or not at all back then, why should it matter now or indeed why should it matter at all.

What a person believes actually shouldn't matter, it is almost the essence of freedom of thought there.

What we believe as groups of humans, seems to matter a lot.

There is a subtle difference, because we like to group up as social animals. I actually think it shouldn't matter what I believe, I don't think what anyone believes should matter. That it does is part of the problem.
Lack belief in a god because you are unaware of the idea of 'god' would make a baby an implicit atheist. Once you are confronted with the idea and for whatever reason maintain your non-belief you would then qualify as explicitly atheist.

If I understand correctly.
I think the very idea of 'natural' vs. 'unnatural' is a B.S. to begin with.

I see what your getting at, but the entire line of reasoning seems purely masturbatory.
There are many holes in my reasoning on this issue which may be obvious, but which nobody has yet addressed here!

To be sure my assertion is not of any great consequence which I fully admit, but when you say it is B.S. exactly why do you think it is such a steaming malodorous pile?




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