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Author Topic: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?  (Read 2588 times)

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Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2012, 11:10:12 PM »
I suppose within the boundaries you've all professed you have some validity.

My boundaries extend beyond a denial of something because I've encountered minds that have facets that are never discussed here.  One group I belong to has members from a broad cross-section of faith based communities, medicine, academia and other professions.  Our main purposes is education and self-exploration so when I say the matters discussed here are individualistic that is what I see.  Each of us has a way of looking at things and a desire to understand the points of view of others rather than try to proselytize or convert the others. 

Among the atheists in our group those who think as you do are respected and give respect as much as everyone else and they accept that there are atheists who see their position as belief in the non-existence of a higher power.

In my opinion demonstrating that people of differing opinions can come together and discuss these things without attacking or becoming defensive is evidence of intelligence. 

Well, maybe I am the exception rather than the rule.  It sounds like I would find those conversations just as interesting and entertaining as you do, heh.
I think you would and that you would add a lot to it as well.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 11:14:41 PM by Beguile's Mistress »

Offline Will

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2012, 11:17:41 PM »
In my opinion demonstrating that people of differing opinions can come together and discuss these things without attacking or becoming defensive is evidence of intelligence.

I couldn't agree with that more.  And you managed to steer us back on topic, hah.  I'm impressed.

I don't question anyone's intelligence because of their beliefs.  I can't walk in your shoes, I can't experience your life, and I can't know what you've felt or seen.  Maybe you know something I don't.  But if someone can't understand why I find their beliefs far-fetched, then I'm going to wonder about them.  If they can't understand why it's unfair to force their experiences on the rest of the country/world, I'm going to question whether they're in touch with reality.

Offline Bloodied Porcelain

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Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2012, 11:26:32 PM »
In my opinion demonstrating that people of differing opinions can come together and discuss these things without attacking or becoming defensive is evidence of intelligence. 
I think you would and that you would add a lot to it as well.

I don't view calling it like I see it as attacking, but most religious folk would think it is. Do I think that believing that, say, a guy literally parted the Red Sea and not simply that he crossed it, that he just waved his hand, mumbled a prayer, and the sea literally split so he and his fellows could walk across unhindered implies a probable lack of intelligence? Yes, but I also think that part of being intelligent is looking at things critically and at least realizing that there is something incredibly irrational about thinking something like that actually happened. It's not a hard thought process to follow. If you read the bible and say "all of this happened exactly as it is stated, no exceptions" and ignore all the evidence that scientists and historians, geologists and archaeologists have provided to the contrary, then I believe that denotes a lack of intelligence at the best, willful ignorance at the worst.

Do I think that believing in God means you're less intelligent? No. Do I think that believing books written by men with less than a 3rd grade level amount of knowledge are completely factual and not allegorical, mistranslated, or simply fable-based does? Yes.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2012, 11:33:20 PM »
I don't question anyone's intelligence because of their beliefs.  I can't walk in your shoes, I can't experience your life, and I can't know what you've felt or seen.  Maybe you know something I don't.  But if someone can't understand why I find their beliefs far-fetched, then I'm going to wonder about them.  If they can't understand why it's unfair to force their experiences on the rest of the country/world, I'm going to question whether they're in touch with reality.
Maybe it's not so much being able to understand why but accepting that you do.  What you think and feel is as much a part of you as my thoughts and feelings are a part of me.  To coexist we need to acknowledge that.  In a perfect world we would all be able to express our beliefs without using them to convert people or convince them we are right.  The only wrong would be that which would diminish our humanity or hold someone up to ridicule.  The intelligent office holder is one who sees the people in his constituency as individuals with common needs and purposes and does his best to address that rather than change it.

Whether a politician believes it or not the job is to represent everyone not just the ones who are in agreement with their opinions.  The sad thing is that elected and appointed officials see their office as a position of power rather than one of responsibility and service. 

And you managed to steer us back on topic, hah.  I'm impressed.
*grins*  My own steering wheel was fighting me.


