Are believers less intelligent than Atheists? Discuss

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

  1. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

    I would describe myself as an agnostic atheist, and definitely open to the possibility. And have frequented forums long enough to find civilised Gnostic Atheists, Agnostics, and Theists. I could source more studies on this. I would agree that the debate on causes on the disparity is an ongoing one.

    That's good to know. I went to school with one of your breed

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! At school I didn't really chalk him down for academic brilliance. We were both in the top group for Math, English and Science, and he didn't stand out, though our Mathematics teacher loved his enthusiasm. Little did I know that as I was messing around he was obsessing over advanced Math.

    Congrats on your academic success. What direction did your career eventually take?

    Oh and how do you level your belief in god with logic/reason?
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  3. Balerion Banned Banned

    But walking your dog does not entail making claims as to the origin of the universe. Religion--in most cases--does. If you believe in God, you believe it (or he, she, whatever) is responsible for your existence. This is not NONscientific, it is UNscientific.

    What who calls God? So far only the religious posit a creator. And until the time comes that science finds something suggesting the existence of such a thing, presuming its existence is stupid.

    I do know, for the reasons I have explained. I cannot rule out entirely some kind of creator at the beginning of all of this, but I can say beyond any reasonable doubt that what you call God is a human invention. I don't need to qualify my statement any more than that.

    I'm just reading what is written. If you want to interpret it differently, that's your prerogative, and I'll hear out your arguments, but as I've seen the only difference between a fundamentalist and a moderate is that a fundamentalist doesn't ignore stuff. Moderates simply treat certain passages as if they don't exist. Which is wonderful, don't get me wrong--Christians, Jews, and Muslims who don't oppose gay marriage or free speech are truly forward-thinking theists--but it's not in the text.

    Nonsense. Jesus was not defending his disciples by saying "You don't follow the law either," he's defending them by saying they aren't breaking the law--you are. This is why he says that "what goes into your mouth is not defiled, but what comes out is." He makes a clear distinction between the crimes of eating bread with unwashed hands (what goes in) and cursing your mother and father (what comes out).

    Try again, sparky.

    So you're going to make a show of not making a show? Spare me. I've cleared up any misgivings you might have about my understanding of the bible, and hopefully shed some light on your own.

    Who are these many? I don't see them anywhere. Even mainstream Christianity believes that Jesus was literally the son of God.

    You seem conflicted. On the one hand, you say you don't think there is a simple answer, but on the other you insist upon a simple concept without any scientific basis. I don't get it. Anyway, I don't say religious books are hogwash simply because I desire them to be; I say they are because I've read them and know where they come from and how they were compiled. To arrive at any other answer would be dishonest.

    What you call "fundamentalism" is simply reading the book the way it was meant to be read. It has taken on a negative connotation simply because of what the book teaches. Calling someone a "First Amendment fundamentalist," however, would be a compliment. There's nothing wrong with reading a book as it was meant to be read.

    I really don't know what this is addressing, or what you're saying. Some context would help. Try quoting passages you're responding to.
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  5. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

    8,967 you don't know if you don't believe in God? This is how most people describe themselves, but it is simply a contradiction: either you believe God exists, you believe God does not exist, or you don't know the answer. The problem is that "atheist" (literally, without God") is a binary term: there aren't scales. Describing yourself as "open to the idea", but still atheist is a bit of a copout. This is like Democrats who say they are "open to the idea" of voting for a Republican. Fat chance on that one, I think. When you say "open to the idea", you mean "if God descended from Heaven and tapped me on the shoulder". Well, in that case, a belief in God really isn't a's like disbelieving the color of the sky.

    What your link proves is that there is a number called IQ, and white people score higher than black people. You haven't said anything about "intelligence" other than (implicitly) that you believe that IQ test results accurately describe something which, a priori, cannot be reduced to a single, one-dimensional number. Not to mention that you have to sit down and take a test, which is something I imagine that sub-saharan Africans could really care less about.

    An ancillary question is why people care about this: I'd be more interested to see who makes more money, atheists or Christians (or Muslims or Buddhists or...). At least that has a solid, quantitative definition.

    Well, we're not too far apart. He looks like he's written papers with Scott Watson and Dan Hooper, both of whom I know pretty well. (Hooper knows me as "Tex".)

