Findings: Analytic Thinking Can Reduce Religious Beliefs

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Findings: Analytic Thinking Can Reduce Religious Beliefs

Post by Spectrum » April 30th, 2012, 6:18 am

Analytic thinking can decrease religious belief: UBC study

A new University of British Columbia study finds that analytic thinking can decrease religious belief, even in devout believers. The study, which will appear in tomorrow’s issue of Science, finds that thinking analytically increases disbelief among believers and skeptics alike, shedding important new light on the psychology of religious belief. “Our goal was to explore the fundamental question of why people believe in a God to different degrees,” says lead author Will Gervais, a PhD student in UBC’s Dept. of Psychology. “A combination of complex factors influence matters of personal spirituality, and these new findings suggest that the cognitive system related to analytic thoughts is one factor that can influence disbelief.”

Researchers used problem-solving tasks and subtle experimental priming – including showing participants Rodin’s sculpture The Thinker or asking participants to complete questionnaires in hard-to-read fonts – to successfully produce “analytic” thinking. The researchers, who assessed participants’ belief levels using a variety of self-reported measures, found that religious belief decreased when participants engaged in analytic tasks, compared to participants who engaged in tasks that did not involve analytic thinking. ... ubc-study/

Do believers here agree with the above findings, if not, why not?
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Findings: Analytic Thinking Can Reduce Religious Beliefs

Post by Grendel » April 30th, 2012, 6:43 am

It's a bit of a no boner. Religious thinking will reduce analytical belief I;m sure too. In fact learning to think in any new thought process, becoming accustomed to it will reduce belief in any rival one and if you invest a lot of time and effort into it will gradually take you over.

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Re: Findings: Analytic Thinking Can Reduce Religious Beliefs

Post by Jeherohaku » May 20th, 2012, 9:27 pm

This does not necessarily have to be true for everyone. For those who have never questioned their beliefs, analytical thinking would in most cases lead to a reduction of them as a default. However, for those who regularly question their beliefs analytical thinking would represent merely a possible change, not necessarily reduction.

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Re: Findings: Analytic Thinking Can Reduce Religious Beliefs

Post by Belinda » May 21st, 2012, 12:55 pm

Inductive reasoning easily disposes of silly ideas such as creationism ' intelligent design'. However the core Christian narrative which is founded upon metaphysical choice to believe in the substantiality of transcendent God cannot be destroyed by inductive reasoning, because it is not a belief that is founded upon evidence, but upon faith.

In this secular age many if not most educated people are materialists who don't accept the substantiality of transcendent God, probably because of the spectacular successes of applied science, and therefore of naturalism.

It is difficult to teach the metaphorical or allegorical meaning of Christianity to simple literal-minded people, which is why daft ideas such as creationism(intelligent design) and the liking for miracles , and other simple cults fascinate undereducated people who cannot distinguish between sense and nonsense.

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Re: Findings: Analytic Thinking Can Reduce Religious Beliefs

Post by Schaps » May 21st, 2012, 1:10 pm

In my experience, this is true. A critical analysis of the discrepancies between theological ideas such as "faith, the nature of God, and the experiential realities of life leads one to a state of "cognitive dissonance" and possibly, existential crisis. It is very easy to withdraw from the attempt to reconcile the discrepancies and simply adopt either of an unshakeable "faith-based" psychology, or a atheist/existential life style, but it is much more challenging (and consequently ultimately much more rewarding) to struggle to resolve those conflicts into a "comfortable" philosophy that satisfies most,if not all the "experiential realities".

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