# Are believers less intelligent than Atheists? Discuss

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by universaldistress, Sep 9, 2012.

1. ### Gerhard KemmererBannedBanned

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Can't help but like your answer, though probably for a slightly different reason.

Personally I think the IQ test is a little too contrived for some intelligent people. After all it basically measures familiarity with a certain approach by certain types of people. Once you understand that, you can score quite highly with ease. And since the education system is as demanding through a certain 'rectal retentiveness' some people find the personal achievement and empowerment through faith a lot more satisfying, and no longer apply themselves as rigorously to the system.

Another revolting aspect of education is the spirit of competition, which is not love.

3. ### BalerionBannedBanned

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Because God is the answer. What would you possibly be looking for if you already have the answer? And "studying God" amounts to counting the number of angels that could fit on the head of a pin, since God has been posited from a position of faith, not research, and certainly any research that contradicts this position would be rejected.

Wherever did you get that idea? There's certainly nothing in the bible that would have given you the impression God was fond of freethinkers or skeptics. Quite the opposite. It's commendable that you've invented a concept of God that allows you the freedom to think (to an extent) but don't pretend yours is the God of Abraham.

You only seem to be open to possibilities that include God and heaven, so you're cutting yourself off at the knees. Will you allow your god to be pushed back yet again when we figure out what actually caused the Bang? Are you prepared for that possibility? Where will you go when your God of the Gaps has no more places to hide?

If you choose to interpret the bible as a fundamentalist christian would, then say "that is bullshit", that is your problem, not mine. You don't interpret the bible the way i do, that is clear, and in my opinion, and in your opinion, your interpretation of the bible is not logical. It is contradictory and unsupportable and not meaningful. Your interpretation is not valid in my opinion, because it destroys itself.[/quote]

A common canard. "You think of the bible like a fundamentalist," for pointing out that it purports itself to be an historical document, that it means to teach moral lessons. Meanwhile, you quote from it freely. The difference in our readings of the text is merely that I do not pretend the ills found within don't exist. Because I have no religious faith, my worldview is not reliant upon the legitimacy of the texts, and so I can see that Christianity, for example, is simply a plagiarism of Judaism, without putting myself in danger of a spiritual crisis. It actually doesn't require any interpretation of the text whatsoever to see that it is based on previous texts and traditions. Claiming that your bible is something more than an amalgamation of other faiths--both earlier and contemporary--is akin to saying that a novel is not an amalgamation of earlier novels and traditions. As Cormac McCarthy said, books are made out of books.

Jesus also says he's come to uphold the law of the prophets, meaning the Old Testament law. He even chastises one group for not killing their children as the OT demands of them. So either those are conflicting messages, or asking people to love their neighbors doesn't mean that they have to keep the peace with them.

As to how the words are immoral...making love compulsory is an immoral act. It diminishes love as a concept and makes it something we must do or face death.

But you haven't reserved judgment for a later time. You already believe in God and the afterlife. And even if you didn't, the position as stated above is based on nothing but faith. You have no reason to believe that this is not the whole of our perspective except the crap you read in the bible.

Yours is not an interpretation, but an invention all to itself. You borrow bits and pieces from the bible where its convenient, but you're not interpreting anything at all. You're simply ignoring the parts you don't like and keeping the ones you do.

I understand that there are metaphors in the bible. I simply don't subscribe to the idiotic notion that if a passage is violent or cruel or fantastic then it must be a metaphor. Truth is, none of the stuff you'd claim to be a metaphor works as such.

I suggest leaving the apologist stuff to the theologians.

I would love for you to tell me how my interpretation is illogical. Feel free, I'm all ears.

And just because the bible gets history and science wrong doesn't mean it was trying to get it wrong. You slap that "UNscientific" label on it as if that protects it from criticism, but that's not how it works. The bible makes many factual claims that simply are not true, and you can't account for them simply by calling them "UNscientific."

Remember when you told me to point out whenever you brought up the idea of proof? Well...

And if your position is "I don't know" when there is plenty of evidence to suggest a different position, then you're just being dishonest. You are under a misapprehension in thinking that "I don't know" is somehow more noble than "I do know" or "I have some idea."

