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Old 10-16-2012, 02:43 AM
 
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I would not at all go for the line that believers are dumb or even less intelligent at all. The OP is right that there are studies correlating things like increased education with decreased religiosity but I think it dangerous however to read too much into the correlation. Very well educated and very intelligent people have been theists too.

So where comes the apparent contradiction?

It comes from the fact that there are many reasons people subscribe to religion/god belief (not the same thing but for the purposes of this post they are close enough to make no difference).

Fear of death, child hood indoctrination, ignorance, wishful thinking, personal unexplained experiences, delusion, pride, simple laziness, or even claiming to believe for reasons when one actually does not... one could list all day the reasons for such beliefs.

So an increase in education standard will not wipe out religious beliefs as it only targets one of the many causes of such belief. Some of history's best minds had some of the weirdest delusional ideas. Look at Isaac Newton for example and some of the nutty ideas he subscribed to. No one would question his intelligence, yet he believed some entirely unsubstantiated things.

That said many people who are trying to sell religion or new age mysticism and the like will tend to enjoy targeting the stupid or the ignorant as they can bamboozle them with sciency sounding words and claims which are in fact made up or empty. Studies have been done on this too and they show if someone explains nonsense plainly... or someone explains the exact same nonsense using sciencey sounding terms... people will generally lend credence to the latter.

As such you will tend to see those selling new age nonsense... and there are some on this very thread who engage heavily in doing so.... trotting out terms that sound like they mean something but do not. The mystics of this word study at the same rhetorical school as the likes of Deepak Chopra. People who say nothing at all but say it with a language that will bamboozle anyone who is not actually trained in the areas of science and philosophy.

And sometimes even those trained in it or with some passing knowledge of it will be bamboozled too. A great recent story highlights this. Dr. Maarten Boudry, a Belgian philosopher purposely wrote a pile of total nonsense crap. It was a total spoof full of gibberish but with terms that sounded good. Theology conferences accepted it right away however and wanted the writer to come speak for them and so forth.

Watch for people, especially on this forum and even this thread who substitute being opaque for presenting evidence for their claims. If in any more doubt check out the Deepak Generator.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow LI View Post
It is pointless to present evidence when there is no agreement over the validity of the source. A chef can not show me how to make French pastry if I do not agree his recipe source is really French.

A lot of needless arguing can be eliminated if people would stick to sources all sides agree are valid.
While your analogy seems arguable to me, your point is sound. This of course brings up the 'How do we know what we know' question. If science is going to be dismissed as always getting things wrong and logic is dismissed as a mere human invention, then no source is really valid or perhaps no more valid than any other - which would suit religion rather well.

It is (to relate to topic) not stupidity to decide to opt for faith rather than science and 'fess up that is what is done. It is stupidity - or looks like it - to then demand that this faith be regarded as a valid source. It is almost indistinguishable from stupidity combined with intellectual dishonesty to then try to misuse science and logic -which is to say use it in a way not regarded (by scientists and logicians) as valid - in efforts to try to validate Faith through logic and science.

Religious people aren't stupid - it is arguing for the validity of religious belief that makes them appear so. As I say - as soon as they drop that (for either Faith or sound reasoning), they are as smart as anyone could wish.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 10-16-2012 at 05:42 AM..
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 12,512,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
While your analogy seems arguable to me, your point is sound. This of course brings up the 'How do we know what we know' question. If science is going to be dismissed as always getting things wrong and logic is dismissed as a mere human invention, then no source is really valid or perhaps no more valid than any other - which would suit religion rather well.

It is (to relate to topic) not stupidity to decide to opt for faith rather than science and 'fess up that is what is done. It is stupidity - or looks like it - to then demand that this faith be regarded as a valid source. It is almost indistinguishable from stupidity combined with intellectual dishonesty to then try to misuse science and logic -which is to say use it in a way not regarded (by scientists and logicians) as valid - in efforts to try to validate Faith through logic and science.

Religious people aren't stupid - it is arguing for the validity of religious belief that makes them appear so. As I say - as soon as they drop that (for either Faith or sound reasoning), they are as smart as anyone could wish.
I agree with you. You brought up some good points that seem to identify what causes problems.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:27 AM
 
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Thanks - It just makes it totally easy to get along with you, not just because of your reasonability, but because you are open and objective about WHY you ended up with Muslim faith and - perhaps for that reason - are cool with me not sharing. That is real tolerance and I love it. You would never go on a video swearing that I want my women to fornicate in the streets even though you would be obliged to admit that failure to share your religion is inevitably going to send me to hell.

In an odd way that seems to mean that real tolerance requires you to respect the prime directive - you can warn me about the burning building and if I just smile and walk in, you have to respect my choice. The usual moral choice would be to put me in chains and watch me to ensure I don't do it again, but of course the analogy breaks down because the burning building is taken for granted (1). To me the building is fine and it must be the sunset reflecting off the windows that it making you think it's on fire.

That does bring me back to stupidity and faith. I may think religious faith is stupid, but then a lot of people think that my rejecting the very strong human inclination towards religious Faith is stupid. I happen to think that the other possible explanations (or those not yet apparent) make it unwise to take religious faith as signifying either this or that - I happen to think that it may have an important evolution-based survival -role.

