Are Atheists More Intelligent

In a recent study, a couple of researchers concluded atheists are more intelligent than believers because they are able to overcome what the researchers think is an instinctive attraction to religious thought.

It is true atheists, at least in the U. S. culture, have been able to see past what the researchers assume is a natural attraction to invisible beings in the minds. To say they are more intelligent because of this I’m not so sure.

I like a definition of intelligence I read years ago. It said there are different kinds of intelligence. A good athlete, for example, has an ability to control his/her body with their brain while others of us cannot. Some people, often politicians, have a talent for understanding how and what other people are thinking. Artists brains have something most of us do not have.

The first thing to question is whether an attraction to invisible beings is inborn or natural. It certainly is common and frequent. I don’t know we can be certain we are born with it or not.

I am unable now to think there exists a being or beings that are invisible. Thus, the believer has a talent I do not possess. The ability to believe such beings exist might be thought of a form of intelligence I am lacking.

The only real importance is when lives are ruined or lost because people cannot muster the ability to think critically. Jonestown, Haley-Bopp Comet and others saw charismatic religious figures lead others to their  deaths.


9 Responses

  1. entech

    I know some that are not! On the other hand … ???

    One definition I have come across talks of the ability to adapt to new circumstances, if you can’t see past old and outdated ideas you are at least limited.

  2. Rob

    Most atheists I know are really dumb. Unable to grasp the concept of religious faith, while at the same time steadfastly clinging to the idea everything came into existence because billions of years ago a rock farted.

    1. entech

      Interesting cosmology you have Rob, do tell us more.
      Interesting also is why you would say that the concept of religious faith is lost on atheists, most of your ilk would have it that we know about it is engraved on our hearts but that we “reject it”.
      The main difference between you and me is that you believe the words in some old literature and I doubt very much that they are true.

  3. Jon,

    Are Atheists More Intelligent?

    The answer is no!

    The better question would be:

    Are Atheists More Intellectual?

    The answer is yes !!!!

    Separating GOD from religion, I will present my comments based on religion:

    Religions, j-c-i, and most others I have looked into, require their followers to repeat the daily-bread (word) and drink the cool-aid. “Repeat after me” shouts their leaders.

    One only need look up the definition of brainwashing to see that is what religions of men do !!!

    They are so good at it they get their zombies to pay for it !!!

    Brainwashing is accomplished by giving up ones Free Will to Free Thought, having nothing to do with intelligence and everything to do with intellect.

  4. Steve

    “I am unable now to think there exists a being or beings that are invisible. Thus, the believer has a talent I do not possess. The ability to believe such beings exist might be thought of (as) a form of intelligence I am lacking.”

    The bible says faith is a gift. I believe that some have been given the gift of faith now, and that everyone else will receive the gift of faith later (“Every knee shall bow.”). I believe that those who have been given the gift of faith now also have the ability, in some areas, to readily see some things that should be blatantly obvious…things that those who do not have the gift of faith cannot see because they currently have “scales over their eyes”. An example….

    1. entech

      From the piece cited:
      Evolutionary biology is experiencing its most serious division over the structure of evolutionary theory since the development of the Modern Synthesis nearly 100 years ago. Last November, Great Britain’s prestigious Royal Society (The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge) held a conference to deliberate if evolutionary theory needs to be “extended” or even renovated to accommodate fresh ideas from new discoveries. The article Schism and Synthesis at the Royal Society in the current issue of Trends in Ecology & Evolution by a conference organizer explains why “the discussion witnessed little meeting of minds.”

      The nature of science is such that a constant effort is required to confirm existing knowledge and to change and adapt as new knowledge comes to light. Evolution is no different, creation however seems to have only the one viewpoint – God did it – and everything must be massaged to fit this belief.
      God created the entirety in seven days, this is the answer now find the evidence ???

  5. Matt Noah

    The question in the title of this blog “Are Atheists More Intelligent” is written by an atheist, Jon Lindgren.

    The answer is “yes” and “no” because the question is so ill-formed as to be irrelevant. It actually somewhat answers itself a supposedly smart atheist wrote it.

    More intelligent than what?

    Yes, an atheist is more intelligent than 100% of insects. An atheist is more intelligent than 100% of fish. Yes, an atheist is more intelligent than a cat.

    But is an atheist more intelligent than elementary school drop-out? Or a high school drop-out? Or a member of the Optimists club? Or an Eagle Scout? Or the average NFL player? Or a retired econ prof? Or a Christian?

    I think Jon answered his own question.

Comments are closed.