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Autistic children have no concept of God and faith, ergo atheists must be autistic says Turkish ‘expert

THE head of Adana’s Health and Education Associations for Autistic Children has made a right prat of himself by claiming that atheism was a form of autism.

Sociologist Fehmi Kaya is reported here as saying:

Autistic children do not know how to believe in God because they do not have a section for faith in their brains. That is why they don’t know how to pray, how to believe in God. It is necessary to create awareness [or religion] in these children through methods of therapy.

Fehmi Kaya pictured with an autistic lad

Fehmi Kaya pictured with an autistic lad

Autism associations around Turkey are said to be outraged, with individuals and associations slamming his remarks. The President of the Association of Protection of Autistic Children (ODER), Engin Güngör described Kaya’s remarks “unfortunate”.

“I do not know what purpose the statement serves,” Güngör said, adding that the media should think twice before publicising such garbage.

This is a statement that could upset around 3.5 to 4 million people,. We believe that the press should feel the responsibility of that as well, and should look better into these things before publishing them.

Kaya said that his remarks had been taken out of context, with news reports “fixating on autism”.

The message I wished to give was not about autism and atheism, but to highlight that these children cannot communicate, cannot form empathy, live in their own worlds and are isolated. I meant that we should take them out of their isolation with proper therapy methods.

But Kaya wouldn’t let go of the “faith” thing, saying development came in layers and that as autistic children developed further socially and mentally, a dimension of faith would also be developed.

I meant that they were disabled, in a way, like a hearing disability, because they are not aware of why people believe. I did not say that all autistic people are atheists.

Kaya added that faith “normally” exist in kids.

Kaya also said they would turn autistic children into believers through sessions that would be offered for free at therapy centers in the future.

The sessions, which have been confirmed by the Culture Houses of Adana’s Yüre?ir Municipality, are set to start in June and will be able to serve over 30 children. The same houses will also offer further therapy sessions for children with disabilities.

When asked whether or not the houses aimed at turning autistic children into believers, a Culture House official confirmed the matter, but Kaya denied such objectives.

Every child understands when you tell him or her to fear God, but an autistic child will not. Once he starts to develop normally, belief will come in time. We do not have the idea of creating a section for faith in their brains.

Hat tip: Angela K

24 Responses to “Autistic children have no concept of God and faith, ergo atheists must be autistic says Turkish ‘expert”

  1. mikespeir says:

    I can see where that kind of reasoning could be useful, if more than a little misleading.

  2. Robster says:

    If the person quoted is correct, then austitic children should be considered lucky. Perhaps researchers could isolate the part in autism that renders those afflicted with the inability to subscribe to faith nonsense and use it as a vaccine against faith. What a breakthrough that would be! Kids could all be vaccinated against polio, whooping cough, tetnus and faith all at the same time. Within a generation mankind could be freed of faith (along with the other diseases) and all their unpleasant associations and become healthy freethinkers and behave as productive, contributing members of a society that needs less faith and more feedom.

  3. Lidia says:

    “Every child understands when you tell him or her to fear God, but an autistic child will not.”

    I suppose I must be autistic!

  4. Buffy says:

    “Every child understands when you tell him or her to fear God, ”

    They also believe you when you tell them Santa exists. That just means they’re gullible, and you can exploit their trust in you.

  5. Matt Westwood says:

    If I hear one more person state that autism is an illness, I’m going to curl up in a corner and suck my thumb.

  6. IikagenBoB says:

    So essentially, you’re only “normal” if you don’t have faith. Yeesh.

  7. IikagenBoB says:

    AGH! Haven’t had my coffee yet – I meant if you HAVE faith… sorry…

  8. barriejohn says:

    What about this load of bollocks, then?

    http://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2013/04/report-recommends-directing-homeless-to-church

    As if being homeless and down on your luck wasn’t enough. But a lot of these people are suffering from mental illness and are vulnerable in other ways as well. This is the religious being sly and devious again: “Wise as serpents and harmless as serpents”.

  9. Angela_K says:

    @barriejohn “This is the religious being sly and devious again”

    Isn’t that their raison d’être, exploit vulnerable or young or uneducated to get them into their cult.

    @Matt Westwood “If I hear one more person state that autism is an illness”

    I agree, a now late, very close friend worked at a centre for Autistic adults and through her I gained an understanding of Autism, I met quite a number of residents there and did a bit of volunteering. Some of the people there while lacking social skills displayed brilliance in other fields: There was a young man who could listen to a piece of music for the first time and then play it just about perfectly on a piano and another who had poor language skills but was exceptional at Mathematics.

