The Faithless Are Neurotic?

Your right I wouldnt use that argument. But as I’m bored.

Addiction is only a bad thing if it causes hazardous reprecusions in daily life. I would argue that faith can give people direction. It brings people together and gives people hope.
The counter argument to this is that faith causes wars etc, but i dont see this at all. Wars are started by people who are obviously bastards, and as we can see bastards pop up in all religious standpoints even atheism. Wars are started in the name of religion because those who start them want to offload onto some sort of scapegoat, its easier to unite people that way and makes them feel less guilty.

However going back to the first position of your post you are of course right, saying that faith is good because if you loose it, it can cause neurosis does not a good evidence make. One would have to make a study that involved those who had never had faith and those who have it in order to be as accurate a study as possible

One could say the same for any activity, feeling or event in life that feels good. Should people be discourage from falling in love because it can lead to extreem depression if they then loose that love? Should we be discouraged from chacing our dream job because on obtaining that job there is a chance of getting fired?


I may be wrong, but I think that Jung probably felt that when one of his patients lost their faith, that was a good thing, or could be a good thing even though the patient didn’t feel that way at first. Questioning one’s religious beliefs or standing at the door of taking that giant leap into nothingness can open the door to examining what one really believes and at some point can lead one to a healthy mature faith, not one based only on a dependent need, as a “crutch”.

I think Jung perhaps felt that being a neurotic is not necessarily a bad thing and that a neurosis could open the door of the psyche if it was looked at courageously and understood for what it was. It could almost be like a sign that can point to something else. Just like a Gordian knot can never really be cut, just loosened a bit. To perhaps lose all of both is losing a good part of ourselves. Perhaps I didn’t express that well.

Religion is good based on how it adds to the quality of one’s life and others’ lives. I don’t think it should be an ends in itself.

Of course the above corollary doesn’t hold water – and the end result is not always seen as good – nor is the end result always seen as bad. So much more within the picture isn’t seen.

I agree that when one loses one’s faith it can have terrible repercussions, but in the long wrong, it can be a great thing. It can be likened to one’s withdrawal from drugs, especially if that religion was used as a crutch and it encompassed the whole of the person’s identity. I think a person can have a spiritual life based upon a healthy attitude of their identity. When a loss of belief or God is used as a basis of their whole system of being just like drugs can be, then a neurosis that was probably hiding somewhere inside the person already can come out and rear its ugly head. But as I said before, if treated with respect and in the proper way, that person can be healthier both physically/mentally/spiritually than before.

I just want to comment on your quotation from Jung:

Coming from Jung, who would expect anything different? Its plainly obvious to me why the majority of his patients consisted of ‘those who had lost their faith’. Faith creates false expectations inside of our brains, it’s an escape mechanism that denies the same world it’s supposed to give meaning to. When a man is finally grown up enough to give up his faith, nothing more apparent than the fact that he will sometimes find it hard to adapt himself again to a reality which has little or nothing to do with the reality portrayed by religious thinking. But the mental problems a believer who becomes a non-believer may have are not, I think, directly related to his lack of faith, but mainly to the illusions placed in his mind by his religious conditioning.

I dare say that eveything Jung says about faithlessness is suspect.

Yeah I went to a therapist with my family. Somehow we got on the topic of religion and the therapist asked everyone what religion they were. She got up to me last and I said I was an atheist and she got a little defensive saying something like 'I find that people who believe in something are happier than those who do not." I of course took immediate offense to a comment like that. When we left I bitched for like 2 hours. I went online did a little research and apparently there is a study that supports that sentiment. I also read in I think it was 'Stumbling On Happiness" (… maybe. sounds wrong it might’ve been something else. maybe ‘Emotional Intelligence’) that sometimes something like 4-8% of people attribute overcoming maladaptive behavior like addiction or depression to following a religious program. It makes sense but a lot of programs like A.A. require people to admit they’re powerless and that they subsequently believe in a higher power afterwards so I don’t know how influenced those surveys are by those programs. To be totally honest though even as an atheist it makes sense that religious people are less stressed. They have a greater ability to gather and express a sense of belonging simply because there are more of them and they have a place to worship. There was a sociological study done by I think Durkheim which suggested that Catholics were less likely to commit suicide because they belonged to a more closely knit community. He found that Catholics statistally were less likely to commit suicide than smaller religions. Also there could be an argument made that they aren’t pursecuted as much or that they can find more people they agree with at least. I don’t know if it has anything to do with intelligence. By that same study done by Durkheim it suggested that educated people were more likely to commit suicide and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen stats that suggest that education is negatively correlation with theistic beliefs. So you could pretend that smarter people and thus more secular people are more neurotic. I don’t know how true that is but who knows.

