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Are Atheist’s Mutants – Freaks? A Study says “Yes but so are paranormal practitioners”

Incredibly some are claiming that being atheist is down to having a maladaptive genetic mutation. The title other seminal text says it all. The Mutant Says in His Heart, 'There Is No God': the Rejection of Collective Religiosity Centred Around the Worship of Moral Gods Is Associated with High Mutational Load" (Dutton, Madison, & Dunkel, 2017).

The paranormal is defined in the study as referring to anything that looks like religion but does not involve a moral God. Reportedly, it too is a genetic disorder for like atheism it is not about a moral God or worshipping him.  It is like magic without a moral God.  Presumably belief in an amoral God counts as a symptom of a mutation as well.  Surely it would show the biggest signs of mutation?  If random forces are the reason existence is essentially amoral you have to accept that - it is the way it is.  It is nobody's doing.  But if an amoral God or creator is the reason then he is responsible.  If nature is amoral it is because nature is not and cannot be about morality.  It does not stop you living as if nature is moral.  As part of nature you can do something about it.  There is no authority in nature commanding or obstructing you.  If there is an amoral creator then it is different.  You cannot make morality in the face of a maker of all who does not support you.  An amoral God as creator has to be an authority.  An authority that does nothing is still exercising its authority - to do nothing.

If there is a moral God he can work without us seeing him as moral.  But religion is all about getting us to see him as moral and fear breaking his moral directives.  Religion then is about fear and leads to fear of those who do not accept your God or religion.

The argument refuses to say that anything that is not directly or indirectly about the worship of a good God is a mutation. It should say it if it is that sure of itself.  Why not say marriage is a mutation for the partners surely prefer each other to God?

Plus the argument for mutation is made unfalsifiable. Clearly if a believer in God who worships regularly shows the genetic malformation the experts will say he or she is a fake.  Some believers are actors and this type is common among the clergy who get a good living from their religious prestige!

But if the mutation is faulty where does the notion that it is faulty come from?

It is based on the unwarranted assumption that decent societies are based on love for a God who has moral values and who endorses them. Atheists and devotees of the paranormal are put in the same boat as people with autism and poor health.  The quality of life in secular nations like Sweden is ignored.

Even if atheists were mutants what gives anybody the right to say they are bad mutations? And if they are that does not make them as bad as paranormalists.

At this point, we notice how people with psychological problems and bad health are being declared to be genetically defective.  Eugenics is on its way!  This is religious Nazism!

Evolutionary theory states that genes are in competition. “Good” genes want “bad” ones destroyed and act as if they are at battle. A bloodline with mutations will not last. Nature will make sure of it. If it is true that genes support religion or faith in a moral God then we have to regard religion as an enemy that will vanquish atheists when it gets the power to.

There is a big difference between a scientific atheist testing how life began and a paranormal believer who sits out night after night looking for ghosts. What about the fact that atheists are more common and more credible in society than paranormal fans?  They do not get laughed at by looking for omens in the sky!  The scientist lets evidence do the talking.  The paranormal “researcher” thrives on hearsay and “testimony”.

The fact that even if there is a difference between a conventional supernatural religious belief and a paranormal one most people are not able to tell the difference. Thus it is possible to see God in terms of the paranormal. And what about people who believe in both God and the paranormal?

And we know traditionally religious people who we consider insane or superstitious and their faith gives us a bad feeling. 

Think about the study by Wilson, Bulbulia and& Sibley, 2014. This discovered that there was a strong connection between standard religious belief including belief in a good God and beliefs classed with the paranormal and superstitious. Alarmingly the belief that people can make things happen by weaving magic spells was .56! This statistically huge effect is made even more important when you realise that organised religion tends to keep away from magical beliefs.  However it must be noted that its saviours and saints and Bibles tend to encourage them.  But it looks as if religious belief in some non-logical way programmes people and puts them on a downward spiral to superstition.

Despite that our experts say that atheist or paranormal belief is more or less produced by bad genes and mutations and give the following as evidence:

Fluctuating asymmetry is the first. But there are no studies that justify its inclusion. It amounts to saying that having paranormal or atheist inclinations are like being left-handed!

Mental illness is the second. Dutton et al. present the conclusions of several studies that found a link between having paranormal beliefs and suffering mental illness. The evidence does not show how or if this problem is down to mutational load.

Dein (2012) found that it is how you believe something supernatural or paranormal that causes damage not what is believed. People can have totally crazy beliefs but fit in well in society and be productive.  This point ignores the fact that few people are really ideal fits. 

Dein found that any supernatural or paranormal beliefs that are associated with causing fear led to mental and emotional disturbance. This finding condemns Jesus who stressed demons and possession and his evil generation and who talked as if real religion was very uncommon and religionists were usually actors.  The fear of demons is causally linked to bad mental health (Nie & Olson, 2016).

For Dein a person who hears voices that say good things is not insane but one who hears an abusive voice is insane.  It is obvious how what a voice says makes it an illness or not is a flawed pile of rubbish.  It is like saying a flu that gets you a well earned rest is not a sickness.  And no matter how sweet the voice is who knows what it will be like tomorrow?  It is not something to accept or encourage.  And the voice as encouraging as it is is asking you to trust it like it were the voice of a real person and that is intrinsically harmful.  You objectivity yourself by depending on gimmicks or anything that is not from a real person to fulfil yourself.

Some forms of psychosis are considered normal though unusual (Schofield & Claridge, 2007) as long as they are grounded in artistic creativity.  The reason for this normalisation is that artistic creativity involves being open to strange and out of the ordinary ideas.  Such creativity can have a bad side and a good side and is usually a mixture of both (Thalbourne & Delin, 1994).  But we don't need to bring genes into it.  Anybody can have or develop a tendency to be creative and society recommends thinking outside the box.  Why can't we just applaud creativity?  It makes no sense to see psychosis as good because creativity has an input where it is concerned.

Many experts talk about benign schizotypy. A person can have a totally insane experience involving religion or the supernatural but if they interpret it in a positive way that enriches their lives then it is fine. I would argue that the belief is not socially bad but the fact remains the person stands for having mad experiences. Farias, Underwood, and Claridge (2012) praise the insanity of modern spirituality and I think they are wrong.  You don't need madness to be a well-grounded person!  The person has to make the illness a reason to be determined and positive because the illness is bad in the first place!!

People with significant mental illness may have visions and experiences that are inspired by and fit say classic Christian beliefs.  While correlation is not causation, we have to ask, "Is this evidence that religious belief is bad for some or many?"  The answer is that it may be.  There are testimonials from people that the answer is a solid yes.

The person who is prone to depression but who has conventional Christian faith who finds themselves doubting ends up with a worse depression than they would if they were not religious.

The idea that religious belief is good for it is your genes adapting to your life and that paranormal belief is a genetic maladaption is absurd. Some religions could be described as paranormal. And the notion that having a relationship with God is different from having one with a ghost is absurd. The difference between religious and paranormal is mere semantics.

We conclude that atheism is not down to genetic malformation.  And if a paranormalist is a mutant then so is the religionist.  And religion more so for it demands more and gets more.