CreateDebate


Debate Info

42
34
Yes, they are less gullible. No, they just hide it better.
Debate Score:76
Arguments:40
Total Votes:87
More Stats

Argument Ratio

side graph
 
 Yes, they are less gullible. (22)
 
 No, they just hide it better. (18)

Debate Creator

geoff(738) pic



Are better educated people less likely to be religious?

Smart equals sceptical

Yes, they are less gullible.

Side Score: 42
VS.

No, they just hide it better.

Side Score: 34
4 points

This has been measured, it's not a matter of opinion. See for example the references in "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins (2006).

And from personal experience (I did my phd at MIT and am doing a postdoc at Harvard) there are very religious people doing graduate studies here, but they are about 10% (in my measure), and about 30% mildly religious people (in my measure), far less than the proportion of religious people in the general population.

Side: Yes, they are less gullible.
1 point

Perhaps the 70% of the student population you imply to be non-religious hide their self-flagellating biblical literalism as a result of their perceived superior intellects. :)

Side: Yes, they are less gullible.
4 points

As someone struggling with how to recruit university students to our church, we have come to the general conclusion that below a certain age, religion is just not terribly important. That seems to come much later in life. Check in again when you're in your 40's and you'll probably find many of your classmates in your newfound church. I don't think it's a matter of disbelief, be it intellectualism or something else. I think it is much more a matter of other priorities. Remember that there is virtually no self-concept of death until the mid 20's, and I think that has much to do with it.

Side: Yes, they are less gullible.
A4B4(50) Disputed
1 point

I don't know much about Richard Dawkins, but I do know that he considers deists to be atheists. In the most literal sense of the word, yes, deists are a-theistic. But, by every other measure, deists are not atheists. Many people consider themselves to be spiritual, but not religious. Again, Dawkins uses the most literal interpretation and classifies these people as non-religious.

Setting Dawkins interpretation of the facts aside, and looking at the facts themselves, the truth is much more complicated. More educated people tend to be less religious, but more spiritual -- that is, attending religious services more often but having less faith in organized religion.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/7729/does-more-educated-really-less-religious.aspx

Side: Less religious but more spiritual
2 points

Depends on what type of education, if they develop their cognitive processes and an effective way of gaining knowledge, I'd say they'd be less likely to be religious since they would more likely be aware of when something is illogical.

Side: Yes, they are less gullible.
1 point

Great argument! On the other hand, if they major in theology then they probably will be religious.

Side: Yes, they are less gullible.
1 point

Wow this was a question that I really had to think about. Being religious myself I had to step away a bit from the question and really think about it. I would like to say No to this really bad but then I have to think about how I was raised and trying to get answers to questions myself and relised that I have to say yes. I remember as a child being drug to church by my mother and every time I asked a question about the world and church being chastised and told my curiosity was a sin and that is a matter of faith. as I grew older I stopped going to church. This is a part of the problem most churches tell children that asking questions is wrong. I know people in a lot of faiths that teach such blind ignorance. This is why we have such a gap in education levels. I have since found a faith that encourages questions and study. Here I how found very intelligent and educated people. but most religious people whenever there is an issue that may touch on a personal belief they put there hands over there ears and block out what is said. if we all though this way it would still be believed the world is flat. It saddens me that most religions on the earth haven't grown past this. In the end there will only be truth and there is nothing wrong with discovering those truths.

Side: Yes, they are less gullible.
1 point

...and full of themselves.

Side: Yes, they are less gullible.
1 point

I would say yes but not because they are less gullible. Because they are more convinced in their own ability to reason things. They become the epitome of everything rational and logical. And so, for them, to believe in something that they themselves did not create would seem foolish to them and weak.

I would say it's more of pride then of actually being smarter than the insignificant little ones that believe in God.

Side: Yes, they are less gullible.
1 point

Educated people know that there is only one God who is the supreme being, so they won't be offended by other religions speaking against their own religion. They even accept the facts which are wrong in their own religion and thus also learn to respect other religions.

Side: Yes, they are less gullible.
0 points

An interesting article entitled 'Intelligent people 'less likely to believe in God''.

Side: Yes, they are less gullible.
-1 points
A person with a decent education will be aware of the scientific process of progress in understanding through observation, testing, prediction and repeatability. Such a person will understand the power of the scientific method and how it has relentlessly destroyed previously held beliefs which were not based on the reason built up by technical scrutiny e.g. the sun is a fiery chariot, the earth is flat, disease is established by the evil eye etc. A person with a good education will be aware of the countless dead religions, the pattern of structured religion, the cargo cults, the fact that whatever religion one might subscribe to, it is a minority belief on the planetary scale. An educated person will always ask questions and will not accept unreasonable assertions and claims without convincing evidence. AN educated person seeks the truth and has the luxury to eschew superstition.
Side: Yes, they are less gullible.
DebateMan(471) Disputed
1 point

How is being religious akin to being "gullible"? There are no reasonable scientific explanations for miracles such as the beginning of the Earth, the onset of human life, etc. In fact, the more educated one is and the more they delve in to mysteries of the universe the more apparent it is that there was a divine intervention that made all of this possible. Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute since 1993 (whom I would think it would be hard pressed to call him "uneducated"), states in the article linked below,

"The gravitational constant, if it were off by one part in a hundred million million, then the expansion of the universe after the Big Bang would not have occurred in the fashion that was necessary for life to occur. When you look at that evidence, it is very difficult to adopt the view that this was just chance. But if you are willing to consider the possibility of a designer, this becomes a rather plausible explanation for what is otherwise an exceedingly improbable event--namely, our existence."

