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Why does the average IQ of a country appears to decrease as religiosity increases?

Since IQ doesn't shoot up if someone loses their religious faith, it is unlikely that religion itself isn't the cause of a country having a lower average IQ. This suggests that is more that the people with lower IQ tend to be more religious. Do you agree? Note: there are obviously examples of high-IQ people who are religious and this chart makes no claim on the validity of religion itself.

Source: []

Is religion good for a country?

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Charter 6 Jan 17
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I guess it depends on what religion we are discussing, if we are taking democrats and their worship of big government then no. But Judeo-Christian religion has been good for society in general.


Same reason as all your other IQ posts: using a single number to denote the broad and subjective nature of intelligence is flawed. There is no singular common definition for what intelligence is and thus studies making claims on intelligence are themselves subjective.

In addition, "religiosity" is also a broad and subjective term, one that has no singular common definitions and thus different studies making claims on religiosity are themselves subjective.

This is a general problem with trying to quantify the un-quantifiable: until there is a singular, objective, and physically measurable metric of "intelligence" and "religiosity", these kinds of graphs hold no predictive or descriptive meaning.

Stop the presses. I just liked a post in which I agree with almost every word uttered by @TheMiddleWay. But, hey, when you're right, you're right. 🙂

I PROMISE I won't let it happen again. 😀

Make it three!

When you don’t exhibit your underlying racism you can actually make sense

I wrote my post focusing on my underlying racism. 🤬
Damn... gonna have to try harder! 😛

@TheMiddleWay Stretch yourself

I am not sure about IQ tests. The subject needs to understand what the test is about. If a person has practiced placing square boxes in round holes before they can anticipate what is expected of them. Looking at the chart you could also correlate IQ with GDP per capita so looking at things in isolation can be a mistake. I am not religious so am not criticizing for religious reasons.


I think whether or not religion would be good for a country would depend on the religion.

Should keep my thoughts to myself but members of every religion will believe that theirs is the only good religion.

@Eric123 I think the difference between "depends on what religion" and "only my religion" are quite distinct, assuming we agree that no two religions are the same.

@Haraldson No two religions are the same, agree. The difficulty is that due to our cultural backgrounds the entire human species has bias. Who decides what religion is better. I am not religious so would probably be a better arbitrator than most.


It depends on the religion. Islam and Marxism are two religions we can live without. 🙂


Did you factor in Islamic countries that allow cousin marriages/inbreeding which results in lower IQs?


Personally I think religion is hogwash, but every so often the #Left gets on my nerves and I consider promoting a religion that worships #AdolfHitler as a god.

That would be a mistake. Adolf Hitler was a lefty in that he believed in central planning and control. NAZI = National Socialist Party. Do not believe the propaganda rubbish since about Hitler being a right wing facist, he was a central controller, like Stalin, except he allowed private ownership.

@Eric123 *he was a central controller, like Stalin, except he allowed private ownership

So, like #FDR?


When asked whether “...religion is an important part of your daily life?”

I would bet that most of those people with “High IQs” Simply FAIL the question.
Were I asked the question, I too would FAIL the question because I would equate ... think of ... the answer in terms of Prayer, Church, Expression of Faith ...

The TRUTH is, the Religious Training People receive as Children is Most Likely a VERY Important Part of Their Lives EVERY DAY.

Think on This ...
WHERE Did YOU Learn YOUR Code of Ethics?
WHERE Did YOU Learn YOUR “Sense of Morality”?
WHERE Did YOU Learn YOUR Concept of Right and Wrong?

MOST of Us HONESTLY would have to admit it came through either Direct Religious Training OR through Your Parents’ Direct Religious Training.

Part of TODAY’S Problems stems from comes from the LOSS of this Training where Children are now “Learning” These Things through rather poor substitutes like “Sesamee Street”

How IMPORTANT is “Religion” in MY Daily Life?
Not so much.
How IMPORTANT is My “Religious Training” in MY Daily Life?
I don’t think I can imagine Living Without It.

Funny you should mention that. My wife and I have different views but agreed to raise our child to give them access to any and all information they want on religions, but the freedom to choose for themselves.

However we also decided there are some practices that religious people follow that are beneficial, even to someone who might not be religious. The best example I can think of is prayer. Many of the churches I visited used prayer to reflect on the positive aspects of their life and give thanks. Even without the religious aspect I feel that taking the time to focus on what you're thankful for can have profound positive effects on one's mental health.


