Why are Atheists Generally Smarter Than Religious People?

Because smart people believe dumb things.

By William M Briggs Published on June 7, 2017

A couple of academics just asked the question, “Why is Intelligence Negatively Associated with Religiousness?”

“The answer,” one report says, “is that religion is an instinct, and it takes intelligence to overcome an instinct.”

That’s odd, because it was just three weeks ago we read that brain damage caused religious fundamentalism. So which is it? Instinct or brain damage?

It’s Science!

The authors of the new study, Edward Dutton and Dimitri Van der Linden, are pleased to start their work by saying, “It was widely remarked upon in Classical Greece and Rome that ‘fools’ tended to be religious while the ‘wise’ were skeptics.” But they unwisely forget that Rome’s greatest poet Virgil in Georgics wrote, “Above all, worship the gods.” And Plato had Timaeus say, “All men, Socrates, who have any degree of right feeling, at the beginning of every enterprise, whether small or great, always call upon God.” Let us do the same.

Dutton and Dimitri Van der Linden think “a solution to understanding the negative religion-intelligence nexus” lies in evolutionary theory.

If religion is an evolved domain, then it is an instinct and intelligence — in rationally solving problems — can be understood as involving overcoming instinct and being intellectually curious and thus open to non-instinctive possibilities.

Now Dutton and Van der Linden have no proof of this. It is just a hypothesis, full of ifs, supposeds, conjectures, maybes. Worse, it commits the Religion Research Fallacy. As I wrote three weeks back:

It is an old argument, but a good one: If the brain [through evolution] causes our thoughts, then it cannot be trusted. For what guarantee is there that if it misleads us in one area it’s not misleading us in another? There is none. If the brain causes false religious beliefs, it could also cause false science beliefs. And there’s no way to tell the difference.

Dutton and Van der Linden call their theory the “Intelligence-Mismatch Association Model.” But they didn’t consider an even simpler theory about religion and intelligence. I call it the Smart People Believe Dumb Things theory. It goes like this.

Some Smart Guys

Know who was a smart guy? Jean Jacques Rousseau. Dude really had a wigged head on his shoulders. Everybody said, “That Jolly Jean Jacques is sharp as the blade of a guillotine.”

Know what he said? “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.”

Tumultuous applause still greets that line every time it’s heard, even though it’s preposterously false. Set a baby down and leave it be. See how “free” it is. Rousseau’s claim along with many of his other sayings are so contrary to common observation that they could only be the product of a brilliant mind.

Know how intelligent Mao Zedong was? Boy, was that man’s mind keen! Every Western visitor remarked on the number of books Mao possessed. And he read them! He used to make notes in the margins to have “arguments” with the authors.

All that reading swelled to magnificent proportion his little gray cells. One intelligent man. And, let’s face it, it takes a genius to slaughter tens of millions and still come out smelling sweet.

Mao did not love God. Rousseau wasn’t too enamored, either. Neither Stalin. Nor Marx.

None of these guys were dumb. But each of them, like many others of high intellect, rejected the simplest and truest and plainest argument there is. That God exists.

Some Really Smart Guys

On the other hand, the biggest, brawniest brains of all time — stuffed in the craniums of men like Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Newton, Mozart, Shakespeare — all knew on which side of the Great Metaphysical Question to bet.

Go to any Western university. What will you find? People of above-average intelligence. Compare their IQs with folks in ordinary professions like cleaners, farmers, delivery men, Stream authors. There will be many individual exceptions, but, on average, it won’t even be a contest.

Some Smart-Dumb folks

Besides folks of above-average intelligence, know what you’ll also find? Idiots. And lots of them. Intelligent people who believe some of the dumbest, most ridiculous theories ever concocted. So outrageously crackpot are these ideas that any inmate in any medieval lunatic asylum would have been too embarrassed to even whisper them.

I don’t just mean preposterosities (you heard me: preposterosities) like intersectionality and gender theory, but all manner of sour thinking about the nature of man, truth and God. There is no need to rehearse the list of insanities. You already know many of them. And of those you have not heard, you’re better off not knowing.