I don't believe that Science and God must be mutually exclusive. I believe that God created the Universe and everything in it, and advances in Science give us more insight in to how all of these things work together. Science does not disprove the fact that there is a God who created everything, it merely gives us a greater understanding of how all of this works.

Supporting Evidence: God vs. Science (www.time.com)
Side: No, they just hide it better.
xaeon(1093) Disputed
3 points

"There are no reasonable scientific explanations for miracles such as the beginning of the Earth, the onset of human life, etc."

Are you being serious? So, the memo about the big bang and evolution just passed you by, huh?

"In fact, the more educated one is and the more they delve in to mysteries of the universe the more apparent it is that there was a divine intervention that made all of this possible."

Wrong, IQ and religious belief and inversely proportional. The higher a person's IQ, the less likely they are to believe in God. Please don't let the absolute beauty of nature blind you into God of the gaps type arguments.

"The gravitational constant, if it were off by one part in a hundred million million, then the expansion of the universe after the Big Bang would not have occurred in the fashion that was necessary for life to occur. When you look at that evidence, it is very difficult to adopt the view that this was just chance. But if you are willing to consider the possibility of a designer, this becomes a rather plausible explanation for what is otherwise an exceedingly improbable event--namely, our existence."

You see, this is one of those huge misunderstandings about statistics, and how properly to use them in an argument. Our existance is BECAUSE of the conditions for it being available, not the other way around. This type of argument starts from the wrong perspective. "Isn't it amazing that the universe had exactly the right conditions for us to be here?" Nope. We're here because we are what evolved BECAUSE of the conditions. If the conditions were similar, something else would be in our place thinking "Wow, I can't believe the universe has the exact conditions for us to be here!" I'm suprised this isn't perfectly clear to such a brilliant man.

I believe science and God are completely mutually exclusive. When the conception of Gods came around, it was to explain the (then) unexplainable. The original Gods were characters who would control the sun, make the crops grow, makes the tides rise and fall. If we all took a second out to think about where the idea of God started from, we would be well aware that "that" version of God has been moulded into something undisprovable. Science pushed the physical God into a metaphysical wishy washy nonsense. We don't NEED the idea of a God anymore, and trying to keep it in our world by making him more and more and more of a nothingness is stupid. God is dead.

Side: Yes, they are less gullible.
geoff(738) Disputed
-1 points

The beginning of the earth is fairly well understood as is the onset of human life. There is of course much that is not known but that which still eludes scientific inquiry is certainly not 'miraculous'. A miracle is an event which subverts the laws of physics

Gullible people are easily deceived by definition. To me, people who believe in entities or events coloured with much detail without a scintilla of reasonable evidence have had their gullibility exploited.

'The beginning of the Earth' and the 'onset of human life' are both quite well understood as a result of scientific inquiry. Mysteries which persist around these events are amenable to science and in no way considered 'miraculous' or otherwise beyond the scope of reasoned, physical law-obedient analysis.

That quote from Francis Collins whistles with holes in its logic.

There is absolutely no sound reason to believe god(s) exist.

Side: No, they just hide it better.
5 points
Wow, so those labels are absolutely biased. At any rate, I think it's a matter of upbringing and personality. More and more people across the education spectrum are becoming less and less religious. I don't think it's a matter of education but changing societal and cultural norms.
Side: No, they just hide it better.
2 points

Yes, far more than education. Historical patterns corroborate this.

Side: No, they just hide it better.
3 points

I think you'd have a very difficult time making this argument with my rector, who was a tenured professor and head of the history department at a major university in Oregon. Nor would you have much success with the majority of our parishioners, who come from academic backgrounds at the University of Arizona. While there is probably a good argument to be made that those with higher educations are less likely to be fundamentalist Biblical literalists, that is hardly the case in my own liberal Episcopal church, among many liberal churches.

