The Instigator
missmedic
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
joostinchang
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Intelligent People Are Less Likely to Be Religious

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
joostinchang
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/29/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,892 times Debate No: 118763
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (32)
Votes (1)

 

missmedic

Pro

Research has shown that people with higher intelligence are less likely to be religious.
Conversely religion appeals more to the less intelligent. Why the negative correlation between religiosity and intelligence?
This debate will be only 3 rounds, As the religious tend to forfeit early when faced with logic and reason, Which is deadly to religions.
joostinchang

Con

This is gonna be my first debate so I'm hoping to learn a lot from the community and I look forward to your responses!

It's important to understand what intelligence and religion are before moving forward on this topic. First, Intelligence as defined by Merriam-Webster is "the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations" or "the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria. " Second, Religion is defined as "the service and worship of God or the supernatural" or "a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, Beliefs, And practices. " I personally prefer the second primary definitions for both of these terms so I will be building my argument around these premises.

My contention with your argument is you cite "research" as the source of coming to the realization that there is a negative correlation between higher intelligence and religiosity. History has proven otherwise dating back to ancient civilizations. Ancient native American civilizations developed complex mathematical and astronomical systems using religion as the their core motivator. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Chinese and Romans all followed strict religious guidelines and their philosophical and scientific discoveries paved the way for the rise of modern civilization. The Islamic golden age in the Middle East during the Middle Ages was as a result of religious thinkers interpreting their environment through religion. The Age of Enlightenment bore a number of important figures and revolutionaries across multiple disciplines in science, Mathematics, Philosophy, Government, Economics, Etc. Most, If not all of which, Were devout religious believers. Regardless of what current "research" states, The historical record of humanity clearly displays a positive correlation between religiosity and the rise of highly intellectual thinkers. To make the argument that this historical record shows that religiosity impeded intelligence, Or "the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria, " does not seem accurate.

On top of this historical argument, Using the second definition of religion, "a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, Beliefs, And practices, " it would not be unreasonable to consider contemporary science a religion. Science has an institutionalized system of attitudes, Beliefs and practices found in the commitment towards the scientific method, Positing of unproven theories and the understanding that science has historically been wrong, And is subject to change as time goes on.

I'm excited to hear your response!
Debate Round No. 1
missmedic

Pro

Your right there were many intelligent people from our past that contributed to our accumulated knowledge, Many if not all (going back far enough) were religious. However an intelligent person of that time would know of the consequences of disagreeing with the existing state of affairs, Particularly with regard to religion or political issues. These great minds of the past did not acquire this knowledge by embracing their religion, Rather they used other disciplines (as you said). The rise of highly intellectual thinkers was not because of their religion, But in spite of it. Our history shows that religion of the past (particularly Christian) supressed if not stop progress for 1000 years, Know as the dark ages.
For the sake of this argument lets us call science a religion. Science unlike any other religion, Encourages intellectual honesty, Intellectual integrity, Critical thinking, Reason, Logic and doubt. The scientific method is one of humility. It acknowledges the limits of our current knowledge. It doesn't provide explanations or answers from a position of ignorance, But investigates the unknown in an attempt to reach understanding based on empirical evidence.
Your right that science like many religions has been wrong about a great many things, But unlike most religions, Science is self correcting and does not contradict our background knowledge. Religious Faith doesn"t bring us beyond reason, As amply shown by the fact that not a single problem " be it scientific, Philosophical or socio-political " has ever been solved or even mildly ameliorated by faith. On the contrary, Faith has a nasty tendency to make bumbling simpletons of us, To waste our energies, Time and resources on pursuits that do not improve the human condition. The greatest failing of religion is its certainty. Faith is not a virtue, It is a repudiation of one the few good things human beings have going for them: a little bit of reason. Science values your thoughts and experiences, Unlike religion which is dogmatic and has no use for your own thoughts and experiences making them valueless. So how does a person gain knowledge from dogmatic belief?
joostinchang

Con

I'll begin by addressing a number of points you brought up:

