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Analytic Thinking Can Undermine Belief


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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:33 PM

www.scientificamerican.com said:

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.

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#2    markdohle

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 01:20 PM

I think it only proves the point, that both types of intelligence need to be developed as much as possible, in order to get a more balanced view of reality.  Ayn Rand is a good example, overly rational, yet her life was in a shambles, she was very unreasonable in how she dealt with people.  She could not see the big picture beyond her philosophy.  I do like much of what she has to say however and read just about everything she has written when I was in my 20's.  When she wrote about religion, however, I found myself embarrassed for her.

Peace
Mark


#3    dougeaton

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:26 PM

I doubt this is true, I find those who analyse too much anal in the extreme and can't see beyond the point in front of their noses.  Look at Dawkins for pete sakes.  I agree with Mark, balance is needed, though seldom achieved.

doug

If you must have  finale absolute answers, then become an  hard nosed atheist or a fundie of any religion, both seem to be black and white thinkers, and have only contempt for those who think differently.

#4    Karlis

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:49 PM

My "gut guess" is that the OP article has a valid point. Look at this paragraph:

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.

The first sentence makes perfect sense: "Analytic thinking undermines belief because, as cognitive psychologists  have shown, it can override intuition". My view is that a genuine spiritual belief comes through a personally experienced spiritual experience. That means intuition spiritually discerned.

A spiritual concept accepted though personal spiritual experience is based on personal faith. When one puts such an experience under "analytic thinking" -- faith is left out of the equation. Thus, belief could well be undermined under analysis.

Edited by Karlis, 27 April 2012 - 05:53 PM.


#5    Timonthy

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:53 PM

Logical isn't it? Obviously correlates with the studies that people who are religious are generally not as smart as those who aren't.


#6    dougeaton

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:56 PM

View PostKarlis, on 27 April 2012 - 05:49 PM, said:

My "gut guess" is that the OP article has a valid point. Look at this paragraph:


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.

The first sentence makes perfect sense: "Analytic thinking undermines belief because, as cognitive psychologists  have shown, it can override intuition". My view is that a genuine spiritual belief comes through a personally experienced spiritual experience. That means intuition spiritually discerned.

A spiritual concept accepted though personal spiritual experience is based on personal faith. When one puts such an experience under "analytic thinking" -- faith is left out of the equation. Thus, belief could well be undermined under analysis.

For how long?  Is faith lost because of this kind of thinking, or does, agian, intuition and like you said personal experience lead to a deeper level of intergration.

doug

If you must have  finale absolute answers, then become an  hard nosed atheist or a fundie of any religion, both seem to be black and white thinkers, and have only contempt for those who think differently.

#7    dougeaton

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 03:02 PM

View PostTimonthy, on 29 April 2012 - 01:53 PM, said:

Logical isn't it? Obviously correlates with the studies that people who are religious are generally not as smart as those who aren't.


Well if you need to think that, good for you.  I am an agnostic, and from my experience I see no difference between atheist and believers in intelligence.  In fact, atheist often come across as having some kind of inferiority complex, constantly patting themselves on their backs on how so must further advanced they are to those who don't share their world view.  In the United States where atheism is a minority position (hope it stays that way), it would seem obvious that they would have to learn to defend their position (no matter how poorly), while the majority would not need that skill.  In countries where atheism is common I doubt that the atheist would be more intelligent generally than the believer.  In fact the opposite may well be true, since again, the believer being a small portion of the population would have to know their faith at a deep level and that takes study not only of their faith, but also of the position taken by atheist who would attack and belittle them for being different.

Doug

If you must have  finale absolute answers, then become an  hard nosed atheist or a fundie of any religion, both seem to be black and white thinkers, and have only contempt for those who think differently.

#8    libstaK

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:46 AM

View PostTimonthy, on 29 April 2012 - 01:53 PM, said:

Logical isn't it? Obviously correlates with the studies that people who are religious are generally not as smart as those who aren't.

Wait ... What?  I don't see that.   No amount of analytical knowledge can replace a highly developed intuition, this is a faculty which has enormous evolutionary potential.  I fail to see how sidelining it in favour of pure "logic" is a step forward.  I think balance between both analytic and intuitive responses makes the most sense.

In other words one can be "smart" on a material level but lack wisdom in the application of their intellect (particularly socially and morally), placing one above the other is something a "smart" person might do but a wise person would look deeper.

Edited by libstaK, 30 April 2012 - 12:56 AM.

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

Inscription - Temple of Delphi

#9    Zaphod222

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 01:20 AM

I didnīt think we need research to find out that analytical thinking is incompatible with religion. Guess I am too analytical, lol


#10    highdesert50

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:53 AM

The research on psychological resilience suggests that both of these traits can perhaps co-exist. For example, resilient people are able to foster analytical reasoning in order to put things into perspective. Yet, the research also argues that resilient people tend to foster a belief there exists a power far greater than self.


#11    ShadowSot

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:35 AM

Inuition is experience, it's common sense.
How often does the world actually meet common sense?

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.
-Terry Pratchett

#12    Zaphod222

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 05:49 AM

View Postdougeaton, on 29 April 2012 - 03:02 PM, said:



Well if you need to think that, good for you.  I am an agnostic, and from my experience I see no difference between atheist and believers in intelligence.

And what do you base that "experience" on? It seems to be "believing" in irrational and bizarre claims simply means that you suspend logical thinking... meaning that you suspend your intelligence.

You don´t really need to "experience" any believers to say that, it is simply in the definition.

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." (Salman Rushdie)

#13    Zaphod222

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 05:52 AM

View Posthighdesert50, on 30 April 2012 - 02:53 AM, said:

The research on psychological resilience suggests that both of these traits can perhaps co-exist. For example, resilient people are able to foster analytical reasoning in order to put things into perspective. Yet, the research also argues that resilient people tend to foster a belief there exists a power far greater than self.

Wait wait... that in itself is not "religion". That is simply acknowledging the limits of human knowledge. "Religion" is when you buy into one of the many existing belief systems, which claim that this or that ancient character was a designated messenger (or even son) of a particular god which dictated all sorts of bizarre demands for mankind...

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." (Salman Rushdie)

#14    ShadowSot

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:02 AM

In due defferene, studies have shown both that atheists average higher intelligence than theists, atheists know more of religion than theists, and most scientists are atheists.

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.
-Terry Pratchett

#15    Arbenol

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:56 AM

View Postdougeaton, on 27 April 2012 - 03:26 PM, said:

I doubt this is true, I find those who analyse too much anal in the extreme and can't see beyond the point in front of their noses.

Is there a comma missing here, or is it just my head reading this wrong?





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