@Bloodied Porcelain ~ As long as you are willing to acknowledge that your statements describe a segment rather than a whole that's fine.  As in all things where opinions differ understanding needs to come from both sides.  I think this thread isn't so much about what we believe or don't believe but about whether people of any belief are capable of doing the job they are elected to without allowing those beliefs to influence them. 
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 11:44:55 PM by Beguile's Mistress »

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2012, 11:43:38 PM »

Do I think that believing in God means you're less intelligent? No. Do I think that believing books written by men with less than a 3rd grade level amount of knowledge are completely factual and not allegorical, mistranslated, or simply fable-based does? Yes.

Amen!

Worth mentioning, those who wrote the bible and torah ( which are actually volumes of individual books ) were from completely different cultures and times. One can't assume that they all wrote in the factual, literal style that text books are written in today. As for interpreting them, one needs to do a hell of a lot of research study first. This is partly why those folks who bang on your door and take the bible literally seem so horribly ignorant.

 


Offline Will

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2012, 11:55:26 PM »
Maybe it's not so much being able to understand why but accepting that you do.  What you think and feel is as much a part of you as my thoughts and feelings are a part of me.  To coexist we need to acknowledge that.  In a perfect world we would all be able to express our beliefs without using them to convert people or convince them we are right.  The only wrong would be that which would diminish our humanity or hold someone up to ridicule.  The intelligent office holder is one who sees the people in his constituency as individuals with common needs and purposes and does his best to address that rather than change it.

I would agree with that as well.  I'll be up front about this; I think the world would be a better place if more folks believed like I do.  I think the same could be said of most atheists, as well as most Christians, if they're honest.  We all think we know best, to some degree or another.  But the fact is, these kinds of things are so very personal in nature that it doesn't do any good to proselytize or throw arguments at people.  You're only going to alienate people by doing so.  So yeah, I think it's a mark of an intelligent person to be able to have a conversation without feeling honor-bound and determined to change someone's mind.  Because you can't.  It's their mind, and they have to change it.

Quote
*grins*  My own steering wheel was fighting me.
Can I make a "Jesus take the wheel" joke?  Is that appropriate?  >.>

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #31 on: August 14, 2012, 12:13:29 AM »
ge it.
Can I make a "Jesus take the wheel" joke?  Is that appropriate?  >.>
It's fine with me. :-)

Offline Hemingway

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #32 on: August 14, 2012, 06:26:34 AM »
I feel the need to chime in one the "atheists have faith, too" debate. I think it results from a conflation of terms. The agnostic atheist position is not that there's no god because so and so, but rather that there's no evidence to support the theist claim, and so there's no reason to suppose it's true. I think Bertrand Russell's famous teapot argument illustrates the difference quite well.

Quote from: Bertrand Russell
To take another illustration: nobody can prove that there is not between the Earth and Mars a china teapot revolving in an elliptical orbit, but nobody thinks this sufficiently likely to be taken into account in practice.

If faith is "belief without evidence", then it sounds, at least to me, absurd to say that atheists have "faith". Faith in what? Faith that there is no evidence supporting the existence of god? Years and years of debate have failed to yield anything compelling in support of god's existence, so there's no faith necessary to believe that. Only looking critically at the supposed evidence. So, again, critical thinking is, so it seems to me, the key.

Offline Silk

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #33 on: August 14, 2012, 07:23:37 AM »
Claims without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. However there is a certain level of causation of intelligence and certain religious practices, because the nature of the religion itself hampers the educational development of the individual, leading to a lower intelligence overall.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #34 on: August 14, 2012, 10:13:43 AM »
I'm trying to respond to what you wrote, Silk, but I just keep getting dragged deeper and deeper into the underlying questions.

Because I don't think that intelligence is really the correct word to use. Not if you're talking about religious fundamentalism, and how, for instance, fundamentalist parents homeschool their children in order to teach them their own non reality-based world view. If you're talking about things like what's shown in that infamous Jesus Camp documentary, I think it has more to do with stifling critical thinking and intellectual honesty, and teaching closemindedness, than intelligence. It's no less problematic given how difficult it is to define intelligence.