Now take a simple man unburdened by a great intellect, but possessed of a simple faith. He might also believe what is false, especially on matters with little bearing on him, or where he has no influence. That this man holds his faith is often not because he was convinced by argument, but because it was taught to him. It was part of his culture. Believing was the default thing for him to do.

That doesn’t make it wrong. Indeed, it makes it right when the object of that faith is true. And this man, though not as intelligent as, say, a tenured academic atheist feminist philosopher, has a better chance of living a decent life and meeting a better ultimate fate.

The Best Theory

These are only two simple examples, but they have well known analogues all throughout human history. It’s only because atheism is now fashionable, and just as much a matter of culture as Christianity used to be, that we have people searching for theories to explain what is plain.

What conclusion, then, can we draw? This: It generally takes somebody smart to believe something really dumb.

And since “the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” — it is clear it takes little effort to believe what is true.

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  • Hannah

    Not entirely related perhaps, but the “Intelligence-Mismatch Association Model’s” acronym spells out IMAM. Guess which side of the intellect fence I live on. :3

    But no, really, I’d argue that what makes religion – particularly Christianity so unappealing to the “smart” is that it boils down to having a child-like faith and not relying on your own wisdom. The Gospel message’s sole requirement is to say “Jesus is Lord” (oversimplified, but y’all get what I mean), and that is so hard for so many. I’ve been saved since I was 8 years old (I’m 24 now) but I’ve been a Christ-follower for only 7 years; it takes dying daily to remind myself that my own works and wisdom cannot save me – only He can, and He has. I’ve been gifted labels like “stupid”, “bigot”, and “prejudiced” over the years, but in the end, it’s not about me anyway. Those words hurt but the Holy Spirit soothes my soul with words like “beautiful”, “cherished”, and “redeemed”.

    It’s all about Him, no matter how hard you try to make it about you. He’s eternal and you’re finite. We will all bow to Him in the end, but I bow willingly because He first loved me.

    • Andrew Mason

      While it is a generalisation, could it not be that smart people believe they’re the pinacle of evolution whilst ‘stupid’ people know they need the help of Someone far greater than they are? Of course this is a generalisation – as Briggs said, so called smart people do some very very stupid things, and there are some very very smart Christians.

    • I grew up an atheist (well, more an agnostic) and a liberal. I probably qualified as pretty smart. In fact, I was so darn smart, that I and my liberal friends were convinced we were smarter than all previous generations who had so thoroughly messed up the world. I became both a conservative and a Christian when I “wised up.” I first realized that there were a lot of dead white guys (and others) who were smarter and wiser than me and that I could learn from them. Then I realized that God was “smarter and wiser” than all.

      Although I’m not convinced that smart people are more likely to be atheists, I am convinced that people who THINK they are smart are more likely to be atheists. Atheists certainly keep telling me how smart they are and how stupid I am.

      • Wayne Cook

        A notable intellectual was Dr Francis Schaeffer…the father of Frankie. Good note you wrote

  • Mrs. Phillips

    My father was the most intelligent man I ever knew on a personal level. He was the first to tell me about the Big Bang theory and neither one of us knew that this might be compatible with Jewish and/or Christian faith (as was suggested by Pope John Paul) in later years. His teaching and views caused me to question my conversion experience. I was out of fellowship with a local church for a few years as a result.

    • Wayne Cook

      I went through that same thing at college, and a Christian one at that. Had nothing to do with the teaching. It was me all the way.

  • Craig Roberts

    If you seriously believe that you’re descended from monkeys you’re probably super smart. And you are (compared to your great great great great great etc etc ….grandparents).

    • Ye Olde Statistician

      Smarter than a lump of clay, at any rate.

      • Craig Roberts

        Hey! That’s not a descendent. It’s just raw materials. Without the breath of life we’d still be dumb as clay.

  • Patmos

    The Holy Ghost more or less obliterates the intellect of man. That being said, I do not believe for a second that God wants us to leave our brains behind when dealing with faith, quite the contrary. Nor do I believe that people should abandon the scientific process, because if anything the power of The Holy Spirit enhances worldly learning as it affords people a clarity unencumbered by fear, distraction, or self profiteering or self promotion.

    And again, there’s no getting past The Holy Spirit, and the reams of testimony we have to support him. For those that question his existence and sit around all pouty waiting for proof, why do you think it’s called faith? Ya big dummy!

