Tag Archives | Atheism

Study Finds Atheists More Intelligent Than Believers

Richard Dawkins

Well, as it turns out, atheists have one more thing to be smug about.

(Where is your god now?!)

VIA Yahoo

Religious people are less intelligent than non-believers, according to a new review of 63 scientific studies stretching back over decades.

Previous studies have tended to assume that intelligent people simply “know better”, the researchers write – but the reasons may be more complex.

The studies used in Zuckerman’s paper included a life-long analysis of the beliefs of a group of 1,500 gifted children – those with IQs over 135 – in a study which began in 1921 and continues today.

Even at 75 to 91 years of age, the children from Lewis Terman’s study scored lower for religiosity than the general population – contrary to the widely held belief that people turn to God as they age. The researchers noted that data was lacking about religious attitudes in old age and say, “Additional research is needed to resolve this issue.”

As early as 1958, Michael Argyle concluded, “Although intelligent children grasp religious concepts earlier, they are also the first to doubt the truth of religion, and intelligent students are much less likely to accept orthodox beliefs, and rather less likely to have pro-religious attitudes.”

A 1916 study quoted in Zuckerman’s paper (Leuba) found that, “58% of randomly selected scientists in the United States expressed disbelief in, or doubt regarding the existence of God; this proportion rose to nearly 70% for the most eminent scientists.”

The paper, published in the academic journal Personality and Social Psychology Review, said “Most extant explanations (of a negative relation) share one central theme—the premise that religious beliefs are irrational, not anchored in science, not testable and, therefore, unappealing to intelligent people who “know better.”

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Real vs. Not Real: The Great Linguistic Virus Enslaving Mankind

daemonicheatherservitor1Watching the ongoing retardo dialogue between materialist science and religion continues to amuse me to no end as an Occultist. I mean, both camps should be giving each other high fucking fives. You both hate altered states of consciousness. You are each other’s greatest allies in stunting logical inquiry into the topic. Before any of us can remember, the church got inside science’s head and told them not to tread on their turf by studying experiential inner phenomenon like near death experiences and psychedelic drugs. Science folded like a bitch and has now completely sold itself on its own nonsensical spiritual ignorance.

In the other corner, there’s the most belittled fringe minority in the universe going, errr, why’d we reject all that shamanism stuff? I took mushrooms and stared into a transcendent cognitive eternity. I did it a bunch of times. Isn’t that the sort of thing shamanism was based on? Maybe those folks who didn’t give a shit about killing the planet were onto something after all.… Read the rest

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The Six Types Of Nonbelievers: Which Are You?

atheists(If you happen to be a nonbeliever, that is.) Via CNN, researchers Christopher Silver and Thomas Coleman interviewed atheists and formed a Cosmo-quiz-style typology of six distinct groups:

  • Intellectual atheist/agnostic – This type of nonbeliever seeks information and intellectual stimulation about atheism. They like debating and arguing.
  • Activist – These kinds of atheists and agnostics are not content with just disbelieving in God; they want to tell others why they reject religion and why society would be better off if we all did likewise.
  • Seeker-agnostic – People who are unsure about the existence of a God but keep an open mind and recognize the limits of human knowledge and experience. That doesn’t mean this group is confused, the researchers say. They just embrace uncertainty.
  • Anti-theist – This group regularly speaks out against religion and religious beliefs, usually by positioning themselves as “diametrically opposed to religious ideology,” Silver and Coleman wrote.

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Atheist Monument Erected At Florida Courthouse

atheist monumentThe organization American Atheists had sued to have the Ten Commandments removed from the front of the county courthouse in Stark, Florida. But instead, in a historic turn of events, it was told that it could have its own monument. Via the Washington Post:

A group of atheists unveiled a monument to their nonbelief in God on Saturday to sit alongside a granite slab that lists the Ten Commandments in front of the Bradford County courthouse.

As a small group of protesters blasted Christian country music and waved “Honk for Jesus” signs, the atheists celebrated what they believe is the first atheist monument allowed on government property in the United States.

The 1,500-pound granite bench bears quotes from Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Madalyn Murray O’Hair. It also has a list of gruesome Old Testament punishments for violating the Ten Commandments, including death and stoning.

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Interview with Chris Stedman, Author of ‘Faitheist’

Chris Stedman

Recently in a bookstore, killing time before going to my day job, I came across the book Fathiest: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious, by Chris Stedman.

