tagged w/ Theism
Losing Your Religion: Analytic Thinking Can Undermine Belief
A series of new experiments shows that analytic thinking can override intuitive assumptions, including those that underlie religious belief
By Marina Krakovsky | April 26, 2012 | 38
The Thinker Musee Rodin Image: Wikimedia Commons/innoxiuss
People who are intuitive thinkers are more likely to be religious, but getting them to think analytically even in subtle ways decreases the strength of their belief, according to a new study in Science.
The research, conducted by University of British Columbia psychologists Will Gervais and Ara Norenzayan, does not take sides in the debate between religion and atheism, but aims instead to illuminate one of the origins of belief and disbelief. "To understand religion in humans," Gervais says, "you need to accommodate for the fact that there are many millions of believers and nonbelievers."
One of their studies correlated measures of religious belief with people's scores on a popular test of analytic thinking. The test poses three deceptively simple math problems. One asks: "If it takes five machines five minutes to make five widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?" The first answer that comes to mind—100 minutes—turns out to be wrong. People who take the time to reason out the correct answer (five minutes) are, by definition, more analytical—and these analytical types tend to score lower on the researchers' tests of religious belief.
But the researchers went beyond this interesting link, running four experiments showing that analytic thinking actually causes disbelief. In one experiment, they randomly assigned participants to either the analytic or control condition. They then showed them photos of either Rodin's The Thinker or, in the control condition, of the ancient Greek sculpture Discobolus, which depicts an athlete poised to throw a discus. (The Thinker was used because it is such an iconic image of deep reflection that, in a separate test with different participants, seeing the statue improved how well subjects reasoned through logical syllogisms.) After seeing the images, participants took a test measuring their belief in God on a scale of 0 to 100. Their scores on the test varied widely, with a standard deviation of about 35 in the control group. But it is the difference in the averages that tells the real story: In the control group, the average score for belief in God was 61.55, or somewhat above the scale's midpoint. On the other hand, for the group who had just seen The Thinker, the resulting average was only 41.42. Such a gap is large enough to indicate a mild believer is responding as a mild nonbeliever—all from being visually reminded of the human capacity to think.
Another experiment used a different method to show a similar effect. It exploited the tendency, previously identified by psychologists, of people to override their intuition when faced with the demands of reading a text in a hard-to-read typeface. Gervais and Norenzayan did this by giving two groups a test of participants' belief in supernatural agents like God and angels, varying only the font in which the test was printed. People who took the belief test in the unclear font (a typewriterlike font set in italics) expressed less belief than those who took it in a more common, easy-to-read typeface. "It's such a subtle manipulation," Norenzayan says. "Yet something that seemingly trivial can lead to a change that people consider important in their religious belief system." On a belief scale of 3 to 21, participants in the analytic condition scored an average of almost two points lower than those in the control group.
Analytic thinking undermines belief because, as cognitive psychologists have shown, it can override intuition. And we know from past research that religious beliefs—such as the idea that objects and events don't simply exist but have a purpose—are rooted in intuition. "Analytic processing inhibits these intuitions, which in turn discourages religious belief," Norenzayan explains.
Harvard University psychologist Joshua Greene, who last year published a paper on the same subject with colleagues Amitai Shenhav and David Rand, praises this work for its rigorous methodology. "Any one of their experiments can be reinterpreted, but when you've got [multiple] different kinds of evidence pointing in the same direction, it's very impressive."
The study also gets high marks from University of California, Irvine, evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala, the only former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science to have once been ordained as a Catholic priest, and who continues to assert that science and religion are compatible. Ayala calls the studies ingenious, and is surprised only that the effects are not even stronger. "You would expect that the people who challenge the general assumptions of their culture—in this case, their culture's religious beliefs—are obviously the people who are more analytical," he says.
The researchers, for their part, point out that both reason and intuition have their place. "Our intuitions can be phenomenally useful," Gervais says, "and analytic thinking isn't some oracle of the truth."
Greene concurs, while also raising a provocative question implicit in the findings: "Obviously, there are millions of very smart and generally rational people who believe in God," he says. "Obviously, this study doesn't prove the nonexistence of God. But it poses a challenge to believers: If God exists, and if believing in God is perfectly rational, then why does increasing rational thinking tend to decrease belief in God?"
