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Maciamo
23-09-05, 05:00
It seems that some Christian or other theist people admit that believing is god is nor rational and not in accordance with many logical arguments. Yet, they still believe. It is like the left hemisphere of their brain telling them "there is nothing to support the existence of an almighty creator god; why do you believe ", and their right hemisphere replies "because I want to, I need it".

Let me make a connection with the entertainment industry. Even very rational people like me like watching irrational movies like Star Wars, Harry Potter or some anime (e.g. Naruto). I know the story it's impossible, but it's fun to watch and try to feel "what it'd be like if it were true". I think that god believers' brains react a bit the same way. They decide to believe because it makes them happy or give them some inner strength, like by watching a movie. They are just more right-hemisphere dominated people than the atheists or agnosticists.

mad pierrot
23-09-05, 07:57
I think people choose to believe in god/gods because it gives them structure that would otherwise be absent from their lives. Furthermore, as a symbol, god can be a very powerful tool for the subconscious. For people who can't believe in themselves, they can substitute with belief in god. For example, "I did well on this test because I placed my faith in god," could easily be resconstrued as "I did well on this test because I have faith in my abilities."

Tsuyoiko
23-09-05, 15:20
It might be interesting to see if religious people are more right-brain dominant. I took one of the tests on similarminds.com and got something like 70% left-brain dominant - not a surprise. I'm guessing your preference is even higher Maciamo.

Maciamo
23-09-05, 16:26
It might be interesting to see if religious people are more right-brain dominant. I took one of the tests on similarminds.com and got something like 70% left-brain dominant - not a surprise. I'm guessing your preference is even higher Maciamo.

Interestingly not. I took the test (see this thread (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8926)) and got a "balanced-brain". It's probably normal; I have an overflowing imagination, very good orientation (3D skills) and enough creativity to be post over 5500 posts on this forum in less than 3 years and design most of this website. That is probably why my personality osciliates easily from ENTJ to ISTP, and why I can pass from posed consideration and scrupulous analysis to untamed partisan criticism.

Void
23-09-05, 16:33
"I did well on this test because I studied hard and was well prepared"
not a question of faith - just the knowledge of oneself :D :D :D

Pachipro
03-10-05, 08:52
You all might be interested in this web site (http://www.godpart.com/) (click on 'The Premise'). I have heard him interviewed many times and although I do not agree with him, his theory on the "god part of the brain" in interesting to say the least.

miu
05-10-05, 00:51
It's a lot more difficult to construct your own world view than to follow something that's already constructed. On the toher hand, values form religions are deeply incorporated in cultures and the values they have... The enxt question you might want to think about is whether a religion constructs a society or vice versa ^^;

McTojo
05-10-05, 01:10
Everybody brought up good points. I think the notion of god is another way of saying that I believe in myself like someone else had said previously.

For me, I drink sake so I associate sake as "god water" because it helps me enjoy the idea of drinking something that is made from rice and water; a pure and very simple drink that works well with foods such as sushi, and sashimi.


On another note, when I drink sake while sitting in a hot onsen with a beautiful Japanese woman in the middle of winter I feel "godlike" like I have reached the ultimate pinnacle of human evolution. I am god...

lexico
05-10-05, 01:19
Hi, McTojo ! :wave:
Excuse me for asking, but how did you get such a big head ? Squeezing a 220 x 300 pixeled, 5.112 killer-bite pic into your avatar couldn't have been easy at all. Looks like something's big in it. :shock:

http://www.eupedia.com/forum/customavatars/avatar16547_1.gif..http://www.eupedia.com/forum/customavatars/avatar16547_3.gif
big.......................................... still too big


On another note, when I drink sake while sitting in a hot onsen with a beautiful Japanese woman in the middle of winter I feel "godlike" like I have reached the ultimate pinnacle of human evolution. I am god...Aaah, I know what you are talking about, yeah, but sake is best taken warm out in the cold, and although that might not qualify to be called god-line, it sure feels warm n cozy. Now to have it in the onsen, you must have had it cold, right ?
But you are right on the mark; THAT IS the pinnacle of evolution provided it leads to the procreation of an offspring to be fostered into maturity ! :cool:

Maciamo
05-10-05, 03:16
It's a lot more difficult to construct your own world view than to follow something that's already constructed.

Well, it depends on how independent-minded a person is. Ever since I was taught about religion (5 or 6 years old ?) my mind couldn't accept the illogicism of some ideas. This only grew stronger as I learned how the world really was.

In fact, I sincerely cannot understand how people can live (let alone 'happily') with a conception of the world that clashes so much with reality and logics. People need to dream, but I feel sorry for those who just 'live in dreams' and are completely detached of reality. Maybe the average human (the religious type) is naturally schizophrenic. Or is it religion that has created a schizophrenic society to control them better ?

