Why Are Most Atheists More Intelligent Than Religious People?

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  1. ngureco profile image81
    ngurecoposted 13 years ago

    Why Are Most Atheists More Intelligent Than Religious People?

  2. MickS profile image59
    MickSposted 13 years ago

    That is why they are atheists.

  3. Jason Oleinik profile image62
    Jason Oleinikposted 13 years ago

    If using logic is considered "intelligent" then that is why.

  4. ryancarter profile image60
    ryancarterposted 13 years ago

    Is it a fact that most atheists are more intelligent? Or is this your perception of the world? In the case of the former, I'd have to say you need to link to your resource. For the latter, and more likely scenario,  it may be that by shear chance you have only met smart atheists and dumb religious folks.

    It could also be that religious people may not make it an effort to let you know how intelligent they are, given that some religions tend to teach against boasting and pride. Atheists would not believe these teachings, so they may be more inclined to tout their cognitive abilities more often.

    ORRR, it could just be that religious people are idiots after all, but I tend to doubt it...

  5. juiwei2000 profile image60
    juiwei2000posted 13 years ago

    I don't think atheists are necessary more intelligent then religious people, but some religious people are not rational, following a thought blindly and have the tendency of forcing their ideas onto others.

  6. Joe Badtoe profile image61
    Joe Badtoeposted 13 years ago

    I suspect that atheists have put more thought into why they choose not believe in any god or religion. The blind faith of some religious followers turn them into bigots which in turn emphasises one of the reasons atheists become atheists.

    The problem for me with those people who truly believe in their faith is when they assume that if you don't feel the same way there is something missing in your life. I wouldn't harass a believer to become a non believer so why harass me?

    A true christian doesn't need to wear a badge, attend church, evangalise others or make judgements. They could just do good things because it's in their heart. There are millions of people around the world that do this without the need to bring up religion to justify human kindness.

  7. hanijane profile image60
    hanijaneposted 13 years ago

    Why are most atheists so vain compared to religious people?

  8. Tubble profile image60
    Tubbleposted 13 years ago

    First off: You really need to link a source or study that even begins to assume this. Secondly: There are multiple ways to define intelligence. Thirdly: Well, perhaps people who "seem" intelligent just happen to be atheists because their "intelligence" tells them that their is scientific proof on how things came to be and that it is absurd to even consider a higher power.

  9. profile image0
    andycoolposted 13 years ago

    A genius or a gifted person generally tends to be an atheist. Research about geniuses reveals that. That may be because they question everything that is not understood by logic. But that doesn't necessarily mean believers are less intellectual people. Infact statistics shows that large number of highly successful people are believers.

    1. profile image54
      Shaktivaposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Met some geniuses. None were atheist.

  10. Dale Michaels profile image60
    Dale Michaelsposted 13 years ago

    This question highlights the extreme ignorance of the person that asked it. The fact is, that there are many, many highly intelligent scientists who believe that there is a Creator, in other words, they are not athiests.

  11. Tom_Radford profile image61
    Tom_Radfordposted 13 years ago

    Religion is a difficult thing to prove, and so is faith ... but just because you believe it, doesn't mean you're not intelligent. Yes, it's true that with most arguments you need proof and if you accept a result without proper evidence then you're making a mistake, but with religion and faith ... well, it's more of a lifestyle choice, it's about what you feel, and what you need. Much of it is linked to tradition. Some of our greatest thinkers were deeply religious. I'm not religious, nor do I agree with much about religion, but it would be very foolish to suggest that they aren't intelligent.

  12. Jaynie2000 profile image84
    Jaynie2000posted 13 years ago

    I'm not sure that it's about intelligence, but atheists don't have faith to fall back on. I think that the nature of being an atheist is that you have to question what you've been told as opposed to accepting things on blind faith. That questioning often leads to deeper understanding of the world around them. If an atheist doesn't understand something, he or she will dig for the answers, whereas when someone who is bound to their religion doesn't understand something, they are more likely to accept divine intervention as an explanation or just "leave it up to God." That doesn't require a lot of brain power, yet I would not say that this means that religious people aren't intelligent. Only that they are faithful. Whether you think that's a good or bad thing, intelligent or stupid, depends on your personal point of view. Personally, I think there are plenty of not-so-intelligent persons on both sides.

