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← Disbelief is not a choice

Barry Pearson's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Barry Pearson

Comment 1 by ShadowMind :

I see it more as dis-belief is the default state, and people only choose to believe, ie: choose to leave the default state. So atheism isn't a choice; it's where we all start.

I would use different words.

"Non-belief" is the default state; that is how we are born with respect to religions and specific gods. That is less positive than "dis-belief".

And typically people don't "choose" in a useful sense to leave the default state. They are indoctrinated to do so, at an age where they don't know enough to make an informed choice. (Some stay in the state of non-belief, of course, and this may become the more positive dis-belief or self-identifying atheism).

For those who were indoctrinated, continued belief in the face of alternative perspectives such as science, vocal non-belief, or other religions, needs continual reinforcement. The trend in "western" societies has 2 components that are regretted/resented by those who favour their particular religions. The alternative perspectives are becoming more widespread and more vocal and harder to resist; and the continual reinforcement is weakening.

Tue, 13 Sep 2011 07:21:13 UTC | #870166