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Intelligent people less likely to believe in God

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posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 08:21 AM
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reply to post by melatonin
 


Cool.....

I'm glad you clarified your stance. I assume that all 'hardcore' atheists are just as misguided as religious fanatics. More often than not they're choices are not necessarily decided based on scientific evidence, but on being the antithesis of what they most fear. In the case of most theists, it's a fear that's been instilled in them from childhood of burning in hell or not being close to 'God's love', and in atheists it's a fear of the establishment of religion.

Don't get me wrong, I'm scared #less of religion and its impact on the world, but from logical standpoint, it's impossible to rule out the existence of deity(s) or of some form of 'spiritual' existence.

That's not to say that it will still be considered 'spiritual' if or when we discover its true nature.




posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 08:29 AM
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Originally posted by Rasobasi420
Cool.....

I'm glad you clarified your stance. I assume that all 'hardcore' atheists are just as misguided as religious fanatics.


I think those lying at 1 and 7 are basically batty, heh.

We just can't know anything with such certainty really, and most definitely slippery ontological claims like god. Problem is, even someone like Dawkins has a similar position to myself - more a de facto atheist than 100% knowing 'god' doesn't exist. But the 7 category is how many see atheists (I know very few 7s). I see a lot of 1s though.

As noted, I sometimes wonder what people are talking about and can sometimes see the concept 'god' as pretty much meaningless (ignosticism). So I just take the most common Santa-like conception I see around and work with that.

[edit on 14-6-2008 by melatonin]



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 08:36 AM
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When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion.

-Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President [1861-1865]. From Henry O. Dormann, compiler, The Speaker's Book of Quotations, New York: Ballantine Books, 1987, p. 127.)



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 08:36 AM
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Originally posted by C.C.Benjamin
This should have been titled "intelligent people less likely to need fairy tales to get them through life".

Honestly, you religious types crack me up. If you were to take a step back, assess what you are claiming and then assess what your sources are, you might find you feel like a fool. Of course, you won't, because if you did things like that, you wouldn't be one of those zany religious types!


No. The contested point is wether or not Science is a final universal approach to navigating/understanding reality. Is our Science picture complete? Are the tools and priciples of Science adequate to address the Question? Science does not exist purely on the ability to predict bevavior. It also demands models of mechanism. The point by point tracking or transmuted/transformed enrgy.

I believe Science is final in the sense that SHOULD be open-ended and devoid of dogma. Unfortunately, it is not. But to say that Science precludes the existence of a God or Gods is wrong.



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 08:42 AM
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There is a quip I came across in the Utne Reader a few years back... I forget who said it... primarily because I didn't recognize the name... it read.


I am an agnostic... I am not arrogant enough to be an atheist.


I like that. I will say this however... you do not have to believe in a god of some sort to have a spiritual life... all that is needed is a sense of wonder or awe. Still spirituality has to be cultivated.... Miester Eckhardt once wrote...


If you have no other prayer to offer... thank you will suffice.


Spirituality or mysticism is not neccessiarly the same thing as religiousity, though on they tend to overlap. You can be deeply religious and have very little in the way of a true spirituality within you.

Indeed there is a strain of deep mysticism that maintains the only honest approach or stance to take is one of agnosticism... I do not know... which is of course true. Rumi takes this stance.



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by ALightinDarkness
reply to post by Quazga
 
I know many people coming to the opposite conclusion - most people realize belief in nothing is extraordinarily easy, and is the result of their mind trying to give them an excuse to do whatever they want.


Please stop it, you sound ridiculous. I'm sure people could just switch to a less strict religion. After all, belief is something you just have to click your heels together and wish for, right?

I really am sick of this nonsense argument. Atheism is perhaps the most difficult thing to accept. Once you've come to realize that there is most likely absolutely NOTHING after death, the reality and terror of your mortality becomes apparent.

One day you will die, you cannot run, you cannot hide. Perhaps you can put it off for awhile, but you cannot get away. One doesn't believe this because one wants to. Are you kidding. I wish every day that I somehow become stupid enough to believe in a religion. Then at least if it isn't true I won't know it and therefore won't be terrified that I MUST die.