Side: No, they just hide it better.
2 points
Doubtful, there were highly educated people who bought into the Nazi regime. Coming from a strict Catholic home and being an atheist myself, I can understand why a person finds a need to believe in a god. For many, it is a comforting thought that religion offers. For others, the idea of religion is pounded into your head from the moment you are able to understand language. My sister has a 4 year old boy who, without even having a clear concept of the world, already knows about god. I don't want to be a complete ignoramus and call it brain-washing because I think parents truly think they are doing the right thing. But you certainly become as trained to believe there is a god as you do to feed yourself. This is a very difficult nut to crack later in life. I know for me, it wasnt an easy transition to become an atheist. However, keeping on topic, I don't think it was necessarily me being educated alone that led to my decision. I think time, experience, and the desire to question everything were factors as well. And I don't think that because a person is well-educated that this automatically accompanied by the need to question the status quo, otherwise why would we have all these republicans (haha...totally kidding!). Also, a truly educated person would also know that scientifically you can never rule out the existence of a god until it is disproven (which it can't be either) so I can completely understand why some may choose to opt for religion. It comes down to choosing to subscribe to "Faith". We all live our lives using this sometimes. I have "faith" that every morning I leave my house, I wont be hit by a bus. One can only hope that education will make people more understanding with there beliefs, more open to talk with those who disagree, and less extremist when it comes to religion.
Side: No, they just hide it better.
HGrey87(750) Disputed
2 points
The Nazi regime was not a religious movement. The Jews are an ethnic as well as religious group, due to their historically isolationist settling and reproductive tendencies.
-
Brainwashing is brainwashing, regardless of intent.
-
SOME education gives you these skills. Most, it seems, is absolutely horrible, and teaches at most rote memorization. Which is backpedaling, as far as thinking for one's self goes. I don't know which half of the debate to put this point on.
-
Some compelling reading, though it's obvious which half of the bias it has.
Side: Yes, they are less gullible.
blammo(186) Disputed
4 points
you missed my point about the Nazi regime....I was simply saying that intelligent people subscribed to an idiotic idea. Similar to religion. (though calling religion idiotic may be a bit harsh).
Side: Yes, they are less gullible.
blammo(186) Disputed
3 points
I am also a little confused by your 3rd point...
"SOME education gives you these skills. Most, it seems, is absolutely horrible, and teaches at most rote memorization. Which is backpedaling, as far as thinking for one's self goes. I don't know which half of the debate to put this point on."
What skills are you talking about?
Side: Yes, they are less gullible.
2 points

There seems to be an assumption posed within this topic that uneducated people are more religious. Proper wording for this topic would have been: Does religion have a positive or negative correlation with an individual's level of education.

Yes, that's a less sexy question, but it's more valuable because it's unbiased.

Now, on to the substance. First, something important to understand is that religious leaders from major world religions must possess an undergraduate college degree and additional certification from formal post-graduate seminary schools. Depending upon the religion at question, these additional schools will have different names.

These people obviously have a higher level of education than average. However, that only answers the question that some better educated people are more religious than the average person.

(My assumption being if you study religion to that degree you are more religious than average.)

To fully answer this question, I would need statistics about the number of highly educated people who attend church more often than the average person or who engage in religious practices more often than the average person. I do not have those stats but that doesn't mean they do not exist.

It is my suspicion that there is no correlation between an individual's level of education and his/her religious fidelity. I think the tendencies that cause an individual to be religious are unrelated to the ones that cause us to seek out education and both the highly religious and the highly education can possess the qualities of one another.

That is, the qualities that cause an individual to be highly religious and highly educated are _not_ mutually exclusive.

Side: No, they just hide it better.
1 point

What is religion anyway? A set of philosophies and values that affect the roles we play in society. I think education, especially in the U.S., has done its best to eradicate the values that do not correlate with the idea of Capitalism. Most religious values conflict with the idea of capitalism and consumerism--hence they are blockages to the people who stand to make a lot of money.

Are educated people less likely to be religious: No. They are religious, they merely value other things. Instead of valuing people, nature and relationships, they are taught to value the almighty dollar.

Side: No, they just hide it better.
geoff(738) Disputed
0 points

I mean religion in the belief in the supernatural context.

Side: Yes, they are less gullible.
1 point

Most religions don't believe in supernatural phenomenon and the question posed has nothing to do with the supernatural--it has to do with religion. I think I have answered that sufficiently.

To answer the new question: are educated people less likely to believe in supernatural phenomenon such as: ghosts, aliens, magic, tarot cards, fortune tellers, etc.?

Well, I can't speak of other educated people, but I have graduated from college and I've come to the conclusion that what many would call supernatural I would call fiction. However, I do believe that we are spiritual beings--with that comes the possibility of ghosts.

I think you need to clarify the question next time.

Side: No, they just hide it better.
1 point

I'm answering "No" but let me clarify...

Statistics show a reverse correlation between education and religious or spiritual participation. But, there is no proof that the education causes the disbelief. Isn't it at least as likely that someone who questions the world around them (including their religion) will seek more information and therefore more education?

Side: No, they just hide it better.
1 point

The question could be rephrased: Are people who have been thoroughly exposed to curriculum X less likely to accept curriculum Y? What about religious education?

The question fails to take into account that educational institutions share a common root with religious institutions.

Yes if a program of indoctrination is thoroughly administered, it is less likely that radically different systems will be given much respect.

"Education: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding" ~ Bierce

Side: Religious does not equal stupid