Atheism Religion and intelligence!

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mkaobrih
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by mkaobrih » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:06 pm

I don’t think intelligence and faith are comparably – If you feel something is true in your gut – that’s nothing to do with your reasoning, It’s a core feeling. If reason were everything then people wouldn’t drink smoke or be overweight. I don’t look down upon my religious family and friends – I just don’t get what they get.
The church complains of persecution when it's not allowed to persecute.
happydays
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by happydays » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:51 am

I am now convinced that there is no afterlife and as such am scared beepless of dying!

This is the only drawback to my Atheism. Is there any way of coming to terms with this as I am wasting valuable time on this precious planet worrying about leaving it!!

Probably another good reason why billions hold on to a strong belive in God and a nice afterlife with all of their loved ones.

Unfortunately it dont make any sense to me what so ever. Sorry going over old ground now.

I will shut up for a while :roll:
DaithiDublin
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by DaithiDublin » Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:46 am

happydays wrote:I am now convinced that there is no afterlife and as such am scared beepless of dying!

This is the only drawback to my Atheism. Is there any way of coming to terms with this as I am wasting valuable time on this precious planet worrying about leaving it!!
I used to do a lot of rock climbing, and when I was just starting out I remember asking the guy who was teaching me if he ever thought about falling. And he said "No, I'm usually too busy thinking about holding on."

The same goes for thinking about dying. I know it's easier said than done, but by spending the time to think about it logically you do what no religious person ever does. They never actually deal with the question because they think that that is already covered for them. I'm convinced that it is the single greatest reason why most people believe what they believe. It's the gut wrenching fear of death and the promise to survive it that keeps bums on pews.

Heaven, once you give it any thought whatsoever is the epitome of the saying "If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.": It's a perfect place. The weather is always perfect. You have your own mansion. All your family and friends are there. There is no hate, fear, anger, sadness, jealousy, depression etc. You are always happy. You are never tired. You are never hungry or thirsty. You are never late. You never sweat or shiver. You never get sick. You miss nothing, want for nothing, lose nothing. You are never excluded, ignored, overlooked, cheated, bullied, teased or tormented.

Say you love to play chess. You can't do that in Heaven, because neither player can lose. So there goes sport. There can be no sport in Heaven unless loosing doesn't bother you. And if loosing doesn't bother you then winning can't interest you. That's not going to sit right with sport lovers.

No sex in heaven, as everybody loves everybody equally. And if we're all at it, when do we get round to praising God eternally? No relationships in Heaven. No secrets in Heaven...

The very notion that Heaven is perfection instantly negates the concept.

So don't waste time worrying about there being no afterlife. When you stopped believing in Santa Claus you didn't carry on worrying about being naughty and not getting presents from Santa Claus. There's nothing to worry about. And nothing isn't anything to worry about. You'll be no more upset about being dead 200 years from now than you were 200 years ago. (That's one of my favourite atheist memes)

But if you're looking for some comfort, I'll take it that your real fear is of dying, rather than death. For what it's worth I'll expose myself a little here and share this with you: 12 years ago, almost to the day, I had a near death experience. I died for somewhere in the region of a minute. I did not have a religious experience. I had been an atheist for over 20 years at that time and I explained it to myself in perfectly logical and biological terms. It is virtually impossible for me to explain what my perception was, but I can tell you that this forum's reaction to that statement holds way more fear for me than death ever will again. And that doesn't scare me at all! :wink:
As yet I have not found a single case of a terrestrial animal which fertilises itself.

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bipedalhumanoid
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:40 am

First of all, 60% of scientists in general are atheists. That number rises to 90% when you include only elite scientists (such as members of the Royal Society or National Academy of Sciences). There have also been studies done that show a positive correlation between Education level and Atheism (I'll see if I can track some links down). That's not the same as IQ, it's better. It shows that the less ignorant a person is of the nature of the universe, the more likely s/he is to be an Atheist. Religious nutters write this off as indoctrination at university level.