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Hmm, and this thread show how intelligent you are

7. ### lightgiganticBannedBanned

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so IOW you are trying to say you can see how the arguments that voice one particular claim are simply consequences of bigotry and bias, educational institutions monopolized by a particular creed at a particular time that are self-propagating or simply straight out flawed reasoning by the same said party to the same end ... yet you cannot see it in another similarly voiced claim ????

Or do you have some data you are yet to produce about how other believers from all other times fit into this axiomatic truth you are advocating???

8. ### Quantum QuackLife's a tease...Valued Senior Member

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Sounds like someone is running as a conspiracy theorist... watch out the religious nutters are out to get you sort of thingo...

9. ### lightgiganticBannedBanned

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precisely

wind the clock back a few centuries and you have (apparently) clear evidence that atheists are less intelligent than believers.

IOW for as long as intelligence is simply defined in terms dictated by cultural bodies that regulate education (which more or less boil down to the pursuit of livelihoods, maintaining the status quo and wotnot) you have sufficient grounds to launch a host of flawed arguments like atheists are more intelligent than believers or white people are more intelligent than black people (or vice versa). I think it was Marx who said words to the effect "the means of production determine a community's power structure". IOW as different needs present themself with the means of their procurement, different power structures manifest or dissipate accordingly.

Hence its to be expected that as a society becomes more materialistic in its pursuit of desire, a certain class of person arises as expert to meet that need.

IOW the obvious flaw behind these statements is that a little bit of tinkering with the chronology provides environments that clearly spotlight people are for the most part simply talking about cultural institution in a manner as if it was eternally edifying (technical definition of a bigot I guess :shrug: ).

10. ### BalerionBannedBanned

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It's not a similarly voiced claim. Saying that theists tend to be less intelligent than atheists is not the same thing as saying blacks are less intelligent than whites.

The studies are there for you to see. You've chosen to believe (without evidence) that they are biased and invalid.

Oh, so we don't have a problem touting numbers when they're on your side, I see. "IOW" it has nothing to do with bigotry or bias, but the fact that you don't like the idea of your side being viewed as less-intelligent. More intelligent? Sure. But not less.

11. ### Quantum QuackLife's a tease...Valued Senior Member

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it is still bigotry... Balerion, loaded with illogical discrimination... say that in a public way in Australia and you get into big trouble mate!
Isaac Newton was a devout Christian and possibly one of the worlds greatest scientist. He developed modern calculus for starters, the inverse square rule and the other equally briliiant work.. and he was what you term as an inferior theist... and you consider yourself to be intelligent....?

12. ### lightgiganticBannedBanned

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It is
I explained why

I said : Or do you have some data you are yet to produce about how other believers from all other times fit into this axiomatic truth you are advocating???

The studies certainly do not show this.

Thats why i asked you if you were holding back on something.

:shrug:

I see you don't have a clue what I am talking about.

May I suggest reading the entire post before attempting a response

:shrug:

13. ### Quantum QuackLife's a tease...Valued Senior Member

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agrees!
Religious values have zilch to do with intelligence.... the topic is spurious, maliciously intended and discrimitory....fueling conspiracy theorist all over the place...
The mere wording of the topic implies bigotry big time...

14. ### Quantum QuackLife's a tease...Valued Senior Member

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There is no doubt that if one surveyed the world, education levels for those who are religiously inclined would be considerably lower than those who are brought up in a more secular and affluent society such as the USA.
The main reason for this is simply because in places like Brasil where the average weekly income is less than $20 usd [last I heard it was only$14 usd per week 2006 so I am guessing it has risen since] in a significant proportion of the counrty, the church is the only way people can get the support needed for survival. This in no way reflects on the intelligence of those people but purely economic necessity due to endemic poverty. Also those on lower incomes tend to have more time to enjoy the benefits of meditation [ prayer ] and family/community.
Again in no way does this reflect on their IQ, their mental health or any of that nonsense..IMO.
This thread is about pure bigotry designed to denigrate any one who is not an athiest and quite disgusting when you think of it....again IMO
and an embarrassment to any real scientist worth his weight.
sorry for the rant but I could not help it...

edit: and the fact that most of these impoverished people [Brasillia] are "dark of skin" is no indication of the "color of intelligence" either.