.Scientific American... . Losing Your Religion: Analytic Thinking Can Undermine... more
As America rearms for the annual War on Christmas, a new study provides some fresh ammunition to fuel the Yule Logs of War. The study shows that many theists believe atheists are about as trustworthy as rapists and would outright discriminate against them in several ways. However, atheists don't seem to harbor a corresponding distrust of theists. The extent to which you believe the study likely hinges on the larger battle at the center of the schism - God or science.As America rearms for the annual War on Christmas, a new study provides some fresh... more
I have dozens of theist friends. Our discussions are generally polite and lean toward the relative merits of atheist and theist beliefs, not mundane secular topics like religious tax breaks. But with the hew and cry over taxes and spending, perhaps it's time to start that conversation in earnest.I have dozens of theist friends. Our discussions are generally polite and lean toward... more
Superman Vs. God? Who is the most superior of superior beings? Find out here!
Don't Worry Bible Thumpers, a "Gender Neutral Bible" is not part of the Gay Agenda.
God still hates all the things you hate, and all the really politically incorrect stories & rules will be left alone. Mankind would never alter the inspired word of the Lord when it comes to who will burn in hell and why noone should wear clothes of multiple fabrics.
So What Are They Gonna Edit ?
Well . . .
Apparently Mankind is starting to think God didn't give enough "Props" to Womankind, so henceforth any refference in the NIV bible to "Brothers" will be changed to "Brothers & Sisters" and "Men" will be changed to "People". But don't expect any real changes 'Sisters', the bible will still teach that women should be stoned to death if they lie about being a virgin or refuse to marry their rapist.Don't Worry Bible Thumpers, a "Gender Neutral Bible" is not part of the... more
Many people say, "There are no atheists in foxholes." As a practical matter this obviously isn't the case, but the Army's new Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program (CSFP) implies it should. After all, bullets don't have an opinion about God.Many people say, "There are no atheists in foxholes." As a practical matter... more
Stephen Hawking: The universe arises from scientific processes, not God + documentary "Master of the Universe"Hold the front page: the big bang was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics. Or indeed, as the front page of the London Times put it: "Hawking: God did not create universe". Media furore over Stephen Hawking's new book, The Grand Design, has made it the biggest science news story of the day. But it's not like Hawking has suddenly given up a religious belief – let alone proved that God doesn't exist. http://www.makeahistory.com/index.php/submit-an-article/3961-stephen-hawkingHold the front page: the big bang was an inevitable consequence of the laws of... more
This is something that I think lots of theists overlook when atheists mention Santa, or Unicorns. They don't see the point atheists are trying to make. Maybe this will make it more clear.This is something that I think lots of theists overlook when atheists mention Santa,... more
In his brief article "Is Atheism Logical?", Hank Hanegraaff, , better known to most as "The Bible Answer Man." tries to show that atheism is not rationally justifiable. Although Hanegraaff's argument may have a superficial plausibility for some believers, it contains numerous errors.. First of all, Hanegraaff seems to believe that atheists must be able to be certain that there is no God in order for atheism to be rationally justifiable. This is not at all true. Although I am not certain that the sun will rise tomorrow (for all I know, a great cosmic catastrophe, perhaps the decay of the vacuum state of our universe, will annihilate the sun before it can rise tomorrow) I am certainly rationally justified in believing that it will. ......... http://www.makeahistory.com/index.php/recent-news/367-atheism-In his brief article "Is Atheism Logical?", Hank Hanegraaff, , better known... more
"We atheists are done for now. Behold, the God Equation, which I received in email and proves that a deity created us all:
Scientists working in the UK have discovered robust evidence that the creation of the earth and moon was a deliberate act. The researchers found that the earth, moon, and beyond were engineered according to a specific equation. They have dubbed it the God Equation. The equation, which looks like this:
[image can be found at the top and at the link]
shows a constant, unchanging relationship between the speed of light, the ratio between the circumference and diameter of a circle, and the radio frequency of hydrogen in space. Artificial intelligence engineer David Cumming, CEO of the Edinburgh-based company Intelligent Earth, recently discovered the equation, and said: "I am a scientist and as such I didn't at first really believe it myself. But physics is physics, and maths is maths, and you can't argue with it."
The discovery of the equation began with research by engineer Professor Alexander Thom (1894-1985) of Oxford University, into the properties of megalithic constructions such as Stonehenge. He found that their construction did not follow existing measurement systems, but did fit in to a pattern of specific lengths which he called megalithic yards. Two independent researchers Christopher Knight and Alan Butler, based in York, then showed that the megalithic system of measurement was directly derived from characteristics of the Earth's movements through space."
