In the News: Belief in God Boils Down to a Gut Feeling

Found an interesting article on Yahoo! today called “Belief in God Boils Down to a Gut Feeling.”

They have an interesting premise.  It seems like they’re saying that analytical people, or those who are more reasonable, are less likely to believe in God/deity.  Which I find kind of funny.  I’m a highly analytical person, myself, and very reasonable, yet I believe in deity.  How would I fit into this analysis they have going?

Sure enough, people who went with their intuition on the math test were found to be one-and-a-half times more likely to believe in God than those who got all the answers right. The results held even when taking factors such as education and income into account.

In a second study, 373 participants were told to write a paragraph about either successfully using their intuition or successfully reasoning their way to an answer. Those who wrote about the intuitive experience were more likely to say they were convinced of God’s existence after the experiment, suggesting that triggering intuitive thinking boosts belief.

They basically boil this down to how you answer a math question.  So apparently they can predict whether I’m more likely to believe in God/deity based on how I answer a simple math problem.  Unfortunately, while I don’t particularly care for the tone of the article, I seem to have proven their theory with my answer.

I can see how intuition would link with belief, as long as you’re somewhat in tune with that intuition.  But I find it a little hard to believe that a belief in God/deity is dependent on whether you are more intuitive.  There are some people I know who are not very intuitive at all (I say “not very” because everyone has intuition, it’s just that some people are more tuned in than others) yet still believe in a deity of some kind.  So I can’t make that leap that they’re trying to prove in this study, that belief in God boils down to a gut feeling or intuition.

What do you all think, my lovely readers?


4 responses to “In the News: Belief in God Boils Down to a Gut Feeling

  1. Good post. Thought provoking.

    I myself like to say that my position on the Holy is not a “belief” at all; rather, it is an “expectation”.
    Or, I do not “believe in…” , but I “expect that…”… sort of like I expect my right leg to be there when I start to walk.

  2. I read a book a while back called The God Gene which pretty well summed up my views on this sort of thing. Religious experiences or, more specifically, the feelings tied to them are what we should be looking at because we can monitor brain chemistry and activity during these experiences. It’s more about the way your brain reacts to certain things than about how you solve a math problem.
    This is a horrible summary. Let me know if you’d like to read it.

  3. I can actually agree, to a degree. I think that belief in God is a combination of intuition and conditioning. I think that for some, conditioning overcomes intuition and for others intuition trumps conditioning, and for others intuition and conditioning coincide…and that reasoning is the vehicle by which this choice is made (consciously or unconsciously).

    I think the bigger mistake instead, is thinking that you can boil the complexity of belief to a single testable criteria. I’m a biologist by training…but I fully admit that there are things the scientific method are not equipped to answer–there are limits to what it can weigh and measure with accuracy or meaning. Matters of spirituality are one of them.

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