Sunday, December 16, 2012

Conservatism, Religiosity, And IQ



After publishing our story, "Stupid Is As Stupid Does, The Never Ending Story," the twenty third post in a series of essays regarding Cthe search term on our site, "Conservatives Are Stupid (http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com/search/label/conservatives_are_stupid), we stumbled on the following entry in Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, "Religiosity And Intelligence."

Religiosity And Intelligence

"The topic of religiosity and intelligence is the statistical relationship between intelligence and religiosity. Studies have begun to explore the link between religiosity and issues related to intelligence and educational level.

"Various studies further suggest that intuitive thinking and inductive reasoning styles tend to increase religious beliefs, but also imply more conservative beliefs in general. Less religious people prefer analytical and deductive reasoning. IQ only measures mathematical and analytical capabilities, so it usually correlates with less religiosity.



"Intelligence is a property of the mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn. There are several ways to more specifically define intelligence. In some cases, intelligence may include traits such as creativity, personality, character, knowledge, or wisdom. However, some psychologists prefer not to include these traits in the definition of intelligence.

"A widely-researched index or classification of intelligence among scientists is Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.). I.Q. is a summary index, calculated by testing individuals' abilities in a variety of tasks and producing a composite score to represent overall ability, e.g., Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. It is used to predict educational outcomes and other variables of interest.

"Others have attempted to measure intelligence indirectly by looking at individuals' or group's educational attainment, although this risks bias from other demographic factors, such as age, income,gender and cultural background, all of which can affect educational attainment.

Summary of research and definitions of term

"Intelligence is a property of the mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to uselanguage, and to learn. There are several ways to more specifically define intelligence. In some cases, intelligence may include traits such as creativity, personality, character, knowledge, orwisdom. However, some psychologists prefer not to include these traits in the definition of intelligence.[6][7]

"A widely-researched index or classification of intelligence among scientists is Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.). I.Q. is a summary index, calculated by testing individuals' abilities in a variety of tasks and producing a composite score to represent overall ability, e.g., Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. It is used to predict educational outcomes and other variables of interest.

"Others have attempted to measure intelligence indirectly by looking at individuals' or group's educational attainment, although this risks bias from other demographic factors, such as age, income,gender and cultural background, all of which can affect educational attainment.

"In 2008, intelligence researcher Helmuth Nyborg examined whether IQ relates to denomination and income, using representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, which includes intelligence tests on a representative selection of white American youth, where they have also replied to questions about religious belief. His results, published in the scientific journal Intelligence, demonstrated that atheists scored an average of 1.95 IQ points higher than agnostics, 3.82 points higher than liberal persuasions, and 5.89 IQ points higher than dogmatic persuasions.

"Nyborg also co-authored a study with Richard Lynn, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Ulster, which compared religious belief and average national IQs in 137 countries.  The study analysed the issue from several viewpoints. Firstly, using data from a U.S. study of 6,825 adolescents, the authors found that atheists scored 6 IQ points higher than non atheists.

"Secondly, the authors investigated the link between religiosity and intelligence on a country level. Among the sample of 137 countries, only 23 (17%) had more than 20% of atheists, which constituted 'virtually all... higher IQ countries.' The authors reported a correlation of 0.60 between atheism rates and level of intelligence, which was determined to be “highly statistically significant”.

"Even at the scale of the individual, IQ may not directly cause more disbelief in God. Dr David Hardman of London Metropolitan University says:  'It is very difficult to conduct true experiments that would explicate a causal relationship between IQ and religious belief.'  He adds that other studies do nevertheless correlate IQ with being willing or able to question beliefs.



Study examining theistic belief and cognitive style

"The idea that analytical thinking makes one less likely to be religious is an idea supported by other early studies on this issue including a report from Harvard University.  First of all, the Harvard researchers found evidence suggesting that all religious beliefs become more confident when participants are thinking intuitively (atheist and theists each become more convinced). Thus reflective thinking generally tends to create more qualified, doubted belief.

"On the other hand, the Harvard study found that participants who tended to think more reflectively were less likely to believe in God.  Reflective thinking was further correlated with greater changes in beliefs since childhood: these changes were towards atheism for the most reflective participants, and towards greater belief in God for the most intuitive thinkers. The study controlled for personality differences and cognitive ability, suggesting the differences were due to thinking styles - not simply IQ or raw cognitive ability."

As before, we must cite the link between fundamental Christian logic and Conservative "thinking," where we find that the underlying theme to be: "If something happened once, it will happen again - to everyone, always." So much of Christian religiosity depends upon this axiom of Christian-Conservative thinking that says that if one Jewish patriarch ranted against something, then that something is a perpetual "sin."  If another poet from Israel deplored lobsters, we must abstain from eating lobsters.  And if the Christian savior cast out demons, then any born-again Christian can cast out demons also.



This is why Conservatives court the religious right.  We have known for thousands of years that political "True Believers," the backbone of successful demagogic movements, are one of the largest groups conducive to populist behavior.  And today's Conservatives have fallen prey to a remarkable force of propaganda: the Conservative leadership's hired flunkies - the Limbaughs and Fox News propaganda machines, as Bush adherent, David Kuo found out to his displeasure. ("David Kuo is an evangelical Christian and card-carrying member of the religious right, who got a job in the White House in the president's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. He thought it was a dream-come-true: a chance to work for a president whose vision about compassionate conservatism would be matched with sweeping legislation to help the poor.  But Kuo says the so-called compassion agenda has fallen short of its promise and he blames President Bush for that...")

The True Believer referenced above demonstrates the final link between the evangelical-fundamental Christian and the mass movement, "...the motives of the various types of personalities that give rise to mass movements; why and how mass movements start, progress and end; and the similarities between them, whether religious, political, radical or reactionary. As examples, the book often refers to Communism, Fascism, National Socialism, Christianity, Protestantism, and Islam.  Hoffer believes that mass movements are interchangeable, that adherents will often flip from one movement to another, and that the motivations for mass movements are interchangeable; that religious, nationalist and social movements, whether radical or reactionary, tend to attract the same type of followers, behave in the same way and use the same tactics, even when their stated goals or values differed.



"Hoffer argues that all mass movements such as fascism, communism, and religion spread by promising a glorious future. To be successful, these mass movements need the adherents to be willing to sacrifice themselves and others for the future goals. To do so, mass movements often glorify the past and devalue the present. Mass movements appeal to frustrated people who are dissatisfied with their current state, but are capable of a strong belief in the future. As well, mass movements appeal to people who want to escape a flawed self by creating an imaginary self and joining a collective whole. Some categories of people who may be attracted to mass movements include poor people, misfits, former soldiers, and people who feel thwarted in their endeavors. Hoffer quotes extensively from leaders of the Nazi and communist parties in the early part of the 20th century, to demonstrate, among other things, that they were competing for adherents from the same pool of people predisposed to support mass movements. Despite the two parties' fierce antagonism, they were more likely to gain recruits from their opposing party than from moderates with no affiliation to either."

We know where they come from and we know how they are conditioned to believe in their newest cause.  The strategy to separate these True Believers from the lies of the Conservative leadership will be a long process, but a necessary one if we are to criminalize Conservatism.



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"...it takes a very smart fella to day, 'I don't know the answer!'"

Spencer Tracy, as Henry Drummond, aka Clarence Darrow, in Inherit The Wind.



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