Author Topic: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist  (Read 2380 times)

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Offline bgb

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I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« on: March 28, 2012, 09:50:00 PM »
Sometimes I think I'm not smart enough to be an atheist. I can't debate a christian using reason and logic.  Can't tell the difference between lies and fallacies. Don't understand 90% or more about the sciences. All claims make sense to me. Everything goes right on by. The only thing I got going for me is reality.

If a god existed you'd think He could do a better job then our existence.  The creation story is so funny.  God can't beat iron chariots? The whole earth was flooded? Jonah in a big fish belly?  Jesus feeding a large crowd with fish and a loaf of bread?  Just thinking about it makes me laugh.  Maybe that's it.  Thinking about the stories.  Seeing the conflict with the stories and reality. They are just stories. That I know for sure.

So what do I do or say when asked about my afterlife.  I can smile knowing I don't have to worry about one. I'll stay in the universe and continue.  I will always be a part of this universe not somewhere supernaturally. Nice to know I have an ending.  I won't be judged.  Talk about peace and freedom.

So there it is.  This is the most I've ever wrote here before.  It's not rocket science but makes sense to me.

I'll keep staying in the background.  Making little comments and jokes. Reading your replies and trying to learn.

Someday's are better than others.  Today has been a good day.
The whole point of science is that most of it is uncertain. That's why science is exciting--because we don't know. Science is all about things we don't understand. The public, of course, imagines science is just a set of facts. But it's not.  Freeman Dyson

Offline Dante

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 09:55:24 PM »
The parts that make you chuckle? That IS reason and logic kicking in.
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline atheola

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 11:15:12 PM »
Don't feel bad.. I get huge gaps in memory so my debate skills suck and I know it.. it's partially genetics, partly life style. BUT I know what makes sense and what doesn't. I'm more apt to tell people to piss off when confronted with religion..My policy: I don't know, it might be so, but it sure sounds mighty queer. Tell your jokes to other folks, don't bring your bullshit here. ;D
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Offline BaalServant

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2012, 11:28:13 PM »
If a god existed you'd think He could do a better job then our existence.  The creation story is so funny.  God can't beat iron chariots? The whole earth was flooded? Jonah in a big fish belly?  Jesus feeding a large crowd with fish and a loaf of bread?  Just thinking about it makes me laugh.  Maybe that's it.  Thinking about the stories.  Seeing the conflict with the stories and reality. They are just stories. That I know for sure.

You sound smart enough to me.
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Offline BustaBrown54

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 08:45:11 AM »
Once you stop taking bible stories seriously, you have become a rational person and rationality doesnt mean you have to be extremely intelligent but rather you know what is real and what's complete and utter bullshit. I am definately not "Albert Einstein" smart, but when someone proclaims something as ridiculious as some of the bible stories as true I know theyre delusional and I just treat them like any other crazy nut-job.
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Offline Samuelxcs

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2012, 08:46:21 AM »
You do not need to be smart to be an atheist, you just need to see reality.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 08:51:23 AM »
Sometimes I think I'm not smart enough to be an atheist. I can't debate a christian using reason and logic.  Can't tell the difference between lies and fallacies. Don't understand 90% or more about the sciences. All claims make sense to me. Everything goes right on by. The only thing I got going for me is reality.
  As has been said, you seem more than smart enough to be an atheist.  And indeed, there are atheists who aren't very smart at all, they just arrived at the same conclusion smart people did.  They still can be utterly clueless about many other things.  Hell, I don't know a damn thing about how to fix a diesel engine or how to crochet.  But I like a good discussion so I use my talents that way.
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Offline Avatar Of Belial

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2012, 09:18:34 AM »
If a god existed you'd think He could do a better job then our existence.  The creation story is so funny.  God can't beat iron chariots? The whole earth was flooded? Jonah in a big fish belly?  Jesus feeding a large crowd with fish and a loaf of bread?  Just thinking about it makes me laugh.

Words of wisdom. :)
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2012, 09:44:09 AM »
While, yes there is a corelation between education and intellect and atheism, what you've got to realize what religion is:

A delusion


That's it. The Emperors Clothes. The little boy could tell the Emperor had none.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline Traveler

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2012, 09:57:27 AM »
When I was living out west I met a man with only a 3rd grade education. A very simple man, living in a primitive cabin. He was (and still is) an atheist. A less intellectual man would be hard to find, but he had a heart of gold, and an ability to perceive absurdities. I'm proud to call him my friend.
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Offline bgb

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2012, 10:07:53 AM »
Thanks guys. I love this site and have learned a lot.
The whole point of science is that most of it is uncertain. That's why science is exciting--because we don't know. Science is all about things we don't understand. The public, of course, imagines science is just a set of facts. But it's not.  Freeman Dyson

Offline atheola

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2012, 10:21:49 AM »
I couldn't remember my old username here even though it's tattooed on my arm.. Yep, YOU'RE A GENIUS!  :D
You better believe it's not butter or you'll burn in hell forever and EVER!
Get on your knees right now and thank GOD for not being real!