As we are with mental disorders, it's interesting to see the high percentage of Americans that suffer from paranoia (compared to, say the Japanese). This is best illustrated by the success of Hollywood movies where aliens come to destroy America (or the world, but it always start with the US :D ), or the number of government or terrorist plot stories. This is almost unique to the American cinema. I believe that paranoia is linked to a strong believe in Judaism or Christianity (more specifically in an almighty judging god, sinning humans and the apocalypse).

Maciamo
05-10-05, 03:22
Everybody brought up good points. I think the notion of god is another way of saying that I believe in myself like someone else had said previously.

I'd say the contrary. I believe in myself (my ideas and judgement), so I cannot believe in god or religions.



For me, I drink sake so I associate sake as "god water" because it helps me enjoy the idea of drinking something that is made from rice and water; a pure and very simple drink that works well with foods such as sushi, and sashimi.

On another note, when I drink sake while sitting in a hot onsen with a beautiful Japanese woman in the middle of winter I feel "godlike" like I have reached the ultimate pinnacle of human evolution. I am god...

Err... it seems that your image of god is closer to the Greco-Roman definition; something closer to "superhuman" rather than an entity able to create, alter and destroy anything in the universe, and know everything anywhere. If drinking sake watching at a half-naked woman makes you feel like god, then we are all 'at least' gods.

Ma Cherie
05-10-05, 04:22
Hmmmm............I don't think I would believe that God was some sort of entertainment for the brain. Some of the most intelligent people believed in God. (i.e. Albert Einstien) Besides, isn't natrual for man to believe there is some higher power then himself? That God may be concept of Man, (or vise versa) this is just my silly opinion, but that's how I feel at times. An average religious type being schizophernic, huh? :? Don't know about that. Yes true most religious people believe that believing in God is irrational, but I guess that's where their concept of faith comes into play. :?

McTojo
05-10-05, 04:45
I'd say the contrary. I believe in myself (my ideas and judgement), so I cannot believe in god or religions.



Err... it seems that your image of god is closer to the Greco-Roman definition; something closer to "superhuman" rather than an entity able to create, alter and destroy anything in the universe, and know everything anywhere. If drinking sake watching at a half-naked woman makes you feel like god, then we are all 'at least' gods.

Okay, so let's see, let me give you something more along the lines of a monotheistic, omnipotent, omniscient, all loving god who overflows with compassion; wouldn't that be another way of describing god ?

Is god a form of entertainment ? the answer is a resounding NO ! Just ask some of our world leaders. I'm sure George Herbert Walker Bush could actually prove his existence by wielding his own authority while wearing god on his sleeve...

I think the notion of god is a very dangerous thing in every sense of the imagination. Entertainment NO !

lexico
05-10-05, 09:10
Is god a form of entertainment ? the answer is a resounding NO ! Just ask some of our world leaders. I'm sure George Herbert Walker Bush could actually prove his existence by wielding his own authority while wearing god on his sleeve...

I think the notion of god is a very dangerous thingI agree with you that the notion of (a) God can be a dangerous thing politically, as a higher priority for what is not human could easily develop into a growing devalutaion of humans to extreme cases of dehumanisations as certain Christians in history and at the present have shown. Nevertheless, I politely choose to disagree if you should say so in general,
the notion of god is a very dangerous thing in every sense of the imagination.My reasoning is several-fold.

1) Religious thinking also worked culturally as a binding force amongst a group's members, offering moral/ethical guidelines when perhapas there were none, or not as much, before its emergence. Without a stable base of universally applying principles, more abstract thinking might not have been as readily accessible to the early men of civilisation without much abstract learning. Philosophy and metaphysics sprouted and developed in active cycles of stimuli and responses from/to the notion of God. For us modern beneficiaries of the industrialised, scientifically orchestrated production/consumption mode of subsistence, the origins of civilisation might not come within sight, but in fact the very idea of exploiting nature and people of one's out-groups to use as fitting is itself a very religious idea stemming from the Genesis. Max Weber (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Weber), in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Protestant_Ethic_and_the_Spirit_of_Capitalism) 1904-1905, argued that the industrialist/capitalist mode of behaviour also grew out of the protestant idea of providence and seeking proof of God's love through accumulating capital as a duty required of a good Christian.

2) Anthromorphising God, (when, where it was part of the belief system), stimulated the human brain to ask questions that had not been thetherto raised, and to seek answers that had not been answered in the wee hours of human civilisation.

3) Great scientists and artists, who are known for their crativity, were often inspired by the idea of God's creating power, and sought to discover God's hand-works or imitate the inventiveness of God. As a result, they have made important discoveries in the prinicples of nature, and also created great forms that not only glorified God, but also elevated human culture & civilisation to greater heights. Isaac Newton wrote that he was only collecting shells on a shore, able to see farther only from atop a giant's shoulder.

miu
06-10-05, 00:20
I think religions also have to do with feeling safe. Dont they say that children feel safer when they have an adult around to be in charge of things? This probably doesn't apply to all people, but some atleast.

