Author Topic: Hi everyone!  (Read 661 times)

Dave

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Re: Hi everyone!
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2016, 06:00:10 AM »
intuitive reasoning promotes religious belief. 

Can you support that by citing your sources please?

I will grant that intuition is usually considered not to be based on evidence, at least not consciously observed or perceived evidence.  Personally I am not so sure, I am a great believer in the "hunch", the "gut feeling", that image, perspective, idea or whatever that seems to come out of the blue - and quite often seems obvious once it arrives.  I see this as part of the "intuitive leap" to an answer or solution, seemingly bypassing the brain's reasoning centres.

But, surely, this is an unconscious  assembling of evidence already in the mind, just not at the surface. Part of the famous "pattern seeking" ability. I could not count the number of times in my engineering career where I have come to an idea, or even a design, with no conscious stages between looking at a new problem and mentally visualising the solution.

Perhaps it is another case where the philosopher's definition is different from how a word is used in everyday speech.  Personally, although I  have been questioning the nature of religion since I was about 10yo (and getting in disfavour at Sunday school for doing so), I am happy to think that I have the faculty I recognise as "intuition".

Interesting:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/19/the-habits-of-highly-intu_n_4958778.html
but a bit "New Age" for me, I prefer a more dynamic intuition!
Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.

Pasta Chick

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Re: Hi everyone!
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2016, 06:48:05 AM »
Quote
With regards to your "leanings", we get a lot of theists posing as researchers or authors who are basically looking for a way to evangelize, or even simply troll.  Your use-name could mean "atheist-who-researches" or "one-who-researches-atheists". The latter is ambiguous.

This. Although it appears to be the former.

I am curious about your research though... Wouldn't one simply research decision making? Does studying religion's influence on decision making not supply a bias right from the start?

Magdalena

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Re: Hi everyone!
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2016, 08:21:56 AM »


“I've had several "spiritual" or numinous experiences over the years, but never felt that they were the product of anything but the workings of my own mind in reaction to the universe.” ~Recusant

"Color me fascinated..." ~Asmodean, The Gray God.

atheist_researcher

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Re: Hi everyone!
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2016, 08:32:07 AM »
Quote
With regards to your "leanings", we get a lot of theists posing as researchers or authors who are basically looking for a way to evangelize, or even simply troll.  Your use-name could mean "atheist-who-researches" or "one-who-researches-atheists". The latter is ambiguous.

This. Although it appears to be the former.

I am curious about your research though... Wouldn't one simply research decision making? Does studying religion's influence on decision making not supply a bias right from the start?

Ah, ok. Well, I've just always identified as an atheist (once I realized there was such a thing). It's never been super important to me, but I've always been fascinated by religion, religious history, and the bible.  I grew up Christian (Church of Christ) with strong interests in the sciences and realized my questions would never be answered by a preacher. 
I admit: atheist_researcher is kind of a dumb name.  My WoW characters have cooler names.


Decision making is more interesting when you find a group of people that reason very differently about problems and I think that, for religious people, the reasoning performance we see on simple logic problems bleeds out into other areas.
Some theorists have posited that there are these 'cognitive mechanisms' that are necessary to believe in gods (see Baumard & Boyer, below). Everyone has them (atheists included) but religious people are more likely to rely on them (or non-religious people are more likely to override them). Considering the fundamental nature of these mechanisms, we're really looking at how a certain range of cognitive abilities, endemic to religious belief, influences reasoning rather than just 'reasoning in an of itself' in the Kahneman-esque sense.

It's easy to think that, because I have an opinion (a hypothesis, really) that my research will be biased.  It may also sound like the questions I ask are biased because I'm interested in, for example, how religion (or the cognitive mechanisms responsible for religion) interferes with  proper reasoning.  The bias really comes down to how I design my studies, not the questions I ask.  What one usually means by "biased research" is "fake research" or "drawing incorrect conclusions" or something like that.  I can't very well wish really hard that something were true- the data has to actually show it, and to get it published I have to have a reasonable study with reasonable conclusions, and it has to be replicable.