Which brings me back to to the need to apply the science - method and logic and that would make caution about faith - conclusions mandatory. Opting for a particular faith explanation is not in accordance with science or logic,

BUT if that is not pretended - if as you do, you say it is faith and you can at least understand the sound reasons for my lack of it - atheism - we can obviously co - exist in a way that means that 'stupid' is never mentioned and 'IQ' is just not an issue.

I might as well repeat that my IQ (last test) is nothing to shout about.

(1) effectively the analogy is (like the parable of the hairdresser...I'll see whether I can find it...(2) is not a watertight analogy - it shows the idea behind why Christians feel it necessary to save our souls - that is fine. but it does not justify it because it is in fact taking Hellfire let alone God and judgement as true -and that is a sabbath day's march from being proven even sensible let alone credible.

(2) Ha! Found it! (Italics mine)

A man went to a hairdresser's to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the hairdresser began to work, they started to have a good conversation. They talked about a lot of things and various subjects.
>>> When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the hairdresser said: 'I don't believe that God exists.'
>>>
>>> 'Why do you say that?' asked the customer, interested.
>>>
>>> 'Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things.'
>>>
>>> The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. He wanted a good haircut.
>>>
>>> The hairdresser finished his job and the customer left the salon.
>>>
>>> Just after he left, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt. The customer turned back and entered the salon again and he said to the hairdresser: 'You know what? Hairdressers do not exist.'
>>
>>>
>>> 'How can you say that?' asked the surprised hairdresser. 'I am here, and I am a hairdresser. And I just worked on you!'
>>>
>>> 'No!' the customer exclaimed. 'Hairdressers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside.'
>>>
>>> 'Ah, but hairdressers DO exist! That's what happens when people do not come to me.'
>>>
>>> 'Exactly!' affirmed the customer. 'That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! That's what happens when people do not go to him and don't look to him for help. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world.'


I will give the linkie
http://michael-wenham.blogspot.co.uk...y-parable.html

because, while this was sent to the site, the owner accepted it as a great argument. It is not. It is a flawed analogy because of course, if the hairdresser had the powers of God, he could wave his wand and nobody would need to come to him for a haircut. Of course, that would deprive him on an income, but that is whole other analogy.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 10-16-2012 at 06:51 AM..
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:34 AM
 
35,121 posts, read 37,816,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logline View Post
I had to start a new thread because I read Hiker's post in another thread and thought it deserved its own discussion:



Hiker, I know you have a "live and let live" approach to those who choose to delude themselves with religion, but I have to respectfully disagree with the statement above. Perhaps your son's "born again" status has softened your view of intelligent design proponents, but try to see it objectively...

Not only are believers (as a whole) empircally less intelligent than Atheists (as has been shown in studies referenced in another thread), but when a human willfully suspends disbelief for expediency or "happiness," they are purposely rejecting intelligence. It's more than just having a different idea about the world, it's about destroying science, logic and reason on purpose... that is, by any reasonable estimation:stupid.

A member of my family is a scientist with an exceedingly high IQ. Off the charts. Yet, I consider him pretty dumb because despite his ability to articulate many theories in chemistry and physics, he can't fully explain why he still devoutly Catholic. He rejects all magical thinking except for one big lie. It's like a huge blind spot in logic in his brain. How can rejection of facts be anything less than willfully "stupid?"

The only thing I have seen that is "willfully stupid" is the fact that you are yourself discriminating against someone because they do have a belief. No matter how high your IQ, it makes you appear less than intelligent. Whether this is the truth or not really does not matter using your reasoning and logic.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:58 AM
 
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Essentialy I have to agree with logline's argument, while having some reservations about the stats on IQ -or the interpretation and conclusions derived from them, but the lines on the rejection of the most reliable mental tools for getting at the truth - reason and evidence - are spot on. I do tend to prefer the terms 'illogical' rather than 'stupid' however. I am not even sure how I'd quantify stupidity.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:45 AM
 
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I don't believe in god, but this thread is a perfect example on why people Hate athiests.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:49 AM
 
7,811 posts, read 5,060,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradPiff View Post
I don't believe in god, but this thread is a perfect example on why people Hate athiests.
I call xkcd on this one.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:57 AM
 
34,471 posts, read 8,888,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradPiff View Post
I don't believe in god, but this thread is a perfect example on why people Hate athiests.
I'm sure we'd all like to know why you think people hate us. We always thought that it was just a lot of grubby smearing from the religious, but we are always willing to listen.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
15,511 posts, read 12,512,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I'm sure we'd all like to know why you think people hate us. We always thought that it was just a lot of grubby smearing from the religious, but we are always willing to listen.
You and I are on the extreme opposite sides of the Belief/Non-belief spectrum.

I sure have not felt any hate from you, I hope you have not felt any from me.

Would probably enjoy a quiet day out fishing on a lake with you.


There is no reason for Atheists and Theists to hate each other. We simply do not agree on all things and can respect each other in spite of differences.
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