I think there is logical reasoning behind those who belive in something being less depressed. One of the things about religion is that people generally find it comforting, normally because of the promise of an afterlife, but also I think because of the belife in something more important than yourself. It gives strife purpose, and so makes it easier to deal with.
I also wanted to comment on the reduced percentage of catholic suicides. I think this is more to do with the nature of catholisism, and the fear of what may pass should one give in to the temptation of commiting the act.
Moving on to the final statment about a corellation between education and theistic belifes. I think that most people will agree that such statistics are unreliable, as I myself have found varying contradictory statistics on the subject some saying that those of religion are less intellegent and those that say the opposite, I think in this case its important to remember that statistics can used to promote any bias standpoint, and its important in this case to view the source of the data. What we can know is that there is not a direct correlation between intelect and faith, or lack of it. As there are some very clever theists out there, likewise there are some very clever atheists, and of course there are alot of realy dumb people of both standpoints also.

I agree with you on the first part. That religion gives strife purpose.

The reduced catholic suicide thing I’m not sure about. Isn’t it taboo to commit suicide if you are a member of other christian or religious sects also? They should also have been less likely to commit suicide also.

I wouldn’t ever say that theists are dumber than atheists. I don’t know if that is true. I’m sure someone has already researched a correlation between religion and intelligence… actually it’s on wikipedia i just found it but i still think it is a fucked up idea that someone researched that. I know Einstein wasn’t an atheist and he is more or less my role model even though I’m not religious. By sheer numbers a lot of intelligent people are going to have to be religious just because there is so many religious people that would be a factor. Any correlation though doesn’t mean it is a definite like you said there is variability. Also even if Atheists score a little higher than theists on an iq test or some stupid shit measurement it doesn’t mean they are better equiped for life in anyway. As it pertains to this discussion neurotics and people with high stress levels are notoriously short lived people. They die at a much younger age and i would assume suffer a lot more during their life cycle. That I would say is certainly maladaptive even if their statistically significant but slightly higher iq score is beneficiail. I wouldn’t say those stats are unreliable though. I didn’t look at the details but i have enough faith in the scientific method to do a simple statistical analysis. It is a pretty basic study to conduct. Many of them seem well put together too.

I would say that any statistic that attempts to draw a correlation beween religion and intelect is one, nieve and two very unreliable. As I said I have seen multipul correlations and none are the same, it of course depends on the samples that are taken. For example. I have seen a study that said that theists were smarter than atheists because 51% of natural scientists in ammerica can be found in church on sunday.

“Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.”
Evan Esar

How is it naive or unreliable? Just because it tries to draw a correlation between two things that shouldn’t be correlated?

Of course it depends on the samples. It always depends on the samples. The researchers know not to pick biased samples and they generally don’t get published if the samples are biased and the samples are always listed in the study. The findings aren’t really concrete. It isn’t a simple black and white dichotomy and it is intelligence. Iq tests are always under attack for being unrepresentative of “real” knowledge.

And there are a lot of skeptics of stats but that is how social science is experimented with. You can’t say stats are biased because you disagree with a few studies. There are probably thousands maybe millions of other well documented and generalizable studies that are statistically based but there are some bad studies or bodies of knowledge that aren’t researched to exhaustion. You have to make the distinction based on the study which neither of us has a copy of. I mean if it wasn’t election night you could’ve made a better case against stats but they’re determining our future right now.

If you belive that you realy are naive.

and with regards to your first question, yes thats why its unreliable. Or rather it tries to draw a correlation between two things that we cannot possibly know can be correlated

I’m naive to stats? I’ve spent the last couple years studying social science statistics and their applicability. I’m a psychology major all I do is look at studies and see how significant the findings are. You’ll probably be pissed to find out that statistically speaking women are better students than men too right? That they score higher academically and that includes IQ tests? Does that make me naive that this research which has been done to death is statistically significat? What about males spatial superiority? That men are better capable at navigating areas because they can create and navigate mental maps better? Are these correlations “that we cannot possibly know can be correlated”. They’re all biased. Black people score lower than white people. It isn’t racist to say that is true it is a statistical measure. Drawing a causation between ethnicity and scores is a fallacy. But drawing a correlation is not a fallacy. There are other variables that correlations don’t measure that’s why they are correlations and not experiments and these aren’t experiments they are correlations. There is nothing saying that atheists are smarter than theists just that they score better. Why? I don’t know why. Does it mean they are better people? No. No one is saying that. You’re naive if you don’t know what a statistical correlation is or how it reflects on the population it is measuring.