The concept really resonated with me. Here was an atheist reaching out to religious people, to find common ground and work for equality and social justice. It seemed like a very refreshing approach. I’m familiar with The New atheists such as Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens. I frankly felt these guys were missing a lot of the aspects of religion that are worthy of support, such as feeding the hungry, providing shelter for the homeless, working with people struggling with addiction – work I had been involved in as an evangelical. Though I definitely wouldn’t categorize myself as a scientific materialist, I actually am on board with the scientific and philosophical objections vocal atheists espouse against Christian fundamentalists.… Read the rest

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Richard Dawkins Has Lost: Meet the New New Atheists

praisedawkinsSo much for our favorite theist and atheist stereotypes.  Theo Hobson writes in the Spectator:

The atheist spring that began just over a decade ago is over, thank God. Richard Dawkins is now seen by many, even many non-believers, as a joke figure, shaking his fist at sky fairies. He’s the Mary Whitehouse of our day.

So what was all that about, then? We can see it a bit more clearly now. It was an outpouring of frustration at the fact that religion is maddeningly complicated and stubbornly irritating, even in largely secular Britain. This frustration had been building for decades: the secular intellectual is likely to feel somewhat bothered by religion, even if it is culturally weak. Oh, she finds it charming and interesting to a large extent, and loves a cosy carol service, but religion really ought to know its place. Instead it dares to accuse the secular world of being somehow -deficient.

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After God: What Can Atheists Learn From Believers?

Several authors answer the New Statesman‘s question.  Here are some excerpts.

Alain de Botton:

For centuries in the west, there was a figure in society who fulfilled a function that is likely to sound very odd to secular ears. The priest didn’t fulfil any material need; he was there to take care of that part of you called, rather unusually, “the soul”, by which we would understand the seat of our emotions and of our deep self.Where have our soul-related needs gone? What are we doing with the material we used to go to a priest for? The deep self has naturally not given up its complexities and vulnerabilities simply because some scientific inaccuracies have been found in the tales of the five loaves and two fishes.

The most sophisticated response we have yet come up with is psychotherapy. It is to psychotherapists that we bring the same kind of problems as we would previously have directed at a priest: emotional confusion, loss of meaning, temptations of one kind or another and anxiety about mortality.

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Can a Sufficient Dose of Psilocybin Mushrooms Cure Someone of Atheism?

In this edition of heroic doses we ask the burning philosophical question, can a sufficient dose of psilocybin mushrooms cure someone of atheism? Not a topic I’d considered personally at length until it happened to a friend of mine. Well, let’s face it, I’ve always thought something like this was possible. One thing that annoys me about a lot of hard science wired people’s attitude toward matters such as alien contact and inner godhead freak outs is that I see a lot of, well, if something’s in your head, we can’t quantify data on it, so it’s pointless. Horseshit. Behavior is a physical thing and it’s incredibly easy to study.

Take me for example. As a teenager, after ditching Christianity I can’t say I had much of an interest in spirituality at all. I was more into guitars, basketball, not getting laid, and other typical young guy crap. I will say that smoking weed maybe got me thinking about matters of the soul a bit more intently, but not seriously.… Read the rest

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From an Occult Perspective, Atheism is a More Simplistic Belief System Than Christianity

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m super conflicted about the rise of popular atheism over the last ten years or so. Let’s get that out of the way right off the bat. I truly respect the way people like Richard Dawkins (and the late Christopher Hitchens) challenge the influence of the world’s dominant religions publically. I love Bill Maher and found his movie Religulous quite amusing for the most part. This critical dialogue is incredibly important because I got news for you, religion is still the great fundamental bamboozle driving the war on drugs and terror. I think organized religion can be just as nuts as these guys do. I guess I just also see that it can also be incredibly and most boringly normal. A lot of good things come out of it as well, a sense of community, drug rehabilitation, charity work, etc.

Truth be told, the majority of people I’ve known or hung out with for most of my life have basically considered themselves atheists. It’s become almost a badge of pride for so many teenagers and young people, but I got news for you, it isn’t anything new or subversive…

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Does The Internet Mean The End For Organized Religions?

Tweets from the Pope aren’t going to help—mainstream organized religion requires closed systems of information, and will inevitably be destroyed by the Internet, Valerie Tarico argues via Alternet:

The biggest threat organized religion has ever faced [is] the Internet. A traditional religion, one built on “right belief,” requires a closed information system. That is why the Catholic Church put an official seal of approval on some ancient texts and banned or burned others. It is why some Christians are forbidden to marry nonbelievers, and moms home-school their kids with carefully screened textbooks.

Religions have spent eons honing defenses that keep outside information away from insiders. The innermost ring wall is a set of certainties and associated emotions like anxiety and disgust and righteous indignation that block curiosity. The outer wall is a set of behaviors aimed at insulating believers from contradictory evidence and from heretics who are potential transmitters of dangerous ideas.

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