1) "The rise of highly intellectual thinkers was not because of their religion, But in spite of it. "
I would disagree with this statement and the example you gave of Christianity leading to the Dark Ages in Europe. There are a number of examples of highly intellectual thinkers that credit their intelligence as a result of the religion they follow. Rene Descartes, A prominent French philosopher, Wrote in his book, "Meditations on First Philosophy, " about the existence of God and in it, He begins by discrediting the existence of anything whose existence he is not certain of. By the end of his third meditation, He uses a logical proof statement to the objective existence of God. Descartes Meditations was an incredibly influential book and his philosophical statements directly impacted the evolution of the modern day scientific method. His intelligence and influence grew out of his religiosity and I would argue that if he were not religious, He would not have appreciated and helped to further the study of philosophy and his book, Meditations, Would not have been written, Directly impacting the future built on science we live in today. I could say the same thing about other religions as well, Like the influence of Confucius and Buddha on the East and South Asian civilizations, Respectively, As well. Confucian social order is a monumental part of Chinese, Korean and Japanese sociology and the technological advancements of each of those societies grew as a result of their religion and helped foster generations of incredibly intelligent and religious thinkers. Buddhism, While less of a science-oriented religion (or philosophy if you so wish), Has also had a lasting impact on Southern and Southeastern Asian societies. Intelligence at this point would be a subjective metric if you only considered scientific thinkers intelligent, But based on the previous definition of intelligence that I used, I would argue that Buddhist spiritual leaders are incredibly intelligent and I would think it difficult to argue that point.

2) Christianity as the cause of the Dark Ages
I don't know if this is what you intended to say and feel free to clarify for me if I'm misunderstanding, But it seems that the crux of your argument stems with your dissatisfaction towards Christianity, Christians and the Christian God. You state that Christianity suppressed progress for a millennia in the time period known as the "Dark Ages. " As far as my understanding of global history goes, The Dark Ages was spurred on the by decline of the Roman empire after barbarian invasions and the fracturing of the thinly spread out empire plunged Europe (mostly Western Europe because Eastern Europe was succeeded by the Byzantine Empire) into intellectual "darkness. " This was not as a result of religion or Christianity, But as a result of foreign barbarian invasions, An inability of the Roman empire to manage its ambitious military expansion, And during the brunt of the Middle Ages, The lack of proper hygiene/medical education that led to the spread of the Bubonic plague and widespread mortality across Western Europe. If anything, The Middle Ages is actually a good argument against your claim because the Byzantine empire, Which I previously mentioned, Thrived during the Middle Ages and when Emperor Constantine of Byzantium converted to Christianity, The empire saw widespread social, Technological and political advancement and the empire experienced a golden age, Carrying on the legacy of the fallen Roman empire.

3) I'm just going to address your last two paragraphs together in one point because I've already spent way too many characters debunking two of your points from the first section. I agree with almost everything you posit in the second paragraph. Science is humble and science is self-correcting; however, Your point that religion is not humble, Does not encourage intellectual honesty, Integrity, Critical thinking, Reason, Logic and doubt is incorrect. Religion is humble. Not all religious people are. Religion inspired philosophers like Plato and Aristotle to use the Socratic method to separate what is true from what is false. Religion was, For many centuries, The only way that people could be educated and could become literate. This was not as a result of the suppression of other means of education, But because of the lack of organized educational means without religion as the motivator. Harvard, Yale and Princeton, And many of the oldest and most prestigious universities in America were founded by devout Christians. Harvard and Yale were affiliated with the Congregational Church and Princeton was founded by Presbyterians. You ask how a person can gain knowledge from dogmatic belief. I ask you how could a person have gained knowledge otherwise in the past if the only book you had available was the Bible because the only people who knew how to read or write were the religious leaders? You claim that "no single problem, Be it scientific, Philosophical, Or socio-political has ever been solved or even mildly ameliorated by faith. " I'll refer you to the Christmas Truce of 1914 and leave it there. There are many examples of problems that have been solved or at least positively impacted by people of faith. That is not to say that people of faith are not blameless, But the reality of this is that human nature is imperfect and that people tend to be a greater factor in the problems we face than the religions those people follow.

As a final point, I'm going to be very clear and state that I am a practicing, Non-denominational, But Protestant Christian. This obviously skews my belief in favor of beliefs contrary to yours, But would you, In all honesty, Claim that I am not as intelligent as you based on my statements thus far? I'm a recent college graduate with two bachelors degrees, One Bachelors of Arts and one Bachelors of Science, And I am currently pursuing a Masters degree. Are these the qualities of a non-intellectual? I know your claim states that intelligent people are less likely to be religious, The operative word there being "less. " But based on the historical facts I've given you so far, Can you still support that claim?