Offline Jag

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2012, 06:18:34 PM »
bgb, I'm new here (at least to actually participating) and I understand how you feel. It really is kind of intimidating - this place is populated with some extremely smart people. I don't consider myself to be anything other than intelligent, but I'm perfectly content to just watch and learn from those who have been at this for a while. I enjoy the central topic, I'm also realizing improvements in my own thinking just by following some of the really involved threads from beginning to end. Paying attention to the points being made, and looking to see why they hold up, is making me better at reasoning for myself. I'm not anywhere near as quick to find the logical flaws - I see them, but I can't necessarily explain why the logic doesn't work. Once I connect the dots (figure out what is in response to what), I can reason through it, and although I'm not ready to jump in yet, I might be eventually. Recognizing reality is enough for now. And that may never change.

In the meantime, this is a pretty fun place to be. I'll never be a scholar, or a great debater, but I can contribute in some fashion. Even if it's only to say "they intimidate me a little bit too" so you know you're not the only one  ;)
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2012, 07:56:32 PM »
I can't argue using the formal logic and philosophy that some folks here have. When threads get into that I have to just skip them. And I have zero grasp of physics and astronomy. But I do have basic science knowledge, including social science. I have some knowledge about how things are in different countries. And a big dose of what used to be called mother-wit, the ability to cut through bullsh!t and get to the real point.

The strange thing is, I'm baffled when I meet people way smarter than me who are religious. I can't figure that out. I'm like, you speak four languages and have a doctorate in some really hard subject, and still believe that the invisible man cured your cancer? I have a colleague like that--he is a pleasant guy, and a math professor, but he's a strict fundy Xian who believes in spare the rod, spoil the child. :P
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline kindred

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2012, 09:14:25 PM »
Isn't the OP right? The majority of people belive in one religion or the other. This means that atheism is on the opposition. It matters not which side is right, only which side is "better" for the situation as a whole and from what I gather there are still lots of idiots(average people) out there that will benefit far more from the emotional crutch of being religious than actually learning to use the rational brain to improve the situation rather than contenting oneself with it.

The only way for the opposition to beat the government side of a debate is to propose a counter-argument and so far, atheism has no counter to the social pressures that come from religion that allow humanity to function.
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Offline atheola

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2012, 09:23:33 PM »
This is the confessional for people that don't feel the grand need to indulge in 40 page debates... I blame original sin personally.  ;D
You better believe it's not butter or you'll burn in hell forever and EVER!
Get on your knees right now and thank GOD for not being real!

Online jaimehlers

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2012, 09:44:51 PM »
I think it's important to note the flip side of that statement, namely, it's possible to be smart and be a theist.  Intelligence by itself is no guarantee of anything.  In fact, in a number of respects, it can be its own trap.  Intelligent people tend to fill in the details of something they believe much more thoroughly, with the result that they end up enmeshed in it much more tightly.  And because of that, it's not always possible to break them loose of it.

Offline Zankuu

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2012, 09:59:48 PM »
bgb: the worst candidate for the Dunning-Kruger effect.
Leave nothing to chance. Overlook nothing. Combine contradictory observations. Allow yourself enough time. -Hippocrates of Cos

Offline atheola

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2012, 10:18:24 PM »
I've done WAY MORE than my share of barstool sitting talking to holy rollers to drunk and stupid to pour piss out of a boot with instructions stamped on the heel. They'll cheat on spouses and anyone else in their lives, steal granny's grocery money for booze and dope and they know EVERYTHING there is to know or ever will be to know. I've been in fights with them, had my own ass beat within an inch of my life a few times and on and on...They're 100 times dumber than pond scum and I am here to tell everyone here you're a LOT smarter than you give yourself credit.
By the way, I gave up that bullshit 10 years ago. I'll probably never get those brain cells back, but I'll never leave another on the bar room floor. &)
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2012, 10:26:55 PM »
I've been giving the OP some thought and I came to this conclusion.

If you're smart enough to be an atheist then you're smart enough to be an atheist. End of story.

What other major philosophical issues can I fix for you guys?  ;D
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Offline atheola

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2012, 10:44:34 PM »
I think you pretty much nailed it PP.. Now who's gonna light the campfire? I'm in the mood for me some Kumbya!
You better believe it's not butter or you'll burn in hell forever and EVER!
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Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2012, 04:17:46 AM »
Sometimes I think I'm not smart enough to be an atheist. I can't debate a christian using reason and logic.
I would have to agree with ParkingPlaces, in that if you are, in fact, an atheist, you must be smart enough to be one. We also find it difficult to debate Christians using reason and logic, the two things are just so sharply divorced from their worldview that they often seem to have no effect other than to elicit a lot of defensive preaching as well as lots of fallacies.

