Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 156 (8143 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 10-25-2014 7:51 AM
57 online now:
cheryllocascio, Kapyong, mike the wiz, PaulK, Percy (Admin), Taz (6 members, 51 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: MikeManea
Upcoming Birthdays: Coragyps, DrJones*
Post Volume:
Total: 738,574 Year: 24,415/28,606 Month: 1,716/1,786 Week: 578/423 Day: 5/113 Hour: 4/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
1
2Next
Author Topic:   Loneliness and Belief
Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


(1)
Message 1 of 22 (450086)
01-20-2008 3:00 PM


And it was not good for the creature to be alone...

A recent study conducted at the University of Chicago found that people are more likely to believe in supernatural beings when they are lonely.

The same state of loneliness that increases belief in supernatural beings also leads to an increase in the tendency to ascribe human attributes to animals and objects. When human beings lack companionship, the study suggests, we invent it.

As reported in ScienceDaily (20 January):


The researchers designed three experiments to test their expectations that lonely people are more likely to make up for their lack of social connection by creating humanlike connections with gadgets or pets, or to increase their belief in the supernatural.

In one experiment, the team found a correlation between how lonely people felt and their tendency to describe a gadget in terms of humanlike mental states.

In another experiment, the team made people feel lonely in the laboratory by asking them to write about a time when they felt lonely or isolated. Under those circumstances, they were more likely to believe in the supernatural, whether it be God, angels or miracles, than when they were not feeling lonely.

. . . .

The research further revealed that not just any negative emotional state produces this effect. "It's something special about loneliness," [Nicholas] Epley [of the University of Chicago] said. Fear, for example, doesn't increase reported belief in God, or how people describe their pets.

Loneliness is both painful to experience and potentially deadly. "It's actually a greater risk for morbidity or mortality than cigarette smoking is. Being lonely is a bad thing for you," he said.

The full ScienceDaily story appears here:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080118125835.htm


Archer

All species are transitional.


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by faust, posted 01-21-2008 8:38 AM Archer Opteryx has not yet responded
 Message 4 by Larni, posted 01-21-2008 10:33 AM Archer Opteryx has responded
 Message 5 by Hyroglyphx, posted 01-21-2008 11:24 AM Archer Opteryx has responded
 Message 6 by iano, posted 01-21-2008 11:38 AM Archer Opteryx has not yet responded
 Message 8 by sidelined, posted 01-21-2008 12:04 PM Archer Opteryx has not yet responded
 Message 17 by zombie ringo, posted 01-21-2008 2:55 PM Archer Opteryx has not yet responded
 Message 19 by Granny Magda, posted 01-21-2008 8:21 PM Archer Opteryx has not yet responded

  
AdminQuetzal
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 22 (450181)
01-21-2008 8:17 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
faust 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2376 days)
Posts: 16
Joined: 01-16-2008


Message 3 of 22 (450186)
01-21-2008 8:38 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Archer Opteryx
01-20-2008 3:00 PM


A very interesting post, thank you. And it actually hits close to a topic I have been considering lately. The more I debate Christians in general, the more I find they inevitably start to bring up hope. I ask what they think I am lacking hope in and usually get half-answers to non-answers. As near as I can tell they take the idea of not believing in an invisible sky pixie as a great emotional blow and something they would despair without. And just as I got to pondering it, you come along with this post, many thanks. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Archer Opteryx, posted 01-20-2008 3:00 PM Archer Opteryx has not yet responded

    
Larni
Member
Posts: 3756
From: UK
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 4 of 22 (450214)
01-21-2008 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Archer Opteryx
01-20-2008 3:00 PM


Pretty interesting. I would argue that it is a bit of a side effect of our general tendency to personify, but having no real person become attached to we become attached to the object or idea (such as gods).

Sounds a bit like imprinting.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Archer Opteryx, posted 01-20-2008 3:00 PM Archer Opteryx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Archer Opteryx, posted 01-21-2008 2:11 PM Larni has responded

    
Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 637 days)
Posts: 5140
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 5 of 22 (450228)
01-21-2008 11:24 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Archer Opteryx
01-20-2008 3:00 PM


Anything but God
A recent study conducted at the University of Chicago found that people are more likely to believe in supernatural beings when they are lonely.

The same state of loneliness that increases belief in supernatural beings also leads to an increase in the tendency to ascribe human attributes to animals and objects. When human beings lack companionship, the study suggests, we invent it.

I can only speak from personal experience here, but this seems completely unfounded. Of the Christians I know, they have families, and are always fellowshipping with one another and are out there in the community.

The one's that tend to be more reserved, introverted, etc seem to be the one's that end up questioning the existence of God.

