Atheism & Intelligence

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by garbonzo, May 21, 2013.

  1. garbonzo Registered Senior Member

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    Reading this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religiosity_and_intelligence#Studies_comparing_religious_belief_and_I.Q.

    Is it saying that intelligent people are more likely to be atheists than less intelligent people, or suggesting that atheists tend to be intelligent?? Is there a difference? Are there studies on both?

    Is it like how oranges tend to be round, but round things don't tend to be oranges?

    Even if atheists did tend to be more intelligent, does that mean that they tend to be more rational in their decision-making? Their thought processes may not be driven by faith, but aren't they just as susceptible to be influenced by emotion as anyone else?
     
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  3. elte Valued Senior Member

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    I'd say we live in a world where most people are religious, at least for the time being, so to perceive against the norm takes decent reasoning ability.
     
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I think the causative correlation is actually between education and atheism. Educated people are simply likely to be more intelligent (and vice versa) because studying and learning is more difficult and challenging for the less intelligent.

    The premise is usually accepted without argument that rationality is one of the dimensions of intelligence; probably even one of its most important dimensions.

    Most people who were raised with religion and became atheists did so largely through reasoning: Why do I believe something for which there is no respectable evidence?

    Those few of us who were born and raised as atheists and were only exposed to religion later in life rejected it through exactly the same reasoning process. Although with considerably more laughter. When another little boy in the second grade told me all about this fellow named "God" who lives up in the sky and can see everything we do, I was impressed that he had made up such an entertaining story and I laughed my head off. I could not understand why he did not appreciate my laughter.

    When my mother, with the saddest look I had ever seen on her face, explained to me that a great many adults believe in that fairytale, that was the moment I became a cynic.
     
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  7. garbonzo Registered Senior Member

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    And you are a professional scientist now, right?
     
  8. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    No. I've worked in software engineering since 1967. For the past seven years I've been a technical writer.

    Some people in this profession call themselves "computer scientists" but I've never cared for the term. I think "software engineer" is more accurate.
     
  10. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, and even among the working class and others who have no access to higher education. (Though education does, of course, promote wider thinking.) Two main factors are at work from the start.
    One: A bright child asks "What? When? Where? How? Why?" and doesn't settle for pat answers; he tests the adults' patience. He is dismissed, shut out, threatened, or even physically hurt .... So he turns against the system of thought that punishes him for being curious. Which is to say, punished for being what the "ever-loving creator" made him. Disillusionment begins with the parents, pastor and elementary teachers.
    Two: An intelligent child is observant; notes discrepancies between what he's told and his own observations; between what people say and what they do. He superimposes areas of thought that the faithful are trained to keep separate; compares and contrasts.

    I suppose that having shed the constraints of faith allows a person to show his intelligence. He's not necessarily more intelligent; he just doesn't need to hide half of it.

    Yes. Partly because the rationality they started out with helped them to become (or remain) atheist (in spite of sometimes great pressure to conform). And partly because they're free of those irrational assumptions and the double-think that theists have to practice; they're free to seek information and objectively evaluate data, regardless of the source.

    Nobody's thought-process is driven by faith. Our thoughts are driven by sensations, needs, desires and emotions. Reason is a tool for figuring out the means of getting from A (the sensation of "too cold!") to B (a cave,) to C (a turf shack) to D (a centrally heated high-rise). Or to fulfill a desire.
    Faith is a controlling mechanism, like reins; like protocol and tradition and familial obligation: it keeps the problem-creating propensity of emotion and the problem-solving efforts of reason on a predetermined track: sets limits on how you're allowed to get you from C to D, which desires should be gratified, and which emotions it's okay to express. In all these limits, reason is also a tool: to find an alternate route, to sublimate, substitute, legislate, regulate and invent acceptable cover stories.
     
  11. IncogNegro Banned Banned

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    Athiesm- Proof one can loose half ones mind for less productive ideas, Then later come back claiming to know more about it than anyone.
     
  12. arauca Banned Banned

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    I prefer to believe in God and be dumber then the intelligent atheists who pretend to know of what they don't know
     
  13. arauca Banned Banned

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    You were born intelligent , as a present to the world to enlighten us
     
  14. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Nonsensical aphorisms - Proof that the article in question is probably correct.
     