  • PilgrimGirl

    It isn’t what you know. It’s Who you know.

  • GPS Daddy

    Intelligence has little to do with knowing God exists or knowing one’s “state” before God. It’s a heart issue.

  • Gary

    Being right with God has little to do with intelligence. I thank God that He put me around Bible believers from my youth. I was convinced early in life that the God of the Bible is the real God and that Jesus Christ came to earth to pay for my sins and enable me, and all believers, to have peace with God. Atheists and other unbelievers are in a pitiful situation. One breath away from eternity without God and without hope. I get angry with such people sometimes, but they really are in a sad condition.

  • kgh111861

    It’s even simpler than that: hubris. The “intelligent” simply think they’re too smart to believe in God.

    • Ken Abbott

      That’s typically the justification advanced, that (to them) God’s existence is illogical or irrational or unproven and therefore unacceptable to a mind governed by reason. But the real problem is that they don’t want God to exist, for if he does they will be accountable to him and they simply cannot stand that. In their unrighteousness-their rejection of God’s ways–they suppress the truth and try to make it into a lie that they can reject.

  • almostnotcatholic

    As one philosopher told me once, “Behind unbelief is always the desire to sleep with thy neighbor’s wife.” Moreover, the existence of something rather than nothing is a profound metaphysical fact which can be abstracted from any sense experience. “Smart” people don’t believe in God more because of the poverty of modern education. They have knowledge about the stars but not the wisdom of what is right in front of them.

  • Jason Baker

    Three reasons I think “smart” people reject God:

    They can not accept there is a being greater than themselves.

    They can not accept the sin in their lives for what it is, they do not want to let go of that sin. We all struggle with this, daily. Some refuse to let go of any of their sin. They are their own master.

    We, as proclaimed followers of Jesus, fall woefully short of being Christ like.

    • The “sin nature” concept I teach my grand kids is your ego. Any decision, or choice that you make, if it please your ego, it is wrong choice or action. The difficult part is having to explain to them, what is ego?

      • Jason Baker

        That is tough because ego is defined as ,”a persons sense of self esteem or self importance. ” one has to have a healthy self esteem and importance, because obviously we are important to God. If not he would not have sent his son to die in our place for sin. I don’t know the answer. It is kind of like pride. We should have pride in our work and accomplishments while giving credit to God for giving us the ability to to achieve those things. I try to always ask myself, is what I am doing, saying or accomplishing honoring God? If it may not be or is not, I need to re-evaluate. Tough question you asked!

        • The most disturbing behavior I observe, and used to perform: speaking or doing things where the intention is to raise your self esteem… by putting others down. We seem to think it is easier to diminish others than it is to see our self as better than, or more ‘succesful’ than the target of our disdain. For me, the best tool is to become truly humble. It is a frequent battle. It’s easier to say nothing than it is to harness your tongue.

          • Jason Baker

            You are right. Best to just be humble and keep quiet. Usually turns out better. Something I am still working on! Have a blessed day!

  • None of this old man’s experience show up in the story. 1) The more formal education one received, less common sense results. 2)One sad trait that PHD persons ‘learn’ is that all ‘studies’ (required to earn your PHD) should come from sources with good credentials. First one should be a PHD (Dr.). I find that the more detail I learn about nature and it’s “alive’ components, the more ridiculous it becomes to deny that “The Force” is real and Intelligent design so impressive, complex and multi-faceted, none of us can comprehend it in context.
    Last years before I retired from IBM 1998, I had a tag line, “The more I learn, the dumber I feel”

    • Wayne Cook

      Darn well said.

    • Faith of Our Fathers

      Same here am no PHD but the older one gets the less we seem to know,it’s called life experience. I remember arguing with my Father when I was about 20 . He said to me my problem was that I thought I knew it all . I replied “I don’t think I know it all ,I know I know it all “. What an inexperienced idiot I was .

      • Dean Bruckner

        Mark Twain wrote that from the time he was 18 to the time when he was 25, he was surprised how much his father had learned!

