INFORMATION

This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are essential to make our site work and others help us to improve by giving us some insight into how the site is being used. For further information, see our Privacy Policy. Continuing to use this website is acceptance of these cookies.

Religious people are stupid...

For topics that are more about faith, religion and religious organisations than anything else.
Message
Author
User avatar
Paolo
Posts: 1474
Joined: September 13th, 2008, 9:15 am

Religious people are stupid...

#1 Post by Paolo » September 22nd, 2008, 2:17 pm

...by which I mean less intelligent than non-believers, as supported by research:

Recent results - http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/s ... 402381&c=2

Summary of previous studies - http://kspark.kaist.ac.kr/jesus/intelli ... ligion.htm

I love it.

User avatar
jaywhat
Posts: 15807
Joined: July 5th, 2007, 5:53 pm

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#2 Post by jaywhat » September 22nd, 2008, 4:32 pm

Quite a lot of atheists are stupid, as are humanists, secularists, rationalists, typists, artists, piss artists, vicars, doctors, politicians, second hand car-dealers, car thieves, parking attendants, supermarket shelf stackers, university professors and coal merchants.

User avatar
Paolo
Posts: 1474
Joined: September 13th, 2008, 9:15 am

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#3 Post by Paolo » September 22nd, 2008, 4:51 pm

Yes, agreed, but there are fewer studies demonstrating that.

I think it reasonable to suggest that the credulous are not likely to be rational and the rational are likely to be intelligent. Therefore the credulous are not likely to be intelligent, although they are not excluded from being so.

User avatar
erasmusinfinity
Posts: 66
Joined: August 30th, 2008, 3:31 pm

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#4 Post by erasmusinfinity » October 11th, 2008, 1:07 am

I have met some very smart religious people.
Sure. Religion itself is a form of stupidity, but a person can be very smart in some respects while being very stupid in certain other respects.
In honor of the late Steven Jay Gould, I call it separate but non-overlapping stupidity.

User avatar
Paolo
Posts: 1474
Joined: September 13th, 2008, 9:15 am

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#5 Post by Paolo » October 11th, 2008, 2:00 pm

I too have met some intelligent religious people (although surprisingly few). Generalisations aren't very good at dealing with the edges of the bellcurve. What I should probably have said (and I'd quite like to change the subject title to this) is:
"Are religious people stupid..."

Gottard
Posts: 1306
Joined: October 3rd, 2008, 3:11 pm

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#6 Post by Gottard » October 11th, 2008, 3:50 pm

A good humanist must respect other people's views.
Intelligence in children is fostered, or hampered, by parents' stance. It is very difficult for an individual imbued with religious thoughts since he was born to change stance, indeed it depends upon his mind openness and intelligence. Some intelligent people may be religious albeit having a narrow view but it does not mean that they are stupid. At least this is what I believe.
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

User avatar
Paolo
Posts: 1474
Joined: September 13th, 2008, 9:15 am

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#7 Post by Paolo » October 11th, 2008, 5:04 pm

peneasy wrote:A good humanist must respect other people's views.
I think a good humanist should respect other people's right to hold different views. If someone holds views that are ridiculous, why should those views be respected? People are entitled to believe whatever they like, but there is no reason I can see for respecting some of the ludicrous and unpleasant views that some people hold.

Just because someone might be stupid it doesn't stop me from respecting them, I certainly agree that respecting others is an integral part of Humanism.

I have more respect for stupid religious people than I do for intelligent religious people - the intelligent ones should know better... But seriously, I regret having used the title as it currently stands since the interesting point of this subject is more about why the pattern seems to exist that religious people are generally identified as being less intelligent in various studies.

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#8 Post by Alan H » October 11th, 2008, 5:55 pm

jaywhat wrote:Quite a lot of atheists are stupid, as are humanists, secularists, rationalists, typists, artists, piss artists, vicars, doctors, politicians, second hand car-dealers, car thieves, parking attendants, supermarket shelf stackers, university professors and coal merchants.
What about butchers, bakers and candlestick makers?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
erasmusinfinity
Posts: 66
Joined: August 30th, 2008, 3:31 pm

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#9 Post by erasmusinfinity » October 11th, 2008, 10:08 pm

Paolo wrote:
peneasy wrote:A good humanist must respect other people's views.
I think a good humanist should respect other people's right to hold different views.
I tend to agree with Paolo on this one. Maybe I'm not a good humanist for it, but I don't think that we do need to respect other people's views. Many views shouldn't be respected. Some should even be disrespected.

Should we respect the perspective of the rapist, the pedophile, the serial killer, the genocidal imam?

We should respect specified aspects of a person's humanity and a person's freedom of thought.