But, as I see it, you can't stop people from learning facts. And if you tell someone the earth is 4.5 billion years old, they can't un-know that. If you show them the evidence for this claim, they can't un-see the evidence. You have to teach them to think in a very closeminded way, and not to listen to reason. How you do that, I have no idea. Personally, I think the cognitive dissonance would drive me crazy.

Offline Silk

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2012, 10:35:21 AM »
Problem is hemmingway, it happens. Look at creationists for example. They ignore all evidence of the contrary and still hold their veiw of 7 day light before sun.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #36 on: August 14, 2012, 10:42:51 AM »
Look at life as a series of circles with the circumference of each circle the boundary between one life experience and the next.  We cross a boundary, encounter new ideas and new people and change.  Every boundary crossed changes us in some way and the farther we move from the center point of our life the more we change, adapt and evolve.

This is why sects segregate themselves.  It reduces outside influence on the members.  Some sects recognize the need for knowledge of these influences and the need for self-determination.  The Amish have rumspringa to encourage their younger people to experience the world for example. 

More knowledge is more widely available than ever before.  I read a lot about ideas, science, philosophies of life and the points of view of others.  I know I can't begin to comprehend everything but I also know that closing myself off from something is going to limit me.  I don't like limits.  I've never been a person who made a decision and then looked for supporting evidence.  I've hypothesized and looked for information for and against that idea.  I really don't know any other way to do things intelligently. 

The OP asked:
Do we think less of others dependent upon their own personal religious beliefs and/or practices?

I can't think less of a person because of what they believe or for not believing in anything.  I don't feel that it's right to judge that.

I don't like the hypocrisy in people who say they believe one thing and do something that goes against that belief because it's expedient.  I don't like a person who denigrates my belief or my faith in order to prove a point.  I don't like a group or individual who uses a religious belief to impose their will on others. 

My faith and religion are personal choices and actually are not the business of others.  The faith I was taught as a child still holds true for me today because it is a faith of love, compassion and patience.  How I practice my faith and it's teachings grows, evolves and changes as I do.  As I move from circle to circle and my life and the lives of others impact on us I gain perspective and my point of view can change.  One thing that hasn't changed so far is the knowledge that in order to live rationally and intelligently in this world today I have to take into account other people, what they need and what my influence on them could be.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2012, 10:44:25 AM by Beguile's Mistress »

Offline Will

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #37 on: August 14, 2012, 10:44:03 AM »
Problem is hemmingway, it happens. Look at creationists for example. They ignore all evidence of the contrary and still hold their veiw of 7 day light before sun.

But, the question isn't "Are there stupid religious people?"  Because that's a no-brainer.  Of course there are.  There are also stupid people who aren't religious.  So you aren't really proving anything.

The question is whether religious people as a whole are statistically less intelligent.

Offline Silk

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2012, 11:19:32 AM »
But, the question isn't "Are there stupid religious people?"  Because that's a no-brainer.  Of course there are.  There are also stupid people who aren't religious.  So you aren't really proving anything.

The question is whether religious people as a whole are statistically less intelligent.
Actually the question is, is their religion one of the key cause's of their stupidity.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2012, 11:22:36 AM »
Problem is hemmingway, it happens. Look at creationists for example. They ignore all evidence of the contrary and still hold their veiw of 7 day light before sun.

Yes, they ignore evidence. It's not that they don't know about the evidence, or don't understand it. I don't think that's a sign of a lack of intelligence. I hate to say this, but I think a lot of these fundamentalist types are highly intelligent, only they use their intelligence for the wrong purpose ( i.e. spreading misinformation, and sometimes outright fraud ).

Richard Dawkins illustrates this sort of thinking with the story of Harvard-educated geologist Kurt Wise. He apparently went through the bible, literally cutting out every part of it that conflicted with his education, the end result of which was a bible so mangled that he couldn't pick it up without it falling apart. But rather than discard his religion, or at least the literal view of it, he decided to believe in spite of all evidence that the bible was literally true.

