What is wrong with everyone (Theists), is it a lack of intelligence?

24 posts / 0 new
Last post
John L's picture
What is wrong with everyone (Theists), is it a lack of intelligence?

How can a reasonable intelligent person not immediately come to the obvious conclusion that God is not a real thing. You can believe that there are invisible things that you cannot explain but to believe in something that is obviously untrue by its very nature it proves itself untrue seems to me to be very unintelligent. Studying and going to school does not make people intelligent, true intelligence , I believe is in your genetics. I'm sorry but that assessment seems true. I may love and respect people in my life who are religious, but I can't help but not see them as reasonably intelligent. It is very very unlikely my opinion will ever change.

Subscription Note: 

Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.

Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.

Sky Pilot's picture
John L,


Nyarlathotep's picture
Probably the smartest person

Probably the smartest person I know personally is a Catholic "brother".

Oh course he doesn't try to prove god exists; and has a disdain for people who do.

John L's picture
First, I am not talking about

First, I am not talking about people who pretend to believe. And I don't think someone is intelligent based on a perseption of intelligence. I judge people on if they subscribe to something that it obviously false. Then the real truth beyond there perceived intelligence tells the real truth of them not being intelligent

Sky Pilot's picture
First, I am not talking about


Grinseed's picture
"Then the real truth beyond

"Then the real truth beyond there perceived intelligence tells the real truth of them not being intelligent."

When it comes to believing in things like the supernatural, its usually more about fear and comfort, rather than intelligence. It might have more to do with how an individual's brain functions at any given point in time of that person's life, driven by their needs and expectations etc. rather than a need to objectively know and understand reality.
I was once a devout christian, now I am not. My experience shows me my thinking changed over the time of my deconversion, but I cant say if it was because I became more intelligent, I don't think I am.

What I now consider was my irrational fear of death, anchored more in ego than reason, was replaced by my rational acceptance of my mortality, but I do not believe this means I am now more intelligent.

My Christadelphian brother, since joining his brethren, has furthered his abilities in electronics by designing and making original digital circuitry for specific industrial process requirements. I can't do any of what he does and I don't believe in his god, so how is either of our intelligences measured then?
Atheism and theism can not be deemed measures of intelligence.

edited for clarity

John L's picture
Judging someones intelligence

Judging someones intelligence by spelling or grammar doesn't make sense, especially when someone is typing quickly on their phone. And going to school to memorize things doesn't make you intelligent. I could miss type things all day with bad grammar and that says nothing about whether I could run circles around you in business or any other endeavor. I am very successful and have my own business that was started from scratch, and it's one of many. So save your stupid comments. You know nothing about me, and have no idea what I've accomplished in my life. My points are absolutely valid without question. If atheism is the result of logic, then it is a measure of intelligence. And if your believing something that is obviously false because it makes you feel comfortable, then that is a sign of an unintelligent person. You think you can educate me, your wrong. It is me who can educate you, but it's not worth my time. I was under the impression that most people arrived at the conclusion there is no god from reasonable deduction, but am now convinced it is clearly not the case.


Attach Image/Video?: 

Sky Pilot's picture
John L,


Grinseed's picture
Logic is not the ultimate

Logic is not the ultimate answer to everyone's questions about life. Logic is a rigid discipline that does not allow the flexibility that can cover all aspects of human experience. We are not exclusively rational beings and not all decisions about living and relationships can be directed by logic. I know some Jesuit priests that apply formal and rigid logic to their faith and its very hard to argue theism or life with them.

Atheism is not necessarily the result of logic. Some people I know never grew up with influences of theism. They are atheists because they have had next to no meaningful exposure to any religion. They've never been indoctrinated. That's not the result of logic, but of experience. They are confounded as to why theists believe what they do, and they themselves don't feel the need to explain why they do not have faith in a god because they have had no investment in the concept. My own deconversion was more a matter of experience and intuition, rather than rock hard scientific formulated black and white logic, simply because I lost faith in believing anything as being a fact.

My Christadelphian electronics wizard of a brother can't spell to save his life and his handwriting looks like chicken scrawl but he still built his own successful business from his natural genius, and yet he still sees his god as a reality.

