Atheism and amotivational syndrome

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Researchers at Florida State University found a strong correlation between an individuals's lack of religious involvement and marijuana use.[1] See also: Atheism and drug addiction and Atheism and alcoholism

According to Scientific American: "Research also suggests that a religious brain exhibits higher levels of dopamine, a hormone associated with increased attention and motivation."[2] See also: Atheism and motivation

According to Study.com:

Amotivational syndrome is a term that refers to a lack of desire to complete tasks, a sense of apathy about the future, poor concentration, and decreased interest in social and other activities...

The prefix 'a' means 'not' or 'without.' People who are identified as having amotivational syndrome are 'without motivation.' We all have times when we just can't face our work day or we lose momentum on a project. Perhaps there are certain areas in which you have great trouble maintaining focus, such as daily flossing or going to the gym. However, when an attitude or set of behaviors is called a syndrome, this refers to a larger problem. The person with amotivational syndrome lacks motivation in most areas of his or her life.

While a lack of motivation can be seen alongside problems such as depression, immaturity, or even learning disabilities, the most commonly cited cause of amotivational syndrome is marijuana use.[3]

Irreligion/nonreligion and marijuana use. Atheism and illegal drug use and drug addiction

See also: Atheism and drug addiction and Atheism and alcoholism

Studies indicate that religious individuals are less likely to engage in illegal drug use than atheists/nonreligious.[4]

Researchers at Florida State University found a strong correlation between an individuals's lack of religious involvement and marijuana use.[5]

According to Science Daily:

Young Swiss men who say that they believe in God are less likely to smoke cigarettes or pot or take ecstasy pills than Swiss men of the same age group who describe themselves as atheists. Belief is a protective factor against addictive behaviour. This is the conclusion reached by a study funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.[6]

Studies indicate that religious individuals are less likely to engage in illegal drug use than atheists/nonreligious.[4]

Atheism and motivation

See also: Atheism and motivation

Brain researchers have conducted a number of studies focusing on the differences between atheists and the religious. See: Atheism and the brain

As noted above, according to Scientific American: "Research also suggests that a religious brain exhibits higher levels of dopamine, a hormone associated with increased attention and motivation."[7] See also: Atheism and the brain and Atheism and inspiration

Atheism, loneliness and depression/suicide

See also: Atheism and depression

Atheism and loneliness

See also: Atheism and loneliness and Atheism and social/interpersonal intelligence

According to an international study done by William Bainbridge, atheism is common among people whose interpersonal social obligations are weak and is also connected to lower fertility rates in advanced industrial nations (See also: Atheism and loneliness and Atheism and social/interpersonal intelligence and Atheism and fertility rates).[8]

Atheism and depression

Concerning atheism and depression]], a University of Michigan study involving 19,775 individuals found that religious people are less likely than atheists to suffer depression when they are lonely.[9] See also: Atheism and suicide

The Telegraph reported: "Patients with a strong “intrinsic faith” (a deep personal belief, not just a social inclination to go to a place of worship) recover 70 per cent faster from depression than those who are not deeply religious."[10]

In addition, in many atheistic cultures in the developed world, there are considerable problems with loneliness (see: Atheism and loneliness). Furthermore, many atheists feel isolated within theistic cultures (see: Atheism and social outcasts).

Atheism and suicide

Atheists are more likely to commit suicide (see: Atheism and suicide).

Atheism and hopelessness

See also: Atheism and hopelessness and Atheism, agnosticism and pessimism and Atheism and meaninglessness

The Rev. Dr. Robert Stuart MacArthur was an early proponent of atheism being a causal factor for suicide.[11][12][13] See: Atheism and suicide

On March 8, 2013, Damon Linker wrote in The Week:

If atheism is true, it is far from being good news. Learning that we're alone in the universe, that no one hears or answers our prayers, that humanity is entirely the product of random events, that we have no more intrinsic dignity than non-human and even non-animate clumps of matter, that we face certain annihilation in death, that our sufferings are ultimately pointless, that our lives and loves do not at all matter in a larger sense, that those who commit horrific evils and elude human punishment get away with their crimes scot free — all of this (and much more) is utterly tragic.[14]

Although Bertrand Russell was an agnostic, he had favorable views of atheism.[15] Bertrand Russell wrote in 1903 about entropy and the universe:

That man is the product of causes that had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins- all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.

"Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding dispair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built." [16]

In a letter to Lowes Dickinson, Bertrand Russell wrote:

We stand on the shores of an ocean, crying to the night and the emptiness; sometimes a voice answers out of the darkness. But it is a voice of one drowning; and in a moment the silence returns” (Bertrand Russell, Autobiography, p. 287 as quoted by Leroy Koopman, “Famous Atheists Give Their Testimonies,” Moody Monthly, Nov. 1975, p. 124.) [17]

Atheism and inspiration

See also: Atheism and inspiration

Atheist Francois Tremblay wrote: "One last problem that undermines any propagation of atheism is inspiration. Let's be honest here, "there is no god!" is not a very motivating call for most people."[18]

The atheist blogger Martin Hughes wrote: "Atheism is boring."[19]

Natasha Frost wrote in the guidebook website Atlas Obscura about the Soviet Union, which had state atheism: "...atheism was taught in schools, alongside history and geography, but in a 1975 survey, many people still professed to find atheistic dogma boring."[20]

The ex-atheist Alister McGrath has repeatedly pointed out the uninspiring nature of atheism.[21][22] According to McGrath, atheism is "stale", "dull" and difficult to believe.[23]

John Updike wrote:

Among the repulsions of atheism for me has been its drastic un-interestingness as an intellectual position. Where was the ingenuity, the ambiguity, the humanity...of saying that the universe just happened to happen and that when we're dead we're dead?".[24]

The British columnist Giles Coren wrote in The Times:

But it’s not the nihilism, the soullessness, the lack of poetry, the moral and physical ugliness, the shallow iconoclasm or the vainglory of atheists that bother me most. It’s the boringness.

Is there anything more boring in the world than an atheist?[25]

Decline of the atheist movement

See also: Decline of the atheist movement and Morale of the atheist movement and Desecularization and Atheist movement

Numerous atheists have declared that the "atheist movement is dead" or that it is dying.[26] See: Decline of the atheist movement

See also

References

  1. New Study Finds High Correlation Between Lack of Religion and Marijuana Use
  2. Ask the Brains, Scientific American, Dec 23, 2011
  3. Amotivational Syndrome: Definition & Explanation, Study.com
  4. 4.0 4.1 Multiple references:
  5. New Study Finds High Correlation Between Lack of Religion and Marijuana Use
  6. Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Foerderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung [Swiss National Science Foundation] (October 3, 2013). "Believers consume fewer drugs than atheists". Science Daily website/Science News. Retrieved on May 23, 2015.
  7. Ask the Brains, Scientific American, Dec 23, 2011
  8. Bainbridge, William (2005). "Atheism" (PDF). Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion. 1 (Article 2): 1–26.
  9. Lonely religious people are less depressed than atheists because they see God as a friend replacement, study finds, Daily Mail, 2018
  10. What God does to your brain by Julia Llewellyn Smith. The Telegraph, 20 Jun 2014
  11. http://www.adherents.com/misc/religion_suicide.html
  12. http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/161/12/2303
  13. NY Times, September 17, 1894, ATHEISM A CAUSE OF SUICIDE.; Dr. MacArthur Preaches on the Sin and Cowardice of Self-Destruction
  14. Where are the honest atheists?
  15. Russell, Bertrand (1947) "Am I An Atheist Or An Agnostic?"[1] Most online sources say "by which one prove," probably a mistake.
  16. Entropy and heat death
  17. Atheism and the despair of hope
  18. Herding Cats: Why Atheism Will Lose by Francois Tremblay
  19. Atheism Is Boring by Martin Hughes
  20. How the USSR Turned Houses of Worship Into Museums of Atheism by Natasha Frost, Atlas Obscura, MAY 07, 2018
  21. Clear Voices 2014 - Alister McGrath - C. S. Lewis’s Vision of the Christianity
  22. In the Aftermath: Provocations and Laments By David Bentley Hart, page 136
  23. Updike, John (1989). Self-Consciousness: Memoirs (New York, NY: Knopf), ch. 4.
  24. I don’t believe it – they’re doing atheism at GCSE by Niles Coren