Are Atheists Genetically Damaged?

#21
(Mar 19, 2019 05:12 AM)Magical Realist Wrote:
Quote:There's significant overlap between pacifists and isolationists/non-interventionist, who would selfishly refuse to help others end suffering when fully capable of doing so.

How does refusing to inflict violence NOT help end suffering? Seems you're all confused about what a pacifist really desires.
Refusing to inflict violence can easily also mean refusing to inflict lessor violence to stop a much more violent force...thereby allowing more violence than you would inflict, just to selfishly keep your own hands clean. You know, like the Holocaust, where the Nazis were subjecting Jews to prolonged torture and starvation and we were only interested in inflicting enough harm to stop it. If we were pacifists, the Nazis would have continued to visit untold suffering on people across Europe. Those who are able to stop suffering but do not act are complicit.



(Mar 19, 2019 11:09 AM)stryder Wrote: There is plenty of evidence that the "Good" people can do wrong, after all look at how religion invented "The witch hunt" (Which for the most part was just the manipulation of hysteria for political gain)  how many "genetically mutated people" did religion burn because of difference?

As for survival, funnily enough certain eastern philosophies have Yogi's that push extremes in the attempt to have some semblance of rapture (Rapture in this particular instance is having their survival instincts kick in, after all there is exhilaration in survival and positive reflection of the ingenuity in the process of how to survive.)

Such acts as sleeping on beds of nails, purposely inflicting pain and suffrage on themselves (burning, cutting, etc)  but to the outside world such displays would be seen as quite warped.
Who said any good person is infallible? And using current sensibilities to judge the past (presentism) isn't exactly fair. Kind of cherry-picking an age before any significant atheism too.



(Mar 19, 2019 02:58 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: Funny how the mutation in the context of the OP is damaging when it's a well known fact that it is a naturally reoccurring event. Indeed most genetic mutations never pan out in an evolutionary sense but some do. I can't think of any reason why anyone would claim the so-called atheist mutation is damaging. Should I apply for a disability pension?

Naturally recurring doesn't mean harmless or good, as cancer is naturally recurring. Unfit genetics can pass on unfit traits.

If your lack of loyalty and cooperation is a genetic trait, then it does harm your survival potential. It's just damaging to your survival fitness...not a disability, as you could learn to be more loyal and cooperative, if you really wanted to.
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#22
I highly doubt that anyone would blame pacifists for not fighting and killing invading regimes. Fighting back may actually cause more people to be killed and imprisoned. Jews were pacifists when it came to the Nazis and were imprisoned in concentration camps. You wanna blame them for that reign of terror? Everyone is responsible for the actions that they do. The Nazis were responsible for their own actions, not the pacifists they murdered and imprisoned.
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#23
(Mar 19, 2019 08:27 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: I highly doubt that anyone would blame pacifists for not fighting and killing invading regimes. Fighting back may actually cause more people to be killed and imprisoned. Jews were pacifists when it came to the Nazis and were imprisoned in concentration camps. You wanna blame them for that reign of terror? Everyone is responsible for the actions that they do. The Nazis were responsible for their own actions, not the pacifists they murdered and imprisoned.

The Jews were targeted for disarming prior to the Holocaust.

The attitude of Jews toward pacifism, as with most other aspects of religion, is heavily influenced by the Holocaust which was a program of Nazi Germany to murder every man, woman and child who was Jewish as well as people of other religions who had a Jewish grandparent. As a result, some six million people were exterminated by various means because the Nazis considered them Jews and therefore unworthy of life. In hindsight, there were opportunities for a number of years to defeat Nazi Germany before it could build a military force strong enough to capture and kill most of the Jews of Europe. Forces which deterred the democracies from acting to stop Hitler early on and at a much, much lower cost in human life were pacifism, appeasement, and isolationism. People who offered no resistance to the Nazis enabled them to carry out their oppression and aggression, costing tens of millions of lives in World War II. Had pacifism gained more support, the Allies might have lost the war and virtually all Jews would have been killed.
...
The Hebrew Bible is full of examples when Jews were told to go and war against enemy lands or within the Israelite community as well as instances where God, as destroyer and protector, goes to war for non-participant Jews. The Holocaust Remembrance Day (called Yom Hashoah in Hebrew) is a day a remembrance for many Jews as they honor those who fought to end the Hitler government which starved, shot, gassed and burned over six million Jews to death.