      • Dee Bee

        Inexperienced Yet Idiot is curable by passage of time, but not Intellectual Yet Idiot

  • Wayne Cook

    I grew up in Wycliffe Bible Translators, where 80% of our members were linguists with a minimum of a Master’s degrees, and most held a Phd, including Dr Kenneth Pike, a board member of several world think tanks.

    Fortunately, I aslo rubbed shouldes with pilots, aircraft mechanics, electronics engineers, community planners, etc…the mean average of accomplishment on our mission center was a BS working on a Master’s and every single Master’s were laboring toward a Phd.

    Having established the credentials of the group with whom I was surrounded, I had asked the same question, being a skeptic from the time I passed 15. Why do atheists have such arrogant attitudes toward Christians. The answer was back then…and from what I read today, most could care less today to understand or learn about faith. They mock so they don’t have to listen.

    • Faith of Our Fathers

      Wayne you obviously worked in a more intelligent World than myself,but you came up with what I always found. I to worked in Engineering which of course sometimes was dangerous. The most arrogant and Dangerous Men to work with were the ” I know it all Guys ” one of whom nearly blew me up but wasn’t even interested in the mistake he made ,of course once he was faced with the sack it became a different story. I would like also to hear folks ideas on onse to intelligent for their own good . Stephen Hawking to me comes into that category. Obviously I have no doubt that the man has a brilliant Brain ,but if I God Forbid would have been in Stephens position regarding Motor Nuerones disease I would have used my Brain to try and find a cure rather than look at Black Holes 400Million Light Years away. Also I believe that so called lots of Genuises are so much more intelligent than ordinary Humans and won’t believe in God because they think that they are God .

      • Wayne Cook

        Hawkings failing was not his mind, but the learned fact that he was smarter than most of the world around him became a snare…I wonder many times if his pride brought on the illness.

        The day he broadcast his opinion about the start of the universe on Discovery Channel, it wasn’t 12 hours when several of his friends told us that Hawking had a number of errors in his math…he would never acknowledge that he’d manipulated the formulas to support his contention that there was no need for God creation or Big Bang.

        To intentionally try to get wrong equations past colleagues to “prove” your point is the penultimate of arrogance. I haven’t listened to him since. Bruce Lipton is far more approachable and quite brilliant in his own place.

        • Faith of Our Fathers

          Wayne it was actually the same a few years Back when he was challenged about energy could never escape from a Black Hole . Now obviously am no Scientist but I know what Gravity is and also a Vacuum. Now to be fixated on something 400Light Years away one needs a goal and Stephens was money of which he made plenty on the books he Published. Now he got into an argument as I can recall with another Physicist who said that energy could escape from a Black Hole . Stephens answer to him was ” well maybe yes and maybe no “. I have nothing but admiration for the man the way he doesn’t seem to let his illness drag him down. But as I said before if I had had the same Brain as him and the same health circumstances ad have been using my intelligence to try and find a cure.

  • You know, no matter how many acronyms a person has marleying about behind them, I doubt, extremely doubt, that any of them has ever written a functional stretch of computer code by rolling dice. No. They had to plan it. They had to lay it out. They had to intelligently design it for it to work. Biology is fraught, through and through, with computer code, computer code that works better and on far more levels simultaneously than any super-smart human could ever hope to accomplish. Yet they are dumb enough to claim, “It all just happened.” Like Dr. Lennox has been recorded saying, “Evolution is a fairy story for people afraid of the light.”

  • It’s also worth noting that God acts sovereignly, and He never set forth an intelligence test for entering His Kingdom. Be thankful He didn’t. Who would want Heaven to look like the university’s faculty lounge?

    • Wayne Cook

      Touche…and that’s where the rubber meets the pavement, Tom. And the humility test is profound.

    • Hannah

      See also: Peter and Paul. Two very different men, one perhaps more “intelligent”, but both are considered titans of Scripture.

    • Ken Abbott

      “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.'” (1 Corinthians 1:26-30)

    • Paul Duca

      Who wants it to look like one of its frat houses…or the White House Cabinet room?

  • Zmirak

    I think it may be a Bell Curve thing: More super-geniuses, and more unlettered peasants, believe in God. A lot of slightly above average people shrug. Some pretty bright people unaware of their own limits come up with crank atheist cosmogonies. I’ve never met an atheist I couldn’t argue into the ground. Not at Yale and not in my Ph.D. program. Not in print or in public life.

