Theism is an Addiction?

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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Veritas Aequitas
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Theism is an Addiction?

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

I am raising the OP 'Theism is an Addiction' as the most likely hypothesis to explain theism and why theism is so hardcore and psychological to the extreme that theists will kill those who are a threat to their theism [note Islam, death penalties for blasphemy, theistic mobs that kill, etc.].

In general the reward system related to addiction is the release of dopamine.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addiction#Reward_system

Image

As such, theism is sustain due to its ability to trigger the release of dopamine to soothe the existential pains with its rewards of soothingness.

Note this article which explain how dopamine is released in a theistic state.
The god effect
Religion spawns both benevolent saints and murderous fanatics.
Could dopamine levels in the brain drive that switch?

https://aeon.co/essays/the-dopamine-swi ... nd-fanatic

Throughout the centuries, bountiful dopamine has given rise to gifted leaders and peacemakers (Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Catherine of Siena), innovators (Zoroaster), seers (the Buddha), warriors (Napoleon, Joan of Arc), teachers of whole civilisations (Confucius) and visionaries (Laozi). Some of them founded not only enduring religious traditions but also profoundly influenced the cultures and civilisations associated with those traditions.

But dopamine-fuelled religion has also unleashed monsters: Jim Jones (the ‘minister’ who persuaded hundreds of his followers to commit suicide) and the cult Aum Shinrikyo, whose leader had his adherents release sarin gas on the subways of Japan. Think of the fanatic terrorists of al Qaeda, who gave their lives to attack New York’s twin towers and the Pentagon on 11 September 2001.
One feature that confirms addiction to X is a state of withdrawal in the absence of X.
It is very notable that people suffered terrible cold-turkeys and withdrawals syndromes for a long time when they convert out of their theism into being non-theistic.

Agree or disagree to the above hypothesis?
jayjacobus
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Re: Theism is an Addiction?

Post by jayjacobus »

Dopamine doesn't have an intent. It doesn't think. It doesn't want.

You are describing an effect, not a cause.
promethean75
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Re: Theism is an Addiction?

Post by promethean75 »

Right, but the intent of the religious person in this model would be the effect of the 'incentive salience' created by the association made between the dopamine induced pleasure and the experience that resulted in that. Reinforcing and rewarding stimuli; singing hymns, praying, reading the Bible, doing charity, coveting your neighbor's wife (just kidding... but not really), hosting boardgame night at the local church, comforting friends in need, feeling that you may very well have an immortal soul, etc.
promethean75
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Re: Theism is an Addiction?

Post by promethean75 »

"suffered terrible cold-turkeys"

I suffered a terrible cold turkey once. Was huntin with the old man one morning and up over the hill I walked right up on a rafter. Five of em. Didn't even act like I was there... just kept rooting around the leaves for food. When I stepped forward and raised the twelve gauge, I stepped on a branch with a loud CRACK!, and they all froze and looked at me. Next think I know the biggest sonofabitch in the group let out a sarcastic gobble and started comin toward me. By this time I'm so confused that I couldn't pull the shot off, ya know? Sos I start stepping backward and the fucker keeps coming toward me... those cold black eyes sizing me up. Finally I just turned and ran. Never experienced anything like that since. Didn't tell the old man either. It's something I was gonna take to my grave, until now.
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Sculptor
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Re: Theism is an Addiction?

Post by Sculptor »

jayjacobus wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 9:21 pm Dopamine doesn't have an intent. It doesn't think. It doesn't want.

You are describing an effect, not a cause.
It is a feedback mechanism.
Dopamine is the drug that reinforces the behaviour.
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attofishpi
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Re: Theism is an Addiction?

Post by attofishpi »

Sculptor wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:13 am
jayjacobus wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 9:21 pm Dopamine doesn't have an intent. It doesn't think. It doesn't want.

You are describing an effect, not a cause.
It is a feedback mechanism.
Dopamine is the drug that reinforces the behaviour.
In the same way that dopamine reinforces the behaviour of being short-sighted in relation to things such as theism, focusing on the most ridiculous aspects of such an ideology with the positive feeling that you are right, as an atheist.
Age
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Re: Theism is an Addiction?

Post by Age »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 7:00 am I am raising the OP 'Theism is an Addiction' as the most likely hypothesis to explain theism and why theism is so hardcore and psychological to the extreme that theists will kill those who are a threat to their theism [note Islam, death penalties for blasphemy, theistic mobs that kill, etc.].