[Image: Ghetto_Vilinus.gif]

Jewish armed resistance against the Nazis during World War II
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacifism#Judaism


So you'll need to support your claim that German Jews were pacifists prior to the Holocaust. Being disarmed, of even "bladed weapons", does not justify conflating inability to resist with lack of desire to resist. And unless you can support your claim, it sound's an awful lot like anti-Semitic victim-blaming. Dodgy


There is no chance of there being more killing when the expressed goal is complete genocide. Learn some history.
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#24
LOL! Uh no. There were no armies of Jews fighting the Nazis during WWII. Read your history sometime. Pacifist resistance yes. But not an organized fighting force. The Holocaust was the sole responsibility of the Nazis and not the Jews. Pacifism had nothing to do with it.
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#25
(Mar 19, 2019 10:14 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: LOL! Uh no. There were no armies of Jews fighting the Nazis during WWII. Read your history sometime. Pacifist resistance yes. But not an organized fighting force. The Holocaust was the sole responsibility of the Nazis and not the Jews.

Again, learn to read already.

No one ever said there were "armies of Jews fighting the Nazis". They were disarmed prior to the Holocaust, some did resist, and you've yet to support your claim that most, or even just many, were pacifists. You just keep repeating it, seemingly using Holocaust Jews as a racist token...immorally trying to use their suffering to further your own pacifist argument. Again, learn the difference between being unable to resist and unwilling to resist. There's a huge difference.

Nazi-sponsored persecution and mass murder fueled resistance to the Germans in the Third Reich itself and throughout occupied Europe. Although Jews were the Nazis' primary victims, they too resisted Nazi oppression in a variety of ways, both collectively and as individuals.
...
Between 1941 and 1943, underground resistance movements developed in about 100 Jewish ghettos in Nazi-occupied eastern Europe. Their main goals were to organize uprisings, break out of the ghettos, and join partisan units in the fight against the Germans. The Jews knew that uprisings would not stop the Germans and that only a handful of fighters would succeed in escaping to join with partisans. Still, Jews made the decision to resist. Further, under the most adverse conditions, Jewish prisoners succeeded in initiating resistance and uprisings in some Nazi concentration camps, and even in the killing centers of Treblinka, Sobibor, and Auschwitz. Other camp uprisings took place in camps such as Kruszyna (1942), Minsk Mazowiecki (1943), and Janowska (1943). In several dozen camps, prisoners organized escapes to join partisan units.
- https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/e...resistance


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_res...ied_Europe

And no one has claimed the Jews were responsible for the Holocaust. It was largely the pacifist and appeasing European countries that allowed the Holocaust. But it seems you're intent on excusing that by falsely claiming the Jews were pacifists too.
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#26
From https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-red-cro...1500417644
Quote:The Red Cross and the Holocaust
As early as 1933, the Red Cross received letters from Dachau, including one pleading: ‘I beg you again in the name of the prisoners—Help! Help!.’ Samuel Moyn reviews “Humanitarians at War” by Gerald Steinacher.
On the one hand you would think the Red Cross would report atrocities with absolute integrity. On the other hand you would have to respect the actual view held by the Red Cross both before and throughout WW2 which was that if they reported the actual situation it would jeopardise their ability to operate unhindered in any future conflict zone.
My mother was a teacher during WW2. My aunt was in the Red Cross during WW2. My mother said the civilian population in England knew nothing of the holocaust. Long after the war my mother told me her sister (ie The Red Cross) knew of the holocaust and they (ie The Red Cross) reported none of it to preserve their ability to operate unhindered in future conflicts. 
Both my mother and my aunt are dead so feel free to comment.
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#27