Interested to hear your response.
Debate Round No. 2
missmedic

Pro

missmedic forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DeletedUser 2 years ago
DeletedUser
Christianity didn't started the dark ages.
Posted by anc2006 2 years ago
anc2006
damn this is his first debate
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
backwardseden
@joostinchang - "But I would recommend copying and pasting your debate responses to an external text editor or word processor before submitting. " That's exactly what I do.
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
backwardseden
@missmedic & joostinchang Yep. It happens to everybody that DDO "drops" arguments and its so infuriating especially if so much time is spent on composing it. So I'm truly scared of composing any debates anymore since this kind of thing takes place.
Yes joostinchang it is problems with the site itself. To prove it and what adds to the confusion, Though you may not think there's a relationship, Well anyway to add to DDO's horrible mistakes. . . A few months ago DDO changed its script entirely and clearly for the worse. Before you were able to post links and then anybody could click on them. Now you have to copy and paste them into wherever and who knows if they will even be effective because you have to eliminate all the spaces that DDO has separated the link. (I'm terrible with computer lingo in case you haven't noticed). Not only that but with youtube links, Before you could actually post the video to your arguments and posts. Now youtube links are complete failures. So the best way to get to youtube is through simply copying and pasting the text of the name of the video into the youtube search engine. Even worse, And I simply don't get why this was done. . . After every single comma, The next word is capitalized. I mean why? That makes the person argument and or post all the much more difficult to read if not impossible. And even worse and I don't get this one either. . . Say you want to compose a number like 1, 000, 000. . . After every comma of that number DDO separates the number by one space. Indeed the problem is entirely with DDO.
Please tc and have fun.
Posted by joostinchang 3 years ago
joostinchang
@missmedic I've been experiencing the same problem in this debate and others. I don't know whether it's a problem with the site itself, But I would recommend copying and pasting your debate responses to an external text editor or word processor before submitting. Thank you as well for the debate, I'm a little disappointed because I'm sure you had a thoughtful and defensible argument. I look forward to future debates with you!
Posted by missmedic 3 years ago
missmedic
Joost
I am afraid I will be forfeiting as my argument (which took two days to compose) got dumped or something, And with no time to redo, This debate is yours, Thanks for your time.
Posted by missmedic 3 years ago
missmedic
joostinchang
I would like to add the fact that the differences between individuals will always be greater then any differences between recognised groups of people. And in so saying, I realize that my statement "intelligent people are less likely to be religious" my suffer a generalization bias. But this was not my intention. Thanks again for the debate.
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
backwardseden
@ joostinchang - Most of the time I do proofsneeze whast I say. Here on this debate I did for the past few or more cufflinks of posts I most certainly did. Yeah I've got bionic needlepoint rubbers inside of my head. What's your excuse?
Now as far as missmedic winning this debate, Oh yeah he's won. The only reason he would lose is if dsjpk5 votes and others don't. Take a lucky few guesses why?
No I most certainly do not have any reason(s) - to offer you any sarcasm or to insult you - yet. I only do when those do not show an intelligence and or an education and yet they pretend that they do for a subject(s) that they claim to have knowledge upon and they really don't so they thus invent excuses for it and or flat out lie rather than saying "I don't know" especially to someone who does know better. It really is nearly impossible for someone who claims of themselves to be a christian to say "I don't know" for anything. Its both sad and ridiculous at the same time. Please tc and have fun.
Posted by joostinchang 3 years ago
joostinchang
@backwardseden I'll direct you to the Debate rounds before you conclude whether or not Pro proved his argument and won. I would be more than happy to debate with you on this topic, And if you have any counterarguments to my points I would love to hear your thoughts. I would only ask that you refrain from sarcasm and Ad-hominem attacks as all they do is create a hostile environment for the proliferation of free thought and the nullification of any meaningful argument points you had.
Posted by joostinchang 3 years ago
joostinchang
@backwardseden I'll direct you to the Debate rounds before you conclude whether or not Pro proved his argument and won. I would be more than happy to debate with you on this topic, And if you have any counterarguments to my points I would love to hear your thoughts. I would only ask that you refrain from sarcasm and Ad-hominem attacks as all they do is create a hostile environment for the proliferation of free thought and the nullification of any meaningful argument points you had.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Thoht 3 years ago
Thoht
missmedicjoostinchangTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's stance is correct in my view, but he defends his position poorly. Con has better spelling+grammar. His arguments are flawed in many was which sadly Pro did not point out, but they are more convincing. I would happily debate the same issue with him. Neither side used sources.

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