  15. IncogNegro Banned Banned

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    Still the longer it takes for you to realize something the faster you can reproduce it both your life and in another. So if Hawking ever came to realize god exists he would instantly write an equation....
     
  16. arauca Banned Banned

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    I suppose If Hawking would come up that God exist , most of the atheist would become believers Many atheist are just status claimers.
     
  17. IncogNegro Banned Banned

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    Well I guess some peoples minds are just too good for dictionaries.
     
  18. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    If he had a good enough proof. That's been missing by a widening margin. I suspect it will go on missing.
     
  19. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Threads about atheists' supposedly higher intelligence appear every few weeks on boards like this one. I find them annoying, smug and (yes) kind of stupid.

    Intelligence isn't something that people are, it's something that they have to actually do. It's a matter of intellectual performance. Bragging about being smart means nothing without smart ideas. And when somebody is producing smart ideas, then he or she doesn't need to brag.
     
  20. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not really interested in interpreting a Wikipedia article.

    My own view is that smart people are kind of like cats, it's harder to herd them. So they are probably more likely than others to have unorthodox ideas.

    That doesn't mean that smart people will all gravitate to the same idea. It doesn't mean that their ideas will necessarily be correct. It might not even mean that their ideas have a higher likelihood of being correct.

    After all, conventional wisdom has generally stood the test of time. It's a product of historical evolution, so to speak. Ideas that seem brilliant at first, but later prove to have disfunctional consequences, tend to get weeded out. I believe that history provides abundant examples of smart people opting for unconventional ideas that subsequently turn out to be false and even dangerous. (Marxism, until recently very popular among intellectuals, is an example of that.)

    In other words, smart people are probably more likely to hold atypical ideas, but those ideas aren't necessarily better ideas.

    Of course. What's more, smart people often form very strong and even dogmatic opinions on the basis of seriously deficient and fragmentary information. It isn't that they possess certain and indubitable data that implies their conclusions with logical certainty. Like everyone else, smart people often embrace ideas that they emotionally want to be true. Smarter people might just be better than others at rationalizing that kind of stuff, in producing seemingly plausible justifications for ideas that they already hold.
     
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Apparently you don't actually know very many atheists personally.

    Huh? Our distant ancestors were certain that the world is flat. The Romans were certain that a diet of only grains was satisfactory. Up until a few hundred years ago Europeans were certain that the sun and all the rest of the universe revolved around the earth. 200 years ago Americans were certain that people of African ancestry are not capable of the same accomplishments as the rest of us. Up until 175 years ago everyone was certain that there was no need to keep an open wound clean. Up until 150 years ago everyone was certain that there was no need to cover sewers, wrap food or provide people with clean water. Up until 125 years ago most Europeans believed that the Jews were responsible for all of their problems.

    Marxism is nothing more or less than an offshoot of Christianity. Marx's slogan "To each according to his need, from each according to his ability," is an elaboration of a line from the Book of Acts. Even intellectuals have been swayed by the poison of religion, especially Christianity and Islam with their promise of eternal life. Who wouldn't rather live in a universe in which that promise is genuine? It's a very seductive lie. The people who made up these religions were really clever!

    But in order to make a point here, you need to convince us that smart people do this just as often and just as badly as stupid people.

    So far you have not made that point so your argument is nothing more than an opinion.

    There is no "information" (to use the word a little too kindly) more "seriously deficient and fragmentary" than the Stone Age fairytales that make up the holy books of the various religions. And the majority of the world's stupid people have "formed very strong and dogmatic opinions" on the basis of this seriously deficient and fragmentary information.

    The correlation between atheism and intelligence (in other words, the fact that a smaller percentage of the world's smart people have formed very strong and dogmatic opinions on the basis of this deficient and fragmentary information) argues strongly against your premise. You're going to have to do a lot better than this!
     
  22. Username Registered Senior Member

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    I don't pretend, yet let atheist believe whatever it is they want to believe. :bugeye:
     
  23. IncogNegro Banned Banned

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    Athiests don't exist because it is impossible for a man to truly be without god. If your mind shifts unconsciously for or against either direction you might as well begin to not hear the word.... Don't debate it like like a duel with pistols. If your mind is in turmoil cease the thought. If it angers you people believe different things... first get them to see your way on another street..
     

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