There are at least two types of christians familiar to me;
1. The mass of mentally inferior people who believe in a God and eternal life, the Bible, the supernatural and the church.
2. Intelligent people who understand science, atheism and nature but nonetheless see the Christian church as providing a moral code and social order to the masses, without which society, law and order would fall apart.
Napoleon Bonaparte, an Atheist, fell into the second category.
Nulle société ne peut exister sans morale. Il n'y a pas de bonne morale sans religion. Il n'y a donc que la religion qui donne à l'Etat un appui ferme et durable.
Following Napoleon's lead (the avatar, not the historical figure), there certainly are mentally inferior people for whom religion is attractive, though there are those in our midst as well. It's the second type that i find the most infuriating, otherwise intelligent people who believe in science and don't take the Bible or their religious holy texts literally and yet remain religious. i think this is done mainly out of convenience, and it demonstrates a real laziness on their parts and a lack of intellectual honesty, but it doesn't make them stupid by any means. Actually i think there might be something to be said for the argument that such people have to be exceedingly smart to figure out ways to retain their obviously-false beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence. I look at Obama as a prime example. He's clearly brilliant, he's got a powerful mind capable of doing specific sorts of tasks, but when it comes to his entire philosophical worldview, he just hasn't applied his massive intellect to the task. There seem to be a great many such people in politics and many other professions as well, people who I recognize have probably got it over me in pure smarts, but just don't feel like bothering when it comes to the deepest questions. I think most people just don't see the practical uses of philosophy.
There is a difference I think between kinds of intelligence, I know people who are considered highly intelligent and accomplished who are believers. It seems to me one can be academically inclined without being intellectually inclined. Give it some thought, look about you at the people in your life. It is also the path of least resistance, all you have to do is believe, you don't have to read all them hard books--in fact, why don't you get rid of your books---come to Jesus--lol!!
I had a boss when I worked for the Department of the Navy in engineering that was a devout xtian. He would be the first to tell you about his intelectual superiority. I knew several of us brother Atheists, (how can you be an engineer and not be an Atheist?), who thought otherwise. When your boss tells you that Noah was not a legend, (yes exact words), how can you see any credibility in anything else he says?
The point I am trying to make is that I firmly believe that there is some sort of brain deficite in educated religious people. As Carl Sagan said, "once you see the logic and reason of science, you can't go back unless you have a brian injury". That means to me that xtians have some sort of inherant brain damage.
You did ask for my opinion.
I'm just having fun here, just joking around, but I couldn't resist:
You aren't exactly helping your case when you misspell "intelectual", "defecite", "brian", and "inherant". ;-)
That is most definitely the answer, its all in the spelling--lol!!
OK, that's why engineers love spell-check! Next time I'll write it in something else, then cut-and-paste.
Not this engineer. I'm a spelling and grammar nazi!
I would point out that spell check routines are knot proofreading.
I find myself making a split-second assumption that someone who makes it known to me that he is a Christian, believes in god, goes to church, prays, or subscribes to any of the nonsense, that that person is somehow suffering from a mental and psychological defect. Right or wrong, I find myself judging them immediately. Like I said, this is usually a split-second reaction when the topic is first presented. Most of the time, I'm able to continue my interaction with such a person in a civil and respectful way.
The most offensive and clearest evidence for intellectual inferiority of most believers is their tendency to be completely ignorant of the fact that not everyone is one of them. Further, I find that they fail to recognize that most (and I do mean "most") atheists are very well-informed, intelligent people who have come to their world view in a rational and realistic way. Instead, the assumption is often made that people are only atheists because they haven't yet experienced god or read the Bible.
I think there is a case to be made that those who choose favor religious belief over rational thought are either (a) mentally incapable of complex thought and deep contemplation, (b) mentally lazy and ignorant of the potential of the brain (and combined brains of thinking people) to make this world a better place, or (c) as Phoenix-Wanderer said in the earlier post, "exceedingly smart to figure out ways to retain their obviously-false beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence."
While I don't consider xtians to be 'less intelligent', I do see it as a 'brain blockage'. It seems that some kind of sponge has blocked the open paths of their mind. Though, I do see atheists as being superior in the sense that we do not have this 'blockage' and we see reality and life for what it really is.
Hi, I think even if one were to grant that otherwise smart people still are believers, it begs the question as to why they would choose to do so. I think the idea of an eternal life, and some higher power watching out after you and rewarding you for good deeds-is just too iresistable for even some of the most intelligent people-they simply choose to "suspend their beliefs" in more rational things.Every time I start to argue with my very Christian wife about my lack of belief, I always bring up the age of the earth and how long mankind has been here. I always use that one, as it is so clear cut that the bible is so dead wrong about these things, and yet she refuses to take the bait-she accuses me of "playing games" and she just won't get into that kind of argument.I try to tell her these are not games-these are real serious issues, and if her beliefs are so right, they should stand up to these sorts of challenges. At that point, she usually just gives me a condescending wave of the hand, signaling she is "done".So there you have it, in a nutshell- she, and most like her, simply don't want to accept anything that might destroy the wonderful world they have created for themselves. And nothing, I am afraid, will ever change that, at least for her.