New study explains theists and atheists think differently.
Are Christians dumb? This is the conclusion some online trolls are making following the publication of a study that concludes religious people are emotional and atheists are analytical.
Theists and atheists both think, but they think differently.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) — A study from the Case Western Reserve University in Ohio has interviewed 900 people to determine what personality traits drive their beliefs, or lack thereof. The conclusion was that people with high critical reasoning skills were less confident in their beliefs overall. In general, religious people tended to be more emotional whereas atheists tended to be more analytical. The study was published in the Journal of Religion and Health.
The study does little to change what most people have suspected for decades. Religious people often feel more than they analyze. They trust their emotions and experiences more than an atheist might. Meanwhile, atheists tend to be analytical in their reasoning, taking an almost dogmatic approach to their position.
Both sides are resistant to evidence and arguments that conflict with their core beliefs.
Religious people are more open to emotional experiences and have a powerful moral compass against which they check ideas. Ideas that are consistent with their moral viewpoint are weighted more favorably.
Atheists tend to be logical in their thoughts, but this can make them narrow-minded.
The problem with dogmatic atheism is that not everything can be measured empirically. Religious people tend to do better with ideas such as the concept of a God, which cannot be scientifically evaluated.
Both sides often err by refusing to see the benefits of the other side. There are tremendous benefits to seeing the world though an analytical perspective and discerning knowledge by following logic where it leads. The body of knowledge produced by science is the greatest example of this approach.
However, there are also advantages to taking an emotional, spiritual approach to things. Religion can bind people together in solidarity, and provides people with a sense of purpose and direction. It helps them to make moral decisions.
Neither approach is exclusive. A person can be both analytical as well as spiritual, although the study suggests these people tend to be the least dogmatic and the least certain of their beliefs.
It would be a mistake to construe the results of the study to argue that religious people are fools while atheists are sharp. Not only would that be an example of fallacious thinking, it is simply untrue. Both religion and atheism have parades of fools who make both sides look bad. They are commonly seen in the comments section of news articles, but sometimes they write them too.
Neither side wins converts or justifies their position by trolling or launching into screeds. Most religious people have a moral compass that ought to point away from ridicule and towards love, understanding and compassion. Atheists should see the logical value of such an approach too.
It is good to know and understand that there is a reason, rooted in the human brain, for why people tend to prefer one viewpoint or another. Using this knowledge, we can leverage our understanding of how the mind works to dialogue more effectively. Just because we experience the world differently does not mean we ought to be enemies, or are justified in generalizing against the other.
Copyright 2017 – Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for JULY 2017
Lapsed Christians. That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life.
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