Can the Suppression Thesis Be Reasonably Tested

In a previous post (“What to expect if the Suppression Thesis Were True or False”), I argued that there are indeed certain outcomes which we would expect if the Suppression Thesis were true, and in light of that post, the next relevant question which needs to be asked in order to have an intelligent and fruitful conversation about the Suppression Thesis is whether or not there are ways to test for these outcomes in a manner that is reasonable and which could actually succeed in truly determining whether or not the expected outcomes are present in atheists, and I contend that there do exist such methods, and I wish to articulate these various potential methods as follows:

a. Psychological surveys which would covertly seek to determine the true motives and reasons for an atheist’s unbelief could be created and administered to a large number of atheists (this is in the same way that individuals who are seeking certain types of employment are often subject to psychological tests which are meant to determine latent and / or concealed motives and personality traits in those individuals);

b. Empirical tests could be devised to determine if atheists react in ways that would be more indicative that they were actually anti-theists rather than atheists;

c. Unbelievers–in the interests of science and truth, of course–could submit themselves to both interviews and interrogations where questions could be asked about the existence of God and the reasons for their atheism in order to determine their underlying truthfulness and to look for signs of deception in their answers (this would be especially relevant to new converts to atheism, as those would be the individuals who would still have the hardest time hiding any signs of deception in their answers (if there were to be such signs));

d. Unbelievers could submit themselves to lie detector tests where, once again, questions could be asked about the existence of God and their reasons for their atheism in order to determine their underlying truthfulness (it is also important to note that hypnosis could potentially be used here as well);

e. An exploration of the times and dates that unbelievers deconverted (for those that did deconvert) could be examined to determine if their deconversion was strongly correlated with an emotional or traumatic event rather than a rational decision;

f. Brain studies and neurological exams could be conducted to see if atheists suffer from some type of cognitive defect or anomaly when compared to the remainder of the human population (for example, perhaps atheists are more likely to be on the autism scale then typical human persons);

g. A deep examination of other psychological factors which could cause unbelief, such as a weak or abusive father (Paul Vitz’s hypothesis), could also be examined as a cause of atheism;

h. Studies could be done to determine if the adoption of more “liberal” moral norms (meaning:  moral norms antithetical to traditional Christian morality) were the effect of a person’s conversion to atheism or the motivating cause for that conversion (which would be expected under the Suppression Thesis);

i. Finally, mass data collection could be sought from atheist internet comments / forums in order to see if certain comments and sentiments would be consistent with what we would expect from the Suppression Thesis (and such anecdotal evidence, if collected in significant enough quantities, becomes quite relevant and potent);

…and so we see, I believe, that there are indeed reasonable and legitimate ways in which the various expectations of the Suppression Thesis could be tested, and thus at least one objection against the Suppression Thesis–namely, that there is no way to reasonably test it–is false, and so, in light of this fact, not only can the Suppression Thesis be tested and thus potentially falsified, but I strongly hope that it is eventually tested in order to determine its truth or falsehood, for determining either answer would be a great boon for the truth.


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