The fact of the matter is that we find consistent relationships between religion and reasoning ability (IQ) preference (intuitions) and the types of information that people seek out (religious people are less scientifically inclined).  These types of findings are really consistent so it's not like it can really be biased.

Here's some experimental evidence you might find interesting:
Shenhav, A., Rand, D. G., & Greene, J. D. (2012). Divine intuition: cognitive style influences belief in God. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141(3), 423.
Gervais, W. M., & Norenzayan, A. (2012). Analytic thinking promotes religious disbelief. Science, 336(6080), 493-496.
Correlational:
Zuckerman, M., Silberman, J., & Hall, J. A. (2013). The relation between intelligence and religiosity a meta-analysis and some proposed explanations. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1088868313497266.
And a theoretical paper:
Baumard, N., & Boyer, P. (2013). Explaining moral religions. Trends in cognitive sciences, 17(6), 272-280.

There's more, but just look on google scholar to see who's cited those papers. Or better yet, read them and see some of the older research they cite!
 

atheist_researcher

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Re: Hi everyone!
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2016, 08:47:05 AM »
@ atheist_researcher


It surprises me that any student avoids debate and discussion, long time since I was a student but, barring the head bangers, debate and discussion are so often the food of thought, the trigger of new ideas.


Also, some things are worth 'debating' and some just need actual evidence.
Also, I'm not here just to conduct research.

Recusant

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Re: Hi everyone!
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2016, 08:49:02 AM »
 
I admit: atheist_researcher is kind of a dumb name.  My WoW characters have cooler names.

Just a technical point: If you would prefer a "cooler" name, that can be arranged. PM me or my fellow admin Tank, if you would like to do that.
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Recusant

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Re: Hi everyone!
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2016, 08:54:03 AM »
The fact of the matter is that we find consistent relationships between religion and reasoning ability (IQ) preference (intuitions) and the types of information that people seek out (religious people are less scientifically inclined).  These types of findings are really consistent so it's not like it can really be biased.

I agree: it does seem that there is some sort of objectively discernible difference between the ways that non-believers and the deeply religious think and approach certain topics. We've had threads here about this research.
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


xSilverPhinx

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Re: Hi everyone!
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2016, 12:20:47 PM »
That's really interesting atheist_researcher :smilenod:

From my casual observations it seems that a subset of religiously inclined people are actually very intelligent and are able to do the kind of "mental gymnastics" very well, which enables validation of their beliefs in their minds. They're very good at justifying atrocities to themselves and deriving abstractions from the bible. While probably not the majority, among them are those who are scientifically inclined -- two prominent biologists com to mind: Kenneth Miller, a Catholic who speaks out against creationists and proponents of intelligent design and Francis Collins, part of the Human Genome Project.

How does that type of person fit in? Is their decision-making process more similar to the average believer, to the average atheist or somewhere in between?       
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 01:07:27 PM by xSilverPhinx »
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joeactor

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Re: Hi everyone!
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2016, 12:40:36 PM »
Welcome! Nice to meet you...

Seems like you've already spurred an interesting discussion. Looking forward to more.

Well, I've just always identified as an atheist (once I realized there was such a thing). It's never been super important to me, but I've always been fascinated by religion, religious history, and the bible.  I grew up Christian (Church of Christ) with strong interests in the sciences and realized my questions would never be answered by a preacher. 
I admit: atheist_researcher is kind of a dumb name.  My WoW characters have cooler names.

I grew up Roman Catholic, and drifted to Agnostic Theist. Similar interests in science and somewhat intrigued by religions.

BTW, if you've played WoW, you've probably killed me ;-)

JoeActor

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Re: Hi everyone!
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2016, 07:27:50 PM »
Welcome, Researcher... your perspective will be interesting to read!
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~ Plato (?)