Does Believing in God Make You Dumb?
The bible? Really? ack! Nope, that's no argument. "Faith" is an illusion. There is no 'assured expectation' in religion. What is assured? Nothing that is tangible, and that *is* a certainty.
I agree that Judaism has the most logical approach to belief (at least, that's what I've found from my own research) in that what matters, is who we are now - no worries about the afterlife. Of course, that's very stripped-down and basic, but essentially, that's how my friend, from an Orthodox family, put it.
The Duke study doesn't show believers become more stupid? It shows that very religious and very non-religious people may, generally, have a smaller hippocampus. A smaller hippocampus is associated with hyporeligiosity in some conditions, but away from those it "has been linked to clinical outcomes, such as depression, dementia, and Alzheimer's Disease". The study, as the full length article in Scientific American points out, doesn't show causation. Stress factors related to religion are proposed, to help explain why this also seemed to be something which non-believers have. I found it interesting that people who meditate seem to have a larger hippocampus.
Link to study itself: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0017006
I agree. Being religious, does not mean you are dumb.
We all recognize 'street smart' as opposed to 'book smart'. It's the same kind of thing. I dunno - is it nature or nurture? Some people have a need to believe - some don't.
Oh well. :)
No more to be said LOL
Most of my friends and family believe in God, they're not dumb but they do have a blind spot where their faith is concerned.
Asking the question differently illuminates the issue;
"Does Believing in Poseidon Make You Dumb?"
While I concur with the majority of views here, I do have to note what I've noticed so far on this forum.
While there is a definitely and totally understandable degree of anti-religious sentiment, the views of what religious people are like and what their convictions entail are not very accurate in not a few too little cases.
I am very on the side of atheism, freedom of speech, and the call to critical thinking. But, in my humble and possibly mistaken opinion (becuase it has only been a few weeks that I have been on here), to me I noticed that the understanding of some ex-JW atheists here seems limited to only Watchtower concepts and attitudes about "false religion."
The ideas that religion or theist concepts are wrong, make people "less smart," and similar views are highly reminiscent of the "we're right, they're wrong" attitude prevalent in the Watchtower theology.
While I think it is always, always a very good thing to put religion under the microscope and seek for logical explanations from the "believer," I was expecting to meet people here who adopted anti-religious views to be well-versed not on anti-religious propaganda but on accurate, college-educated views.
Remember, many in religion are university-educated people, and once we are outside the Watchtower there is little to no excuse to get ourselves formally educated. Most on this forum show what I would call an innate and natural intelligence that would only bloom further in a masterful way by applying themselves to learning about these things in the halls of higher education.
But a lot of these attacks or critiques on relgion show very little growth to at least be accurate about other faiths and move beyond Watchtower views. They were not accurate about what other religions believed. You cannot argue logically if your views and personal convictions are not accurate and verified. Anger with relgion does not automatically ensure a correct view.
In some instances it seems like that same compartmentalization technique we underwent in the Watchtower is still going on with some here (not all): the same old arguments have to be raised and discussed as if it is a lesson, and then everyone gets patted on the back for their rehashed answers, but only if they are agreeable with the mindset of the majority.
But looking for a flaw in the person with another conviction is not logical. Religion or belief in God don't make you dumb. Refusing to get a formal education and keeping that education going as you live is what makes you dumb.
If the entire world around you insists that Santa Claus is real, you are not dumb for believing it. If you grow to be a teen and then a young adult and the whole world keeps proclaiming Santa Claus is real and you never saw your parents putting gifts under the tree, you are still not dumb for believing it.
I don't think belief is mostly intelligence-driven. It is highly emotional and includes much from our evolution, especially the desire to explain things that we haven't understood, so we say "God did it." Our evolution also gives us the desire to belong to the group and the fear to stand out against what the group says and does.
Once a person breaks from the emotional part, intelligence can come in. A person who stops believing in Santa Claus because he gets old enough to figure out that poor children get worse presents than rich children can also figure out that the miracles of his belief system stories are just as ridiculous as the miracles from the belief system stories that he scoffs at.
OntheWayOut has a good point.
I also think in a few instances the reverse is true. Not all reject religion on the basis of pure logic. For a lot of us who were JWs rejection of God and relgious trappings was very connected with emotion.
So sometimes many of our initial arguments against relgious views aren't very different from the Watchtower. Most of us knew little more about other religions except what we learned from the JWs. And we often don't have it in us to stomach any relgious talk to give it enough attention to learn the real stuff accurately. That's the Watchtower's fault.
But as OntheWayOut stated: "Once a person breaks from the emotional part, intelligence came come in."
David-Jay, I would just like to point out that the phrase "God is dead" was by no means coined by Jews in the holocaust. Read "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" by Neitzche if you are interested.
I would venture to say that believing in God wouldn't make you so much as dumb, as it is naïve. Believing that you are the one **true** religion and believing you worship the one and **true** God is naïve. JWs believing they have **the Truth** is naïve. So naïve it is almost stupid.