Atheists, how do you reconcile the Dunning-Kruger effect?

The Dunning-Kruger effect is a scientific study that shows that people who rate themselves as above average in competence lack the competence to recognize their incompetence, and people who really are above average see themselves as average or below average.

You (I doubt you would disagree) view yourself as being above average in terms of competence of the real world, how do reconcile the SCIENTIFIC findings of the Dunning-Kruger effect?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Atheists don't assume to know everything. But when you have evidence to support one theory, and evidence DISPROVING a counter theory then the people who believe that disproved counter theory are the ones who are incompetent

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    • Simply going on logic. No religion in existence that believes in a creator God makes much sense, and there are so many different theories and rules. If there IS a creator God it wouldn't be anything humans have made up. @rawrzz

    • Yep. Damn this comment length requirement.

Most Helpful Guy

  • Well I'm an atheist and I know very little. How little I don't know. For one thing I didn't bother diving into the sciences to fully understand every natural phenomenon and I don't fully understand how evolution works. I have some basic knowledge of the concepts I'm interested in and that's enough for me.

    I don't claim to be smarter than a theist since there are theists that are smarter than me when it comes to their understanding of the sciences and they use it to justify the existence of god. Good for them.

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What Girls Said 3

  • Ah, are you saying that atheists claim to be competent and know everything, and considering this effect, they actually know less?

    Well you see, some atheists are like that. Not all. But most atheists don't claim to KNOW everything. Whereas religious people literally *know* that god created the universe and exactly what god "wants." No Christian says "I have a theory that god created the earth..." rather its "I know for a fact..."

    Atheists believe in science and science is constantly investigating. Because we understand that we don't *know* everything. Rather we are trying to learn.

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  • What exactly does this have to do with atheism? I fail to see the connection between my perceived cognitive abilities and my faith. Care to explain?

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  • my mind is unchanged.

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What Guys Said 17

  • Either I am missing something (probably) or I am so brilliant that your question simply doesn’t seem to apply (not likely) to me, but, they’re scientific findings, they possess the necessary attributes of legitimate findings, so … that leaves me with nothing to “reconcile” … except the part that I’m (probably) missing. If such a part exists, and I’m ‘missing’ it, then, it’s obviously not present (or, not sufficiently present in perceivable form) to create any problems for me, so, I have nothing to reconcile, as you say.

    I don’t know why that has to make me a genius or an idiot.
    I’m perfectly content with being just average.

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    • Do you consider atheists and you as above average in terms of competence?

    • That’s a loaded question, and, erroneously presumptive, as well.

      So, allow me to separate …

      I haven’t really considered atheists’ competence, at all.

      You need to define the parameters of your questions because, as it is, because you’re being presumptive, I have to either answer based on the erroneous presumption (which I won’t do), or, I have to define it myself (but, this is •your• question, not mine, thus, that is your prerogative). So … the atheists remain, for the moment, inadequately defined. Their competence, therefore, would be completely subjectively observed by me, so, is that even fair [to them]? Also … competence with respect to (or, as compared with …) ______?

      You see (I hope) why I cannot answer.

      As for my own poor competence … my competence is a joke. To claim incompetence would be false, that much can be safely said, but, above average? No.

      Or, in simple terms, remove the “and” from your question, and the answer (for me) is `no`.

      I cannot speak for atheists.

    • @kobe23 No, not trying to be ironic (not even sure where you perceive irony).

      If it’s the exchange with Chris … we have mutual friends, and we just did this thing earlier this morning (I fell asleep on him, sue me), but it’s fine, he’s not stalking me (what, a Galactic Guardian, stalking me?) so if that’s what you perceived as ironic, no, just a bit of a joke between the two of us. Sorry if that … registered as ironic.

      Wasn’t meant to even register at all (except with him).

      As for atheists, I, also, am not an atheist, so you cannot ask me to clump them in the same group as me and assess “our” mutual competence, because we’re distinct groups; well, atheists are a group; I’m a person; but I don’t belong to the group “atheist”. I can’t answer for them. Make sense now?

