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Atheists, smarter than religious people

 
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jan, 2007 11:59 pm
This was in this week's Sunday London Times. I couldn't find a link, so I'll post an excerpt:
"By studying a unique type of epilepsy that's often accompanied by visions of God,...scientists have found an area in the temporal lobe that fires when people feel intense religious rapture, which may be caused by a rapid firing back and forth between the two hemispheres, with a loss of sense of self and a feeling of being in the presence of something bigger. Another discovery is that when people enter a transcendental state of mind, during which fear and self-consciousness are dispelled, their amygdala and parietal frontal and temporal lobe pathways are stilled.

Mystical experiences described by religious people are similar to those caused by the psychoactive drug psilocybin-found in magic mushrooms. This chemical activates the same pathways as the mood-elevating serotonin. It seems that some peole are primed for religious experience more than others by their biological and genetic make-up."
(There was no author or publication cited, so I can't post a more specific reference, sorry).

So I guess you can look at it this way- while religious folks may be lacking a few IQ points, (because that's all that separates the IQ's of religious and non-religious people in the study I read), they get this extra little gift that enables them to experience what is described as "rapture" on occasion. I'd trade five IQ points for that.
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 01:09 am
Well said Aidan....at last somebody is addressing the "intelligence" issue !

Quote:
Albert Einstein, when asked to describe radio, replied:
"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."


To the intelligent atheist "God" has the same status as Einstein's "cat".
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Raul-7
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 01:23 am
Knowledge is like salt - too much of it and it makes a person bitter.
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 01:29 am
...and ignoring it in a theist dessert means you are dead from the neck up !
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 01:39 am
Fresco, you cat, you edited that post before I was done replying, and now my reply doesn't belong anywhere. Laughing

No matter. It was just a repetition of what has been going on on the previous pages. Carry on :wink:
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 01:43 am
Throughout our written and pre-written history, most of our major accomplishments have been entrenched with religion, as were the men who enabled these accomplishments i.e. architecture, mathematics, philosophy, music, painting, written and spoken language, etc

I suggest that from a long term historical perspective, the number of people of great accomplishment who were wholly of the belief there is no chance of a creator whatsoever (IOW a true atheist) would be rather small.

Given that it would be easy to demonstrate a correlation between high intelligence and people of great accomplishment, it follows people who are not true atheists are smarter! The proof is in the historical accomplishment pudding (sorry edgarblythe, a man's gotta have some fun now and again!).

I further suggest that no only were most people of great accomplishment not true atheists, but most people of great accomplishment were religious to one degree or another.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 01:57 am
Isn't intelligence measured by accomplishment?

And considering that christians at one point accomplished domain over all of europe and the vanquishing of pagan religions, that would mean that theism is intelligent (?)
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 02:01 am
Cyracuz wrote:
Isn't intelligence measured by accomplishment?

Sure it's a decent enough yardstick for our purposes here, and that's why my post makes me chuckle.
Cyracuz wrote:
And considering that christians at one point accomplished domain over all of europe and the vanquishing of pagan religions, that would mean that theism is intelligent (?)
Well my last point in and of itself does not argue that religious people are smarter than atheists.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 02:05 am
That is true.

But if intelligence is measured by accomplishment, and most people of great accomplishment were religious to one degree or another, as you state, then it might follow of it.
But again, I realize that you did not say that.

But to very many of these persons of great accomplishmet religion was no more than a cloak to shield them from presecution in an extremist society.
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 02:10 am
Cyracuz wrote:
But to very many of these persons of great accomplishmet religion was no more than a cloak to shield them from presecution in an extremist society.
In more modern times you could well be right.

But what about during most of our history and the people responsible for the major accomplishments of languages, art, music, architecture, the forerunners of modern science, social structures and governmental systems?
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 02:22 am
Yes, we are still struggling with their misconceptions...

They carried humanity far, but their legacy is also part of the problems we face today.
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Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 03:01 am
Time for a pop culture cornball reference:

Star Trek Episode 33, Season 2:
Who Mourns for Adonais?
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 06:01 am
timberlandko wrote:
Its not "waiting for evidence", edgar, one way or the other, its acknowledging no evidence, one way or the other, permits any definitive conclusion, one way or the other. Now, I will say that by the available evidence, the probability of the existence of any god or gods is vanishingly small, to the point of near certainty. However, for that, one must acknowledge only exceedingly - to the point of statistical insignificance - small probability is scientifically determinable. Science - contemporary, post Einsteinian Science - is not about absolutes, it is about questions and probabilities; both theism and atheism entail unquestioned absolutes.


I understand what agnostics are saying, about the lack of evidence either way. I understood that so-called reasoning all my life and have rejected it. My major point is, the religious among us have concocted a belief in a god out of nothing. This is why we don't need evidence beyond the simple fact. You can use logic to prove or disprove almost anything, but the arbitrary assertion of a god falls flat on its face and needs no counter evidence. I could go on about how you could stake out a belief in anything imagineable, without a speck of reason for it, and nobody would believe you, except in the instance of a god, and that's due to the gullible nature of most humans.
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 06:53 am
Cyracuz,

Sorry about that edit !

The proposition that great advances were made in the past by "believers" is irrelevant to the "state of the world" today for several reasons.

(1) For much of the past it was dangerous in the extreme to profess "no faith" or even a variation from the establishment (Newton himself had to keep his skepticism of "the trinity" a secret in order to maintain his position at Trinity College)

(2) In the past conflicts of ideologies involving warfare tended to be limited in location and range. Today (post 9/11)the stakes are much higher and the "intelligent conclusion" is to highlight and combat the pernicious results of "belief" as a breeding ground for "otherwoldly terrorism"

(3) Advances in the biological sciences have de-mystified "life" to the extent that even "intelligent believers" have retreated to a position of advocating a "non-interventionist deity".
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 07:25 am
edgarblythe wrote:
What amazes me about agnostics and the religious, they take a blind guess that there is or may be a god, then say atheists are making the wild guesses. It's like George Bush saying, we got to take Hussein out before he bombs Toledo.


Only an atheist could conceive of saying that something "may be"…is a blind guess!
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 07:32 am
Edgar wrote:

Quote:
Agnosticism is giving in to a blind guess that god exists, to the extent of giving it a sort of credence, simply because of the difficulty of proving the negative. The atheist sees that god is a rabbit out of a hat and refuses to be duped.


Timber has been giving some of the best responses to this kind of nonsense I've ever seen. I thank him...and only hope you finally wake up, Edgar...although I won't hold my breath.

If you do wake up, you will see how circular your supposed reasoning is. You identify the concept of "god" as impossible in order to justify the reason you believe gods do not exist.
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 07:38 am
Chumly wrote:
Quote:
Atheism does makes sense and it's just another belief system, to the degree with which it becomes ever more concrete over time, due to discovery by science, that a creator is not only not a necessary part of creation, but no evidence has been uncovered for such a creator

and it's (not) just another belief.....


Chumly, atheism DOES NOT make sense…and it MOST DEFINITELY IS JUST ANOTHER BELIEF SYSTEM.

You are absolutely correct that the is no need for a creation or creator to explain existence…and you are absolutely correct that there is no evidence for a creator…

…but the only place that leads is to "there is no need for a creation or creator to explain existence…and there is no evidence for a creator"…

…NOT TO there are no gods!

If you could finally get that through you head…you would be making a significant improvement.

And as for the atheistic position becoming more and more concrete because of scientific discoveries…I DEFY YOU TO PRESENT ANY EVIDENCE OF THAT CONCLUSION.

I ALSO DEFY you to present all the evidence you have for there being no gods involved in existence…that are not simply variations on the two themes you've already offered; namely; there is no need for a god and theists cannot produce one for observation. Neither of those are actually evidence that there are no gods.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 07:46 am
timberlandko wrote:
Science - is not about absolutes, it is about questions and probabilities; both theism and atheism entail unquestioned absolutes.
(Emphasis added)

Sure about that?
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 07:48 am
BOTTOM LINE: It is as presumptuous, illogical, and unreasoning to assert that there are no gods…or indeed, cannot be any gods…as it is to assert that there is a God or has to be a god.

Atheism, whether peopled by folks more intelligent than theists or not, is the product of blind, unsubstantiated guesswork just as surely as theism is.

And since atheists see the danger theism has always presented to humanity…and presents today in even greater degree…

…since they see that the good and decent theists have absolutely no control over the radical theists who are at the heart of that danger…

….since they see that those of us who recognize theism for the blind, unsubstantiated guesswork it is and who see that finally exposing it for what it is will be a great first move in our struggle with it…

…should finally recognize that attempting the struggle from more blind, unsubstantiated guesswork is absolutely useless.
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real life
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jan, 2007 07:49 am
edgarblythe wrote:
timberlandko wrote:
edgarblythe wrote:

Agnosticism is giving in to a blind guess that god exists, to the extent of giving it a sort of credence, simply because of the difficulty of proving the negative. The atheist sees that god is a rabbit out of a hat and refuses to be duped.

Sorry, edgar, that's a straw man, just sophism. Agnosticism - legitimate agnosticism - makes no guess, one way or the other, pertaining to the existence, non-existence, possibility, or impossibility of a god or gods. Its not a matter of "... giving it a sort of credence, simply because of the difficulty of proving the negative", it is a very simple and honest matter of refusing to be duped by any purportedly conclusive proposition relevant thereunto. Honest agnosticism entails accepting, objectively and logically, what is shown by the evidence as opposed to endorsing a preference. "I/We don't know" is an honest, objective assessment, "There is/is not a god or gods" is a preferential, subjective guess.


You can dress a duck in all sorts of outfits, but it's still a duck. Inventing a concept out of blue air is simply that; inventing it out of blue air. Expecting somebody to seriously consider it is to be removed from reality. Waiting for evidence of god. What a laugh.


Depends on what you mean by 'evidence'.

If you mean physical, observable evidence, I may agree.

The whole notion of demanding 'natural' evidence of the 'supernatural' is rather absurd, isn't it?

Claiming to have eliminated the possibility, or reduced the probability of the existence of the 'supernatural' by touting the lack of 'natural' evidence is an exercise is the ridiculous.

Sorta like proving colors don't exist because 'I can't hear any colors.'
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