Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Are Smart- and Edumacated!

Sir Isaac Newton: I don't think he lived anytime recently. Or he was the bassist for a hair metal band.

I'd like to start this off with some facts. You may have heard of them, facts. They are things about which one cannot have an opinion. You may not like the facts, but they are as they are, how you feel about them doesn't change them.

Generally speaking, the more fundamentalist one is, the less educated one is and vice versa. It's a direct correlation: christian fundamentalism=low levels of education. This is no doubt the result of a complex interaction between the traits that create fundamentalism and the traits that prevent secondary education. Is this true for every fundamentalist? Of course not. Nothing ever holds true for every single individual. Well, okay, nobody can breathe in a vacuum. Other than that, of course there will be exceptions. However, it is not out of line to assume that a fundamentalist is poorly educated.

Generally speaking, as far as I can tell, there is some sort of correlation between being a christian fundamentalist and having a lower IQ. (That same research shows that the really smart people choose Shintoism, in case you were wondering.) Again, does this mean fundamentalist christianity causes IQ loss? No. It means that if you unquestioningly accept the literal truth of a book that starts with a talking, legged snake, you might not have the necessary reasoning capacity to see why that's a problem. It also does not mean that being a fundamentalist christian automatically means you have a low IQ. Again, on average. Some people fall outside of average.

So, why do I bring this up? Well, for one thing, if you're considering entering the wonderful wide world of Ponzi schemes, you need to know your target audience . . . no, wait, the Rapture Ready folks are all kinds of offended I think they're kind of gullible*.


Hi all. After reading some of the negative e mails posted in the interesting e mails section , I seem to see a common theme among those who are critical of christians, and what we believe. They seem to always assume that we are uneducated, easily manipulated people. This is a myth that we christians need to try and dispel.

Well, you could start by not saying jackass stupid shit about global warming and homosexuals. How about that?

Sir Isaac Newton, one of the most brilliant minds ever, was a pre trib , prophecy believing christian.

No, Newton would not have hung out at Rapture Ready. He lived in a slightly different time than we do now. Not that I think he really was a pretrib Christian. This pretrib stuff is relatively recent.

I met 4 people at an event this week, all avid christians, all with PHDs.

Pics or it didn't happen! Really, what was the event? Church? Doctors' Night at the local church? I can't even imagine what "avid" means in that context.

Although I myself am no genius, and I don't want to sound arrogant, let me state some of my accomplishments.

I don't mean to sound racist, but . . .

I have a BS in accounting, am an instrument rated pilot, an advanced open water diver, I had two scholarships in college, one academic, the other athletic (golf) and years later still carry a zero handicap.

What does your golf handicap have to do with your intelligence or understanding of science?

I became a christian after reading Hal Lindsey's Late Great Planet Earth, which led to a life long study of Bible prophecy. The liberal media seems to always portray christians as uneducated kooks. The bible states clearly that in the last days, the wise would be called fools, and fools would think themselves wise.

Oh, well if the Bible says it . . . the Bible says bats are birds.

The idea that you can dispel a myth from the mind of a fool is a lovely notion but the fact that they knowingly choose to do that which is not convenient tells us they already know it's a myth before they speak it.

Wut? Okay, I'll try again. We'll remove everything before the "but"


The idea that you can dispel a myth from the mind of a fool is a lovely notion but the fact that they knowingly choose to do that which is not convenient tells us they already know it's a myth before they speak it.

The fact that they knowingly choose to do that which is not convenient?

Okay, we'll remove the "not convenient" and replace it with "inconvenient", maybe that will help.

The idea that you can dispel a myth from the mind of a fool is a lovely notion but the fact that they knowingly choose to do that which is not convenient inconvenient tells us they already know it's a myth before they speak it.

Nope. There is no way to make heads or tails of that.

There are a great many very accomplished true believers. In the end, the world will mock us because it hates us. There are probably many true believers out there who were never able to go to school and are dirt poor, but none-the-less are significant in God's eyes, and probably in the eyes of anyone they offer assistance to during the course of their lives. We Children of God are very very fortunate, no matter how the world treats us.