No-one claimed to think they could educate you. You made that perfectly obvious from your OP, "It is very, very, unlikely my opinion will ever change." However you asked a question, you got responses but now your last sentence reads, "I was under the impression that most people arrived at the conclusion there is no god from reasonable deduction, but am now convinced it is clearly not the case." So your opinion in this case changed, and that's a good thing, we should always be open to new ideas, otherwise we risk becoming as closed minded as the god-fearing dogma-hugging theists themselves.

Cognostic's picture
@John L: "How can a

@John L: "How can a reasonable intelligent person not immediately come to the obvious conclusion that God is not a real thing."

FIRST: No reasonably intelligent person believes in the god you are asserting "no reasonably intelligent person would believe in." Reasonably intelligent people create reasonably intelligent gods. Then they believe in those invisible things and intelligence has nothing to do with it.
(EDIT: THIS WAS NOT CLEAR - You are defining the god and asserting it is unreasonable to believe in it. Reasonable and intelligent people do not believe in that unreasonable god you have constructed in your mind. They have constructed a different god in their minds. The god they have in their mind appears reasonable and intelligent to them. Most reasonable and intelligent people would agree with you. The god you have in your mind is unreasonable and unintelligent. (This is why it is always best to get those reasonable and intelligent people to define their god prior to discussing it.)

SECOND: Reason and logic is simply set aside for the "spiritual." It does not matter that this concept is not supported by logic or reason. It is supported by human concepts of love, poetry, religion, popularity and the simple assertion that there is something about a human being that is eternal. NOTHING LOGICAL ABOUT ANY OF IT.

THIRD: So, while logic and reason are set aside for this special belief system. It does not follow that these people are unintelligent. They have simply set aside critical thinking and reason and do not critically examine this thing they call "spiritual."

William B. Hurlbut: bioethicist and consulting professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University Medical Center. He served for eight years on the President's Council on Bioethics and is nationally known for his advocacy of Altered Nuclear Transfer (ANT). He is a Christian of no denomination and did three years of post-doctoral study in theology and medical ethics at Stanford

Andrew Pinsent (born 1966): Catholic priest, is the Research Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion at the University of Oxford.

Francis Collins
Francis Collins (b. 1950) is a geneticist recognized for completing, on behalf of the United States government, the map of the human genome (this project, more than a decade in the making, was completed in April 2003). He is best known in the popular literature for his book The Language of God (Free Press, 2006).

Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître, RAS Associate was a Belgian Roman Catholic priest ... Lemaître also proposed what became known as the "Big Bang theory" of the creation of the universe, originally calling it the "hypothesis of the ...

*Belief in God or gods requires the suspension of rationality and skepticism in the area of "god" or "spirituality." While this may appear quite ignorant to the skeptic, it has nothing what so ever to do with the intelligence of the believer. If it were actually related to intelligence, we would be able to intelligently point out the faults in the belief system and put an end to religion.

dogalmighty's picture
So, basically, why do certain

So, basically, why do certain humans innate ability to reason the preponderance of evidence to define truth, fail? Lack of knowledge, which is not defined by intellect in this case, and from significant cognitive dissonance supported by others who believe likewise.

In Spirit's picture
@John L

@John L

John L
Have you ever seen successful business minded people who know how to make lots of money go to a casino and not apply their business skills to it? Having worked in one years ago I asked them why they don't apply their business skills at a casino. Their response was that they did not want to think business after work. They went there for entertainment and letting go after work. Not logical, never the less reality? DEFINING ...BUSINESS SKILLS applicable to a casino...this is what I mean..... keeping track of losses and profits to see whether it is a good investment or not. They don't want to think business at a casino. They throw logic away. They throw rational thinking away....and yet they are intelligent enough to run very successful business. Sometimes logic is a choice that we all discard at times.

When I let go of religions I don't recall using logic to get out of it. I had reached a point in my life where I was miserable and lost faith in religions. My emotions and experiences were so powerful that I couldn't deny them and so drifted away. I did not look for answers that disproved religion. I was just done with it: reached the end of my rope. Emotions and experiences can be just as powerful and lead us to the same conclusion as logic can.

