Does Autism Lead to Atheism?

Aug 14, 2012 Full story: www.psychologytoday.com 19

Belief in God depends on theory of mind.

In most religions, and arguably anything worth being called a religion, God is not just an impersonal force or creator. He has a mind that humans can relate to. Maybe youíre not gossiping on the phone with him late at night, but he has personality traits, thoughts, moods, and ways of communicating with you. If you didnít know what a mind was or how it worked, not only would you not understand people, you would not understand God, and you would not be religious.

Full Story

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#1 Aug 14, 2012
Considering autistic people tend to be highly intelligent, and intelligent people do tend to be atheists, meh. But it's still a correlation to causation fallacy.

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#2 Aug 14, 2012
I think it could, due to there is no concrete conception of religion. Asking a person to believe in what can not be seen or physically proved, and believe solely on 'faith' is one thing. That's a difficult concept to those with autism.

“saved From jesus”

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#3 Aug 14, 2012
KittenKoder wrote:
Considering autistic people tend to be highly intelligent, and intelligent people do tend to be atheists, meh. But it's still a correlation to causation fallacy.
It's another attempt by godbots to paint atheists into the "less than" corner, using junk science.
Thus sayeth the Lord

Chicago, IL

#5 Aug 16, 2012
1. Nothing leads to atheism since we all start out as atheists. You can't be led to a place you already are.

2. I resent that the title implies that atheism is caused by autism. Now my family is going to think I have Aspbergers. I reality I only have a bad case of intelligence, education, and critical thinking skills (all feared by the religious right!).

3. Why use the word atheist at all? Why not say that it is hard to convince or fool autistic people to believe in anything that is, imaginary, invisible and that there is no evidence to support, just like when Christians do not accept Islam or Muslims reject Christianity. That they tend to be concrete and rationale?

4. There is no evidence that this is causal and I very much doubt that it is. It is more likely that autistic people are not susceptible to magical thinking and are therefore not led to religion. This is true for Atheists to, but it is not causal.

5. Autistic people are probably also less likely to believe in the Easter bunny, Santa, the great pumpkin, horoscopes, fortune tellers and fortune cookies. Why not point that out?

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#6 Aug 16, 2012
I actually post this story in response to an argument in another thread that atheism causes autism. this article indicates that if there is a link, it is the other way around. But this article does not say that all or even most atheists are autistic, only that people who have been diagnosed as autistic are more likely to reject religion than those who have not.

I have always suspected that there is an essential difference in my psychological makeup than in those of believers. When presented with new ideas, I have always measured them against what I already knew rather than accepting or rejecting them based on authority or lack of it. As such, I never really believed in religious claptrap even when I was trying to conform to the pressure from friends and family.

After my final exit from religious life, I embraced a more rigorous skepticism, ruthlessly reevaluating most of what I believed in the face of the best data that I could find. With the advent of the internet and the development of advanced search engines, that task became easier, and I embraced the goal of becoming less opinionated and better informed wherever possible.

As such, I do not reject new information just because it is unpalatable. Many realities disturb or upset me, but that doesn't make them any less real. If I altered my views based on emotional reactions, I would be no different from those who reject science because it conflicts with their religious beliefs or because being descended from an older species upsets them.

As such I see nothing negative about the results of this study.
Vaccines Cause Autism

Winnipeg, Canada

#7 Aug 16, 2012
NightSerf wrote:
I actually post this story in response to an argument in another thread that atheism causes autism. this article indicates that if there is a link, it is the other way around. But this article does not say that all or even most atheists are autistic, only that people who have been diagnosed as autistic are more likely to reject religion than those who have not.
I have always suspected that there is an essential difference in my psychological makeup than in those of believers. When presented with new ideas, I have always measured them against what I already knew rather than accepting or rejecting them based on authority or lack of it. As such, I never really believed in religious claptrap even when I was trying to conform to the pressure from friends and family.
After my final exit from religious life, I embraced a more rigorous skepticism, ruthlessly reevaluating most of what I believed in the face of the best data that I could find. With the advent of the internet and the development of advanced search engines, that task became easier, and I embraced the goal of becoming less opinionated and better informed wherever possible.
As such, I do not reject new information just because it is unpalatable. Many realities disturb or upset me, but that doesn't make them any less real. If I altered my views based on emotional reactions, I would be no different from those who reject science because it conflicts with their religious beliefs or because being descended from an older species upsets them.
As such I see nothing negative about the results of this study.
Its a stool sample.

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#8 Aug 16, 2012
KittenKoder wrote:
Considering autistic people tend to be highly intelligent, and intelligent people do tend to be atheists, meh. But it's still a correlation to causation fallacy.
it can go either way - either 100% rational atheist or obsessive superstitious, I've see both and all in between

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#9 Aug 16, 2012
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>
it can go either way - either 100% rational atheist or obsessive superstitious, I've see both and all in between
I have little actual experience with autistic individuals to go by, so my point on the matter is based on a limited understanding of it. I will have to take your word on this as it sounds logical to me.
Mr Smartypants

Princeton, MN

#11 Aug 17, 2012
I have Asperger's and am about as skeptical as they come regarding religion. I actually went through a Jesus-Freak period in my life, but eventually reasoned my way out of it. I think those with autism-spectrum disorders tend to be more empirical and objective in their way of seeing the world which is why they end up as atheists even if they start out religious as I was.

A lot of the social world out there is basically bullshit. Bullshit that keeps politicians in power, guarantees that 1% own 99% of everything, and provides employment to clerics who claim to have a hotline to God that laypersons don't have. One of the reasons that autistic people are socially awkward is because we tend to be too objective and have a hard time dealing with the huge gap between what people say and what they do. In other words, autistic people tend to be excellent bullshit detectors...

