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  #1  
Old 04-27-2012, 11:36 AM
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Default Food for Thought: Analytic vs Intuitive thinking and Religion

An interesting new study suggests that religious belief declines with analytic, as opposed to intuitive, thinking: Analytic Thinking Can Decrease Religious Belief, Study Shows. Enjoy.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:40 AM
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I don't know. Either the experiment was... rather odd, or badly misrepresented by the article.

"Researchers used problem-solving tasks and subtle experimental priming – including showing participants Rodin’s sculpture The Thinker or asking participants to complete questionnaires in hard-to-read fonts – to successfully produce “analytic” thinking. The researchers, who assessed participants’ belief levels using a variety of self-reported measures, found that religious belief decreased when participants engaged in analytic tasks, compared to participants who engaged in tasks that did not involve analytic thinking."

I don't see what viewing art has to do with analytical thinking, to say nothing of giving people headaches with poorly designed letters.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:48 AM
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That actually makes sense.

It's hard to attach meaning when you systematically break things down to the umpteenth degree.

Analytical philosophy is great and useful. An analogy would be like describing a cup to the point that you break it down to quarks and atoms. At that point, you lose track of the big picture and argue about anti-matter and the space between atoms. It's just harder to attach meaning at that point.

Now, if you are going to argue that religion and analytical philosophy don't mix, I will most assuredly disagree.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:20 PM
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That will be true for New thinkers, once the people understand analytic thinking completely they will either be thrown in to the middle or revert back.

Analytical thinking is the New Star on the block, Once enough people join it will no longer be welcome and everyone will move on to the new thing. New things are more fun and Analytical thinking will prove itself tedious and boring.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:29 PM
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That will be true for New thinkers, once the people understand analytic thinking completely......
I don't think this will ever happen. People spend lifetimes trying to decifer Bertrand Russell and Wittgenstein works.

In short, it just means the pulpit and priest have shifted from the religious front, the a more secular one.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Storm View Post
I don't know. Either the experiment was... rather odd, or badly misrepresented by the article.

"Researchers used problem-solving tasks and subtle experimental priming – including showing participants Rodin’s sculpture The Thinker or asking participants to complete questionnaires in hard-to-read fonts – to successfully produce “analytic” thinking. The researchers, who assessed participants’ belief levels using a variety of self-reported measures, found that religious belief decreased when participants engaged in analytic tasks, compared to participants who engaged in tasks that did not involve analytic thinking."

I don't see what viewing art has to do with analytical thinking, to say nothing of giving people headaches with poorly designed letters.
The article left out a lot of details, so it is hard to assess the study on that basis. I'm going to assume that the results were statistically significant, so something was going on to affect the factor that the authors called "religious belief". To me, analytic thinking suggests weighing evidence for both sides of a proposition and coming to some judgment on the basis of evidence. When that happens, you temporarily suspend judgment in order to reassess. Becoming "less religious" is opening your mind to an atheistic point of view. Intuitive thinking, on the other hand, does not seem to involve suspension of judgment. You just make a decision on the basis of what "feels" right.

So my question for the authors of the study would be whether they would expect strong atheists to become "more religious" under conditions that elicited analytic thinking. That is what I would expect. Anyway, it is food for thought.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Quiddity View Post
I don't think this will ever happen. People spend lifetimes trying to decifer Bertrand Russell and Wittgenstein works.

In short, it just means the pulpit and priest have shifted from the religious front, the a more secular one.

People spent the last 2000 years trying to decifer the bible.

How old is judism
How old is confucuisism

Every Religion today is much older than Bertrand Russell and Wittgenstien and people are still trying to decifer these religions and these religions are shrinking. Just being analytical would prove the same for all future results.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Quiddity View Post
I don't think this will ever happen. People spend lifetimes trying to decifer Bertrand Russell and Wittgenstein works.

In short, it just means the pulpit and priest have shifted from the religious front, the a more secular one.
Oh, that's just more philosophy. The actual science takes only a couple of decades.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bobhikes View Post
People spent the last 2000 years trying to decifer the bible.

How old is judism
How old is confucuisism

Every Religion today is much older than Bertrand Russell and Wittgenstien and people are still trying to decifer these religions and these religions are shrinking. Just being analytical would prove the same for all future results.
I'm guessing you are using the term in a much more broad way and not in it's more academic and professional use.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by PolyHedral View Post
Oh, that's just more philosophy. The actual science takes only a couple of decades.
......what can I say? Science isn't really going to make an impact beyond what it's already made which is getting nominal and uneducated religious folks to leave for unphilosophical reasons.
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