    • QuestionMark666

      “I’ve never met an atheist I couldn’t argue into the ground.” – I’ve read your articles, I seriously doubt that.

      • As I was saying…

        Considering all you (as well as your kind in general) can do is sneer, you cannot argue at all.

        So he is correct by default because you cannot compete.

  • bbb

    There is a difference between intelligent or smart and sly or clever.
    I have known many street criminals who were very clever but when it came to actual application of intelligence to problem-solving-thinking they are very dim.
    Those who claim to be atheists or agnostics seem to have the same underlying commitment to reject any ideals or religion that have anything to do with sin.
    Do intelligent atheists sin? Do intelligent Christians sin? Does water run downhill? Same answer to all three questions.

    • QuestionMark666

      Atheists break laws but they cannot sin because for us there is no such thing as “Sin” in a biblical sense.

      • Dee Bee

        So you are asserting that atheists follow no morals, just laws?

        • QuestionMark666

          Atheists have no unifying moral code, we have only one thing in common, we are deity-free. Beyond that it is up to each individual to chose their own versions of right and wrong, for them, at any given time and space. I am sure my “morals” are far looser than most.

          • As I was saying…

            You worship your egos, you also worship the government and the devil. So your “deity-free” comment is absurd.

            You, nor any other of your sneering pagan kind have any foundation for anything resembling “morals,” right, or wrong. You show this when you claim truth doesn’t exist, and reality is dependant on your ego.

            With that, it is clear your religion is gnosticism.

          • QuestionMark666

            THere is only one unifying characteristic of atheists, they have no supernatural deity, no magical, mythical superhero sky daddy to obey. The devil is one of the beings from your anthology of legends of desert tribe. Hardly anything an atheist would follow, although we do sometimes use the idea to expose the absurdity of your cartoon Jesus.

          • As I was saying…

            “atheism” is a neo-gnosticism religion created by feuerbach (the mentor of marx and neitzche). Your claimed pagan religion has a very specific creed that your kind accepts and promotes without question.

            You all seem to be recruited into this devil worshipping religion when you think denying God will make your guilt caused by sin to go away. Also, it is usually sexual sin that prompts this delusion of yours.

            The devil is the leader of the demons, and is your object of worship because you apparently think damning your soul will give you power while still alive. What you don’t know (shades of lenin’s “useful idiots”) is that the devil only seeks your destruction and eternal suffering.

      • As I was saying…

        sin is division from God. You do that evil to yourself daily.

  • Charles Burge

    A lot of good points already, but so far nobody has pointed out the obvious. Within the past 50 to 100 years, American universities have become infiltrated with Marxists and Marxist ideology. People who enter college without a firm Christian foundation already in place will not be equipped to challenge the indoctrination they will surely face.

  • PalaceGuard

    I ave a rosary. And an IQ of 180. Neither of which would I willingly relinquish. The savants are idiots.

    • QuestionMark666

      I believe the rosary part…

      • Dee Bee

        So just pretending to be a non-believer? BTW is that 666 bit your IQ with the decimal dropped off?

        • QuestionMark666

          I believe the rosary part… Of his comment – I believe the commenter has a rosary, not that I have faith in the power of such an icon of superstition. I questioned the IQ. Poor reading comprehension.

          • As I was saying…

            That is because fools (like yourself and other despairing occultists) are not capable of understanding the intelligent.

            The rosary is the most powerful and most important prayer in existence.

          • QuestionMark666

            Replace ‘prayer’ with ‘spell’, it’s all superstition.

          • As I was saying…

            A prayer is connecting yourself to God. Prayer is also only prompted by God Himself coming to you.

            “spells” (which you devil worshippers seem to be fond of) are you trying to get power by worshipping demons. I will tell you that demons have no power and they are just tricking you into damnation.

          • QuestionMark666

            No difference still

          • As I was saying…

            Only in your diseased mind. I imagine you are into the occult so this is your mental gymnastics to try to convince yourself your mortal sins are somehow virtuous.

            Prayer is prompted by God and is the greatest thing you could ever do. Do you not ever feel the need to pray?