User avatar
Alan C.
Posts: 10356
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#10 Post by Alan C. » October 11th, 2008, 11:00 pm

What about butchers, bakers and candlestick makers?
And let's not forget engineers Alan :smile: Nor horticulturalists :rolleyes:

erasmusinfinity, I can respect peoples right to have their views (if they keep them to themselves), but can not always respect those views.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Lord Muck oGentry
Posts: 634
Joined: September 1st, 2007, 3:48 pm

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#11 Post by Lord Muck oGentry » October 12th, 2008, 3:48 am

http://www.thinkhumanism.com/phpBB3/vie ... =45&t=1845

This topic seems to have come up before.

I still have the reservations I expressed in the earlier thread. At best, showing that bods of higher intelligence ( IQ, academic attainment, rationality) are less likely to be religious is a corrective to a bad argument: the argument sometimes advanced by religious bods to the effect that many intelligent and educated people share religious belief— so there must be something to it. Although it is worth pointing out, for example, that in a highly religious population this may be a trivial consequence of the preponderance of believers, a better, and deeper, objection is that this argument is simply fallacious. It is an appeal to authority, and if religious belief cannot stand on its own feet, it cannot be propped up by distinguished supporters.

Once we take that line, however, we have to be consistent: if there is a tendency towards unbelief among the intelligent or the academically sucessful, it has nothing to do with the merits of unbelief. Arguments have to be argued, dammit!
What we can't say, we can't say and we can't whistle it either. — Frank Ramsey

User avatar
erasmusinfinity
Posts: 66
Joined: August 30th, 2008, 3:31 pm

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#12 Post by erasmusinfinity » October 12th, 2008, 3:52 am

Well said Lord Muck.

User avatar
snaggletooth
Posts: 72
Joined: July 8th, 2008, 9:18 pm

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#13 Post by snaggletooth » October 20th, 2008, 10:32 am

Maybe there are different types of intelligence? I used to work with someone who screwed up the stock taking in the warehouse by counting all the part empty boxes as full ones yet he was the towns chess champion and a member of mensa http://www.mensa.org.uk/. He was supposedly a very intelligent man, unfortunately he didn't seem to have the common sense to guide his intelligence! (It might have been interesting to know his views on religion!)

User avatar
Paolo
Posts: 1474
Joined: September 13th, 2008, 9:15 am

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#14 Post by Paolo » October 22nd, 2008, 11:34 pm

There are definitely different types of intelligence.

Intelligence does not equate to being right, but it should relate to the ability to identify where arguments are spurious.

My personal gripe with the religious masses is their inability to realise that religious arguments are fundamentally flawed by unsubstantiated a priori assumptions (explicitly the acceptance of the content of religious texts without consideration of the chain of translation, validity of original sources and verification of the content with other references).

Historical imperative seems to be the only justification required for a respected religion. Any fruitcake cult has as much validity as any other religions if it has been around for long enough. It seems to me that a genuine lack of intelligence is required to equate any religious mumbo-jumbo with a realistic world view.

Perhaps most genuinely intelligent people simply discount religion on the basis of lack of evidence? It may be a controversial opinion, but perhaps it's true?

MedMae
Posts: 167
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 9:46 am

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#15 Post by MedMae » October 23rd, 2008, 10:05 am

Having read thorugh this thread and the other thread on this topic I feel I should add something.

There is no evidence for or against the existance of one or more god or gods. Therefore it is equally intelligent to belive in god as to not belive in god. To follow a religion on the other hand seems to require a large measure of selective blindness. (Beliveing in a god is not necessarily the same as following a religion.)

Whether this selective blindness is a causes the lower average inteligence of the religious or if it is a cause of the lower inteligence is another question.
Complexity is just simplicity multiplied to a point which exceeds a particular level of comprehension. - Theowarner

Gottard
Posts: 1306
Joined: October 3rd, 2008, 3:11 pm

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#16 Post by Gottard » October 23rd, 2008, 10:26 am

Perhaps most genuinely intelligent people simply discount religion on the basis of lack of evidence? It may be a controversial opinion, but perhaps it's true?
Try to explain:Why Jesus and Mohammed only lived in a delimited area while the rest of the World was left without "light" - the same god?

Or, if you like: if god sent a prophet preaching the same "word" at the same time to all World's population don't you think he had a wider impact?!
There would only be a single religion, no arguments and no wars.
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

User avatar
Paolo
Posts: 1474
Joined: September 13th, 2008, 9:15 am

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#17 Post by Paolo » October 23rd, 2008, 10:51 am

MedMae wrote:There is no evidence for or against the existance of one or more god or gods. Therefore it is equally intelligent to belive in god as to not belive in god.
I agree that lack of evidence is not evidence of lack, however, I fail to see how it can be considered intelligent to accept something as true without having any evidence.

