Sunday, March 27, 2016

Atheists and Empathy Void

Atheists love to point to the 3 point IQ advantage which some tests show that Atheists have over theists. But this test shows that IQ tests don’t tell the whole story, leaving part of the brain completely out of the testing.
The conflict between science and religion lies in our brains

“When there’s a question of faith, from the analytic point of view, it may seem absurd,” said Tony Jack, who led the research. “But, from what we understand about the brain, the leap of faith to belief in the supernatural amounts to pushing aside the critical/analytical way of thinking to help us achieve greater social and emotional insight.”

Jack is an associate professor of philosophy at Case Western Reserve and research director of the university’s Inamori International Center of Ethics and Excellence, which helped sponsor the research.

"A stream of research in cognitive psychology has shown and claims that people who have faith (i.e., are religious or spiritual) are not as smart as others. They actually might claim they are less intelligent.,” said Richard Boyatzis, distinguished university professor and professor of organizational behavior at Case Western Reserve, and a member of Jack’s team.

“Our studies confirmed that statistical relationship, but at the same time showed that people with faith are more prosocial and empathic,” he said.

In a series of eight experiments, the researchers found the more empathetic the person, the more likely he or she is religious.

That finding offers a new explanation for past research showing women tend to hold more religious or spiritual worldviews than men. The gap may be because women have a stronger tendency toward empathetic concern than men.

Atheists, the researchers found, are most closely aligned with psychopaths—not killers, but the vast majority of psychopaths classified as such due to their lack of empathy for others.

The new study is published in the online journal PLOS ONE. The other authors are Jared Friedman, a research assistant and recent graduate in Philosophy and Cognitive Science who will begin his PhD in organizational behavior at Case Western Reserve in the fall, and Scott Taylor, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Babson College.

Brain structure
The research is based on the hypothesis that the human brain has two opposing domains in constant tension. In earlier research, Jack ‘s Brain, Mind & Consciousness lab used functional magnetic resonance imaging to show the brain has an analytical network of neurons that enables us to think critically and a social network that enables us to empathize. When presented with a physics problem or ethical dilemma, a healthy brain fires up the appropriate network while suppressing the other.

“Because of the tension between networks, pushing aside a naturalistic world view enables you to delve deeper into the social/emotional side,” Jack explained. “And that may be the key to why beliefs in the supernatural exist throughout the history of cultures. It appeals to an essentially nonmaterial way of understanding the world and our place in it.”

Friedman said, “Having empathy doesn’t mean you necessarily have anti-scientific beliefs. Instead, our results suggest that if we only emphasize analytic reasoning and scientific beliefs, as the New Atheist movement suggests, then we are compromising our ability to cultivate a different type of thinking, namely social/moral insight.”
If this proves to be a valid result in subsequent testing, then it indicates that Atheists are actually impaired, brain-wise. Atheists have already been easily shown to be empathy impaired, as has been recorded here before. This test compares their empathy levels to those of psychopaths, i.e., very low levels of empathy, into the zone of mental disorder.

What has been shown before is that for Atheists, empathy is merely an intellectual construct, one which doesn’t affect their behavior much at all. They might feel something at the sight of a person in need, but they are not moved to assist, especially not monetarily. Atheist donations amount to the equivalent of one latte’ per month, and that most likely goes to humanist types of organizations which deal in specious “humanity” or “Gaia” Class issues rather than specific humanitarian programs.

I suspect that there are degrees of this affliction, just as there are degrees of autism and cancer. But the overall effect is a pronounced degradation in one’s ability to form an accurate worldview based on all – ALL – considerations, especially for those whose empathy is in the range of psychopathy.

For instance, the refusal to even investigate the rationality or lack thereof in Philosophical Materialism and Determinism (circular, unprovable premises for Atheism) indicates the inability to work outside of the constraints of the analytic module, and thus failure to exercise the insight module. Interestingly, then, the objective use of disciplined logic cannot reside totally in the analytical side.

In fact, the use of flawed logic indicates that Atheists don’t spend much time in their analytical module, either. And I suspect that there is an emotional fundamental zone which is misfiring in many or most Atheists which prevents BOTH empathy and analytic mental processing. [*} This driving emotional zone is what leads the Atheist toward Leftism and self-justification based in neither logic nor empathy, while falsely claiming the superior possession of both. A truly empathetic and logical person doesn’t have a need for the faux elitism self-justification attained through parasitism on a narrative which has surface-level-only empathy which is based in Victimhood classes, not individuals.