Much of “Humanitarians at War” re-treads the ICRC’s missteps in those dark years, rightly laying most of the blame on Switzerland’s Carl Jacob Burckhardt. With the ICRC’s moralistic Christian president, Max Huber, elderly and often ill during the 1930s, it was Burckhardt, his second in command, who made major decisions regarding relations with Adolf Hitler’s government. A diplomat and known careerist, Burckhardt harbored a traditional anti-Semitism and such hatred of communism that he regarded German Nazism as a bulwark of civilization and a necessary evil. As early as April 1933, the ICRC was receiving desperate letters from inmates of German concentration camps, including one from Dachau pleading: “‘I beg you again in the name of the prisoners—Help! Help!’” Yet as Mr. Steinacher writes, during this period Burckhardt was given an inspection tour “and officially lauded the commandant of Dachau for his discipline and decency.”

It wasn’t just willfully repeating the Germans’ propaganda that stained the ICRC. Nor was it only the fact that, knowing the Nazis had confirmed their policy of mass extermination of the Jews at the 1942 Wannsee Conference, the ICRC did nothing to intervene. What was more difficult to defend was Burckhardt’s sympathies with and efforts on behalf of Nazi actors after Germany’s defeat. He opposed the Nuremberg trials, labeling them “Jewish revenge.” Red Cross officials attempted to whitewash the record of Nuremberg defendant and high-ranking Nazi diplomat Ernst von Weizsäcker. After the Holocaust, the ICRC—by then helmed by Burckhardt—even abetted the flight of Nazis such as Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele by providing them with travel papers.
- https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-red-cro...1500417644


So it was the political machinations of the guy in charge, and he probably told those working for him whatever he had to to keep them in line...likely preying on their sympathies.
Maybe just a result of pacifist Swiss neutrality.
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#28
@Syne, thank you for your comment.- you summed up my thoughts quite well.

I only met my aunt once, it would probably be a few years after she retired form the ICRC - she had the bearing of a woman used to power and I had the manner of .. a contemptuous young person.. don't even come near me. One meeting was enough for both of us.
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#29
(Mar 18, 2019 08:39 AM)C C Wrote: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuros...I7pltF7nm0

INTRO: I just came across a paper with an interesting title: The Mutant Says in His Heart, “There Is No God”. The conclusions of this work are even more interesting. According to the authors, Edward Dutton et al., humans evolved to be religious and atheism is caused (in part) by mutational damage to our normal, religious DNA. Atheists, in other words, are genetic degenerates.

Couldn't apes say the same thing about human genetic differences from ape DNA? Degenerate, mutant apes, one and all. Skinny hairless things.

I think that some of these recent theories about genetics, cognitive science and religion are guilty of the fundamental error of imagining that DNA encodes particular beliefs (like belief in God, whatever 'God' means.) There's an idea that human beings have a theism gene or something and that believing in God has some evolutionary selection value.

I think that a better way of thinking of it is that genetics preconditions us to think in ways that lead to religious belief as kind of an unintended consequence.

For example, human beings have a propensity to seek out and respond to other human beings. We have an innate ability to read other people's emotional states. (We even see young infants doing it, paying special attention to human faces and responding with pleasure to a mother's cooing.) Our ability to intuit another person's happiness, anger or fear is so natural to us, that we don't really think about how extraordinary it is.

Human beings have a propensity to learn natural language. Natural language, its grammar, syntax and semantics is a hugely complex system that linguists still don't fully understand. But small children pick it up very quickly simply by being exposed to it, without any formal instruction at all. (Even kids with Down's syndrome can speak.) Our ability to discern meaning in other people's grunts is so natural to us, that we don't really think about how extraordinary it is.

My hypothesis is that our social and linguistic instincts are more basic and innate in us than our ability to do mathematics or physics. Or abstract philosophy for that matter, something that many people find abstruse and hard. It's just easier for kids to hang out with their friends than to learn algebra, despite interacting with friends being a vastly more complicated data processing task. The more complicated task is enjoyable, the simpler one is work.

So there's probably a tendency to go with the flow, to interpret all of reality around us in the ways we find easiest and most intuitive. We tend to react to inanimate objects as if they were animate personalities. Thunder is an expression of anger by something very powerful. The singing of the birds and the babbling of the brook have messages for those who can hear.