I have never seen a more appropriate response by using one word.


"They have simply set aside critical thinking and reason and do not critically examine this thing they call "spiritual."

Excellent !! Your statement reminded me of some casino players. Your statement can be applied to many aspects of life.

Cognostic's picture
@In Spirit

@In Spirit
Casino analogy is an excellent analogy. I supplement my income by playing poker. I love the people that are in the casino just to try their luck or have fun. I never play table games or carnival games. I might take a tug on the giant 7 million dollar slot machine, but only one and I have never won on that. Casinos are certainly another place where most people set aside all logic and reason. (I do that when I am killing time playing KENO. Yep, I buy an occasional KENO card. FUCK I AM AS STUPID AS THE REST OF THEM. But what if I win? HA HA HA HA HA ... What could the odds possibly be? I KNOW THE FUCKING ODDS AND I BUY THOSE DAMN CARDS ANYWAY. )

dogalmighty's picture
Casino's exist in reality...a

Casino's exist in reality...a god does not.

Nyarlathotep's picture
I have some friends who play

I have some friends who play poker for a living. They go from casino to casino, looking for weak players to fleece. They say the best time is when large conventions are in town.

Cognostic's picture
YEP! That is the way it is

YEP! That is the way it is done. Never sit at a table where you are the worst player. If you are put at a table with rocks, get a table change as quickly as possible. Choosing the right table is how the real money is made.

LogicFTW's picture
This is where you can make

This is where you can make money "gambling."

You don't play the house you play the other players. The house always has the advantage, but in card games where you are playing other players you may gain advantage on them and profit.

I know I am not a good poker player. (Sure I can count a 52 card deck and beat kids with obvious tells easily.) But what is the point in that? it just shows I am better at abusing advantages then a kid or someone new to the game that did not take the time to learn how to win.

I remember reading early reports about the Las Vegas mass shooter and how he "made" money successfully gambling at large casinos slot machines/computers.

I knew that was a lie right off, and sure enough, later it came out the guy over the years at least 100's of thousands doing his "winning" formula of beating the machines. To me this reminded me yet again of the human condition where we are so capable of deluding ourselves and only looking at confirmation bias on whatever we want to believe/do.

I ran a gas station when I was a teenager, sold lots of lottery and scratch off tickets.

The scratch tickets were always more interesting to me, because I could see the whole process oftentimes played out right in front of me. I could see/sense the excitement when they bought, their careful selection of which particular scratch ticket. Some could not even wait to get back to their car and would start playing right there in the tiny gas station store. I could see their face fall slightly at each non winning ticket, but remain hopeful until the very last ticket scratched off, If they bought enough they usually won a few free additional "tries." Occasionally I see that they win 20 bucks or less, some excitement, not in winning, but at the ability to buy more tickets to win "big." After they spent their money, their free tickets and any small winnings on yet more tickets that did not win, I see their crushing disappointment which they try to hide, and quickly forget about, a routine they are all to used too and blur together. Sure I probably sold some 100+ dollar winning tickets (gas station could not pay out or accept winning tickets over $100.) But I never saw a winner over 50 bucks personally and I sold many thousands of tickets. I know out of the 10's of thousands of tickets that gas station sold the 6 months or so while I worked there, it never sold any winner that paid out over 1000 dollars, (as the gas station owners would actually get a small prize for selling the winning ticket over 1000 dollars.) But I did see 10's of thousands of dollars go into the system just on my shifts.

Most gambling, especially lottery/scratch off, is mostly a harmless little game to pass idle time for a bit of amusement for those that spend less than 20 bucks a year on it, but for those that do more, its an addiction/tax on those that do not understand odds and how they work.

Sapporo's picture
It would be wrong to

It would be wrong to determine whether or not something is correct based on the level of intelligence of those who believe.

Calilasseia's picture
I would posit at this

I would posit at this juncture, that a proper measure of intelligence, is given by the quality of the questions one asks, and the effort exerted to provide rigorous answers to those questions.

In short, intelligence is frequently signified by clarity of ideas.

It isn't just supernaturalists that fail in this regard, though the observational data points to their failures being of a particularly spectacular variety.