Religion is a tool that can be used for good or bad. It can enlighten and guide, or it can enslave and dictate, depending on how it's implemented.

Tom81 Level 7 Feb 26, 2021

I'm not a fan of any State sanctioned religion. People should have the freedom to worship as they choose, so long as their beliefs don't involve any behaviors that cause harm to anyone, or those beliefs don't infringe on the rights of those who choose not to believe. While I realize that is much easier said than done, it's how I feel none the less.


Who comes up with this IQ shit? This is the 2nd such article. I see this as no different than CRT. Knock it off.

What part of "this IQ shit" do you object to? Is it the study, or the interpretation of the conclusions? Or both?

@Haraldson Both.

This has fake news written all over it. Otherwise Socialist countries should be outpacing other nations in Mensa membership. It's stats pulled out of thin air. All these BLM, Antifa, LGBT, etc. are atheists. Tell me about how smart they are. Religion, or lack of it, does not affect a person's IQ. It affects one's world view.

@toronto_Georgia can you provide some thoughts or cite some sources as to why you don't agree? Saying it's rubbish is rather meaningless without explanation imo.

@Haraldson IQ testing and results are culturally based. To use one scale across cultures is ineffective, resulting in flawed figures. To then add some further qualifier simply makes the results even murkier. Oddly, I was tested as a child, as was my son. We both had very high numeric results. Fortunately we were tested using culturally appropriate parameters. Without culturally appropriate parameters the results might well have been substantially higher or lower depending on the criteria. In all honesty far too many studies show that culture is the controlling factor. Bottom line is all these studies are flawed and the more additional parameters you add the more flawed and utterly useless the results become. Please do not push this issue with me further, I simply will not respond.

@toronto_Georgia It seems clear you have an opinion and will happily criticise those of others, rather tersely in some cases, but won't accept any criticism or argument of your own. I'm sure you have your reasons, it just doesn't make for a great discussion, which I believe is why we're here.


re the poll... Depends on the religion.


Most religions will cripple a nation. State religion in particular as well as statism.

There are possibilities for religion to help a nation, but that is a complex topic.


Well, I supposed that depends on what is meant by religion; Oxford's first definition concerns "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods," but that isn't attributable to religions like Shamanism, Buddhism, Taoism, or even Scientology.(1) The next best definition that applies to all the world's religions is, "a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance."

And if that's the common definition, you could could call "wokeness" a religion. You could call feminism a religion. You could call the people who dress up like Star Wars Jedi and follow the Jedi Code a religion.(2) You could call ANY structured belief system a religion.

So the question really is: is a country better for having structured belief systems?

While my gut reaction is, "well, that greatly depends on what the system would have you believe, doesn't it?" the reality is that structured belief systems DO serve a valuable purpose in establishing cultural norms. Again, you don't need to believe in the supernatural to have religion, you simply have to agree to the same structured beliefs as others. And through that shared belief you establish what constitutes acceptable behavior and actions; that shared belief ultimately becomes culture. Shared culture creates community and belonging. Taken in isolation, these are all generally beneficial things.

Where the problems arise is when believers do not tolerate dissent from non-believers. That's led to things like the Spanish Inquisition and cancel culture. But I would submit that both are expressions of those who lead the religion having the need to control and have dominion over others, versus a mere intolerance for opposing beliefs. That is, religions can co-exist peacefully when they are not interested in fighting each other over wealth, power, and influence.

As to the question, why there is a correlation between lower IQ and higher acceptance of religion, again I can only submit that the need for some religion to control dissent creates a culture of unquestioned obedience, encouraging one to not think or question, which are two of the building blocks of IQ. But that's not the fault of the relgion itself, only of those who are abusing the religion for self-serving purposes.

(1) Yes, I'm aware that Scientology has Xenu, but in their religion, Xenu was an alien dictator that forced people to earth and nuked them around volcanoes.
(2) I think Jedi is actually a registered religion in Australia...

(2) There was a movement in Australia around the time of the 2001 census to have as many people as possible write down "Jedi" as a religion, but even before the census took place, the federal government of the day preempted the movement by explicitly saying that no matter how many people wrote JEDI, it would not be accepted as a religion. So fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your view, JEDI is still not an officially registered religion here in Australia, and no person or entity claiming it to be their official religion receives any special treatment or funding or protection from the government as a result. I answered "not religious" on the 2001 census.


They also have the distinction of being the most 'well hung'. The feminists are right, there is a correlation between penis and brain sizes.


Well the stronger the religion the more successful a region has historically become.

