Can somebody be intelligent but at the same time make an exception in their logic to remain beholden to their religious beliefs?

It's not rocket science to discredit God and religion. It's simple logic and judgement. Somebody's brain has to be f'ing retarded to accept the Jesus myth.

But you wouldn't immediately know somebody's stupid enough to accept Christianity (or some belief in a deity) because they attempt to accept their religion alone on faith, and otherwise scrutinize everything else.

Problem is, at what point does this not work? I suggest that unlimited intellectual growth is only possible for somebody who doesn't accept bad logic and bad judgement. If somebody is dumb enough to accept beliefs in God and religion, then these beliefs infect their thought processes whether they've deliberately made an exception for them or not.

My cousin is almost 40, with an Ivy League Computer Science PhD. He's a teacher at a prominent university. And he's a Christian. When I ask him if he's a Christian, he admits that he is, but then he immediately follows it up with "but I'm not very religious." So he knows he needs to feel embarrassed for accepting stupid beliefs like this, and by his words he shows his embarrassment is so intense that he tries to excuse himself from the humiliation he is due because of his beliefs. So he's saying, "yes, I'm an idiot, but being an idiot is not a very big part of who I am from day to day." But it shows up somewhere else. He watches kiddie cartoons! LOL!

So is it truly possible to "make an exception" for religious faith and be otherwise intelligent? How intelligent can somebody get? What are the limitations? Where does somebody's stupidity show up when they try to be a "smart" believer?

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I thought they were NFL quarterbacks who played for the NY Jets.

It's an inability to rise above the cloud of fear.  He can't think straight without the cushion of religion.  It's his drug, just like any other drug.  People are drug addicts because their emotional compromise.

Okay, so his intelligence cannot overcome his fear. Does that mean he's borderline retarded or he packs heat everywhere he goes? Where in between?

The problem is that it's difficult to fathom how someone can believe things that are so childish and still be taken seriously.

I say, they just have a few screws loose.

It requires a balancing act. There are so many of THEM one feels almost schizophrenic at times. All the crosses their women wear, all the little fish symbols on the backs of their cars, all the crazy things they do such as putting the little ash on their foreheads on one Wednesday of the year. You might suffer an inferiority complex being in such a minority as we are. You're also tempted at times -- at least I am -- to ask myself, Are you really sure about this. Are you CERTAIN? What if there really IS a God and you are wrong. What if all of these Jesus freaks are right. Struggling with that is an abyss all to itself.

I hope you then realize that the same question could be asked about every religion.  You must since you are still an atheist. Pascal's wager doesn't work as well as theists would like to think.

My idea is that if there is 'a' god (or many), then they should have been more clear about what they wanted (if anything). If just being the best person I can be, trying to help as many people as I am able, and so on is not enough, then they are not anything I would want anything to do with anyway. The main sky gods these days are too into thought control. All you should need is the George Carlin, One Commandment, 'Don't be a D!@#!' Besides, I am not a gambling man, but the odds are so slim, so stacked against the probability that any of them are right, that betting eternity (which also isn't likely to exist ...for us anyway, nothing lasts for ever, all praise entropy), seems like a really safe bet.


So yes Susan, Pascal's wager is an ignorant argument, as it assumes that there are only two options, no god, or this one they were raised with, when in fact, there are thousands of options out there (all equally wrong).

There might only be 'theist' and 'non-theist', but among the theists, there are more 'options' than I even want to try to track, each more silly than the last. I have studied many, even got ordained once, but I could never dive so deep as to learn them all. There is one underlying truth though, they all tend to prove themselves wrong, if you thinking about them critically from a modern perspective.

For most though, at lest in the 'moderate christian circles', they do not so much 'believe' as 'accept' religion as part of the world, because they think it is easier (and in many ways that is true, like not quitting smoking is easier, wow that is a really good comparison, religion is an addiction, we have compared it to a drug before but an addiction). All you have to do is look at people's actions and see they do not follow that book's teachings, hardly any of them (it's mostly impossible since they contradict themselves). Most of them are non-theists, they are just too lazy or scared to admit it. For example, you cannot follow the teachings of Jesus and the atheist and taker of public assistance (social security and medicare), Ayn Rand at the same time, they are in direct opposition. "Greed is good" is something the character Jesus would have been against. Just ask the current pope.

..but I am rambling again, sorry...

I live in upstate NY and it isn't permeated by religion.

There is a lot of automatic respect for religious people, though. As if Christians automatically partake of a certain saintliness, even in the eyes of people who aren't Christian themselves. 

That I can accept

Michael Shermer, in his book, The Believing Brain, explains that even some of the most educated and intelligent people actually use their intelligence to rationalize their beliefs.  Because of their vast knowledge, they are able to come up with intricate and elaborate mental acrobatics to justify a belief.  This applies not only to religious beliefs but also to conspiracy theories or any other compartmentalized belief one wishes to hold on to.    

But isn't that person merely knowledgeable and educated? They gather a bunch of knowledge and make incorrect sense out of it. They fail to correctly perceive the true underlying logic of their beliefs. If they fail to correctly apply logic in their own lives, are they actually in the top echelon of intelligence? Or did they decide what they wanted to believe ahead of time based on their own emotional and intellectual weaknesses, and then go backwards and form some sort of a justification for their opinion that doesn't pass muster for a truly intelligent person? I recall in high school the humanities teacher wanted us to form an opinion and justify it. That was all. Did the justification have to be correct? Of course not. And a lot of people could never arrive at a correct justification for their beliefs because they think that just because they formed some excuse for a justification that their opinion is correct and deserves an A+ grade from life.




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