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Replying to the original post. I'm not particularly religious myself; I don't subscribe to any organized religion, nor do I think the Bible is literally true, etc. But here's the thing - you're taking the position that religion and intelligence are mutually incompatible. As far as I can tell, religion has a lot to do with faith, which means believing in something without proof. That's very different from believing in something that is provably untrue. To take the "literal interpretation" group as one example, I think a pretty good case can be made that they fall into the latter category, and I somewhat agree with your point in that case.

 

But many faithful people are not literalists. In point of fact, the big abstract questions like "does God exist" fall into the first of my categories, not the second. I don't see how the existence of God can be disproven, because any universe we observe around us could have been created just that way. So I see room for highly intelligent people to accept every aspect of the universe around us and all of our scientific knowledge, and still choose to believe in divine things.

 

The scientific mindset and the religious mindset are just two completely different things. As scientists, one of our "rules" it not to accept things without an appropriate amount of supporting evidence. That's just not how the process of faith works, though.

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I'll admit that the existence of god cannot be disproven, as you say, but the non - existence of any of the gods claimed by all of the existing religions are pretty easy to disprove. The god of the bible, Koran, tora, hindu books etc just cannot exist in the way they are portrayed in the respective books and it is pretty easy to show that just by reading the books and comparing what is written to reality.

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I think you meant prove instead of disprove? And yes, it's clear that the details in all of those documents are in no way literally true. I tried to make the distinction between literalist interpretations and general spirituality in my reply. I absolutely think that people who try to take the stuff too literally are falling into the "believing in spite of disproof" category.

 

I think it's a comfort thing for a lot of people. They were raised to believe, and they want to believe. So the most intelligent ones of them recognize the parts that just cannot stand and "draw in" their belief system to a point where they don't recognize any further incompatibility. So now you have a spectrum - some people probably do a very good job of that, and wind up with a pretty unassailable belief system, while others probably reject the most ludicrous literal interpretations but still have some things in their belief system that they just don't realize can be easily disproven. And some people take great delight in popping those bubbles for them. :)

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well, yes - one of the first things I ever learnt in church was to listen with the guidance of the holy ghost - you pray before any bible study or sermon that you would only hear the message god wants you to hear so you sift through the dross and personal drives of the priest. I always held to that, but it gets taken literally... even though the man in the books speaks in parables and proverbs... which clearly aren't meant to be literal. Some of it is supposed to be though.

 

You listen with your 'spiritual ears'.

Edited by DrP
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Sure. For me that's being "guided by my values." Anyway, I think it's clear that religion as a social meme has been one of the really powerful ones - it's just very hard for people to cast off such beliefs when they were raised in the environment of those beliefs. I'm not really religious, but on the other hand my mom and dad really didn't push it with me. We went to church some, but not always; it was just never hammered into me as a super big deal. So I don't really know how I might have turned out if they'd been much more focused about it.

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There are many forms of intelligence...

 

But you might say we have intelligence and creativity.

Intelligence is then about acquiring and applying of knowledge while creativity is the use of imagination.

Creativity can imo lead to religion. And very intelligent people often seem to have less creativity which can lead to religion...there are of course many other factors.

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There are many forms of intelligence...

 

But you might say we have intelligence and creativity.

Intelligence is then about acquiring and applying of knowledge while creativity is the use of imagination.

Creativity can imo lead to religion. And very intelligent people often seem to have less creativity which can lead to religion...there are of course many other factors.

 

I don't think religion is a question of intelligence, it's a question of understanding; what's to stop our current understanding, descending into religion?

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I don't think religion is a question of intelligence, it's a question of understanding; what's to stop our current understanding, descending into religion?

It's often a lack of understanding.

Randolpin gave a nice example how a lack of understanding can lead to religion:

 

"1. God is the best explanation why anything at all exist.

2. God is the best explanation of the origin of the universe.

3. God is the best explanation of the applicability of mathematics to the physical world.

4. God is the best explanation for the fine-tuning of the universe.

5 God is the best explanation of objective moral values & duties.

 

I will explain it as best as I can in the next posts."

