Are religious people really less smart, on average, than atheists?

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by MXZT, Oct 22, 2019.

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Are religious people really less smart, on average, than atheists?

  1. Yes, they have lower IQ than atheists.

    47.6%
  2. No, they're just as smart.

    44.4%
  3. No, they're smarter.

    8.1%
  1. GearSolidMetal

    GearSolidMetal I'm here to chew bubblegum and bang your mom. Platinum Member

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    Smart move.
     
  2. Canned Tuna

    Canned Tuna Silver Belt

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    Some of them certainly are. Some of them are not. My best friend says he's agnostic because he isn't sure and he doesn't accept the accuracy of any specific religion, but he says that he does believe that he has a soul and that there is a higher power.

    Atheism is a direct opposite to theism. Atheism cannot occupy a gray area space of uncertainty (agnosticism) if theism cannot also do that. Either they both require certainty or they both do not.
     
  3. Lint

    Lint jmp dword ptr [ebp+8] Platinum Member

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    Just reminded me the following:
     
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  4. HereticBD

    HereticBD Titanium Belt

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    How many theories have been "Russell's Teapot" since the damn of man?

    Pretty weak deflection, brah.
     
  5. 7437

    7437 Gold Belt

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    I see no reason to worry about something with literally no evidence. We do have evidence of some ways the brain works.
     
  6. ShadBo

    ShadBo Brown Belt Platinum Member

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    I'm sorry, but didn't we cover this already?

    If you do not believe a god or gods exists, you are an atheist by definition. One either believes a god exists or not. Those are the only two options here. I don't understand what gray area you're talking about.

    Regarding the question "Do you believe in a god or gods?" "I'm not sure" fits under "does not have a belief in god."

    If you aren't sure then you don't believe. Am I mistaken?
     
  7. n...not crazy

    n...not crazy Silver Belt

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    I hate getting in on this type of bullshit, but this isn't true. Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or gods. It doesn't require certainty.

    But definitions change over the years as people on the internet piss on each other. And that's why arguments never end - because people can't even agree on definitions. It's gotten to the point that I'm not even an atheist anymore, because I know people will miscategorize me as some kind of militant or some shit.

    But let's go to American Atheists, and not frickin' Wikipedia:
    "
    Atheism is one thing: A lack of belief in gods.
    Atheism is not an affirmative belief that there is no god nor does it answer any other question about what a person believes. It is simply a rejection of the assertion that there are gods. Atheism is too often defined incorrectly as a belief system. To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods."

    https://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/about-atheism/
     
  8. HereticBD

    HereticBD Titanium Belt

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    Sure, and once upon a time we had "evidence" on how many things work.

    In 500 years, with how crazy scientific and technological understanding is evolving, do you see those people looking at us as anything other than cave dwellers who didn't know shit, except for possibly the very basics of...just about everything? Or do you arrogantly think we're at peak enlightenment?
     
  9. ShadBo

    ShadBo Brown Belt Platinum Member

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    The scientific theories we have today will likely never be overturned. We may gain more information and develop new theories, but they will include all of the demonstrable knowledge we possess today.
     
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  10. 7437

    7437 Gold Belt

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    The idea that because we have advanced alot scientifically, we should just disregard science is laughable.
     
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  11. Bald1

    Bald1 War Room Can

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    "Smart". I believe that IQ isn't the be all end all when determining intelligence. EQ and mechanical aptitude aren't always distributed evenly in those with high IQs but are important for problem solving within their perspective arenas. Take the caricature that is Sheldon Cooper for example. Brilliant in theorizing and memorizing but a total failure at influencing people or changing a flat tire.

    I guess my point is it's less about intelligence and more about wanting to believe. Many people find it important to believe in something greater than themselves. The man speech from Second Hand Lions comes to mind.



    The above doesn't apply to those who believe in a young earth or all biblical miracles. I just don't understand how anyone can buy into that stuff regardless of intelligence.
     
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  12. Fedorable

    Fedorable Continues without supporting Sherdog.

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    people have an ingrained need to worship something. Maybe not individuals, but as a whole.

    Is an atheist that worships the state smarter than somebody that believes in Jesus?
     
  13. HereticBD

    HereticBD Titanium Belt

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    I'll spirit bet you on that. In 500 years, when the scientific community is laughing at 90% of this theoretical shit, I get your ghost cookies.
     
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  14. 7437

    7437 Gold Belt

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    Nah×÷ will probably decide gravity isnt real. Or conservation of matter. Thermodynamics.
     
  15. Codpiece

    Codpiece Not afraid to care

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    I don’t see how this could be effectively measured. My experience as a Christian is that I know some really unintelligent people from both camps and also read literature from both believers and atheists that make me believe the authors are geniuses.


    I do think the notion that all Christians believe what they believe with no good reason and that it’s merely wish fulfillment needs to be debunked. John Lennox, Alister McGrath, Ravi Zacharias and many others show that this is not so. In fact, I’d be inclined to believe that the proportion of people who simply accept material naturalism and who simply accept a religious explanation as the basis of reality without deeper thought are probably very similar.
     
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  16. Renard

    Renard Black Belt

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    The two-systems theory in psychology postulates there are two basic thinking systems: an intuitive, fast system and a slow, cognitively effortful system (which is much better for reasoning). A lot of errors in thinking come from the fact the brain evolution gave us is biased towards intuitive interpretations of information which can be useful but are often logically incorrect, system 2 needs to kick in to prevent the error. People with higher intelligence (especially analytic ability) score higher on tests measuring reasoning ability. People of low intelligence have a very limited capacity to use system 2 and they live life almost entirely on system 1 (making them very vulnerable to things like the media and marketing).

    There's a measure called need for cognition, which is the propensity for someone to engage in intellectual activity.
    Religious people are low in need for cognition, and that likely interacts with the fact their cognitive capacity is lower i.e. they don't enjoy thinking because they're not good at it. Although there is probably a subset of religious people (especially in developing countries) who are religious because of cultural/upbringing reasons but who do have a high cognitive capacity.
     
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  17. ShadBo

    ShadBo Brown Belt Platinum Member

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    I'm not talking about theortical shit. I'm talking about scientific theory. I'm talking about the detailed explanations of observed facts and laws.

    In 500 years the germ theory of disease is still going to be the only game in town. It may be more robust, but it's unlikely that the overwhelming majority of what we know now will be overturned in that particular field.

    The same goes for the other theories.
     
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  18. Canned Tuna

    Canned Tuna Silver Belt

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    Aren't you the one who brought up the difference between knowing and believing? Atheism and theism are based on belief while agnosticism is based on (not) knowing. That is the paradigm that you set up here. When explaining the wide spectrum of religiosity you literally mentioned agnostic theists as people who believe there is a God, but don't claim to know it as a certainty.

    I'm talking about people who believe, but still identify as agnostic because they don't know. Those people definitely exist.

    Edit: my point was that it's unreasonable to lump everyone who identifies as agnostic in under the atheist umbrella as if it's impossible that any of them could be believers or that they could truly sit in the middle in a 100% "I don't know therefore I will not state a belief" position.

    Also, I reject your assertion that atheism is simply a lack of belief that there is a God, but it's not that important. In modern language 'agnostic' has taken on that meaning and 'atheism' has adapted to be a belief that there is no God. It appears that you're attempting to take back that middle ground under the umbrella of atheism, but I don't think you're likely to success.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  19. ShadBo

    ShadBo Brown Belt Platinum Member

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    Yes, people can believe in something and not be certain that it is real. Maybe we're talking past each other a bit.

    You are either convinced of a proposition or you are not. Regarding belief, there is no third option.

    You said your friend believes in a higher power and the soul. I would need to know more about what the higher power is, but if is a type of god, then your friend is a theist.
     
  20. n...not crazy

    n...not crazy Silver Belt

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    When I read posts like these, I begin to run away from all categorization at 100 m.p.h. Talk about a semantic clusterfuck. I'm just uniquely me. There.
     
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