      That’s … basically … all, in a nutshell: atheists’ competence and my competence are two distinct measures. As I said earlier, “I’m perfectly content with being just average.” Atheists must answer for themselves.

  • I am trying to figure if you fall into the first half of that effect: "The miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others." Or if you fall into the second half which you ignored, and you are making errors about others. Either way, you are miscalibrated whcih may explain how you figured that this was aimed at atheists.

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  • Religious beliefs are the best proof of the Dunning-Kruger effect. People who believe assert they know everything. When they lack an answer, they just say "it's god, his ways are mysterious and can't be known by humans".

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  • I'll have to agree with you.

    Since it fits in like a perfect puzzle piece
    in what I already believe. ^.^

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    • The ignorant by definition are incapable of recognizing their own ignorance.

    • If you understand, life is just as it is.
      If you do not understand, life is just as it is.

  • Conversely, if i see myself as below average, where do I stand?

    Science , is methodology, and no matter how much we hate to admit it, sometimes our methods are wrong. I am not saying this study is wrong, but 1% of our study is wrong, in general. but it is not highly factual when we come to people's perspective, as our brain works in it's own different way, and as we are unable to understand it completely, it's useless to judge how it reacts.

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    • I was referred back to here via a link, turns out I already answered this question LOL.

  • I think of myself as average that means I'm really a genius 😏

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    • In terms of competence... It's a scientific finding... You're going to deny science?

  • Well, For one thing NONE was the second highest religious ranking in the last pew study so there are many people equal or smarter than me. Also I can be smarter in some areas than most and not in any others or some others. So really I just think I am smarter on the one question is x religious book true than religious people and no where else.

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    • But you still consider yourself, as an atheist as above average.

      "So really I just think I am smarter on the one question is x religious book true than religious people and no where else."

      How do you reconcile the Dunning-Kruger effect (scientific finding)? It's basically stating that it's impossible for someone to have their cake and eat it too.

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    • Lol atheists are higher functioning? Why are you people so confused about your place in society?

    • Soo... it comes out. You're a Christian looking to put us down. Because most Scientists are not religious. So, being religious is the same as believing outdated math theories.

  • Well thats a generalization. Some people are trully competent and recognise it themselfs. That study deals with probability.

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  • I'm atheist, but I don't deny the existence of a God. However, I don't support the existence of a God. I simply refuse to submit.

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  • That has nothing to do with atheism.
    Just your ignorant view of them

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  • Your study sounds interesting so I will probably look into it, but what does it have to do with Atheism?

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  • This entire question is based upon an assumption so the answers are already going to be skewed

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    • Is it a false assumption?

    • Actually it would indeed seem to be a false assumption. In large part because you seem to have misinterpreted the study.
      Based upon (my admittedly brief) review of the theory, it doesn't seem to suggest that people who rate themselves above average tend to be below, it says, and I quote from wikipedia: 'people with true ability tended to underestimate their relative competence'. Relative being the key word. It also seemingly suggests that training for a skill can allow people to much more accurately estimate their ability, even if it doesn't significantly increase it.
      Moreover, psychology is a soft science, it's findings aren't necessarily universally applicable. And relative competence about the world (which I gather is what you are trying to discuss) would seem too vague to be testable, and thus might not be considered science.

  • Not all atheists think the same way.

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  • He who speaks does not know. He who knows does not speak. Or something like that.

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    • Oh and just for the record I am not an atheist.

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    • @Floridan

      Are you trying to be ironic?

  • i'm sorry? work on developing arguments..

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    • This is a scientific finding. I'm demonstrating that you're incapable of recognizing a reasonable argument.

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    • Hahahahahahah

    • i didn't care..

  • Said the guy obsessing on atheism and thinks way better than them.. God

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  • You are assuming intellectual arrogance on the part of atheists for believing as they do.

    In which case, you have already made (assumed) your conclusion. Not only is your question arrogant and intellectually dishonest, but I'd add it is formally flawed.

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    • And no one is under any obligation to benchmark themselves against your assumptions.

    • They are if they are to be intellectually honest.

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