I once had a discussion with my brother, who's an ahteist, and came to the conclusion that science is his god in some ways - and he agreed. When you really think about scientists gathering at big conferences, giving speeches and presentations presentations about their views and research, doesn't it remind you of something? When he started referring to some atoms and such like that I pointed out that if they're so small you can't prove if they're really there, isn't it just the same as believing that god really exists :hihi:

We all need something to believe, it's just extremely disappointing when something you believed in turned out to be false for you... :worried:

kumo
06-10-05, 00:52
When he started referring to some atoms and such like that I pointed out that if they're so small you can't prove if they're really there, isn't it just the same as believing that god really exists

Actually, we already have pictures of atoms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atoms) and its existence is just beyond reasonable doubt. What do you think pretty much all off Chemistry is based on? Magic?

Besides, there's many other ways to prove without any doubt something exists other than seeing it. If you don't 'believe' this you should stop using your computer and all technology right now, after all, the fact that they work is just a mere coincidence. :okashii:

Maciamo
06-10-05, 06:11
I once had a discussion with my brother, who's an ahteist, and came to the conclusion that science is his god in some ways - and he agreed.

Well, sciences cannot explain many things, such as metaphysics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics) (li. "beyond physics") which needs philosophical reasoning. Sciences also doesn't answer the moral questions, so lived only with sciences is for the least incomplete. Ethics is the branch of philosophy that analyses what is good or bad in religious morals, what can be added, and what we should keep for us in real life.

One of the problems with scientists is that they also lack knowledge of epistemology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology), so some might be fooled into believing into religion or god, just because of that. Those who think that sciences and god operate at different levels and are thus not exclusive, basically lack knowledge of epistemology and metaphysics. As scientists by profession are usually very specialised in one field, they also lack a broad understanding of science (e.g. physicists may not know well about medicine and neuropsychology). This give them a very narrow view of the world. So, don't trust too much the opnion of scientists that aren't philosophers too. If I may do this analogy, a scientist is like an accountant or a salesperson. They may know their stuff very well, but they lack the broader knowledge of other fields (marketing, research, production, HR) to become managing director. The head of a company should be a generalist with a broad knowledge of every field, so as to make decisions based on the overall view. That is the philosopher.

Tsuyoiko
06-10-05, 13:00
I think religions also have to do with feeling safe. Dont they say that children feel safer when they have an adult around to be in charge of things? This probably doesn't apply to all people, but some atleast.Yep - and the world isn't 'safe', so it has to be an illusion, IMHO. I'd rather be miserable in reality than happy in some false place - most of the time.

Pararousia
06-10-05, 17:52
It might be interesting to see if religious people are more right-brain dominant. I took one of the tests on similarminds.com and got something like 70% left-brain dominant - not a surprise. I'm guessing your preference is even higher Maciamo.

I took the challenge! :-) I am 66% left brain; 32% right: "Left brain dominant individuals are more orderly, literal, articulate, and to the point. They are good at understanding directions and anything that is explicit and logical. They can have trouble comprehending emotions and abstract concepts, they can feel lost when things are not clear, doubting anything that is not stated and proven.

Right brain dominant individuals are more visual and intuitive. They are better at summarizing multiple points, picking up on what's not said, visualizing things, and making things up. They can lack attention to detail, directness, organization, and the ability to explain their ideas verbally, leaving them unable to communicate effectively.

Overall you appear to be Left Brain Dominant"

Then I took the Tickle Test and it said I was "balanced brained"...like Maciamo: That means you are able to draw on the strengths of both the right and left hemispheres of your brain, depending upon a given situation.

When you need to explain a complicated process to someone, or plan a detailed vacation, the left hemisphere of your brain, which is responsible for your ability to solve problems logically, might kick in. But if you were critiquing an art opening or coming up with an original way to file papers, the right side of your brain, which is responsible for noticing subtle details in things, might take over.

While many people have clearly dominant left- or right-brained tendencies, you are able to draw on skills from both hemispheres of your brain. This rare combination makes you a very creative and flexible thinker.

The down side to being balanced-brained is that you may sometimes feel paralyzed by indecision when the two hemispheres of your brain are competing to solve a problem in their own unique ways."

Guess this blows your wispy Christian theory, eh?

Tsuyoiko
06-10-05, 17:59
Guess this blows your wispy Christian theory, eh?Not necessarily. Maciamo's 'theory' (actually a hypothesis) is about 'tendencies', and one counter-example doesn't disprove it, IMO.

Maciamo
06-10-05, 19:19
Guess this blows your wispy Christian theory, eh?

There is another factor. IQ. Researches have found that IQ is inversely proportional to religiousness (see article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religiousness_and_intelligence)).


Clark (2004) writing in Explorations: An undergraduate research journal reported that religious belief and behavior were negatively correlated with SAT scores in the USA.
...
Noted skeptic Michael Shermer (2000) found a negative correlation between education and religosity in the USA. Although Rice University indicates this may not apply to the social sciences

Naturally, social sciences include theology, history, sociology, etc. which are all compatible with religiousness by nature.

