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Does Religion Really Have a "Smart-People Problem"?

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markdohle

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Does Religion Really Have a "Smart-People Problem"?

January 12, 2015

Daniel Dennett, one of the “four horsemen” of contemporary atheism, proposed in 2003 that those who espouse a naturalist, atheist worldview should call themselves “the brights,” thereby distinguishing themselves rather clearly from the dim benighted masses who hold on to supernaturalist convictions. In the wake of Dennett’s suggestion, many atheists have brought forward what they take to be ample evidence that the smartest people in our society do indeed subscribe to anti-theist views. By “smartest” they usually mean practitioners of the physical sciences, and thus they point to surveys that indicate only small percentages of scientists subscribe to religious belief.

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Helen of Annoy

Posted

Truly smart (not to mention wise) people are usually opened to possibilities and aware of their limitations. It makes them prone to agnosticism, not atheism.

Clumping agnostics (or people who have faith but don’t belong to one religion) with atheists is obviously completely wrong, therefore not “bright” at all. Bright people know that very noticeable manipulations can only hurt their credibility and their cause.

Personally, I’ve never met a true atheist in the real life.

I also noticed that people tend to have more faith (not necessarily expressed through particular religion) as they grow older. If you watch this world for long enough, you can’t accept “coincidence” anymore, you can’t deny the order in chaos showed itself to you daily, from funny little synchronicities to the life-changing interventions, and that actually is the proof, for me, of what we call God.

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Helen...what do you mean by "truly atheist"? How do you define a true atheist?

Just curious.

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Helen of Annoy

Posted

The direct answer:

A true atheist is someone who is absolutely certain on both rational and emotional level that there is no higher power in any sense.

Most people who say they're atheists are simply non-religious. That's not remotely the same.

Another rant by yours truly:

Personally, I sympathize several religions, don't belong to any of them, but I was born with faith and I begin to seriously suspect my life was tailored for me, so I can develop towards the full me and become aware I'm part of that what is called God by many.

I have huge troubles verbalizing my spirituality. I never have any troubles verbalizing material world. It makes me suspect we need to expand spiritual vocabulary and expand the images we use to communicate our spiritualities. It's just stupid to assume I'm an atheist because I don't believe in a bearded Middle Eastern guy sitting on a cloud, but I have no right words to relate my experience of the sense, connection, even communion... see, I lost it. It just doesn't describe it.

It's also narcissist to no end to assume higher IQ makes a person an atheist. An atheist, no less. Because, they, the ridiculously intelligent, are so damn smart they're their own gods? Ha! Have they seen the real world lately?

I could flaunt my IQ here, but it's not about IQ, it's about the soul. A soul may inhabit a retarded brain too, and still bring the Wisdom and the Love to us.

The bottom line is, don't count me into atheists, just because I don't strictly follow a religion.

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Does that answer have any basis, or is it something you've just made up? Because the word atheist literally means without god.

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Helen of Annoy

Posted

Ryu asked me how do I define a true atheist.

What other basis than my own opinion you mistakenly believe I need?

For the etymology of the word, use a dictionary. Or ask me, I know it's from Greek "a-" (without) and "theos" (god).

For my own definition, use my own opinion. It's up there, scroll back up.

I noticed there's funny dogma among materialists, that forbids personal opinions, based on complete, life-long personal experience, commanding that any opinion must be given by a suitable "authority" figure, which is so delightfully religious method, but I don't suffer from the follower syndrome at all.

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I get it. You're perfectly ok with making up definitions, but should anyone lump agnostic and atheists together (even though many are also agnostic) that's just wrong.

Opinions are ok as long as they're yours.

Looks like you're a sufferer of hypocrite syndrome.

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Helen of Annoy

Posted

Rlyeh, dear, do yourself a favour, print this page and take it to someone smart.

Mark, I apologize for initiating this vitriol in your blog. I had a feeling I should PM you my opinion instead of sharing it here. But then again, I thought, who reads blogs of spiritual people if not the people interested in the spiritual?

Either the logic betrayed me, either the atheism is, indeed, often a cry for attention.

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Rlyeh, dear, do yourself a favour, print this page and take it to someone smart.

Mark, I apologize for initiating this vitriol in your blog. I had a feeling I should PM you my opinion instead of sharing it here. But then again, I thought, who reads blogs of spiritual people if not the people interested in the spiritual?

Either the logic betrayed me, either the atheism is, indeed, often a cry for attention.

It's OK my friend. I just thought it an interesting article. So much going back and forth on this subject. I do agree however about agnosticism....and I think most of us are more agnostic then we realize, we just grow into it. We know less than we usually want to think about.

I am a man of faith, yet I have doubts. Atheism answers nothing, makes no sense, so if belief in God can seem absurd to me from time to time, atheism is even more so . I do believe there are true atheist, however when they talk of God it is more like one of the 'gods' of the past....like Thor etc. God on the other hand is different. Hence the problem with seeking to talk with someone from a thought system that is really different. There is often no language that can be used, unless putdown, contempt can be considered communication......both sides are guilty of that tactic which leads nowhere.

Peace

Mark

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White Crane Feather

Posted

I enjoyed your comments Helen, and agree. The problem with actually Makeing sense is that you bring the crabs out. Crabs don't think they like by the old knee jerk. ;) carry on. Good post mark. There is a huge list of scientist that indeed have slpiritual beleifs. intelligence has nothing to do with atheism. Hallarious thing about about it all is that people that say this are guilty of several illogical ways of thinking themselves. Usually the first one is an apeal to authority, then it out comes the correlation must be causation. Logically, they simply shoot themselves in the foot while drawing their weapon. Then they claim intelligence, logical high ground, and for give me the "brights" hahahahahahahahahahahahahah nkw I have heard it all.

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