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

This is taught in every stats class I’ve been in. That’s 4 classes. I am not fooled by these studies becuase I know how to read them. You didn’t even read them but you have an opinion anyway and you call me naive? I think you let your biases influence your decisions and these stats and other scientific measures are not meant to be swayed by opinions.

It seems I’ve touched a nerve. I think you need to look at your quote (thanks by the way I was looking for that for ages, as I remember it from my lectures on statistics) and then relate it to what you originally said. I then think you need to sample more than one study on the correlation between intellect and religious standpoint, as after a while you realize that if there is one reliable study out there, its impossible to discover which one. With regards to the rest of your statistics I don’t see the relation to this topic. And no it doesn’t make me “pissed”. It doesn’t surprise me at all. Statistically, from working in a school I can verify that girls tend to do better than boys academically at least in my establishment but this is not to say that boys lack the capability to do just as well, often the highest achiever is a boy. My own girlfriend is officially 11 IQ points higher than I am, personally I like intelligent women, I’m slightly affronted that you would assume that I would not like to think that girls doing better than boys would upset me. I don’t think I’ve given you reason to assume such a thing.

No you didn’t hit a nerve. I don’t care about your opinions on sexism or racism or religion. I’m saying your skepticism of statistics is silly and in this case it only serves as a justification for you to further deny atheism. If the stats were finding something you agreed on you wouldn’t deny them. That is the only assumption I made and I don’t expect you to admit it one way or the other. But if you admit that you are religious that would be all I need to confirm my beliefs.

Is it wrong to say that you basically made the claim that you cannot draw a correlation between intelligence and religion? I don’t think it is. And yet there are plenty of examples that did it. Or are you pussyfooting around calling me naive for believing the findings?

I don’t know what you’re saying otherwise. You said…

“I then think you need to sample more than one study on the correlation between intellect and religious standpoint, as after a while you realize that if there is one reliable study out there, its impossible to discover which one.”

There is only one reliable study? How do you know? Why is that even true? There can be multiple studies that are done without bias. Did you even read the studies? If yes in what way did they violate a scientific requirement? And why is it impossible to discover statistical relevence. I’m writing a thesis right now. Saying I can’t tell the difference between true stats and false stats really makes writing a thesis pretty useless don’t you think? I mean the point is to analyze someone’s ability to analyze stats.

Well you brought it up.

I’ve already stated that I would deny them, I have denied them, thats the point, there are so many statistics that find theists smarter than atheists out there. And vice versa, one must therefore logically come to the conclusion that there is either no correlation, or that if there is one, it is unknowable due to bias.

Really? you don’t need allot to confirm your beliefs do you? I’m a bit more critical than that but each to their own. On the subject of your assumptions, your statement “That is the only assumption I made” is not strictly true is it? as you have said you think I would be pissed to find out that women are statistically more intelligent than men. So your either incredibly forgetful, or a liar, both of which do not do allot for your argument

You need to take a greater sample of statistics in this area it seems. Beliving the first thing you read will not do you any favors. You need to learn to be more critical. More over if you realy do understand statistics and this is the big one you will understand that finding a correlation of lay persons who do not believe in god and intelligence and deciding that this means that there is a correlation through numbers that says that God is not real is where the naivety falls. Those of below average intelligence will believe what is originally taught to them, and cannot use critical thinking to the degree that they will change these ideas. As most people are taught theism from an early age we get a very obvious result. So then when looking at statistics we must study only the high end of intelligence, the elite if you will. One would assume that as you IQ increases past a certain point all virtually all would become atheist, this is simply not the case. The fact that most low IQ persons are theists means simply that they are easily lead. We must critically analyse the nature of a statistic in this field. There are more theists than atheists by a long shot and atheists tend to have a higher low end of IQ on a scale because you must have a certain intelligence to originally challenge something taught at a young age. lets say that an atheists IQ ranges from 80-170 for arguments sake and a theists ranges from -60-170. What are the chances then that your going to find a higher percentage of high end thinkers in an atheistic group? Not to mention having allot more people dragging down the average in a theistic group?

I would say so. Yet that has not stopped thousands of others like you from doing it

Bored now, subject has gone completely off the rails.