  13. Char M profile image60
    Char Mposted 13 years ago

    My daughter has a 4.0 graduating college and she is Christian/religious. I am a retired nurse so I'm the one who'd give you shots, took your vitals, gave you IV's so you better hope I'm intelligent, at least enough to be trusted with your health. THe doctor I work for, an intelligent man, is religious. People trust their lives to him.

    Did I give you enough examples of how your question is a contradiction to reality?

  14. dabeaner profile image60
    dabeanerposted 13 years ago

    Sheep are not very intelligent animals.  There is a reason a group of religious people is called a "flock".  Those with intelligence can easily see the stupidity and evil of religions.  Religions appeal to those with primitive, superstitious minds.  Granted that a lot of people can make mouth sounds (speech) very articulately and make and use tools handily.  But so can parrots and chimps.

  15. aguasilver profile image68
    aguasilverposted 13 years ago

    Of course it remains to be seen whether being an atheist is an intelligent decision in any case...

    Maybe believers are simply less egocentric and have no need to tell the world of their 'intelligence'?

    This question is too generalized, inferring that atheism makes you intelligent whereas belief makes you less intelligent, when in reality all folks differ with intelligence dependent upon environment, opportunity and desire.

    Most of the world have never developed their brains and found their intelligence!

  16. profile image53
    Justan Americanposted 13 years ago

    Religious belief and intelligence do not go hand in hand.

    People formulate their religious beliefs from their environment.

    Neither is a education or a grade point average indicative of intelligence.

    The ability to complete assignments and turn in papers that are excepted by the college establishment as satisfactory does not verify intelligence.

    I have a "I.Q." that is 170 plus.

    That in actuality means nothing.

    Am I religious?

    I am not an atheist and I do believe in one all powerful force.

    Look up in to the night sky and you will see in all its glory GOD.

  17. profile image0
    archbishop1posted 13 years ago

    They are not smarter. They just spend so much time trying to discredit God that they build up a pretty good vocabulary in the process. It is all on the surface.

  18. HOOWANTSTONO profile image61
    HOOWANTSTONOposted 13 years ago

    Atheism has never been proved, so then there cant be intelligence attached. Its like saying "are you insured"?. Insurance only works when the case has met criteria. Believing in God is a better insurance than not believing in him. One will fall under the insurance because of the policy being activated. One will miss out on the policy, because he wasn't covered, by the policy. The Policy is God Assurance, and it includes death.

  19. Jason R. Manning profile image82
    Jason R. Manningposted 13 years ago

    To this question I would present Gerald Schroeder, Michele J. Behe and Antony Flew to name a few.
    This question you asked is prefaced on speculation and should not be led to start a name calling debacle.  You could also ask the question of why highly intelligent individuals believe in UFO’s.  Neither side has a corner on proof, for, against or abducted.

  20. aweSomeday profile image60
    aweSomedayposted 9 years ago

    I doubt this is a fact, but if I had to guess it is due to having an open mind and seeking answers. Doesn't mean they don't have faith of some sort, they simply don't accept blind faith. I wouldn't say grades or degrees has much to do with it. It is willing to accept without question or thirst for knowledge beyond what has been taught.

  21. gmwilliams profile image85
    gmwilliamsposted 9 years ago


    Many atheists based their findings based upon using inductive & deductive logic.  They are always researching, observing & studying different philosophies. They furthermore realize that one's ethical/religious perspective is forever evolving.   

    Atheists  are open to & curious about exploring varying ideas as to what religion & God is. They are also inner centered in terms of morality. If they act upon something, it is because of an inner conviction not because some outside authority mandated it to be so.

    Religious people follow their particular faith because some authority &/or a religious book said so.  They further follow their religious path because in their eyes, it was mandated by a divine power to do so.  Some religionists also believe that their religious authorities are God-inspired so what they state is right. 

