Thinking Can Undermine Religious Faith, Study Finds

On July 23, 2016, we discontinued our forums. We ask our members to please join us in our new community site, The Hartmann Report. Please note that you will have to register a new account on The Hartmann Report.

8 posts / 0 new

Thinking Can Undermine Religious Faith, Study Finds

Those who think more analytically are less inclined to be religious believers than are those who tend to follow a gut instinct, researchers conclude.

spicoli's picture
Jun. 4, 2010 11:12 am


“Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Logic and analytical thinking do weaken the foundation of the earthly man-made institution of organized religion as long as the primary goal is to maintain that institution in perpetuity. Goals of grace, mercy, peace, love, compassion and kindness require no logic and analytical thinking. Nor does contemplation of that beyond our physical lives.

Do you suppose Jesus’ directive to be child-like was intended to maintain an earthly institutional Kingdom, create that Kingdom here or prepare for a Kingdom in the hereafter? Regardless of your interpretation of the Kingdom, it appears that the child-like requirement is not optional.

Laborisgood's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

There's nothing surprising about thinking reducing religious faith. Thinking people are hardwired to contemplate their fates after they're dead and to try to reason to a First Cause, or Cause of Causes. So, the fact that they cannot empirically do so does inescapably dictate that they will develop faith in an infinite variety of global beliefs about a First Cause or Cause of Causes. Faith begins where empirical reason ends, so everything that cannot be empirically understood and verified by reason (thinking) automatically becomes a matter of faith for any humans who care to think about it. Conversely, anything that can be empirically understood and verified obviates faith about it, because there's no need to have faith in anything one already empirically knows. In that case, one's faith would rest in what's known, rather than what's not.

The more we know empirically, the less we have to take on faith, so immediately nonsensical ideas and propositions are discarded instantly when exposed empirically. Still, although we cannot reason to a First Cause or a Cause of Causes, that doesn't obviate our desire to know. So faith becomes inevitable at the point where reason ends. That faith can be in anything, or, in the case of thinking atheists, in nothing. One has to choose for one's self what to believe about anything not universally and empirically verifiable by reason.

The fact that we cannot empirically reason to God or any other article of faith does not disprove their reality; conversely, it does not prove it, either. It's doubtful that even a thinking atheist would agree with the old Soviet propaganda that said that proof God doesn't exist lies in the fact that Soviet cosmonauts didn't see Him in the Heavens when they were up there. Slightly simplistic?

Einstein said something to the effect that the more he learned, the more he believed in God. He was speaking transcendentally, of course, not as some kind of spriitually ignorant fundamentalist, because he understood the concept of a transcendental God, rather than one that could be empirically owned by humans.

No matter what one's beliefs, nobody should be surprised that faith diminishes in direct proportion to the acquisition of empirical knowledge. It's inevitable, regardless of whatever religious beliefs one may hold. That's neither good nor bad, in and of itself. It's just a simple truth.

Ulysses's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Probably what is considered "faith" undergoes an alteration with critical thinking.

"I Am that I Am". Just exactly what standard religious definitions can define that which doesn't define itself?

We've made up lots of things that God is...out of the No-thing called God. Probably defining God to conform to our own images of what God must be isn't wise.

I tend to go with Einstein..Ulysses wrote: above, "Einstein said something to the effect that the more he learned, the more he believed in God. He was speaking transcendentally, of course, not as some kind of spriitually ignorant fundamentalist, because he understood the concept of a transcendental God, rather than one that could be empirically owned by humans."

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." - Albert Einstein.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:

[quote]We've made up lots of things that God is...out of the No-thing called God. Probably defining God to conform to our own images of what God must be isn't wise.

It's most likely heretical, if one pursues Christianity in an intelligent way, rather than in the medieval, moneygrubbing shadows of Billy Graham and Pat Robertson.

Ulysses's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Gnostics = those who believe you can know God through God's creation. Gnostic is belief in Knowledge. The early Roman church branded Gnostics as heretics and did their best to destroy their writings and scriptures, many survived at Nag Hammadi.

Choco's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand." Einstein, Albert

It's arrogant and ignorant for Religionists and Atheists to draw conclusions. Science hasn't scratched the surface of subatomic grids and particles in-between the atoms. Science is determined by research funding and that is mostly determined by corporations seeking products for profits by manipulating atoms and governments military industrial complex requires war toys. Pharma sells "treatments" for profit, not prevention or cures one might discover in the vast universe of smaller. Outer space is for the sos searching more commodities to sell. The ¿quirtz/kwirtz?, photons, Pheromones, Cannabinoids and other unknowns could explain miracles, prayers and bring cures and prevention not just greed, torment, and profits. Healing potentials that could make anyone a jesus. So I guess religion does have vested ignorance in not discovering an answer that would make them blacksmiths in Detroit. I have found many Atheists abnormally afraid and angry at cannabis and reforming the policies as outrageous and draconian as they are. I suspect Ganja historically has been associated with a spiritual awareness or assumption. I think they're afraid they might catch something. To focus locally in our buying and the eternal expanse of inner-space in our labs. Create better microscopes and not monopolize energy looking at pretty pictures trying to figure out history. Be here now. Now is when we need to stop doing harmful things not kill the Band-Aids while increasing lacerations. If the incentive is to profit who wants a cure? Jesus said to be "child like, not childish. Maintain an innocence and excitement for things nature has provided. Not for us to slaughter wholesale or domesticate into factory farms and spraying poisons, frankenfoods, terminator seeds, fluoridation or prohibitions. Most wailing prayers on street corners judging, caging, killing, bombing, shooting, forfeiting, confiscating, or nullifying the Constitution cherry picking verses from the KJV.

