I started a poll this morning and was interested to find out that some atheist here believe that an adult 'believer' is less intelligent than a 'non-believer'.

I want to extend that question a little.

This article was mentioned in Richard Dawkins's book "The God Delusion" (or maybe it's the other way around) and also happens to be one of the reasons for my poll.

After reading this part of the book, I started to ask myself if intelligence really has anything to do with it.
I know that some are just flat out stupid, but can't that be said about every group? Seriously, how many atheists do you know that claim it just b/c their big brother or friends are... or call themselves atheist b/c it's becoming a fairly popular thing in the younger generation? How many claim it to rebel against the authority in their life?

These reasons have nothing to do with intelligence. They are the result of emotional decisions made early in life. Sure, they may be better in the long run for it, but it is not the result of 'higher' intelligence.

Could adult Christians believe the way they do b/c they were simply brainwashed and trained to think that way? Has their level of intelligence been suppressed or do they just not feel it necessary to challenge what has been so rigorously ingrained in their heads from childhood?

What do you think?

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chiz, MightyMateo, how is my logic 'broken'? I was talking about how, even though we haven't been into space, we trust that other people have. Creationists often conflate "You weren't there!" with "You have no reason to believe!", and I was distinguishing between the two.

Unless, of course, you're both Creationists yourself - in which case we have a whole other conversation.
The way I see it, there are two types of people: those who believe because that's how they were brought up, and those that believe because they're sat down and thought about it (i.e., implicit and explicit believers). Children grow to (initially) believe what their parents believe (or don't believe); it is only through exposure to new ideas and reflection upon old ones that children aquire new beliefs and shed old ones (or don't).

Now, it follows from the definitions of theism and atheism that the latter engenders scepticism more than the former: blind faith never led one to explicit atheism, but it [i]does[/i] lead to explicit theism. That is, those who don't reflect on their beliefs are very likely to keep them: the atheist remains an atheist, the theist a theist.

But those who do reflect have a tendency towards atheism: more theists become atheists after reflecting on their beliefs, than do vice versa.

This is, of course, related to the nature of atheism: in the absence of evidence, it is the logical stance to take on the existence of deities (namely, no stance either which way). Since there is little to no evidence whatsoever for the existence of deities (I'm sure you're aware of how tenuous theistic arguments can get), logic dictates that we be atheists.

And this leads on to your question: are theists inherently less intelligent than their atheistic counterparts? Well, on average, yes: atheism has a greater proportion of explicit (non-)believers, logical-minded people who have rejected theism on rational and deductive grounds. Theism, by contrast, has a greater proportion of people who believe simply by blind faith: while atheism engenders scepticism, theism does not.

And who is more likely to be intelligent: the logical sceptic, or the faithful zealot?

Hope that makes sense! :p
Basically, atheism tends to attract logical, rational sceptics, while theism does not. This skews the proportion of 'intelligent' people in favour of atheism.
I think that atheists have a higher average intelligence, only because Christians make up the majority and the bell curve is different. As Atheism becomes more mainstream, the bell curve will move back and the average atheist I.Q. will decrease.
I agree, I think that the more atheism spreads the less intelligent the group will be. Intelligence is a tricky thing to measure though. One thing I noticed when I was still involved in the church is that there is a huge "bubble" effect going on there. They are trapped in their own little world, when they have questions they are less likely to go to the library or google for answers, they will consult their pastor, remaining ignorant. The trend bothered me and still does. I have family that is involved in the church, they are intelligent people they are just blind to the facts because of the environment they are surrounded by....
So when you say "the more atheism spreads the less intelligent the group will be", you're talking about the theistic group? That is, atheism engenders intelligence?
Just so I'm clear; your wording is ambiguous!


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