15. ### BalerionBannedBanned

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Feel free to point out where, QQ. You're the third person who has made this claim, and so far none of you have backed it up with anything other than whining. Provide some substance or take a hike.

Sorry, I live in a free country. I don't have to worry about being arrested for speaking my mind.

Where did I term him an inferior theist? And when did I say theists couldn't be intelligent? By all means, show me where I said any of that.

Far more intelligent than you, yes. Case in point:

You still don't know what a conspiracy theory is!

16. ### GorlitzIron ManRegistered Senior Member

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I suppose it depends on what you mean by believers. Whilst I think it's fine to have an idea of a 'supreme being' that created all of existence, the same cannot be said for those that blatantly ignore the scientific realities of the world they live in. How intelligent do you have to be to understand that at the time religious doctrine was written it was designed for the people of that era with a very limited scientific understanding of the world.

Does it really make you intelligent to blindly accept things that were written hundreds of years ago without ever questioning their validity. Does it suggest people are more intelligent if they want to examine what was written and understand why and the effects it was designed to create.

17. ### BalerionBannedBanned

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That whole post is nonsense.

I think the reason you find people lower on the IQ scale being devout is because religion appeals to ignorance. That obviously doesn't mean that you can't be intelligent and a believer, it just means the less intelligent you are, the more likely you are to be religious. It's not a scandal to say so. Of course, 400 years ago most of the top minds in the world believed in something, even if they weren't devout, but that's because belief was a rational position until recently. Deism was about as far as one could remove themselves from faith just a couple of hundred years ago. Today, this isn't the case, which is why most of the world's top minds aren't believers.

18. ### sideshowbobSorry, wrong number.Valued Senior Member

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Isaac Newton didn't live so very long after the Golden Age of Christianity, when heretics were burned. I think he can be forgiven for conforming to the social mold of the day. I wouldn't be suprised if he would be an atheist if he was alive today.

19. ### BenTheManDr. of Physics, Prof. of LoveValued Senior Member

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Most of the people I talked with about religion in grad school were more accurately described as atheists (all physicists, most theoretical physicists, some tenured at top 50 academic institutions...so you can decide where they fall on the intelligence scale). The typical line is "Well, I dont think it's right, but, you know, I can't really disprove it". I think you will find the world significantly less hostile to religion than in internet fora. Sure there are militant atheists, but they tend to get as much ear time as militant Christians (which, admittedly, are fewer).

This is the REAL kicker. Lies, damned lies, and statistics... Even if the OP could manage to write down a well-formed hypothesis, there's not really any way to test it.

Full disclosure: Ph.D. in theoretical physics, and Christian (after having thought about it for most of my life).

20. ### YazataValued Senior Member

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Atheists often say that on internet discussion boards, but I don't think that I believe it.

For one thing, there are the problems of defining intelligence, quantifying, sampling and measuring it. Lots of preexisting assumptions and sources of error are likely to creep in there.

If we use something like median level of educational attainment as a (very imperfect and debatable) stand-in for intelligence, then I think that some surveys performed here in the United States have shown that individuals with no religious adherence have slightly more education than religious adherents. That seems to be consistent with the atheist assertion.

But the thing is, if we break down the religious adherents by which religious group they identify with, we find that some religious groups have significantly higher median educational levels than the non-adherents. Religious Jews and Buddhists, Episcopalians and Methodists. Even self-styled 'wiccans' and the 'new-age' enthusiasts marginally outperform those with no adherence at all. The massive numbers of Roman Catholics come in slightly below average for the entire population in educational attainment (probably due to the comparatively large numbers of poorly-educated recent immigrants in their ranks) and the large number of Baptists and Pentecostals whose median educational levels tend to be lower than average pull down the numbers for the adherents as a whole.

21. ### toddRegistered Member

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Simple answer - No. There is no direct correlation between the two.

