Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Tampitump

Smart religious people

Recommended Posts

Almost every single person I went to high school with is more intellectually-gifted, more educated, and all-around smarter than myself. I was an idiot in school. I slept in class, never did my work, bombed the tests, and everyone thought I was a total moron. I remember being in science and math classes with all my smart religious peers. Their religiosity cannot be the result of low intelligence. If intelligence level was the metric for how religious or non-religious a person is, then I should be a deeply, devoutly religious person. Most of the people I'm referring to now mostly have at least a master's degree education and most of them are professionals. Our class valedictorian has a PhD in speech pathology, and many of the people I graduated with are engineers and lawyers now. It kind of puzzles me. How is that I ended up being the freethinker who understands logic, evidence, the scientific method, epistemology, etc., when they are clearly the intellectually-superior ones? I don't even have much education at all, yet I have relatively good understanding of science, philosophy, history, etc. Almost all of these people are very religious, and some of them even believe in the idea of a young Earth.

 

My pastor friend's wife is a good example of what I'm talking about. I struggled in many classes, and she was chosen to tutor me quite often back in high school because she was such a gifted student. Yet, there she is every Sunday, praying to an insecure space wizard that she unequivocally believes in, and I, the dummy, stay home because I realize just how improbable it is that her imaginary friend is anything more than that.

 

How does that work out? It always puzzles me that all these smart people I knew from school, whom I know are much smarter than myself, are less rational than myself on many subjects. Do you know any highly religious, but incredibly smart people?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Francis Collins who led the human genome project is an obvious example.

 

It helps to remember that there are different types of intelligence. It's also not some binary state where you either have it or you don't.

 

Many stupid people are atheists and many smart people are theists. Intelligence alone is not sufficient to explain beliefs, religious or otherwise, and just because you don't believe in some magic cloud surfing sky pixie doesn't necessitate that you don't believe in some other equally ridiculous thing(s).

 

Beliefs are about much more than intelligence and are heavily predicated on environment, upbringing, and a combination of other factors.

Edited by iNow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Francis Collins who led the human genome project is an obvious example.

 

It helps to remember that there are different types of intelligence. It's also not some binary state where you either have it or you don't.

 

Many stupid people are atheists and many smart people are theists. Intelligence alone is not sufficient to explain beliefs, religious or otherwise, and just because you don't believe in some magic cloud surfing sky pixie doesn't necessitate that you don't believe in some other equally ridiculous thing(s).

 

Beliefs are about much more than intelligence and are heavily predicated on environment, upbringing, and a combination of other factors.

Yeah, I actually included Francis Collins in my first incarnation of this post before I deleted what I wrote and started over, then I left him out. I mainly wanted to talk about my experience, and ask about the personal experiences of others.

 

As for myself, I intitially became atheist not because of reason or logic, but because of the desire to be contrary and different than everyone else. It wasn't until later, after learning more about things, that I realized that I had good reasons to be atheist, and then it DID become about reason, logic, and skepticism. Many people are whatever label they are in name only, and the content of their position often is not justified, or at least, they don't harbor good reasons to hold said position when there are good reasons available to them.

 

I still do not consider myself a particularly smart person, but there aren't many (if any) of said former school peers whom I think could hold their own in conversations with me on any given issue. Yet, I still think they are smarter people than me with brighter brains.

Edited by Tampitump

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for myself, I intitially became atheist not because of reason or logic, but because of the desire to be contrary and different than everyone else. It wasn't until later, after learning more about things, that I realized that I had good reasons to be atheist, and then it DID become about reason, logic, and skepticism. Many people are whatever label they are in name only, and the content of their position often is not justified, or at least, they don't harbor good reasons to hold said position when there are good reasons available to them.

 

 

You should read iNow's (+1 BTW) post again; Our culture is so much deeper than our national consensus.

