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Are atheists mentally ill? The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability

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posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 12:17 PM

Red or blue pill?

Exactly, you can take the lazy and cowardly path of having everything distilled into simple nonsense for you to blindly follow without any thinking or responsibility, or you can take the red pill and have to take responsibility for your own decisions, but also have more freedom and options.

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 12:20 PM
the study

The study, entitled, “The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity: A Meta-Analysis and Some Proposed Explanations,” found that, of the 63 studies, 53 had meta-data taken between the years of 1928 and 2012 that showed this negative correlation. Only 10 of the studies found a positive relationship between intelligence and religious views, according to the review’s authors.

The study’s use of intelligence only considered an analytic framework of intelligence and did not address the impact that other forms, such as creative and emotional intelligence, had on a person’s overall aptitude in relation to an individual’s religious identity. The study also narrowly defined a person’s religious influence as one’s involvement in part or all aspects of religious practice.

The study also noted that factors such as affluence, gender and educational experience did not seem to have any impact with regards to the correlation of one’s intelligence and religious belief, which also led to skepticism of the review given the historical and cultural impact has on a person’s religious beliefs and practice.

Atheists are more intelligent than religious people? That's ‘sciencism’ at its worst

It’s not that researchers are dishonest but that they like anyone else suffer from a tendency to discover what they already suspect. In the current era where religion is increasingly associated with out-dated beliefs, dubious traditions, dogma and prejudice it is inevitable that the authority of science will be harnessed to prove the religious stupid. Is it any surprise that in a smug tweet Richard Dawkins refers to this meta-analysis with feigned surprise as to why the cleverness of atheists should even be questioned? [...]

Regrettably the mantra “research shows” has become a substitute for a critical engagement of views. Devaluing the intelligence of your opponents is what children do when they call one another stupid. It absolves its practitioners from taking the arguments of their opponents seriously.

As an atheist I take an exception to the claim that my views are the product of my intelligence.

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 12:20 PM
reply to post by Stormdancer777

Spite was not the reason, getting people to think was the reason.

Spite never crossed my mind.

I just want to add here that I think your reasoning is very solid on this. The vast majority of our planet's population identifies as religious and a good many of them, devout or practicing religious. Atheists are, like my own faith, a super-minority world wide. In that sole way, I can kinda relate but it makes understanding harder. As a Wiccan, I'd never entertain the idea of going out to bash other's faith while holding out my own (or lack of one, as it may be) as the answer or the better path.

To each their own and to each the respect we'd like shown to our own beliefs. That's been my motto since actually winning a debate against a born against Christian as a teenager. I can't describe what it feels like to realize, even as a kid, you've destroyed another person's whole core of living. The guy was going through a crisis of Faith as a very strong believer and, being a snot nosed punk as I was at the time, I exploited it to the max for the running debate we'd had for a long time. I guess I hit the right points..because I really turned his passing crisis into a life my eternal shame.

Respect given is respect returned. Why is it SO hard for some to grasp that very basic concept?

edit on 17-8-2013 by wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 12:21 PM
reply to post by CB328

take responsibility for your own decisions,

What makes you think they don't?

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 12:23 PM

Originally posted by dominicus

Originally posted by AngryCymraeg

Originally posted by jimmyx
atheists are actually able to handle the idea there is no god, no heaven, and no devil, all the while being able to function socially, as well as in a well-adjusted family setting. critical-thought is as strong as human passion, letting neither interfere to much, or too little, in our relationships with others.

We also don't wave bibles in people's faces, whitter on about sin and above all we don't have hypocritical preachers on TV who claim to have healed the leg of a mechanic in Wyoming and who now want all their viewers to send in $100 so that their good works can continue.
And above all there is no atheist version of Pat Robertson. For which I am very, very grateful.

But you do have a rise in Militant Atheists, who are hell-bent(pun intended) on pronouncing their own views, their own Church-less groups, meeting places, their own version of the God-less Bible, Preachers in Dawkins, Harris,Hitchens, who make millions from their books sales, conferences, videos, merch sales....

It's funny how standing on the sidelines, the two don't look that different to me

hitchens is dead...please... "militant atheists"? how is "pronouncing their own views", "groups" and making money off of meetings and conferences "militant" in any way...."militant" is defined as engaged in warfare or combat.
religions have that definition all to themselves, with millions dead to show for their beliefs

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 12:24 PM

Originally posted by NeoParadigm
reply to post by Stormdancer777

Fair enough, the title and article were a bit inflammatory though, but like I said some good points were made.

It was meant to be funny, in an ironic sort of way.

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 12:30 PM
reply to post by jimmyx

Jimmy, true, but in communist atheist societies of the past, millions dead.