Oh I was asked earlier if i was religious, the answer to that is no

to make a different point.


it’s a figure of speech. i could’ve put it “Would you be pissed if… ?” it expresses the same point. These semantical arguements are so trivial. I’ve done this for years to my undying frustration. Can we please just get passed the tit for tat b.s. part of the debate?

So because the statistics point to the fact that unintelligent people tend to be theists the stat is wrong? The sample isn’t biased because it includes everyone. That doesn’t make sense to say you need to exclude the low end of intelligent people in the theists group. That would defeat the purpose of the study. Again I didn’t say that all theists are dumber than atheists. I will again cite Einstein who clearly scored much higher than most atheists as my role model even though he wasn’t an atheist.

I’m not believing the first thing I read. I don’t even care if this correlation is true or not. I don’t even give iq tests the respect they normal get in terms of validity. I’m just saying you have no grounds to be a skeptic.

Haha. That’s pretty dick. Especially considering how poorly constructed and illogical your argument is.

If you bring something up dont get shirty if that person comments on it.

Saying “I expect you would be pissed to find out that…” is a figure of speech? Your back tracking because you realise that your talking rubbish. That statment clearly dictates that you think I would be upset to find out something to do with the oppposite sex being smarter.

No no not at all your missing the point. You were orriginally saying that Atheists are nurotic because they are smarter. Not that the low end of the population IQ wise are theists. Not to mention that you orriginally did not dictate what constituted intellegance. And with the reasurch currently going into EI (emotional intelegecne) your argument becomes even more distorted, as “statistically” Theists are on average found to have a higher EI. Not that I think this can be used to make any sort of stement like the one you made. Though it does back up my orriginal argument. We dont have enough reliable information to make the claim you did orriginally

I have plenty of grounds, have you never read these studies?

One I read said. 7% of natural scientists in America are theists. From this they concluded that theists must be of a lower intelligence conveniently missing out all other highly intelligent people, as well as using America as a template for the world.
Another said that countries with a low average IQ were predominantly religious. Not even bothering to find out if those of low IQ were atheist or theist. Not relating their IQ to the area of the world and the fact that IQ is basically a test of how one can cope with Westernised educative problems.
If you look, there are so many downfalls to these studies. If you would present a link to the one you are talking about, I’m sure we can find that ones as well.

These studies set out to prove something and then find the statistics they need to do it. Very very bad science

Your right much worse than your argument of I’m writing a thesis I must know what Im talking about… please :laughing:

Should I go into a page long rant about the use of the word “shirty” then? That would be your style. Is that what you want to talk about or do you want to talk about something more interesting than shirtiness? Or do you just want to be confrontational? If you want to talk shirty we can talk shirty but I think you should make a whole shirty thread. Shirtiness isn’t what this topic is about though. So please if you continue doing the shirty bullshit I’m just going to ignore it. I hoped you were mature enough to shut up about it. Are you?

Holy shit. A misunderstanding is at the root of all of this. What a surprise. I didn’t say atheists were neurotic because they were smarter. That suggests causation. I didn’t say their neuroticism was caused by intelligence which was subsequently caused by theism or any other combination of causes. What did I say? I said this…

“By that same study done by Durkheim it suggested that educated people were more likely to commit suicide and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen stats that suggest that education is negatively correlation with theistic beliefs. So you could pretend that smarter people and thus more secular people are more neurotic. I don’t know how true that is but who knows.”

So where did I say I believed that atheists were smarter than theists? Where is that sentiment even noticable?

I have plenty of grounds, have you never read these studies?

You read those studies? Where’s the database you got them from? And is that all of the studies you read because there are others on wikipedia and I’d bet that is your source.

These studies were already criticized.

That isn’t what I meant. I meant having an ability to understand stats is seen as useful to academia and to mayn other fields after school. This was in response to you claiming that stats that make correlations on a taboo subject are naive and thus warrant skepticism. This still makes absolutely no sense to me. Your use of “naive” especially… I have no fucking clue where you got that from.

It would appear that you realise your mistake though you seem to proud to admit it, turning this arround and saying I’m immature for challenging a statement that made me out to be sexist I dont think of as immature, nor would any normal coherent person. But I tire of this conversation in general so lets rap it up.

why the hell are you making such a big thing out of it then and derailing this thread?

Random stuies I rememebr. I spent 4 years of my life obsessing over the big religious question. I’ve viewed many sites, and read many books trying to find the truth of the matter, only to find it unknowable

They all are

Well so glad thats over, what a waste of life.