More at link...
What do you think about this? Can science change peoples' opinions about the existence of a God/Gods/creative entity, or as the writer noted, was this just made up to convince people of God through 'science'?"We atheists are done for now. Behold, the God Equation, which I received in... more
GOP politics are being reduced to a terrifying absurdity. Obama tags, right wing terrorists and a great white hope fill the Republican imagination. Republicans are praising right wing terrorists. Republicans are joking about Obama Tags and political assassination while longing for a great white hope. The sky is turning grey and Republicans are losing their collective mind.
Are the Republicans really going crazy, or is this just politics as usual?GOP politics are being reduced to a terrifying absurdity. Obama tags, right wing... more
One Marine said, "I see the way propaganda and information war is waged on America's sons and daughters, and how patients are treated when they have a vaccine reactions," adding, "That should trouble all Americans." (emphasis added)
One soldier that Wagner interviewed said that the military flu vaccine issue "is the worse cover-up in the history of the military. When the issue, I believe, of the use of the vaccine comes out, I believe it will make the Walter Reed scandal pale in comparison."
CDC targeting pregnant women for an H1N1 vaccine contradicts its own advice.
In New ACIP Guidelines: Guidance for Vaccine Recommendations in Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women updated version (May 5, 2008), CDC refers to the live attenuated influenza vaccine LAIV), commonly called “live vaccine,” reporting:
1. “If a live-virus vaccine is inadvertently given to a pregnant woman, or if a woman becomes pregnant within 4 weeks after vaccination, she should be counseled about the potential effects on the fetus.”
2. “Live vaccines pose a theoretical risk to the fetus.”
3. A chart in this CDC report specifically designates "pregnant women" as persons who “should not be vaccinated with LAIV.”One Marine said, "I see the way propaganda and information war is waged on... more
As the title notes more advertisers are pulling their ads from the Glenn Beck program. Earlier this week, it was reported that 36 advertisers were pulling their spots, but now, that number has increased to 46. Some of the more notable companies that dropped their support are
Applebee’s, Bank of America, Bell & Howell, DirecTV, General Mills,Kraft, Regions Financial Corporation, Vonage, Geico, LexisNexis', Lawyers.com, Progressive Insurance and SC Johnson.As the title notes more advertisers are pulling their ads from the Glenn Beck program.... more
Conservative media figures are blasting Democrats for trying to draw political gain from the death of Senator Ted Kennedy. But on Thursday, it was one of their own -- former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee -- who went there.
The 2008 Republican presidential candidate suggested during his radio show, "The Huckabee Report," on Thursday that, under President Obama's health care plan, Kennedy would have been told to "go home to take pain pills and die" during his last year of life.
"[I]t was President Obama himself who suggested that seniors who don't have as long to live might want to consider just taking a pain pill instead of getting an expensive operation to cure them," said Huckabee. "Yet when Sen. Kennedy was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at 77, did he give up on life and go home to take pain pills and die? Of course not. He freely did what most of us would do. He choose an expensive operation and painful follow up treatments. He saw his work as vitally important and so he fought for every minute he could stay on this earth doing it. He would be a very fortunate man if his heroic last few months were what future generations remember him most for."Conservative media figures are blasting Democrats for trying to draw political gain... more
It's no longer the end of the beginning but the beginning of the end for the haters out there. The thin veil of decency and decorum as come clean off because the lack the intellectual prowess to maintain the facade. Now that they can no longer hide it will be easy to call them out and expose them for what they truly are. The man declaring himself a proud terrorist is well within his rights to do so. The elected official enthusiastically agreeing with him is in serious violation and needs to be removed from office.It's no longer the end of the beginning but the beginning of the end for the... more
PLAYING THE HEALTH CARE GAME...
We have all watched in amazement as the defaced photos of President Obama as Hitler held by wild eye'd crazy people screaming loudly with no more of a purpose than to disrupt and to stop the Democratic process. These loud mouth antagonists following their seemingly well distrubuted scripts of Anarchy 101. These people who now claim, to be Blue Dog Democrats or, independents etc.. All also claim to be only wanting a different type of health-care reform? When the truth is self evident by any person that would quickly choose a sign of Hitler and swastikas' to taunt as if these evil signs and symbols had something remotely to do with health care. By their own professed actions they show more to be the apostles of the extremist far right locked in "goose-step" with others like them across the country... following the lead of organizations like: NEWSMAX and Christopher Ruddy, Rush Limbaugh's along with the other hate screaming Neocons and Fascists. It seems rather amazing as after eight years at the helm with Bush, leaving the country on it's knees ruined. Now these over-caffeinated and angry losers, who only want democracy- Only if "they win", are at it again!