Here we can get into a debate about what intelligence actually is, but surely part of intelligence is about being able to identify what is real from what is not on the basis of observation and rational consistency? Perhaps I have a biased perspective by having a scientific background (as you also have), where minimising assumptions is important, but it strikes me as generally being far from intelligent to build a mental construct of the world based on multiple unsubstantiated assumptions. Surely the ability to analyse one's own thought processes to identify inconsistencies and biases is a standard part of intelligence - it's about being self aware. I find it hard to understand how someone who is self aware can not notice the vast intellectual voids that are required to believe in the supernatural. I personally consider anyone who is not self aware as being stupid - there's nothing wrong with it, but there is certainly something lacking in their analytical skills.

MedMae
Posts: 167
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 9:46 am

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#18 Post by MedMae » October 23rd, 2008, 11:20 am

Paolo wrote:
MedMae wrote:There is no evidence for or against the existance of one or more god or gods. Therefore it is equally intelligent to belive in god as to not belive in god.
I agree that lack of evidence is not evidence of lack, however, I fail to see how it can be considered intelligent to accept something as true without having any evidence.
The point I am trying to make here is that atheism and theism are equally lacking in evidence, and so equally intelligent. As far as I can see the most rational (and most intelligent) option is to say "I don't know", otherwise known as agnosticism. (though Ignosticism is equally valid as it makes no claim of knowledge, it just says that the no existing definition of god is valid.)
Paolo wrote:Here we can get into a debate about what intelligence actually is, but surely part of intelligence is about being able to identify what is real from what is not on the basis of observation and rational consistency? Perhaps I have a biased perspective by having a scientific background (as you also have), where minimising assumptions is important, but it strikes me as generally being far from intelligent to build a mental construct of the world based on multiple unsubstantiated assumptions. Surely the ability to analyse one's own thought processes to identify inconsistencies and biases is a standard part of intelligence - it's about being self aware. I find it hard to understand how someone who is self aware can not notice the vast intellectual voids that are required to believe in the supernatural. I personally consider anyone who is not self aware as being stupid - there's nothing wrong with it, but there is certainly something lacking in their analytical skills.
I agree. But I do not see how denying the possibility of god is minimising assumptions, especially with the possibility of simply saying "I don't know". This does not mean that having the opinion that god does not exist is unintelligent but opinion is beliving not knowing.

Though I may not be explaining what I think very well.
Complexity is just simplicity multiplied to a point which exceeds a particular level of comprehension. - Theowarner

User avatar
Paolo
Posts: 1474
Joined: September 13th, 2008, 9:15 am

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#19 Post by Paolo » October 23rd, 2008, 12:01 pm

MedMae wrote:The point I am trying to make here is that atheism and theism are equally lacking in evidence, and so equally intelligent.
They may be equally lacking in evidence, but theism has the potential for type 1 error (false positive), whereas atheism has the potential for type 2 (false negative) and generally speaking type 2 errors are preferable to type 1 errors. Obviously i/agnosticism has no associated errors, but instead it leaves us with a Schrödinger's cat type situation of uncertainty, with resolution only coming with death.

My point is that there can be lack of evidence for many things, but the scale of the claim that is unsupported should be factored in, so two positions lacking evidence are not necessarily equal. If I claimed that I used to be able to drink a pint of beer in 5 seconds there may not be evidence for it, but it is considerably more likely than if I said I used to able to drink a gallon of beer in 5 seconds. An intelligent person would consider how plausible each situation is based on their experience and they might accept one to be true but the other false, or both false - it is unlikely they would consider both to be true. A stupid person might consider both to be true, because they have not actually thought about what is entailed.

Much like religion. There is no evidence for or against gods, but if a person thinks about what is entailed, the logical inconsistencies required for gods to exist far outweigh the logical inconsistencies that suggest gods do not exist. Therefore, I consider theism to be less intelligent than atheism, despite the lack of evidence for either opinion.

Another way to look at it is how much evidence is required to support the opinion. Atheism requires little evidence for support due to the few assumptions, but theism makes several assumptions, each of which require evidence, making theism less attractive from an intellectual perspective.

MedMae
Posts: 167
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 9:46 am

Re: Religious people are stupid...

#20 Post by MedMae » October 24th, 2008, 10:55 am

I will be posting a reply, but it may have to wait for a little while things have become a little hectic and exhasting in my life at the moment. So please be patient, I do want to continue this discussion.
Complexity is just simplicity multiplied to a point which exceeds a particular level of comprehension. - Theowarner

Post Reply