What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
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03-04-2017, 01:33 PM (This post was last modified: 03-04-2017 01:55 PM by whateverist.)
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 04:50 AM)SYZ Wrote:  
(02-04-2017 11:40 PM)whateverist Wrote:  I don't think believers must be mentally deficient or morally flawed to hold on to their god. Nor do I think those of us who test negative for the condition are necessarily of superior IQ or morally superior for our greater insistence on the Truth...

Statistically (and surprisingly) people who have no religious beliefs do actually have higher IQs than theists.

A survey that found that only 7% of members of the American National Academy of Sciences believed in God. A survey of fellows of the Royal Society found that only 3.3% believed in God at a time when a poll reported that 68.5% of the general UK population were believers. [Harvey, J. and Nyborg, H. ]

Another set of studies was based on students of New York’s Hunter College Elementary School for the intellectually gifted. This school selects its students based on a test given at a young age. To study their religiosity, graduates of this school were queried when they were between the ages of 38 and 50. They all had IQs that exceeded 140, and the study found that only 16% of them derived personal satisfaction from religion. [Terman, L. and Oden, M. ]

And this graph illustrates the correlation of "religious" countries with IQ:

[Image: LynnHarveyNyborg-Atheism-IQ-640x426.png]
The relationship between countries' belief in a god and national average IQ
[Richard Lynn, John Harvey & Helmuth Nyborg ]


Could be. I certainly think we suffer less cognitive dissonance than believers. But it would be interesting to analyze what exactly was being tested. "IQ" is a hypothetical construct rather than something concrete. It could be that the types of intelligence being tested were essentially synonymous with maintaining a skeptical outlook. But there might well be types of intelligence which do not rely on a skeptical outlook in order to excel. I don't think I'm smart enough to have a high degree of confidence in what constitutes intelligence and that makes me leery of accepting generalities about the intelligence of whole groups of people.

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
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03-04-2017, 01:37 PM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 06:20 AM)EvieTheTurtle Wrote:  People with the combination of illogical thinking and preferring comfort to reality.

I also prefer comfort to reality but I'm just not illogical enough to accept the idea of a god to make me feel better even if I want to.

All my favorite people are atheists so I'd say I get more comfort from being an atheist though anyways. I like fitting in with other logical people.

I'd say I was irrational but logical. Lol. I'll happily choose comfirmation bias over reality if it helps me with my depression..........which is why I'm irrational....... buttttttttt I'm good at spotting bad logic.


I too tend to like people who are more like me and to judge them more intelligent. Big Grin

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
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03-04-2017, 01:41 PM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 07:13 AM)tomilay Wrote:  
(02-04-2017 11:40 PM)whateverist Wrote:  I think we all are if it is successfully implanted from birth by otherwise good parents who hold moderate beliefs which don't too glaringly run afoul of well established science. If the parents are essentially successful in the world with good people skills and get you praying to a God they fervently believe is right there with you .. you're probably hooked. Hell, you might even enjoy it. Many who have contracted god-belief will tell you they do not want the cure.

I don't think believers must be mentally deficient or morally flawed to hold on to their god. Nor do I think those of us who test negative for the condition are necessarily of superior IQ or morally superior for our greater insistence on the Truth.

That said, I'm still happy to live my one, mortal life in as clear a light as I can manage and to see the world as it is, free of any cult beliefs - no matter how highly these may be valued by ones loving parents. Doesn't make me better. It just makes me me.

Anybody with a capacity for imagination. All of us but at varying degrees. The more susceptible of us would also tend to be more susceptible to propaganda in general. Conformists. Tribalists...people drawn to activities that promote the herd instinct. It's inefficient for everybody to have to think and discover for themselves, therefore people defer to accepted ideas.


Yeah, my question is highly vexed if not hopelessly hypothetical. What really can any of us know about what would remain unchanged had we undergone a drastically different upbringing. No one really knows since no one gets a do-over.*


*Though as Tom Robbins tells us in Still Life with Woodpecker", it's never too late to have a happy childhood. (I'll just stand to the side and let Piaget and Robbins fight that one out.)

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
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03-04-2017, 01:53 PM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 11:26 AM)ResidentEvilFan Wrote:  
(03-04-2017 07:18 AM)tomilay Wrote:  When they do, and start to harbor doubts, they have been primed to believe that those are the activities of the devil.

You've probably seen some powerful Christian memes along the lines the devil's greatest achievement has been to convince people that he does not exist.

It can be a struggle to fully disentangle oneself from such a belief system if this is what you've "known" since childhood.

This.

I can tell you that the church I would definitely push the narrative that doubt = sin. It's more passive aggressive now and they act like they don't mind questioning, but it's a pretty shallow questioning. If they've answered you twice and you still ask, then you're the problem. Like most things, they have a very screwed up (i.e. very wrong) view of skepticism; their version is to look at what "Christians" are doing and compare it to the bible (and point to the NT account of people "studying the scriptures to see if the Apostles were right"). They never question the account in the bible at all.