A quote from Kurt Wise taken from the text:

Quote from: Kurt Wise
Although there are scientific reasons for accepting a young earth, I am a young-age creationist because that is my understanding of the Scripture. As I shared with my professors years ago when I was in college, if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. Here I must stand.

I think it's very obvious in light of this that lack of intelligence, at least the way we usually think of intelligence, is not the reason Kurt Wise decided he'd rather be a fundamentalist christian than a scientist. He made a conscious choice to ignore what he knew to be true. That's not a lack of intelligence. That's a serious case of doublethink.

Offline Will

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #40 on: August 14, 2012, 11:51:28 AM »
Actually the question is, is their religion one of the key cause's of their stupidity.

Religion can't cause stupidity.  Atheism can't cause intelligence.  Or the other way around.

That doesn't even make sense.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2012, 02:30:03 PM »
I'm trying to respond to what you wrote, Silk, but I just keep getting dragged deeper and deeper into the underlying questions.

Because I don't think that intelligence is really the correct word to use. Not if you're talking about religious fundamentalism, and how, for instance, fundamentalist parents homeschool their children in order to teach them their own non reality-based world view. If you're talking about things like what's shown in that infamous Jesus Camp documentary, I think it has more to do with stifling critical thinking and intellectual honesty, and teaching closemindedness, than intelligence. It's no less problematic given how difficult it is to define intelligence.

But, as I see it, you can't stop people from learning facts. And if you tell someone the earth is 4.5 billion years old, they can't un-know that. If you show them the evidence for this claim, they can't un-see the evidence. You have to teach them to think in a very closeminded way, and not to listen to reason. How you do that, I have no idea. Personally, I think the cognitive dissonance would drive me crazy.

When you are not emotionally and psychologically attached to an idea, its much easier to dispose of it. For Christians in general, the consequences of disposing of their belief in god is absolutely devastating.  When you are taught from a young age that believing in Jesus will effectively make you immortal, when you are taught to focus your entire life around this, that to disobey his teachings, ( actually, the church's interpretation of his teachings ), will put you farther away from him and your community, disposing your belief in god will cause your entire house of cards to crumble.  I know, I used to be a roman catholic, it it was devastating when I disposed of this belief.

I look at it like this, we have piles of ideas and beliefs that are all interlinked like small houses of cards. One idea supports another. When we see that certain ideas can stand, we give them a little more weight. When those piles are smaller. The consequences  of collapse are much smaller.  Scientists are prepared to let the house crumble and start over. Religious folks, however, are taught that this is absolute truth and that letting this house crumble is not an option. The intelligent religious person is left with a terrible contradiction that will gnaw at them until they either find a way to justify it or dispose of it.

"Seek the truth, and the truth will set you free"




Offline Trieste

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Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2012, 05:18:11 PM »
Ummmmm... Shit got crazy up in here. >.>; Not touching you guys with a ten foot pole, although it's been interesting reading.

Torch, you've kind of got two questions going, here. The title of the thread seems to ask an objective question, while the first post seems to ask a subjective question:

Do we think less of others dependent upon their own personal religious beliefs and/or practices?

I think the objective question has been put to bed (is there a correlation? Yes, but correlation is not causation and correcting for religious background shows that the correlation disappears, as far as I can tell), so that leaves the subjective question.

I'm a little unclear on whether you're talking about spirituality as a whole or just specifically religion as a facet of spirituality. All the examples you listed were examples of organized religion but it can be a little difficult to come up with examples from the spiritual-but-not-religious crowd. Going to give it a shot anyway.

I don't know that we do inherently. I think that when we take others' beliefs in the context that they place them in - that is, if we have them explain their beliefs - they usually make a fair amount of sense. The idea of transubstantiation grosses me out a little and I've made my fair share of jokes about it ("Today we're having body of Christ meatballs! Don't want to miss dinner!") but I don't think that believing in it automatically makes someone less intelligent. Intelligent people believe illogical things all the time. It happens and it doesn't inherently mean they are stupid.