    Many religious people act from fear.  They contend that if they do not follow their religion or believe in God, they will be forever damned.  They are also fearful of questioning their faith for if they did, they would become quite uncomfortable with the religious contradictions & illogicalities presented by their particular faith.  So they would rather obey unquestioning rather than to be mentally inquisitive.

  22. profile image53
    Norine Williamsposted 8 years ago

    They continue to "justify" themselves and their way of life by "studying man" rather than GOD seeking agreement with their lifestyle!  Rm 1:25 says "...they worship and serve the creature (self/man) more than the Creator (GOD)...."

  23. profile image54
    Shaktivaposted 8 years ago

    I haven't met or seen an atheist more intelligent than men of faith. So...rather a bold generalisation you're making.
    But if you rate on academic achievements, I think it's just claiming to be an atheist exudes the air of superior intellect and is the modern way of doing things. By no way there's any certainty this trend will live on and likely more religious scientists will come out of the closet in the future.

    (Spiritual agnostic myself, BTW)

    1. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Shak: Pray tell, what book has as many ACCURATE prophecies FULFILLED (some fulfilled in our lifetime, ie, 9/11=Is 9:10/11; RF Card=Rev 13:16-18) written BEFORE bible? Who KNEW this but GOD?

    2. profile image54
      Shaktivaposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Dear Norine,
      I think your question goes beyond the scope of this thread.
      We can all believe what we want to or have experience with.

      I'm not looking for conversion but thank you.

    3. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Yes BEYOND & "Free Will!" You will face inevitable!  Eternity looooonng  time! You are ALWAYS welcome!

  24. profile image0
    ValKarasposted 8 years ago

    I don't think intelligence is per se something to be admired. Adolph Hitler was a very intelligent strategist, and actually openly praised for that quality by some contemporary statesmen. Sigmund Freud was very intelligent, but he kept smoking after a few surgeries of his cancerous growths in his mouth. Carl Jung, another in that category contemplated suicide for the most of his highly successful life. The list is very long, pointing at the simple truth that intelligence may not be an advantage after all  -  if not coupled with some other qualities of more dignifying nature.

    Now we would have to step out of the boundaries suggested by the above question and maybe say "who is making more sense".  It's pointless to "prove" a belief, which is only a deliberate choice to take something as true  -  with no evidence necessary. There is no burden of a proof on a believer, so they like turning it around and saying how much of science is based on a belief as well  -  which they call "theory". The old trick of projection  -  avoiding the answer by projecting the inability of proof on the opponent.

    However, the difference is enormous.
    It doesn't matter whether "gravity theory" is provable or not, gravity IS  - period. On the other hand religionists can only "believe" that God exists. To that effect, one can say that "there is no God"  -  and nothing happens as a result; but one can't jump from the skyscraper denying the "gravity theory".

    Science is dealing with something that doesn't need "proofs" in order to exist. Religionists are dealing with something that doesn't give evidence of existing  -  so playing with "proofs" is a game of sheer rhetoric. For example: "An absence of evidence is not an evidence of absence". Or: "If we can't prove the existence of God, you can't prove His nonexistence either". It's silly formalistic logic, and whether you are a theist or atheist you might as well avoid such tests of smartness that are not leading anywhere.

    However, just for the heck of it, or for an intellectual sport event  -  you may want to lock horns with a religionist and play that game for a while. As long as you don't imagine how you have a chance to prove them wrong. It's against their religion to be proven wrong - remember?

    1. profile image53
      Norine Williamsposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      They can't be IF they use THE WORD OF GOD!

  25. tamarawilhite profile image86
    tamarawilhiteposted 7 years ago

    There isn't a correlation between atheism and IQ per se.
    The more years you spend in school, such as earning a master's degree or doctorate, the more likely you are to become atheist. However, there are many intelligent people who don't pursue the higher degrees. So the correlation between doctorates and atheism is high, but it doesn't mean religious = stupid.
    And while there is a higher degree of religiousity among the poor, that is due to the desperation of the circumstances - and their stressful conditions and disease load can lower performance on tests and schooling but not mean they are stupid.

    1. profile image0
      ValKarasposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Tamara  -  There is only one wrong thing about your answer  -  it should have been me to say these smart words, LOL.


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