I'm going for my second BS right now and over the years I've noticed more tolerant people towards atheism and even a lot of atheists who are open about it (wearing shirts, joining atheists clubs, etc.) I live in Dallas/Fort Worth and there is a church on every block so besides my college, and my close circle of non-college or graduates, I don't know any others who will come out and say it.
Now I don't want to sound pompous and insinuate I'm smarter by believers because I know magic fairy tales (and horrible ones at that) aren't true, but it's really hard not to look down on a person with no education, who has blind belief in the absurdness of religion. Many of them are brilliant doctors, teachers and lawyers; in fact, they know things about their fields that I know nothing about. So I can't say I smarter per say, but I feel like I am in this aspect. Anyone else feel this way?
Education is not necessarily an indication of intelligence, and intelligence is not necessarily an indication of rational thinking. Many people are book smart and knowledgeable, but don't spend much time thinking for themselves. To see a correlation with atheism, you need to look past education or IQ tests and look at how much "thinking outside the box" a particular career requires.
I have known many intelligent people both religious and non religious, educated and not traditionally educated in a university setting. I have a great deal of respect for almost anyone who knows how to do things that I don't. However, I have a great deal of trouble respecting anyone who chooses to be an ijit regardless of education level or religiosity. For example, I had an astronomy professor in college who was a staunch creationist and mentioned so in class a number of times. I considered him to be an idiot and often wondered why a creationist who thought astronomy was bunk would become an astronomer.
I try to have a basic respect for all people but it's really, really hard with highly educated creationists.
I made the mistake of saying a person has "no education" followed by examples of occupations that require a high level of education and work ethic. The question is still the same though, I sometimes feel superior, free and enlightened in the knowledge that I know the Wizard of OZ is just an old man behind a curtain. I hate smug believers who look down on atheists, and when I say they judge and look down on us, there isn't a minority in existence who gets judged more than us.
So yes, a part of me doubts their "real" world knowledge, not the fields their specialized in or wonderful lives many of them live, I doubt they've ever given serious thought about what they're buying into. Individual thought, not collective ones