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Does 'being religious' create greater intelligence, greater wisdom, both or neither?


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In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 16:05:56 BDT
Maria says:
I still think that as there are many intelligent & non intelligent people in each group that it would be difficult to make a firm conclusion due to the difficulty in defining intelligence and religiousness. Some intelligent people can be very proud and stubborn so will not concede that the other side has a valid point. as can some ignorant people.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 16:18:22 BDT
That's all well and good Maria, but it still ignores the fact that across the studies performed, with various versions of tests for intelligence and religiosity there were strong negative correlations found between number, strenght and importance of religious beliefs (or beliefs of any kind) and IQ, Intelligence, Education, Interest in Science and on one occasion curiosity.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 16:44:46 BDT
Maria says:
I wonder if the opinions of those setting the tests were considered. Were beliefs in no-religion also considered as beliefs?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 16:59:13 BDT
That entirely depends on which test you look at and what you mean by "beliefs in no religion"

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 21:28:17 BDT
This still fails to explain how people like Polkinghorne, Peacock, Collins, Lennox, Lewis (those came out in the list that way, honest) claim membership of a religion, held/hold their beliefs strongly and consider them important to their lives (I am not sure abou the 'specific beliefs', because many denominations hold specific beliefs that differ from other denominations).

One can argue that more intelligent people are less likely to be religious (which is true), but even intelligent people can make mistakes (and that works both ways).

I have heard many an intelligent atheist treat their childhood faith as the same as that of every believer, when it is clearly not (see the Lies-to-Children thread).

Intelligent people can become very arrogant about their 'beliefs' or lack thereof (Dawkins & Hitchens for example). That doesn't make them right either.

For intelligence to reason properly it is in need of information, like Morse trying to solve a murder - if all the facts were there right at the beginning it would be a short show. I have seen intelligent people boldly proclaim that there is nothing left to learn in terms of theism while still proclaiming that they have an open mind. Hmmm.

Wayne

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 21:33:03 BDT
Measuring intelligence is not easy unless they actually provide you with an IQ and I have known intelligent people that have no qualifications to speak of. I usually measure intelligence in a number of ways and discussions about work and education are part of that. I also see that those with intelligence often do not accept the status quo about the church they are in (I have had discussions with people following controversial sermons for example).

Most of these have become Christians later in life, those circumventing the 'indoctrination' claims of ignorant atheists. A few have been brought up as Christians and have seen no reason to change their views - most have been challenged on them at some point or another and have thus had to work out for themselves what they believe (in most cases this seems to be at university which is full of sceptics).

How do you go about measuring the intelligence of the people around you?

Wayne

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 21:33:16 BDT
Shakepen says:
Drew: Some of the early Christian theologians were undoubtedly geniuses. People like Ignatius, Polycarp, Tertullian, Augustine of Hippo, and Jerome are just a few names that spring to mind. One doesn't become a great theologian unless one is very, very bright.

Besides, we must remember that intelligence is a culturally defined term. The areas in which to exercise genius was starting to run downhill after Christ was killed. There were not that many great inventions for the next 1,300 years in Western Civilization. The Dark Ages began in the the tailend of the 5th century, and during these times life was brutish and short.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 21:33:47 BDT
Wayne,

It's a correlation. It won't explain individuals either way.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 21:34:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 Apr 2012 21:37:49 BDT
Shakepen says:
Drew: economics and social situations are part of the social sciences and are included in my statement. Incidentally, I read The Peter Principal. The Principle applies to corporate and corporate like structures structure, and the way that things like promotions get fouled up. The Peter Principle shows how mediocre minds win out.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 21:40:43 BDT
Shakepen says:
WD: another problem with measuring intelligence of people areound you is that people are really well trained or educated can appear much more intelligent than they really are. That is, intelligent people are also creative. A well-trained person is not necessarily creative.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 21:42:53 BDT
Regarding achievement, not necessarily - I have been forced to work for people who are of average intelligence in the past - how they got there is quite a mystery (at least one was sleeping with the second-in-command).

I also know intelligent people who have simply opted out of the rat race, or who are lazy, or who are foreign and can only get work in convenience stores because of language issues.

I am aware of Mensa and I also think you are right about some of the membership. I remember a work collegue who was above-average in her intelligence, but nowhere near the proclaimed Mensa level, yet she was given membership.

I brought a board game about 15 years ago called IQ which was designed by Mensa and I've not been able to play it with anyone outside my immediate family because no-one seems to get it.

There are other issues - many autistic people score highly on intelligence but cannot cope with social realities. Dyslexia can make some seem 'thick', but many are actually very intelligent, but just have a disability when it comes to words (or occasionally numbers).

Also one can train oneself (I guess that is a measure of intelligence also) to complete tests. My parents and brothers all love cryptic crosswords - give them word games and they love it. I much prefer mathematical and logical problems (love Killer Sudoku for example). All of us are intelligent, but if measured only on mathematical ability I would score higher than them.