And then there are the myriad of dejected, angst-ridden, atheistic people I come in to contact with who are desperate for some kind of companionship. The last place they would search for fellowship, is a communion with God.

Forgive my saying so, but this just seems to be yet another, "Let's try to explain why the concept of God seems so pervasive, all the while denying the possibility that such a Being could exist".

I have a wife, kids, friends, family, co-workers, people in the community, etc -- I'm never in shortage of a conversation with someone, and yet, I also know that I converse with God. So am I lonely, crazy, or am I in on something some people have never experienced?


“There is something which unites magic and applied science while separating both from the 'wisdom' of earlier ages. For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to objective reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique; and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious" -C.S. Lewis
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Archer Opteryx, posted 01-20-2008 3:00 PM Archer Opteryx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Rahvin, posted 01-21-2008 11:40 AM Hyroglyphx has responded
 Message 15 by Archer Opteryx, posted 01-21-2008 2:15 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

    
iano
Member (Idle past 113 days)
Posts: 6163
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 6 of 22 (450233)
01-21-2008 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Archer Opteryx
01-20-2008 3:00 PM


quote:
In another experiment, the team made people feel lonely in the laboratory by asking them to write about a time when they felt lonely or isolated.

Make a person feel lonely how??


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Archer Opteryx, posted 01-20-2008 3:00 PM Archer Opteryx has not yet responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 139 days)
Posts: 3943
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 7 of 22 (450235)
01-21-2008 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Hyroglyphx
01-21-2008 11:24 AM


Re: Anything but God
I can only speak from personal experience here, but this seems completely unfounded. Of the Christians I know, they have families, and are always fellowshipping with one another and are out there in the community.

The one's that tend to be more reserved, introverted, etc seem to be the one's that end up questioning the existence of God.

And then there are the myriad of dejected, angst-ridden, atheistic people I come in to contact with who are desperate for some kind of companionship. The last place they would search for fellowship, is a communion with God.

Forgive my saying so, but this just seems to be yet another, "Let's try to explain why the concept of God seems so pervasive, all the while denying the possibility that such a Being could exist".

I have a wife, kids, friends, family, co-workers, people in the community, etc -- I'm never in shortage of a conversation with someone, and yet, I also know that I converse with God. So am I lonely, crazy, or am I in on something some people have never experienced?

The study doesn't show that all people of faith must be lonely, NJ. With all of the megachurches in the American South, that would be an obviously incorrect assumption.

It does show that people who are lonely tend to talk to/pray to/think more about "God" than those who are not lonely. Much like a child left on his own with no friends will invent an imaginary one to talk to - we're social creatures.

Hell, when I was still a Christian and lonely, I prayed and talked to God all the time. Yes, you could make the correlation that I was lonely and I'm an Atheist now, but I would say the correlation of loneliness to talking to God makes perfect sense to me. Maybe the realization that I wasn't getting any answers and that "talking to God" was pretty similar to "talking to myself" helped drive me away from faith, but that doesn't discount the fact that loneliness did drive me to pray more than when I was not lonely.


Every time a fundy breaks the laws of thermodynamics, Schroedinger probably kills his cat.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Hyroglyphx, posted 01-21-2008 11:24 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Hyroglyphx, posted 01-21-2008 12:22 PM Rahvin has responded

  
sidelined 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 8 of 22 (450241)
01-21-2008 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Archer Opteryx
01-20-2008 3:00 PM


Archer Opterix

I would only interject that loneliness need not be coincident with being alone. You can feel enormously lonely in a crowd of even friends and relatives.
Conversely you can also feel very connected when all by yourself in the right frame of mind and in circumstances you are comfortable with.

Edited by sidelined, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Archer Opteryx, posted 01-20-2008 3:00 PM Archer Opteryx has not yet responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 637 days)
Posts: 5140
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 9 of 22 (450252)
01-21-2008 12:22 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Rahvin
01-21-2008 11:40 AM


Re: Anything but God
It does show that people who are lonely tend to talk to/pray to/think more about "God" than those who are not lonely. Much like a child left on his own with no friends will invent an imaginary one to talk to - we're social creatures.

I notice that so long as one affixes the touted word "study" to any given particular, that people don't generally care how it is they've come to the conclusions. They take it on total faith through the assumption that the people conducting such a test have logically and systematically configured it, whether it is so or not.

You could socialize all day long and still feel the pang of loneliness for the simple fact that our minds, as capable as they are, are still fragile instruments capable of fracturing under some grand questions.

Any Christian could be just as lonely as any atheist, and any atheist could be just as satisfied as any Christian. It isn't so simple a question of compartmentalizing people in to preconceived notions.

