Christians Are Not Stupid or Irrational.

This is to address a Frequently Asked Question/Frequenty Offered Claim that Atheists think that Christians are stupid and/or irrational. This is easily shown to be false, at least for the members of DC. There are plenty of demonstrably intelligent Christians, some of them frequent this blog. But how does this perception persist?

It seems to stem from a misunderstanding. Several factors come into play but the most significant factor is the evidence for God. Atheists have a more empirical criterion than Christians do. Generally an Atheist will not settle for any testimonial or subjective evidence while a Christian will. When every Christian argument depends on the existence of God and the premise is disputed for lack of credible evidence by the Atheist, this creates a significant impediment to the resolution of the disagreement. Rationality depends on a conclusion based on reason. A rational argument depends on taking evidence into account. If the evidence is in question, though both sides are arguing rationally, this situation can understandably be frustrating for both sides in the debate and can, in a worst case, degrade into personal attacks (aka an "Ad Hominem").

Another type of exchange occurs when the Atheist analyzes Christian arguments using principles of "critical thinking" and may be perceived to have or may actually have a condescending tone. The act of argument analysis and criticism can in itself be perceived as condescending. On the other hand, I have seen situations where a Christian will initiate the charge against an atheist. The Christian will assert "The fool says in his heart yada, yada, yada...", and then allege that “Atheists think that Christians are stupid, when in reality the Atheist is the fool” and justify the charge of foolishness using scripture.