Wayne

Posted on 12 Apr 2012 22:22:58 BDT
The question.

'Does 'being religious' create greater intelligence, greater wisdom, both or neither?'

I guess both.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 23:29:08 BDT
Tom M says:
Rd

Einstein is pretty hard to misinterpret. To believe in the existence of a Spirit , of profound reason apart from creation in which on can see the creative effect, is to be a theist. This is an acceptable statement of theism.

He rejected the personalistic anthropomorphic god that atheists here and many in protestant USA affirm.

He knew exactly what atheism is and he held it in contempt. He further allowed that the anthropomorphisizing and personalizing theist was in a lot better shape than the atheists.

It's always a treat to see how his thoughts, particularly his later thoughts as recounted to his close friend get distorted.

His view, is pretty classical monotheism. These are simply the facts.

Posted on 12 Apr 2012 23:35:31 BDT
Tom M says:
The most comprehensive study on the relationship between scientists and religion finds that only a small precentage embrace atheism and are hostile to religion.

This would describe dummies like Dawkins and his little ugly dawklings of course who are largely illiterate.



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What Scientists Really Think

Elaine Howard Ecklund

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ISBN13: 9780195392982ISBN10: 0195392981Hardback, 240 pages
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Huffington Post Top 10 Religion Book of 2010

Description
That the longstanding antagonism between science and religion is irreconcilable has been taken for granted. And in the wake of recent controversies over teaching intelligent design and the ethics of stem-cell research, the divide seems as unbridgeable as ever.

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With broad implications for education, science funding, and the thorny ethical questions surrounding stem-cell research, cloning, and other cutting-edge scientific endeavors, Science vs. Religion brings a welcome dose of reality to the science and religion debates.

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First scientific study to take an objective look at the religious beliefs of the nation's top scientists

Reviews

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240 pages; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; ISBN13: 978-0-19-539298-2ISBN10: 0-19-539298-1

About the Author(s)

Elaine Howard Ecklund is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rice University, Director of the Program on Religion and Public Life for the Rice University Institute for Urban Research, and Rice Scholar of the James Baker III Institute on Public Policy. Ecklund has received awards and grants from the National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, and John Templeton Foundation and is the author of Korean American Evangelicals: New Models for Civic Life (Oxford 2008).

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 23:50:36 BDT
Last edited by the author on 13 Apr 2012 00:15:39 BDT
Tom M says:
Hi Gary
I think that's exactly right and IQ tests are very culturally loaded as well. Dawkins I'm sure knows a great deal of the actual science of evolution, and Hawking is very good with a calculator, but both are profoundly unintelligent. They have no clue what the world is about or if it is about anything or what it can mean. Accordingly they have not coherent perspective on how to live as a human being.

The only rational framework for speaking of intelligence depends upon first seeing that intelligence can only actually be intelligence of what actaully is.

Objective reality is the only arbiter of one's 'intelligence' which is the point I made about Sam's earlier post , atheism and driving his non-car. The idea , at least as expressed was incoherent. One can not have intelligence of a non belief.

Atheism is always by definition a self-refuting world view in which intelligence is impossible. That's why this site has so many dawklings on it.

Utter philosophical naifs who are so blind that they look for , like Dawkins, an empiricist evidence for God. Not empirically defensible mind you , but empiricist. They have no idea at all how naive this is. Apparently Russell's loss of mind was insufficient warning for them.

The atheistic view is unintelligent by definition and unfortunately for the duped, there is no intellectual framework available to them for intelligent analysis. I've spelled it out a couple of times on this thread implicating the duped duper himself Hume, but the empricists could not recognize the situation.

I particularly like Maxwell's quote which perfectly captures the sheer incoherence and radical unintelligibility of his sheer arational empricistic dogmatism when he affirms that he is helpless but to act as if he had free will, when he probably does not.

I'm increasingly persuaded that there's an intelligence issue here. The typical empiricistic contempt for one's own mind while dogmatically insisting upon the not even stupid. It's a strange one man boxing match with fellows like Maxwell circling themselves and landing blindly thrown punches in the dark.

Maxwell apparently cannot see that his simplistic dogmatism, rooted in Humes's naive and easily dismissed fundamental errors, if true, leaves him not free to make the judgment of whether he is free or not. How more obviously can one point out the incoherence of atheism. And how incoherent it is to speak of it. Helplessness. Utter helplessness.

The thing with the dawklings however, is that while most people would read this.. I mean people of average good sense and judgment.. and point out the frank madness that has fallen upon Maxwell and the utter vacuity of his atheistic maerialism, the dawklings , for whacky Dicky does exactly the same thing.. have just settled into their darkened boxing ring.

