Intelligence (I.Q.) and beliefs

Well, I’m apparently in the top 1% (Supposedly by quite a bit, though I’m a bit skeptical. Smart, sure, but not -that- smart…), and while I don’t really have religious beliefs, I have some spiritual beliefs. I also keep it ‘in check’, so to speak. I don’t speculate without reason to do so, and I make sure that what I think might be right doesn’t conflict with reality. Unfortunatly, answering a great number of important questions with “I don’t know” is somewhat unsatisfying, even if it’s the only reasonable answer.

Oh well… :slight_smile:

In general, it seems like there is less religious tendancies in the smart people I know. They’re more likely to say “I don’t know” or the like, instead of taking one thing and believing it. Then again, I have a pretty small and odd group of friends, anyway :slight_smile: But it does seem that the smarter the person is, the more questioning they are, and the less likely they are to believe something without more and more reason to do so. Some, of course, find this reason eventually.

The question presumes, wrongly in my opinion, that faith is an intellectual exercise. I’ve encountered many incredibly smart people of faith, both here and in real life. Likewise, I’ve known some smart atheists. For the record, I’m a member of TOPS, and I believe in God. I do so for the same reason that I believe I ate pancakes this morning.


You were hungry?

You ate god?? :eek:

And of course, I doubt you saved any for the rest of us… :wink:

Huh. Where have I been?

Edwino, that is the cite I posted with the first post under the OP. Here is the NASA cite again though:

The agnostic viewpoint is the only one guided by reason and logic IMO. We simply don’t have enough data to conclude whether existence is designed. Anyone who claims different is guilty of a foolish conceit.

Some answers we just don’t have yet. Folks who are unable to accept that, and claim they know the answers for sure, are just kidding themselves and egaging in some wishful thinking. If this behaivior makes it easier to get through the day for them then I’m glad they’ve found a way to get by. However, such willful self-dellusion damn sure aint grounded in logic or reason. This is true of the thiest and the atheist. Agnosticism is a beautiful thing. It allows you to change your ideas when new info comes in, instead of having to skewer the info to match your ideas.

DaLovin’ Dj

Lemme at least start to bring you up to date:

I don’t know what weapons WW3 was fought with, but WW4 was fought with sticks and stones.
<rimshot> (Ha! A little Einstein quote humor there. I kill me!)

The Jews have the best average brain of any people in the world. The Jews are the only race who work wholly with their brains and never with their hands… They are peculiarly and conspicuously the world’s intellectual aristocracy.

  • Mark Twain

“If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvellous fight in the world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”

  • Mark Twain

There are some who would call themselves religious, though consider their scripture to be all practical metaphor rather than something written by a supernatural entity.

Perhaps these are the ones who have a “belief in religion” and are also intelligent.

“”"""“Aint that the truth! - there seems just as much controversy about the origin of this expression as there is about ‘the whole nine yards’ , the origin of which is obscure to say the least.”""""""

Interesting. I was under the impression that it referred to the length of the ammunition barrels for WW11 fighter planes. Running the “whole nine yards”, was literally referring towards expelling all of the bullets during the course of ones combative flight mission. I never heard about this ‘cloth’ thing.


This should certainly stand on its own, as it is a damning case of myself.

To respond to Mangetout’s more pointed question as to a purpose for going there in the context of this thread:

That part of me that goes “The God concept and all of my problems!” blew a fuse.

To address this general thread, I have an IQ under 100, granted there isn’t much I can do on the test without negating the transparent purpose or accuracy of the score from the test; maybe it’s just designed to select those with high levels of memory recall and retention; as just about all of the weight applies to these areas. The abstraction process recieves such low weight from my observation (I was at the end of my test, in the ‘100th percentile’ here in regards to time records); that it has somehow been designed to select the specific charachteristics which allow lives to position themselves in a better place to kill others should they so desire - which is implicit from the form of logic which even allows one to arrive there. It seems to test for ability to comply, complicity and motivation for complicity - somehow gauging the inability to formulate ideas of social negation to themselves. It almost seems like this test was made for people who violate the trust of others; and to ‘remember’ how to do it exceedingly well - and whose value is determined as such. Like it selected from such a population pool when designing the system weights. I’m not particularly a big fan of IQ tests in that regard; although I have been curious at times what a score would have been if I had cheated. Probably 110 =)

