Are atheists more intelligent than religious believers? Study suggests such a correlation

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posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 12:30 AM
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I was strongly pushed by my best childhood friend and her parents to go to church (they took me for a while because my family doesn't go) and my mother has in the last dozen years (after a very traumatic event) become very religious. Needless to say these were very influential people to my development. Yet even with my malleable young mind I could only accept the concept of religion briefly and incompletely, which was more baffling to me as a child than anything I think I had encountered. It was also painfully dull. I now think they stopped bringing me because I wasn't buying it. One encounter that I vividly remember was when those at church tried to get me to pray and I kept saying I hope blah blah happens, and each time they tried to correct me, and then eventually they gave up.
Guess God had other plans for this one.


I want to say that although I think the abstract and the study itself may be for the purpose of denigrating religion, and thus biased, I still agree with the thesis. I don't know my IQ (an arbitrary figure), but I have an extremely analytical mind, am always pondering what ifs, and I cruised through school without much work because of my memory. I for one think the study is right in a sense; .6 correlation is relatively strong and so there must be something to it. Jews have to study a lot and learn a difficult language to officially become jewish, and "jewish" people aren't necessarily religious, which would explain their placement either way it was measured. And anglicans...well I don't have an answer for that, could be a statistical anomaly.

I would like to see a poll on ATS of what exact religion folks are. I don't think I'd be here if I hadn't always been questioning and wondering, particularly at our sham of a government. On the other hand Christians are generally taught to be distrustful of government and some atheists lean on government to protect them via separation of church and state, so I don't know if I could draw any conclusions from it. It would still be interesting.




posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 12:31 AM
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reply to post by OmegaPoint
 


Have you not heard of Monkey Jesus? Nor the Primate Bible? Perhaps you do not realize it is the Howl of He who Reigns from the Highest Tree - He who Swings from the Longest Vine.

Many have tried to slander the Howl and Screech of Monkey Jesus - and all have failed.

He who Reigns from the Highest Tree and teaches of the Golden Banana is my Father - And Monkey Jesus is his hairy son.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 12:32 AM
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Like Sam Harris said.A religious person can be smart enough to build a nuclear bomb,yet stupid enough to think that if he detonates it 40 virgins will be waiting for him in heaven.I think religious people are intelligent and rational UNTIL it comes to their religious beliefs.Thats when they throw all that intelligence and rational thinking into a sack and stamp on it repeatedly.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 12:37 AM
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reply to post by makinho21
 


By the way, I agree with some others that you should probably change your avatar. Except that, I think, you should put two more monkey heads on it and add a sprite of Guybrush Threepwood shedding a tear.

As it is now it might cause confusion between the Hindu monkey god Hanuman, and a faction of Hindus who believe that Jesus was an reincarnation of Krishna, the avatar of Vishnu.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 12:46 AM
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reply to post by makinho21
 





Belief in an afterlife and worship of a god to make sure you get to paradise or any other heaven-type sanctuary is a waste of one's life. Not believing in a god and salvation, for me, makes life immeasurably more beautiful and means our actions and treatment of others is that much more important - we only get one chance to do things right.


It's the difference between a comedy and a tragedy. Theowarner, I think, sums up the argument beautifully in his video "Why we want our gods to die a bloody death".



So it could be argued that (broadly speaking) theism is a comedy, while atheism is a tragedy. Which would you prefer? A happy and idyllic life in blind faith and metaphysical promises, or a bittersweet and beautiful tragedy in understanding (to the best of our ability) the apparent true nature of the world around us?

Why we want our gods to die a bloody death, is the skizm between comedy and tragedy - between the belief system, and the reality we face every day. We often project our realities, our tragedies, onto that of the comedies of our gods.



[edit on 28-7-2009 by Lasheic]



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 12:56 AM
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Originally posted by jd140

Originally posted by makinho21
reply to post by jd140
 


You are speaking out of ignorance and are attempting to portray that stupid argument "both sides require faith"...which is a truly and unbelievably ignorant thing to say. Atheists don't have a god; it is not "randomness" and we do not worship it.
I have already linked to this video a few times, but I suggest you watch it (but I bet you won't because you are too cool for school.):

www.youtube.com...

Maybe you'll open your eyes for once.
Also what purpose did your comment have regarding my OP? It seems you just wanted to do some bashing yourself. Good for you, let that theologian anger out!




I don't see where I was bashing anyone.

I watched your video and it didn't explain to me anything that I haven't heard from atheists before.

My eyes are wide open thank you very much. That is why I don't follow any religion. That includes Atheism, which is very much a religion. I never said you worship randomness.

