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Still Waters

Analytic Thinking Can Undermine Belief

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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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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

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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

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Posted (edited)

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

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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

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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

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Posted (edited)

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

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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.

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Inuition is experience, it's common sense.

How often does the world actually meet common sense?

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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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Posted (edited)

Analytical thinking is only antithetical to intutiive thinkers if their is enough established information to begin making comparisons between the different modes while also narrowing down the focus to one single concept such as religion.

A person who had more analytical thinking skills than all of us here but who lived thousands of years ago in a small village devoted to a goddess might just grow up to be the high priest.

Also as intuitive thinking is more researched it will also show how valuable it is in other arenas outside of religion, because it is.

A comparison would be to claim analytical thinking destroys romance. Those who never were fond of romance would cheer. Although for those in the middle of the road, who value both analytical thinking, but also, if they were single, want to meet someone, would it not make sense to use both?

I am also certain some of the best executives, like Steve Jobs, made use of both analytical thinking and intuition. DaVinci made use of both. Instead of favoring one over the other I ask the gods to bless me with both in spades!

Edited by Unseelie
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Intuitive thinking is the ability to connect the dots to form a picture.

Analytical thinking examines the pictures that already exist.

When there is too much constant use of one process it impairs the ability of the other.

Too much analytical thinking would decreases perception which relies on intuitive thinking.

There is a black indistinct silhouette.

Someone with too much intuitive thinking creates an entire and compete image in their mind as to what it must be.

Someone with too much analytical thinking cannot even make a guess as to what it could possibly be.

Someone with balanced intuitive and analytical thinking links possibilities in their might as to what it might be.

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

What would be the preferred method for measuring smartness?

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Posted (edited)

What would be the preferred method for measuring smartness?

Measuring both abilities to think.

Even then different occupations would regard different levels of ability as being of greater value to them.

All occupations would require some solid demonstrations of both to show the ability to produce for the field.

At the extremes of the thinking process spectrum they could end up with individuals that do nothing more than regurgitate memorized facts and can only reproduce the same results that have always been produced before, or they could end up with individuals that spend most of their time dreaming up one wild new idea after another without ever following through to see plans completed.

Edited by Bella-Angelique
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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.

I think to believe that the universe created itself out of nothing is irrational in the extreme and bizzare.. There are logical reasons for believing in God. If you were as rational and intelligent as you say your are, then you would not need to be reminded of that fact.

doug

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Intuitive thinking is the ability to connect the dots to form a picture.

Analytical thinking examines the pictures that already exist.

When there is too much constant use of one process it impairs the ability of the other.

Too much analytical thinking would decreases perception which relies on intuitive thinking.

There is a black indistinct silhouette.

Someone with too much intuitive thinking creates an entire and compete image in their mind as to what it must be.

Someone with too much analytical thinking cannot even make a guess as to what it could possibly be.

Someone with balanced intuitive and analytical thinking links possibilities in their might as to what it might be.

:nw: :nw: :tsu::clap::nw: well said.

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Intuitive thinking is the ability to connect the dots to form a picture.

Analytical thinking examines the pictures that already exist.

When there is too much constant use of one process it impairs the ability of the other.

Too much analytical thinking would decreases perception which relies on intuitive thinking.

There is a black indistinct silhouette.

Someone with too much intuitive thinking creates an entire and compete image in their mind as to what it must be.

Someone with too much analytical thinking cannot even make a guess as to what it could possibly be.

Someone with balanced intuitive and analytical thinking links possibilities in their might as to what it might be.

It's like the difference between "book smarts" and "street smarts". I don't care how much you think you know, if you don't have the presence of mind to be able maneuver in the real world you aren't going to last long. :tu:

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It's like the difference between "book smarts" and "street smarts". I don't care how much you think you know, if you don't have the presence of mind to be able maneuver in the real world you aren't going to last long. :tu:

I would take this one step further and suggest that 'book smarts" (education) can and do cultivate viable "street smarts" (common sense.)

I see them as working in tandem, for "a" best case scenario. Just my two cents.

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Posted (edited)

I would take this one step further and suggest that 'book smarts" (education) can and do cultivate viable "street smarts" (common sense.)

I see them as working in tandem, for "a" best case scenario. Just my two cents.

It can, but not usually. Someone that has no experience with social dichotomies, and have only read it in books, become fodder.

I was raised in a bar and my parents took me around the world. That education doesn't even compare to the many books that I read.

Edited by Michelle

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Posted (edited)

It can, but not usually. Someone that has no experience with social dichotomies, and have only read it in books, become fodder.

I was raised in a bar and my parents took me around the world. That education doesn't even compare to the many books that I read.

That is a very good point. I do agree if exposed to diversity, it would help a lot in adding to the depth of ones education.

Age appropriate of course and within reason.

Edited by Sherapy

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