Since humans and animals were the only active agents that early evolving humans knew of (machines were unknown), action and change meant the presence and activity of life and of agency. It was natural for them to read intentionality into everything that happened around them. A landslide or a storm? Caused by a consciousness for some purpose.

And an animist sort of religion just kind of pops out of that sort of formative matrix. I expect that these kinds of beliefs are very old, dating back to before the appearance of anatomically modern humans.

Quote:Despite the talk of mutations, there is no genetics in this paper. No atheist genomes were sequenced and found to be mutated. Rather, Dutton et al. claim (mostly on the basis of a review of previous literature) that atheists have elevated rates of proxy measures of genetic health or ‘mutational load’, namely ill-health, autism, and left-handedness. This, they say, is consistent with atheism being a manifestation of “increasing genetic mutation affecting the mind”.

I think that there's an even stronger correlation between things like mathematical talent (or skill as a computer science coder) and autism (especially in its weaker and less devastating forms). We are all familiar with the stereotype of the 'nerd'.

It could be. The slow development of technology in the stone age and subsequently might have created some selective advantage in the ability to cognize the physical world in its inanimate (mechanical?) terms rather than our human terms. The growth of complex societies might have placed more value on an ability to think abstractly.

So in the earlier stone age, the presence of social instincts (that we share with other animals) and the growth of our unique linguistic talents, might have made humans far more touchy-feely and less cerebral than people today. Far more prone to personalize everything in their environment. But more recently in human evolution, continuing through the present time, our engagement with the inanimate world may be pulling us in a different direction.
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#30
(Mar 22, 2019 06:06 PM)Yazata Wrote:
Quote:Despite the talk of mutations, there is no genetics in this paper. No atheist genomes were sequenced and found to be mutated. Rather, Dutton et al. claim (mostly on the basis of a review of previous literature) that atheists have elevated rates of proxy measures of genetic health or ‘mutational load’, namely ill-health, autism, and left-handedness. This, they say, is consistent with atheism being a manifestation of “increasing genetic mutation affecting the mind”.

I think that there's an even stronger correlation between things like mathematical talent (or skill as a computer science coder) and autism (especially in its weaker and less devastating forms). We are all familiar with the stereotype of the 'nerd'.

It could be. The slow development of technology in the stone age and subsequently might have created some selective advantage in the ability to cognize the physical world in its inanimate (mechanical?) terms rather than our human terms. The growth of complex societies might have placed more value on an ability to think abstractly.

So in the earlier stone age, the presence of social instincts (that we share with other animals) and the growth of our unique linguistic talents, might have made humans far more touchy-feely and less cerebral than people today. Far more prone to personalize everything in their environment. But more recently in human evolution, continuing through the present time, our engagement with the inanimate world may be pulling us in a different direction.


At first glance it might seem that changes are purely the result of the environmental conditioning and technological circumstances of the times. For instance, there are all these articles popping up about how Generation-Z members are less hedonistic or more ascetic, improved discipline-wise and better students than some of their predecessors. But suffer from social phobias and FOMO due to their electronic media addictions. As if the human race is on its way to becoming like the reclusive Solarian culture of Isaac Asimov's The Naked Sun, whose citizens live in isolation from each other and have fear of physical contact -- communicating and interacting with each other via holographic apparatus.

OTOH, things like domestication syndrome could make it look as if evolution is conveniently loaded in advance with exploitable, fictile characteristics tailor-made for when a particular era of human progress rolls around (like the agrarian lifestyle). In our particular case genetic defects are enduring in the population far easier than they did in the past when there were no safety nets; and such traits seemingly get passed on somehow (by sibling carriers?) even if the specifically afflicted don't reproduce well. More parents having children late in life may introduce new anomalies via mutated spermatozoa and nutrient deficiencies. Modern diet and exposure to chemical agents may disrupt hormonal balances during fetal development. Then there's the potential contribution of epigenetics on top of all that.

As if a civilization where science fiction is finally realized needs more nerds or whatever type of human fits its demands, and the latter is outputted by a non-sapient conspiring of all the converging ambient surroundings and biological affairs.

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