Skeptic Friends Network

Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?
Home | Forums | Active Topics | Active Polls | Register | FAQ | Contact Us  
  Connect: Chat | SFN Messenger | Buddy List | Members
Personalize: Profile | My Page | Forum Bookmarks  
 All Forums
 Our Skeptic Forums
 Religion
 Level of Belief vs. Level of Education
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Previous Page | Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 4

Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  18:21:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Renae
Wendy, my grandparents (my uncle's parents) both had Bacheleor's degrees. They are/were very smart people. I think singling out someone's level of education can indeed make them feel bad...it's not something I'm comfortable with, really. (I have a B.A. as well.)

I think you're looking for a correlation in a sea of possibilities. Spirituality is generally separate, IMO, from intellect. I feel things in a spiritual way and accept any number of possibilities about God and the universe. My skeptical side judges most of these possbilities as unlikely. Most, but not all.

Human personality is so complex. If education is a factor in whether or not someone is religious, it's not the only factor. Think of their childhood experiences, their background, their culture, their parents, their level of suggestibility, trauma that might lead them to seek spiritual comfort...etc...

I know I'm not explaining myself very well...



True, Renae. In my own field-- where, because of direct study of the Bible, literalist takes are often challenged, there are still really smart people (who can even spell and put together thoughtful sentences!) who take positions that I cannot rationally understand.

Indeed, many of the people who appear on creationist websites as science PhD's who buy into creationism aren'y actual biologists, but have other unrelated but still interesting degrees. They are doubtless good at geology or medicine or whatever, and their fundiness doesn't seem to get in the way of practicing good science.

Still, I still can't shake the notion that-- at least personally-- a greater sample of very religious people I know tend to be less interested in intellectual pursuits. This coult be simply because a) I hang out with mostly other like-minded intellectuals, and b) because non-religious people are in the minority, and c) most people, by definition, have average IQ's, that of course when I randomly meet people, they're going to be both religious and of average-at-best intelligence. So my sample is probably just skewed...
Go to Top of Page

Wendy
SFN Regular

USA
614 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  18:36:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Wendy a Yahoo! Message Send Wendy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Cuneiformist

So my sample is probably just skewed...

Does anybody follow the links? It's not just you.

And though I agree, Renae, that I am looking for a correlation in a sea of possibilities I think I've found one. The poll I cited at the beginning of this thread seems to agree.

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz
Go to Top of Page

Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  19:08:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
Spirituality/religion is not just one thing, either. I wonder what the range of belief looks like in relation to the range and type of education.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



Go to Top of Page

Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2004 :  09:14:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wendy
Does anybody follow the links? It's not just you.


Ooops-- I missed it. Sorry...
Go to Top of Page

Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2004 :  09:19:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
Strangest in the poll was that fully 40% of people who consider themselves Democrat believe in astrology. That's way more than Republican (19%) or even independents (29%)...
Go to Top of Page

BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2004 :  09:45:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
The problem here is that education level and intelligence are not the same thing. One can be vastly knowledgable and dumb as a rock. Knowledge is just a collection of information created by others. Collecting it and being good at recalling it does not mean you could look at a pile of bicycle parts and figure out the order the parts fit together without instructions.

Critical thinking is on the intelligence side of the spectrum IMO, but certainly requires some knowledge to work from.

I bame D&D, they got Wisdom and Intelligence mixed up in there discriptions.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
Go to Top of Page

Wendy
SFN Regular

USA
614 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2004 :  12:25:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Wendy a Yahoo! Message Send Wendy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Cuneiformist
Ooops-- I missed it. Sorry...

No sweat. We all do it.

quote:
Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf
The problem here is that education level and intelligence are not the same thing. One can be vastly knowledgable and dumb as a rock.

I agree that is true, but not that it is the problem - at least not the problem here. Here I am referring specifically to a lack of education, regardless of level of intelligence. My mother is (IMHO) an intelligent woman, but she never finished high school. I do not dispute the fact that intelligence and education are two entirely different things.

quote:
Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf
Critical thinking is on the intelligence side of the spectrum IMO, but certainly requires some knowledge to work from.

Absolutely. Therein lies the rub. The more we know, the more we can know. Knowledge builds on itself.



Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz
Go to Top of Page

Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2004 :  12:47:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Cuneiformist

Strangest in the poll was that fully 40% of people who consider themselves Democrat believe in astrology. That's way more than Republican (19%) or even independents (29%)...



That could be explained by the religious outlook from traditionally Democratic voters vs Republican voters.

The Neo-Pagan community is heavily Democrat/Independant. (although, by last estimates the population of voting age Neo-pagans is approximately one million.) Still could skew the numbers if an inordinate number of Neo-Pagans were polled. Belief in Astrology, although not required, is rampant in the Neo-Pagan community.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
Go to Top of Page

Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2004 :  12:48:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
There is some level of indoctrination that comes with higher education as well, isn't there? Aren't most people going to accept the 'fact' that there 'must' be some kind of god simply because that's what they've been taught?

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



Go to Top of Page

Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2004 :  12:55:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo

There is some level of indoctrination that comes with higher education as well, isn't there? Aren't most people going to accept the 'fact' that there 'must' be some kind of god simply because that's what they've been taught?



As most higher education does not involve religious indoctorinaztion, I would term it as more likely since the vast majority of citizens are religious, that indoctorinzation happened at a much earlier age and is, therefore, more heavily ingraned into their belief structure.