 

Our culture/belief, at it's most fundamental, is individual.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are performing the error of comparing statistics to actual individuals. Statistics are for analyzing the trends of groups only

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Knowledge and education is far more important than native intelligence. At best, intelligence is a measure of how much time and effort someone requires in order to learn certain subjects and skills.

 

People can be more "intelligent" in some ways than in others, and everyone is more educated in some areas than in others. The longer you live, the more likely it is that you will know more about something, probably even a lot more, than the brightest, best educated people on Earth.

 

Nobody, no matter how smart, has the time to know everything there is to know about everything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are performing the error of comparing statistics to actual individuals. Statistics are for analyzing the trends of groups only

 

 

How?

Knowledge and education is far more important than native intelligence. At best, intelligence is a measure of how much time and effort someone requires in order to learn certain subjects and skills.

 

 

Where does the knowledge come from, and how does it differ from native intelligence?

Edited by dimreepr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Religiosity is related to a few things. There is an inverse relationship with intelligence and education, but the culture of an area has a lot of influence. Higher dopamine levels increase religiosity on average, and conservativism, with a tendency toward authoritarianism and heightened fear response primes people for authoritarian religion. Chris Mooney wrote a great book on the latter. (More about denying facts, but religious belief is a subset of this issue.)

 

https://www.amazon.ca/Republican-Brain-Science-Science-Reality/dp/1118094514

 

Conservative brains tend to strengthen their erroneous beliefs when challenged and presented with contradictory facts. Several experiments bear this out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Religiosity is related to a few things. There is an inverse relationship with intelligence and education, but the culture of an area has a lot of influence. Higher dopamine levels increase religiosity on average, and conservativism, with a tendency toward authoritarianism and heightened fear response primes people for authoritarian religion. Chris Mooney wrote a great book on the latter. (More about denying facts, but religious belief is a subset of this issue.)

 

https://www.amazon.ca/Republican-Brain-Science-Science-Reality/dp/1118094514

 

Conservative brains tend to strengthen their erroneous beliefs when challenged and presented with contradictory facts. Several experiments bear this out.

 

 

FFS. Read the thread before posting... Please

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The more religions interfers with Science the less I see these people as really smart. They may be smart given in a specific rigid context like a school for example but if I tell them that their religious texts show nothing but incoherence, contradictions, and no verfiable proof that a aboslute all powerful being wrote it and they deny it then your grounding of what you believe is going to be skewed in many vital ways. In this sense, I don't consider them smart because they are stopping the use of critical thought and limiting the study of the natural world and the only world we know of at the present momment for billions of years.

 

Take for example, Francis Collins who has a position of authority in science where he can approve or disaprove a study. If there is some new evidence of evolution that needs research that needs to be approved by Mr.Collins and he denies it because of his creationist ideas then this is where I have to draw the line between intelligence and pure stupidity and ignorance.

 

The saddest thing is that this happens all the time in universities, governments, and etc. And no one ever notices because it's hard to see it on the surface.

Edited by Mitsurugi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FFS. Read the thread before posting... Please

Isn't he asking why he knows smart people who are religious? While the trend is against that for the reasons I listed, the culture of the area, dopamine levels of individuals, and conservativism result in intelligent people being religious.

 

Am I missing something?

The more religions interfers with Science the less I see these people as really smart. They may be smart given in a specific rigid context like a school for example but if I tell them that their religious texts show nothing but incoherence, contradictions, and no verfiable proof that a aboslute all powerful being wrote it and they deny it then your grounding of what you believe is going to be skewed in many vital ways. In this sense, I don't consider them smart because they are stopping the use of critical thought and limiting the study of the natural world and the only world we know of at the present momment for billions of years.

Take for example, Francis Collins who has a position of authority in science where he can approve or disaprove a study. If there is some new evidence of evolution that needs research that needs to be approved by Mr.Collins and he denies it because of his creationist ideas then this is where I have to draw the line between intelligence and pure stupidity and ignorance.