I was watching a debate recently between William Lane Craig and Christopher Hitchens. From what  I understand, WLC is considered to be a difficult Christian to debate. I was open to this possibility. However, after watching the debate, it became clear to me that the reason that he is "effective" at debating is that he is so stubborn, deceitful, and ignorant, yet does it with a tasteful sort of grace and eloquence, like a skilled preacher giving a good sermon. WLC actually challenged Hitch's claim that the word "atheist" means "not a theist" in the same way that "asexual" means "not sexual", as if this had never occurred to him before. How can anyone have a rational argument or possibly "win" against somehow who is so willingly dishonest and manipulative? It's not possible. It's not due to a lack of skill on our side, it's due to a lack of sense on the other. I would postulate that the only reason that WLC is a "successful" debater is that he caters it to an ignorant, believing audience and preys upon their lack of knowledge to make himself look like a genius. I couldn't help thinking, the whole time that I was watching the debate: "This guy is a con, a fraud, and he's good at it, and he knows it, and he exploits it." I could be wrong, but I REALLY got that impression.

Also, some people are just not skilled at debating. There is that possibility. I guess the larger point is that even someone as devastating in a debate as Christopher Hitchens can get frustrated and annoyed with the deceptive tactics and BS of the opposition. Myself, I am much more lacking in confidence in vocal speech as opposed to the written word. Much less comfortable for me face to Yet, in a written medium I can do rather well. Perhaps you just have not found your niche in this area yet?

Best advice I could give is read the posts here, read as much as you can, and keep a link to The Bible Gateway and The Skeptics Annotated Bible bookmarked in an easy to find place. They come in handy.
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Offline grant

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2012, 06:05:06 AM »
There's all sorts of "smart". The types of "smart" list could go on and on.

Being an atheist doesn't need "smart" in the context of "I can do hard sums" or "I can use big words", it's the knowing that bullshit is bullshit no matter how you wrap it.

Any correlation between a high IQ and the knowledge that god is fake is further bullshit. We ALL know Santa doesn't exist - how much of a genius did you have to be to work that one out?

Don't stress bgb, in my opinion you've got to be pretty dumb to not work it out. So that puts you in the top 20% of "smart" people straight away.
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Offline Whateverman

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2012, 06:55:12 AM »
In regards to the OP, I think you're conflating several things and calling them "atheist".

There will always be people who are better (re. more knowledgeable) than you or I at various things: debate, philosophy, mathematics, historical theology, science, etc.  I know of several people here who much better at most of those things than I am.  It's a humbling experience, and it's one of the reasons I like hanging around these forums.

However, you should recognize that many of the WWGHA members enjoy theological debate.  Even if they haven't been formally trained, just spending time talking about a subject makes you knowledgeable about it.  A Christian who spent lots of time talking/debating with atheists here would eventually (if they're honest) appear just as smart.

There's no IQ requirement for being an atheist.  Just be willing to learn from the people you talk to, whatever your (non)religion, and someone will eventually think you're just as much of a role model, too.
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Offline Tero

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2012, 08:35:19 AM »
For many years, since the age of 16, I was not a believer of any Bible type of religion. However, it is a strong meme. I run into people who come from my background and they all hang on to a "something". It is as if they believe they are too pessimistic if they give up the "hope" of all the good stuff religion promises.

I have all the fundamentalists to  thank for getting me to look at things a little closer. I had some science background and the texts were not too hard. So there is really no physical evidence for god.

My kids went through teenage years where like 90% of their friends were church attending folks. So I had them spend some time with Unitarians to find out what religion was. I attended a few sermons. The first pastor was OK, his dad was an atheist physicist. He had a personal crisis, ths son, that made him pick a career to deal with "spiritual" things. Emotions.

It took then the last 10 years for me to make the final leap of faith. There is only this material world. Enjoy it.

[To the opening post: I was smart enough to understand all of it at all times, and it still took this long]

Offline orpat

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2012, 07:27:54 AM »
Sometimes I think I'm not smart enough to be an atheist.

Sounds like me. I think i'm not smart enough to be either an atheist or a theist.

I lost to a theist friend  on a debate once(actually I had almost won it, but finally he said something which hit me.)It made me reconsider my atheistic worldview.
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Offline Turbo SS

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2012, 08:02:11 AM »
Sometimes I think I'm not smart enough to be an atheist. I can't debate a christian using reason and logic.  Can't tell the difference between lies and fallacies. Don't understand 90% or more about the sciences. All claims make sense to me. Everything goes right on by. The only thing I got going for me is reality.
  As has been said, you seem more than smart enough to be an atheist.  And indeed, there are atheists who aren't very smart at all, they just arrived at the same conclusion smart people did.  They still can be utterly clueless about many other things.  Hell, I don't know a damn thing about how to fix a diesel engine or how to crochet.  But I like a good discussion so I use my talents that way.

Oh good finally something I know more about than you  :P

Offline velkyn

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2012, 09:26:47 AM »
well, turbo, I can hold your light for seeing in the engine (spent many a Saturday doing that for my dad).

and orpat, what was this thing that your friend said?
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Offline orpat

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Re: I'm not smart enough to be an atheist
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2012, 09:07:29 AM »
and orpat, what was this thing that your friend said?

Something about looking at the positive
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