Is there a link?
Only 12% of Jehovah's Witnesses are college graduates. Typically JW are not very welcoming to anyone outside their belief system and many (not saying all) do not associate with people outside their belief.
72% of Unitarians are college graduates. They tend to be very welcoming of all beliefs or lack thereof and are often not only friends with people who believe different than them but also willing to marry outside of their belief.
Is there a link between college education and acceptance of those who aren't exactly like us? Does a college education make some people more open to other ideas?
I don’t know for sure how to aim an answer regard JW’s and Unitarians. A possible sociological answer regard Unitarians having more college graduates is they are deist. They don’t accept and believe God interacts and intervenes with the universe, world, and people. So colloquially one might say it is up to the individual to succeed / better self since there is not divine intervention. (I am purposefully skating past differences; philosophical, theological, doctrinal, historical, while next suggest sociological and cultural may be a consideration.)
I say that for a general view seeking to set the setting for parental and church / fellowship regard family and perhaps cultural influence. Remembering there is no divine intervention education becomes perhaps a first priority. Another point still speculating is the deist view is more easily accepted for one questioning God’s existence (Agnostic) having an education. Pragmatically it may be easier and maybe a first step because particulars of doctrines there may be less issues and confusion . . . I dun’no. There would be a lean having faith and trust in known knowledge and scientific method with cause and effect rather than esoteric knowledge and supernatural divine intervention. Then again I am only speculating.
The second question may be true, but I think it is because of the process of formal education where cooperation is cultural and there must be (??) an openness / willingness to accept in order to learn. IMO a formal education firstly teaches / conditions one how to learn and then apply it. Of course critical thinking enters with its companion research.
An interesting point regard graduations are Business far outweigh all other curriculum (2011) areas by about 1:4 at 21% of all graduates. The closest is Education at about 14%. There were fifteen categories considered at http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/education/ A footnote is Capitalism (Business) has its roots in Protestant North-Western Europe religions particular to England and the Netherlands. Probably TMI, but I discovered it interesting while considering cause for perspectives of God and religions.
It almost seems there is a correlation between being educated and closing down the spiritual portion of our brain. Do we teach how not to feel? But the comment claim of the JW versus Unitarian suggests much more to it.
Eric, what do u mean by spiritual portion of the brain? Is that the part that is responsible for the propensity for superstition? And please stop misrepresenting atheism. We are just as intense in our feelings as people who believe in fairy tales.
I used JW vs Uni because they were on opposite ends of the education list. I think it is a valid point that college causes cooperation. The interactions cause different views to be accepted more, maybe.
Get it is somewhere in the frontal lobe of the cortex from what I understand. Though it is thought to be a combination of areas that are active. By my account studies are not conclusive but some agree.
There is a link to higher education, especially graduate and higher degrees, with liberalism and atheism.
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