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Study (kind of) shows thinking can undermine faith. :perplexed:


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An article on web-version of L.A. Times titled "Thinking can undermine religious faith, study finds." It basically communicates that the more analytical a person is, the less likely they are to be religious despite their initial level/caliber/conviction of faith. Ironically though, the article concludes by a psychologist stating that the study did not ultimately prove that point...what?!

So does this mean that religious faith can be undermined with just a little extra mental effort? Not really, said Nicholas Epley, a social psychologist at the University of Chicago who was not involved in the study. But it does show that belief isn't set in stone, but can respond to a person's context.

Some highlights:

Scientists have revealed one of the reasons why some folks are less religious than others: They think more analytically, rather than going with their gut. And thinking analytically can cause religious belief to wane — for skeptics and true believers alike.

According to one theory of human thinking, the brain processes information using two systems. The first relies on mental shortcuts by using intuitive responses — a gut instinct, if you will — to quickly arrive at a conclusion. The other employs deliberative analysis, which uses reason to arrive at a conclusion. Both systems are useful and can run in parallel, the theory goes. But when called upon, analytic thinking can override intuition. Studies suggest that religious beliefs are rooted in this intuitive processing, Gervais said. So, he wondered, would thinking analytically undermine religious belief as it overrides intuitive thought?

To find out, his research team had college students perform three thinking tasks, each with an intuitive (incorrect) answer and an analytic (correct) answer.

For example, students were asked this question: "A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?" The intuitive answer — 10 cents — would be wrong. A little math on the fly reveals that the correct answer would be 5 cents.

"There's an illusion that our brains are more static than they actually are," he said. "We have fundamental beliefs and values that we hold, and those things seem sticky, constant. But it's easier to get movement on something fundamental."As for whether this should alarm the layperson, Epley shrugged. "Even deeply religious people will point out they have had moments of doubt," he said.

Story Here ---->Btw, the article's comments section is a free-for-all. :touche:

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There's nothing groundbreaking here really, this is just common sense cloaked in subtle propaganda at worst or unintentional bias at best. It implies that to be religious is to be against reason. Yet if they're honest, it all relies on how one defines "religious faith".

If you're talking about blind faith in one worldview that no evidence will ever sway you from, then I put your garden-variety angry atheist right in the same group as your most fundamentalist evangelical Bible-thumper. They're both going on emotions far more than reason, though the specific terms chosen for this study would make you think otherwise.

That's what I find so refreshing about the Truth; we are encouraged to strike a balance between our gut feelings and the empirical evidence around us, finding the value in both. No one questions how instinct undoubtedly serves animals, yet we as humans are clearly born with an inherent spiritual need. That is where our reason has to come in and help us to honestly evaluate the very best way to satisfy that spiritual need. Thus the reason for our ministry, which utilizes both to the full.

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There is a moment in most peoples lives where they openly want there to be a God.

Go back in your memory to a time you watched your beloved pet get hit by a car, a loved family member passes away in front of your eyes or a stranger is hurt or killed in a car crash ahead of you.

Panic sets in and the mind runs at what seems to be 1,000mph. Adrenaline rises and you quickly calculate what needs to be done in a matter of seconds . . or the death sinks in and you see it as real. First there is disbelief . . then a wave of . . "somebody HELP???? . . Please" . . we want somebody, somewhere to make this horror go away. We at that moment know we can't fix this in our own power no matter how hard we try but are accutely aware of what the problem is.

At that time, even a hardened atheist wants help (of the divine kind) and they do say there are no atheists in a foxhole.

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Most religious beliefs - the false ones - do fall apart under reason. (i.e. why would God be so cruel to take my child for another angel?). The problem is that people conclude in line with the desires of their heart that therefore there is no God, failing to realize that conclusion too is against reason.

We can see how the truth is refreshing for responsive people, as it is based on facts and reason, not emotion.

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I agree wholeheartedly that true worship is a matter of reason and emotion. God is Love, so that part is vital - if we don't love, we won't get to know him (hm...sounds familiar...) But Jehovah also wants a sacred service with our power of reason. What true worship and faith is NOT is GULLIBILITY, and that is why atheists and other people who in some fashion don't let God in their lives will REDEFINE FAITH as belief in something for which there is no proof. The two-fold basis for belief in a Creator, in somone greater that we humans are, is reason - we can't have this complex universe without someone to design and sustain it, and our collective human experience is that something doesn't exist without something to bring it into existence; and emotion - we have it in our very being to search for him, a guide, a direction, and a goal. People who do not believe in God tend to put something or someone in his place - money, science, technology, the human mind, sensual desires, one's country or race, and it goes on.

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People created (Satan) a whole theory about the origin of life to not accept the obvious. Creation. (Hebrews 3:4).

Scientists confusing the credulity and faith.

It's different to say "I believe in God" and other to become suicide bomber because you believe that it is divine work (Muslims). Yes, a suicide bomber through knowledge can change way of thinking.

For us, the true Christians are different things.

Faith can be likened to a chain with links of confidence and trust that bind man to God. But this kind of faith is something that is cultivated, it is not something that we are born with. The Bible say:"Faith follows the thing heard. In turn the thing heard is through the word about Christ. "(Romans 10:17). True faith, involves more than just possessing knowledge or believing that something is true. It also involves the heart—the seat of motivation. Romans 10:10 says: “With the heart one exercises faith.” Faith grows and becomes stronger as motivated to act on God’s promises and as see the evidence of his blessing.( g00 3/8 p. 26, g 11/1 p. 28-29)

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It's a loaded article for sure. In the Scientific American version...

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=losing-your-religion-analytic-thinking-can-undermine-belief

... it compares intuitive thinking with analytical thinking. And then at the end someone is cited making this statement: "Obviously, this study doesn't prove the nonexistence of God. But it poses a challenge to believers: If God exists, and if believing in God is perfectly rational, then why does increasing rational thinking tend to decrease belief in God?"

The answer is because the worlds belief in God is based on fluff, not on accurate knowledge. How different we are as Bible students, using analytical thinking to build our faith in God's word.

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The premise of these analysis is so convuluded that you can't make heads or tails with examining your head first. They, like other analyst obfuscate a delineation of truth and lie, just like Satan did. They blurr and delve into yourself as having the issue instead what is really going on. I read a few paragraphs and go on to the next topic because they have nothing constructive to say to benefit anyone. Instead the waters of information become so murky that you are scared to stick your foot in. Next news please . . .

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