The saddest thing is that this happens all the time in universities, governments, and etc. And no one ever notices because it's hard to see it on the surface.

The "smart" religious people I know are apologists. Yes, annecdotal evidence, but one possibility. My brother, a petroleum engineer believes in God and Jesus even though he believes the bible is man made fiction. He says that it's possible man made it up or recorded it wrong independent of God and Jesus being real.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FFS, when are they going to invent an APP that stop's us posting, after the following:

 

An unknown drug one take's on the off chance.

 

A fat-one: ones just smoked.

 

The eighth.

 

Sorry Willie, whisky is the culprit in this case.

Edited by dimreepr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

How?

 

My comment was directed towards the OP, who is using statistical knowledge to analyze individuals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

My comment was directed towards the OP, who is using statistical knowledge to analyze individuals.

No I'm not. I have no knowledge of the statistics on this matter. I'm not even sure what statistics you are talking about.

 

I meant for this to be a colloquial, casual topic. Not an overtly "sciency" topic. Talk about some of the smart religious people you know and what you think the culprit(s) for this smart person's religiosity is/are. For me, it was the fact that I felt (and still do) dumber than virtually everyone in my high school, but virtually all of them still believe in nonsensical religious bullshit despite being much more capable, accomplished, educated, and intelligent people than myself. I suppose this also raises the question as to whether or not atheism = smart. I will be the first to tell you that I feel overwhelmed by pretty much every other person in the world when it comes to intelligence or wits. But most people just don't apply reason to their preferred beliefs about the supernatural.

Edited by Tampitump

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People are less likely to be theistic the more educated they are, but education is not the sole driver.

 

Ignorance often plays a role in belief, but it is not the only thing that plays a role.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not going to comment on the Religious aspect.

We have enough threads on the subject. Maybe too many !

 

You say that everyone you went to school with was more intelligent than you. And in comparison, you were a 'moron'.

You've made this, and similar statements, quite often since you joined this forum. And IIRC iNow has repeatedly told you not to do that. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe, just maybe, you're wrong about your intelligence ? Maybe school wasn't a 'priority' for you at the time and you didn't apply yourself. Maybe you had different interests.

Now, maybe, you've gotten serious.

You've consistently made solid, logical arguments. Some I didn't agree with, but you've certainly displayed a level of intelligence which may be above average even on this forum.

Stop selling yourself short, and have a little confidence in yourself.

 

Others can see it; when are you gonna recognize it ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost every single person I went to high school with is more intellectually-gifted, more educated, and all-around smarter than myself. I was an idiot in school. I slept in class, never did my work, bombed the tests, and everyone thought I was a total moron. I remember being in science and math classes with all my smart religious peers. Their religiosity cannot be the result of low intelligence. If intelligence level was the metric for how religious or non-religious a person is, then I should be a deeply, devoutly religious person. Most of the people I'm referring to now mostly have at least a master's degree education and most of them are professionals. Our class valedictorian has a PhD in speech pathology, and many of the people I graduated with are engineers and lawyers now. It kind of puzzles me. How is that I ended up being the freethinker who understands logic, evidence, the scientific method, epistemology, etc., when they are clearly the intellectually-superior ones? I don't even have much education at all, yet I have relatively good understanding of science, philosophy, history, etc. Almost all of these people are very religious, and some of them even believe in the idea of a young Earth.

 

My pastor friend's wife is a good example of what I'm talking about. I struggled in many classes, and she was chosen to tutor me quite often back in high school because she was such a gifted student. Yet, there she is every Sunday, praying to an insecure space wizard that she unequivocally believes in, and I, the dummy, stay home because I realize just how improbable it is that her imaginary friend is anything more than that.

 

How does that work out? It always puzzles me that all these smart people I knew from school, whom I know are much smarter than myself, are less rational than myself on many subjects. Do you know any highly religious, but incredibly smart people?