    Autistics are unencumbered by religion, and in that respect fortunate.

  10. Lazy Susan says:

    “This is a statement that could upset around 3.5 to 4 million people [...]”

    And that’s probably not counting those who have a feeling for logical argument. Oh, those poor feelings. The humanity!

    Seriously, though, the headline for this article seems to be overstating the case. Kaya is quoted as “I did not say that all autistic people are atheists.” If that is so it is likely that he never stated the converse either.

    The picture is a corker. They managed to get the lad to look like a zombie.

  11. Marky Mark says:

    (Kaya added that faith “normally” exist in kids.)
    …NO, they have to be taught this fantasy, and when they use their logic to question these teachings it is often beaten into them.

  12. The Woggler says:

    Does that mean agnostics are both autistic and not autistic at the same time, in a sort of Schrodinger’s cat kinda way?

  13. Lisa says:

    Does this mean all religious people have Williams syndrome? (sometimes described as the opposite to Autism)

  14. David Anderson says:

    Perhaps as an expert and sociologist,Kaya might explore the concept of false positives and negatives.

    With all the Islamic crap coming out of the supposedly secular Turkey these days, this childhood ditty comes to mind;

    Fry’s Turkish delight
    red jelly covered in shite.

  15. AgentCormac says:

    Surely the exact opposite of what this eejit is saying is proven by autistic people not being religious. If you don’t possess an imagination that is capable of processing fantasies and propaganda, then gawd is completely off your radar. No comprehension of superstition, no need for gawd. Just (and please don’t take this the wrong way) like animals, I suppose. I have several times wondered what dogs would think if they could suddenly somehow grasp what millions of their owners believe themselves to be owned by. I think they would wonder how on Earth they ended up being the ones on the business end of the lead.

  16. Lazy Susan says:

    I often wonder what is going on in my dog’s head. It is very easy to make up all sorts of nonsense of the “he understands every word” variety, but very hard to convincingly demonstrate anything specific.

    With my cat, on the other hand, it is easy to see that she is looking at me with a mixture of loathing and predatory interest, and wondering what I will taste like.

  17. John c says:

    And there was me thinking delusion was a mental illness,yet this chap is claiming its an asset.Funny old world.

  18. Cameron says:

    Why is it believing in the ridiculous in large numbers is considered good, but if it is only you, you are insane? It sounds like autistic people may be an evolutionary divergence where the need to no longer believe in the boogeyman is an advantage.

  19. AgentCormac says:

    Lazy Susan

    I read somewhere that if you home and feed a dog, it thinks you are god. But if you home and feed a cat, it thinks that it is god.

  20. Chris B says:

    I’m autistic and I have faith: in invisible pink unicorns.
    Is that OK to make me “normal” ?

    Sheesh, the lack of logic, and the lack of critical thought in Fehmi Kaya’s paradigm is frightening. He needs to look at his own operating paradigm first. The assumption that the place one happens to be standing is the correct place to measure from is convenient, and leaves one by happy accident (!?) perfectly located.

    He hasn’t even seen the problem with the term and concept of “faith”.
    And he wants to treat or cure me? I can run rings round his theology any day.

  21. Har Davids says:

    So we need the awareness of some god so we can be fearful? I guess in the eyes of this scientist every sceptic on the planet needs to be cured, for they are usually the people who have their doubts about the bull-shit that we are being fed on a daily basis.

  22. barriejohn says:

    Agent Cormac: It’s been quoted here before. Surely you know who said it!

    http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/3956.Christopher_Hitchens

  23. barriejohn says:

    And it is supposed to have been Winston Churchill who said that he liked pigs because dogs look up to us, cats look down on us, and pigs treat us as equals. If you’ve had anything to do with them you’ll know that he was right. As for geese…

  24. Brett McCoy says:

    My son is autistic. He also doesn’t have any concept of faith (of course, I’ve never taught him any either). However, he does believe in the UPS man as the person who brings presents. More than belief, because he can see the UPS man, he comes down our street every day, and you can see the UPS man leaving boxes on the front porch and other people’s porches. And the UPS man comes whether or not you are good, or pout or cry. And he comes nearly every day, not just once a year. My son is also amazed at how you can click on the ’1-Click’ button on Amazon and make the UPS man show up.