The Religious A priori

An evaluation of Atheist Claims

Who is Smarter?

page 4

The corrollation between intelligence and religious belief (or lack thereof) cannot be supported by studies. However, even if we assume that is could be, that SAT and IQ tests favored this corrollation, that would still not prove the case that atheits are smarter than Christians. IQ tests and SAT's don't measure whaty they proport to measure, and they only measure very specific things. There are different types of intelligence, and relgious believers may have the more improtant type of intelligence.

I. Different Types of Intelligence.

Volume 56 Number 6 March 1999 Using Standards and Assessment Why Standardized Tests Don't Measure Educational Quality

W. James Popham

"Recent thinking among many leading educators suggests that there are various forms of intelligence, not just one (Gardner, 1994). A child who is born with less aptitude for dealing with quantitative or verbal tasks, therefore, might possess greater "interpersonal" or "intrapersonal" intelligence, but these latter abilities are not tested by these tests. For the kinds of items that are most commonly found on standardized achievement tests, children differ in their innate abilities to respond correctly. And some items on standardized achievement tests are aimed directly at measuring such intellectual ability."

More can be found on this topic at:

Theoires of intelligence
look at several theorists who support different intelligences theory

II. Emotional Intelligence is more important.

A. Emotional Intelligence Exists.




Classical intelligence, as measured by ordinary IQ tests, is often called "test intelligence." Currently, the gold standard for measuring intellectual capacity in adults or children is the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III for adults or the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-III. IQ scores from these, and other accepted IQ tests, are presented as standard scores. A standard score has a mean (average) of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. Average test IQ varies from 90 to 109. Test IQ is usually expressed as Verbal IQ (VIQ), Performance (PIQ), and Full Scale IQ (FSIQ). New brain research suggests that emotions, not test IQ, may be the true measure of human intelligence. The phrase "emotional intelligence" was coined by Yale psychologist, Peter Salovey, and the University of New Hampshire's John Mayer, about 1990. This was used to describe qualities like understanding one's own feelings, empathy for the feelings of others, and the "regulation of emotion in a way that enhances living."

B. Emotional Intelligence May Be More Important.


When Harvard psychologist, Daniel Goleman, wrote the new book, Emotional Intelligence, he suggested that when it comes to predicting people's success, brain power as measured by test IQ and standardized achievement tests may actually matter less than the qualities of mind once thought of as "character" before this word began to sound quaint. Jack Block of the University of California at Berkeley has used the concept "ego resilience" rather than emotional intelligence and notes that its main components include emotional self-regulation, an adaptive impulse control, a sense of self-efficacy, and social intelligence. Research shows there is a modest correlation between test IQ and ego resilience, but the two are independent constructs.

III.Religious Belief Corrollated with Emotional Intelligence.


As we have seen, knowing one's emotions, managing emotions, recognizing emotions in others, and handling relationships are four of the five domains of emotional intelligence. Religious practice, and moral principles have much to offer to the use of and development of emotional intelligence. For example, there is ample evidence that (Patrick Fagan, The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability, 1996):

The strength of the family unit is intertwined with the practice of religion. Churchgoers are more likely to be married, less likely to be divorced or single, and more likely to manifest high levels of satisfaction in marriage.

Church attendance is the most important predictor of marital stability and happiness.

The regular practice of religion helps poor persons move out of poverty. Regular church attendance, for example, is particularly instrumental in helping young people to escape the poverty of inner-city life.

Religious belief and practice contribute substantially to the formation of personal moral criteria and sound moral judgment.

Regular religious practice generally inoculates individuals against a host of social problems, including suicide, drug abuse, out-of-wedlock birth, crime, and divorce.

The regular practice of religion also encourages such beneficial effects on mental health as less depression, more self esteem, and greater family and marital happiness.
Religious belief and practice are a major source of strength and recovery from those suffering alcoholism, drug addiction, and marital breakdown.

Regular practice of religion is good for personal physical health: it increases longevity, improves one's chances of recovery from illness, and lessens the incidence of many killer diseases. If one reviewed the five main domains of emotional intelligence, it is obvious that they can be destroyed by drug abuse, depression, or alcoholism. The moral development of adolescents within religious practice, markedly reduces the likelihood of alcoholism in teenagers, and of course later in adults (Drinking Patterns and Problems Among Female Children and Adolescents: A Comparison of Abstainers. Past Users and Current Users). We previously discussed in How to Raise a Moral Child, the marked importance of parental modeling on the behavior of adolescents. If parents have active religious beliefs and practices, their children are far more likely to abstain from alcohol or they will drink with moderation if they use alcohol (Walters, The Religious Background of Fifty Alcoholics, Quarterly Journal Studies on Alcohol, 1957). Alcoholics with a religious background or strong religious belief are much more likely to seek help and treatment. Alcoholics Anonymous has known for much of this century that the most effective element in its program is its religious or spiritual component. Thus, the moral development that occurs within religious practice is very important for helping one to know his emotions and manage his emotions. With regard to depression, religion appears to reduce the incidence of depression among those with medical problems and also young people who are religious tend to experience fewer of the anxieties of growing up. A study of Texas high schoolers found that religious beliefs gave meaning to their lives and reduced the incidence of depression among them. We have seen that self awareness is one of the five domains of emotional intelligence. Within self awareness, we find self esteem. Self esteem seems to be higher in those who are religiously active (Bensen, Current Perspectives in the Psychology of Religion, 1977).

Either religious belief helps to develop such qualities, or it draws people to it who have this sort of EI. I could accept that as an hypothesis, that one is more likely to be drawn to religion if one has the srot of mind that fits the EI model. Than the Atheist tends to the one who has more of puzzell working sort of intelligence, and thus does better on standardized tests. But that doesn't mean the theist is any more intelligent because that is not really a true measure on one kind of intelligence vs. another. One can no more say that the puzzell sort of intelligence makes one smarter than the emotional sort of intelligence than one could say that mathematics makes more more shcolarly than philosophy. Different kinds of intelligence are drawn to different outlooks.But there is also a religious sort of intelligence. But the studies don't really support the original hypothesis that atheits score higher on the tests.

IV. Religious Intelligence.

21 centruy learning initative.

As noted at the beginning of this book in describing the 30,000 year old bone with the inscriptions of the phases of the moon humans are an inquisitive species. Throughout our history humans have been pondering ultimate questions about the meaning of life, mans place in the universe, the nature of God, and ulti-mate purpose. The search for a better understanding of such ultimate questions has led to some of the greatest works of art, literature, music and architecture. It is the essence of philosophy and the sciences.There probably has not been a civilization that has not channeled the spiritual search for ultimate mean-ing into some form of religious observation - and not always with benign results. Studying this phenomena evolutionary psychologists have reached what to many is a most obvious conclusion - a developed sense of spiritual intelligence is an evolutionary advantage - those who have it are better able to keep going inconditions when other might simply give up. The sense of purpose gives a heightened intrinsic motiva-tion, and a reason for living.

The Religious A priori