In general the reward system related to addiction is the release of dopamine.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addiction#Reward_system

Image

As such, theism is sustain due to its ability to trigger the release of dopamine to soothe the existential pains with its rewards of soothingness.

Note this article which explain how dopamine is released in a theistic state.
The god effect
Religion spawns both benevolent saints and murderous fanatics.
Could dopamine levels in the brain drive that switch?

https://aeon.co/essays/the-dopamine-swi ... nd-fanatic

Throughout the centuries, bountiful dopamine has given rise to gifted leaders and peacemakers (Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Catherine of Siena), innovators (Zoroaster), seers (the Buddha), warriors (Napoleon, Joan of Arc), teachers of whole civilisations (Confucius) and visionaries (Laozi). Some of them founded not only enduring religious traditions but also profoundly influenced the cultures and civilisations associated with those traditions.

But dopamine-fuelled religion has also unleashed monsters: Jim Jones (the ‘minister’ who persuaded hundreds of his followers to commit suicide) and the cult Aum Shinrikyo, whose leader had his adherents release sarin gas on the subways of Japan. Think of the fanatic terrorists of al Qaeda, who gave their lives to attack New York’s twin towers and the Pentagon on 11 September 2001.
One feature that confirms addiction to X is a state of withdrawal in the absence of X.
It is very notable that people suffered terrible cold-turkeys and withdrawals syndromes for a long time when they convert out of their theism into being non-theistic.

Agree or disagree to the above hypothesis?
Here is a GREAT EXAMPLE of people will say and make up just about ANY thing in an attempt to 'try to' back up and support their currently HELD BELIEF.
jayjacobus
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Re: Theism is an Addiction?

Post by jayjacobus »

Sculptor wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:13 am
jayjacobus wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 9:21 pm Dopamine doesn't have an intent. It doesn't think. It doesn't want.

You are describing an effect, not a cause.
It is a feedback mechanism.
Dopamine is the drug that reinforces the behaviour.
Emotions are a feedback mechanisms too. Both emotions and dopamine are effects.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Theism is an Addiction?

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

jayjacobus wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 9:21 pm Dopamine doesn't have an intent. It doesn't think. It doesn't want.

You are describing an effect, not a cause.
In "determination", effects are also causes of subsequent effects and so on.
Dopamine is the cause albeit a closer proximate one which explains the addiction cycle.
The cause nearer to the ultimate cause is an inherent existential crisis [to be discussed in detail] within.
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Theism is an Addiction?

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

attofishpi wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:34 am
Sculptor wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:13 am
jayjacobus wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 9:21 pm Dopamine doesn't have an intent. It doesn't think. It doesn't want.

You are describing an effect, not a cause.
It is a feedback mechanism.
Dopamine is the drug that reinforces the behaviour.
In the same way that dopamine reinforces the behaviour of being short-sighted in relation to things such as theism, focusing on the most ridiculous aspects of such an ideology with the positive feeling that you are right, as an atheist.
Dopamine play an extensive role in human life.

In this case of theism and addiction, the continual secretion of dopamine is from believing irrationally in something illusory is to soothe the cognitive dissonance arising from an existential crisis.

It is possible for dopamine to be secreted temporary in a non-theist when he has understood some events rationally to arrive at rational answers to the irrational claims of theism. In the extreme note the effect of dopamine on Archimedes and his Eureka.
jayjacobus
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Re: Theism is an Addiction?

Post by jayjacobus »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 6:35 am
attofishpi wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:34 am
Sculptor wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:13 am

It is a feedback mechanism.
Dopamine is the drug that reinforces the behaviour.
In the same way that dopamine reinforces the behaviour of being short-sighted in relation to things such as theism, focusing on the most ridiculous aspects of such an ideology with the positive feeling that you are right, as an atheist.
Dopamine play an extensive role in human life.

In this case of theism and addiction, the continual secretion of dopamine is from believing irrationally in something illusory is to soothe the cognitive dissonance arising from an existential crisis.

It is possible for dopamine to be secreted temporary in a non-theist when he has understood some events rationally to arrive at rational answers to the irrational claims of theism. In the extreme note the effect of dopamine on Archimedes and his Eureka.
Eureka!! Your logic is illusory.
Iwannaplato
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Re: Theism is an Addiction?

