Should the acquisition of a skill be a prerequisite for admission to the intelligentsia?

I've already decided that only atheists may be admitted to the modern intelligentsia. But should mastery of a skill be another criterion? If somebody's extremely smart, does that necessarily imply that they will master a skill? Which skills are suitable? Is it possible that somebody's really smart but really lazy and they never bother learning how to do anything?

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Brian, I haven't found posts from you recently, glad to see you back. There are some very skilled believers in the fields of science. These are living, believing scientists that I have read. There are many others in the list I cited. I am deeply puzzled how a believing scientist can believe in creationism or intelligent design, to name just one factor that does not square up with reasoning. How do they compartmentalize their cognitive dissonance?

Robert T. Bakker,  Francis CollinsFreeman Dyson

List of Believing Scientists, living 

Any so-called 'scientist'---even if nominally possessing science degrees---is no scientist at all if he/she will not accept the the results made by hundreds of thousands of real scientists who over the last two centuries have carried out millions and millions of experiments that prove the ancientness of the Universe, Earth, Life etc.

I have challenged such men----saying that if you think you are cleverer by your denial than all the world's real scientists, past and present----then you are not a scientist but a bigoted pretender and cheat.

I really agree with you, Dr. Meaden. Climate change deniers, anti-vaxxers, creationists, Bible thumpers, it's all the same. The thought processes they tolerate at the very core of their mentality contradict any and all logical, scientific reasoning. They embrace a very childish way of thinking and stubbornly hold onto it at the expense of their own intellectual growth. I believe there is a strict upper limit to ones mental age if they are not an atheist, because only an atheist is able to recognize the evidence that patently proves that God may not exist, and then take that next critical step and issue that cogent judgement call, boldly taking the position that God indeed does not exist.

Terence, I totally agree.

Hi Joan. I've been busy. ;) In this case this is a good thing.

I simply do not believe it is possible to compartmentalize the mentality of a 5 year old inside the mind of an adult. That's why I've posted a discussion questioning the credibility of any scientist that is not an atheist.

What do you mean by "admission to the intelligentsia"?  What does this imply to you???

It means "one of us." I would never accept somebody as intelligentsia if they were, for instance, a believer. The intelligentsia is a guarded social class. An academic degree alone will not "get you in." So I'm wondering about skills. If somebody is an atheist, and obviously a smart person, but they lack a formal education as well as any meaningful skills, can we recognize this person as having achieved the pinnacle of intelligence in our society? Can we look at this person and respect his/her thoughts as a peer? Or is something missing when a person reaches the middle ages and still has absolutely no significant and meaningful skills?

There are dimensions to "being worthy of respect" besides skills or religiousness. 

Is the person honest? 

Is their thinking motivated by psychological forces? 

Do they treat others with respect, or dish out insults?


Luara observe that you took a slice of one of my sentences out of context. I may have no respect for the intelligence or thoughts of a Christian, but that doesn't mean that I have no respect for them as a person.

What do you mean by having respect for someone as a person, but no respect for their intelligence or thoughts?

What do you mean, I took you out of context?  The things I mentioned apply to whether someone's thoughts are worth respect. 

I've found that in order to be a decent person, even if I judge somebody as an idiot, I still need to love and respect them as a person. Plus, idiots can be correct on a number of things. But you always have to check them, because their stupidity can creep up on you at any time. I separate the way I treat people from the way I judge their intelligence. It's the practicing of basic social skills, manners, and common decency. I don't require somebody to be on my level for me to have them as a friend, to enjoy their company, to learn from their experiences, etc.

Sure, treating someone with respect as a human being is different from respecting their thoughts. 

We probably all know people whose words we don't take at face value.  Those people can be intelligent, though.  Maybe especially intelligent people.  Intelligent people can be very good bullshitters. 

If someone's acquired skill is a skill at bullshitting - surely not uncommon - I don't usually respect their thoughts. 

I had a boyfriend once of that sort :(




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