Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Religious beliefs are not linked to intuition or rational thinking, according to new research by the universities of Coventry and Oxford.

Previous studies have suggested people who hold strong religious beliefs are more intuitive and less analytical, and when they think more analytically their religious beliefs decrease.

But new research, by academics from Coventry University's Centre for Advances in Behavioural Science and neuroscientists and philosophers at Oxford University, suggests that is not the case, and that people are not 'born believers'.

More

Alternate links: Google News | Twitter

The study -- which included tests on pilgrims taking part in the famous Camino de Santiago and a brain stimulation experiment -- found no link between intuitive/analytical thinking, or cognitive inhibition (an ability to suppress unwanted thoughts and actions), and supernatural beliefs.

Instead, the academics conclude that other factors, such as upbringing and socio-cultural processes, are more likely to play a greater role in religious beliefs.

The study -- published in Scientific Reports -- was the first to challenge a growing trend among cognitive psychologists over the past 20 years that has attempted to show that believing in the supernatural is something that comes to us 'naturally' or intuitively.

Comments

Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

The best part of article:

In the last part of their research they used brain stimulation to increase levels of cognitive inhibition, which is thought to regulate analytical thinking.

This involved running a painless electrical current between two electrodes placed on the participant's scalp, to activate the right inferior frontal gyrus, a part of the brain that controls inhibitory control.

A previous brain-imaging study had shown that atheists used this area of the brain more when they wanted to suppress supernatural ideas.

#1 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-11-08 05:35 PM | Reply

"Instead, the academics conclude that other factors, such as upbringing and socio-cultural processes, are more likely to play a greater role in religious beliefs."

Which confirms what I have always believed. People tend to "believe" in the God(s) that their parents believe in.

#2 | Posted by danni at 2017-11-08 08:25 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"People tend to "believe" in the God(s) that their parents believe in."

I have to go back to the thrift store and grab that book I saw "How To Stop And Intermarriage." I won't say which religion it's geared to; suffice it to say it's an Abrahamic faith.

#3 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-11-08 10:02 PM | Reply

So, the "less analytical" myth gets shot down. Good riddance.

Although from the vast vocal majority of rwing hypocrites who call themselves Christians, it's no wonder that conclusion so often seemed plausible.... though there have always been serious, scholarly Christians in print, such as Reinhold Niebuhr, who Obama and Clinton both admire, or even serious liberal journalists like Chris Hedges for anyone not too lazy and prejudiced to find if they actually looked instead of broad-brushing all Christians as the same.

#4 | Posted by Corky at 2017-11-09 12:22 AM | Reply

#4 | POSTED BY CORKY AT 2017-11-09 12:22 AM

You were channeling "Grendel" a bit with that post and I mean that as a sincere compliment.

#5 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-11-09 12:28 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Thanks, I would always take any comparison to Grendel in a complimentary way.

#6 | Posted by Corky at 2017-11-09 12:39 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

:-)

#7 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-11-09 12:48 AM | Reply

It's just an updated version of the nature vs. nurture argument.

I think people believe in 'gods' because it provides them with simple explanations that require no proof. It's the intellectually lazy way to solve another human need, i.e. To think that their personal place in the giant cosmic puzzle is something more consequential than that of a fruit fly or an individual blade of grass.

#8 | Posted by kudzu at 2017-11-09 06:39 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

People believe in gods because they have a really hard time with being stuck on this rock spinning through space without a clue of knowing why. Its like humans have "daddy" issues or iow, abandonment issues. Religions are a anchor to people - by holding them back with useless doctrine. It keeps people from rising in their consciousness and achieving an understanding of who they really are.

Religion is a system of wishful illusions together with a disavowal of reality, such as we find nowhere else but in a state of blissful hallucinatory confusion. Religion's eleventh commandment is "Thou shalt not question."

~ Sigmund Freud

#9 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2017-11-09 07:19 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Religion is mostly a tool for control of the masses. In many cases it was designed to be self perpetuating. Of course, the religions that pull this off keep going. Kind of an evolutionary process.

#10 | Posted by Snowfake at 2017-11-09 07:39 AM | Reply

This should be a fun thread. Lots of reruns, but fun nonetheless.

#11 | Posted by TheTom at 2017-11-09 11:52 AM | Reply

So, the "less analytical" myth gets shot down. Good riddance.

I would view the article as adding a new layer to it.

It's not people believe in God because they don't think analytically.

They believe in God because they were taught to and don't think analytically about what their communities have told the to believe.

Of course there's always the issue with your average person not having much in the way of analytical thinking to begin with.

#12 | Posted by jpw at 2017-11-09 01:18 PM | Reply

This should be a fun thread. Lots of reruns, but fun nonetheless.

These sorts of threads used to be much more fun when exprsredemption was around.

He'd actually discuss things instead of C&Ping a bunch of crap about neoatheists.

#13 | Posted by jpw at 2017-11-09 01:22 PM | Reply

- they were taught to and don't think analytically about

Not what the study shows.

"found no link between intuitive/analytical thinking, or cognitive inhibition (an ability to suppress unwanted thoughts and actions), and supernatural beliefs."

