Are Religious people Stupid?
TheismIsUntenable: Summary: A new study addresses whether religiosity is associated with lower intelligence. Researchers report religious people appear to be predisposed to rely more heavily on intuition when it comes to decision making, over reasoning. They conclude cognitive training could allow religious minded people to maintain their beliefs without over-relying on intuition when making decisions.
Of course, there are examples of extremely intelligent individuals with strong religious convictions. But various studies have found that, on average, belief in God is associated with lower scores on IQ tests. “It is well established that religiosity correlates inversely with intelligence,” note Richard Daws and Adam Hampshire at Imperial College London, in a new paper published in Frontiers in Psychology, which seeks to explore why.
To investigate, Daws and Hampshire surveyed more than 63,000 people online, and had them complete a 30-minute set of 12 cognitive tasks that measured planning, reasoning, attention and working memory. The participants also indicated whether they were religious, agnostic or atheist.
As predicted, the atheists performed better overall than the religious participants, even after controlling for demographic factors like age and education. Agnostics tended to place between atheists and believers on all tasks. In fact, strength of religious conviction correlated with poorer cognitive performance. However, while the religious respondents performed worse overall on tasks that required reasoning, there were only very small differences in working memory.
TheismIsUntenable: I have read many studies about type 1 versus type 2 thinking. This study is no different. You have a clear demarcation between those who are analytical thinkers versus intuitive thinkers.
Intuition is really a bronze age way of thinking, unenlightened and reliant solely upon primitive underpinnings. You might use intuition when playing basketball or other skills which require quick thinking. But given time, analysis would be far superior. Turnovers do exist
We need to shift away from this rudimentary cognitive function and toward analytical thinking if we wish to extract any truth about life and the Universe.
adamsouthworth: There are general differences in intelligence, but being an atheist doesn't make you more intelligent than Newton or Dostoevsky. The same applies to IQ. The fact that East Asians have higher average intelligence than people from Africa or the Middle East doesn't make all East Asians more intelligent than people from Africa or the Middle East.
Suppose the average religious person had an IQ of 90. The fact that most atheists had an IQ of 110 wouldn't make them James Clerk Maxwell. Likewise, the fact that some countries in Africa have an average IQ roughly half that of people in East Asia doesn't make all East Asians twice as intelligent as all members of those groups.
A_Muse_Mint101: Adam, your reply starts off with an unintelligent distinction. Atheism isn't what gives the person higher intelligence. This seems to be the fundamental, and flawed, argument underpinning your further extrapolations. Being somewhere on a continent doesn't give or make someone more intelligent, specifically, and has more correlation with cultural and parental ethics, economic status, and some others.
The point here is showing that people who can analyze over intuit their reality tend to be more intelligent and tend to be less religious; not the other way around.
adamsouthworth: My first sentence is a statement of fact. You've chosen to interpret it as a denial that atheism is the cause of intelligence. This misrepresents what I said. As the original post said, atheism may on average correlate with superior intelligence and cognitive capacities to the average agnostic or theist. My extrapolation was simply that superior intelligence in general doesn't mean high intelligence or genius, or the superior intelligence of any individual. I only briefly skimmed the first post and I now see my point is there.
I agree, "being born on a continent" doesn't determine differences in intelligence between humans. I never claimed that. I was talking about differences between human groups. As you imply, environmental factors like nutrition and education don't wholly explain those differences. You can explain a large degree of those average differences between groups in terms of environment, but not all of them. The best evidence we have suggests that average differences exist regardless. This is what I was taught by a liberal professor when I studied evolution.
A_Muse_Mint101: "My extrapolation was simply that superior intelligence in general doesn't mean high intelligence or genius."
I agree with caveat. That's not what the OP was about. It was a comparative analysis. Using your example of 90 IQ for religious and 110 IQ for atheists, it means that on average, atheists are more intelligent than the religious; it doesn't extend to all within the group.
You had several uses of "all" in your examples and that's also what I took issue with.
MJ59: Are Religious people Stupid?
Well, some of those posting around wire aren't the sharpest tool in the shed lol
TheismIsUntenable: I think that's citing the same study.
In any case, it's a shame they didn't bother to offer any solutions to the reliance on intuition in cases of religious individuals.
How did this branching occur? Is it society? Is it genetic? What causes one to be more reliant upon intuition than analysis? Is it possible to change their way of thinking?
I do not think zeffur is capable of changing his manner of thinking for instance. People have to be given a reason to change how they think. That's not a trivial task!
lori100: All great achievements in science start from intuitive knowledge, namely, in axioms, from which deductions are then made. … Intuition is the necessary condition for the discovery of such axioms.
— Albert Einstein
In Conversations with Einstein by-------------I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.
— Albert Einstein
Cosmic Religion: With Other Opinions ------------------It is his intuition, this mystical insight into the nature of things, rather than his reasoning which makes a great scientist.