I see intelligence as aknowledging and seeking not to ignore contradictions - while striving to eradicate them. Sure, time trials and memory allow more capacity to churn; yet without this other fundamental sense of intelligence it seems like an entirely pointless evaluation of ‘value’ to me. People who have this ability without memory recall and retention can still recognize that which has no paradox or contradiction. I just cannot comprehend the intelligence of ignoring a contradiction which negates ones value to hold a belief from which they are recieving sustainence. I find it disturbing.


I don’t think intelligence has much to do with belief or non-belief in religion.

Ultimately, I think that for most people, belief or non-belief comes from the gut, not the brain. Oh, most of us are intelligent enough to come up with logical, buttressing arguments for the decision our guts made for us, but that’s after the fact.

I know many devout Christians, and a fair number of non-religious people, and in my experience, NONE of those people, on either side, made their choice intellectually. Some were brought up in families that taught them to believe (or not) and were never inclined to search for alternative belief systems. Others tried out a variety of different practices/creeds and finally settled on the one they felt most comfortable with. Others reached a certain age at which they felt, “Somehow, nothing I’ve read or been taught rings true. I just can’t bring myself to buy any of it.”

But all these decisions are, ultimately, emotional. None of us are neutral, unbiased, scientific-minded observers. I think most of us are predisposed to belief or non-belief, and it’s very difficult to shake us out of our basic presidpositions.

Now, I’m sure that even the most devout Christian experiences tragedies in his life that make him wonder if the loving God he believes in might be just a comforting illusion. Similarly, I’d be surprised if even the most militant atheist doesn’t have an occasional… eerie feeling or experience that makes him wonder, if only for a moment, if maybe there MIGHT be something bigger than this universe of ours.

And OCCASIONALLY, that devout Christian will be shaken enough to become an atheist. And OCCASIONALLY, that militant atheist might start drifting toward faith. More often, the moment passes, and each drifts back to his old, comfortable certainties.

But intellect has very little to do with either choice.

I have a question for you and others throwing around “top 1%” figure : What does it mean, it terms of numbers? The top 1% has an IQ about…what?

John Zahn’s post has two links, the second of which does not lead anywhere. The first link seems to provide proof that most scientists do not believe in God. Even if this is true, there is the fact that only a minority of intelligent people are scientists. Also there is the fact that there is a long standing feud between religion and science that has an influence on this matter.
Logical Phallacy if I understand correctly you are making the case that to be Jewish is to be intelligent and also believe in God. I think you will find that there are many Jewish atheists. It may be true that there aren’t many Jewish wiccans.
Savaka judging from his last post Justhink got wooshed.
astorian damn good post.
Lib you may believe those were pancakes, but can you prove they were? :confused:

elfkin477, a standard score of 135 on most IQ tests would be equivalent to the 99th percentile (137 on the Stanford Binet). In any case, it’s two and one-third standard deviations above the mean.

kniz, that’s okay. It was kind of a drive-by anyway.

elfkin477, I suspect the people throwing around the “top 1%” number don’t really know what it means either. They’re just out to prove that they’re superior and only people like them are superior. If I were to choose to wrestle that particular pig, I’d counter that the old SAT scores I got in on were in the top 1% of scores, as was the score my friend got on the test he took to get in to Mensa. Since people will get different scores on I.Q. tests on different days, I really don’t put much stock in precise numbers. As far as I’m concerned, I’d say at least half the people on this Board are Mensa material.


You’re kidding, right?

First of all, let me point out to you that atheism is not a belief. It appears that you do not fully understand what it is.

Secondly, what basis do you have in asserting that atheists are not choosing logic? Shermer notwithstanding, you need to articulate your argument. I can also throw names at you, but why bother?

I don’t think IQ is indicative of actual intelligence anyway. The way the test and scoring is done were and still are sharply criticised.