There is that rudeness atheists have rearing its ugly head again. I thought we moved past that on page one. As far as my off topic posts, I would ask that you see that I was merely replying to another post. One that you must have mistakenly skipped over or the posts that Republican08 and I shared on pages 1 and 2 that you seemed to not have a problem with.

I know it is very nice and attractive, but I must ask you to get off my butt.


"Randomness is the atheists God."

"They can't explain how it all started so instead of saying God did it they just say that it was a chain of random occurences."

If you call randomness my god you are asserting it is similar to the god religious people believe in, and that usually entails worship. Perhaps you didn't mean it that way, but that's what it breaks down to - for me ofcourse. For me that also carries over as 'bashing' because you have no backing for the statement but you made it as if it was true. I don't really care though - again perhaps you weren't intentional in that sense, but your making a joke out of Atheism - which specifically means "not theist", therefore how can Atheists have a god, regardless of whether it is a long-haired hippy or "randomness". This is bashing...but it makes little difference.
Atheism is not religion. You can say what you want, but unless you provide facts and evidence to support that claim, no one will agree with you (except ofcourse born-agains and evangelicals, and that sort).
If you think I am being rude, I don't really care - you aren't providing a thoughtful approach to your stance regarding both my OP and now this "randomness" garbage - if you can only get upset as a reaction to my responses and not add anything constructive, maybe it's time to look at a different thread eh?

As for being off-topic - it is. However, I am not allowed to agree with someone? I am not starting a new argument (atleast I didn't intend to), I just was thanking John and the other poster for their comments, and wanted to add a bit to it. It ofcourse is off-topic, but I see nothing wrong with that.

You went off-topic to simply assert some silly fact about Atheists that you contrived yourself - that is off-topic, but it is not adding to the discussion, because your intention from the get go was to apply your view and not back it. That warrants being addressed in my opinion. Whine about it if you like, but it is what it is.
Your ignorance reminds me of religious people - you sure you aren't one?



[edit on 28-7-2009 by makinho21]



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 01:02 AM
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reply to post by jd140
 




That is why I don't follow any religion. That includes Atheism, which is very much a religion.


Atheism is a religion, in the same way that bald is a hair color. Yet the analogy can be made that Atheism is a religion in the way that 0 (zero) is a number.

There's a subtle difference between the two, which I think you're missing. Your analysis lacks context and understanding, I think.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 01:12 AM
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reply to post by makinho21
 


The way you defend Atheism is the same way a person would defend their religion.

First it starts with calling those with differant beliefs ignorant. Which atheists have been doing for a while now.

Then comes trying to force your way of thinking on others. Which atheists have been doing for a while.


Christianity started this way also. For not being a religion, atheism sure is mimicing one.


I am sure I don't follow a religion. All you religion followers are to uptight about your beliefs, you don't leave any room for the chance that you might be wrong.

Reply if you wish, I am done arguing your religion with you.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 01:14 AM
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reply to post by Lasheic
 


You may not like it, but that is the way it is.

I gave some good examples in my post above, if you need further comparisons just ask.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 01:30 AM
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reply to post by jd140
 




Christianity started this way also.


Please, by all means elaborate... because I don't think you have it quite right. Christianity was little more than a fringe sect of Judaism hardly worth considering until Nero used them as a scape goat and started the persecutions. Then Constantine used them by turning his civil war bid for the Emperor's throne into a "holy war" sanctioned by JC - he unified them by conversion, and later by committee at the Council of Nicaea to weed out the troublesome splinter sects and unify the major sects under one banner. His banner.

Christianity has been a political and social tool, possibly from the very moment of inception.

Atheism, however, is non-unified and traces it's roots back well into pre-history. Certain philosophical movements (such as atomism and naturalism) attach themselves very well to Atheism, and attract Atheists, but thus far has never been used as a political tool to the best of my knowledge.

At best, secularism is the closest approximate political and social tool to Atheism - but it's far more aligned with Agnosticism or "Apatheism". The school of "I don't care who your sky daddy is, let's keep our policies based on purely human interaction".



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 01:31 AM
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Originally posted by jd140
reply to post by makinho21
 


The way you defend Atheism is the same way a person would defend their religion.

First it starts with calling those with differant beliefs ignorant. Which atheists have been doing for a while now.

Then comes trying to force your way of thinking on others. Which atheists have been doing for a while.


Christianity started this way also. For not being a religion, atheism sure is mimicing one.


I am sure I don't follow a religion. All you religion followers are to uptight about your beliefs, you don't leave any room for the chance that you might be wrong.

Reply if you wish, I am done arguing your religion with you.