Since: Jun 12

Atlanta, GA

#12 Aug 17, 2012
Is Faith caused by stupidity and a herd mentality?
Blame Vaccines

Winnipeg, Canada

#13 Aug 17, 2012
Justfacts99 wrote:
Is Faith caused by stupidity and a herd mentality?
Both. But religion began more as science, as an explanation for why things happened. Why people still bother with it is beyond me. Autism on the other hand is a vaccine side effect thats denied because government protects vaccine makers from all forms of lawsuit. The vaccine makers were going bankrupt from successful lawsuits that found their products faulty and farudulent over and over. When they threatened to stop making vaccines, government stepped in. If vaccines were faulty before, imagine what happens when they face no lawsuit what so ever?
Skeptic

Newtownards, UK

#14 Aug 19, 2012
Blame Vaccines wrote:
<quoted text> Both. But religion began more as science, as an explanation for why things happened. Why people still bother with it is beyond me. Autism on the other hand is a vaccine side effect thats denied because government protects vaccine makers from all forms of lawsuit. The vaccine makers were going bankrupt from successful lawsuits that found their products faulty and farudulent over and over. When they threatened to stop making vaccines, government stepped in. If vaccines were faulty before, imagine what happens when they face no lawsuit what so ever?
you're an idi*t.
Amused

Lowell, MA

#16 Aug 19, 2012
You know, there's a saying in the Asperger's community, "When you've met one person with Aspergers, you've met one person with Aspergers". There's a wide range of intelligence, there's a wide range of ways Aspergers manifests itself from one individual to another. Not everyone has the same symptoms, or has them to the same degree.
I am someone with Aspergers and I am an atheist. I doubt that one caused the other. In either direction. I do sometimes see the world differently from others. Growing up, I sometimes felt like a sociologist from another planet trying to figure out what's up with the people around me.
But my atheism was not a result of failure to bond with others around me who were believers. Instead, it was really a purely intellectual and very internal process that had little to nothing to do with outside influences. Perhaps the lack of external connection allowed me to look more objectively at belief, without the emotion that believers invest in their belief. That's really the only way Aspergers may have been involved in the process. Of course, when I was growing up, no one had ever heard of Aspergers, and it was not until much later in life that the light went on and I understood why things happened the way they did in my life. No regrets, though. If they invented a 'cure' for Aspergers, I'd pass.
FBOMBER

Winnipeg, Canada

#17 Aug 19, 2012
Skeptic wrote:
<quoted text>
you're an idi*t.
You're a sackofshit

“God=Registered Sex Offender!”

Since: Jul 12

Wylie, TX

#18 Aug 19, 2012
FBOMBER wrote:
<quoted text> You're a sackofshit
That kind of language makes Baby Jesus cry! Do you think Jesus cussed while nailed to the cross for YOUR crappy little sins? Yeah, Christ probably cussed while flailing on the cross and he might have hollered "you're a sackofshit" to His Whore, Mary Magdalene, as he waited for the spaceship to lift Him up to the clouds.

Hell, I reckon Jesus STILL cusses much when he's playing blackjack and Satan is dealing and has a six showing...I reckon Jesus cusses much when he's forced to watch EVERYTHING YOU do with your hands under the covers...I reckon Jesus cusses much for being a 2,000-year-old virgin carpenter in a diaper...Still, that does NOT give you the right to scream about fecal matter on this forum. Sinner, go repent! Glory!
Vaccines Cause Autism

Winnipeg, Canada

#19 Aug 19, 2012
Mr Smartypants wrote:
I have Asperger's and am about as skeptical as they come regarding religion. I actually went through a Jesus-Freak period in my life, but eventually reasoned my way out of it. I think those with autism-spectrum disorders tend to be more empirical and objective in their way of seeing the world which is why they end up as atheists even if they start out religious as I was.
A lot of the social world out there is basically bullshit. Bullshit that keeps politicians in power, guarantees that 1% own 99% of everything, and provides employment to clerics who claim to have a hotline to God that laypersons don't have. One of the reasons that autistic people are socially awkward is because we tend to be too objective and have a hard time dealing with the huge gap between what people say and what they do. In other words, autistic people tend to be excellent bullshit detectors...
Hard to not be "awkward" when you've suffered neurological injury after a vaccination.

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#20 Aug 19, 2012
FYI- Vaccines Cause Autism, Blame Vaccines and FBOMBER is the same person trying to disrupt yet another topic.
HRFM

Chicago, IL

#21 Aug 20, 2012
I think autistic people are just
Able to look past the smoke and mirrors of Christianity than most...
Mr Smartypants

Minneapolis, MN

#24 Sep 13, 2012
Vaccines Cause Autism wrote:
<quoted text> Hard to not be "awkward" when you've suffered neurological injury after a vaccination.
I don't think my Asperger's had anything to do with vaccinations. Judging from my family, it's very likely to be hereditary in nature. I think the idea that vaccinations cause autism is basically crackpot science...

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Atheism Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Why Do Atheists Ridicule Christianity? (May '11) 48 min James 5,945
Atheism requires as much faith as religion? (Jul '09) 59 min James 231,911
Science Disproves Evolution (Aug '12) 2 hr Pahu 1,422
Atheists Aren't the Problem, Christian Intolera... 3 hr woodtick57 1,018
Why Atheism Will Replace Religion (Aug '12) 18 hr thetruth 14,445
A New Kinder, Gentler Atheism 18 hr thetruth 25
Can Atheists Know God Does Not Exist When They ... 22 hr Catholic Girl 27

Atheism People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE