Atheism Religion and intelligence!

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happydays
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Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by happydays » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:15 am

Just recently my atheism was shaken by the fact that several good friends/family who have much higher IQs than little old me are God fearing Christians. Indeed one particular individual continually beats me at chess.

This may sound trivial, however it has been bugging me lately!.....

How come much more intellegent folk are God fearing?

My atheism has came about for two reasons

1. My fathers strong interest in Science and astronomy (he actually liked to argue with folk who were 'loud about everybody being doomed to Hell' in Belfast city centre.


2. Sectarianism on the streets of Belfast (I was always getting beaten up/tied up/thrown over hedges etc) I could never even understand why??? Just going to school seemed to be a huge problem.....Folk just asked my religion and I was like 'what does this question mean'...............

3. I cannot find any proof what so ever to believe in a God!........If we were originally manufactured by intelligent design this would have had to be a setting the dials at pre big bang era which could I suppose be achieved in a black hole in another dimension or some such far fetched theory.... But then I expect that our local universe is undobtably teeming with life asking the same questions as my good self. If time itself began with the big bang, then where does creation itself begin???.....

Yes makes much more sense to just be and make the most of our precious time here on our wonderful planet.

Any hows, back to my initial question. How come my very intelligent friends are practicing Christians who totally believe the Bible and most of its teachings. And how I with my average high school intelligence turned out to be an Atheist?......

This is beginning to worry me. Maybe it is all true after all!!!

But it cant be, nothing makes any sense........................

Please can you help restore my confidence in my Atheism!!!.

Cheers.

Happydays.
chemicals
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by chemicals » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:10 pm

A persons IQ and belief are not really linked -remember a lot of total idiots also are also believers -Sarah Palin for instance :lol:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority
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aiseiri47
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by aiseiri47 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:21 pm

There's no reason to link IQ and belief/lack of belief. IQ is just ability to use reason and logic; people with high IQ's are more likely to comprehend complex math and science, but there's also more likely to comprehend complex theological arguments. You have to take into account the power of indoctrination from an early age, and the level of acceptance from society. If you've been told all your life something is true, and people you love and respect clearly believe in it, it often just doesn't occur to you to question it. And even on days where such people have their suspicions, it's still a big step to say, even to yourself, you don't believe in God.

I stopped believing in God several months before I realised I had stopped believing in God. It took longer for me to say it to myself. And years for me to sort out how that affected other beliefs (afterlife, for instance). It seems absurd to me now that I could have not believed in God but believed in an afterlife, but it's very hard to just wake up one day and not believe in things you believed in the week or month before. And I was only able to come to these realisations because I knew a few people who were atheists (and through the help of the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. If you've read them, I had a Dr Mary Malone moment.)

Indoctrination and society pressure are immensely powerful tools. I mean, there have always been people who have been incredibly intelligent and able to advance mankind through understandings of early science and mechanics. There still exist people in remote areas who belong to tribes that have no contact with "modern civilisation" who believe insane things; it does not mean they are not intelligent.
happydays
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by happydays » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:35 pm

Some very valid points!

Cheers for your replies chaps.

I must check out this Philip Pullman authour.

Am I to understand that you still belive in an afterlife?... It seems to me that we are just water/carbon molecules and just as important as any other life form in the universe/multiverse.

I guess if our 'bubble' was to contract and begin a second 'big bang', then we might just live this very life and send these exact messages fifty billion years or so........ Sorry going off on a tangent. :lol:

If tribes on very remote islands believe in the great God blogablog there would of course be no reason what so ever to change from this knowledge handed down generation to generation. However if said tribes folk had access to the science channels and Horizon and read Darwin then perhaps their God would eventually be seen as much less significant.

I totally understand the indoctronation point of course. Even I have been affected through my fathers Aetheism. I can remember telling my Grandmother who I loved very much that I was an Aetheist. She was extremly annoyed of course. Poor Granny.

Interestingly I am currently listening to Dixit Dominus recorded by the Cork school of Baroque ensemble..... Got to love high church music!. ,,,,,,,,,,,Helps put me in tune with the universe and deep thoughts.

I still find it difficult to understand how all of my Irish friends (all of which are 'blessed' with higher IQs), some who have moved to London and other big cities can still be so Godfearing and attach such significance to their own 'meme set'


Cheers.

Happydays
aZerogodist
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by aZerogodist » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:36 am

I'm writing a reply to this topic, should help.
Pre-conditioning is a huge factor in all of this.
I think the difference is not intelligence but critical/skeptical thinking, it's interesting that a believer of one faith can see the flaws in another, yet blind to the flaws within their own faith, the old 'hands covering the ears' -I can't hear you effect.

I wonder are/were there tribes that don't/didn't believe in a god.
munsterdevil
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by munsterdevil » Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:10 am

There's an old saying where I'm from:
There's a massive difference between intelligence and basic cop-on!
Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying. Arthur C. Clarke
aiseiri47
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by aiseiri47 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:31 pm

Am I to understand that you still belive in an afterlife?... It seems to me that we are just water/carbon molecules and just as important as any other life form in the universe/multiverse.
No, I don't still believe in an afterlife. As I said, "It seems absurd to me now that I could have not believed in God but believed in an afterlife".
chemicals
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by chemicals » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:33 pm

aiseiri47 wrote: "It seems absurd to me now that I could have not believed in God but believed in an afterlife".
well some religions believe in some sort of afterlife but not necessarily one that requires what we would classify as God

Buddhism is non-theistic, and asserts a sort of afterlife
also have a gawk at this
:wink:
http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=6347

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1897435290/ref ... progcom-20
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by DaithiDublin » Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:27 pm

aZerogodist wrote:I wonder are/were there tribes that don't/didn't believe in a god.
There's a pretty lamely written, but interesting book called 'Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes' by Daniel Everett. Himself and his wife went to Brazil as missionaries to bring the word of God to a remote tribe called the Pirahã. He was also a linguist, and wanted to understand their language in order to bring them the good word.

Well, in the course of figuring out the native language, he came to realise that they had no real words for time, or numbers, or anything conceptual that wasn't concerned with the immediate present and the people around them. They had no interest in the remote past, and therefore no creation myths. They had no interest in the distant future, so no fear of death in the religious sense. They didn't even bother to preserve their food!

In time, not only did he realised that there was no way to get them to believe in God, but he abandoned his own belief along the way. So sometimes it is those with less knowledge who are the teachers, and those who think they have all the answers who find that that is not true. There are no absolutes.

It's not the best read, the guy isn't a particularly good writer, but it's interesting enough to be worth the effort.
As yet I have not found a single case of a terrestrial animal which fertilises itself.

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aiseiri47
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by aiseiri47 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:59 pm

chemicals wrote:
aiseiri47 wrote: "It seems absurd to me now that I could have not believed in God but believed in an afterlife".
well some religions believe in some sort of afterlife but not necessarily one that requires what we would classify as God

Buddhism is non-theistic, and asserts a sort of afterlife
also have a gawk at this
:wink:
http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=6347

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1897435290/ref ... progcom-20
Well, in my opinion, Buddhism is not a whole lot less absurd than theistic religions in terms of what they believe in.

I can see why some people, perhaps agnostics mainly, or people just apathetic to religion, still assume there's an afterlife; after all, the idea that we stop existing can be quite terrifying even for those who accept it. (Though, even while I admit I will find dying somewhat scary, the idea of spending my life in Heaven is torturously boring.)
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