            All of the occult is devil worship, no matter the kind. “spells” are feeble attempts at getting power from demons (who hilariously have no power at all).

            I already have this Ven. Fulton Sheen quote in my clipboard, and it applies, so I might as well post it:
            “Very few people believe in the devil these days, which suits the devil very well. He is always helping to circulate the news of his own death. The essence of God is existence, and He defines Himself as: ‘I am Who am.’ The essence of the devil is the lie, and he defines himself as: ‘I am who am not.’ Satan has very little trouble with those who do not believe in him; they are already on his side.”

          • QuestionMark666

            Occult, the devil, satan and all that bunk is just like your religion, based in foolish superstitions. Atheists are far less likely to be interested n occult than the religious as the religious have already agreed to suspend rational thought.

          • As I was saying…

            You have no foundation for being rational (and display that).

            You are also a devil worshipper. Why do you spend every waking moment of your life worshipping what you claim doesn’t exist? I suppose the quote I posted earlier answers my question.

            Days of your sophistry is enough to see this isn’t going anywhere. I will block you and wipe your dust from my feet.

          • QuestionMark666

            How can an atheist be a devil worshipper as that is just the flip side of Christianity?

  • AndRebecca

    V.I. Lenin had a different take on the subject. He stated western Christians, particularly W.A.S.P.s and the tribes related to them, were the smartest people in the world. And, if anyone thought about it, who could come up with the systems and inventions in the West, certainly not Eastern white people or anyone else. So then, someone asked him, if they are so smart then why do they believe in Jesus? Lenin said it was because they are delusional…when the Left isn’t calling them other derogatory things, they call Christians stupid. Marxism is a reaction to Western Christianity and Marxists are the most vocal atheists around today.

  • Florence Erlenmeyer

    I want to know more about the Preposterosterus. Obviously not a beast that can be housebroken, since it leaves its preposterosities all over the place…

  • Dean Bruckner

    Dr. Briggs,
    This is the best set of comments I’ve read anywhere in a long time! That the local help (Gibson, Zmirak) came by to comment makes it even better. Thanks for opening the shop for us. This place really is becoming a community.
    Best regards, Dean

  • Dean Bruckner

    I find it telling that climate alarmists, when confronted with the shaky foundations of their faith in the false God of Nature, often revert to something like, “I’ll bet you’re one of those evolution deniers too!” And they would be right.

    But it’s eerie…it’s like they know deep down evolution is false and feel reflexively compelled, by fear and guilt and the rebellious heart that we all had, I believe, to shore up that Big Lie too, lest reality break out. I then double down and say, “Particles-to-people evolution through natural selection acting on random mutation not only did not happen, but it could not have happened.”

    That usually triggers the final insult: science denier. I name the false god of Scientism, and that’s all their thinker can usually hold, or all the world view dissonance they are willing to tolerate.

    But all that is nothing without love, so I pray for them too.

    • QuestionMark666

      Nothing like be proud of one’s ignorance is there? Than mankind does not fill understand its origins does not make mythology a rational explanation.

      • Dean Bruckner

        Unless you posit a rational creator, you got nothing–no reason, no reliability of the senses or your intellect, nothing. You are stealing rationality from God and are lying about it.

      • Ye Olde Statistician

        Nothing like being proud of one’s ignorance is there?

        Of course, it was Socrates who was quoted as saying, “I know nothing except the fact of my own ignorance,” and Socrates was generally accounted a wise person. He knew that you did not begin an inquiry from a host of preconceptions. And the famous skeptic, Descartes, famously began by doubting all knowledge save the fact of his own existence.

        But why should a myth provide a rational explanation? That is not the purpose of myth. That’s like complaining that haute cuisine does not provide sonata-allegro. The purpose of a rational explanation is to provide comfort against the cold winds of uncertainty until it is superseded by the next rational explanation.

        Mr. Bruckner is incorrect if he claims that “evolution” is wrong. It may be vacuous, but it is not wrong. Just as “climate change” is not wrong. One thing that climates do over the eons is change; and one thing that living things do over the eons is change. Try ascribing planetary positions to “location change” and you will see that you have explained nothing. You have simply re-descrived the explanandum.