Are you done because you have nothing valid to add? I called your statement about "randomness" ignorant buddy, because, really, you DIDN'T provide any basis for it other than to simply say it is true. I am not trying to attack you, but if you make claims like that I will respond and question you. So far you have failed to provide evidence or factual backing, but you continue to posit these statements that misrepresent this "religion" you say I believe in.
It seems you just don't like being told something that differs from your view - which is exactly what you say Atheists, myself, are doing. Maybe you are in a little religious bubble of your own, if that is your premise.
Lets call it JDism....
Just because it upsets you doesn't mean it is wrong or it is an attack. Atheists defend themselves because we want to distance ourselves from believing unjustified supernatural beings. This is an illogical way of thinking.
Also - Atheists don't pretend to have an explanation for the start of the earth *some do, but my point is Atheism is not science*
You can still agree with "random" occurrence, as you put it, and believe in a god.
Atheism is the rejection of a deity which has been defined by it's believers - I have stated this many times. Peace buddy



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 01:47 AM
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Originally posted by Republican08


Just the little stunts in thinking that IMO Religious people tend to lack.

ATSers I know get the undergarments unbunched, most of you believe in deities or deity, but i'm talking main general public.

I also tend to believe it's an 'easier' thought to believe in a deity, than it is, to believe their isn't one. There is no god, and that corrupts the mind with new ideas and belief systems, which could be very astounding.



If that were true, then why were some of the greatest purveyors of our modern Scientific, and Mathematical systems adherents of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity? You forget that such subject areas had many of their systems developed in the Middle East, which is itself the cradle of the three aforementioned Religions.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 01:57 AM
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Originally posted by pieman
atheism offers as many easy answers as religion. believing unconditionally what science tells you is just as lazy as saying "god did it".


Believing unconditionally what science tells us?
I wonder where you got that lol.
Certainly not in the definition of atheism, which is simply a lack of belief in a deity.
Also, many scientists disagree in many areas... it's not a 'one book, all answers' type deal.


Originally posted by pieman
discounting the possibility of the divine based on belief is as stupid as attributing to the divine based on belief.


Very true. But then again, an atheist is not required to discount the possibility of a deity, it's simply a lack of belief.

Very simple logic: no evidence warrants no logical reason to believe.




Originally posted by pieman
both techniques involve making evidence fit belief, not fitting belief to evidence.


That's not really true (unless you enjoy painting with a broad brush).
It's not making evidence fit the belief, because as I said, it's not as much a belief as a lack of one. So no evidence is needed to fit anything because the evidence is what's lacking to begin with.
Atheism is the neutral stance.
There is no evidence therefore there is no reason to believe.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 02:00 AM
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Originally posted by Lasheic


Please, by all means elaborate... because I don't think you have it quite right. Christianity was little more than a fringe sect of Judaism hardly worth considering until Nero used them as a scape goat and started the persecutions. Then Constantine used them by turning his civil war bid for the Emperor's throne into a "holy war" sanctioned by JC - he unified them by conversion, and later by committee at the Council of Nicaea to weed out the troublesome splinter sects and unify the major sects under one banner. His banner.

Christianity has been a political and social tool, possibly from the very moment of inception.

Atheism, however, is non-unified and traces it's roots back well into pre-history. Certain philosophical movements (such as atomism and naturalism) attach themselves very well to Atheism, and attract Atheists, but thus far has never been used as a political tool to the best of my knowledge.

At best, secularism is the closest approximate political and social tool to Atheism - but it's far more aligned with Agnosticism or "Apatheism". The school of "I don't care who your sky daddy is, let's keep our policies based on purely human interaction".



Christianity actually began at the behest of John the Baptist, whose teachings were then carried on by Jesus, and then Paul. They were persecuted by the Jews before the Romans even gave much of a difference.

Of course religion is a Social medium, as it unites believers, and brings followers together under a set code of conduct and understanding. Before Judeo-Christianity came about however, ritualistic orgies, murders, and sacrifices were common place amongst other belief systems.

As for Atheism not being used as a political tool, well, it is being used in such a manner on a daily and constant basis. Atheism is no different in its use from Religion, the only difference however is that Atheists lack faith and trust in something greater than themselves, or what their limited minds can define. Atheism = Narrow mindedness, and an inability to conceive of greater influences existing in this World.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 02:03 AM
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Originally posted by TheAgentNineteen

Originally posted by Republican08


Just the little stunts in thinking that IMO Religious people tend to lack.

ATSers I know get the undergarments unbunched, most of you believe in deities or deity, but i'm talking main general public.

I also tend to believe it's an 'easier' thought to believe in a deity, than it is, to believe their isn't one. There is no god, and that corrupts the mind with new ideas and belief systems, which could be very astounding.



If that were true, then why were some of the greatest purveyors of our modern Scientific, and Mathematical systems adherents of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity? You forget that such subject areas had many of their systems developed in the Middle East, which is itself the cradle of the three aforementioned Religions.