— Karl Raimund Popper
(Edited by lori100)
kylieMcNulty: Are they stupid, what do they think of themselves because they believe in a fairytale which was written a few millennia ago?
JX Amaro: Frankly, this is one of the dumbest forum topics I have encountered on Wire. As such, and apropos of something, I have decided to respond.
First of all, Atheism has to be the most absurd of all the revealed faiths. The Agnostic, at least, retains the dignity of being too cowardly to take a stand for something so patently idiotic. The Atheist, on the other hand, takes an ill-considered leap of faith (or leap of faithlessness) and assumes – in contradiction to basic common sense and the arguments of the great philosophers (eg, Aristotle) – that there is no God (or gods, goddess', fates, furies etc). In taking such a bold leap where does our ever so brave – and, of course “highly intelligent” – atheist end up? Take a guess. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe? Nope. The Hotel California? Maybe, but probably not in one of the better suites (certainly not the Jim Morrison “Lizard King” room). Hotel Rwanda? No, they are booked and no one wants to go there anyway. What about the Hotel Sartre? Bingo! Yes, all you very daring and ever so brilliant atheist adventurers wind up – free of charge! – at the “No Exit” Hotel of good ol' Jean Paul Sartre (who got there long before you did). Yes, you can look forward to an all-expense paid vacation to the world of “nausea,” “meaningless” and – yes! (bonus) – moral nihilism!! Maybe if you are really lucky you will meet Friederich Nietzsche with his war-hammer of anti-Christian blasphemy! But no. Sadly, at the last minute, Nietzsche jumped ship and became something of a self-styled “born-again Dionysiun.” Damn the luck. Maybe he thinks he will get lucky with goddess Aphrodite, or whatever – sorry atheists, you won't. Then there's Voltaire. Will you meet the charming and elegant Frenchman at the Sartre Hotel? Um, actually no. You better take a seat for this. Believe it or not, but Voltaire also jumped ship in the end. And guess where he wound up? Seriously, you better be sitting down for this. Ready? Yep, Voltaire, in the end, returned to Christianity. Oooph! Yeah, I know that hurts for the Icarus-like atheist know-it-alls who think they are so much more brilliant than us retarded believers. But let's quote Voltaire. This is from 13 February 1768 in a letter to Comte de Leninhaupt: “So with faith, hope and charity, I end my life a good Christian.” But OK, I know what you are thinking: Voltaire was a long time ago, I mean we have progressed and everything like that. Surely Einstein, the master of relativity theory, can set us dumbos straight. But wait a second! Just what did Einstein think of religion? Surely the great Einstein saw through the “fairy tales” and moonshine of religious fools! Uh-oh. Mr Atheist, Ms Atheist, Gender-Identity-Uncertain Atheist, you better look away. Yeah, this is really going to ruin your day. Einstien: “What humanity owes to personalities like Buddha, Moses, and Jesus ranks for me higher than all the achievements of the enquiring and constructive mind."
Ughh. This really isn't your day, all you “very cool” and “very smart” atheists. Well, you better get back to your long and winding road to Nowhere as it's a long, strange trip and then – poof! – you die (and it all meant nothing). Good luck.
A_Muse_Mint101: Cute wishful thinking; that will definitely get you somewhere, right?
"Consciousness is an end in itself. We torture ourselves getting somewhere, and when we get there it is nowhere, for there is nowhere to get to." - D. H. Lawrence
See I can do quotes, too. At least mine comes from a guy who wrote poetry about whale sex.
TheismIsUntenable: "First of all, Atheism has to be the most absurd of all the revealed faiths."
I don't think you know what faith means, or atheism means based upon this sentence. A faith is a belief absent evidence.
Atheism in its purest sense is merely the skeptical response to theism. There is no name for non-believers in unicorns. If there weren't so many naive and gullible individuals such as yourself, there would similarly be no need for the label atheist.
Aristotle's arguments have been refuted for centuries. Are you seriously this clueless? Only reformed Artistotlean arguments even exist in philosophy and they are just as sophomoric.
Einstein has made his thoughts on religion quite clear and I'm sorry to say that your quote mining fallacy is a total embarrassment. I have another for you. Do try and read it carefully will you?
"The word God is for me nothing but the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of venerable but still rather primitive legends," the letter reads. "No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can (for me) change anything about this."
adamsouthworth: Einstein rejected the personal God of revealed religions like Judaism and Christianity. He used the word God to denote a principle of order in the cosmos. He said his was the God of Spinoza, whom I take to be a panentheist - someone who believes the universe is part of God's being. Spinoza thought mind and extension--which are all we know--were just two of God's infinite attributes. Unlike Spinoza, Einstein sometimes talks about an unknown "plan" we dimly glean from what we observe, but elsewhere rejects notions of teleology or an ultimate telos. Like Einstein, Spinoza was ambivalent whether God is simply the order of the universe, or the external author of the universe. In any event, Einstein was critical of both theist and atheist dogmatists.
