Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Question of the Day #62: Atheist = Intelligent?

I recently read Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. In the book, I found this interesting quote:

"Ninety-nine percent of everything that goes on in most Christian churches has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual religion. Intelligent people all notice this sooner or later, and they conclude that the entire one hundred percent is bullshit, which is why atheism is connected with being intelligent in people's minds."

What do you think of this observation?

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At 9/07/2006 5:56 PM, Blogger Hellbound Alleee declaimed...

I don't know, but I think that atheists are thought of as logical people who don't believe in miracles. Cold, heartless logic=atheists, cold, heartless logic=intelligent. Believing in God is warm, loving and requires no intelligence. Nice and cute retarded people can be strong christians, and make very compliant congregants. Atheists are unfeeling, etc etc.

At 9/07/2006 10:40 PM, Blogger Vic declaimed...

Sounds about right to me. A big factor of what we call intelligence is the desire to question what we 'know', put it under scrutiny to see if we can improve our knowledge. And, as millennia of philosophical exercises have shown, theism doesn't stand up to that kind of heat.

At 9/08/2006 4:38 AM, Blogger Frank Walton declaimed...

I think it's stupid.

At 9/08/2006 5:33 AM, Blogger Samuel Luke Johnston declaimed...

This is nonsense! Atheists are stupid because they do things that will send them to hell. To read the truth about atheists, click here:

And for some decent Christian intellectual reckoning, just visit


At 9/08/2006 8:31 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

You don't have to be intelligent to notice that religion is bullshit.

You also don't have to be intelligent to be an atheist.

For the majority of apostates, the path out of religion has been one marked by intense intellectual scrutiny, which is why this correlation is made in the popular mind. However, many believers consider themselves intelligent for remaining faithful. The real question is: what does it mean to be "intelligent?"

At 9/08/2006 10:46 AM, Blogger olly declaimed...

"This is nonsense! Atheists are stupid because they do things that will send them to hell."

Prove to me there is a hell, and I will admit that I'm stupid. Here's one for you though: Theists are stupid because they believe in contradictions and unprovable assertions; theists are stupid because they believe that by wasting this life, they'll be better off in some etheral 'next life'.

Anyway, to be more serious, I think Zach has the right of it: what exactly do we mean by intelligence? I think a more accurate statement would be "Atheists are more rational" but is rationality the only form of intelligence we recognize?


At 9/08/2006 2:55 PM, Blogger Brucker declaimed...

I think the quote was very insightful, but then, I think Alleee's response has some great merit as well. I think a lot of atheists are former Christians, and the way they got that way was from a weekly knee-deep wading in bullshit in the church their parents made them go to. It may be that I'm just biased because that's about how I left Judaism.

The thing is, it's unavoidable. While I wouldn't go so far as to say 99% has "nothing whatsoever" to do with Christianity, I'm confident that even in your better churches, you're looking at somewhere around half of what goes on being largely "fluff".

A church that spent more than that amount sitting around studying deeper subjects of theology would be confusing and boring for probably 70-90% of the population. However, there exists a portion of the population that really wants that sort of thing, and if they can't get it in church, they may assume that the church just doesn't have it. So they "wise up" and become atheists.

On the other hand, when one consideres atheists without thought to their background, the reverse is true, while it sounds a lot more like how Alleee put it. Even a deeply dedicated believer might think, "So-and-so is far too busy thinking deep thoughts and philosophizing to bother with the sort of fluff that makes my church experience fun."

When I got to that quote fairly early in the book, I found myself wondering if Stephenson was a Christian, but I said to myself, "This book is far too good to have been written by a Christian!" : )

At 9/08/2006 8:12 PM, Blogger breakerslion declaimed...

Some of my best friends are deeply religious. Their belief means so much to them, that I do not have the heart to argue, or attempt to explain to them where this dependency originated.

I love them, and I take them as I find them. I keep the opinion that they are used and broken to myself. Is this cold? Is this unfeeling?

SLJ: I have said this many times. Anyone who tells you that they are about to tell you the truth is attempting to prejudice your judgment. Anyone who attempts to prejudice your judgment is about to lie to you. The lie need not be material, but it is at least a lie of omission of contrary evidence. In other words, stating semi, or non-supported opinion as fact. Welcome to the Bullshit Club asshole.

frank walton: Stupid is as stupid does. If you pray for rain in Northeast Texas, and the rain doesn't come, it's somehow your fault, right? If your neighbor in New Orleans was drowned, they were either unworthy of having their prayers answered, or your god wanted them for some reason, and called them up to Heabum. Your god is made of Teflon. You are a stupid douche.

At 9/09/2006 6:23 PM, Blogger Vic declaimed...

Frank Walton said...

I think it's stupid.

Since when did medulla-originated flagellations around the patella constitute 'thought'?



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