 

 

I noticed the same sort of thing back when I was in school. I think it was mostly though that they were never in trouble and I sometimes was. ^_^

 

I believe it boils down to discipline at home usually leads to discipline at school. I read a book years ago called The Millionaires Mind, it explained this discipline nicely. These folks, if I recall correctly, were more likely to attended church but in either case the families were very efficient at all levels in their lives. They went to bed early and woke up early 7 days a week. Really expected their kids to spend a scheduled period every night studying. Their families ran like a finely tuned machine. I'm sure the nonreligious successful families do it similarly. But we just didn't notice them as much because they blended in better somehow.

 

I remember one religious guy we went through high school with, he was a 4.0 student. He was tall and handsome like some young executive. He looked bizarre that one day a year walking down the hall, past all the long hair and bell bottoms, wearing his Eagle Scout uniform. His hair was cut above his ears, but very sharp looking. He received an appointment to an academy, I believe it was Annapolis. He died piloting a small plane just a year out of high school somewhere on the east coast, I believe it was in Maryland.

 

Some parents are able to provide this nurturing environment with almost no effort regardless of their income, but sadly that income discrepancy does in many cases work against many student's success.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I buy into what Willie71 & iNow (particularly his last sentence) posted and maybe we can simplify it even further...our genes interacting with our environments are the main drivers. It takes a special effort of serious and open-minded contemplation to rid oneself from the restrictive and/or secured mind set imposed by the before-mentioned (especially during your upbringing/formative years).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote: "Slept in class, didn't do the work, bombed in tests'....

 

None of these things are a measure of intelligence by themselves - it is well know that some 'daydreamers' and underachievers that were thought of in the past to be slow are actually more intelligent that the sheeple that have to work hard for their grades. I would have thought you might have known this - it seems to me that you do know this deep down and are looking for confirmation and peer support for this (otherwise, why would you keep going on about it?). Forget what you have been told by your teachers or your father or whoever it was that told you that you were stupid and will never amount to anything and just get on with life knowing that you are clearly a bright lad.

 

In response to the thread - I was religious for many many years of my life. I am not saying I am intelligent, but I used to be top of tests at school for science and subjects I had an interest in (and like you, subjects I found boring I failed to perform at). I also have a PhD - I look back at my faith and I can forgive myself for believing the lies. It is a very complex psychological build up that causes someone to ignore reality and evidence and fact to accept the lies told by religious people (of course to them they are not lies - they believe it). I guess it is a desire to fit in, a desire to be a good person, fear of punishment from an all powerful super being....

 

In my case I remember prayer sessions as a 3 year old where we were told to picture Jesus putting our name into the book of life... looking back it was a bit like hypnotism/conditioning as you sit there in a meditative prayer state with an old lady in a soothing voice telling you what to picture and what to believe - the more I think about it the more like hypnotism it seems. I can forgive anyone for falling for that - especially as a 3 year old! How is a 3 year old supposed to sort out reality from lies when they are being taught such a thing as fact?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No I'm not. I have no knowledge of the statistics on this matter. I'm not even sure what statistics you are talking about.

 

 

Let me refer you to your original post. When you use terms such as "religiosity" and "intelligence metric", you are referring not to individuals, but how religious (or intelligent) people are in groups. If I wanted to measure the religiosity of my town, I would ideally ask everyone in the town to fill out a survey, or interview them regarding their religious behaviors. If I didn't have time to survey everyone, then I'd try to randomly sample proportionally from different neighborhoods. Either way, I'd get an average number. That average number would be an indication of the religiosity of my town.

 

The point being, when you use the word religiosity, you're referring to a group of people. If you're comparing a trend in religiosity to intelligence, that's also referring to a group of people. Whenever you're looking at groups of people for trends, you're using statistics.