I think some arguments for the existence of God have some force. I don't think the cosmological, eutaxiological or teleological arguments have been conclusively refuted. Physicists like Martin Rees and Paul Davis discuss them in their books.
As to who makes positive claims, I think that depends on the theist or atheist. There are "agnostic theists" who don't know God exists, and "strong atheists" who claim certain knowledge that gods don't exist. If the theist makes a positive claim, why doesn't the strong atheist? Isn't certain knowledge that no gods exist more than suspension of judgement? If we entertain the possibility of multiple cosmoi in which every conceivable entity exists, what makes the concept of God so implausible it can be dismissed without knowledge?
JX Amaro: Jeesh! Some of these seriously un-fun atheists sure get triggered when someone calls BS on their faith in faithlessness! Ouch! “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”??? Hey reader, you decide. (Note: Shakespeare believed in God, too.)
But, it’s cool. I can roll with the punches. I wish you the best as you go down whatever Yellow Brick Road you decide to go down on. As for me, Christiandom waits at the end rainbow! (Oh, and feel free to attack that winning line with malevolent sarcasm – no problem.)
(Note: adamsouthworth’s response was actually impressively intelligent and erudite. Bravo!)
(Further Note: I thought about rolling thunder on a long polemic about the essential futilitarianism of the “Atheist Illusion,” but then thought (in the spirit of Christian charity): “Ixne, dude! Why ruin their trip?” Hey, let the good times roll. Over and Out!)
A_Muse_Mint101: I prefer Epicurus' rhetorical inquiry on monotheistic benevolent omnipotence over faith in it.
MJ59: Jeesh! Some of these seriously un-fun theists sure get triggered when someone makes a post called "Are Religious people Stupid?"
Ima go find me a talking snake n donkey
MJ59: How to stir the theist ant nest 101:
TheismIsUntenable: "I think some arguments for the existence of God have some force. I don't think the cosmological, eutaxiological or teleological arguments have been conclusively refuted."
Cosmological arguments all end with the conclusion that there is a cause for the existence of the Universe, so I don't even have to address any of them. They don't lead to god or gods existing, they are a first step in a long chain of arguments required to get where they need to go. While I think they are garbage, I can simply concede them because all of the theists work is still ahead of him.
Teleological arguments are self-refuting. They argue that the Universe is not only designed, but designed FOR HUMANS. Well if I'm crafting a bird house, I don't make 99.99999% of it inhospitable for the bird. I maximize where it can reside. So if you want to argue the Universe is designed for us while also admitting that 99.99999% of it is inhospitable I think you'll end up with egg on your face.
I'd have to be introduced to whichever eutaxiological argument you're interested in as I'm not sure I've really dealt with them before.
"If the theist makes a positive claim, why doesn't the strong atheist?"
The strong atheist carries just as heavy a burden of supporting his claim as the theist.
(Edited by TheismIsUntenable)
TheloniousSphereMonk: I personally don't give too much consideration to the idea that atheism constitutes a faith or religion.
Call me, an atheist, what you will. It's no skin off my nose and it doesn't change the direction of any discussion concerning evolution or any other matter of science.
hornchurchmale: actually an atheist carries NO burden of proof of his or her thinking and beliefs! many whom advocate religion to n'th degree are often found out to have lack of faith and are over compensating to prove to self their own belief in a deity (god) is correct. At the end of the day there is NO proof of any gods just a belief in one (or more). therefore a belief in pagan gods can have as much right as any other god to exist in one mind. essentially many are 'indoctrinated ' when young to hold such beliefs. peer group pressure constantly pushes one to retain such concepts and real. arguments for order in nature and vast reality of cosmos often being cited as facts of gods creations etc. Science slowly showing earth is not flat and understanding the sun does nor orbit the earth etc are where logic and science are working alongside each other to enlighten us. fear of unknown and death are basic reactions in mankind as is fear of dark . neanderthal evolution? there is even a 'wire' forum arguing evolution does not exist! essentially. does it matter if ether is or isn't a diety? as long as we do not hurt others and are respectful etc then humanity ought to work. sadly history shows as do some current recent events that religion is associated with violence against others and one in particular advocates killing any opposing views off( including the person )if they do not convey to the 'true' religion. one representing peace we are told. essential challenging everything and asking for logical proof is humanities advancement thus far. religion nearly stopped advances in astronomy with telescope etc .I hold view that if you want to believe in god.ghost? totem pole or whatever and it makes you at peace with self and world and does Not harm me or others. then please reagin that belief a sit makes you happy in life but also allow me and others to have and own our own viewpoints. debate is fine . when it gets to threats we have now started to lose credibility. violence simply shows you have lost argument.