 

When people don't understand something then they often believe in things they can understand and in doing so they think they are scientific.

 

There is I think no proven link, but I've often noticed how certain intelligence can lead to religion.

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1. God is the best explanation why anything at all exist.

2. God is the best explanation of the origin of the universe.

3. God is the best explanation of the applicability of mathematics to the physical world.

4. God is the best explanation for the fine-tuning of the universe.

 

Just replace the word 'god' with 'our's' and spin the world into an unknown future, then why not?

Edited by dimreepr
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ATM we have a philosophy that's well understood by a very small percentage of our population (I don't know the actual figure but I'd be surprised if it was more than 1 or 2%), so even a minor global disaster could reduce that figure to 0.

 

So what's left of humanity would only have the books to learn from, and there's lots of evidence that ancient philosophical books are misinterpreted, and altered, to suit political machinations.

 

I see no reason to think science is immune, given a perfect storm and enough time, misinterpretation and politics.

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ATM we have a philosophy that's well understood by a very small percentage of our population (I don't know the actual figure but I'd be surprised if it was more than 1 or 2%), so even a minor global disaster could reduce that figure to 0.

 

So what's left of humanity would only have the books to learn from, and there's lots of evidence that ancient philosophical books are misinterpreted, and altered, to suit political machinations.

 

I see no reason to think science is immune, given a perfect storm and enough time, misinterpretation and politics.

 

 

Then it is no longer science.

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I do seze a re'ason.

So what's left of humanity would only have the books to learn from, and there's lots of evidence that ancient philosophical books are misinterpreted, and altered, to suit political machinations.

 

I see no reason to think science is immune, given a perfect storm and enough time, misinterpretation and politics.

I think science is a body that keeps itself in check...science constantly adapts to a changing environment.
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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?

 

Good to see you've realized this.

 

Now when you hear somebody say things like "All those religious idiots" or "They're too stupid to realize God isn't real." You can adequately realize that those statements are biased or wrong.

 

And if you hear a religious person say "Atheists are stupid" or "Atheists just want to commit sin." You can adequately realize that those statements are biased or wrong.

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I think science is a body that keeps itself in check...science constantly adapts to a changing environment.

 

Indeed, but it does depend on it's participants understanding.

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Fundamentally, intelligence doesn't matter here.

 

A sky high IQ won't stop you seeing the horizontal line in the optical illusion here

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical%E2%80%93horizontal_illusion

as shorter than the vertical one.

In the same way, your intelligence won't stop you falling for the innate cognitive biases that people have.

 

Religion exploits those human traits.

http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/Manuscripts/Willard_Norenzayan_Cognitive_Biases.pdf

And it is very hard to overcome them.

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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.

I know several people that struggled in high school and don't have an academic degree. Yet some of them turned out to have a higher intelligence then average. I suppose people considered you a 'total moron' because you don't use intelligence as expected by 'society'.

Imo creativity (the use of imagination) is an important factor to whether someone is religious or not.

There is a threshold hypothesis.

The basic idea behind the threshold hypothesis is that high creativity requires high or at least above-average intelligence. At this, above-average intelligence is thought to form a necessary but not a sufficient condition for high creativity.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3682183/

 

It might be that a high creativity makes people more prone to resist indoctrination.

 

Are your parents religious?

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Fundamentally, intelligence doesn't matter here.

 

A sky high IQ won't stop you seeing the horizontal line in the optical illusion here

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical%E2%80%93horizontal_illusion

as shorter than the vertical one.

In the same way, your intelligence won't stop you falling for the innate cognitive biases that people have.

 

Intelligence doesn't always equal understanding, much like age doesn't always equal wisdom, it very much depends on the accumulated knowledge of the culture, and how well that knowledge is transferred to the next generation.

 

Religion exploits those human traits.

http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/Manuscripts/Willard_Norenzayan_Cognitive_Biases.pdf

And it is very hard to overcome them.

 

 

Politics exploits a lack of understanding (along with as many human traits as it can).

 

Religion suffers from both politics and a lack of understanding, the original philosophy didn't initiate either.

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