With this understood, the Soviet Union appears the greatest megamurderer of all, apparently killing near 61,000,000 people. Stalin himself is responsible for almost 43,000,000 of these. Most of the deaths, perhaps around 39,000,000 are due to lethal forced labor in gulag and transit thereto. Communist China up to 1987, but mainly from 1949 through the cultural revolution, which alone may have seen over 1,000,000 murdered, is the second worst megamurderer. Then there are the lesser megamurderers, such as North Korea and Tito's Yugoslavia. /ex]

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 12:39 PM


Atheist fool psychiatrists are mentally ill, schizos see the true world of spirits.

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 12:49 PM

Originally posted by Stormdancer777
reply to post by gotya

You know that is not what I meant, and these people are not Christians.

I am not sure what they are

Let's introduce a new word for them:

Holygan: (a)theist picking a fight by means of provocation or trolling.

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 12:57 PM
reply to post by Stormdancer777

It is quite pointless on taking history as an example to be honest. Times were too different. The environment shapes people a lot. Most of these scientists were born into a religious family, raised into becoming religious and their whole life lived in a religious society. It is not easy, if not nearly impossible to changes one´s beliefs so significantly when reaching adulthood.

Far more informative would be a statistics of famous scientists who lived in a non-religious regions, were raised in a non-religious family and decided to convert themselves into some religion. Why is it different from the opposite, some may ask? In one situation you are being taught something, you have to unlearn it, which is not easy, after being preached it possibly over 15 years. In the other situation, you are not simply taught it. In non-believer families, religion is not simply a topic. You are not taught that something is true or something is false. At the end it is up to you to choose. Most smart people tend to be curious about things and it is very uncommon at least at some point taking a look at religions, although there simply is no evidence, nothing that could even hint at the existance of a bibilical god, except a very old book, which is supposedly written by God, and a large number of people believing in that - at the same time as a business it is worth billions of dollar, historically it has been used to control people and surpress knowledge which contradicts the biblical story etc etc. It is very hard to find arguments for it. Even though I am not professional biologist or theoretical physist, I would rather share my beliefs with people whose beliefs are based on evidence being investigated using scientific method, which after all given us machinery, electronics, airplanes, space travel etc etc.

If we take a look at the intellectual minds nowadays, a very large majority of people getting a Master´s Degree in any scientifical field are non-religious. There is far more choice Personally I have yet to meet a religious person at university, have learned in 3 different universities for over 6 years total, made over 3000 contacts, although I have yet to meet a religious person... Although I live in one of the least religious areas in the world also, with less than 20% being religious, in some countries less than 10%.

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 01:23 PM

So which is the smart party, here? Is it the atheists, who live short, selfish, stunted little lives – often childless – before they approach hopeless death in despair, and their worthless corpses are chucked in a trench (or, if they are wrong, they go to Hell)? Or is it the believers, who live longer, happier, healthier, more generous lives, and who have more kids, and who go to their quietus with ritual dignity, expecting to be greeted by a smiling and benevolent God?

When you put it that way, maybe we should all pick up a bible and start brainwashing ourselves

First i would like evidence of Religion being imperative to "social stability"

*Waiting patiently*

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 01:28 PM
reply to post by Stormdancer777

Religion has been responsible for some of the greatest achievements and worst atrocities in our history.

I believe in an invisible diety.

To each to their own.

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 01:30 PM

Are atheists mentally ill?

Some are. Some Christians are too. Some Buddhists as well.
Ditto the Wiccans, Muslims, Hindus ... etc etc

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 01:37 PM
As you say.. tit for tat.

There was a time when senior Roman Catholic clerics, popes and cardinals, the heads of the various monastic orders and doctrinal colleges, wielded enormous secular and political power. Princes bowed to them. They dictated terms to kings. Pope Gregory VII made the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry IV, wait in the snow before the gates of Canossa for three days before consenting to receive him.

Such men could not be anything but highly intelligent. They got where they were by using every power at their disposal, and the ones who reached the highest positions of the church were the absolute elite, the crème de la crème – the most intelligent men in Europe. No doubt some of them were too worldly, corrupt or simply pragmatic to concern themselves much with spiritual matters, but this was an age of faith, and only a few could have been unbelievers. History records any number of instances of private devotion, self-denial, self-mortification and self-sacrifice to show that many were indeed men of consuming faith.

So yes, some believers – and not just the princes of the Catholic Church – are, indeed, highly intelligent. I know plenty of smart, religious people. My friends aren't stupid, and quite a lot of them have faith of some sort or another. At school I was taught by some very intelligent men, most of whom were convinced Christians.

Personally, I think it's more a case of religion making people stupid. It doesn't have this effect on everyone. It depends, I think, on how seriously you take it – how big a part of your life it is – and how you interpret it. If you let it take over your life it makes you stupid, just as anything you let take over your life makes you stupid. If you accept foolish things unexamined because you believe this is asked of you by your faith, it makes you stupid. If you need it as a crutch, or a moral compass, or as a key part of your definition of yourself, it's making you stupid.

