Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Analytic Thinking Can Decrease Religious Belief 1258

Freshly Exhumed writes "A new University of British Columbia study finds that analytic thinking can decrease religious belief, even in devout believers. The study, which will appear in tomorrow's issue of Science (abstract), finds that thinking analytically increases disbelief among believers and skeptics alike, shedding important new light on the psychology of religious belief."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Analytic Thinking Can Decrease Religious Belief

Comments Filter:
  • by Rostin ( 691447 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @09:00AM (#39819507)

    This hints at the key problem, which is (or ought to be) as much a quandary for religion itself as for scientific studies of it. Almost all of the questions in Gervais and Norenzayan's study related to religion as a literalist folk tradition — an aspect of lifestyle. This is how it manifests in most cultures, but that barely touches on religion as articulated by its leading intellectuals: for Christianity, say, philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas, David Hume, Immanuel Kant and George Berkeley. The idea that the beliefs of those individuals would have vanished had they been more analytical is, if nothing else, amusing. Gervais and Norenzayan’s findings should help to combat religion as an indolent obstacle to better explanations of the natural world. But it can’t really engage with the rich tradition of religious thought.

  • sounds to me like (Score:5, Informative)

    by publiclurker ( 952615 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @09:03AM (#39819567)
    you just described every teabagger and right wing nut-job out there.
  • by leonardluen ( 211265 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @09:23AM (#39819821)

    [citation needed]

    revelation 21:8

    But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars —they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

    hmm...better not post this as AC...

  • by RicoX9 ( 558353 ) <{gro.ocir} {ta} {ocir}> on Friday April 27, 2012 @09:29AM (#39819889) Homepage

    So tired of hearing this tripe about Einstein. http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/einstein.html [godandscience.org]

    "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly."

    Both men were victims of the time and rearing they received. Were they to be brought up in today's world, my best guess is that they'd be like Neal DeGrasse Tyson and/or Richard Dawkins in their belief systems.

  • by pinkocommie ( 696223 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @09:30AM (#39819901)
    Einstein did not believe in god much less a deep belief. Where he's referred to the word God he's talking about the Universe

    "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

    "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish"

  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @09:32AM (#39819921) Homepage

    It doesn't work.

    Dawkins used to reason with them. After years of getting nowhere he gave up and now resorts to insults. And I don't blame him. There's little to be gained by having a discussion with someone who's brain has had its critical reasoning ability turned off.

  • by porksauce ( 1302059 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @09:41AM (#39820085)
    Einstein's beliefs deinfitely don't fit that binary yes/no, but if you had to pick one it's closer to no. Here's a quote:

    I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.

    And here's more commentary. [bigquestionsonline.com]

    Newton, on the other hand, yeah.

  • by DrLang21 ( 900992 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @10:27AM (#39820715)
    I think you are mistaken. It was Woden and his warriors who took out the giants.
  • Re:really? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jiteo ( 964572 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @10:38AM (#39820841)
    The difference is that with trust there *are* experiments I can perform. Not so with faith.
  • by DC2088 ( 2343764 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @10:47AM (#39820981)
    Preeeetty sure that if you take one step back (as far back is needed to see Luke 19:11-27) you'll see a parable was being told, and Jesus was quoting a king. Not taking sides, just.. not a fan of quote mining. No offense.
  • by PacoSuarez ( 530275 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @10:50AM (#39821015)

    Perhaps you can read the whole chapter, and you'll see that the sentence is uttered by a king in a story that Jesus was telling. It still seems like the king is being portrayed positively by Jesus, so the message remains contradictory, but you shouldn't remove the context so blatantly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2012 @12:22PM (#39822265)

    For me, analytical thinking has actually increased my belief in Christianity (separate from 'religion'). If you would like to check out a book that promotes analytical thinking about what Christianity claims, check out Mere Christianity which is a compliation of various radio broadcasts given during WWII by C.S. Lewis (former athiest).

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351