    Data Scientist for an internet startup in Austin that helps people model their energy use. I do all kinds of things: modeling billing and consumption numbers, user interaction studies, social network analysis... And that's only in the first two months

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    The pay is solid and I wear sandals to work. And they gave me a MacBook Pro.

    If God exists, do you think he must be bound by logic and reason, which humans invented to try and understand the natural world? I don't know how to reconcile the two, and I' not sure that it's even necessary. We all get gut feelings, we all have intuition, we all have internal conversations with ourselves over big decisions, and these conversations, intuitions and gut feelings help us make it through life. And, ignoring your gut, or your intuition, or not having a long internal conversation with yourself is typically a really bad idea. Do you know how to explain that? I don't.

    Then, is the idea of a God speaking directly to your heart any more far-out than, say, a boat load of chemical reactions giving the same effect? Possibly, but that's just because humans are scared of things that they don't understand. We understand chemistry, it makes us feel good to suspect that _someday chemistry will be able to explain the inner workings of our brains. We can tie a bow around it, and call the problem solved.

    Maybe there is no God. Maybe Christians have found an elaborate way to condition their internal gadgetry in such a way as to make their internal conversations appear to be between themselves and God. Maybe God lives in a different dimension, or in a parallel universe, and communicates directly with us, at an instant, by opening Planck-scale wormholes in our brains, and transmitting messages there---there's a way to preserve causality in 4-d, and still allow God to communicate instantaneously with anyone or anything in our universe. Ok, that's being facetious, but you get the point---there's a lot about the natural world that I don't know, and I'm ok with that. I can clear my mind, look into my heart, and honestly say I believe in God. It's up to God to figure out ways to communicate with me in ways that don't subvert the natural order, which is a problem He seems to have solved. If there is a God, He's probably a whole lot smarter than we are, so I'm ok with accepting that there may be things He knows that we can't comprehend, especially in regards to science.

    But, does it matter? Certainly not to God, I think. It only seems to matter in places where nothing else matters

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  7. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

    Small world indeed Ben

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    Sandals are cool, though Macbook Pro must warm you back up again ('specially when on lap). Now down to it . . .

    I don't think you understand the umbrella-term "atheist". I recommend (in a nice way) you look it up. Atheism is anything from believing there is no god, to being open to the possibility there is possibly a god. I don't believe, so I am without god (atheist), yet I am open to the idea god could exist should evidence arise (agnostic). You've got to brush up on your terminology if you want to debate this.

    I do accept the contradiction of "agnostic theist", seems a little hard stomach, but tsince when was theism logical?

    All I am saying is that different races score differently on Intelligence Quotient tests, causing the bell curve average apogee to be variable depending on race, fact. The cause of this could be biased testing, lack of education in the areas the tests work in, genetic differences and many more reasons besides. The interpretation of the evidence could be at fault, or there really could be a genetic divide. I don't feel bad about the fact eastern asian people score higher on average than europeans. There is a lot more to an individual's viability to succeed than IQ test results; and inventiveness, imaginativeness, creativeness are all very hard to quantify, and can be extremely important in said viability.

    As for believing in god: believing in a maybe is illogical and wholly unscientific, yet I'll grant you, a personal experience.
  8. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Full of as much blatant bigotry as statements like "Just because you are black it doesn't mean that you can't be intelligent, it just means the less intelligent you are, the more likely you are to be black"

    see here's a graph

    View attachment 5835

  9. Balerion Banned Banned

    I don't think it's as much a matter of there being scales as it is that agnosticism is implied in the atheistic position.
  10. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

    I don't think you do. Suffice it to say, etymology (in my book) wins here. I think you're wrong, you think I'm wrong, and we can waste a lot of KBs arguing about whether we should interpret the word as it was originally meant to be interpreted, or in a manner that makes people feel like they can have their cake (claiming to be a good, logical secular humanist, unencumbered by archaic dogma) and eat it, too (pretend that this isn't a belief in the vein of the very same archaic dogma).

    That's correct. And until you establish a relationship between intelligence and IQ, then we're just measuring the difference between atheists' ability to take standardized tests, and Christians' ability to take standardized tests. Hence my original comment: even if the OP can form an hypothesis, it's unlikely that it can be tested.

