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Post Reply Why do some smart people fail to figure their way out of religion?
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Posted 1/10/16

TheCrushmaster wrote:Specificity aside, the heart of your question is a valid one that perplexes me. One answer is that there is not merely one type of intelligence - it's quite the spectrum.
Yes thank you, there are many different types of intelligence (intelligences?). Some deal more with logic and reasoning, and others deal more with raw knowledge and skill at knowing and doing things. This is a very good answer.

Bavalt 
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Posted 1/10/16 , edited 1/10/16

Voc666IV wrote:

Originally religion was a source of rationality seeking to explain the seemingly unexplainable such as whom or what created the universe? What causes disasters? How did humans get to where they are?


This. Religion itself stems from intellilgence. Back before the scientific method was popularized and there wasn't such a massive body of existing information available, people who wanted to address intellectual questions had no means of doing so other than through creating their own paradigms. Religion was essentially a lens through which the unknown made some sense and could thus be classified and studied.

Nowadays, with a stricter, more precise information culture (that's science), much of the earlier forays into intellectual discussion seem clumsy or infantile, because they didn't have the information that we've since built up. Science has explained much o what religion had been created to, but it hasn't been able to confirm or falsify certain notions that came with the religious framework, such as the existence of god or the soul. It also does not steep itself in moralism like religion does, meaning that while religion handed the reins of naturalistic observation and classification to science, it's still influential in the unscientific, but still intellectual realms of metaphysics and ethics.

I think hard atheism ("there is no god") is a rational point of view, considering that we've got no real evidence after all this time, but it's not a logical one, since we've also got no evidence to the contrary. It might be that we're simply incapable of obtaining any such evidence either way. I think the only real logical stance on religion is agnosticism. The fact is that we don't know anything for sure, and if you want to be 100% accurate in your beliefs, the only option is to actively admit that we don't know anything.

That said, religion is far from an all-or-nothing investment. Many people who practice religion pick and choose the tenets and beliefs of their religion that they want, and discard the rest. Despite their long-standing traditions and orthodoxy, religion has to cater to the people, not the other way around, and many of the things included in religious texts are ignored because they simply don't mesh well with the way our modern sensibilities have evolved. But the sense of tradition and solidarity that is what many people seek from religion is what keeps those texts and records around, even though there are large swaths that even believers want to distance themselves from. Someone might even believe in the religion's mythology without abiding by its tenets, or vice-versa.

When it boils down to it, I think most religious people are religious either because of moral reasons (they believe in doing good, and want to go by prescribed tenets to set an example and reference for others), the sense of community that comes with it (they were brought up religiously, or seek it out because they like having a shared lens through which to view the world with others), or both (many people are uncomfortable with nihilism, because they feel that without putting our lives in a wider context, our narcissism might drive us to seek complete solitude, or even engage in destructive, hedonistic tendencies.) Religion and science only seem like opposing forms of thought because science is better suited to some of the goals that religion initially undertook, and because religion's tradition-steeped presentation is so self-referential, people fall into scientific thinking for it: "this cites something that's untrue, so it's wrong", when that mode of thinking just isn't applicable to much of what religion deals with.
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Posted 1/10/16

Trewill91 wrote:

why do so many smart people fail to realize that the universe is way, WAY too complex and predictable to be the result of a cosmic coincidence?
Why do so many religious people fail to realize being a follower of a religion doesn't necessarily require having a specific opinion on cosmic beginnings?

Didn't you mean 'unpredictable?'
Posted 1/10/16
Fear. No about god himself but letting go of something important to you.
Just stopping suddenly in believing something isn't easy.
Old habits die hard.
For example. There something I always wanted to do no matter what. I clash with people I know to just do it. When I decide I want something else for me. It wasn't easy giving it up nor was dealing with the feeling of regret. Letting go of something you always believe in, isn't easy.
Although I think I am oversimplifying matters here.
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Posted 1/10/16

JustineKo2 wrote:

I think I am smart, but I know there are a lot of people smarter than me (smart as in intelligent).
Yet some of those smarter people still buy into this concept of religion, or practice a religion.
I'm not saying religious people are dumb so perhaps it is just fear of the unknown and unseeable that makes people think, 'OK, I'll believe, just in case."
But that's dumb. There's lots of evidence that shows religion grew out of people's ignorance and the attitude of what's the harm in believing in God? Well what's the harm in not believing?


their difference in intelligence an wisdom been a atheist does not suddenly free you from the world an enlighten you above the ignorant masses that bind themselves too a religious belief.



i don't believe in organize religion but still believe in a god an a world beyond this one. keep in mind every era of existent believe they knew the truth about the world, even laugh at others for their beliefs or kill them too defend their opinions of why they were right an other wrongs.





