Sponsored Content
« Congress Stripped the Supreme Court of Jurisdiction in Terrorist Cases, But the Supreme Court Ignores It | Main | It's Funny, and It's True »
June 13, 2008

Dumb: Study Purports to Find Link Between Atheism and Higher IQ's

Allah's headline demanded 500 comments or bust, and he's already at 300.

So I'll post it too.

Correlation is not causation, which the study asserts anyway, pretty stupidly.

The fact is that most higher-IQ folks will attend college and join the ranks of the secular liberal establishment, which is, of course, anti-religion and pro-atheism. It is hardly surprising that those who join a group dominated by an anti-religious impulse soon adopt that attitude themselves. Especially when so much as expressing a belief in God results in insult and ostracism from so many in that group.

Now, of course, I've bought into that impulse, myself, mostly; I'm not religious. But I can't really pat myself on the back too vigorously for merely adopting the dominant groupthink of my social cohort.

On the other hand, the "social scientists" offering this proof can, it seems, indulge in an awful lot of self-congratulations having the courage to believe what most other people they know believe.

I'll just never get over that -- the free-thinking brave-minds of the left constantly fawning over themselves for the courageous decision to never rock the boat and question the easy assumptions of their group.

Answering Allah's Question:

What exactly does Ace mean, though? Is he suggesting atheists are skeptical about God because of … peer pressure?

That's not exactly what I meant, though, having not meant it, I agree with it, basically. Of course most of one's cultural beliefs are due to the culture one exists in.

It's not cultural determinism, but it is a strong cultural influence. I mean, Cripes, most of New Jersey/New York is liberal on sexual issues like abortion and, as it turns out, I am mostly (relatively) liberal on sexual issues like abortion. I don't believe that's entirely a coincidence.

But what I meant was simple: It's not just what this study says, but the purpose of self-flattery it will be put to (as it was designed). Those who are atheists will say "Wow, IQ corresponds with atheism, so I must be even smarter than I thought!" Um, no. Your IQ is exactly the same. If you're dumb and don't believe in God, you're still dumb. If you're of a middling intellect and don't believe in God, you're still of a middling intellect.

But millions of secularist liberals will take great satisfaction in this survey, as if sharing a belief with a group the survey claims has a higher average IQ actually has some bearing on their own IQ.

Nope, it doesn't. You're just as smart as you were yesterday, or just as stupid. You haven't suddenly gotten bonus IQ points because you're an atheist and a study claims that atheists have some small average IQ advantage over believers.

The other point is that the notion of intelligence is often conflated with what we might call intellectual courage, that is, the "freethinking brave-mind" thing that all liberals are pretty sure they have.

My point on that is simple: It takes no bravery or free-thinking at all to accept the dominant mode of thought in one's social/cultural cohort. Accepting that dominant mode of thought doesn't make one weak, or stupid; a dominant mode of thought may be right, after all, and the acceptance of it may be well-considered rather than a demonstration of a lack of critical thinking or capacity to challenge the authority of group thinking.

However, certainly neither does it demonstrate any amount of intellectual courage or contrarian impulse to believe what the great majority of those around you also believe. You know, the whole Goth kids showing how much they hate conformity by every single one of them dressing like a vampire of indeterminate sexuality. Who all shop at the same store.

I may not be stupid or weak for agreeing with some of the dominant group think of my social cohort, but surely agreeing with everyone else does not make me especially bright, nor strong-willed, nor courageous, nor iconoclastic, nor "free-minded."

It's a rather easy thing to accept the cultural beliefs of the dominant culture one grew up in. It's not necessarily a bad thing to do that, but certainly neither is it praiseworthy or evidence of an unshackled mind, free of the biases and prejudices of the world it moves it.

Nope, Didn't Say That: ken writes (perhaps not in response to me, but I'm not sure)...

One flaw in all of your arguments: You're assuming all atheists are liberals. At least one of us isn't.

Not an argument I'm making, since I myself am agnostic, and by "agnostic" I mean pretty much atheist except that as a believer in empiricism I can't say God doesn't or can't exist. My belief and hunch says "no." My evidence says "can't say for sure." But obviously that is not what you would call a very strong belief in God.

At any rate, I don't argue or believe that "all atheists are liberals." That's silly. What I do say is that most atheists are liberals and vice versa, and we get up to the 99% level when we're talking about evangelical atheists who, God as my witness, spend more time talking about the nonexistence of God than any country preacher spends talking about his existence.*

And those are the sort of people who are, in the main, reading this study with deep satisfaction. Because, while they reject God, they don't really reject magic, and so they're pretty sure that their IQ just somehow magically went up 4 or 5 points due to this study.

* Seriously? How the hell can anyone spend this much time discussing something they don't believe in and has precious little effect on their lives?

I don't believe in the female orgasm. I don't need to argue the point.

I let my actions do my arguing for me.

The level of emotional investment evangelical atheists have in arguing incessantly in the nonexistence of God is something I just don't get. How can you be this emotionally invested in an abstraction you don't believe in?

The fascination with this by evangelical atheists makes me suspect they're not even really atheists. Are they arguing God doesn't exist, or that God is a big meanie who screwed them over?

If it's the latter, I understand the passion. If it's the former, I just don't get it.

I don't believe in magic or psychic powers or Scientology or... well, a whole bunch of things. Student loans. Stop lights. Sharing.

But I don't natter on about these things, either.

I exist, they don't. I win.

End of argument.

digg this
posted by Ace at 04:58 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Rodrigo Borgia: "> 11 " There are never any real cuts. Ever." Spot ..."

Indignacio Vindacatorem: "Though much is taken, much abides; and though we a ..."

CharlieBrown'sDildo: "when I click the link I get a 404 error. Could a C ..."

Skip : "Good morning JJ and horde ..."

Lost In Space: "Kevin gave an academy award performance as the lea ..."

Rodrigo Borgia: "Tranheiser Busch has reportedly signed a deal with ..."

Thomas Bender: ">>Good morning, kids. So congratulations, I guess ..."

Martini Farmer: "Failure theater defines winning as losing with dig ..."

Aetius451AD Work Laptop: "Wait, this is going to be a full service holiday? ..."

Check Out gp's Rehoboth Beach Tan!: ""My X 'upgraded' their Z software and now it's fvc ..."

sidney: "" There are never any real cuts. Ever." Spot on, ..."

Hadrian the Seventh: " [i]The "St. Gaudens" in Boston Common (Col. Shaw ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64