Sadly, I became aware of the fairy tale nature of religion at nine years old, and it's something that still isn't easy to live with. I wasn't trying to justify immoral behavior at nine, I was simply coming face to face with the grim nature of reality.

I am not 100% though. I have a small inkling of belief that conciousness may not be completely over at death. But whatever happens isn't known by any earth religion, and might even be discovered by science on day.

As a matter of fact, perhaps scientists already know the answer, but to make such information public would officially destroy every religion on earth.



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 08:52 AM
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I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbour such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms. (Albert Einstein, obituary in New York Times, 19 April 1955)



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 08:55 AM
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The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge. Albert Einstein.



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 09:38 AM
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Some of you are not being honest with yourselves. Some of you make grand statements about the ignorant masses who believe in God, and then demand proof of His existence. Do you want the proof or not? Again, the proof is not is not in logic or reason, though using the intellect to strive towards the absolute may bring you close if you are working hard enough at it.



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 11:35 AM
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i have to admit i had turned agnostic/atheistic about 20 years ago when I couldn't figure out why a God of love would only choose a certain group of people (jews, or christians, or muslims) and then elevate these people above everyone else. just recently though i discovreed that all of the major religions of the world evolved from one common one... so i'm quite happy to be able to believe in God again! (smile)



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 12:53 PM
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reply to post by Lethil
 


something can't come from nothing. i have more respect for life than to say we came from a big bang. People tie God and religion together way too much. Man made religion.



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 02:11 PM
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Originally posted by Sunsetspawn
I really am sick of this nonsense argument. Atheism is perhaps the most difficult thing to accept. Once you've come to realize that there is most likely absolutely NOTHING after death, the reality and terror of your mortality becomes apparent.


I'm really sick of this denial of truth. I have no problem with atheists - believe what you want - but don't be fooled into thinking you somehow are being a intellectual warrior. Atheism is easy to accept, because it means you are now free from any moral constraints should you choose to walk down that path - after all - all you can do is be killed for your actions, and after that you don't ever have to worry about anything again.


Originally posted by Sunsetspawn
One day you will die, you cannot run, you cannot hide. Perhaps you can put it off for awhile, but you cannot get away. One doesn't believe this because one wants to. Are you kidding. I wish every day that I somehow become stupid enough to believe in a religion. Then at least if it isn't true I won't know it and therefore won't be terrified that I MUST die.


Yes, you do believe this because you want to. Believe in atheism or deism is a choice, and it is usually not entirely rational. You want to believe in atheism because it presents you with the best way of rationalizing your actions. It doesn't hurt that bashing religion and God is a popular fad that the media programs you to do, and you think your intellectual doing it.


Originally posted by Sunsetspawn
Sadly, I became aware of the fairy tale nature of religion at nine years old, and it's something that still isn't easy to live with. I wasn't trying to justify immoral behavior at nine, I was simply coming face to face with the grim nature of reality.


Sadly, I became aware of the pseudo-intellectualism and hidden arrogance of atheism at just 12 years old, when it was becoming popular and trendy to proclaim god was dead. I could have joined the crowd and been free of any sort of morality constraints while being praised as smart by my peers, but sadly, I decided to look at the evidence.


Originally posted by Sunsetspawn
I am not 100% though. I have a small inkling of belief that conciousness may not be completely over at death. But whatever happens isn't known by any earth religion, and might even be discovered by science on day.


Ah, the arrogance of atheism. Surely you've studied all of the worlds religion, spent months each with the monks of different faiths, looked deeply into their claims. Thats why you can proclaim that no religion is correct OR...your just buying into the media trend. Congrats, your trendy.

Ultimately, I could care less. Believe what you want. I realize its popular and trendy among pseudo-intellectuals to bash God and religion. I know this has been endorsed and backed by the mass media ATS claims to know the truth behind. But in the end, rabid atheists are just as bad as rabid religious zealots.



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 02:21 PM
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reply to post by ALightinDarkness
 


If this were true, then there would be no death bed conversions.

I'm not talking about some 30 somethings. I'm talking about every 30 something I know.

You don't rebel against institutions when you are 30, you do that when you are much younger. At 30 you *are* part of the institutions. And these people I know are not rebelling against any other institution. They are getting married, having children, have corporate jobs etc, but they have stopped believing in God.