 

The mistake you're making is that you're taking information from groups of people and trying to apply it to individuals. This is wrong. I can show a definite correlation between lung cancer and smoking heavily. This does not mean your Uncle Frank who smokes two packs a day is going to die of lung cancer. Uncle Frank may not even have a hint of any cancer and live to the ripe age of 102, smoking like a chimney. This doesn't mean the statistics are wrong, or Uncle Frank is wrong.

Edited by kisai

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not going to comment on the Religious aspect.

We have enough threads on the subject. Maybe too many !

 

You say that everyone you went to school with was more intelligent than you. And in comparison, you were a 'moron'.

You've made this, and similar statements, quite often since you joined this forum. And IIRC iNow has repeatedly told you not to do that. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe, just maybe, you're wrong about your intelligence ? Maybe school wasn't a 'priority' for you at the time and you didn't apply yourself. Maybe you had different interests.

Now, maybe, you've gotten serious.

You've consistently made solid, logical arguments. Some I didn't agree with, but you've certainly displayed a level of intelligence which may be above average even on this forum.

Stop selling yourself short, and have a little confidence in yourself.

 

Others can see it; when are you gonna recognize it ?

In half my modes, I'm intelligent. The other half I might as well be brain dead.

 

But the point of the thread was to discuss smart, or perhaps well-educated religious people. I was saying this because I personally know a lot of them. The people I mentioned are ones who I wouldn't put my wits up against. Most have advanced degrees in the sciences, law, or business. Yet, they unequivocally hold beliefs that my brain can dismantle with a few simple arguments.

 

Perhaps their success in academics and life in general is due the fact that they have souls and I don't. Lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My own personal opinion is that religion has little to do with intelligence.

Religion is a 'faith', based on untestable beliefs, it is not based on facts or evidence, and doesn't lend itself to analytical or logical thought. So why would it depend on intelligence ?

 

We've seen the intelligent half of your modes. We haven't seen much of the 'brain dead' half.

Your success has nothing to do with your beliefs. You can be religious and successful, or atheist and successful. They are not mutually exclusive.

 

All you need is confidence in your abilities and perseverance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the reason why people look at me like I'm speaking in tongues most of the time because I'm stupid and they are smart, or because they are stupid and I am smart?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

How?

 

 

 

Where does the knowledge come from, and how does it differ from native intelligence?

I'm not sure I understand where the confusion is in the statement that knowledge and intelligence are different things?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made a new friend at college who is in my calculus class. He came over to my house to study for the first exam. We had lunch and got into some good conversations. We agreed politically on just about everything we talked about. He seemed like a really smart guy.

 

He brought over his guitar so we could play some, and when he pulled his guitar out the case, I noticed that it had tons of stickers on it. One of the stickers read "Truth > Darwin" with the "truth" fish eating the "Darwin" fish. There were other Christian/religion-themed stickers on there too.

 

I told him that I liked his truth/Darwin sticker, to which he replied, "oh yeah, its pretty cool... are you a believer in Darwinism?"

 

I asked him what he meant by "Darwinism", and he said, "evolution." I replied "yes". To which he said, "oh, right on."

 

I asked him if he ACCEPTED evolution, to which he kind of paused and said, "no, man I don't"

 

We had a pretty long conversation about it after that. He was a very good person to talk to because he was respectful and cool with everything I said. I treated him and his position with respect, while presenting the reasons why I felt he should accept evolution. I also respectfully asked him what he believed and why, giving him plenty of time to express his opinion.

 

I'm not sure if I got through to him on the evolution thing. I think he was very stunned that an atheist was so nice, so respectful, and supportive of his right to his beliefs.

 

He expressed that he was glad to meet me, and that he had never met anyone like me. Perhaps that's the key to creating free-thinkers. Just be nice, be respectful. Present your evidence and reasons for your position, but never demean people. My new friend is a smart guy. Because he rejects evolution says nothing about his intelligence as far as I'm concerned. He's just not been lucky enough to be exposed to the correct information, or a scientific way of thinking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.