In the end, I suppose, it depends on how stupid – or, more positively, how smart – you are to begin with. If you have sufficient native intelligence, you may find it easy to make religious belief work for you, to the point where it is actually a personal strength and a source of confidence. Or you may be smart enough to dispense with all of that, and see religion for what it really is – for better or worse – whether you continue to believe in God or not.

But it is people who are not very smart who, I think, find most comfort in religion. Bewildered by the world, lost in a maze of conflicting social demands and moral confusion, they are grateful for the comfort it offers them. Let's not forget that those princes of the Church I spoke of earlier exercised power over millions of almost inarticulate peasants, whose faith was probably far stronger than theirs. And it was this faith – this comfort for the straitened, bewildered mind – that enabled them so to rule.

edit on 17/8/13 by Astyanax because: of corruption.

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 01:39 PM

Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by Stormdancer777

Wow. I'm a little offended you didn't put much effort into that besides copy and pasting. Surely we atheists deserve a little more enthusiasm than that? Where's the cat fighting and the accusations and the bible thumping righteous indignation? At least make it interesting!

AfterInfinity has a point, I think there are some good arguments that could be made by religious or spiritual people if they weren't afraid to use science and empirical methods and such. Well, that's kind of post-atheism more than religion I guess.

So a post-Atheist argument for religion would be that it does help stabilize society, as evidenced by the study you mentioned, and stabilize individuals as well. It does help when there is some kind of common belief system for people to congregate around, a common culture.

If you look at atheism, if people are trying to find some common ground, it is going to be quite a painful process - for the common ground shifts as fast as the tides, but quite more randomly and such.

Religion and science are meant to work together. I know they fight a lot, that's because they kind of have to listen to each other and fighting is a way of communicating with someone you like.

Religion provides the social backbone that allows people and society to function, while science is for exploration and such. It really is irrelevant about whether or not "God" exists,

Certainly the monotheistic God that has turned itself into thousands of different versions patently does NOT - just by the previous statement alone.
edit on 17-8-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 01:43 PM
I go back and forth (when my wife got sick I did not work) when I use to get in a tight spot I prayed worked...I'm still here
..when I bought 2512 shares of Sprint a few weeks ago at $5.79 and it hit $7.26 I said, "thank you due diligence (and God)" when I am not sure if God exist...I can't help it! I just don't know. Its all crazy.

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 01:44 PM
I just LOVE how Christers like to boast about their numbers, "the vast majority of Americans are Christians", yadda yadda yadda, but when confronted with people who hold up signs that say "God Hates Fags" in the name of THEIR GOD, their response is, "those aren't Christians".

As has been mentioned, the question is one of logic. Some have it and others clearly do not.
Threads like this are disgusting. But it IS a slow day. Two more weeks until football. Thank the lord. Then I will have better things to do than lurk ATS and read a bunch of nonsense.

Good day and God Bless.

ETA: I also really enjoy the persecution ploy employed by our thread author here.

As if I couldn't find a thousand other threads and posts authored by bible bashers slandering people who DARE question their dogma. From Jews to Islamists, to atheists. Give me a break.
edit on 17-8-2013 by JayinAR because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 01:55 PM
reply to post by JayinAR

It has been a slow month on A.T.S., which reminds me...

Ah! I can't find the article, but it was about historians in the future remarking that it was a beautiful August month before all # broke loose in September.

I think I am going to go enjoy some slow news time, thanks for reminding me.
edit on 17-8-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 02:05 PM

Originally posted by Stormdancer777
reply to post by gotya

You know that is not what I meant, and these people are not Christians.

I am not sure what they are

Those people ARE Christians, and they have Bible verses to back up their claims. They may be a minority, but they're a very vocal minority. They are little different from that church who had the 4 year old on stage singing "A'int no homo gonna make to heaven", or your Jesus Camp people. or Tammy Faye and Jimmy Baker, or Pat Robertson, Ted Haggard, or the "pro-lifers" that want to outlaw contraception.

Not all the religious need the reins held by someone else while they dismount from their high horse, but, there is a leaning among religious communities that fosters anti-social behavior, and seeks to separate "us from them".

Many folks, who have grown up and out of their religious upbringing, evolve into atheists. Some are more comfortable there, and other continue to their evolution into a more congenial spirituality.

One CAN be spiritual and still be agnostic, rejecting the Biblical God and it's trappings. As well, one can believe in the Biblical God and still be able to cope in society that rejects it's laws. It's all about balance.

posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 02:44 PM

Christians get a lot of abuse on this forum

The difference being that they ACTUALLY deserve it.

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