I Ain't the Smartest - Can I Still Be a Athiest?

Often times I'm so blown away by the vast amount of knowledge, as well as the think-on-your-feet abilities that so many members have on this website that I'm reluctant to participate in many of the debates and discussions that I see here.
It's still great to be able to ask a question that I think might be too obscure or contradictory and find so many people who've seen it before and know what to say.
But at other times it can be very intimidating and humiliating to be pointed out as someone who should know better about something or "just doesn't get it"
So, I guess what I'm saying is: "Please take it easy on us (hopefully, I'm not the only one), we're here to learn and we need a safe place to turn for help."

P.S. I misspelled "atheist" on purpose.

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Comment by Little Name Atheist on August 2, 2009 at 3:10pm
Klaus Motan wrote: We´re not here to learn, we´re here, `cause we are, what we are : we all don´t believe in god, or better in the existence of any god, that´s what keeps us together here.

Right on, Klaus! I keep telling people this is a social networking site. Everything else is gravy.
Comment by Klaus Motan on August 2, 2009 at 2:56pm
We´re not here to learn, we´re here, `cause we are, what we are : we all don´t believe in god, or better in the existence of any god, that´s what keeps us together here. You are, who and what you are, and that makes you unique, you should be proud of this...
You´ve studied biologics, and on my Opinion no one "lack of brains" could have done this, so, if someone tries to outsmart you, just don´t care...
look at me, I´m a truckdriver and my english is not the best, I´d like to say, and maybe some people are smarter, more sophisticated or more "up to" than me, but does this fact hinder me in being me ?
Comment by Little Name Atheist on June 6, 2009 at 8:11pm
Resolved: That Brenda's hat is tres cool!
Comment by Angie Jackson on June 6, 2009 at 6:15pm
I think for some of us higher IQ atheists, especially if we've recently come out of fundamentalism, this is the first place we've been ABLE to ask questions, tout knowledge, or not have to apologize for being smart. That said, IQ is nothing without a good personality :) My IRL friends run the gammut from sweet and sincere stoners, old Christian rockers (I swear), high school drop out stay-at-home moms, and everything in between. People have lots of things to offer, and it would be really boring if we were all the same. (I think the world would be bitchy as hell if it was full of little Mes everywhere.)

Also, you're not the only one who feels this way. I'm a recovering creationist. Less then 16 months ago I actually believed that two of every animal fit inside one boat for 40 days. Rather embarrassing, really. We learn as we go, all at our own pace, and in the topics that interest us most. That way, no one has to learn everything, but we can all use the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of each other to live happier lives.
Comment by Brenda on June 6, 2009 at 6:03pm
I really have no desire to debate anyone. Avoid it if possible. Theists can live in their little fantasy world, and I'll live in reality. Don't ask me to convert anyone. Don't ask me to defend atheism.
Comment by NH Baritone on May 21, 2009 at 9:43am
Of course you can be an atheist.

But in an entirely separate question: Can you hold your own in a debate?

In college dormitories around the country (and probably the world), debate on contentious issues occurs several times daily. Each participant must be prepared and articulate on the issues at hand to gain an upper hand. The students will participate in a similar competitive process at scientific & philosophical conferences once they graduate and enter professional life. This is considered a component of a quality liberal arts education.

Notice when you have wandered into a discussion that emulates these debates. You are not required to nonchalantly refute the Transcendental Argument for God or to accurately explain why the last 12 verses of Marks' Gospel were not in the original in order to be an atheist. But be grateful, because this kind of counter-apologetic work helps keep Christians from being SO certain of their beliefs that they feel entitled to impose them on the rest of us.

And always remember: The only thing needed to be an atheist is a lack of belief in god(s).
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on May 20, 2009 at 2:41am
The whole point of this site is to provide networking support and an educational resource for atheists. Noone can be expected to have all the answers to anything and people who are new to atheistic ideas and debates obviously need time to learn and consider the very many issues involved. Personally, apart from AN, and the atheist debates on Myspace, I've found the most useful resource is the "Point of Inquiry" podcast in which interviewer, DJ Grothe, although an atheist, plays the devil's advocate and asks the hard questions. If people put you down because of your lack of knowledge in any area, don't worry - is says more about them than you.
Comment by unholyroller on May 19, 2009 at 11:02pm
Oh thank bob.....I thought I was the only one!
Comment by Little Name Atheist on May 19, 2009 at 10:29pm
If you get kicked out of the club, Cowpunk, and EVOLUTION101 follows you out the door, then I'm leaving too. I'm not interested in being part of any elitist clubs.
Comment by Mark Johnston on May 19, 2009 at 9:12pm
A heart-felt "amen" to your post. This has been gnawing at me for a while also. Every religion is full of followers with only a vague understanding of the major points of doctrine. I don't know why we feel compelled to know everything about atheism (and everything about every religion). Especially since we consider atheism the appropriate "default" position - if you don't know anything, atheism still fits.

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