This Kind Of Research Hurts The Faith.

Research into how people think and reason is not good news for religions, including Christianity.

There is a new report at about experiments with people to determine who has an “analytic” mind.  In these experiments, people were given circumstances and opportunities to react to them.

There was a reading problem where difficult type style was used.  Some people blew it off and said they could not understand what was written.  Others, tried to find patterns and figure out what was meant by the writing.

Those who blew it off  were called “intuitive thinkers”, the others, “analytical thinkers”.  There were other experiments as well.  The groups were then asked about their views on religion.  Intuitive thinkers were more likely to be religious than analytical ones.

The researchers said this was not the only variable that influences religious inclinations, but it is one of them.  This kind of research opens a door faiths should try to close.

If religious inclinations are found to be even partially the result of how people think, it is evidence of where the god comes from.  It’s from the mind.

That is to say, if the god figure were actually a sovereign being, independent of the imagination, research should give us the same religious inclination in both groups.  If this kind of research continues with the same results found over and over again, people will begin to see religious impulses in the same way unbelievers have seen them for hundreds of years.

Analytical thinkers are not smarter or more valuable to society.  They just can’t find the god.

P. S.  For anyone interested, an article in today’s paper about me and some who comment here:




23 Responses

  1. Wanna B Sure

    About 10 yr. ago I remember seeing a study alon these lines between the various denominational groupings. If I remember right, the intuitives were most lined up with the charasmatics, Baptists, Assemblies of God, the Evangelicals as a group, and the like. Today, I would be willing to bet the last crop of prosperity-name it and claim it, etc. would also be included. The analyticals were Catholic, Lutherans, Presbyterians. I’m not sure about the Methodists.

  2. Doubtful

    “That is to say, if the god figure were actually a sovereign being, independent of the imagination, research should give us the same religious inclination in both groups.”

    Do you have some support for this statement? I see no reason why it should, much less must, be true.

  3. Paul

    Jon’s comments are right on … and all over the internet … perhaps reading the articles might be worthwhile before commenting, eh?

    Thanks for bringing up this interesting stuff, Jon.

  4. Wanna B Sure

    Somehow, I get the impression that this questioning is more along the line of a Meyers-Briggs personality profile. (“intuitive/ analytical”). Different personalaties will have a different emphasis, but at the end of the day, the sun always goes down in the West. I would question the questions. Any survey can be slanted simply by the questions asked. and the desired results. There is a difference though in subjective and objective. “How do you feel about that vs. what do you know about that”. Some personality groups are more sensative to one or the other. Either one can grow and develop within a group that emphasizes either. If they emphasize voices, eventually voices will be heard. If not, none. The leadership can easily be a directive, and some of those directives are not always reliable.

  5. Bob

    Children are born atheists. Then someone(s) start indoctrinating their innocent vulnerable minds, and then they are whatever religion they were unlucky enough to be indoctrinated into. Sad.
    I imagine a happy day when this is no longer done to any human children anywhere.

    1. Stan

      It would be wonderful if we were on the same page, True.

      Is this the study where they had a whole 57 people in the study? Statistically not very exciting.

  6. Michael Ross

    ” Verily I say unto you, except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 18:3)

    I would guess that children are more intuitive in there thinking and faith come easier to them than adults. God says we must come to Him in faith as children. But then then we are to grow from that in reason and understanding always acknowledging that human intellect alone cannot find all the answers. I don’t discount something just because my little pea brain can’t comprehend it. Only God has omniscience.

    “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with ALL YOUR MIND (Luke 10:27)

    Sadly, many Christians stay in a childish (as opposed to childlike) mindset. They are your “intuitive thinkers”.

    A book for Jon:

  7. opinionated

    What a waste of space. A former ACLU whack job, a extreme fanatic over queer rights, now this person devotes the remains of his life to studying and exploring the one thing he both envies and fears the most.

  8. Bob

    All three Abrahamic texts are lousy books to live your life by.