I would imagine, being a case in point, that there were just as many, if not more, dirt poor nonbelievers without access to education.

I used to scuba dive when I was younger and single. Besides a few cold murky lakes and underwater caves, I've dived in the Mediterranean, all around the Island of Okinawa Japan, Guam, and the waters off of Florida.

Again, I fail to see what your leisure time activities have to do with your intelligence, though I am jealous of your travels.

I passed the MENSA entrance test when I was 16. Technically that makes me a 'genius'.

Personally, I think it just means Im good at taking tests. That skill does occasionally come in handy though.

Okay, I'll give you high scores for intelligence, though not for passing the MENSA test. A good many people don't seem to realize that intelligence tests aren't the best measure of intelligence.

these same people that mock Christians, media, movie "stars" and "movers and shakers" are heavily into Scientology. I mean, come on!

This "religion" was started by a guy who said he was going to start his own religion. And died in prison for his stupid worldly crimes. And the rules and regulations would rival the most superstitious of any pagan/space cult belief.

And don't even get me started on atheists! They think that they are their own god and they put their faith in people. People they know are weak and going to fail them, a lot. People whose moral center depends on that person's "moral standards" are. Which changes with the wind or flavor of the month.

All I am saying is, who is the ignorant one?!!!

Yes, last month I was totally into setting puppies on fire, this month I'm vegan. C'mon now.

Related to the OP there is the myth that Christians are weak and need a crutch to get through this life. When I hear this I just mention that Chuck Norris and Albert Pujols are Christians. Pretty much blows that theory out of the water.

Um, you do know those "facts" about Chuck Norris aren't actually true, right?**

I am a Christian and a lawyer

[insert lawyer joke here]

so I am no dummy, but that does not contribute in any way towards my salvation. Intelligence is just a gift from God much like any other talent, and as the others pointed out, it is no guarantee of wisdom or maturity. To me, atheists come across as whiny, boastful, and obnoxious, and they really don't tend to "play well with others."

If the Father has bestowed some talent upon you, then you ought to use it to glorify Him and not your own ego or theory of the universe.

But what if my talent is being whiny, boastful and obnoxious?

Also, sometimes I think that people who are atheists have just consistently gotten the dirty end of the stick all through life and never had anyone who really cared for them. So, I guess it is all the harder for them to understand how great the love of the Father is for them. Maybe that is why they are so unduly negative about everything. Just a guess.

Or maybe, just maybe, people aren't too friendly and perky after you call them whiny, boastful and obnoxious. Just a thought.

I have a BS Physics and am working on my MS Geophysics. Everything I studied in physics only supported or furthered my faith. I will admit, however, that I did have a crisis of faith when I started my geo courses. However, after some careful study of Genesis, I don't really see conflict between the Bible and geology either.

Translation: I had some cognitive dissonance and I couldn't handle it, so I changed how I interpreted the Bible until it went away.

I know for certain that a few of our physics faculty are Christians, as well a large portion of our science students.

You mean like most of the US? Shocking!

To assume that Christians are all stupid and uneducated is just stupid and uneducated.

Yes, however, see facts above.

Anyway, I've found that those who are atheists (or even just non-believers in general) are the same type of people who believe in spending borrowed money to get out of debt. Not exactly smart.

I . . . wut?

The OP noted that people bash Christians by saying that we are uneducated, easily manipulated people. Perhaps I'm reading too much into this (or simply substituting my own understanding of certain kinds of bashers), but I equate this with saying that Christians are of low intelligence, so hopelessly stupid that we just don't "get it" that Christianity is all a baseless pack of fables and lies.

When they say such things, they are actually insulting not Christians but all uneducated, easily manipulated people and/or people of low intelligence (not just those who are Christian). It's obvious that the bashers have an underlying hatred of Christianity, an a priori belief that Christianity is bad, or at least worthless. So, by associating those of lesser intelligence with Christianity they are really revealing that they are contemptuous of people who are not educated and/or not very intelligent.


