A recent study was interpreted to imply that there is a “significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity.” In the opinion of three psychiatrists “intelligent” people: are less likely to conform, and more likely to resist religious dogma, and tend to adopt an analytic thinking style (which undermines religious beliefs).
This, of course, birthed their opinion that intelligent people have “… less need for religious beliefs and practices.” If true then obviously all intelligent people must be atheists.
Let's grant the presuppositions for the moment. And we will also ignore the difference between “religion” and Christianity. How does the presumed atheist “intelligence advantage” play out in the real world? How better “fit” are atheists for survival given their purported intellectual edge?
Well, maybe the research needs to be reevaluated, but the mountain of evidence currently available shows that it is both physically and psychologically advantageous to hold “religious beliefs.” In fact, it's not even close.
Sean Thomas, a writer for The Telegraph, did his own research on this and fell upon some interesting facts:
In 2004, UCLA scholars conducted a study and concluded that college students who were involved in religious activities had a distinct advantage when it came to mental health.
In 2006 researchers at the University of Texas informed us that regular church attendance correlates to longer life spans.
A 2006 study by Duke University determined that “religious people have stronger immune systems” and tend to have “lower blood pressure.”
Over the last few years, scientists have uncovered many more benefits derived from a person's faith. Believers have “better outcomes from breast cancer, coronary disease, mental illness, AIDS, and rheumatoid arthritis.” When it comes to lifestyles believers have “greater levels of happiness, are less likely to commit suicide, and cope with stressful events much better.” They also tend to have more kids.
What's more, the benefits derived from faith are still there to a large degree even if you adjust the studies to compensate for the believers tendencies to avoid smoking, drinking, and drug use.
Christians also tend to be nicer, especially in stressful situations, and they give much more money to charity than non-believers.
Ask yourself, which worldview allows its followers to live longer, to enjoy life more, to be the most generous, to avoid deep despair, and to bring the most children into the world? I would suggest that the real measure of intelligence is indicated by happy, healthy, meaningful lives.
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