    I mean, have you READ one of the books? Sheesh…pretty crappy stuff.

    Those books hate gays, women, kids, EVERYBODY. And you could try do everything they instruct you to do, and STILL not get to your goal, heaven. And…who’d want to go there? Abrahamic heaven sounds like HELL. Study that!

    1. Wanna B Sure

      “…you could try do everything they instruct you to do, and STILL not get to your goal,heaven”…. Very true, and observent. (The work of the Law). Once this is realized and admitted, the Gospel (Good News) steps in and shows that the fulfillment of that Law has already been done. Study the rest.

  9. Henry

    “This Kind of Research Hurts the Faith.”

    Jon, first off, nice mugshot in the paper today. The plane looks like it might have a ways to go, a testement to the can sorting time you’ve logged in.

    The one thing I noted, which somewhat coincides with this topic is what “hurts the faith”. It appears you have allowed other people to define your faith or lack thereof. The paper mentions the abortion protesters, and particularily some of them within your church body, as one of the reasons you left the faith and embracing the “non-faith”. Are you content with others defining your faith and beliefs? Just curious.

    1. Henry 12:43 Thanks. Good point about whether or not someone else influenced me. The Freethinker definition is a Freethinker does not have one’s faith defined by church dogma. I means anyone else’s dogma as well.

      I might qualify as one who ultimately did not follow my own church’s dogma. But, being pushed away by that of people I encountered in life, I’ have to admit to some of that.

      (I’ll be off the board here for most of the day–painting project.)

      1. Henry

        It seems you were fine with the church’s dogma with many years logged in a church. It seems you took offense to behavior of some individuals within the church. Their behavior may have likely been contrary to church dogma.

        1. Henry 2:22 “It seems you were fine with the church’s dogma with many years logged in a church. It seems you took offense to behavior of some individuals within the church..”

          There was a little of all that. But, after reciting the Apolste’s Creed a few thousand times, I realized I don’t believe there is someone who came to life after three days, is invisible and sits at the right hand of another invisible thing.

  10. Stan

    Jon, could you please link to the research? Having a third hand story tells us nothing.

    If it is the one I read, it seems the whole sample was 57 people. Sounds kind of limited to me.

      1. Stan

        Spent the last 20 minutes Yahooing this articles authors and have still found nothing showing the methodology. I have heard that there were ONLY 57 people used in the sample. All of the articles I could find were regular news type sources and not reviewed sources. In fact they seem to be coming out with studies 2-3 times a year, are they just grant farming?

        On the other hand what is wrong with intuitive? I have seen people analys to death a problem and never come to a solution because there wasn’t enough information for them TO come to a conclusion. Mean while an intuitive had come to a conclusion and recommended changes and they worked just fine. That could be the other side of this theory.

        1. Stan 4:35 I don’t know the methodology either, but it sounds like qualitative research where in depth interviews are done instead of questionairres. These search for a common thread of thinking or kernal of insight and cannot involve large numbers like questionairres. Qualitative has a certain risk for bias in interpreting what is said. Qaunitative, questionairres has a risk for bias in the question asked.

          On the other hand what is wrong with intuitive?

          I tried to explain that at the end of my blog. There is nothing wrong with intuitive. Some of our great art and science have come from intuitive people. And, some great blunders–George W. Bush seems to be an intuitive thinker and, instead of looking into it, he trusted people who said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that Iraqi citizens would line the streets cheering soldiers and set up a great democracy.

          And, the same can be said about analytical thinkers, good ones and bad ones.

          I tried to explain in the blog that the verdict is not in on whether intuitive, analytical is ultimately the explanation as to why some believe and others do not. I was making the point that if this does become a commonly believed explanation, it will plant in the public’s mind what I believe to be the case, that the god is a product of the mind. This is why believers should try to stop this research.

          Now, this would not close the debate on “real”, things can be in the mind and be “real”. It’s a different “real” than the “so and so sits at the right hand of so and so.”

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