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Do you as an atheist feel more intelligent than believers?

Now it has been proven.Yes you are.Some 63 psychological research reports were conducted and they concluded religious believes had a lower IQ Their report was published in the May 18, 2017 Newsweek.


Marine 8 Mar 22

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I don't myself necessarily more intelligent than believers, maybe just more informed and less easily influenced.

Deb57 Level 8 Mar 22, 2018

It’s been my “observation” that those who “think” they’re better than others tend to be somewhat overconfident people that nobody wants to hang around. There’s intelligence, and “emotional intelligence,” and without emotional intelligence—intelligence is just a number to some person who’s difficult to be around.

I think that they’re probably better read, and rely more on data rather than feelings, but they get stuck in ideologies too. It’s a human thing, and nobody’s immune to it. I think the trick is, introspection, challenging our beliefs, even our “data-based” beliefs, and paying attention when those who love us tell us that we’re not as great as we think we are. We’re human after all, and that’s the same for everybody. IQ is merely one aspect of that humanness.


I think logical might be a more accurate word. JAMES

Leon Level 5 Mar 22, 2018

This I suppose reallyens “less stupid”. James


I try not to verbalize feelings that are negative. I know who I am and don't denigrate or belittle others because they may not be as educated.

Indeed, why should you ? James


It would depend on the individual believer. I've met a few who were idiots, but I've met others who were extremely intelligent and for whom I have a great deal of respect.

Jnei Level 8 Mar 22, 2018

I used to, but I've talked to too many atheists to feel that way at this point.


I don't want to be smug atheist guy. Just like I have friends that are not smug Christian, Muslim or Jewish.
Being smug isn't pleasant or nice.


Sometimes I do . I think it's just common sense and they don't have that or they just don't have an open mind maybe ? I am really not comfortable being around believers simply because we think so different.



Not necessarily intelligent, but definitely more able to grasp reality.

More logical. James


A classic example of "correlation doesn't imply causation" with a splash of atheistic "confirmation bias".

Here are a few studies since 2013 that challenge the results of that the meta-anaylsis:

Sickles, J., Huskey, A., Schrantz, K., & Lack, C. W. (May 2015). The Relationship between Intelligence and Religiosity: A Critical Review of the Literature. Journal of Scientific Psychology.

Our assertion, based on the above-reviewed studies, is that any noted intelligence differences seen between people of varying religious beliefs is most likely the result of educational differences that are in turn the result of holding fundamentalist religious beliefs, rather than the result of an innate difference in intelligence

Webster, G. D., & Duffy, R. D. (2016). Losing faith in the intelligence–religiosity link: New evidence for a decline effect, spatial dependence, and mediation by education and life quality. Intelligence, 55, 15-27.

Research has shown negative intelligence–religiosity associations among both persons (Zuckerman, Silberman, & Hall [Personality and Social Psychology Review 17 (2013) 325–354]) and countries (Lynn, Harvey, & Nyborg [Intelligence 37 (2009) 11–15]). Nevertheless, it remains unclear if these associations are stable over time or explained by education, quality of human conditions (QHC), or spatial dependence. In Study 1, we re-analyzed Zuckerman et al.'s meta-analysis, and after controlling for sample differences, the negative intelligence–religiosity link declined over time. The intelligence–religiosity link was non-significant among samples using men, pre-college participants, grade point average, and those collected after 2010. Education also partially mediated the intelligence–religiosity link. In Study 2, we re-analyzed Lynn et al.'s data from 137 countries and found that QHC positively moderated and partially mediated the positive relation between IQ and disbelief in God; this link became non-significant after controlling for spatial dependence (i.e., the extent to which adjacent countries reflect statistically non-independent observations). Although the negative intelligence–religiosity link appears more robust across people than countries, multiple variables moderate or mediate its strength, and hence, limit its generalizability across time, space, samples, measures, and levels of analysis.

Dutton, E., & Van der Linden, D. (2017). Why is Intelligence Negatively Associated with Religiousness?. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 1-12.

We present three models which attempt to explain the robust negative association between religion and intelligence: the Irrationality of Religion Model, the Cultural Mediation Hypothesis, and the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis. We highlight problems with each of them and propose that the negative religion-IQ nexus can be understood through substantially revising the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis. We argue that religion should be regarded as an evolved domain or instinct. Intelligence, by contrast, involves rising above our instincts. It follows that an inclination toward the non-instinctive will thus be an aspect of intelligence because it will help us to solve problems. Thus, intelligence will involve being attracted to evolutionary mismatch, to that which we would not be instinctively evolved to be attracted to. It is this, we argue, that is behind the negative religion-intelligence nexus. We respond to potential criticisms of our model and we examine how this model can be further tested.

Ultimately, there is a relatively consistent but overall weak, negative relationship between intelligence and “religiosity”, and, this can largely be seen to depend upon how each is measured, and upon what is and is not controlled for, statistically, in the analyses. In other words, it is a highly contextualized relationship, and one that is not consistent or strong enough to globally explain the differences between theists and atheists, in terms of explaining “how or why” a person is an atheist or a theist. Better explanations exist that don’t include IQ, critical thinking, etc.