Insanity, a philosophy professor once informed us, is simply not having an intellectually consistent grasp of reality. It doesn't have to be organic brain damage.

Cheers Gary. :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Apr 2012 11:56:40 BDT
Drew Jones says:
"Measuring intelligence is not easy unless they actually provide you with an IQ and I have known intelligent people that have no qualifications to speak of. I usually measure intelligence in a number of ways and discussions about work and education are part of that. I also see that those with intelligence often do not accept the status quo about the church they are in (I have had discussions with people following controversial sermons for example)."
That last bit is interesting. Independence of thought is a sign of intelligence and it is interesting how the smart, more reasonable believers are the one's who attend regular services of worship but will also, in private conversation tell you the things that are not meant to be credited and what is the vicar's beliefs and opinions. This is compared to those that would take on exactly what they are told whether that be from the Bible or authority figure (the priest, Pope, Imam etc.)*

"Most of these have become Christians later in life, those circumventing the 'indoctrination' claims of ignorant atheists."
Depends how ignorant the atheists is, they'd probably be most ignorant if they though that only parental indoctrination is the same thing as cultural indoctrination towards a specific spiritual belief. Clearly the cultural spiritual belief here leaves you far better placed to accept a man was resurrected than another man recieved golden tablets, flew on a winged horse or that we are the fallout of an intergalatic war. If you are going to hold to a spiritual belief there are dominate ones that it is far more convinenent to profess than others.

"A few have been brought up as Christians and have seen no reason to change their views - most have been challenged on them at some point or another and have thus had to work out for themselves what they believe (in most cases this seems to be at university which is full of sceptics)."
Universities are not full of sceptics, they are full of specialists.

* Literalist fundamentalism isn't only informed by scripture.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Apr 2012 12:01:24 BDT
Drew Jones says:
"Some of the early Christian theologians were undoubtedly geniuses. People like Ignatius, Polycarp, Tertullian, Augustine of Hippo, and Jerome are just a few names that spring to mind. One doesn't become a great theologian unless one is very, very bright."
I think you may be able to call them bright, even geniuses but geniuses of what? I'd say manipulation and story telling.

"Besides, we must remember that intelligence is a culturally defined term. The areas in which to exercise genius was starting to run downhill after Christ was killed. There were not that many great inventions for the next 1,300 years in Western Civilization. The Dark Ages began in the the tailend of the 5th century, and during these times life was brutish and short."
FUnny, we're usually told how Christianity ushered in a wave of new intellectual insight and progress.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Apr 2012 12:02:44 BDT
Drew Jones says:
"Drew: economics and social situations are part of the social sciences and are included in my statement."
As jobs or considerations that may effect the outcome you are judging?

"Incidentally, I read The Peter Principal. The Principle applies to corporate and corporate like structures structure, and the way that things like promotions get fouled up. The Peter Principle shows how mediocre minds win out."
Wouldn't that impact on your idea of how to gage intelligence by the position someone holds?

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Apr 2012 14:36:29 BDT
Drew Jones says:
"Who the hell cares what scientists have to say about the existence of God?"
Tom M., 7 Oct 2011, Page 3, 'no evidence for god'
http://tinyurl.com/cj3x58b

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Apr 2012 11:41:13 BDT
"Einstein is pretty hard to misinterpret. To believe in the existence of a Spirit , of profound reason apart from creation in which on can see the creative effect, is to be a theist. This is an acceptable statement of theism. "
I disagree, that is a pretty good statement of either Deism or Pantheism, depending on the specific meanings of the words.

"He knew exactly what atheism is and he held it in contempt. "
He knew what it was and meant at the time, and it was far closer to the current group labelling themselves Antitheist, than most atheists today in terms of both action and beliefs.

"His view, is pretty classical monotheism. These are simply the facts. "
His view is far from monotheism, He railed as hard at being used in support of theism as he did atheism. Einstein believed in some nebulous sense of purpose in the universe. That is the fact. What the details are, who knows and more importantly who cares?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2012 21:24:39 BDT
Spin says:
RD; You say "What the details (of purpose) are, who knows and more importantly, who cares?" Well, clearly Einstein cared (as do all scientists and theologians).

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2012 23:14:55 BDT
I didn't say what the details of purpose were spin, but what the details of Einstein's beliefs about purpose. Although I see how it could have been misleading.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2012 23:19:11 BDT
Spin says:
RD: Apology accepted. Now you know what my earler post "meant" about your conception of "meaning". Cheers, mines a JD and coke. With a slice of lemon. =)

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2012 23:21:10 BDT
No spin, I still no you're just an arrogant idiot who likes to cause trouble. Don't mistake my accepting my mistakes as forgiving you yours.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2012 23:59:38 BDT
Spin says:
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  15
Total posts:  75
Initial post:  19 Mar 2012
Latest post:  17 Apr 2012

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