Of course, this is a very touchy issue, and it is not politically correct (especially in the USA) to admit that more intelligent people are less religious. Yet :



In one study examining people in the USA, 90% of the general population surveyed professed a distinct belief in a personal god and afterlife, while only 40% of the scientists with a BS surveyed did so, and only 10% of those considered "eminent."

Another study, again surveying people in the USA, found that mathematicians were just over 40%, biologists just under 30%, and physicists were barely over 20% likely to believe in God.

A survey of members of the United States National Academy of Sciences showed that 72% are outright atheists, 21% are agnostic and only 7% admit to belief in a personal God.

It is partly due to the nature of people according to their IQ. Here is what researches (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_intelligence#Significance_of_group_IQ_dif ferences) have found about learning styles linked to IQ :

<75 : simple, supervised work; eligible for government assistance
<90 : very explicit hands on training; IQ >80 for military training; no government assistance
>100 : written material plus experience
>110 : college format
>125 : independent, self-teaching

In other words, independent-minded and self-teaching people (like me) are the most likely to become atheist or agnostic, while people with lower IQ, who have more difficult to think or work by themselves, are much more likely to be religious.

This may turn really politically incorrect, but just to prove my point :


Women are more likely than men to believe in God (84% versus 73%). African Americans (91%) are more likely to believe in God than Hispanics (81%) and whites (78%). Republicans (87%) are more likely to believe in God than Democrats (78%) and Independents (75%). Those with no college education (82%) are more likely to believe in God than those with postgraduate education (73%).

Source (http://www.harrisinteractive.com/news/allnewsbydate.asp?NewsID=693)

Researches have shown that IQ is directly correlated to brain size. It has also been established that men have bigger brains in average than women, and whites bigger in average than blacks. Tests have also shown that men get higher scores in maths than women, and whites higher scores in maths than blacks. (see Brain size and intelligence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_size_and_intelligence), race and intelligence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iq#Genetics_vs_environment) and Sex and intelligence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_intelligence)).

The correlation also match religiousness for the 2 categories, as black people are in average more religious than whites, and women more religious than men.

So, on all the line, whatever the criteria, religiousness and belief in god are both statistically inversely proportional to intelligence (in this case IQ, which means reasoning, logical and spatial skills, not including other features of intelligence such as language, artistic skills, motor skills, etc.)

miu
06-10-05, 21:21
Actually, we already have pictures of atoms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atoms) and its existence is just beyond reasonable doubt. What do you think pretty much all off Chemistry is based on? Magic?

Funny you should say that... I've always had a very firm belief in alchemy. :hanabi: ;P

I probably didn't articulate my point clearly enough for you. I just meant that things can be quite relative - people used to believe earth is flat until it was proved otherwise. I'm not saying that you should always question absolutely everything (too stressful), it was just a thought I found amusing. :bluush:

As for the "religiousness-lower life standard" case, I get the impression that Maciamo is assuming that being poor immediately means your IQ is lower, which consequently means that you're more religious. I would be more ready to believe that poor people are more prone to be religious as they might not see any other options to improve their life (in one way or another)... Does anyone know about religiousness in poor African countries? If you draw evidence from USA alone, it's also good to keep in mind that it still has a social security system of somekind... Also, it has been said that people liek to stick to what they know so if your family is poor, how willing are you to do somethign completely different and possibly alienate yourself from your family (atleast partially)?

I'm awfully bad at conveying my thoughts sometimes (I'm right-brained :bluush: ) but I hope that made some sense...

Entertainment for the brain or the last straw? :clueless:

Mycernius
06-10-05, 22:07
Hmmmm............I don't think I would believe that God was some sort of entertainment for the brain. Some of the most intelligent people believed in God. (i.e. Albert Einstien) Besides, isn't natrual for man to believe there is some higher power then himself? That God may be concept of Man, (or vise versa) this is just my silly opinion, but that's how I feel at times. An average religious type being schizophernic, huh? :? Don't know about that. Yes true most religious people believe that believing in God is irrational, but I guess that's where their concept of faith comes into play. :?
Albert Einstein didn't believe in God



"I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religion than it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism."

"I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it."

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for a reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."

A few others who didn't believe in God were:

Issac Asimov
"I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say that one is an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or agnostic. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect that he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time."

Aldous Huxley
"You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, intelligent enough."

Abraham Lincoln
"The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma."

Benjamin Franklin
"I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absenteed myself from Christian assemblies."

To find other just type famous Atheists into Google.

kumo
06-10-05, 22:15
I probably didn't articulate my point clearly enough for you. I just meant that things can be quite relative - people used to believe earth is flat until it was proved otherwise. I'm not saying that you should always question absolutely everything (too stressful), it was just a thought I found amusing.

Relativist fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativist_fallacy) . Opinions are relative, facts are not.

You seem to think scientific theories are either true or false, when in fact they are just more or less accurate descriptions of nature's workings. You also seem to to think that scientists are indoctrinated to buy into it, when in fact they do question everything they know, and have their work questioned and tested by their peers. That's a fundamental element of the scientific method.

Anyway, any theory being disproved doesn't make the religious 'answer' right. The valid options for any questions is not science or religion, it's science or saying 'I don't know, yet'.

Yes, people used to believe the earth was flat. In case you forgot, anyone who said otherwise used to be killed by the church.

Ma Cherie
06-10-05, 22:19
According to this article I read, Albert Einstien did believe God. Even though it wasn't the Christian god. Or it's better to say that he at least thought about God.

This seems like an interesting place to visit.http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/arguments.html#einstein

Mycernius
06-10-05, 22:22
Yes, people used to believe the earth was flat. In case you forgot, anyone who said otherwise used to be killed by the church.
Actually this is a fallacy. Humans have know the earth was a sphere since the greeks. Columbus knew the earth was round. Early church leaders knew the earth was round. Most likely Jesus and his disciples knew the earth was round. In Dantes inferno the medieval maps show the earth as a sphere. What people did believe was the earth was the centre of the solar system and the universe, until Copernicus and Gallileo proved differently. And they were both forced to repress their finding by the church.

miu
06-10-05, 22:43
Anyway, any theory being disproved doesn't make the religious 'answer' right. The valid options for any questions is not science or religion, it's science or saying 'I don't know, yet'.

I don't think I said anywhere that the religious answer is the right one. I was merely introducing a small thought that popped into my mind during a conversation. I suppose I was just suggesting that it's sometimes good to reflect on your ideals and beliefs and the reasons for them.

A story related to that: I once met a girl in a bar who said she had converted into a catholic. I was naturally quite surprised as it's not exactly one of the most liberal religions you can find. So I asked her why she had converted and she said because she likes Italian. :o I don't think there's much more you can add to that... :blush:


Yes, people used to believe the earth was flat. In case you forgot, anyone who said otherwise used to be killed by the church.

And in case you forgot, there were all sorts of nice scientific experiments the nazis did during 2WW. There are theories and people who interpret and execute them. Do to others what you would do to yourself, indeed...

kumo
06-10-05, 22:47
Actually this is a fallacy. Humans have know the earth was a sphere since the greeks. Columbus knew the earth was round. Early church leaders knew the earth was round. Most likely Jesus and his disciples knew the earth was round. In Dantes inferno the medieval maps show the earth as a sphere. What people did believe was the earth was the centre of the solar system and the universe, until Copernicus and Gallileo proved differently. And they were both forced to repress their finding by the church.

You are right, but I think this wasn't a 'common people' knowledge, and the church certainly didn't support the flow of information (I'm only talking about middle age).

Anyway, what I was trying to say is that most 'scientific theories' that we find absurd nowadays were not really scientific at all, as they were censored and many times created from scratch by the church, so they can't be used as examples of how science was completely wrong.

kumo
06-10-05, 23:48
I don't think I said anywhere that the religious answer is the right one.
I know you didn't.


I was merely introducing a small thought that popped into my mind during a conversation.
Me too.


I suppose I was just suggesting that it's sometimes good to reflect on your ideals and beliefs and the reasons for them.
And I agree with you. This is the essence of freethought, wich is generally incompatible with religious ideas (though not necessarily).


And in case you forgot, there were all sorts of nice scientific experiments the nazis did during 2WW. There are theories and people who interpret and execute them. Do to others what you would do to yourself, indeed...

It's amazing how people use Nazism to try to prove any point :D
You're talking like these "experiments" were performed for the sole purpose of science, when the truth is the major reasons for the holocaust were their 'race' and their... religion :shock: (ok, they were not that major, but they certainly helped the masses adhere to nazism). On the other hand, when the church killed anyone who would disagree with them, their only reason was religious based. Of course science can be used for evil (as can be anything), but it's never the justification for it (provided an unbiased scientist).

Pararousia
06-10-05, 23:58
Maciamo:
There is another factor. IQ. Researches have found that IQ is inversely proportional to religiousness (see article).

Just how many factors would you like to throw out? And how high would you say IQ has to be (before I tell you mine)? *L and shaking my head*

studyonline
07-10-05, 04:55
I know this professor who teaches Physics at a university in my hometown. He told me a story long time ago. He thought he could figure out and "calculate" God. He hated even the idea of the existence of God, so he wanted to prove that was wrong. He simply could not do it. Now he is a Christian, not because he couldn't prove, but God visited him one day. Experiencing like that blows your mind. It becomes "impossible" to deny the reality and the truth. But while our brain searches for the truthfulness of it, we will go nowhere.

kumo
07-10-05, 05:43
I know this professor who teaches Physics at a university in my hometown. He told me a story long time ago. He thought he could figure out and "calculate" God. He hated even the idea of the existence of God, so he wanted to prove that was wrong. He simply could not do it.

The burden of proof rests upon the one making the claim, wich in this case is the theist.


Now he is a Christian, not because he couldn't prove, but God visited him one day. Experiencing like that blows your mind. It becomes "impossible" to deny the reality and the truth. But while our brain searches for the truthfulness of it, we will go nowhere.

The old 'atheist in denial finds god' fundie tale. :okashii:
Even in the very unlikely event that you didn't make this up, this doesn't really prove anything nor does it even qualify as an argument.


Gotta love how most fundies come to spam these kind of threads without ever adressing other people's points or actually trying to make one of their own :okashii:

*waits for pages of bible spam*

Maciamo
07-10-05, 06:02
I just meant that things can be quite relative - people used to believe earth is flat until it was proved otherwise.

Really ? To the best of my knowledge, Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese, etc. all knew that the earth was round. It is Christianity that brought this weird idea that the earth should be flat. So only Christians (and not even all) did believe that until Columbus (who was one of those who didn't believe it) proved them wrong. This is just one of many examples of how harmful Christianity has been to European civilisation. Among other things, Christianity slowed down sciences and philosophy, persecuted intellectuals, and I believe, was the main reason why the Roman Empire collapsed, about 100 years after Christianity was made the state religion.



As for the "religiousness-lower life standard" case, I get the impression that Maciamo is assuming that being poor immediately means your IQ is lower, which consequently means that you're more religious.

I didn't mention poverty, just sex, race and education. But poverty is also a factor. Yet, I never said that "being x immediately means your IQ is lower". This is much too simplistic. There are women, poor people, uneducated people or blacks that have very high IQ too. Then these factors do not all have the same factor of correlation. Racial differences of IQ are greater than gender differences within a same race, for example.


I would be more ready to believe that poor people are more prone to be religious as they might not see any other options to improve their life (in one way or another)...

This is also true. It may depends on opportuities too. The American dream has made a few people come out of povery to become extremely rich. So wealth is only a temporay, changeale thing. Sex and race aren't.


Does anyone know about religiousness in poor African countries?

It's vey high. I haven't heard of any significant atheist percentage in Africa.


A story related to that: I once met a girl in a bar who said she had converted into a catholic. I was naturally quite surprised as it's not exactly one of the most liberal religions you can find. So I asked her why she had converted and she said because she likes Italian.

My goodness, this girl incorporates shallowness at its utmost ! What's more, Italians are now mostly agnostic or atheistic.


And in case you forgot, there were all sorts of nice scientific experiments the nazis did during 2WW. There are theories and people who interpret and execute them. Do to others what you would do to yourself, indeed...

Weren't the Nazi some kind of extremist Christians, like the Ku Klux Klan...

Maciamo
07-10-05, 06:05
According to this article I read, Albert Einstien did believe God. Even though it wasn't the Christian god. Or it's better to say that he at least thought about God.

The god he believed in was a kind of pantheistic god. Differenciating a apntheist from an atheist is just a matter of definition. For a pantheist, Nature is God, god is everything in everything and we are part of it. Now, just call that nature, energy or whatever, and you are atheist. In any case, he was not religious.

Maciamo
07-10-05, 06:22
Just how many factors would you like to throw out? And how high would you say IQ has to be (before I tell you mine)? *L and shaking my head*

Good question. I haven't read any statistical research giving the exact precentage of chance to be religious or non-religious according to IQ. I'd say that among exceptionally gifted people (IQ above 135), over 90% are non-religious or atheist. But there is also cultural and societal factors to consider. In Japan, many people are not religious but they are not exposed to strong religious ideas either. How can you be really religious if you are Shintoist ? In some US states or Muslim countries, one would be quite well advised not to publicly announce that they are atheist, and force to be religious if they want to fit/conform. In Europe, it's fine to be an atheist, ok to be a bit religious, weird/frightening to be obsessively religious (eg. go to church every Sunday or quote the Bible).

I think there is no minimum IQ to be a "weak atheist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weak_atheism)", but there is certainly one to be a self-proclaimed "strong atheist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strong_atheism)". However, I am not sure what it is (I doubt than an IQ under 80 be sufficient in the best of the cases; and I'd say over 110 to have a 50-50 chance of being a strong atheist, then over 80% of chance over 125 as people are more independent-minded and self-taught).

Maciamo
07-10-05, 06:25
Now he is a Christian, not because he couldn't prove, but God visited him one day.

How did he know it was the Christian god ? Because it was the only thing he was familair with ? :D What Christian denomination (e.g. Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Orthodox, Coptic...) did he choose to follow from this revelation ? Did god actually tell him which of the Christian sect was the right interpretation ? :D

So your professor of physics is one of the 20% of American physicists to believe in god. May I ask how old he is and how well educated he is about history, liguistics, psychology, etc. One of the problem of specialised scientists is that some lack broader intellectual interests than their field of speciality and are therefore not great philosophers.

