Author Topic: Study finds religious belief is 'not linked to intuition or rational thinking'  (Read 206 times)

Offline Jason78 (OP)

I'm shocked I tell you.

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It’s often said that some people are ‘born believers,’ taking to religion in a way that ultimately boils down to intuition.
But, new research suggests a belief in god does not come to us naturally.
In a series of studies, scientists examined the link between religious belief and intuition, using the responses of people involved in the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, along with data from analytical tasks and brain stimulation exercises.
While some psychologists in recent decades have argued that people with strong religious beliefs tend to be more intuitive and less analytical, the study found there is no such link; instead, the researchers say a religious way of thought is learned.
In a series of studies, scientists examined the link between religious belief and intuition, using the responses of people involved in the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, along with data from analytical tasks and brain stimulation exercises.
In a series of studies, scientists examined the link between religious belief and intuition, using the responses of people involved in the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, along with data from analytical tasks and brain stimulation exercises.


Graham Lawton, author of the new book 'How to be Human,' suggests that as our lives become more stable, society could become 'godless' as our need for religion fades away.

When children encounter religion, Mr Lawson argues they find the explanations it offers intuitively appealing and believable - making them born believers - but this instinct is drummed out of them by education.

The author claimed the reason people continue to be believe it because 'they haven't thought that hard about it'.

However, although the future will be increasingly secular, humans will never totally lose the god instinct.

As long as existential uncertainty exists Mr Lawton claims religion will not disappear completely - even though he believes some of the things in the bible are 'just crazy'.

People cling onto moral guidance and existential comfort and they don't let go of them easily, he said.

In a new paper, published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers from the universities of Coventry and Oxford argue that religious belief is not associated with intuition or rational thinking, as previous works have suggested.
‘What drives our belief in gods – intuition or reason; heart or head?’ said lead author Miguel Farias.
‘There has been a long debate on this matter but our studies have challenged the theory that being a religious believer is determined by how much individuals rely on intuitive or analytical thinking.’
The team interviewed participants of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, in northern Spain – one of the largest pilgrimage routes in the world.
Participants were asked about the strengths of their beliefs, and the length of time they spent on the journey.
Then, the researchers used a probability task to assess their intuitive thinking.
The task required they choose between a logical choice, and one based on ‘gut feeling.’
In additional studies, the researchers used mathematical puzzles and brain stimulation to increase either intuition, or cognitive inhibition, which is thought to regulate analytical thinking.


The brains stimulation exercise involved a painless electrical current, which activated the region of the brain that controls inhibitory control.
According to the researchers, previous studies have suggested that atheists use this area of the brain more when attempting to suppress supernatural ideas.
Across the board, the team found that there was no link between intuitive thinking and supernatural belief.
And, brain stimulation – which did increase levels of cognitive inhibition – did not change levels of supernatural belief, suggesting there is no link between the two.

The findings suggest religious belief is a product of socio-cultural factors, such as upbringing and education.
The idea that belief in god is intuitive or natural is ‘premature,’ the researchers say.
‘We don’t think people are “born believers” in the same way we inevitably learn a language at an early age,’ Farias said.
‘The available sociological and historical data show that what we believe in is mainly based on social and educational factors, and not on cognitive styles, such as intuitive/analytical thinking.
‘Religious belief is most likely rooted in culture rather than in some primitive gut intuition.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5063883/Study-Religious-belief-not-linked-intuition.html


So very very shocked.
Winner of WitchSabrinas Best Advice Award 2012


We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real
tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -Plato

Offline Baruch

Certainly isn't for most people.  Most people are idiots.  Only Illuminati are rational ... and intuitive, and rich and handsome ...

Most of human culture, including politics, economics, religion etc are cargo cults.  Stick that thru your septum and twang it.
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But, new research suggests a belief in god does not come to us naturally.
Weird.  I would've thought that belief in an eternal, omnipotent, and omnipresent but invisible being would come to kids naturally.  Baby's first words:  "credo in unum deum"

Could you imagine if the opposite were true?  If theistic beliefs don't really come naturally to kids but are instead imposed on kids?  Not only would that be kinda messed up, it would actually undermine religion because one's beliefs are dictated by upbringing rather than choice.  A world like that would be awful!

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Graham Lawton, author of the new book 'How to be Human,' suggests that as our lives become more stable, society could become 'godless' as our need for religion fades away.
It's almost as if panicky people make poor decisions.

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The author claimed the reason people continue to be believe it because 'they haven't thought that hard about it'.
The jokes just write themselves...

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The brains stimulation exercise involved a painless electrical current, which activated the region of the brain that controls inhibitory control.
According to the researchers, previous studies have suggested that atheists use this area of the brain more when attempting to suppress supernatural ideas.
Across the board, the team found that there was no link between intuitive thinking and supernatural belief.
And, brain stimulation – which did increase levels of cognitive inhibition – did not change levels of supernatural belief, suggesting there is no link between the two.
Awww.  No atheist brain powers.  :'(  Just good ol' fashioned skepticism.

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The findings suggest religious belief is a product of socio-cultural factors, such as upbringing and education.
Stop the presses!