so you feel you found the truth an wonder why the masses still live in denial or ignorant bliss. sadly the real truth not that black an white, their many shades of grey. perhaps when you gain more wisdom, you will have the insight too see that.
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Posted 1/10/16

JustineKo2 wrote:


Voc666IV wrote:

Originally religion was a source of rationality seeking to explain the seemingly unexplainable such as whom or what created the universe? What causes disasters? How did humans get to where they are?
Are you talking about a time and place when the average person was uneducated and the church and ruling parties were one and the same? I think when science was controlled by the church because only the church had the resources to take that responsibility wasn't a very good time for science. Sure lots of discoveries and achievements were made, but they were self-limited not to publicly contradict dogma. Scientific discoveries made by people labelled as heretics were later absorbed by church scientists, but those discoveries had to be twisted, altered or hidden in order to conform with the church's agenda, much of it involving an epidemic of silencing rogue scientists only trying to uncover the truth.



I never said they did a good job of it. Did the church try to supress anything that contradicted their often dogmatic view? Yes. However, it still had a purpose and role to fulfil in an illiterate and often ignorant society albeit because there was no-one else to fill the role. The church was one of the few places of literacy during the dark ages and most of the medieval period because the overwhelming majority of the population was tied to the land often living and dying in the same area (barring being levied into the army). As
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Posted 1/10/16 , edited 1/10/16

JustineKo2 wrote:


Trewill91 wrote:

why do so many smart people fail to realize that the universe is way, WAY too complex and predictable to be the result of a cosmic coincidence?
Why do so many religious people fail to realize being a follower of a religion doesn't necessarily require having a specific opinion on cosmic beginnings?

Didn't you mean 'unpredictable?'


no, i didn't. how did they figure out that black holes existed. they assumed that they had too based conjecture. they were right. how do they detect black holes? they can't, but they know they are there because that is the only way to explain what is happening to the surrounding areas.
how did they discover gravitational lensing? they predicted that it had to happen. they were right.
time dilation when approaching the speed of light? they predicted it. they were right.
atomic bombs? they didn't even know it was going to work, but their calculations said it would. they were right.
Posted 1/10/16
The translation of the world around us into myth/religion is embedded within us as much as our ability to unconsciously digest and assimilate various nutrients. The stories that comprise myth/religions are inadvertently poetic and represent the basic cycles, archetypes of life, and reveal insights into the nature of reality and the nature of ourselves. The metaphors within myth/religions are telling a story through symbolism and should hardly be interpreted as literal. In short myth/religions are merely fingers pointing towards something but we tend to just look at the finger.
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Posted 1/10/16
Smart people tend to believe in strange things since although they are good at defending their own ideas, their reason for believing it in the first place isn't necessarily intelligent.
Posted 1/10/16 , edited 1/10/16
I think most people are smarter than people give them credit for. For every cuckoo out there, there's like 5 or 20 people with the capacity to rationalize. Some people are afraid to tread on their parent's belief?
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Posted 1/10/16
Many fear death to the point that they cling to anything that promises them that it isn't real. Ceasing to exist is scary.
Posted 1/10/16

uncoveror wrote:

Many fear death to the point that they cling to anything that promises them that it isn't real. Ceasing to exist is scary.


I remember when I had that fear. Bit of a puberty thing for me.
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Posted 1/10/16 , edited 1/10/16
Maybe because they don't want to?
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Posted 1/10/16 , edited 1/10/16

Bavalt wrote:



Excellent post. This sums up most of my ideas of religion in a general sense. Science can't disprove many spiritual ideas. Science can't prove a person's morals to be invalid. In my opinion science would suggest that many generally accepted morals to be beneficial to life. Therefore intelligence or even science isn't separated from spiritual ideas.

On a more personal matter, there are those that have had direct spiritual encounters. Ones that can't be or at least haven't yet been disproved by science. Ones that have been perceived by a group and left physical differences. Ones that have shared information through various means, of ideas that were previously only personal to those involved or ideas of their own that also can't be disproved and can still function sensibly. People can share these experiences, but they of course can't be proven. There are those however, that will accept those ideas as a fair possibility and use them to help interpret their own meaning of life.

Edit: There's nothing wrong with not believing in god or spiritualism. It doesn't necessarily change who you decide to be. Even from a spiritual standpoint, some might say that not having certain answers or a preconceived perception of life would be beneficial to defining yourself.
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Posted 1/10/16
I'm an atheist and I've been that for a long long time. Hated church since everything they talked about were non sense to me.
There is no outside forces that helps us or makes us pay for our deeds. No evidence these things exist. So I will just sit here and believe in whatever actually do exist.
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