      • As I was saying…

        We understand our origins just fine. You just think this weak, poorly disguised devil worship of yours will help you forget about your immense sin.

        • QuestionMark666

          The concept of ‘sin’ is all part of your superstition. To be bothered by something that doesn’t exist would be a manifestation of some sort of delusional state, a psychological condition found in the devotees of Christian cults.

          • As I was saying…

            sin is division from God. mortal sin is spiritual death.

            What you are practicing here is despair (a mortal sin on and of itself). You are accusing innocent people of what you are guilty of while pretending you are innocent. It is also a favored political tactic of the marxists (marx’ mentor was the creator of “atheism” after all).

  • QuestionMark666

    As we gain intelligence we see through the myths, legends and superstitions used to support a supernatural explanation of existence and a world guided by a divine superhero.

    The fact is America is a nation of Nones, no religion and no interest in faith. They self-define as heritage Christians still but the commands of the various ects don’t guide their lives

    • Dean Bruckner

      Your faith in reliable perception, intellect and reason in a random, purposeless universe is misplaced, and empty. You got nothing.

    • As I was saying…

      What you really mean is that you (and the other pagans) are ashamed over your sin and think denying God will make your guilt be forgotten.

      Clearly your despiration to troll comment sections with bland rhetoric shows your plan does not work.

      • QuestionMark666

        Troll? From a bloke who’s commenting on a months old thread?
        Shame about what? that is silly at a new level.

        • As I was saying…

          I don’t much care about what sin you committed that caused your shame, but it certainly mattered a lot to you if you were silly enough to think it was worthy of running from God over it.

          You are a troll because you realized denying God didn’t work in absolving you of guilt, so you attack Christians hoping to do the same.

  • Tom Rath

    The premise of the question is reversed from what it should be, in my opinion.

  • Why are Atheists smarter than religious people? Maybe it has to do with living in the REAL world, rather than relying on an imaginary world of angels and demons and gods and prophecies.

    • Ken Abbott

      BZZZTTT! Oh, so sorry, that’s an invalid answer, but thanks for playing the Epistemology Game! We have some lovely door prizes for you, though.

    • Dean Bruckner

      We’ll see, won’t we? Please don’t test God as you are doing. Repent from your sins while there is still time!

  • davidrev17

    “At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Matthew 11:25-27)

    “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-4)

    “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the experts. Where is the philosopher? Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish? For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of the message preached. For the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-23)

    “Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, in order that those who do not see, will see, and those who do see will become blind.” Some of the Pharisees [i.e., ultra-smart folk] who were with Him, heard these things and asked Him, “We aren’t blind too, are we?” “If you were blind,” Jesus told them, “you wouldn’t have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see’—your sin remains.” (John 9:39-41)

    ☆ ☆ ☆

    I’m so glad that I’m basically dumber than a “box-of-rocks”; because at least now “I can see”…since the Holy “Spirit of Truth” Himself has lovingly, graciously, compassionately and mercifully opened my [spiritual] eyes.

  • Correlation is not causation. No one can make himself smarter by suddenly becoming an atheist.

    Oh and individualist Protestant Christians (post-Luther, post-Calvin) invented Modern Civilization. Atheists never gave mankind any civilization much less one that would rival Modern Civilization.

    Without Protestant Christians, mankind would not have modern civilization. Mankind would still be living under Medieval Civilization, aka Roman Catholic Church Civilization. Atheist would have done nothing still.

    • As I was saying…

      Modern “protestant civilization” as you put it is just the progenitor to communism. Nothing of value in your heresy.

      • Individual Protestantism has nothing to with communism. Individual Protestantism gave mankind capitalism.

        You’re seem daft.

        Good luck!

        • As I was saying…

          That was quick.

          capitalism is just communism applied to business, dear neocon. Well, that is the description of your style of capitalism.

          protestant heresy is just the early prototype for communism.

          Actual free market capitalism (which you neocons abhor) was created by the Church.