Offline Baruch

Yes, babies are an oppressed minority.  They must be allowed to choose to be born or not, and choose their own parents ;-)
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From some of my reading about feral children, it seems they have no god-belief until they are taught it. It's been a while since I've looked at that material, but I do seem to recall that about them.
God Not Found
“Money supplants skill; it's possession allows us to become happily stupid.”
Bill McKibben, The Age of Missing Information

Offline Cavebear

From some of my reading about feral children, it seems they have no god-belief until they are taught it. It's been a while since I've looked at that material, but I do seem to recall that about them.

We are all born atheists.  Religion has to be taught.  Otherwise, we would all be randomly of some religious beliefs or none.  And we are mostly the beliefs of our parents.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

That’s a long speech for a chihuahua ;-)

I think that some people are born with the desire for a superior being (daddy complex), but not everyone. The people who are born with a desire for daddy go looking for it and find it or else they make it up ( did you ever listen to the description of god from some one who is spiritual but not religious?). Those who arent born with daddy complex don’t go looking for it. and they dont find it.

Maybe Cavebear would be religious if he had been forced to learn it. Maybe not. My great grandpa was an evangelist. my grandpa a pastor. I kinda got forced to learn it. Even though now I can say I wasnt one of those people born with that desire I still learned what religion had to say. Everytime religion was called into question I brushed aside critical thinking by saying that I was at fault not the religion. Its easy to do when the people you go to church with all see “the presence of god in their life” and constantly claiming to get their prayers answered.

The Christian religion gives you ways to make up excuses to yourself about why reality doesnt line up with the dogma. Of course the priests and pastors even give sermons on reasons your reality is different that you didnt think about
another quote from an antagonist agnostic: not expecting god to show up, but if he does we’re going to have to beat the prick up.

Offline Baruch

From some of my reading about feral children, it seems they have no god-belief until they are taught it. It's been a while since I've looked at that material, but I do seem to recall that about them.

Extreme psychology examples, do not the norm prove.  Beat a kid everyday ... and that proves what?
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Offline Cavebear

That’s a long speech for a chihuahua ;-)

I think that some people are born with the desire for a superior being (daddy complex), but not everyone. The people who are born with a desire for daddy go looking for it and find it or else they make it up ( did you ever listen to the description of god from some one who is spiritual but not religious?). Those who arent born with daddy complex don’t go looking for it. and they dont find it.

Maybe Cavebear would be religious if he had been forced to learn it. Maybe not. My great grandpa was an evangelist. my grandpa a pastor. I kinda got forced to learn it. Even though now I can say I wasnt one of those people born with that desire I still learned what religion had to say. Everytime religion was called into question I brushed aside critical thinking by saying that I was at fault not the religion. Its easy to do when the people you go to church with all see “the presence of god in their life” and constantly claiming to get their prayers answered.

The Christian religion gives you ways to make up excuses to yourself about why reality doesnt line up with the dogma. Of course the priests and pastors even give sermons on reasons your reality is different that you didnt think about

I assume that, if I had been religiously taught from childhood, I might be religious.  OR it might have been more of a struggle to escape.

Either way, I would not be the person I am today.

But my point remains that to be religious, you have to be taught to be.

And I don't ignore the gradual development of religion among our ancestors.  They had less knowledge of natural events than we do.  Lightning was fearsome, storms were fearsome, volcanoes were fearsome, eclipses were fearsome. 
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Offline Baruch

I assume that, if I had been religiously taught from childhood, I might be religious.  OR it might have been more of a struggle to escape.

Either way, I would not be the person I am today.

But my point remains that to be religious, you have to be taught to be.

And I don't ignore the gradual development of religion among our ancestors.  They had less knowledge of natural events than we do.  Lightning was fearsome, storms were fearsome, volcanoes were fearsome, eclipses were fearsome.

Lots of ways to be taught.  For American kids, either TV or the other kids, are more influential than parents or teachers.  I escaped to the library with Mr Atos.
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Offline Cavebear

Lots of ways to be taught.  For American kids, either TV or the other kids, are more influential than parents or teachers.  I escaped to the library with Mr Atos.

I was the youngest child to ever get a library card where I lived.  At 10 I was reading "young adult" sci-fi and middle school history.  At 14 the librarian was bring in books from surrounding libraries.  Mr Atos came later.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Offline Baruch

I was the youngest child to ever get a library card where I lived.  At 10 I was reading "young adult" sci-fi and middle school history.  At 14 the librarian was bring in books from surrounding libraries.  Mr Atos came later.

See, we were Siamese Twins separated at birth, if you please, or if you don't please ...

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Offline Cavebear

You are talking to a person who loves Siamese cats...  Not those, but these.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

I think children are naturally atheistic.  They don't have to be told to grow out of believing in Santa Claus.  They do it once they reach an age where their natural skepticism kicks in.  But when their parents keep on believing in God, it interferes with natural rationality because children learn by imitation.


Offline Cavebear

I think children are naturally atheistic.  They don't have to be told to grow out of believing in Santa Claus.  They do it once they reach an age where their natural skepticism kicks in.  But when their parents keep on believing in God, it interferes with natural rationality because children learn by imitation.

I agree, Telisio.  You have to learn to hate and fear, and religion is basically fear.

As Cable said in South Pacific...

"You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught."

Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950