Atheists Don't Believe in God Because They Think They Are So Smart They Don't Need Him?


This is to a addresses a Frequently Asked Question/Frequently Offered Claim that Atheists don't believe in God because they think they are so smart they don't need him.


It may be true that some self-professed atheists equate intelligence with not believing in God, but I think a good argument can be made that this is a type of self delusion. The kind of un-belief that I experience is not something that I chose. It just happened. It happened as I started to question my beliefs instead of just taking them for granted. And as I gained more knowledge, especially about the Bible, my faith just went away. There was no choice about it. The thought of needing or not needing god never entered the equation. It was irrelevant.

In 1998 The Journal Nature reported that a larger portion of the National Academy of Sciences are unbelievers than believers. This correlates to what I experienced, and it infers that the more you know about the world, the less you believe in a God. But learning about the world is not the only thing that eroded my belief. Studying informal fallacies had a big part in it. It lead me into critical thinking, which led me into informal logic, which led me into the study of reasoning in general.

Learning how to determine the truth in a pragmatic way and applying that to my religious beliefs are what really eroded my belief. A love of truth. A desire to know the truth. A desire to know how to find the truth. A desire to make sense out of the world. A desire to be able to figure out when I am being lied to. A desire to protect myself from the wolves that Jesus said I had been thrown into the middle of. In order for a sheep to protect himself from a pack of wolves when everything happens in Gods time, he needs to be a little bit smarter than the wolves. And when I realized that I could increase my chances of a successful outcome by pre-planning and forethought, all that was left was just dumb luck and prayer. And we all know what they say about prayer, allow me to paraphrase "don't hold your breath".

While I can't speak for all atheists, the cause of my unbelief is not that I am so smart I don't need him, it is the fact that I did an honest search for the truth, and found it. To do that, I needed to find new information. Finding new information means getting smarter. I guess that sometimes when people get smarter, faith in a God just fades away.
My, my, hey, hey.

you will know the truth,
and the truth will make you free.

7 comments:

Bruce said...

If being too smart for God is supposed to be some sort of character flaw, then guilty as charged.

live-n-grace said...

I find that much of the time this is true, but not always. That through logic, and their searchings, athiests themselves have determined that God is not real.

Melanie Stephan said...

I thought the title on your site was funny. Most people do think they are smart, know it alls. What I came to your site was to say this: I have a very big story to tell all of you. It kind of answers all of your questions about whether or not there is a God. My story is that God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost talked to me. I have proof. Now God talked to me just like he talked to Abraham, Daniel and John in a series of dreams. In the dreams I was told the meaning of First is Last and Last is First. Birth is Last. Now Jesus told me a number of things but it is to long to write here. Another point is that Jesus talked to me, not any other God. Logic would say that since there is one God, and one Son all others are false prophets. Now for all of you that want proof. You really don’t want God to talk to you. It has been very difficult for me. Everyone has been calling me names like crazy, looney, etc. No one believes me and I have proof. You would think that people would like to see the proof. They don’t care to see it and they don’t want to know what else God had to say to me. So even though I have proof it seems that God wants you to find out the truth for yourselves. He said look and you will find. Now I study plants, my studies lead me to believing in God. My question was, ‘How do plants know about insects and animals?’ They make flowers for the insects to come and fruit for the animals to eat. How can they possibly know about animals they don’t have a brain? God does. I just couldn’t see this as being coincidential. Now I don’t go to Church and I didn’t read the bible before the Holy Trinity dropped in on me. My thought was that the Pope or someone in the church would be a better choice that me, I am no one important. Then I have been reading some of what other people have been writing about the Church. Maybe God does not agree with the Church either. One more thing: God also said that there are a number of people full of crap, that includes you and me. (God used the 4 letter word Sugar when he spoke of crap.) I didn't want to write the S word on your site. Thank you for letting me write on you site. Melanie Stephan

Anonymous said...

Dreams are valid sources of proof?

I suppose that zombie I dreamt last night is real too then.

Ben said...

I enjoy this site. But reading it is the most frustrating experience!

How can one argue with a poster who says "Now I study plants, my studies lead me to believing in God. My question was, ‘How do plants know about insects and animals?’ They make flowers for the insects to come and fruit for the animals to eat. How can they possibly know about animals they don’t have a brain? God does. I just couldn’t see this as being coincidential."

How can you not just throw your hands up in the air?

jermd said...

"What I came to your site was to say this: I have a very big story to tell all of you. It kind of answers all of your questions about whether or not there is a God. My story is that God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost talked to me. I have proof."

Anecdotal accounts of alleged personal experiences prove nothing.
"Now God talked to me just like he talked to Abraham, Daniel and John in a series of dreams."

According to most scientists and psychologists, dreams are usually composed of thoughts, experiences, and/or subconscious desires that have occured within the past 3 days of a person's life, and prove nothing. If I have a dream in which an invisible pink unicorn tells me that I must assassinate the Pope, I might find it amusing, but I certainly would not be convinced that this invisible pink unicorn actually existed, and would most definitely not act on its advice. Your dream, being anecdotal, will convince a rational, scientifically-minded person of nothing.

"In the dreams I was told the meaning of First is Last and Last is First. Birth is Last. Now Jesus told me a number of things but it is to [sic] long to write here. Another point is that Jesus talked to me, not any other God. Logic would say that since there is one God, and one Son[,] all others are false prophets."

Logic would first require you to prove (or provide exteral, empirical evidence supporting) that your anecdotal accounts of your alleged personal experiences are true, which you have so far failed to do.

"Now for all of you that want proof. You really don’t want God to talk to you."

Of course I would want God to talk to me, as it would probably persuade me that he (or she, or it) existed. Your accusation is unfounded; how can you know what goes on inside the minds of those who wish to be provided with proof (or even just evidence) before they will believe? Unless you are telepathic, the answer is you cannot.

"It has been very difficult for me. Everyone has been calling me names like crazy, looney, etc."
Apt names in my opinion, but I'm going to refrain from using any ad hominems myself.

"No one believes me and I have proof."

So far you have not offered any evidence or proof, so why SHOULD anyone believe you?

"You would think that people would like to see the proof."

Of course they would, but, again, you haven't provided any.

"They don’t care to see it and they don’t want to know what else God had to say to me."

I'm sure they do want to see proof, but since you don't have any proof, they could not.

"So even though I have proof it seems that God wants you to find out the truth for yourselves. He said look and you will find."

Once more: you don not have any proof; that or you haven't cared to enlighten us with it.

"Now I study plants, my studies lead me to believing in God. My question was, ‘How do plants know about insects and animals?’ They make flowers for the insects to come and fruit for the animals to eat. How can they possibly know about animals they don’t have a brain? God does. I just couldn’t see this as being coincidential."

I suggest you familiarize yourself with Darwin's theory of natural selection. It quite thoroughly explains, in a scientific and rational way, how animals and plants adapted to their environments; no supernatural "argument from design" explanation is required.
"... One more thing: God also said that there are a number of people full of crap, that includes you and me."

Well, I do agree that most people are indeed full of crap, but I don't need your dream-God to inform me of that.

Please don't take any personal offense at what I have written; it is simply my attempt at refutating your assertions, and I think I have done an adequate job of doing so.

-Jeremy

L said...

I am having a hard time with this one. I don't feel self-deluded as all my studies of history, science, and literature have led me to this point. To me it seems the end result of a true education would be the denial of gods. And that does make me feel, for better or worse, smarter than the average bear.