In a 1985 survey by Margot Adler reported in her book "Drawing Down The Moon", a majority of Neo-pagans are involved with technical applications of science or scientific endeavors. (15% were computer programmers)


Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
Edited by - Valiant Dancer on 12/16/2004 12:56:14
Go to Top of Page

Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2004 :  13:37:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
That's not quite what I meant. And this is a question, not a statement, but isn't there more pressure to be 'normal' for those who have been to college? I mean, isn't that the gripe that people are taught NOT to think in college, they're taught to obey, except for in certain disciplines?


I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



Go to Top of Page

Rubicon95
Skeptic Friend

USA
220 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2004 :  13:53:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Rubicon95 a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wendy

quote:
Higher levels of belief among people with no college education and lower levels of belief among those with postgraduate education.




That statement is invalid and misleading when you read the tables.
Levels of Belief? Belief in what? Or are the mashing all the subjects together and try find some median in it? Or is it an amorphous statement like "Moral Values"?


From that same data, you could say that the majority of people with high levels of education believe in God and a small portion doesn't

Of the 2,201 adults 90% believe in God.

Of the 90% who believe in God
92% are (inferred) only High School Graduates
88% have some college (What does it mean "some college"? Are they students still? Did they drop out? Does community college count as "some college"?)
90% with College Graduate Degrees only
85% with Graduate School Degrees only.

Now how bout a break out of the 90% and 85%. What percentage come from a religious household?

What their is belief system Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Zoarastrian, Sikh, Jainist, Pagan, Pantheiest? That factor would greatly effect the poll on Jesus, the Virgin Birth, astrology and reincarnation.

Now let's take another view. 85% of post-grads believe in God but 17% believe in astrology. Does the lack of believe in Astrology decrement total median in "belief"?

Is there a statistician in the house to explain this?



Go to Top of Page

Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2004 :  13:55:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo

That's not quite what I meant. And this is a question, not a statement, but isn't there more pressure to be 'normal' for those who have been to college? I mean, isn't that the gripe that people are taught NOT to think in college, they're taught to obey, except for in certain disciplines?





There are some colleges which encourage reverse mental perisolosis of information without questioning. But during my time there, I was encouraged to think independantly in some classes and not so much in others. I had to learn techniques for problem solving and structured programming to help me debug what I had written, but the final result is what they were really interested in.

There is some pressure to do things in using preferred practices, but you don't get downgraded. Like any teaching situation, the information is packaged in a way which will resonate logically with most of the students. The pressure to obey is usually in behavioral issues, not learning ones. But, again, that is my personal experience and the experience with most of the people I work with. (Degreed professionals) In some cases, the limits placed on students in some disciplines are there to promote safety.

There are some individuals who were psychologically predisposed to rigid thinking. But in my field, that is a disadvantage.

The gripe is that people are indoctorinated into liberal thought by college professors. This gripe is usually leveled by neo-cons who are trying to advance a more "common sense" (translation: agrees with their rigid thinking instead of challenging it) teaching of "appropriate" (translation: religious study of Evangelical Christianity and belief in their brand of economics) subject matter.

Of course, this is based on trends I have seen in the media, half remembered studies, and personal experience. It may or may not be accurate. Mostly, I have seen the most rigid thinking by MBA's.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
Go to Top of Page

woolytoad
Skeptic Friend

313 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2004 :  15:00:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send woolytoad a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Valiant Dancer

quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo

There is some level of indoctrination that comes with higher education as well, isn't there? Aren't most people going to accept the 'fact' that there 'must' be some kind of god simply because that's what they've been taught?



As most higher education does not involve religious indoctorinaztion, I would term it as more likely since the vast majority of citizens are religious, that indoctorinzation happened at a much earlier age and is, therefore, more heavily ingraned into their belief structure.



Michael Shermer argues in his Scientific American column (and his book Why Do Smart People Believe Weird Things? I've not read it yet), that smart people are better able to rationalize weird beliefs that they arrived at bybad reasoning.

Indeed this is my experience. I have friends who believe various bad science things, despite the vast scientific evidence that shows they are wrong. The feeling seems to be "I'm educated and I believe in X. Therefore my belief must have some merit."

I doubt there's any real connection between education and belief.
Go to Top of Page

ConsequentAtheist
SFN Regular

641 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2004 :  15:27:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send ConsequentAtheist a Private Message
I would expect those more traveled or more educated to be, on average, more exposed to a spectrum of ideas. This would be particularly true in milieus which encourage a free-flow of ideas. Any attempt to correlate atheism with intelligence should be viewed as highly suspect.

For the philosophical naturalist, the rejection of supernaturalism is a case of "death by a thousand cuts." -- Barbara Forrest, Ph.D.
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 4 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page | Next Page
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Jump To:

The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.


Home | Skeptic Forums | Skeptic Summary | The Kil Report | Creation/Evolution | Rationally Speaking | Skeptillaneous | About Skepticism | Fan Mail | Claims List | Calendar & Events | Skeptic Links | Book Reviews | Gift Shop | SFN on Facebook | Staff | Contact Us

Skeptic Friends Network
© 2008 Skeptic Friends Network Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.42 seconds.
Powered by @tomic Studio
Snitz Forums 2000