Discussion in 'Religion and Lighthearted Discussion' started by weswelker#83, Jun 12, 2008.
God makes you stupid, researchers claim
OK, so you borrowed the headline from the article you linked to to title your post, but in fact it's not very accurate per the research cited. The gist of what I read is not that belief in God makes you stupid, but rather it's stupidity that makes you believe in God. Not that this makes much difference.
I think he was joking. But I'd put it like this: Having a lower IQ makes it easier to believe in god.
I don't believe in "god" but I know a lot of really smart people who do and a lot of really stupid people who don't. So I'm not sure what you were trying to say, Wildo...beyond just taking a cheap shot at people who believe, I mean.
That really has nothing to do with what I said. A lower IQ person is more likely to believe in god. That's a statistical correlation, not a causation. The smartest man in the world could believe in god and that statement would still be true. But, if you have a lower IQ, you are more likely to believe in god than someone with a higher IQ. That is all it means, there's nothing else to read into it. And it's not a "cheap shot," it's the logical conclusion of the results of the study, sorry if you don't like it.
a logical conclusion if you choose to believe the study. thanks for sharing.
Didn't read the study, just answering your post which I thought could stand on it's own.
You never said "according to the study" you just stated flatly that unintelligent people (like Carl Sagan, right?) find it easier to believe in god.
Yeah, that nails it.
haha ok, sorry, responding to the study by making that statement doesn't intrinsically mean "according to the study." Common, that was well understood.
The flippant disregard of complex causality, or even the arrow of causality, in the OP's summing-up was pretty obviously a joke. Dissecting it further probably serves no function.
It's worth noting that we all say "God" and mean different things.
At a certain level of intelligence, at a certain point of history, it becomes impossible to believe certain things.
For example: If I believe strongly that the sky is green, to continue to believe this and simultaneously incorporate the knowledge that, for example, the University of North Carolina team color is Carolina Blue, I have three choices:
1) I can rename the UNC color, for my purposes, Carolina Green, therefore rendering moot the faculty of language (but not mute, thereby allowing for the phenomenon of vocal conservativism); In forumulation (1) I insist that everybody is wrong to call the color Carolina Blue because really everybody but me has misnamed "green" and "blue"
2) I can simply believe different things at different times. If there is no Carolina jersey around, I can believe green is blue and vice versa. If there is one around, I can say they have miscolored this particular jersey.
3) Having discovered this objective reference for "blue", and realizing I have been wrong, I can incorporate this new information and move forward, admitting that what I use to call "green" is in fact "blue."
Early in our history, we could believe, for example, that God physically dwelled somewhere in the area of the clouds. In fact, a russian cosmonaut radiod back that he could put the whole question of God to rest, having gone higher than all the clouds and not having made contact with said Supreme Being. By that time, of course, none of us really literally believed that God physically lived in the clouds.
So, among religious people, these ideas changed. Things that were literally true became allegorical.
The problem is that religions change slowly and conservatively. They are also subject to periods of so-called fundamentalist backlash. Such movements try to "return" to a literal meaning from a different time, and a different context - or more accurately, a reconstruction of what that return would constitute.
This leaves our modern era awash in ideas of "God." Many of them are at odds with data about our natural world gleaned from empirical research. Some ideas of God are not so encumbered.
The intellectually honest man, who has seen the Carolina Blue jersey, and who knows that the sky is approximately that color, can not call the sky green. If he belongs to the "Greenist" church, which insists green is blue and vice versa, and that the idea of God is inextricably bound up with the greenness of blue and the blueness of green, he will henceforth likely say he does not believe in God.
The intellectually astute man is more likely to seek out experience and ideas which call various conceptions of God into question, and is more likely to value the conclusions of reason, than the intellectually impoverished man. In the above example, he is more likely to go out in search of the UNC jersey in question and hence create the dilemma in the first place.
He also feels bound to meet the challenge of new data, whereas the non-thinker is more likely to say "doesn't matter, XXX still din't happen," and construct his argument based on disbelief in mounting evidence to the contrary of a church's dictates.
One can not help notice that not ALL intelligent people are atheists; there is a reason for this. Not ALL concepts of God are incompatible with reason. Similarly not all concepts of God demand mental gymnastics to make facts fit a preestablished pattern.
But those on which established religions rely are quite likely to.
To many people, this is the only definition of religion or God available.
Just my .02,
I just sum it up like this. To the person who says God doesnt exist:
You can't prove a negative like that. Why don't you prove or at least show tangible evidence for the existence of god? And irreducible complexity is not a solid argument.
Prove Santa doesn't exist.
When you claim something is the way it is, the onus is on you to provide evidence for your hypothesis.
The persistent error in the usual tit-for-tat over religion is the notion that the question must be settled -- which all parties readily admit will never happen (certainly not by the efforts of homo sapiens alone.)
It is only possible to prove the existence of God to the believer, and as Wildo has identified, the burden of proof in such exercise is on the one who posits the thesis (in this case, of God's existence.)
But as Lifer has also identified, although it amounts to a challenge to prove a negative (a notoriously difficult if not impossible task,) nobody has conclusively proven God's nonexistence. In fact, in the Allmighty's particular case, one can only disprove an attribute, after which the attribute can be reinterpreted. So we would have to not only prove a negative, we would have to do it while aiming at a moving target.
This is not to argue one side or the other; it is simply to state that the "argument" we're talking about isn't in the realm of argument. It is in the realm of personal reflection.
There is a difference between saying "it can not be proven," and saying "you should not believe it."
An intelligent and intellectually honest man can easily say to himself, "I have neither proof nor disproof; I am therefore free to believe or disbelieve without being a bonehead."
That is not the same thing as saying that his internal reasons to believe are valid once they enter the realm of shared discourse.
This is why I find aggressive proselytizing to be akin to salesmanship, whereas I have the greatest respect for those who search for their own "salvation" or understanding of the spiritual.
while we have disagreements over the last part, I appreciate what you have said in this post.
Threads like these, debating if its basically stupid to believe in God or stupid not to, are not very constrictive to thoughtful and meaningful discussion on these matters.
I don't think anyone is stupid simply because they believe in god. I think they are mistaken.
you said this in an earlier post
"Having a lower IQ makes it easier to believe in god."
I respect a comment like, "I think they are mistaken"
the IQ comment, on the other hand, makes it sure sound you are question the intelligence of believers.
But i am willing to take you on your word that you are not saying that.
Saying "having a lower IQ makes it easier to elieve in god" is not the same as saying if you believe in god, you're stupid. I was referring to the statistical correlation that the study draws. If I say being from Boston makes you more likely to be a Patriots fan that doesn't mean that all Patriot fans are from boston does it? Of course I think having a lower IQ would make it easier to be mistaken. Doesn't mean everyone who is mistaken has a lower IQ.
einstein was jewish
einstein was mega clever
He was Jewish by heritage, did he believe in god?
Separate names with a comma.