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Featured "The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity: A Meta-Analysis and Some Proposed Explanations"

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Jeremiahcp, May 17, 2017.

  1. Jeremiahcp

    Jeremiahcp Well-Known Jerk

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    I thought this study would make an interesting conversation piece. It is long, but I think worth reading, so if you see something in the study you disagree with, quote it and share why, or feel free to do the same on something you agree with. It may be hard but please keep the discussion about the study itself.

    This is the article itself: SAGE Journals: Your gateway to world-class journal research

    Here is the source site: SAGE Journals: Your gateway to world-class journal research
     
  2. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Interesting. It pretty much follows what I've read of other studies.

    HERE is the full paper of your linked meta-analysis abstract.

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  3. Jeremiahcp

    Jeremiahcp Well-Known Jerk

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    The full article is already linked in the OP.
     
  4. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Yeah, but from what I can tell it requires opening an account, which I don't care to do.

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  5. Jeremiahcp

    Jeremiahcp Well-Known Jerk

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    I do not have an account and I can open it.
     
  6. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Not fair. :(

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  7. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    I see it as the less intelligent tend to more believe in old-school standard religious conceptions. However I think many of the most intelligent believe in more sophisticated religious concepts and in more non-dual (God and creation are not-two) religious beliefs.

    I think the circle along the intelligence line is old-school religious thinking to non-religious and then to non-dual conceptions.

    Remember I am just talking tendencies.
     
  8. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    [​IMG]
    source

    Interesting that the top of the religiosity arc is at an IQ of about 72. An IQ Rating of 70-79 indicates borderline deficiency


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    #8 Skwim, May 17, 2017
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  9. joe1776

    joe1776 Active Member

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    In the past, I have advised atheists against using data like this in debate with theists because:

    1. It plays into the Arrogant Atheist stereotype;

    2. The implied message seems to be: We're smarter than you, therefore we're right! And that's a logical fallacy;

    3. I like the arguments that begin by assuming God's existence as a conditional premise because that limits the debate to the claim that their sacred texts were divinely inspired. We have 2,000 years of accumulated evidence to use in contradiction.
     
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  10. Kuzcotopia

    Kuzcotopia If you can read this, you are as lucky as I am.

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    I'd like to think that outlier at around (109, 8.8) is William Lane Craig and his ilk. Those guys are the head scratchers. . .
     
  11. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    It also shows a bad understanding of math to assume that overall measures of a distribution are representative of any particular example within that distribution:

    Why prejudice is stupid, or the distribution is not the mean
     
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  12. osgart

    osgart Active Member

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    Religion is not an intellectual journey; it's more about thinking with the heart than the mind itself.
    Science is mentally intense, Religion is heartfully intense with goals. Philosophy is more for the mind too in a hypothetical sense.
    Religion seeks to bring the heart to it's forever peace with joy. The eternal element more of a question and a belief, based on hope more than sheer evidence.

    It is hope inferred from one's own conclusions based on possible evidence.
    Religion is unabashed in its search for possibilities of the eternal. It's a longing because life is loved so much.

    for me ceasing to exist isn't fearful it's mundane. Though I see it's possibility, I also see the other possibility that consciousness is fundamental and not a fluke, that we only see a small part of reality. and maybe we are eternal.
     
  13. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Well-Known Member
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    For me, it was behind a paywall.
     
  14. joe1776

    joe1776 Active Member

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    I can't think of a higher goal in life than to become a better human being. I see religion making moral progress, but only after being forced to it by public opinion. For example, the abolition of slavery and the current world-wide movement for women's rights -- the sacred texts of Western religion don't support either.

    If a man without a religion examines his conscience and wants to change his attitude on the women's issue, it's a simple thing to do. But if he's a faithful Jew, a Christian or a Muslim, and he wants approval from his rabbi, priest, minister or imam, he might not live long enough to get it.
     
    #14 joe1776, May 18, 2017
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  15. Jeremiahcp

    Jeremiahcp Well-Known Jerk

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    Well, there was another link provided.
     
  16. Jeremiahcp

    Jeremiahcp Well-Known Jerk

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    And you are displaying a terrible understanding of statistics if you think that was the aim of the study. It is a bell curve for a reason.
     
  17. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    I didn't think that.

    I was building on @joe1776 's point: no only is "we're smarter than you, therefore we're right" fallacious, the study - even if entirely correct - doesn't even establish "we're smarter than you" for any particular group of atheists as "we" and any particular group of theists as "you".

    Edit: a word of advice: if a conclusion seems ridiculous to you, the charitable - and prudent - thing to do is to confirm whether a person actually holds it before assuming that they do.
     
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  18. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Well-Known Member
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    Interesting article. A few comments:

    1. It is notoriously difficult to measure intelligence. While IQ, GPA, and SAT scores are usually used, they are more correlated with analyticity than actual intelligence.

    2. The negative correlation between analyticity and religiosity is something acknowledged by many religious people. Often, this is suggested as the difference between thinking with the 'head' (analyticity) and with the 'heart' (intuitiveness) with the latter emphasized for religious people. If intelligence is identified with analyticity, this alone could lead to the observed negative correlation.

    Edit: see osgart's post above as an example here.

    3. I found the analysis of the functional aspects of intelligence and religiosity very interesting. The claim is that both religion and intelligence serve to satisfy needs such as self-regulation, self-enhancement, and attachment. Because they both supply these needs, having intelligence lessens the 'need' for religion. I see this a lot in the religious discussions here and elsewhere. The idea of many religious people is that they lose some of their value if they lose their religious beliefs. They also lose the reasons to delay gratification for future goals.
     
    #18 Polymath257, May 18, 2017
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
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  19. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    The problem I always have with research about "religiosity" in any context is the way in which that characteristic is metricized. When it is metricized, researchers nearly always frame it based on Western religious paradigms, particularly Christianity. This is not a bad thing per se, but it is unfortunate that this bias isn't made more transparent. Why not call it "Christian religiosity" which is a more accurate term for what is measured?

    With respect to this particular study, I've never felt there is good cause to believe that what we call "intelligence" is accurately encapsulated by IQ tests. Per the study:

    "This definition of intelligence is often referred to as analytic intelligence or the g factor—the first factor that emerges in factor analyses of IQ subtests (e.g., Carroll, 1993; Spearman, 1904). Other newly identified types of intelligence, such as creative intelligence (Sternberg, 1999, 2006) or emotional intelligence (Mayer, Caruso, & Salovey, 1999), are out of the scope of the present work because the available studies on the relation between intelligence and religiosity examined only analytic intelligence."

    I think this is an unfortunate shortcoming of the analysis, considering that religions do not limit themselves to being intellectual pursuits. That, coupled with the presumptuous way of measuring religiosity means these findings have some limitations. When I think about how the results would apply to paths like mine, I'm not sure where to start or if it does. Ultimately, that isn't too important. If we get past the limitations of the study and the prejudiced directions some people take with it, the discussion section actually has some pretty darned interesting speculations in it. The bit about functional equivalence I found to be particularly interesting, because I often think about religions from a functionalist standpoint myself.

    "We describe hereafter four functions that religion may provide: compensatory control, self-regulation, self-enhancement, and attachment. We propose that higher intelligence also provides these four benefits and, therefore, lowers one’s need to be religious."

    Study is very long, and I don't have time to read all of it in detail right now, but thanks for sharing it.
     
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  20. Jeremiahcp

    Jeremiahcp Well-Known Jerk

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    I pointed out your flawed reasoning in your link. Just because you understand math, that does not mean you understand statistics.
     
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