    I would say that you don't understand the umbrella-term "belief" or "god", here.

    Suffice it to say, science draws lines around certain things, which cannot be crossed. Outside the lines, science has nothing to say, only that it can't say anything. There is absolutely nothing unscientific about a set of beliefs which are consistent with science.
  11. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

    Yeah especially with all 8 cores cooking (maybe only 4, not sure if the processor is hyper-threaded). I fired up Gephi today for a social network analysis project I'm working on, and I thought it would take off.
  12. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    explain how this relates to his intelligence?
  13. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    this is so funny in a way because it could be strongly argued that that is exactly what science is doing...studying the universe [ God ]

    "the unwitting theist called science.."

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    does that make then believers or what?
  14. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    gosh that's a good way of defining egocentric belief systems...hmmm thanks...
    "The taint of the existential ego is every where...."
  15. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    You still don't understand what UNscientific means. It is claiming something contrary to science. Disprovable by science. Science has nothing to say about God right now.
    Are you seriously going to just have something negative to say about everything? the above is kind of a waste of space. First, we all know that people that don't call God anything aren't calling God anything. Secondly, science doesn't suggest the existence of a lot of things we assume daily, based on personal experience, are all of them stupid to assume? few people scientifically test their boyfriends and girlfriends for compatibility or amount of love or anything else, yet they assume they should have a relationship with them. Are they ALL stupid?
    that is not a very intelligent thing to say - you don't even know if what i call God is "some kind of creator at the beginning of all this" and nothing more. What i call God has yet to be defined and I am open to God being exactly that, if that is what God is. Every thought either of us thinks is a "human creation", and very very little of what we experience is processed without those thoughts. If you want to deride human creations, you have yet another LOGIC problem.
    If you are going to stand behind reading like a four year old, you are certainly no advocate for intelligence. "Joe runs like a deer", someone writes, and you say, "no he is actually slower than a deer". Is that smart or dumb? Jesus even says he is speaking in parables, not science. For you to revise the bible and say he didn't say that is ridiculous.
    Back to your interpretation, you are clearly not reading what is written, even at a four year old level. Even a four year old understand that jesus is going to let at least some people go to heaven, or the whole religion is shot. If jesus was actually saying what you say he was saying, there would be no christianity as we know it. Do you really suppose all these people that have studied christianity are literally mentally retarded? Wow. It is a historical fact that christianity, minus a non-numerically significant few, does not follow jewish law. You can say the book says whatever you want, but you won't just be over-reaching with your suppositions, you will actually be incorrect. These biblical interpretations of yours are the first things you have said in any of these threads that are actually unsupportable in any way. All your other ideas can be said to have an intelligent, if subjective (as is mine) viewpoint. These 2 verse interpretations are simply nonsense.
    you can't shift on to the next thing without addressing the fact that the text does not support violent behavior. You made a false claim, that is clearly ILLOGICAL, and you need to admit that because in no sense could this be interpreted as supporting violence, unless he turns around and tells his disciples they must always wash their hands, which he doesn't.
    actually, you took an unsupportable position and have shed light on the fact that you are arguing from a point of not even knowing what it is you are attacking (or at least pretending you don't to set up straw people). I was very surprised that you did that actually.
    Yes, jesus didn't run like a deer either. I get it. See jane walk. google "metaphorical christian teaching" or any number of other phrases and you will find it all. Don't lie and pretend it isn't out there. It is there in a very big way. There are even new religious categories being created to describe some of them (emergent church is one).
    I agree that you clearly "don't get it". Religion is far from simple, and the God concept is far from simple.
    Your position on what the book says is far beyond fundamentalism. Compared to you, a fundamentalist has a very supportable view of what is in the book, theirs may be unscientific, but yours goes against even common logic. At least they say, "the bible doesn't contradict itself, so God said that and we don't understand it." You can read it in opposition to logic, and say, jesus tried to convince pharisees to kill children while his disciples hands went unwashed.
  16. Balerion Banned Banned

