Dave Hitt www

Pretty much. I base this not only on the facts, but on my personal observations, which are not, of course, scientific.

I used to say “I’ve never met a stupid atheist.” A few months ago that changed – I met someone who gave a new meaning to the word idiot. But that’s one out of hundreds I’ve met, so it’s a pretty good record.

Atheism is a subset of skepticism, the demand for proof before you believe something. That’s a much smarter approach than labeling everything you don’t understand with “God Did It.”

Posted: August 18th 2011

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Galen Rose www

All available data suggests that, on average, atheists are indeed more intelligent. This comes from surveys of scientists and surveys of others by education level. However, there are millions of very intelligent and highly educated people (like Francis Collins and William Lane Craig) who are theists, and there are doubtless millions of quite unexceptional atheists. So . . . I would avoid any broad characterization of theists or atheists in terms of intelligence as there are just way too many exceptions.

Posted: August 18th 2011

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donsevers www

The difference between nonbelievers and believers isn’t intelligence, it’s a matter of values. It’s more like the difference between conservatives and liberals. I’m an intellectual conservative, meaning that I require scientific standards for believing things. Having a feeling isn’t a good enough reason for me to declare I believe something.

To a more liberal thinker (like I once was), it’s perfectly reasonable to believe something without scientific evidence. Intelligent people, like Francis Collins, do this all the time. 80% of people believe in God, so it can’t have anything to do with intelligence. From the other side, a friend of mine recently told me, “Come on, Don. You can’t believe the universe just popped into existence. You’re smarter than that”. Well, lots of smart people reject the notion of a Creator for many good reasons. Lacking belief in gods has nothing to do with intelligence, either.

It just has to do with how much we value logical consistency in our belief systems. To most people, there is no compelling reason to use only scientific thinking to get through life. They switch between modes as needed. I find this inconsistent, but I value consistency. If a person doesn’t value consistency in their belief systems, it doesn’t make them less intelligent.

I am committed to scientific standards of evidence because, without them, we open a Pandora’s box of belief that results in the fractured world we read about in the news every day. I have given up some freedom by constraining myself to scientifically supportable claims because I see what happens when other people don’t do so. I think the natural world is the best thing to base my beliefs on, but that is because of my values, not because of intelligence.

Posted: August 18th 2011

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George Locke

It’s possible, but I doubt it. Atheism is basically a skeptical response to religious claims. You don’t have to be smart to be a skeptic, you just have to pay attention.

Posted: August 18th 2011

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