Hell, when I was still a Christian and lonely, I prayed and talked to God all the time. Yes, you could make the correlation that I was lonely and I'm an Atheist now, but I would say the correlation of loneliness to talking to God makes perfect sense to me. Maybe the realization that I wasn't getting any answers and that "talking to God" was pretty similar to "talking to myself" helped drive me away from faith, but that doesn't discount the fact that loneliness did drive me to pray more than when I was not lonely.

I think what happens to most people when they pray and they as though they haven't received an answer, I find that it was either not the answer they hoped for, was so subtle they didn't pick it up, or were not answered immediately. Suddenly the walls goes up and receptibility fades.

Then there worldview begins to find more parity with the easier notion of just succumbing to the trappings of the world. Its far easier to just give in. And while giving in to any given temptation may be gratifying in the beginning, there is something that takes place within the human heart, where they realize it has left a vacuum.

As a result, they become angrier with the notion of God, and even when they outwardly say they no longer believe in Him, they still rail against Him. Its amazing how many people speak about it in terms of abandonment. They become angry because they feel duped. They feel He left them, when in fact it was they that weren't willing to listen or to heed the instruction.

It has been my understanding that God comes to us in a soft, still voice, not booming voices from the Heavens. We want booming voices from the Heaven so that there is no ambiguity. And if there is any doubt in our mind, it will fester in to a further pulling away.

I have gone through many hills and valleys during my walk. I know how this works.

It may be easier for people to dismiss me as being "crazy" or "lonely" or anything that might justify why a person believes in God, but I know the drill. Often times this is their justification for their own abandonment issues.


“There is something which unites magic and applied science while separating both from the 'wisdom' of earlier ages. For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to objective reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique; and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious" -C.S. Lewis
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Rahvin, posted 01-21-2008 11:40 AM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by nwr, posted 01-21-2008 12:48 PM Hyroglyphx has responded
 Message 12 by Rahvin, posted 01-21-2008 1:05 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

    
nwr
Member
Posts: 5169
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 10 of 22 (450266)
01-21-2008 12:48 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Hyroglyphx
01-21-2008 12:22 PM


Re: Anything but God
I notice that so long as one affixes the touted word "study" to any given particular, that people don't generally care how it is they've come to the conclusions. They take it on total faith through the assumption that the people conducting such a test have logically and systematically configured it, whether it is so or not.

Then you don't know much about science.

A study like this will get careful scrutiny, to see if there are possible flaws in the methodology used. Sooner or later the study will be repeated, but with a different experimental design. That tests whether the first results could have been a rare statistical event or could have resulted from poor experimental design.


Let's end the political smears
This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Hyroglyphx, posted 01-21-2008 12:22 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Hyroglyphx, posted 01-21-2008 12:59 PM nwr has responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 637 days)
Posts: 5140
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 11 of 22 (450269)
01-21-2008 12:59 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by nwr
01-21-2008 12:48 PM


Re: Anything but God
Then you don't know much about science.

I'm referring specifically to the people that read about it, not the methodology behind the study.

I'm saying people are apt to just believe it for face value under the assumption of an appeal to authority.


“There is something which unites magic and applied science while separating both from the 'wisdom' of earlier ages. For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to objective reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique; and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious" -C.S. Lewis
This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by nwr, posted 01-21-2008 12:48 PM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by nwr, posted 01-21-2008 1:16 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

    
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 139 days)
Posts: 3943
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 12 of 22 (450271)
01-21-2008 1:05 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Hyroglyphx
01-21-2008 12:22 PM


Re: Anything but God
quote:
It does show that people who are lonely tend to talk to/pray to/think more about "God" than those who are not lonely. Much like a child left on his own with no friends will invent an imaginary one to talk to - we're social creatures.

I notice that so long as one affixes the touted word "study" to any given particular, that people don't generally care how it is they've come to the conclusions. They take it on total faith through the assumption that the people conducting such a test have logically and systematically configured it, whether it is so or not.

That's why we have the peer review process. If you beleive the study was conducted poorly, please state your reasons rather than a baseless accuation.

You could socialize all day long and still feel the pang of loneliness for the simple fact that our minds, as capable as they are, are still fragile instruments capable of fracturing under some grand questions.

I agree.

Any Christian could be just as lonely as any atheist, and any atheist could be just as satisfied as any Christian. It isn't so simple a question of compartmentalizing people in to preconceived notions.

Of course not. But taking a statistically significant group and having them take part in a double-blind study does give the ability to point out statistically significant correlations from which conclusions and further study can be drawn.

quote:
Hell, when I was still a Christian and lonely, I prayed and talked to God all the time. Yes, you could make the correlation that I was lonely and I'm an Atheist now, but I would say the correlation of loneliness to talking to God makes perfect sense to me. Maybe the realization that I wasn't getting any answers and that "talking to God" was pretty similar to "talking to myself" helped drive me away from faith, but that doesn't discount the fact that loneliness did drive me to pray more than when I was not lonely.

