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?
Then we need to press them with the question: if your god can't or won't perform, then how can we tell if your god is the real god if every other religion can hide behind the same "god doesn't need to perform" fallacy?
Just because their book has a precedent, it doesn't mean that precedent is sound. We need to nail that home... no pun intended. lol
Mathew 19 "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven."
Mathew 22 "And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
There are the requirements, you need 2 people who believe and agree to ask for the same thing, pray away, and you will get the same response everyone else gets, nothing.
I think some people prefer to stay in the safe zone , they think if they can stay religious there will be nothing to lose, and what the benefit of being atheist.
atheism my open lots of unanswered questions like what the purpose of existence? why we are here and what happened after death, all these questions that religions have answered in boring details.
they are silly, lame and partial answers but it's enough to shut up these curious questions, and make one think no more.. but this come in the cost of disgrace the intelligence of human.
"Where all think alike, no one thinks very much. —WALTER LIPPMANN"
The old Pascal's Wager, they never for a second even consider that the religion they chose to put that faith in, is only one of thousands upon thousands, and picking the wrong one is as good as picking none at all, except with all the dogma.
Not that many of them care, because they are just saying they believe, and completely ignoring what those 'beliefs' say they should be doing. Their religion is just a combination of what they remember from what they were taught as a child, and they selectively only remember the 'good' parts, and what their ego tells them.
That is actually one of the reasons so many got mad about the Noah movie, they only know the children's book version of the story.
"Science has questions that may never be answered, religion has answers that may never be questioned." ~Many people.
Pascal was an arsehole. But then, in his age, he could not be expected to show the courage of a Nietzsche, or for that matter, that of a Voltaire. He had a failure of nerve is all. Perhaps all hope of an afterlife had faded only after his time. Faith, hope, and love, all three irrational.
He certainly did not think that one through all the way, or maybe it was just a polite wording for what he really meant, 'Why not say that I believe, if they are wrong, then I lose nothing, and this way they will not torment and maybe kill me sooner'.
To a degree on the irrational part, the problem is, that you are using their warped and distorted definitions of the words (...and I have a hard time not playing the 'devil's advocate', been in too many debates and I like to look at things from many directions). What is irrational is the way in which they use those words.
I see no issue with faith in general, it is only the disturbing definition that the theists have taken it to mean that I have a problem with. There is nothing wrong with having faith in something that has proven itself to you. For example, having faith that a lover will respect your wishes when they have a proven track record, or having faith that your favorite comedian will be funny, or that a company you believe in will make a good product (or the opposite), but that is not the same as believing in something that is imaginary, something that has never proven anything, to anyone ...ever. That isn't 'faith', that is delusion, there is a difference. Faith is a form of trust, and it must be earned, like respect. The meaning of this word has been distorted by religions, and we should 'take it back'. ;)
Hope can be quite useful, if you do not let it stop you from being productive, it can motivate us to work for a better future. What is wrong ...is when people hope for a 'miracle', and do nothing about it, expecting it to magically fix itself. Hoping that your work pays off, is not really 'irrational', it can even make you work harder, and maybe have more of a 'pay off' at the end. Hoping that you can earn enough, if you work hard, to fulfill your dream, should not be an irrational pipe dream. It should be achievable, if we have rational/achievable dreams. (and even then, who is to say what is rational and or achievable? Most would say that looking for whatever new discovery, is 'crazy', until we prove it can be done. Who would have thought we would be figuring out warp drive tech in our lifetimes? If you look at what we considered rational, faster than light travel was a pipe dream, impossible even, but look at us now, we are well on our way).
Even love, in a way, is not really all that irrational, although forms of it can cause people to do irrational things, but people can be pretty irrational anyway. It is 'love', that cause us to band together in groups, for survival. It is a trait that we evolved to help us survive as a species. It is why we have societies, even animals have it. Caring for others caused our distant ancestors to band together into families, and then tribes, and then villages, and so on. That is why they survived, and the ones who went off on their own did not. Not minding a personal sacrifice, if it means that your loved ones can survive, and have a better life, to be honest, that is the most rational thing I can think of. XD
Although, I suppose if you look at it on the level of an instinct, then it would be irrational by that definition, but I still argue that there is a logical reason for why we developed it and still need it, more than ever.
What is really irrational is what many theists would call 'love', when what they describe tends to be the opposites, or other emotions that tend to conflict dramatically, jealousy, hate, fear, these are the emotions they preach, they just call them 'love'. They even claim that the Abrahamic god says he isn't just a jealous god, but his name IS 'Jealous' [Exodus 34:14], that is kind of opposed to love, it certainly blocks it and prevents it. Saying that a jealous god, named Jealous, is a god of love, now that is irrational.
Love is a rational, and necessary part of our survival, what they have done to it, is a perversion of language ...many languages in fact.
It turns out that emotions are more central to our minds than we thought 20 years ago. We humans generally make decisions with our emotions, and then we use our rational minds to invent plausible reasons for our decisions. That's why a scientist and a creationist can talk right past each other. Creationism and other issues are matters of tribal identity, who's in the tribe and who's out. That's why reasoned debate is worse than pointless in terms of informing or moderating public opinion. It's also how a very intelligent person can be totally wrong about something they have strong emotions toward, such as their religion. So yes, the intelligent believer is using their intelligence for one of its adaptive purposes, namely self-justification.