  • Alexander Trotsky

    Silly argument made here. Thevsuthor hss it inverted. Religion is belief in humans not evolving, talking snakes, wood boats in floods covering Mt. Everest, Tower of Babel, parting of the sea, walking on water, virgin births, zombie resurrections, etc. Only a moron would believe in any of those myth stories. Biology, chemistry, cosmology, and physics explain how and why the Universe is in existence. Galaxy IC 1101 has 100 trillion stars. Our galaxy has 300 billion stars. It appears most stars have planets in the habital zone for carbon based life. Religion is designed for just our planet and species. It was designed prior to a real understanding of the Universe by iron age nomads. The Big bang occured. Evolution is a fact. The evidence is as certain as 2+2=4. That said, here is why theists are very important to 21st civilization. A nation of too many intelligent atheists is doomed for the following reasons: intelligent atheists have far less children than theists and they do not keep a society structured and organizable by a common belief or set of values. Atheists are absolutely anti-social and take up what is called novel evolutionary functions that do not likely benefit the trajectory of society. This means they exhibit counter-instinctive behavior to general society, especially in the area of reproduction. It is ironic that 98% of the National Academy of Science members are atheists, the very people we want to instinctively reproduce and lead the charge into the 21st century, but for the same structural reasons Rome collapsed, it does not work: intelligent wealthy citizens did not reproduce in Rome, lowering the overall IQ of that society. Therefore, theists are literally the glue that holds together and defines the base of a functioning society. Atheists are the narrow group that plots its intellectual course. Religion is only in existence today for this very reason: Religion provides the social control functions necessary to define amd hold together a functioning society. So counter to instincts, a large pool of atheists in a closed society very probably will reduce intelligence of that society over time by reducing the birth rate to 0 or negative (as is the case of Japan’s population growth rate crisis that will cause a collapse of Japanese society over the next 100 years as they have a steady negative growth rate). Atheism has this same effect on population. So you theists need to keep believing, going church, and having kids. We need theists to hold society together. They just cannot lead it on the frontiers .

  • Jeffrey Paul Bradt

    “If the brain causes false religious beliefs, it could also cause false science beliefs.”

    That’s why we have peer review in science in which scientists try to disprove others’ and their own theories rather than, as in religion, claiming unwarranted certainty.

    Religion: “I feel it in my heart so I know it’s true.”

    Science: “I don’t know absolutely, but the research indicates it. I don’t claim to know all the answers.”

    Atheism: “I look at it judiciously: for lack of credible evidence, I dismiss the claim that a god exists.”

    Which ones seem more intelligent?

    • As I was saying…

      Your “atheism” is just you denying God because you have wronged Him. It was a religion began by marx’s mentor to modernize gnosticism.

      The “science” you worship is just paganism with a different name. Nothing scientific about your other modernist religion.

      So basically you are just a pagan sneering at a bad strawman of Christianity because of shame over your past actions. Hardly notable.

      • Jeffrey Paul Bradt

        My friend, atheism has been around for thousands of years, I would argue. In any case, Marx’s mentor certainly did not invent it.

        • As I was saying…

          It has been around since the early 1800’s.

          The term was adopted by feuerbach to describe your religion when he created it.

          • Jeffrey Paul Bradt

            The term in English may have been invented in the 1800s, but atheism has been around a lot longer.
            Also, anyone who calls atheism a religion is either trying to spin it to sound just as bad as religion, or is just plain mistaken. If it’s the former, at least you are complicitly agreeing that religion is or at least can be bad.

          • As I was saying…

            atheism is the name of a very specific religion that you belong to. The use of the name in the past is meaningless, as we are both talking about the proper name of an organization.

      • Jeffrey Paul Bradt

        Do you know what a Pagan is? Look it up from other than a religious source and you will see the non-biased, non-propagandized definition that people who know about it use.

        I have not mentioned Christianity in this conversation, so obviously I am not “sneering at a bad strawman of Christianity.”

        You need to calm down about all this.

        • As I was saying…

          A pagan worships demons. Usually because they are deluded into thinking that gives them “power.” Something I imagine you are complicit in.

          Your kind is always sneering at a strawmen of your parents because you know you disappoint them.

      • Jeffrey Paul Bradt

        You sound like a broken record, and you tire me. Good day.

        • As I was saying…

          You have yet to present an argument.

  • Jeffrey Paul Bradt

    ON AVERAGE we may be smarter, but having thought about the title of this article, it sounds pretty unfair.

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