I believe in the right religion would be best for humanity, maybe not just a people.

Without Judaism, Hebrews wouldn’t been ever noticed. Without Christianity, Tribes wouldn’t had become States. Without Islam, Arabia would had been nomadic raiders. Without Buddhism, Confusionism, Hinduism, the East would had been warring struggling agriculture’s. Even Native Americans had Great Spirit religion. Aztecs and Mayan. Egyptian. What great society has no religion to motivate it? Marxist colonies? Check.


Does the chart mean organized religion or faith?

ktpinto Level 7 Feb 25, 2021

That's the key, isn't it? I'm not a huge fan of organized religion, but I'm a Christian of faith. I have a high IQ (not bragging, just stating), and I came late to my faith, so does that mean my 'education' (which I have a problem with IQ because it's in large part a memory test [can you remember all these little facts we'll test you with] rather than a test to see how much wisdom a person might have) happened only because I wasn't raised with faith? Who knows. Statistics can't really teach anything about how individuals learn and grow in and outside of faith, they can only show where people are RIGHT NOW.


Generally speaking and without focusing on the extremes of any given distribution:

  • Religion is dependant more on faith than logic.
  • IQ is dependant more on logic than faith.
  • Science is to faith what atheism is to religion.
  • People with higher IQ tend to be more successful in the sciences.
  • People with lower IQ tend to be more successful in the arts.
  • Religion is an art.

I don't believe that the Atheist French revolutionists, with their Goddess of Reason and their ten hour days and ten months years were not religious. The just defined themselves as non-religious.
I don't believe that the Bolsheviks were non-religious either. Or the Postmodernists.


Does this include the non-spiritual ideologies that people follow like religions? Some of the biggest ideological zealots I've ever met were staunch atheists.


Confounding of effects. There is a third effect at play which causes both. I would surmise it's the prevalence of modern western culture and education, which at its core is anti-religious due to the cultural shocks of world wars 1 and 2 on europeans, especially.


It depends on the religion. Something like Christianity or Judaism is at least helpful, but things like scientology or islam usually leads to problems. You have to look at what the religion teaches.


I'm curious how many people here have taken an I.Q. test and how religious they are.

I'd love to see a slug version of this graph. Lol.

Yes it is an obvious oversimplification. IQ on a national basis does to some extent follow the pattern described but if you were to go back a few hundred years the pattern collapses.

In the West we have systematically selected for the intelligent to be indoctrinated in a secular world view. To some extent Islam does the opposite. The problem in Islam is it also systematically eliminates genius that questions orthodoxy.

I find the war between religion and science to be as silly as if the secular world declared war on art. It's no coincidence that it has to some extent with brutalized architecture and "modern" art and even music. We have ignored the "spiritual" at considerable cost.

It would be easy to make the mistake that what is missing in the spiritual is attention to the natural. That is the mistake the 60s generation made. The problem is you can't get to a morality that heals the spirit through a natural path in a functional complex society. Science doesn't help because the blind clock maker is amoral. He doesn't care about your feelings nor your survival. The younger generation saw this error and over corrected with the adoption of post modernism making everything subjective and arbitrarily cultural. Those we arrive at a point where the cult of wokeness dominates culture and moral panics erupt everywhere.

Cultures evolve unsurprisingly in ways very similar to natural selection. You need a lot of reproductive fidelity with a bit of beneficial mutation. Mutation rates increase when there is little selection pressure. Eventually selection will return. We can either make the selection ourselves or let nature do it for us. This applies both culturally and physically. In the past religion bridged the natural and cultural but we have not figured out how to replace it.

@wolfhnd I was just interested in the I.Q's of people on here...


I can guess but I won't. 🙂

I can tell you I have lost five to ten points in the last 15 years. It's good to be retired.

@wolfhnd Haha, I took one shortly after my original comment, but I also know that tests can vary wildly so I don't place any stock in it.

Also as far as I know 5-10 points in 15 years is probably below average age loss, so retirement must be treating you well. 😛


Crystallized intelligence and lots of test taking 🙂


Eastern European Jews were very religious, but on average had higher IQs than their fellow Poles, Russians, Germans, etc.



Maybe the religion is so intolerant that other countries are forced to confront it, and end it.

Perhaps the religion is so passive that the country is unable to defend itself.

Perhaps the country has a multiplicity of religions that are antagonistic to each other.

It is also possible that the religion in a country is, by any measurable standard, "good for the country."

But, barring all other considerations, it eventually comes down to the food...

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