When an Atheist claims "empathy", push a little deeper to find out which specific individuals the Atheist knows and favors, or whether he actually favors amorphous classes of faceless Victims he doesn't even know... or see.


*Explains why there are far fewer female Atheists than male, and why male Atheists tend strongly to misogyny... despite the strong feminist narrative. AND it explains the hostility of Atheists toward non-materialists: Atheists cannot experience any brain activity which accommodates the non-material concept. So they find it ridiculous, and being without empathy, that's how they approach the subject, with ridicule, Ad Hominem Abusives and hostility. Again there doubtless degrees of this affliction; but there are many, many who exhibit the maximum.

5 comments:

Hugo Pelland said...

Most of this makes perfect sense; I am not surprised one bit by the fact that Atheists are in general less emotional. It actually gives support to the idea that Atheism is probably correct, while Theism is less likely to be correct. Because Theism is driven in large part by emotions, dogmas and not reason and logic. A lot of humans, most probably, believe because of what they were taught, without ever questioning. Atheists can also make the same mistake of never analyzing their beliefs, but since most of them were actually raised in a religious setting, it makes it more likely that Atheists did analyzed the reasons for belief AND disbelief.

But, the problem is with making generalization. It's not because Atheists have lower empathy, on average, that they ALL have NO empathy at all. This applies to all the other generalization found in this post.

Stan said...

Actually, on average, when the measurement standard is contribution to humanitarian organizations and giving actual help to actual humans, it is the data which says that Atheists are empathetic to the tune of one latte' per month. Data. And Atheists are NOT less emotional according to the study. They are less empathetic to the degree of psychopathy. An emotional disorder.

So I doubt seriously that you actually read for content, rather than reading for dismissal. Because Atheists believe in several layers of irrational premises in support of their unprovable thesis, the entire category: Atheism, is not based in logic. And since they cannot produce material evidence to support their thesis, Atheism is not based in evidence.

So, claiming logic and evidence for a worldview based in irrational and unprovable premises and conclusions, while actually having neither logic nor evidence for support of that worldview, is dishonest. Believing that such a worldview is based in logic and evidence when it is demonstrably NOT based in either logic or evidence, is irrational, and an emotional defect.

Hence, Atheism is either intellectually dishonest, OR it is an emotional defect, OR, both.

Hugo Pelland said...

"when the measurement standard is contribution to humanitarian organizations and giving actual help to actual humans, it is the data which says that Atheists are empathetic to the tune of one latte' per month. Data."
Yes, that's the Data I said is not surprising!

"And Atheists are NOT less emotional according to the study. They are less empathetic to the degree of psychopathy. An emotional disorder."
First, this is only 'on average' so you're extreme generalization misses the point.
Second, yes, this is exactly what the article implies: Atheists, on average, tend to focus more on analytical thinking instead of empathy, a form of emotional response. Of course, completely dismissing empathy is not good either; that's what psychopath do because they have no empathy at all. Hence, it's also not a black-or-white situation, as feelings of empathy, combined with analytical thinking, lead to a clearer big picture in most cases.

"So I doubt seriously that you actually read for content, rather than reading for dismissal."
I am addressing your content; not just dismissing it. What's wrong with that?

XFactor said...

This study didn’t claim to show any causation nor did it consider any other variables that might factor in. So just show me the study that does, otherwise it’s no different to a study saying “Study finds those who are taller are more likely to be basketball players”. You have to show causation not just one variable.

"Atheist donations amount to the equivalent of one latte’ per month, and that most likely goes to humanist types of organizations which deal in specious “humanity” or “Gaia” Class issues rather than specific humanitarian programs."
Where is that Data? Nope the countries that give most in foreign – in terms of percentage of there budgets – are the most secular.
Sweden – 1.40%
Norway – 1.05%
Luxembourg – 0.93%
Denmark – 0.85%
Netherlands – 0.76%
United Kingdom – 0.71%
Finland – 0.56%

Also see this http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/pellissier20111125

Atheists are the most generous—even without heavenly reward!

Stan said...

It's interesting that you quote a page which is disputed by the readers of the page. Quoting the uber-rich who cannot miss portions of their vast wealth, and one organization doesn't make a case. Further, the use of the tiny leftist nations within the EU as examples of Atheism is also a false case, because those nations do not have an Atheist majority, they all have less than 20% Atheists.

The major Atheist nations are ignored; China, Russia, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, etc., are much more acceptable data points, and are ignored only as a Straw Man is built.

The "less than one latte' per month data comes from the Barna report, summarized and linked to in this post:

http://atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com/2011/05/atheist-charitable-giving.html