16th November 2012

“There is some reason within the Christian tradition to think that Christian believers should, on average, be less intelligent, or at least less well-educated, than their opponents. Before atheists get too exited by this, it isn't an admission that Christians are naturally stupid, though no doubt some will choose to read it that way.”

Nick Spencer

6 Responses to “16th November 2012”

  1. Kittie Says:

    How about morally weaker. They need an overseer to behave and I don’t

  2. Dan Says:

    On average, this is correct. Religiosity correlates negatively with education level. Of course there are outliers, but that doesn’t change the fact that to be religious you have to have at least one area of critical thinking in which you are blind.

  3. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    When you outliers are William Lane Craig you aren’t really talking about an intellectual.

    Gullibility, intellectual sloth, and haste easily lead many to believe more of some people than is due.

    I find all too often that the smart religious person bears more in common with a charlatan than an academic.

  4. Jeff Says:

    Whoa folks, let’s climb down off of those high horses and think for just a minute.

    Kittie, the moral weakness of which you speak is a learned response. If you are told from childhood that someone has a morally superior position that all you have to do is learn it and you’ll be alright, then why would you waste brain power figuring out differently? That is neither intellectual laziness nor stupid, it’s just the way humans function. It is far easier to learn something from someone else than it is to reason it out on our own, and everyone here knows it. The fact that they are reasoning from false premises doesn’t become apparent until one begins to question the premise, and that is the step that most are unable to take.

    Just on a bet, I’d say the average IQ around here is somewhere in the 125 range, and that’s more than 1.5 standard deviations above the mean. This is an exceptionally bright crowd, and you can’t hold it against most people that they aren’t exceptional.

    Sinjin, they are only charlatans if they have questioned those premises, found them wanting, yet go on teaching the results of reasoning from them. I do not believe that this applies to the vast bulk of those who either study or teach theology.

  5. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Jeff, I do believe that the vast bulk who have studied and/or taught theology and claim truth in it are charlatans.

    Robert M. Price being an example of an honest theologian. He has written many books for the audience of skeptics, doubters, and non-theists.

    If we include clergy with theologians, and draw upon the likes of Richard Duane “Rick” Warren, pastor of the Saddleback megachurch then I think we all recognize the point I was making.

    How many Rick Warren’s could anyone name: Jerry Falwell, Ernest Angely, Creflo A. Dollar, Jim Baker, Robert Schuller, Billy Graham, Kenneth Copeland, et cetera.

    These slimeballs live lavish lives taking advantage of tens of thousands of intellectual sloths each. They actively manipulate tax advantages to prop up a rich lifestyle http://www.insideedition.com/investigative/2502-inside-edition-investigates-tv-ministers-lifestyles

    Study or teach? Few theologians like Robert Price I’ll exempt from my statement. But for the wide vareity of clergy and their flocks: Charlatans and morons mostly.

  6. Jeff Says:

    Sinjin, I doubt that you and I can ever come to agreement on this matter, but I would point out that you are generalizing from an extremely limited sample. The televangelists whom you cite, while they are, in general, charlatans of the sort which you condemn, are also an extremely small sample of those who have (if they have – some haven’t) studied theology. For each such example there are thousands who have truly studied without questioning the central premise (the existence of God) for they truly believe that to be a fact beyond question.

    The reason that I continue to try to get you to acknowledge that latter category is that the first are charlatans not because they’ve questioned and found the premise wanting – they are charlatans because it does not matter to them what the answer is, only that they can make money from the belief of others. As to the second category, they are, for the most part, good people who truly believe that they are serving the interests of their flock.