Actually, that's not what I, or anyone I've seen make this argument in good faith, means. What we mean is simpler than that. I don't hate people who are less intelligent. I am not contemptuous of them, either. However, what I'd like to ask this person is, when you choose a doctor, are you hoping for the doctor who got straight As in medical school, or the person who skated by with the lowest possible score zie could graduate with?

Is this because you are contemptuous of people who are less intelligent? No, it's because you are putting your life in their hands and you want to put your life in the most qualified hands possible. Well, the same goes with choosing whom to believe about religion. Do I trust the person who can't tell the Colbert Report is satire or Steven Hawking? Does that mean I hate people who can't understand irony and satire? No. I'm still not going to spend my time fearing hell on their say so.


*I think I could sell them 4 armed sweaters on the basis of the fact that you get twice as many arms for 200% the price!

**My favorite: When Chuck Norris jumps into a lake, he doesn't get wet, the water gets Norrised.

6 comments:

  1. Yay, I'm an Episcopalian. We're near the very top! Episcopalians are smart and edjumacated!

    ...but seriously, the reason that my Biblical views are what they are is BECAUSE of my education. I took religious studies courses in college as my electives. They were all taught by ordained ministers who also happened to be college professors at a state university. They taught me how to not read the Bible like a moron. I also attended a campus ministry. The ministers there helped me along when the professors could not. Going to college is what made me a liberal Christian with liberal theology.

    ...and he might have a zero golf handicap, but I'm really good at Wii golf, especially the Tiger Woods version, which disappointingly does not contain a "cheat on your hot blond wife with other hot blonds" mode. How am I supposed to get the full Tiger Woods experience? There is no spit on the golf course button either.

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  2. This "religion" was started by a guy who said he was going to start his own religion. And died in prison for his stupid worldly crimes. And the rules and regulations would rival the most superstitious of any pagan/space cult belief.

    The guy obviously doesn't know much about various Pagan traditions. And to be blunt, people who believe in virgin births, bodily resurrections, and the saving power of the Magic Words really shouldn't throw around words like "superstitious" willy nilly. Just saying.

    People whose moral center depends on that person's "moral standards" are. Which changes with the wind or flavor of the month.

    You know, this borders on the whole "only Christians can be moral" conceit. The thing is, actual observation of non-Christians -- be they Buddhist, Pagan, or atheist, disproves that conceit.

    Quite frankly, I've found my morals to be pretty consistent throughout my life, despite going through a radical change in religious beliefs (Baptist to witch). Sure, I decided a few things that I originally thought were immoral are a-okay. But then again, I've also become more stringent and principled in other areas. But at the root of it, the root of my morality is all about how my actions affect myself, the people around me, and the world in general. But quite frankly, I don't see how that differs from Jesus's claim that all morality (the law) is based upon the principles of "Love God" and "Love your neighbor as yourself." I've simply chosen to rest on that foundation and build from there rather than accepting someone else's rules of what it means to do those two things.

    I am a Christian and a lawyer

    That's nice. So tell me, what's your opinion on the recent discovery that teachers at Liberty Law School who allegedly taught their students that it was their Christian duty to encourage a client in a custody battle with a same sex ex-partner to kidnap the kid and split the country? (Incidentally, how do you feel about the fact that the teachers in question were also the lawyers for Lisa Miller, who did exactly that?)

    To me, atheists come across as whiny, boastful, and obnoxious, and they really don't tend to "play well with others."

    Damn, I broke another irony meter!

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  3. This "religion" was started by a guy who said he was going to start his own religion. And died in prison for his stupid worldly crimes. And the rules and regulations would rival the most superstitious of any pagan/space cult belief.

    It really seems to me that Christians shouldn't make a big deal about the condition of the founders of other religions vis-a-vis their relation with law enforcement at the time of their death...

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  4. "The idea that you can dispel a myth from the mind of a fool is a lovely notion but the fact that they knowingly choose to do that which is not convenient tells us they already know it's a myth before they speak it."