I think that generally there is a tendency to reduce others' beliefs down to something that sounds ridiculous. "Sky Daddy did it" is a perfect example of that - although I wonder if the person wasn't getting their religious dogma confused since the SkyFather is generally not a Christian concept. I've seen reference to Paul Ryan's "magic underwear". I'm sure that's now how he would describe it, but if you boil it down to a few deliberately ludicrous words, of course you're going to think that the person's intelligence must be compromised. It's inherent in the "us vs. them" mentality that humans are prone to. In war, in sports, in religion, all through history, we have thought of people in the 'opposite' camp as being mentally incompetent in some way (and often physically, especially sexually, incompetent) and it helps us to win conflict because we dehumanize opponents.

So,
Do we think less of others dependent upon their own personal religious beliefs and/or practices?
Individually, not always. In groups, hell yeah.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2012, 06:33:27 PM »
In all fairness, how many of us would be willing to ditch our agnostic/atheist/scientific beliefs if some Christian, Muslim, Jew, Mormon, Jehova Witness, or Scientologist  was able to offer unshakable, theoretical proof that their God and religion was real?

Would we take up this new religion and all its restrictions, practices, customs and god(s) as quickly as we would expect religious folks to abandon their gods and beliefs?

My point is not to speculate about the possibility that they could be real, but to highlight the difficulty in changing one's core beliefs.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #44 on: August 14, 2012, 07:05:08 PM »
In all fairness, how many of us would be willing to ditch our agnostic/atheist/scientific beliefs if some Christian, Muslim, Jew, Mormon, Jehova Witness, or Scientologist  was able to offer unshakable, theoretical proof that their God and religion was real?

Would we take up this new religion and all its restrictions, practices, customs and god(s) as quickly as we would expect religious folks to abandon their gods and beliefs?

My point is not to speculate about the possibility that they could be real, but to highlight the difficulty in changing one's core beliefs.

If it were somehow proven that one particular religion were true - let's not get into how that would happen - I would have no choice but to accept it as true. I suspect this would be the case with most people who are conscious of their atheism and take part in this sort of debate, too. I think it would be far easier, if you had the evidence, to convince atheists to become theists, than the other way around. If you believe in religious dogmas, then you believe the natural order can be suspended. Once you believe that - if you believe it strongly enough - no amount of evidence could convince you. Nevermind the fact we can never conclusively disprove the existence of a god or gods, but even if we could, the religious could always claim the evidence was a clever satanic deception, or something like that. Again, critical thinking.

On that note, I can't say how many atheists would become practicing believers. I know I wouldn't. I think Christopher Hitchens had it right, and I won't go into the whole argument here, but if you're curious you can look up what he had to say about the "Celestial Dictatorship", or the "Divine North Korea".

Offline Bloodied Porcelain

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Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #45 on: August 14, 2012, 08:49:19 PM »
In all fairness, how many of us would be willing to ditch our agnostic/atheist/scientific beliefs if some Christian, Muslim, Jew, Mormon, Jehova Witness, or Scientologist  was able to offer unshakable, theoretical proof that their God and religion was real?

That's the thing... most Atheists don't believe because there is no proof or evidence to support the claim that there is a God or Gods. If you could provide proof that a given religion's God exists and that their religion was the "right" one to worship under, it would no longer be belief or faith. It would be fact, at which point nearly any atheist would accept it as such and thus it would become part of their knowledge and most would simply fall in line (for lack of a better term) as needed. Granted many of us might fight against said divine power. Not by denying it's existence, but basically arguing that it's teachings are inhumane or wrong on some level. Hemingway already referenced one of my idols talking about it, but I'm inclined to agree with Hitchens when he said that heaven by the biblical standards is little more than a celestial North Korea so even if it was real, I wouldn't want to go.

Plus... based on pictures, Hell looks more interesting than that other place anyway. ;)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2012, 08:55:17 PM by Bloodied Porcelain »

Offline vtboy

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #46 on: August 15, 2012, 02:28:03 AM »
Hemingway already referenced one of my idols talking about it, but I'm inclined to agree with Hitchens when he said that heaven by the biblical standards is little more than a celestial North Korea so even if it was real, I wouldn't want to go.