Nevertheless, there are intelligent believers. In my experience they tend to fall into one of three camps:

1) Those who use their intelligence to rationalise their beliefs
2) Those who have never seriously questioned their beliefs or explored the arguments for and against
3) Those who stick their fingers in their ears and say LA LA LA LA LA and follow that up by telling you you're not allowed to challenge religious belief

Those in category 1 tend to come out with post modernist type arguments for why scientific skepticism and empiricism aren't the only way of learning about the universe. I've never heard any of them give a good reason for believing in a god, just excuses for why it's ok to have faith and the implied assertion that atheist are the ignorant ones. Intelligence can be utilised to form complex fallacious arguments too. Just remember that not everyone gives great importance to the concept of intellectual honesty and many such people are more than willing to lie to themselves.

Those in category 2 often believe they have a silver bullet argument but have never put that argument to the test. I'm still recovering from the facepalm I received when one such person revealed to me that her silver bullet argument was Pascal's Wager. She is a school teacher and very intelligent. Unfortunately she had obviously never googled PW or she would have been aware of the various criticisms the argument.

Category 3 believers include people of high and low intelligence. It's a way of actively remaining ignorant. I know a phycisist who fits this category. She simply gets angry if the topic ever turns to religion unless she's talking to another believer.

Post Edit: Studies Comparing Religious Belief and IQ
Last edited by bipedalhumanoid on Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
bipedalhumanoid
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:53 am

happydays wrote:I am now convinced that there is no afterlife and as such am scared beepless of dying!

This is the only drawback to my Atheism. Is there any way of coming to terms with this as I am wasting valuable time on this precious planet worrying about leaving it!!
Dying just means going back to the state of existence you were in before you were born. No memory, no pain, no worries, nothing. I'm more worried about the pain and suffering I might endure on my way there... thanks to the religious anti-euthenasia lobby.

My experience of coming to terms with my mortality was very different to yours. I felt incredibly liberated by the knowledge that I no longer had to worry about whether my dead relatives were in heaven or hell... or indeed whether I would end up in heaven or hell ... or whether they were watching me in the shower (I was 14 years old)!
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
happydays
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by happydays » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:26 am

I have just read your kind and very infromative replies and would like to thank you all as it really means a lot to me....

Probably some of the most important 'compositions' I have ever read as I am beginning to feel at home on our forum.....

Interestingly I have worried about dying from a very young age (probably 13 or 14)... And have been counting the years go by calculating how many years I have left (I am going to live to 100 of course :D )..

All that wasted time worrying about nothing litererally!..

Any hows I can be a bit odd at the best of times :?

All my fathers fault of course (feel bad at saying this but largely true)

Some good has come from it in that I like everybody equally and totally adore this amazing planet.. (sounds a bit too perfect maybe?, not to mention a bit strange)

Certainly gives me a certain urge to maximise every second on our Earth which has to be a bonus.

Cheers everybody for your reasoned and sound comments. Fascinating.


p.s. Love your avatar Mr/Mrs Bipedalhumanoid.
Ryano
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by Ryano » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:37 pm

On a practical note. IQ is a measured test as you're probably aware. You can train your IQ by taking IQ tests, there are plenty online. You can always buy IQ test books on ebay. As you get used to doing the puzzles you'll find your score improves over relatively little time. You could listen to Mozart whilst doing your training as Baroque music is supposed to affect your learning capapcity - ancedotally I always played it lowly in the backround when studying for my degree (get best results in the class 1st class hons) and all thru school I was told by teachers to be above avg intelligence...but not much :D . In a couple of months you might be waving your mensa membership card in their faces :lol:
Good luck!
happydays
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Re: Atheism Religion and intelligence!

Post by happydays » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:04 am

Yes I did the Mensa test but no joy!......

My wife is a Mensa member and invited me along to the Mensa games gathering (an annual event). I had one of those rare moments of 'cleverness' and took charge of our group on a practical task. Our group won!!!!...... Due to me and my slightly below average IQ.....

Just something I remembered from my high school physics and engineering.

Yes thanks for reminding me about this. I feel better already! :D
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