Thanks for the highlighting! "Weak" is the main thing I take away from this. So we might be a little bit smarter on the culturally biased testing that was done.


The relationship is weak, not the actual difference. This is like the weatherman saying there is a weak chance of rain tomorrow: it might be a down pour.. it might be a drizzle... the amount isn't what the weatherman is predicting but the actual chance of it occurring in the first place. And if they said that there was a weak chance of rain, it's unlikely you'll take an umbrella.

Likewise, there is a weak relationship that atheists are more intelligent than the religious: it might be by 100 points or it might be by 1 point... what is being commented on is not the amount by which the difference exists but that that difference exists at all. And if there is a weak relationship of one being smarter than the other, it's unlikely we can predict test scores based on religious belief alone.

@TheMiddleWay Weak doesn't mean strong usually in unscientific everyday parlance. It is taken as slight. I still don't like the we are smarter than they are attitude. It makes us no better or smarter than they are. Who again is doing the testing? What are the questions etc.


Weak relationship here means a weak fit of a known curve (linear, exponential, etc) to the data usually measured with the parameter r, which goes from 0 and no correlation, to +1 for perfect strong correlation and -1 to perfect weak correlation.

In the meta analsys, quoting their abstract:
"means of weighted and unweighted correlations between intelligence and the strength of religious beliefs ranged from −.20 to −.25 (mean r = −.24)."

Which loosely means that only about 24% of the data supports the correlation.


As in all things dealing with human traits, every person is different. There is a spectrum to be considered, not a black and white distinction.

That said, there is some truth in the generalization, just as there is in the generalization that conservatives are more prone to believe conspiracy theories, respond to fear inducing ideas, and be more religious, but it must be remembered that these are generalizations.


Not necessarily more intelligent, but definitely more volitional amd intellectually independent.


Yes all the time! But in reality we're probably more open minded and ask more questions and don't believe anything we hear.

Do you mean everything we hear. I believe some stuff but not everything I hear.


Hang around here long enough, you'll be cured of that notion. ?


I feel that I have the same intelligent capacity that I have always had and half of my 78 years were spent in the Christian religions. I do see that I may have become wiser, because I have paid attention and applied myself to books and other study! I can see where I would have a restricted view point, if I had kept myself bound inside a religion! They just keep studying the same old things (over and over) that starts out in their scriptures! They memorize certain scripure verses to use to defend themselves with! They stress the parts that scare the hell out a person, instead of what it takes to improve your character by word and deed! People seem so conflicted between good and evil, they can't live a fully human life!


While this doesn't surprise me, and I do think there's some truth in it, I personally see the science of IQ and IQ tests as wishy-washy. My cousin is a psychologist, and she agrees. It's rooted in some truth, but it fails to address other factors that could be affecting the results. For example, autistic people can score low on an IQ test, but that's because of their condition affecting their ability to fill out the test, not their actual intelligence. There are also extreme cases, like savant syndrome, where someone could have absolutely no common sense or be severely handicapped in one area, but be a complete genius in others. Almost all cases of savant syndrome have some form of brain damage along with it (source; the book "We Are Our Brains" by Dutch physician Dick Swaab). Think of it like the blind people who have an incredibly acute sense of hearing. So while I do think there could be truth in that claim, I'm just far too agnostic to accept it as fact just yet, especially with IQ being so wishy-washy. I personally think intelligence is far too fluid and our knowledge on neuroscience and psychology is far too little for it to be accurately measured with a test like that, but only time will tell.


Yes, definitely!


Yes, lol.


Please tell me that a research report was not really necessary to arrive at this conclusion? JAMES

Leon Level 5 Mar 23, 2018

Nah, not me.

Don't sell yourself short.

@Marine I'm not. I'm being realistic and honest. I'm not the self effacing type.

I find that people like yourself have more to offer than they give themselfs credit for.Regardless how you feel never put yourself down as others make take advantage of this info

@Marine I never do. I don't put myself down. I tend to over exaggerate my abilities. Knowing that, about myself, I go a bit light on the claims.

I am going to follow you just make sure.

@Marine I refuse to leave bread crumbs. I never miss my mouth. Good luck.

good for you it gets harder theolder you get.

@Marine imma act real dum now

You win I give up


Sometimes I do. But then I have to get over my cognitive dissonance when some believers have accomplished so many creative and useful things that I could never have done. I genuinely admire certain believers for their contributions to art, science and technology.


I don't think a clear distinction could be determined between the two. I consider myself just as intelligent now as I was before becoming an atheist, except now I embrace the scientific method and a natural understanding of the world. I know atheists who are smarter than believers, and christians who are smarter than some atheists, so I'm inclined to believe the door swings both ways on that one.


I have the zeal of the convert. Since I was awakened to the fact that there are no dieities out there, much less one who cares about our well-being I Have felt like I have the inside line to tthe real. I got BRIGHT POWER tattooed down the back of my arms, don'y care who thinks that implies they are dim.


Hi Rienndo, women live longer???? It’s women that kill men, that’s the reason for that (well that’s my opinion hehehe). James

Leon Level 5 Mar 25, 2018
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