I think what happens to most people when they pray and they as though they haven't received an answer, I find that it was either not the answer they hoped for, was so subtle they didn't pick it up, or were not answered immediately. Suddenly the walls goes up and receptibility fades.

That's the way I used to view it. Until I realized it didn't seem to matter whether I prayed or not, and how silly some of the "answers" I thoguht I was receiving were. It was literally the same as talking to myself. Which I still occasionally do - verbalizing a problem helps me work through it, and dispells the silence.

Then there worldview begins to find more parity with the easier notion of just succumbing to the trappings of the world. Its far easier to just give in. And while giving in to any given temptation may be gratifying in the beginning, there is something that takes place within the human heart, where they realize it has left a vacuum.

Quite to the contrary, I found believing in an all-powerful father-figure deity who loved me to be a very easy mindset. It was extremely difficult to lose my fath. Very unpleasant.

As a result, they become angrier with the notion of God, and even when they outwardly say they no longer believe in Him, they still rail against Him. Its amazing how many people speak about it in terms of abandonment. They become angry because they feel duped. They feel He left them, when in fact it was they that weren't willing to listen or to heed the instruction.

I can see where you would think that. Personally, I have a strong dislike for Christianity as an organized religion, as it is the institution that indoctrinated me long before I was able to make a rational choice for myself. I also don't like many Christian beliefs (depending, of course, on the flavor of Christianity). But I don't "rebel" against a being I don't believe exists. That's rather difficult.

It has been my understanding that God comes to us in a soft, still voice, not booming voices from the Heavens. We want booming voices from the Heaven so that there is no ambiguity. And if there is any doubt in our mind, it will fester in to a further pulling away.

Right. Which feels exactly like reading between the lines until the answer you already knew pops out at you...or you read too deeply until you see direction in coincidence. Either way, it's the same as talking to yourself, or at least it was for me.

I have gone through many hills and valleys during my walk. I know how this works.

It may be easier for people to dismiss me as being "crazy" or "lonely" or anything that might justify why a person believes in God, but I know the drill. Often times this is their justification for their own abandonment issues.

As an Atheist, I find belief in a deity to be irrational, but I won't call you crazy. I'll call you other things for some of what you say, but you're one of the most coherant Creationists I've spoken to, much like Faith was (and the opposite of certain other members here).

You take offense that a study shows that loneliness can casue an increase in prayer - but that's not an absolute. It does not say that all faith springs from loneliness. Could the original invention of God have essentially been akin to somebody's imaginary friend given credence? Maybe, but I doubt it. It just means that lonely people are drawn to some sort of external figure to talk to, which could be God, or an imaginary friend. It doesnt mean God or the friend are any more or less real - only that lonely people want someone to talk to. That's not so offenseive really, is it?


Every time a fundy breaks the laws of thermodynamics, Schroedinger probably kills his cat.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Hyroglyphx, posted 01-21-2008 12:22 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Phat, posted 07-15-2011 11:29 AM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5169
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 13 of 22 (450274)
01-21-2008 1:16 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Hyroglyphx
01-21-2008 12:59 PM


Re: Anything but God
I'm saying people are apt to just believe it for face value under the assumption of an appeal to authority.

I certainly don't "just believe it", and I'm sure that there are many who are similarly skeptical. I take such a study as possibly interesting. But I also take it as tentative and needing evaluation of the research methodology and needing confirmation from independent research.


Let's end the political smears
This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Hyroglyphx, posted 01-21-2008 12:59 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 14 of 22 (450292)
01-21-2008 2:11 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Larni
01-21-2008 10:33 AM


Interesting comment, Larni.

Could you say a little more about imprinting?


Archer

All species are transitional.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Larni, posted 01-21-2008 10:33 AM Larni has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Larni, posted 01-21-2008 4:02 PM Archer Opteryx has not yet responded

  
Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 15 of 22 (450293)
01-21-2008 2:15 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Hyroglyphx
01-21-2008 11:24 AM


Re: Anything but God

Forgive my saying so, but this just seems to be yet another, "Let's try to explain why the concept of God seems so pervasive, all the while denying the possibility that such a Being could exist".

I don't see any denial, NJ. I see neutrality. The researchers take no stand on the likelihood of supernatural beings existing, just as they take no stand on whether our pets are like us or not like us.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Hyroglyphx, posted 01-21-2008 11:24 AM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by bluegenes, posted 01-21-2008 2:33 PM Archer Opteryx has not yet responded

  
1
2Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2014 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2014