We need not forget ~ That some of our goose-stepping colleagues have been assigned to be here.
You can hear some of their voices here among us everyday. They are on a mission... Their own mission to instigate hatred, conflict, discord to disrupt the process and ultimately to destroy Democratic process.
You might ask... Why would they do that? Because, A Democracy is not a "Republic".
You hear their voices twisting the honest need by real people for Obama's Health Care Reform as an "Evil Socialist Plot" to take over the country and the government. These people are deliberately trying to push everyones buttons to cause, a riot and revolt between each other. They want that!!! The truth is, they are nothing more than a group of people with their own agenda that has less to do with Health Care.... and more about their own twisted political beliefs. = > To them.... IT IS ONLY ABOUT THEM!
They want to disrupt this political process by yelling "FIRE" in a crowded movie theatre!
SO NOW.... LETS TALK ABOUT THE REAL ISSUES HERE...
"HEALTH CARE and THE MILKING OF THE CASH COW! "
FIRST.... IT IS NOT ABOUT HEALTH CARE: It is all it about MONEY!
The Huge Money that flows into all these MEGA BUSINESSES. Business like; BlueCross, Blue Sheild and all of the other major health care insurance companies. This is all about keeping that money coming into their pockets! This is huge money!!!! BILLIONS!!!! That these industries are making EVERYDAY, EVERY HOUR, EVERY SECOND. All coming from the wallets and the backs of the hard working people across America.
"ALL THEIR DISCUSSION ABOUT HEALTH CARE THIS IS ONLY ABOUT KEEPING THAT MONEY FLOWING INTO THEIR POCKETS!!!! "
The Obama Health Care Reform Plan, when passed will stop that cash flow and their Milking of the "Cash Cow" and that damages their bottom Line! >> THAT IS WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT!
(2) IT IS NOT ABOUT THE QUALITY OF HEALTH CARE:
Every one of these Paid Government elected Politicians are lying through their teeth about how bad Government run Healthcare is . Because All of them have "Government Run Healthcare" themselves. (AND THEY ALL LOVE IT !)
Health Insurance Companies have been bleeding all of us with as much money as they can get from our pockets !
(4) THE HEALTH CARE INDUSTRIES ARE ADDICTED THAT MONEY:
They are addicted to that cash flow like a drug. Like any addict or Junky... they will: LIE, CHEAT and, STEAL in order to continue that cash flow and keep that (MONEY/DRUG) coming in.
What we are all witnessing on all media everyday are these Addicts doing everything and anything to continue to protect their overcharging of population by Billions and Trillions of Dollars !!!
THAT IS WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT !PLAYING THE HEALTH CARE GAME... We have all watched in amazement as the defaced... more
Voight asks, "Is President Obama creating a civil war?"
Actor Jon Voight is on his way to Cincinnati, and Atlanta, in order to participate in Fox News host Sean Hannity's latest "Freedom Concerts." But first, he paused long enough to share some extra nuttiness with the Washington Times.
"There's a real question at stake now. Is President Obama creating a civil war in our own country?" Voight said in an interview with the paper.
We are witnessing a slow, steady takeover of our true freedoms. We are becoming a socialist nation, and whoever can't see this is probably hoping it isn't true ...
Do not let the Obama administration fool you with all their cunning Alinsky methods. And if you don't know what that method is, I implore you to get the book "Rules for Radicals," by Saul Alinsky. Mr. Obama is very well trained in these methods.
The real truth is that the Obama administration is professional at bullying, as we have witnessed with ACORN at work during the presidential campaign. It seems to me they are sending down their bullies to create fist fights among average American citizens who don't want a government-run health care plan forced upon them. So I ask again: Is President Obama creating a civil war in our own country?Voight asks, "Is President Obama creating a civil war?" Actor Jon Voight... more
Rep. Darrell Issa, Republican of California has sent a letter to White House Counsel Gregory B. Craig, asking for more information into their effort to collect information about the opponents of Obama's health care reform by gathering what they were saying or writing.
It brings to mind the image of the "enemies list" that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.Rep. Darrell Issa, Republican of California has sent a letter to White House Counsel... more