Which applies to after enculturation.

#14 | Posted by Corky at 2017-11-09 01:23 PM | Reply

So religious folk have no more ability to suppress unwanted logic/thoughts in general, they just have a specific mental blind spot related to their religion. Shows the power of brainwashing at an early age.

#15 | Posted by Snowfake at 2017-11-09 01:35 PM | Reply

I know what the article says, I read it.

But you can't claim following what you were taught is wholly separated from a lack of critical thinking.

It's a conundrum along the lines of free will within God's omniscient plan.

#16 | Posted by jpw at 2017-11-09 01:36 PM | Reply

#16

The study shows that a lack of critical thinking, however attained, has "no link" to spiritual beliefs.

- a conundrum along the lines of free will within God's omniscient plan.

www.peterkreeft.com

#17 | Posted by Corky at 2017-11-09 01:44 PM | Reply

Because electing them makes us think they'll fix out problems.

Then you realize, they aren't gods, but their followers will never believe you.

#18 | Posted by Petrous at 2017-11-09 01:47 PM | Reply

The study shows that a lack of critical thinking, however attained, has "no link" to spiritual beliefs.

Again. I've read it. But restate the findings one more time instead of addressing my point regarding the logical inconsistency.

Let me rephrase it then to help.

Because they're simply following what they were taught, they've turned off the parts of their brain that is activated during critical thinking or when repressing knowledge they don't want to consider.

In other words, it's been crammed so deep into their psyche they've even suppressed their abilities to react to it.

Which is worse than simply not thinking about it when you actually think about it.

a conundrum along the lines of free will within God's omniscient plan.

I read about half of it and realized it required not thinking to believe it. Yeesh.

#19 | Posted by jpw at 2017-11-09 02:02 PM | Reply

- it required not thinking

You mean that it didn't fit your prejudices. Which are based more on what you've heard from others, your enculturalization, than on any actual scholarly study of the subject that you have done.

- In other words, it's been crammed so deep into their psyche they've even suppressed their abilities to react to it.

The study conclusions are pretty clear, and don't seem to need any other words.

"Summary:
Religious beliefs are not linked to intuition or rational thinking, according to a new study. Previous studies have suggested people who hold strong religious beliefs are more intuitive and less analytical, and when they think more analytically their religious beliefs decrease. But new research suggests that is not the case, and that people are not 'born believers'"

So, less analytical thinking is not related to holding strong religious beliefs.

#20 | Posted by Corky at 2017-11-09 02:40 PM | Reply

You mean that it didn't fit your prejudices.

Nope, just a different interpretation of the results presented in the article.

Your bias leads you to see what you want (believers still have analytical thinking skills) and I see what I see, that belief is so ingrained that there simply is no conscious thinking about it to even lead to denial.

So, less analytical thinking is not related to holding strong religious beliefs.

Correct. NO analytical thinking is linked to beliefs, because that's just what you're told is true and normal so, thus, active skepticism is lacking.

BTW don't you find it interesting, theologically, that without culture and societal teachings one wouldn't naturally conclude that God or a particular God exists? Does that mean that without being told what to believe at an early age, a person might not feel the presence of God? Could that not suggest that it is in fact an entirely man made construct?

#21 | Posted by jpw at 2017-11-10 12:54 PM | Reply

Slam the belief in God all you want but when ever I hear an atheist talk about religion they are always angry I never understand why but they get real defensive its just an observation that I never understood.

#22 | Posted by WTFIGO at 2017-11-10 02:29 PM | Reply

Religion is a double edged sword. It can servs a lot of noble purposes but it can also lead to strapping on a suicide vest.

It can even get you to think that strapping on a suicide vest is a noble purpose.

And, that's a problem. It creates a monoculture of belief. And those beliefs could be anything.

Another problem is characterized by the Big Bang theory bumper sticker: "G-d said Let There Be Light, and BANG it happened." That's the opposite of thinking; the joyous rejection of thinking. Very dangerous.

#23 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-11-10 02:47 PM | Reply

they are always angry I never understand why but they get real defensive its just an observation that I never understood.

Chances are they were raised in some religion and likely found it repulsive or abusive, whether it be the bread and butter day to day doctrine stuff for the more extreme denominations or the response they got to questions and doubt in a milder denomination.

I was raised Catholic but when I expressed doubt or questioned what I was being taught there wasn't a discussion of the issues, just 'you'll go to hell' type stuff from the old ladies or 'well that's a mystery' from milder types who seemed so sure about everything else all the time.

Hence why the lack of analytical thinking in regards to belief was a popular hypothesis.

Who knew it would end up being a lack of thinking altogether. Ooops.

#24 | Posted by jpw at 2017-11-10 04:04 PM | Reply

I believe in God in times of distress. It helps me deal with sadness. Not a super intellectual truth, but there it is. I suspect a lot of people are also like that.

#25 | Posted by moder8 at 2017-11-10 04:09 PM | Reply

Comments are closed for this entry.

Home | Breaking News | Comments | User Blogs | Stats | Back Page | RSS Feed | RSS Spec | DMCA Compliance | Privacy | Copyright 2017 World Readable

Drudge Retort