Some are said to be, but when you start digging, you usually find that the classical greats were actually misrepresented as being religious by revisionist Christians who like to use them as an appeal to authority (see: Einstein).

You also forget that in those times, not adhering to whatever religion was that of those in power was a capital crime punishable by torture and/or execution. This would make any assertions of religious conviction unreliable at best, especially from scientists as they were scrutinized much more closely for blasphemous claims.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 02:31 AM
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Originally posted by pieman
an athiest says they know there is no god, they discount all possibility. at least be clear about where you stand. if you say there is no god, you believe without proof.


Why do people keep saying this? lol
It's ok... It's a commonly misunderstood word.. but...

Atheism, at its simplest form, means without theism.
Claiming a deities existence to be impossible is not a requirement.
It's not a belief, it's a lack of belief based on a lack of evidence.

A person claiming a deities existence is impossible DOES fall under the category of an atheist, but an atheist does not automatically fall under the category of a person who claims to know the impossible.



Originally posted by pieman
the way you are talking suggests you don't really understand what atheism is, it is the belief that there is no god, it is not the belief that there is no hard scientific evidence for god, this belief is held by theists and atheists alike. lets at least be clear on what it means to be atheist.


No, it seems you don't understand what atheism is lol...

What you're talking about is commonly referred to as 'strong atheism'

Here's a good link on the subject.

atheism.about.com...


You portraying all atheists as strong atheists would be like me portraying all Christians as fundamental, 6 day creation, 6000 year old earth, Bible thumpin', etc.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 02:38 AM
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reply to post by TheAgentNineteen
 


Atheism = Narrow mindedness, and an inability to conceive of greater influences existing in this World.

No, it's not an inability to 'conceive' of greater influences, it's an unwillingness to believe such things based on no evidence to speak of. Afterall, most atheists were religious at some stage in their lives - I was only a few years ago. Smart atheists won't rule out the possibility of the existence of god(s), because they can't, but the apparent indifference that nature has toward humanity suggests that there isn't a god, or at least not one that cares.


Also, Christianity didn't start with John the Baptist. If you wanna be accurate, it's best to say that it started with Zoroaster and Zoroastrianism which greatly influenced the Jews and their theologies. Christianity is just a rehash of the pagan beliefs before it. Some parts of Christianity (like the Trinity and Heaven & Hell, etc.) come virtually intact from the Ancient Egyptians with striking familiarity with Akhenaten's monotheism.


[edit on 28-7-2009 by Welfhard]



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 02:50 AM
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Atheism tends to subsribe to a materalist monist viewpoint (matter is primary) and in that sense, it is narrow minded or close minded in relation to a monistic idealism (consciousness is primary), which opens up the possibility of a universal "God"-consciousness, which is self aware - by any difinition, God. There are some paths of modern science which are leading to the idea of a universal "God-mind" as essential to existence as a prime mover, and that it involves consciousness, and self awareness, and as such would be imbued with such characteristics as omniscience, compassion, a perfect will, etc. etc.

This viewpoint arises from self aware being and non-locality.

The problem with the atheist position is that they are indeed locked up in it, by asking that God be shown them on a plate under glass. I would suggest that any hardened atheist at some point in their life, expose their mind to 5-MeO-'___', to get a flavour for the type of God most rational and scientifically minded believers are talking about and advocating for as a very distinct possibility.

Like I said, they MAY be more untelligent, up to the point where they are prepared to deny their own existence, before admitting to or ackowledging a creator God and a universal, self aware conscious being within whom exists everything in potentia and actuality.

The atheist lacks in imagination, and they begin with a fundamental presupposition that God cannot be proven, or experienced. And they are sadly mistaken in that regard. They are also very arrogant in my experience, re-affirmed again in reading this thread.



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 02:56 AM
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reply to post by OmegaPoint
 


Like I said, they MAY be more untelligent, up to the point where they are prepared to deny their own existence, before admitting to or ackowledging a creator God and a universal, self aware conscious being within whom exists everything in potentia and actuality.


Give an atheist reason to acknowledge a creator God, and he or she may. Your problem here is you think that most (or all) atheists do not wish a God to exist when it's simply not true. I'd love for a benevolent creator god to exist, I'd love to have reason to believe - but otherwise, it would just be wishful thinking.

[edit on 28-7-2009 by Welfhard]



posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 03:01 AM
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The thread has kinda drifted from a question about intelligence to a debate about Athiests and what "athiest" means? Where Christianity started?

Great thread btw. Interesting study...


I only have one problem with the study, almost everyone goes through some sort of religious path before they become athiests, or non - believers or whatever you want to call it (not my argument)? So theoretically speaking those who are Christian might still become athiest, bringing the average IQ down?





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