Instigator / Con

Does religiosity make people dumb?


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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After 3 votes and with 3 points ahead, the winner is...

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Three days
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Two weeks
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Round 1
Let's begin.

Religiosity and IQ
When it come to studies which supposedly shows that there a negative correlation, people will usually citing studies (E.g, The in 2013 called "The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity." By Miron Zuckerman, Jordan Silberman, and Judith A. Hall.) Which shows a support for the negative correlation. However, people should note when it come to those is that correlation doesn’t mean causation, and even the study said that the correlation doesn’t mean causation. As I quote: “The present findings are correlational and cannot support any casual relation.”. And, in fact the study has been challenged. A study in 2016 by Gregory D. Webster and Ryan D. Duffy called “Losing faith in the "Losing Faith in the Intelligence–religiosity Link: New Evidence for a Decline Effect, Spatial Dependence, and Mediation by Education and Life Quality.".
Religiosity and Schools.
There are some studies which shows that Religiosity correlation well at school. (E.g, A study by William H. Jeynes called “A meta-analysis of the Effects of Attending Religious Schools and Religiosity of Black and Hispanic Academic Achievement”.)
Religiosity and Analytic thinking.
There are some studies which may show a negative correlation (Gervais, Will M, et al. “Analytic Atheism: A Cross-Culturally Weak and Fickle Phenomenon?”) But, as stated before correlation doesn’t mean causation. And, in fact the study suggest that the reason why religious and analytic thinking may have a negative correlation, it may have to do with people (Who may have low analytic thinking) tend to conform to the cultural norm. But, another studies have challenged this (E.g A 2017 study called “Supernatural Belief Is Not Modulated by Intuitive Thinking Style or Cognitive Inhibition.” By Farias, Miguel, et al.)
So, that’s about it. And, basing on the evidence and the studies, we can firmly established that there is no evidence that religiosity makes people dumb.

Alright. I'm going to do the polar opposite of Con. I'm going to leave soures and all that Jazz for R2 onwards. Here I want to make a speech.

Con's entire case is to bring up 3-4 things that can link being religious to being less intelligent and then for each and every one to say 'but what if this is a fake link? What if it's correlation and not causation?' So let me just agree with Con on something. It's probably not just causation, in fact it would follow that it's more likely the reverse at first; that those who are higher in intelligence are those who are drawn least into religious thinking/way-of-life and vice versa. Nonetheless, what happens is that the more one gets sucked into religious thinking and tradition, the less original and critical their thinking becomes.

The 'proof' can be both sourced and hard data as well as basic logic. I'm going to be making a speech and exploring the basic logic this Round...


The idea that asking questions is evil/bad.

Every single religion has two commonalities, God isn't one of them (Buddhism lacks a God and Taoism, Shinto, variants of Paganism etc are vague on whether or not there really is an almighty deity). The first is socialising and community feel, the second is encouraging you to stop asking questions for the sake of salvation and inner peace.

They tell you in Buddhism that it's better to maintain inner peace, so if the questions you ask imply you're stressed by how illogical your religion is or how religion an alternate path of thinking and life may be, they tell you to not worry just focus on the present. Do you know who else focuses on the present tense only? Children and sociopaths. It's pretty obvious to anyone who understands what growing up intellectually and spiritually is, is to learn that there's a grey area between 'right' and 'wrong', 'true' and 'false' and to indeed analyse the data to gamble on what's true or not. The fact that Islam tells you don't question Allah but then tells you that gambling is wrong is like saying 'you must gamble and go all-in on this hand, shut up if you think differently and don't you dare gamble on anything else.'... Bit ridiculous right?

Each and every religion that is based on a solid text, is almost always full of atrocious hypocrisy and even immoral parts of its 'code'. From the way that the Old Testament Bible is racist against non-Semite races (AKA the 'Gentile' people, which are held to be sub-human in comparison to the chosen ones), to the way that the Qur'an tells you literally not consider those slaughtered in the name of Allah as dead, that they just appear that way... The religions are full of things that the Rabbis, Priests and Imams pick and choose the appealing parts of for the society of their era and then turn around and tell you that you shouldn't dare cherry pick or quiz them on why they ignored one part, chose to interpret another part in a really blinkered way and then assert that the words of flawless God are somehow flawed in many places in the text, to make it palatable to the modern believer who isn't a fanatic.

Those religions that are based on less solid text are usuall namby-pamby, that may be why they're the religions that are going extinct over time... Though, all relgions are as the world is finally waking up and becoming either Pagan, Deist or Atheist. God is vague with them, and that may explain why Asians have the highest IQ, most prominently in the 'yellow asian' variants but also amongst Brown Asians, especially Hindus (look at it before being skeptical, consistent correlation does NOT deny causation if it's each and every time). You see, religions that enable more flexibility with thinking and how you can follow them then leave the power to think and conclude what is right vs wrong etc much more to the individual doing the thinking.


Religiosity entails ritualistic, habitual traps of thinking that are comfortable for the follower to fall into.

Religiosity is not just being part of a religion by name. The higher in religiosity that you are the more seriously and vigilantly you must pray 5 times a day, go to the ceremonies every week, fast during some periods, never ever touch pork but fund the inhumanely raised and consciously bled out (yes, no stunning) cows and hens that become your beed and chicken. I am not talking about 'immoral' here, atheist psychopaths can be really immoral. I am speaking about constant falling into 'I do this just because it's part of my religion and if you dare criticise it you are being a bully to my identity!' mentality that runs through most religions, especially amongst those highest in religiosity within it.
When your conclusions on reality and morality are suddenly such a deeply ingrained part of you that to even question something about how you go about acting on them becomes a brutal slander against your character, you then will slip into a comforting defensive mode of 'I am right because it makes me happy and that's my First Amendment right to religion but fuck you and your right to question it, you're just a hater! YOLO!!!!... Oh wait, I believe in reincarnation... YOLO in the body you got so may as well work it!!!!" it's not conducive to you ever properly learning the attitudes and habit-breaking thinking required to be very intelligent, original and critical in how you use your brain.
Round 2
You need studies which shows that religiosity is the cause of that, not marginal examples. And, I would agree that reasons that those who are higher in intelligence are those who are drawn least into religious thinking, maybe because that they no benefits to derive from religion. Also, a Christian can cite say for examples Gal 3:28, as a example of welcoming Gentiles into the faith. Btw, if you look at the Pew Research, you would know that atheism is decline as a percentage of world's population. Isn't the eating pork stuff done away with? In fact, some of them aren't really endorse in Christianity, apart from going to church every weekends.

Round 3
Extend, my boy.
I said my piece