Then it doesn't take such a high IQ to become university professor. It has been proven that exceptionally gifted people (IQ above 99% of the population) are so much self-learner that they often reject the whole institutionalised school/university system, as they find it boring and too conformist. That's also why I do not attach much importance to academic titles. It's mostly made to impress the masses ("oh, I have a PhD but I think that god exist because he talked to me !").

studyonline
07-10-05, 08:20
Interesting, I never mentioned on IQ. lol

There is only one God. To those who don't know, they can see most religions are so similar I bet. So that was a typical question. Why is he following Jesus then? The Bible says that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. By the way, the professor tried other religions, spiritual rituals too. Just like any other non-Christians would try and find God with their brains, logical approach or scientific methods. He probably retired by now. So over 65 easily. If I remember right, the university needed him for few extra years. As for how well educated, let's just say that you would be humbled if you can talk to him. I don't even try to give you some info on this since PhD degree is not a big-deal thing.

I don't trust PhD degrees really. Just like I don't trust the reliability of your information on IQ. Or any other earthly resources. Having said those, I don't even try to convice anyone by my story either.

As for a divine visitation from God, God can appear in any way at any time. You can talk about your opinions on anything. But experiencing is sometimes so powerful. Have you ever been to Japan to experience the culture? Wasn't it more than a study from a book?

Maciamo
07-10-05, 08:28
There is only one God. To those who don't know, they can see most religions are so similar I bet.

As you visibly are the one who doesn't know, not all religious are monotheistic. Hindus have millions of gods, and not a single one is considered as more powerful or important by all Hindus (although a few gods are more important than the rest). Shintoists in Japan believe in the spirits of nature, and some humans that have become gods (e.g. former emperors). Buddhism has many branches, some atheistic, some pantheistic and some polytheistic. There is no concept of a unique god, nor even that gods are almighty. Almost all ancient religions were polytheistic. You are claiming that all religions only have one god or are similar, but what you meant was maybe all branches of Christianity ?


He probably retired by now. So over 65 easily.

Not surprising. Maybe people suddenly find "revelations" when they become senile (the actual age depends a lot on the people).

studyonline
07-10-05, 09:19
Do you know what we say about religions in Japan? 八百万の神 (やおよろずのかみ-in case you couldn't read it) is an expression and the view of many Japanese people on religions. As you asked before, they always ask the same thing when a conversation like this happens, "which god are you talking about?".

To those who don't know God, they think alike. Not that I don't recognize the different theories or belief systems. I know those differences in religions well enough as I grew up there and lived there for over 20 years. Some people there even worship the head of fish.

I know about denominations too. I know some historical background on major denominations as well. But that is not important thing here.

I believe Christianity is more than a religion. The term religion is not really a correct way to see Christianity though this is my opinion. To me, believing in Jesus is more than that. It is a daily walk and relationship with Him. Not a mere acknowledging on a religious teaching or vague concept on God. So what I meant was that to those who never experienced and received the revelation of who God is, they basically this common thing-lack of experience. I include those so-called Christians in it, too. Because going to church on Sundays will not always make a person a true believer of God. Just because you have opened the Bible won't really make you "know" there is true God. Even if you are recognized by many, having PhD in theology, studied for 30 years, or how great achievement you accomplished, only God can reveal Himself, and only after the experience, you can know the truth.

By the way, the professor is now over 65. He became Christian around 15-20 years ago.

Mycernius
07-10-05, 14:45
I know this professor who teaches Physics at a university in my hometown. He told me a story long time ago. He thought he could figure out and "calculate" God. He hated even the idea of the existence of God, so he wanted to prove that was wrong. He simply could not do it. Now he is a Christian, not because he couldn't prove, but God visited him one day. Experiencing like that blows your mind. It becomes "impossible" to deny the reality and the truth. But while our brain searches for the truthfulness of it, we will go nowhere.
I know of stories that go the other way. People upset about the fundelmentalist nature of Christianity, by some people, or how their God can be so cruel, that they turn away from Christ and find comfort in another religion or with no God at all. This story really proves nothing.
This story also has put a picture of God knocking on this persons door and introducing himself, "Hello, I'm God. Can I borrow a cup of sugar?". I'm sorry, but that's the type of picture it paints.
Christianity is no more or less important than any other religion. To say differently smacks of arrogance and ignorance.

miu
07-10-05, 16:46
I suppose that it's a bit of an unconscious reaction to refer to nazism as it's
probably the most obvious example of 2WW atrocities. Another example that comes to mind is Japan, of course... I don't know whether the nazis were extremist Christians for the sake of Christianity or because they were Christians who needed scapegoats and a religion to use as a vehicle for their own purposes. People are happy to join a party if it promises them a safe future, which is one of the things the Nazi party promoted. Work for all, someone to blame for your misery and social unity.