Why? The biggest reason I get is "Look at all of the people who *do* believe in God, they are a bunch of hate mongering bigots who start wars"

And although this is an over generalization of the faith based people in our world, it *is* the single biggest contributing factor as to why people have stopped believing.

Keep in mind, they are not atheists, they have just stopped believing, and have continued with their secular lives as if nothing has happened other than an enlightenment. It's like when you stopped believing in Santa Claus. You didn't become Anti-Claus, you just realized it was a harmless well intended sham.

As for morality, these people who have stopped believing in God are also the most moral people I know. Why? Because it is not a belief in God that makes people moral. It's not a fear of "what might happen after I die" that makes people moral. Morals are anything that maintain the accepted social norms of a society. And these people are all about normality.


You seem to think that someone who doesn't believe in God is somehow deluded. And I just don't see why you would think something like this.


[edit on 14-6-2008 by Quazga]



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by Majal
 


LOL! I never mentioned evolution at all in my post. I was refering to the big bang theory, which doesn't have anything whatsoever to do with the life on Earth argument. The Big Bang Theory purely tries to answer the "Where did the universe come from?" question. I have become giddy with delight over the fact that you just attacked my post over a position I didn't even allude to, let alone state a position on. Thank you for proving my earlier point. The entire "open minded vs closed minded" argument is the ultimate lesson in hypocritical thought patterns. Basically what you're saying anytime you invoke that argument is "If you disagree with me, you are closed minded... however, I can get around having to agree with you on any point merely by saying "anyone who agrees with you is clearly disagreeing with me, and, therefore is closed minded as well." It's actually quite a bit like dog poop telling cat crap that it smells bad.



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by Quazga
 


Oh but there would be. No matter how bad we want to believe something, we always wonder if the other side was right. On their death bed, deists will wonder if their belief in God meant obeying morality in a way that constrained their experiences, which they may have been doing all for nothing. Likewise, atheists on their death bed will wonder if their attempts to do whatever they wanted could all get them into trouble on the basis of the possibility that God does exist.

I work in an environment where most of the people are in their 30s (post docs, older graduate students). In one of the most liberal, atheist havens you could dream about. Most people are firm in their deism or atheism. Those who are switching towards atheism are doing so based on it being trendy to rebel against religion. I agree it is not normally usual to do this, but we live in a different world where people's moral development is altered by the media pumping anti-religion propaganda into them 24/7 - so I would expect by now people of all ages being susceptible to the fad.

Your own post reveals this - anyone ignorant enough to claim people who believe in god are "hate mongering bigots and war starters" are clearly a part of the need to be trendy. There is no thoughtful analysis of the data in that, no examination of the facts. There is only a desperate need to join the fad which they are encouraged to by the media.

There are people who don't believe in God who truly have that basis on rational thought and examination of the evidence. They are rare. Most of them pull the same line you did - which is a sign of being deluded by media propaganda.

You know how you can tell who is an atheist who does not believe on the basis of actual examination of the facts? He or she does not couch her beliefs as a system against religion, nor does he or she use the opportunity to gleefully bash religion and use every angle to be derogatory against it. Unfortunately...those people are the minority on ATS, and the world.

[edit on 14-6-2008 by ALightinDarkness]



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 03:03 PM
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reply to post by ALightinDarkness
 


Look, I agree that there are lots of atheists who are simply anti-religion. As much as there plenty of religious "believers" who are anti-secular.


If an Atheist truly understood the fallacy of why people believe in God, then they would also have to accept the fallacy of the belief in Self. Ego is not a tangible item, yet they continue to believe in that.

What I am saying is can't you understand someone who isn't anti-religion, but just doesn't believe in God? I know for a fact, that anything someone claims to "know" is simply a belief. And I too cringe at "arrogance" because it comes from all people, atheists and believers.

What I think you are blind to, due to your own experiences, is the fact that someone can simply not believe in God.

Let me give you an example. I will go to Church when things are rough in life because when I sing the songs in a joyous way along with other people, I feel a lot better. Now, this isn't any different than when I go to a concert and sing songs with others who like the same band. I can get the same thing from a Hootie and the Blowfish concert as I can from the local mega church. But, the mega church is closer.

The truth is, when used right, the religious experience is a great "mood enhancer". But just because the pill works, doesn't mean that I have to think it's magic.

When I was in boot camp, *everyone* went to Church on Sunday, even the atheists. Because it was the only time off, and everyone needed to recharge our batteries. It was the experience we were all after, the doctrine was just dressing.



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 04:05 PM
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I think French Universities must be the place atheists dream of.

Harris Poll: belief in god

US = 72%

France = 28%

And the French are hated the world over.

But seriously, yeah, it's stunning. When you compare the higher levels of academia, the numbers of believers just drops off. Think it's something like 7% believing in a personal god in the NAS, 10 times greater in the general US population. Was around 28% in 1914, 15% in 1933.

Of course, these top academics are just faddish atheists so they can go and have one night stands, murder babies, and consume coc aine. I'm sure if you compare the stats their immorality would be obvious.

Lets compare some current examples.

Richard Weinberg. NAS member. Atheist. Hypocritical Meth taking homosexual.

Elizabeth Loftus. NAS member. Atheist. Incarcerated tax dodging fraud with a degree mill PhD.

Kent Hovind. Scientific expert who studies dinosaurs. Christian. Humble and honest. Saves fluffy puppies from atheists. Uses the Flinstones to teach children the truth.

Ted Haggard. Evangelical Minister. Christian. Spends his weekend witnessing in gay clubs with his buddy, Hal. Won Nobel Prize for Curing homosexuality.

[edit on 14-6-2008 by melatonin]



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 04:42 PM
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This is ridiculous. Your mind isn't going to prove or disprove the existence of God. On either side. It's a game whereby each side gets to vent, but neither side is listening to the other. Who has the more clever argument? Who's committing a logical fallacy? Gotcha! It's just ridiculous.

If you don't believe in God, that is your choice. I don't believe in God either. I know He exists. Even if you find a purely physicalist or reductive explanation for the transcendent experience of God (let's say, in the line of Julian Jaynes' work), you still have to deal with the fact of the experience of unity with the godhead.

You can be pissy, and pout all you want because you think God should just hand you proof - as if you are just entitled - or you can put in a little effort and see for yourself. Arguments aren't going to get you there. That's all you need to know.



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 04:57 PM
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reply to post by heliosprime
 


Our insignifigance in the grand scheme of this vast universe/multiverse was never in question. IMO, Atheists feel no less awe in the grandness of the universe than those who have a firm belief in a creator. Atheists see no less beauty in a universe without a god.

I may not completely agree with the atheistic view, but to think that somehow our utter insignificance in this universe points to god being real is another man-made fallacy.

Just like all the religions of the world which don't agree with one another. It is proof that religion is a man-made product that is at odds with what a true well-meaning god would condone. Man will always kill his fellow man, therefore religion will always be a faulted system based up on the very foundation of the flaws of mankind.

Therefore, to think religion is somehow a path to purity and truth is also a fallacy. You only believe what you are willing to accept as truth. For smarter people, it's not as easy as listening to a well-meant sermon and believing everything in the bible. When you look at the facts, religion has always been evil because man has always been capable of such evils.

That entire concept/mode of thinking shows how religion is inevitably flawed! It is a faith that can only be described as blind to it's own eternal impurity regardless of what anyone believes about God, holiness, purity, and the universe.

-ChriS



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 06:27 PM
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reply to post by Quazga
 


The problem is there isn't a "fallacy about why people believe in god," just as there isn't a fallacy behind why atheists don't believe in god. I think what you are blind to is the fact that most people who don't believe in God aren't really thinking about anything other than the fact its trendy and popular to do so.

Atheism is like its own pill - belief in nothing gives you freedom to do things that may be socially taboo, even if not illegal. It allows you to rebel, and best of all, feel smug and intellectual about yourself. Its a good pill. I'm all for it. But just because it works doesn't mean its anything more than a carefully crafted illusion.

As I said, I have no problem with atheists - whether they are that way to be trendy and be cool while bashing religion, or whether they have actually thought about what they are saying.

[edit on 14-6-2008 by ALightinDarkness]



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