Is there any correlation, positive or negative between being intelligent
and the tendency to be religious?
Of 43 studies carried out since 1927 on the relationship between
religious beliefs and one's intelligence or educational level, all but
four found an inverse connection, that is the higher's one's intelligence
or educational level, the less one is likely to be religious.
There is in fact a grotesque mismatch between the American intelligentsia and the American electorate. A philosophical opinion about the nature of the universe which is held by the vast majority of top American scientists and probably the majority of the intelligentsia generally, is so abhorent to the American electorate that no candidate for popular election dare affirm it in public.
If this is correct, this means high office in the greatest country in the world is barred to the very best people qualified to hold it, the intelligentsia, unless they are prepared to lie about their beliefs.
To put it bluntly, American political opportunities are heavily loaded against those who are simultaneously intelligent and honest.
Personally, I believe I have higher than average intelligence.
And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
I've found that some point to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil being forbidden in Eden as evidence of the anti-intellectual character of Christianity.
Why did God put the tree in the garden in the first place? If he didn't want it to be ate why give the option? I find "Free Will" to be utterly unconvincing especially when you look at how God utterly violates Pharoh's free will in the story of Exodus.
Why didn't God know they were going to eat from the tree? I thought he knew everything and had a plan? This scenario draws a huge question mark on these characteristics that some attribute to the Abrahamic god.
Then we have the questions about how God just utterly violates the laws of nature with having light without a light source, plants without photosynthesis, planets(specifically Earth) being older than stars, etc.
If the Garden of Eden is a metaphorical story you have to ask the following: How do you determine which stories in the Bible are metaphors and which are literal? Even the New Testament lists the Garden of Eden as a literal story. So either Jesus knew and he was lying, or he didn't know. But how couldn't he know? He had a direct connection to God.
Why did Jesus have to die if there is no original sin? Seriously, it's toted as a huge sacrifice but now we have no original sin. So what exactly is he dying for? Which also makes me wonder:
What exactly did Jesus "sacrifice"? If I could perform a great miracle that benefited humanity, such as creating a miracle drug; world peace; solution to world hunger; etc, and all it took was me dying. I'd do it. If now you tack on the fact that three days later I'm going to rise from the dead and become God/God-like? Where do I sign up? More importantly, what right do I have to call that a sacrifice?
Skeptics question everything and believe things based on evidence. If there is an event that is claimed to have occurred, yet there is a distinct lack of evidence provided, then the skeptic will not believe the claim.
Knowledge of good and evil being forbidden is by definition anti-intellectual. Whether it's metaphorical or literal, it's still depicting and teaching that forbidding knowledge is a good thing and pursuing it is a bad thing. It also is depicting blind obedience as a good thing, which is also by definition anti-intellectual.
I've always wondered what would have happened if Adam and Eve had eaten first from the Tree of Everlasting Life and then gone on to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They would have become gods. That's fairly explicit in the novel...errr...scripture.
Eating from the Tree of Knowledge was a choice to be made by free willed even if God did know they would do that. Adam and Eve.
He put two guards, two guards with 'flaming swords' to protect those trees from that pair of evil, violent, naked, barely clothed original pair of human beings. That Adam must have been a real nasty intimidating fellow, and then there was Eve she might try and make a run for that tree, who knows. God had to be careful.
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