Seems likely that this was true in your experience as it was in mine visiting a methodist church with my father. (Horrible.) I remember once asking, when the topic of the work their missionaries were doing, why it was important that the whole world put aside their own customs, put on a tie and carry a bible to a church on Sundays. The preacher guy asked someone in the audience what they do when they discover a snake in their midst. Keep your eye on it was the answer given. Oh well. So I think your comments here fit a certain genre of religious institutions, possibly not all of them.


(03-04-2017 11:26 AM)ResidentEvilFan Wrote:  Also more to the topic, conservative churches REALLY push the "have kids" thing to families because that's the main way the church survives, by having kids and making them little christian soliders. In the almost 40 years of church going, I rarely remember adults converting, and if they did, they were just coming from other denominations that were "wrong". I can never remember a self-confessed atheist converting. The adults that did convert that already had some belief were all usually pretty "needy" people that needed the security blanket of a god or a church.

Assuming you've become an atheist, do you haver a convert's story here somewhere. It would be interesting to compare notes.

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
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03-04-2017, 02:25 PM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 11:26 AM)ResidentEvilFan Wrote:  It's more passive aggressive now and they act like they don't mind questioning, but it's a pretty shallow questioning.

I guess God is just a big daddy figure for the religious community, and we all remember from childhood that you shouldn't question what daddy says.

What do they call that? Transference?

Undecided
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03-04-2017, 05:06 PM
What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 09:04 AM)dancefortwo Wrote:  Children. Children are very susceptible to the god delusion.


Yes. Children are trusting. They trust that adults won't hurt them or lie to them. It's shocking to kids when they find that many well-meaning adults really do lie to kids.
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03-04-2017, 05:30 PM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 03:46 AM)SYZ Wrote:  
(03-04-2017 02:16 AM)Ordinary Atheist Wrote:  Considering that most people believe in a God, I think that it would be fair to say that most people are susceptible to religious belief...

I'm not sure where you drew this factoid from? In Australia at our last Federal Census in 2011, 31.7% of the population described themselves as "atheist" or "no religion". Only 61.1% described themselves as "Christian".

I also disagree with your claim that "most" people are susceptible to religious belief; less are in increasing numbers, as religion loses its hold on a scientifically-enlightened 21st-century population. In the same Census, there was an increase of 1,100,725 respondents describing themselves as "atheist"—out of a population of 23 million.

Someone has already pointed this out, but "most" simply means greater than 50%.

If a person describes themselves as a Christian, then they are susceptible to a belief in God. 61.1% of Australians describe themselves as Christian, so at least 61.1% of Australians are susceptible to belief in God. 61.1% is greater than 50%, so most Australians are susceptible to belief in God Smile

I was a Christian for many years. It took a college education and a lengthy period of questioning for me to become "immune," so to speak. I agree with the posters that have said that almost everyone would believe in a God if they are raised in the right environment.

It's great to see atheism winning ground in many different countries, but we shouldn't pretend like it isn't a hard fought war. If humans weren't susceptible to belief in a God, then we wouldn't have invented religion in the first place.
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03-04-2017, 05:51 PM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
I agree, they don't have to be called delusional or anything else. thats not to say some aren't. But if I list the traits of a fundamentalist I see that type of person in any large group of people that follow a particular faith/belief statement. from theist god to "deny anything them there theist can use" types.

I would use the word "illusion". Something is there but its not sky daddy. I am ok with that.
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03-04-2017, 06:35 PM
What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(03-04-2017 03:46 AM)SYZ Wrote:  I'm not sure where you drew this factoid from? In Australia at our last Federal Census in 2011, 31.7% of the population described themselves as "atheist" or "no religion". Only 61.1% described themselves as "Christian".

Yeah but you have this guy and that more than makes up for the amount of Atheists you have. Smile

[Image: 26e9b12ef9c0e7d6155808a7d7d59d8b.jpg]
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03-04-2017, 06:47 PM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
As an atheist, I have long been very sensitive to the ways theists denigrate and abandon logical thinking. "How can finite man hope to understand the ways of an infinite God?" "God is incomprehensible". God of the gaps. Fall back positions to authoritarianism. "The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it". And this is often the big divide between theists and atheists.

Once a person has internalized this type of wrong-headed ways of thinking, it's almost impossible to get them thinking again. Some people, over time, do this, some ex-Christians here will tell you that is what happened to them, but for many,
their religious metaphysics trumps logic.

From there the theists go to rationalization to prop up their theism. The aim becomes to preserve appearances, not test claims. Facts are brushed aside, nonsense is held as factual.

Breaking through this armor of invincible ignorance becomes almost impossible.

When I shake my ignore file, I can hear them buzzing!

Cheerful Charlie
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