22. ### spidergoatLiddle' Dick TaterValued Senior Member

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Isaac Newton also believed a lot of crazy things. His religious feelings were not determined by the scientific method.

23. ### cole greyHiValued Senior Member

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this is key. Doing science without using the scientific method is just haphazard fluke making. It is UNscientific. Walking your dog, without using the scientific method is NON-scientific.

@balerion
- Someday we may study God, or what we call God, in a scientific manner, now we can't. We might even call it something else and say, "that is what we used to call God". I think there is a strong possibility we don't interpret what God was or how God worked correctly, back then, i.e. right now. It is not a limit of knowledge.
- If you said, "i have some idea", or "I don't believe the other is possible," or "i think you are full of it", instead of "i know", i would applaud. But you "know".

jesus clearly states that anyone who doesn't follow the law perfectly will not see heaven. So anyone who doesn't strap a torah to their wrist is out, according to your interpretation of this verse. That is in opposition to basically every accepted christian understanding of the passage, so NOW you are not even attacking fundamentalist christian thought but something you made up. Your interpretation is even MORE fundamentalist than the fundamentalists here.
????? The killing children thing is atheist propaganda, a straw man that anyone who had any "scholarship", as you recommended earlier, should know is a straw man. You can't have scholarship about something if you are talking about something else when you talk about that thing. There are multiple reasons why that is total crap. 1 - jesus is defending his disciples failure to follow the law by pointing out that they don't follow the law, so can hardly be saying "the law must be followed to the letter" 2- he goes on to say that the pharisees way of disobeying the law prevents children from honoring their parents by giving them financial support, and instead the pharisees accept the money as belonging to the church. Not only is this not a proposal for violence, it is also a statement against financial abuses by church leaders.

I see why you would call this immoral. Along with your supportable issues with the bible, you have some seriously unsupportable ideas about what is in the bible. Years ago, I would make a big show of this and say i am laughing at you, etc, but honestly i don't want to pretend that these mistakes show you aren't an intelligent, well-spoken, person with deeply considered thoughts, and be a jerky ad-hom-er (ad-hom-ist? anyway). I do think it says something abut my point that we are all lacking somewhat in information.

My interpretation doesn't jive with yours yes, but you would be incorrect to say that my interpretation of the bible is far more liberal than other very accepted interpretations. There are many christian interpreters of the bible who say jesus was just a good teacher who offers no metaphysical value, and many interpret it with no metaphysical quality whatsoever. Your interpretation is certainly not that one, which is perfectly reasonable, and which i happen to disagree with. You would be correct in saying i have no science to back up my contention that the 100% metaphor view is (probably) incorrect. Part of my reasoning is that i have seen very few simple answers to complicated questions, this question is complicated. The oft accepted religious stance that "god did it, just forget it"is too simplistic, even if at some level it could be true, it is intellectually irresponsible and a waste of human brain. "Religious books are just hogwash" is also not acceptably complex to me. Of course if you feel the subject is simple and only requires a simple answer, you could end up being correct, i don't know.
Your interpretation is that the bible is a document meant to be interpreted scientifically and historically in all places, and the history seems impossible, and the science looks ridiculous, so it is bad historically, and scientifically. I agree that the earth being created in seven actual days is scientifically a major problem. (i don't know who this guy is, but here http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/sevncrea.htm he presents a document which adds nothing to science, it just explains the days of creation in a way that is in purportedly in accord with science. It was the top google hit for "first day of creation".) The creation issue is a real problem for someone who looks at the book using your (adopted from fundamentalist theology) interpretation.

I also know there is a lot of life that isn't approached scientifically, and people who think that rationality can be applied at all times are fooling themselves because they are missing a lot of info, when dealing with relationships for example. People don't necessarily prove their love before they get married. They might even THINK they do, but there is just too much unknown, and they marry anyway,hope for the best, and commit to making something good happen. I believe it is actually UNscientific to apply the scientific method to a study when I KNOW I am lacking information that may be material to the study. Of course it makes sense to ask the question, "does this person love me, as much as they say, or in the way i think they do?", it seems difficult to actually answer it.