    This is just nonsense. I can't continue this debate if you're going to resort to these dishonest tactics.
  17. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    i don't see anything dishonest, but of course you are free to quit. It would be better to just admit that you made a mistake about those verses, so you can keep on with your legitimate point. I don't see anything wrong with arguing for logical positivism, or pure rationalism - it is certainly a reasonable point of view to say, "this is what we see RIGHT NOW, and i am going to stick with THAT, and people that try to talk about things they say they don't even understand are blowing hot air." Perfectly reasonable. At least we don't have to have anyone standing around committing the intellectual sin of actually being wrong. (i would like to think about whether the idea that positivism is dead has any validity or is just a historical fiction created by those that "won out" against wittgenstein and his type., but we can't get there if we are wasting time saying things that don't make sense.)

    as far as the rest of the thread goes - i think it would be good to try to be reasonable/logical about faith, and barring success, we should seriously think about letting it go. But that is just me. There are billions of people who don't operate the way i do mentally, and they have their own path to follow.
  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Cole grey, do you think Humility or being humble is a key aspect of any intelligence to be effective as an intelligence?
    The humble intelligence is one that is receptive to what he observes and does not seek to block his own perception by his delusions of grandure. [ ego centric arrogance ]
  19. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

    Er, no. You are wrong here. You have to keep up with the accepted definitions/terminology of the present day. Philosophical definitions are what we trade here. I am entitled to establish my own context/axioms/definitions/terminology without your attempted corrections.

    Are we talking about race or religion here specifically? (bit chop and changey). I said originally "Well we all know the data on the intelligence of black people, and the fact the causes of lower quotients is unclear." Data meaning the IQ bell curve data which is data that measure intelligence. You originally dismissed this statement as "lies" or the data as "lies", but now agree it is accurate? And the OP wasn't attempting to form a hypothesis, just asking a question and for opinion.

    So you BELIEVE there is no link between intelligence and IQ test results? We could say that it isn't always accurate to use this data as it could be unreliable to do so in certain ways, but that is different to saying there is no relationship between intelligence and IQ? There clearly is a relationship already established. We just need to interpret the data more comprehensively. The two debates: race and religion, here, are both nuanced in different ways.

    Er, no again.

    Belief in god is consistent with science? Explain please? What has proved to you that god exists?
  20. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    has an actual definition of intelligence been offered in this thead?
    If not why not?

    has the issue of learning the tools of intelligence been discussed or considered?
    has the issue of childhood deprivation of learning those tools of intelligence been brought up?

    the wiki definition is so broad that for the sake of this converstaion it is useless...except to say that reasoning and logic are only one of many aspects of the definition...
  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Intelligence is often diminished by the baggage that a persons conditioning creates.
    For example: I believe with out much doubt that poster Balerion has the potential to be utterly brilliant regarding intelligence however it is his emotional baggage that prevents him from being so.
    Not unlike Afro Americans who have been encumbered with a history of emotive issues such as slavery, intense discrimination, poverty and injustice etc...
  22. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    This scene in Good will Hunting is a real Hoot....IMO

  23. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    I would go so far as to say that words attributed to socrates by plato, "I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know." are a good indicator of wisdom and experience, but not raw intellect.
    That wisdom and knowledge have to be accounted for in a thorough explanation of intelligence, otherwise if it only about raw processing power, that must be clearly stated. Obviously raw processing power is not measured by an IQ test, unless you can use one that has no language use or biased symbolism, with about 100 other qualifications for the testing. Apparently women are smarter than men now based on IQ tests. I think discussing sexual difference in populations is probably more valuable than discussing difference between populations who could have any number of factors messing up the results, and even that has a lot of culturally controlled stuff to account for before it could be called fairly reached data.
    Some people would boil intelligence down to linguistic facility or symbol facility, since we do very little "thinking" without symbols, if any.

    edit - p.s. i don't think universaldistress gets to establish his own definitions, or any discussion is going to have problems. Unless UD's definitions can be explained and agreed upon people aren't really talking about the same thing when they are talking. Also, i don't think that thread referenced is any authority on what atheism means but i think the 4 section UD put up might make sense because it clearly allows for gradation (the arrows), except for the use of the word "gnostic" which already has a definition, or at least refers to a religious sect that has nothing to do with having any type of intellectual knowledge. Also, I am an agnostic theist because i don't "know", but my agnosticism extends to much MUCH more than my religious ideas, so it doesn't have any particular negative or lesser connotation to me, it is just part of the way i think right now.

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