So it might bash the “Christians” and any other “religion” out there, but I kind of find it ridiculous that people rely on books to tell them how they should live their lives. Really? Ever since I was small, I was shaped by what I believe in and what others believe in and the things I have experienced first-hand and seeing the consequences of my actions; these shaped my values and morals. In my mind, philosophy is the personal interaction between the mind and the environment, constantly changing in order for it to make sense under as many situations as possible and this requires constant addition of knowledge received in the external environment.
People can create their own values and morals if they put enough effort in; they don’t need a book or a person to tell them how they should act in the world. Instead, strive to form your own perception, your values, beliefs, morals, anything, by remembering what has happened in the past and truly living by what you believe in, in the present to form the future that you want.
After some of the things I’ve researched lately and talking with my neuroscience friend, I believe that some people’s minds are hard-coded to take in a specific information, whether that is visual, numerical, conceptual, etc. Selective perception and retention concepts are highly related to this; picking what is most important and only retaining the information that is found to be important. With this theory, I must say that those that believe anything that they hear and change depending on the situation, do not have the ability to introspect and think of their own ideas; however, they are very good at relating to others (whether that is superficial or not, is a different matter) and are better with focus and hand-eye motor coordination. They are also likely to be susceptible to cultural influences. Perhaps Japanese people are agnostic not because they choose to, but because conversation of “religion” is known as taboo and the cultural traditions are so often used in public that it replaces the faith structure — the opposite can be said about the American public where there is minimal “cultural” influence telling people how to behave and act, thus Christianity is used in place of it.
Selective perception… A good example will be myself. Before I look at an object, I am living in my head with prior ideas and concepts. When I realize the object, person or idea in front of me, my mind instantly looks for the internal “book” full of knowledge I have on the target. When there is a discrepancy between the knowledge that I have formed and the knowledge given to me, I try to look for what the discrepancies are. Usually, this discrepancy is more about the context rather than the physical characteristics of the object, person, or idea. After capturing what I see in my vision, I selectively retain the contextual part of the information, rather than the visual aspects (colors, shape, etc.) and I try to fit this information in like a puzzle until no contradictions or holes can be seen, striving for perfection, otherwise I don’t feel comfortable. One can say that it is extremely similar to OCD symptoms, except it occurring inside of the mind. tl;dr My focus is entirely centered inside of my mind, not on the external world I see with my eyes like many people. This is perhaps what is known as hyperfocus, often a common attribute among ADHD-diagnosed people.
So, in making a roundabout, possibly many of the truly ADHD diagnosed people, and high IQ people (especially the intuitive types) tend to be Athiests because they tend to see the contradictions in the “closed-belief” systems such as Christianity or other Philosophers that claim their writings to be “the universal truth”. In this sense, on a level higher, I don’t see that much difference between Jesus and Philosophers; they are both claiming something, perhaps opposite ideas, but from the eyes of the common people, they are often looked to as the authority figures that shape their world — There must be a way for people to access the critical thinking ability that these figures have used in order to shape their own environment.
Something I’m very curious is whether or not there are “religious” people that have this thought process as well. I see Christianity and other religions such as Islam providing what the after-life will be (another reason why I think of it as a closed-belief system), but I haven’t really heard Philosophers talk about the after-life and I have rarely given thought to it either to be honest. Maybe both concepts have to be taken into consideration? Maybe there is some truth to religions when it comes to the after-life? Considering that a lot of the religion have distinct differences with subtle similarities (such as the concept of a “heaven”), I can’t stop thinking that there must have been a root belief or incident that branched out to the religions that exist today. Like.. a visit from the extraterrestrials? Or experiencing another dimension? Very interesting stuff that I’d like to think more about.