As for Japan, wasn't shintoism specifically tinkered with to suit the purposes of the nation state? I atleast get the impression that many major events in the history that have something to do with religion are more about politics than religion... But I suppose that might depend on your point of view.

Religions perhaps tend to support social unity and order as well but then again, isn't it something a society needs? I'm not defending a religion or another, I'm just saying that people seem to need a codified set of rules before they can function as a group. Maybe that's why it's not very
surprising to notice that religions and philosophies share similar qualities/values (such as Christianity on Confucianism for example). As pointed out before, there are things in life hard science doesn't give a very satisfying answer to but religion does as well as philosophy.

I suppose the thing I'm trying to say is that I see religion as something people have created to help them cope with life better so it's probably not just pure entertainment. These days, religion doesn't have as big a big role in explaining nature as it did before, but there are still other aspects it can give an answer to or offer relief.

Maciamo
07-10-05, 18:18
Religions perhaps tend to support social unity and order as well but then again, isn't it something a society needs? I'm not defending a religion or another, I'm just saying that people seem to need a codified set of rules before they can function as a group.

If you like codified rules, I invite you to read the 80,000 pages of EU laws + your country's national laws. Don't worry, if something hasn't been mentioned yet, it will come ! There are plenty of human right and other civic values in them. But you are right, religion used to play a similar role... thousands of years ago.

Revenant
07-10-05, 19:17
I am right-brained according to that test. I did believe in God at one time, but after putting my faith on the line in debates many times, I began to even to start questioning other parts of the Bible. It was that I didn't want any part of my faith to be unreasoned, and so I set out to reason all parts of the faith. Apologetics was of course the best way to do this.

I do not believe I am terribly wispy. Certainly, I am not highly educated, but have sought to educate myself to some extent, in debating and reading other people's thoughts. It is with the idea that Questions are the Answers that I sought to question everything, and not simply take anything as I heard it.

I can most certainly say that my mother is very intelligent, a very strong person, and highly effective at whatever she puts herself to. She remains a strong believer in the Christian faith.

All in all, I would agree that religions can give people a lot of strength. It is just the taking on of some very powerful perceptions, perceptions of hope, and love magnified by the power of conviction.

It can also have the opposite effect, as a lot of people that grew up in hell fire and brimstone familes were terrified, and a few even got deep into theology at a very young age, in fear that if they didn't find the truth within the Bible, they would be forever sent to eternal torment. These people, once they started applying logic to find the truth, eventually found that some of it was true.

I don't know that I like this theory that right brained people find creative ways to make themselves happier. It makes the left brained people seem less happy, and somehow colder. I simply believe that all people can carefully look at an array of perceptions, and find a perception that best triggers happy feelings for them. These perceptions can indeed still fit reality.

I forgot who brought this point up, but one reason Christianity may have not done well in the early days, was that the Greeks had their gods. But these were treated much the same as modern Japanses treat religion, they go to Shinto shrines for New years, and they go to Buddhist temples or Christian churches for funerals or memorial services. Religion really isn't anything serious here for most.

Those who were serious about finding the truth in Greece at the time when Christianity was first making it's splash there, didn't go to religion, but rather to philosophy. Philosophy is rigorous, as the ideas require a lot of contemplation.

Just my rambling thoughts on all this.

studyonline
08-10-05, 02:22
Christianity is no more or less important than any other religion. To say differently smacks of arrogance and ignorance.

You can be right in terms of Christian religion being able to do it. But God does not do so.

I have said so many times that my story is not to convince or prove something. But I simply shared the true story that I know of.

I would say the arrogance and ignorace is in human beings. We think we know a lot yet we don't know much. That's the truth. I don't mean I know all just because I am Christian as many of you think Christians think like that.

I don't claim Christianity is better than all other religions.

All I am saying is that God knows all. Humans don't. Humans I mean you and me and all other people, including Christians. Does it make sense?

miu
09-10-05, 19:46
All in all, I would agree that religions can give people a lot of strength. It is just the taking on of some very powerful perceptions, perceptions of hope, and love magnified by the power of conviction.

I think that the idea I have of religion is similar to yours. It maybe doesn't have to be a religion per se but a way of thinking in any case. I believe that we all have a need for a philosophy of somekind that we can follow and with which we can explain things to ourselves. Maybe the thing in religions (or other established ways of thinking, philosophies and what have you) is that alongside the guidelines, they also provide a community and something more personal than just facts. You have someone/something you can turn to for advice, consolidation etc. That's why a big pile of books filled with laws and directives might not seem enough to put your mind at ease. After all, isn't the ideal law an objective one?

In general, I find it saddening how some people nowadays seem hostile or get sarcastic and start belittling when talking about religions. I would like to view religions as a construction of social, philosophical and moral values (and more) which should be studied in a wider context. Also, this conversation seems to revolve around Chrstianity as if it's the only religion in the entire universe - life does exist elsewhere too, you know. :sorry: