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?

Tags: believer, exception, faith, religion

Views: 503

Replies to This Discussion

Your cousin is probably religious for social purposes. I was brought up by parents who believed but fell into this category nevertheless, which takes a bit of dissimulation. It was this hypocrisy which, in part, drove me away. Once I left home for college, I pretty much knew religion was bullshit.

So somebody lacks the character to be true to his own convictions? Is there truly a separation between intelligence and character? If somebody is scared for their entire lives about hell and not going to heaven, so scared that they could never have the courage to take a stand for logic, is that separable from being an idiot? If somebody lacks the intellectual courage to question, then what kind of intellect do they have? If somebody is satisfied that they did "question" their beliefs in the ways they had rehearsed in Christian apologetics class, and they don't ever have an internal compass directing them to step out of that box, then isn't this simply a specific explanation of the mechanism of their stupidity?

I think that what allows many religious people to attain PhDs, is a combination of good memory and a specific skill.

There are some that have good memory and good skills in a particular area like mathematics, i.e. there are autistic kids that have incredible mathematical skills, or can remember thousands of names, but can't figure out how to cross the street without getting hit by a car. 

The thing that is part of the equation, and many fail to include; is emotions.  You may be smart, but if you have emotional issues, i.e. emotionally weak, you are bound to believe in crazy stuff.

Intelligence can be measured as our ability to solve problems.  Religion is obviously an emotionally charged problem and therefore although a subject can be smart in nonemotional problems, they may fall apart at those that are emotionally charged.

So intelligence is just one part of what I see as three components that allow someone to be "all they can be".  Atheists are emotionally stronger, and studies show that they have a higher IQ, so if you compare apples to apples, I think most religious people are a bit lower in IQ, but their weakest link, is their emotional state.

This would explain it's so difficult to separate god from religious people, because it's an emotional and not a rational decision and it is also why Stephen Hawkins stated that religion is for those who are afraid of the dark.

This is a great remark. I totally agree with you.

Let me bring up an issue. We have now identified specific ways in which a believer is intellectually weak. These are emotionally-charged challenges to their logical rationality. Does this lend support to my original theory? Similarly emotionally charged arguments will fool believers. Like, "You won a 1 million euro international lottery" or Zig Ziglar-type motivational bunk. So the inaccuracies that were involved in leading them to believe in God and religion persist, and will lead them to think irrationally about other things in the future.

So the solution might be very complex indeed, because how are you going to tell these people who are emotionally compromised that they need help?  Have you seen muslims cutting themselves with machetes in the head to prove their loyalty to Allah?   Crazy!  Most insane people don't realize they are insane, so this would apply.

Sounds like the world has a ways to go before it grows up and as with most teenagers, we might end up dead before we make it to maturity.

The future is in the balance, and as Einstein said, the world is evil because of people that do nothing against evil.

Sam Harris argued that the Muslims are the most challenged. It has a lot to do with the daily prayer routine. Once you get somebody used to that nonsense -- stone age sun worship since facing east is always facing the rising sun somewhere -- you are a lot more difficult to wean. And if you believe that you will be transported to Paradise if you die a martyr -- these are things that are hard to kick.

One of my abstract algebra professors at Caltech was R.P. Dilworth.  He specialized in lattice theory and proved Dilworth's theorem.

He was also a Christian. 

I think that it is also that certain higher achieving persons begin to view themselves as something special.  Combine that feeling with a lifetime of being led to believe that Homo sapiens are somehow special in some "grand order of things" and it becomes difficult or impossible for even the most brilliant of such a group to accept that they could simply cease to exist, i.e., they're simply a higher functioning piece of meat.  Thus, their ego blocks logic in favor of the soul and god thing.

Kind of like the above comment by Dorian about emotional fortitude. Emotions can affect your ability to think critically.

Yes, that goes with what I stated, it's an (ego) emotional issue.  It clouds their minds and they can't think straight.  That extra 5 points of IQ might be what allows atheist to jump over that type of block-aids in most cases.

Are you really calling people like Francis Collins an idiot?

Yes.

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