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Study: Analytic Thinking Lessens Belief In God

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Study: Analytic Thinking Lessens Belief In God

Postby Remember_Me » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:54 pm

The Jesus freaks won't take the time to analyze the findings of this study.

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Deliberate analytical thinking can cause people to believe less in God, according to a new study.

The researchers, who found that religious belief arises from gut feelings, were quick to say their study was not a referendum on the value of religion. Both analytical thinking and the intuitive processing that seems to promote religious beliefs are important, said study researcher Will Gervais.

"Both are useful tools," said Gervais, a doctoral candidate in psychology at the University of British Columbia. "Ultimately, these studies are looking at cognitive factors that might influence belief or disbelief, but they don't have anything to say about the inherent rationality or worth of religion."

Head versus heart

Psychologists have found that people process information through two distinct systems. One is the analytical system, marked by deliberate, logical processing. The intuitive system, on the other hand, uses mental shortcuts and gut feelings, Gervais said.

Earlier studies have shown that people who tend to go with their gut are more likely to believe in God than analytical types are. Gervais and his UBC colleague Ara Norenzayan reached the same finding by giving people a test to determine whether they were more analytical or more intuitive. For example, one question asked, "If it takes five machines five minutes to make five widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?"

The intuitive, go-with-your-gut answer would be "100." But the analytical, do-the-math process gets you the correct answer of five minutes. People who came to the analytical answer also reported less religious belief than those who offered the intuitive response.


Read the rest...
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Re: Study: Analytic Thinking Lessens Belief In God

Postby jonnygothispen » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:01 pm

I like this! But I would say that analytical thinking lessens a belief in religion, not God. I think the Bible makes the best argument for atheism that there ever could be. Analytical thinking tells you there is something greater, there is something metaphysical we experience everyday.

I didn't want to come back after revealing the experience I had for obvious reasons, but I have to admit, I like this board a lot.

What happened to me is so far from me now I can only remember the thoughts I've had over it, and can't emulate the experience the way it happened. So it's always a tough choice to say anything. On one hand, it really happened and holding back is living a lie. On the other, many, many people disbelieve stuff like that so completely it's like imposing a sentence on yourself. But it really happened, and it was no illusion. It's easily the most important experience I've ever had, yet it only happened because of the way I dealt with everyday things. So again, on one hand it seems super natural, yet it's really only the natural result of disciplining yourself to be in love with life.

When it happened, I thought a lot of people were taken up, that naive I suppose. It's still surreal to talk about because my life was a waste when I was homeless, and I'm not remotely close to the same person I was when it did.

Regardless of what anyone "thinks" about God or heaven, or however they analyze what they want to think about it, there is that fact for me-that I experienced being taken into heaven, saw God as he passed by, and have a few more details I could add. It's not a big deal to me. But it's probably crazy to mention it.
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Re: Study: Analytic Thinking Lessens Belief In God

Postby Galoot » Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:14 pm

Sorry, johnny, but your postings on the atheism thread made it abundantly clear that you aren't much for analytic thinking. I know you mean well, but you need to study a bit more science.
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Re: Study: Analytic Thinking Lessens Belief In God

Postby snoqueen » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:37 am

I've gotta give him credit. I'm not much for god-isms and nothing I've ever seen contradicts that. But he's had his own experiences and he's basing his own belief system on them in a way that suits him, and to me that's all to the good. Using private experiences to convince other people is, for sound reasons, not likely to work, and that's all good as well.

I see no reason society would be better if we were able to reach consensus on the invisible.

What's less desirable is mindlessly or uncritically believing something fed you by another person or a powerful institution.
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Re: Study: Analytic Thinking Lessens Belief In God

Postby Remember_Me » Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:30 pm

jonnygothispen wrote:I didn't want to come back after revealing the experience I had for obvious reasons, but I have to admit, I like this board a lot.

What happened to me is so far from me now I can only remember the thoughts I've had over it, and can't emulate the experience the way it happened. So it's always a tough choice to say anything. On one hand, it really happened and holding back is living a lie. On the other, many, many people disbelieve stuff like that so completely it's like imposing a sentence on yourself. But it really happened, and it was no illusion. It's easily the most important experience I've ever had, yet it only happened because of the way I dealt with everyday things. So again, on one hand it seems super natural, yet it's really only the natural result of disciplining yourself to be in love with life.

When it happened, I thought a lot of people were taken up, that naive I suppose. It's still surreal to talk about because my life was a waste when I was homeless, and I'm not remotely close to the same person I was when it did.

Regardless of what anyone "thinks" about God or heaven, or however they analyze what they want to think about it, there is that fact for me-that I experienced being taken into heaven, saw God as he passed by, and have a few more details I could add. It's not a big deal to me. But it's probably crazy to mention it.


Yeah, I tried salvia once too.

Sounds like yours was stronger than mine though.
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Re: Study: Analytic Thinking Lessens Belief In God

Postby wack wack » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:27 am

jonnygothispen wrote:Analytical thinking tells you there is something greater, there is something metaphysical we experience everyday.


What?
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Re: Study: Analytic Thinking Lessens Belief In God

Postby Refugee IL » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:39 am

Unlike with digital computers, our minds don't work in a nice, neat, pre-defined manner. With computers, you need an address (or a pointer to an address) that's exact. It's all or nothing. In contrast, the human mind uses "gut feelings" or intuition as fuzzy pointers to the stuff that is stored in our unconscious memory. Unlike with computers, these fuzzy pointers don't work perfectly, like having a name "on the tip of your tongue" that you just can't get to. OTOH the fuzzy nature allows us to recall more vague memories. The article seems to be suggesting that this is a left brain vs. right brain kind of thing, but I don't believe it is.

I don't think there's much controversy about the existence of a conscious mind and an unconscious mind. We all have memories, and we aren't thinking about every single one at once, right? So no matter what language is used to describe it, from "gut feeling" to "tip of the tongue", it's all referring to the unconscious mind communicating with the conscious mind. Big deal. We all do that.

What does that have to do with belief in God, though?
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