Plus... based on pictures, Hell looks more interesting than that other place anyway. ;)

There is also Twain's Letters from Earth, in which Satan's observations to his fellow archangels on man's stupidity and other failings include the following:

Quote
Now then, you have the facts. You know what the human race enjoys and what it doesn't enjoy. It has invented a heaven out of its own head, all by itself: guess what it is like! In fifteen hundred eternities you couldn't do it. The ablest mind known to you or me in fifty million aeons couldn't do it. Very well, I will tell you about it.

First of all, I recall to your attention the extraordinary fact with which I began. To wit, that the human being, like the immortals, naturally places sexual intercourse far and away above all other joys -- yet he has left it out of his heaven! The very thought of it excites him; opportunity sets him wild; in this state he will risk life, reputation, everything -- even his queer heaven itself -- to make good that opportunity and ride it to the overwhelming climax. From youth to middle age all men and all women prize copulation above all other pleasures combined, yet it is actually as I have said: it is not in their heaven; prayer takes its place.

Earlier in the passage Satan has noted man's distaste for prayer.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 11:22:52 AM by vtboy »

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #47 on: August 15, 2012, 02:58:18 PM »
It is easy to vilify those we disagree with.  Claiming they are 'less intelligent' is just another way to separate them from us.  It makes us feel superior and justifies our anger at them.  In the end, they are us and we are simply doing ourselves harm.

Offline Moraline

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #48 on: August 15, 2012, 04:00:19 PM »
As to the simple question of do others often judge others that do not believe/practice the same types of religion (or lack thereof) as being of lesser intelligence? The simple answer is, Yes.   

People judge others all the time. Heck, some people think that others are less intelligent because of the food they eat or the color of their skin.  Prejudice is all around us and very few of us don't suffer from at least some form of prejudice no matter how enlightened we think we are.


We need to define how we define intelligence first.

Quote
Intelligence has been defined in many different ways- including, but not limited to abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, communication, reasoning, learning, having emotional knowledge, retaining, planning, and problem solving.  ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence

In different studies that have been conducted it's been shown that people with higher levels of education usually possess a less likely hood of following a religious belief or follow one far less strictly.

It should be noted that education is not directly related to intelligence. While it is true that those of higher education often possess a greater capacity to learn and indirectly results in a higher intellect and intelligence quotient we should also note that there are far more intelligent non-educated people then there are educated ones. This is a direct result of a lack of educational social equality throughout the world. This inequality is a result of money, prejudice, government intervention etc etc...

*edit: see below for differing thoughts on the subject of religion *


My opinion is that there are many very intelligent people of strong religious beliefs. There are also many of very low intelligence.




*Edit / Update:   Here is an article in Science + Religion Today that says 73% of educated people (those with a degree) believe in a "personal God."  Small addendum to that though, that sampling comes from the general degree fields. When analyzed across specific studies - those in science background fall into only a fraction of that number and far fewer have religious beliefs.

Another interesting Article about "Why people believe..."  ~ ScientificAmerican

A chart that shows the drastic change in religious beliefs between 1998 - 2008:
Is Atheism Increasing at the Expense of Theism?  ((Interestingly there was very little change in the US but most other countries had drastic changes/drops in belief.))

« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 04:02:31 PM by Moraline »

Offline kckolbe

Re: Is there a correlation between religious beliefs and intelligence?
« Reply #49 on: August 15, 2012, 04:54:25 PM »
While I am not sure if this ties in at all, I can say that one could compare average IQs of different religions and see some significant differences, though a more likely explanation would be the overall technological level of the region.  Christians, for example, would have an average IQ about or over twenty points higher than the average Muslim, though that would more likely be attributed to the fact that Christianity is practiced in more developed nations.  However, one could flip that logic and say that those nations have progressed more because the dominant religion in those now-developed nations were more compatible with critical thought.