Post by Iwannaplato »

Problem solving, for example, releases dopamin.
https://www.gold.ac.uk/news/aha-moment-dopamine/
Which means people would, be, if you are right, addicted to work, doing crossword puzzles,exercise, swimming, and an incrediblly long list of other activities, including things like breathwork, meditation, watching films, hanging out with friends and more.
So, withdrawel from these activities should also lead to murder.
Professor Bhattacharya said: “Dopamine is a chemical not just for processing reward, it also stimulates goal-driven approach motivation such as curiosity and learning: these findings establish a close link between dopamine, positive mood and creativity. Further, our results provide the neural mechanisms explaining why the solution with an accompanying Aha! experience is more salient, facilitates long-term memory storage and reinforcement. So an Aha! moment is more than just a sensation of pleasure or relief, instead it is a special form of fast retrieval, combination, and encoding process and this is something we hope to investigate in future research.”
Note: creativity, motivation.

Let's pathologize everything we do that leads to dopamine release, call it addiction.

And this is unsupported
In this case of theism and addiction, the continual secretion of dopamine is from believing irrationally in something illusory is to soothe the cognitive dissonance arising from an existential crisis.

It is possible for dopamine to be secreted temporary in a non-theist when he has understood some events rationally to arrive at rational answers to the irrational claims of theism. In the extreme note the effect of dopamine on Archimedes and his Eureka.
Note here that you are implicitly claiming that non-theist dopamine production is short term and intermittant, with no evidence. There is no evidence that a mathematician who surely releases dopamine while doing his or her . only has short term dopamine production. Or a swimmer or an artist or a puzzle solver or a gamer or a friend or a.....and so on.

As always you just assume things and build your arguments as if you have made a logical case, when you haven't. IOW irrationalality in rational drag. And even this can release dopamine....
https://hbr.org/2013/02/break-your-addiction-to-being
right.
So, participating in online forums can be argued to be addictive since it releases dopamine (and adrenalin). Which is probably why so many people retate their opinions over and over, often confusing this with mounting an argument - though even arguments are, well, dopaminergenic.

We should definitely abandon romance and sex also. Always addictive, since dopamine is involved.
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Sculptor
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Re: Theism is an Addiction?

Post by Sculptor »

attofishpi wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:34 am
Sculptor wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:13 am
jayjacobus wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 9:21 pm Dopamine doesn't have an intent. It doesn't think. It doesn't want.

You are describing an effect, not a cause.
It is a feedback mechanism.
Dopamine is the drug that reinforces the behaviour.
In the same way that dopamine reinforces the behaviour of being short-sighted in relation to things such as theism, focusing on the most ridiculous aspects of such an ideology with the positive feeling that you are right, as an atheist.
It does not make me feel good to be an atheist.
I rarely have to think about that at all. What makes me laugh is reading the posts of theists.
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Sculptor
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Re: Theism is an Addiction?

Post by Sculptor »

jayjacobus wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 6:13 am
Sculptor wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:13 am
jayjacobus wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 9:21 pm Dopamine doesn't have an intent. It doesn't think. It doesn't want.

You are describing an effect, not a cause.
It is a feedback mechanism.
Dopamine is the drug that reinforces the behaviour.
Emotions are a feedback mechanisms too. Both emotions and dopamine are effects.
Art some point you have to understand the directions of causality.
Please look up "feedback"
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attofishpi
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Re: Theism is an Addiction?

Post by attofishpi »

Sculptor wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 11:53 am
attofishpi wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:34 am
Sculptor wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 12:13 am

It is a feedback mechanism.
Dopamine is the drug that reinforces the behaviour.
In the same way that dopamine reinforces the behaviour of being short-sighted in relation to things such as theism, focusing on the most ridiculous aspects of such an ideology with the positive feeling that you are right, as an atheist.
It does not make me feel good to be an atheist.
It does not make me feel good when God\'God' puts me through 3 month stints in hell, for crossing a certain line that sage\God stipulated. Feb last year, it lasted this time for almost the entire year. I had been warned many times prior, "Last bet" and I foolishly returned to eat from the tree.
If I cross that line again...I will die.

Sculptor wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 11:53 amI rarely have to think about that at all. What makes me laugh is reading the posts of theists.
Ergo you are supporting my statement -the effect of dopamine works both ways, theist or atheist or the good feeling from sex etc etc.. (hence this is yet another ridiculous thread from a thread spamming borderline militant atheist that lacks the nous to present a reasonable argument)
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