Asking the question "Does a god type entity exist?" doesn't make one a fool by definition. Assuming that a mythology answers that question, for no other reason than said mythology contains assertions presented as purportedly containing answers, on the other hand, points to some serious deficits in reasoning. Deficits that are compounded by adherents of mythologies, when they refuse even to contemplate the possibility of candidates for the role other than the candidates contained in said mythologies.

As an example of the sort of contemplation that I have never seen emanate from any supernaturalist, I'll engage in a little self-promotion (though for entirely sincere reasons), and point to this recent post of mine. I don't claim this to constitute an answer to the question, merely an interesting alternative approach thereto, but if developments in physics take the relevant turns, this alternative could be far more relevant than any supernaturalist will ever be willing to admit.

With respect to the aforementioned spectacular failures of supernaturalists, one serious cause thereof, is their annoying tendency to abuse the rules of discourse in egregious manner, because they mistakenly think that said rules of discourse allow them to concoct rhetorical spells for conjuring their favourite mythological magic men into existence. They also mistakenly think that propositional logic validates premises, not conclusions - in short, their approach to logic is completely backwards - and also mistakenly think that the purpose of discourse is to confirm presuppositions, instead of destroying them.

In Spirit's picture


I read your "this recent post of mine" and enjoyed it very much.

Have you ever thought of writing a synopsis and sending it to someone in Hollywood. It would make a great film.

mattfulkerson's picture
So my dad invented autofocus

So my dad invented autofocus (the first implementation in integrated circuits) and is very smart and very religious. I, however, am less religious (after studying physics in grad school and realizing how improbable that a conscious being created such a complex and large universe), but not more intelligent. After all, I suck at gardening, hunting, fishing, and wood working.

Religions are very successful from an evolutionary perspective, and even if you believe they are full of shit, they are to be respected for that reason. I, myself, have migrated to a Unitarian community, to continue to search for answers to unanswerable questions.

mattfulkerson's picture
In "Sapiens: A brief history

In "Sapiens: A brief history of mankind", Yuval Noah Harari discusses imagined realities such as currency, capitalism, and religion. Through belief in such imagined realities, homo sapiens accomplishes things that cannot otherwise be accomplished, for better or worse.

In the immediate future, we need to imagine how we can defeat global warming. Mitigation is not sufficient because after the passage of additional time mitigation=defeat. We must figure out how to reimagine our economic systems (e.g. social capitalism) to rise to this challenge.

LogicFTW's picture
@Matt Fulkerson

@Matt Fulkerson
Part of the issue with global warming is you have a lot of people out there that believe one way or another it does not really matter because their god/religion will save them or judgement day or god won't allow it to happen etc etc.

I would say in this case, (climate change,) religion is more in the way then helpful.

I am a generally happy/optimistic guy. But I am actually quite pessimistic about climate change in the long term. I don't think humans will change their fossil fuel addiction in a meaningful enough way in time to avert some of the worse of climate change. I strongly suspect the planet will not be able to sustain the 10 billion + people that are likely to be alive 100 years from now, (barring some other major event that reduces these numbers before that.) In large part due to climate change. (That and resource exhaustion.)

I do fully agree that currency and even capitalism is quite a bit "faith" based. Certainly currency (it is the whole point of currency these days.) And extreme runaway inflation is the usual result when general faith is lost in the currency.



I am an atheist that always likes a good debate
Please include @LogicFTW for responses to me
Tips on forum use. ▮ A.R. Member since 2016.

Sheldon's picture
Sir Isaac Newton was

Sir Isaac Newton was religious, a Christian, who believed in astrology, and alchemy, I'm not sure anyone could really believe this indicated he was unintelligent, even people like myself who view all those beliefs as little more than hokum superstition. Though of course one could argue he was a product of the epoch in which he lived, it's still hard to square his genius with such beliefs, but impossible to deny he was a genius.

The simply answer to the thread OP, and Newton as an examples illustrates it perfectly, is that no amount of intelligence negates the possibility of one being wrong. If this were not so then we wouldn't need methods like science, or logic, we could simply listen to the opinions of those with highest IQ.

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.