    Okay, this really doesn't make a whole lot of sense. But here's my stab at it. This apparently comes just after this: "The bible states clearly that in the last days, the wise would be called fools, and fools would think themselves wise."

    I think he's trying to say that if you consider yourself too wise to believe in what he believes in you are, in fact, a fool. But the irony is that he says you can't dispel a myth from the mind of a fool because they knowingly choose not to believe something for which there is no evidence. Who's the fool here?

    I can say that because I used to be an Inerrantist, Fundamental, Conservative, Evangelical Christian. Even when I was all of that I completely understood why those who didn't didn't. It's beyond farfetched. I always had a hard time "witnessing". Try telling someone this:

    You should believe that there is a God who created everything in six literal days and supernaturally sent his son through a virgin as a sacrifice for you. Sounds totally believable, right?

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  5. Oh and if you don't believe it you're going straight to hell to burn in the fiery flames for all of eternity.

    Oh and, and if you don't believe it, well, you're a fool.

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  6. "these same people that mock Christians, media, movie "stars" and "movers and shakers" are heavily into Scientology. I mean, come on!"
    Yep! Scientology is really, really dumb, I'll give you that one. Kudo's for noticing this.

    "This "religion" was started by a guy who said he was going to start his own religion." I know, right! "And died in prison for his stupid worldly crimes. And the rules and regulations would rival the most superstitious of any pagan/space cult belief." So true. So we agree! We're on the same page, and my opinion of you is quite hi-

    "And don't even get me started on atheists!"

    Oh god.

    "They think that they are their own god and they put their faith in people."
    We wha'? I mean, just... what? My own god? Fai- I don't have... I... grk... [anyurism]

    " People they know are weak and going to fail them, a lot."

    Well yeah, people do kinda suck. Especially the ones who try to use religon to curtail the rights of others. But I temper my "faith" in people with a healthy (debatable) overdose of cynicism, so it all works out.

    "People whose moral center depends on that person's "moral standards" are." Which changes with the wind or flavor of the month.

    Thirty flavors has september, april, june and november... but I've been choc-o-minty for years (actually, I like to try a different flavor every time I buy it, but that doesn't fit with the morality==ice cream analogy).

    "All I am saying is, who is the ignorant one?!!!"

    Well, given recent evidence... perhaps I should be looking more seriously into scientology?

    .....

    "Related to the OP there is the myth that Christians are weak and need a crutch to get through this life. When I hear this I just mention... Chuck Norris..."

    Physical Strength when confronted with something that can be round-house kicked != Emotional strength when confronted with inevitable mortality. Though I suppose Chuck Norris might try to round-house kick mortality. Emotionally.

    Chuck Norris never shows emotion you say? Lies! Chuck Norris cries all the time! It's just that his tear ducts round-house kick his tears right back behind his eyes so you never see them!

    "To me, atheists come across as whiny, boastful, and obnoxious, and they really don't tend to "play well with others."

    I suspect he lives somewhere where the only people who admit they are atheists are the extremely opinionated ones. Hey mate, the quiet guy in your workplace who shuts his mouth every time you start talking religon or politics? Atheist. The girl who offers vague agreement to everything you say while not volunteering her own opinions? Atheist. 1 in every 10 people you meet? Atheists.

    "However, after some careful study of Genesis, I don't really see conflict between the Bible and geology either."
    "Translation: I had some cognitive dissonance and I couldn't handle it, so I changed how I interpreted the Bible until it went away"

    He's a rapturite. I doubt he changed his creationist views. "some careful study of Genesis" probably means "reading all the misinformation put out by Answers In Genesis and Reasons To Believe".

    "Anyway, I've found that those who are atheists (or even just non-believers in general) are the same type of people who believe in spending borrowed money to get out of debt. Not exactly smart."
    "I . . . wut?"
    Translation: All Afiests are Libruls who support Big Government Spending.

    With that said, Fred Clark quite often makes the point that the only way to stop the downward economic spiral is to employ the unemployed, and that's going to require your government borrowing money at some point.

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