Are atheists smarter than theists?
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01-10-2014, 11:04 AM
Are atheists smarter than theists?
I understand we have our rare birds that score 130 or above on IQ tests steadily believing in God but isn't that more the exception than the rule? Could it be that in a war of averages atheists would collectively own a higher IQ score?
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01-10-2014, 11:13 AM
RE: Are atheists smarter than theists?
Do you have stats to support this? I've heard that education correlates negatively to religion, but I'm not sure about intelligence.
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01-10-2014, 11:53 AM
RE: Are atheists smarter than theists?
actually we're not smarter, we're just impossible to convince without any proof
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01-10-2014, 12:01 PM
RE: Are atheists smarter than theists?
Even if the stats show that you are technically right, intelligent theists are not a "rare bird". There are plenty of intelligent people who are theists. Furthermore, I find the point hardly worth discussing - no disrespect to the OP intended. It's just counterproductive in terms of promoting atheism.

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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01-10-2014, 12:01 PM
RE: Are atheists smarter than theists?
Generally it's a third factor that makes the difference. Education, skepticism, curiosity, something like that. It's just those factors also correlate to higher intelligence as well.
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01-10-2014, 12:10 PM
RE: Are atheists smarter than theists?
(01-10-2014 11:13 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Do you have stats to support this? I've heard that education correlates negatively to religion, but I'm not sure about intelligence.

I'm not claiming atheists are. I'm just wondering what you think the stats would suggest if atheists and theists took IQ tests and averaged them out. Count me as one who suspects the atheist average IQ to be higher.

Maybe education is key from the standpoint of exercising the brain so to speak but IQ tests aren't really centered around testing your knowledge of things but more so your ability to organize your thoughts, learn patterns quickly, handle multiple calculations simultaneously, etc. One of the reasons I ask is IQ tests, no doubt, measure ones ability to reason and problem solve. Two categories that I suspect most theists have a hard time with.
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01-10-2014, 12:16 PM
RE: Are atheists smarter than theists?
(01-10-2014 12:10 PM)dirtstar Wrote:  
(01-10-2014 11:13 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Do you have stats to support this? I've heard that education correlates negatively to religion, but I'm not sure about intelligence.

I'm not claiming atheists are. I'm just wondering what you think the stats would suggest if atheists and theists took IQ tests and averaged them out. Count me as one who suspects the atheist average IQ to be higher.

Maybe education is key from the standpoint of exercising the brain so to speak but IQ tests aren't really centered around testing your knowledge of things but more so your ability to organize your thoughts, learn patterns quickly, handle multiple calculations simultaneously, etc. One of the reasons I ask is IQ tests, no doubt, measure ones ability to reason and problem solve. Two categories that I suspect most theists have a hard time with.

But those are also, to some extent, learned skills.

And IQ correlates positively with wealth (esp in childhood), which is negatively correlated with religiousity.
(the same holds for education)

And many other confounding factors...

... this is my signature!
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01-10-2014, 12:35 PM
RE: Are atheists smarter than theists?
(01-10-2014 12:01 PM)Impulse Wrote:  Even if the stats show that you are technically right, intelligent theists are not a "rare bird". There are plenty of intelligent people who are theists. Furthermore, I find the point hardly worth discussing - no disrespect to the OP intended. It's just counterproductive in terms of promoting atheism.

No disrespect taken. I understand the need to not rock the cradle. If we ever hope to live in a world where the spiritual realm no longer dominates reality, telling them they're not as smart as us will probably just bring more denial, anger, and ultimately a defensive posture. But if there ever was a forum to discuss this on I thought this one would be a good choice. Merely not having the discussion for fear of offending seems more like being silenced.

This is something I've SERIOUSLY gone back and forth with regarding my opinion. I'd be shocked if I were alone. This should not be offensive to any one singular theist because they could be the rare bird I referred to. The ability to reason is what mainly stands out between atheists and theists. Is it not? If you disagree I'd like to hear why. If you research IQ tests and what they measure or have taken one yourself you will find the ability to reason is one such attribute they measure. If that's the case it just begs the question... how would the average IQ test scores compare when comparing atheists and theists?
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01-10-2014, 12:57 PM
RE: Are atheists smarter than theists?
I think there are too many variables in IQ to narrow it down to theist vs atheist only. Income, parental support, genetics, opportunity just to name a few. I know quite a few smart theist. I also know lots of smart people that would probably score low on an IQ test because of their lack of exposure to the type of material that would show up on the test. I am no more smarter now than when I believed in a god.
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01-10-2014, 02:22 PM
RE: Are atheists smarter than theists?
I don't think intellectual capacity has anything to do with being theist or atheist. Intellectual capacity and ability are both quite individual.

Learning to think for one's self, provides a more secure sense of reason. Many from religious backgrounds are often restricted or even forbidden to learn beyond certain depths.

I think it's natural to feel a kind of separation between atheist and theist, but I wouldn't presume to associate it with intellectual capacity. If anything, I'd say that atheists have more freedom to explore their own intellectual capacities and develop their own intellectual abilities.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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