Ancient Temple Hashish Incense! Did Jesus Inhale?

Archeology is archeology, theoriology is theoriology. The ship sails were cannabis canvas, the burlap sackcloth and ropes and riggings. Carpets and Tapestry, tents, "tow"els and those famous fishnets. Mortar from the hurds and feed for the animals. The seeds are still gruel, and as nutritious. The flowers were used by everyone in the region. And since none of its mentioned, it must have been censored. The same as American schools and media. The covered wagons or canvas for portraits. The army tents, backpacks, uniforms and leggings. The medicine still rolled into joints by the government. Denied and avoided and then pray it goes away. More abortions from the chemicals used to eradicate it, and used in competition to it than Roe v Wade. While $7 - 10 billion is diverted from safety nets to arrest Ganja users. Money going into the same pockets perpetuating this hideous Ganjawar. Including the church, always in concordance. I'd say he most definitely inhaled... DdC

"The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves...these clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ."
Thomas Jefferson, third President of the USA

The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth
Extracted Textually from the Gospels
Compiled by Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson believed that the ethical system of Jesus was the finest the world has ever seen. In compiling what has come to be called "The Jefferson Bible," he sought to separate those ethical teachings from the religious dogma and other supernatural elements that are intermixed in the account provided by the four Gospels. He presented these teachings, along with the essential events of the life of Jesus, in one continuous narrative.

In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty, He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.
Thomas Jefferson, 1814

American High Society a subchapter from "Hemp: Lifeline To The Future," by Chris Conrad. Dr. Burke, president of the American Historical Reference Society and a consultant for the Smithsonian Institute, counted seven early presidents as cannabis smokers: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor and Franklin Pierce.

The Indian vadas sang of Cannabis as one of the divine nectars, able to give man anything from good health and long life to visions of the gods. The Zend-Avesta of 600 B.C. mentions an intoxicating resin, and the Assyrians used Cannabis as an incense as early as the ninth century B.C.

Book: HASHISH! Robert Connell Clarke
The First Cultivated Crop
Ancient and modern historians, archaeologists, anthropologists and philologists all agree that cannabis is one of mankind's oldest cultivated crops. The weaving of hemp fibre began 10,000 years ago, at approximately the same time as pottery making and prior to metal working. Not surprisingly, records of the use of cannabis as both a drink and an incense can be traced back to some of the earliest civilizations and cultures, as we shall see with a look at cannabis incense in the Ancient World.

Cannabis as an incense
was used in the Temples
of Assyria and Babylon
`because its aroma
was pleasing to the gods.'

The Tree of Life...

Unpleasant Thoughts
This information clearly documents the use of cannabis incense to the very beginnings of recorded history, and shows that it could well have played a pivotal role in the development of the wonderful mind that so many of today's people take for granted and don't use. You need only look around at the sorry state of our once pristine planet to see that most modern people have lost the ability to think for themselves, and are more than willing to be led around by despicable leaders, and work their lives away in the name of consumerism.

"This evidence serves to project the origin of
hashish back to the earliest beginnings of history."
~ Dr. Robert P. Walton,
an American physician and authority on marijuana,

The Scythians High Plains Drifters
It could well be that in later times the cannabis smoke had somewhat mellowed the Scythians, and their spiritual leaders directed them towards becoming a more civilized people. The ancient Greek historian Ephorus wrote in the fourth century BC that the Scythians 'feed on mares milk and excel all men in justice'. His comments were followed in the first century BC by Strabo, who wrote that 'we regard the Scythians as the most just of men and the least prone to mischief, as also far more
frugal and independent of others than we are.'

Galen wrote in the second century
that it was customary to promote
hilarity and happiness at banquets
by giving the guests hemp
(Reininger, 1967: 14-15).


"I am bound by the laws of the United States and all 50 states...I am not bound by any case or any court to which I myself am not a party...I don't think the Congress of the United States is subservient to the courts...They can ignore a Supreme Court ruling if they so choose."
--Pat Robertson, Washington Post, June 27,1986)

"A violently active, intrepid, brutal youth that is what I am after...
I will have no intellectual training.
Knowledge is ruin for my young men."
Adolf Hitler quoted by John Gunther "The Nation"

"Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . . we need believing people."
Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933, from a speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi Vatican Concordant of 1933

"We're going to bring back God and the Bible and drive the gods of secular humanism right out of the public schools of America." --Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan addressing the anti-gay rally in Des Moines, 2-11-96

"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good...Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism."
--Randall Terry, Founder of Operation Rescue,
The News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 8-16-93

DdC's picture
Mar. 22, 2012 12:39 am
Quote Choco:

Gnostics = those who believe you can know God through God's creation. Gnostic is belief in Knowledge. The early Roman church branded Gnostics as heretics and did their best to destroy their writings and scriptures, many survived at Nag Hammadi.

poly replies: It's sort of a Christian schizophrenia, isn't it? The Holy Spirit (God) animates all living things within creation...yet one isn't supposed to find God where He is.

A visiting monk once asked me how to know God. I said "love". Begin with the blade of grass beneath your feet. Thank it for cushioning your each blade. and expand upon it. When love expands to include everything within creation., you'll know God..You'll .have a direct experience of what most call God. (I John 4:8)

I found later, that instead of embracing the task, he changed religions.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Republicans Failing Their Corporate Sponsors Could Be a Miracle For Democracy

Now, you don't hear it very much in the corporate media, but the budget bill that the Republicans passed through the House and Senate and Donald Trump signed that set the table for this tax legislation - this tax scam that is being worked out between Republicans in the House, Republicans in the Senate and the billionaires who own them all - includes a trillion dollar cut to Medicaid and

Powered by Pressflow, an open source content management system