Of course you’re not stupid. You just say a lot of really stupid things.
For more stupid things to say to an atheist, check out The Atheist Pig’s list.
Nope. I’m going with stupid. You can’t believe what they believe and still be considered intelligent.
Hard to argue with Mo’s retort. We’ll all look stupid then. Or at least those who refused to see it coming.
“We’ll all look stupid then. Or at least those who refused to see it coming.”
Even if Islam does come to dominate the world, it doesn’t mean that Allah exists only that militant Muslims can kick the arse of can’t give a toss atheists.
Actually I have no fear of Islam, while they remain a misogynist backward looking creed they will fail, when they stop being a backward misogynist creed, they’ll stop being militant Muslims.
I have met people who could be talked out of a belief in Noah’s Ark by being shown evidence. I’ve met people in a second group who can’t. I posit we would both agree that the second group is stupider than the first group. People in the first group still retain plenty of stupid beliefs (in my whole life I’ve only convinced two people to change to full on atheists). Would you label my two groups stupid and stupider? I don’t. I label them “smart but haven’t been motivated to critically examine this stupid belief set” and stupid. So I agree with the barmaid that some people are not stupid but do espouse stupid beliefs. Your one liner disagrees, but it is an axe not a scalpel. Do you agree that the educable are merely uneducated and not stupid?
There’s a distinct difference between stupidity and willful ignorance. My father, for instance, despite having a masters’ degree in chemistry and working for a supplier of equipment that supported the space program, did not accept that the sun is a star until he was in his mid-forties. He never accepted evolution either, and, unlike the stellar sun, he never changed his mind about that. Like George W. Bush, my father was intellectually incurious. I would never have considered him stupid, but he was very selective about applying his intelligence, and most of that selectivity was motivated by religion.
I see two different scales of thinking; one is intelligent vs. stupid – this is one’s native ability. The other is smart vs. dumb, which is how one’s ability is applied. I think it is possible to be intelligent but dumb (like my father) – call that willful ignorance. It is also possible to be stupid and smart at the same time (think of a street smart gang thug). I consider myself intelligent, and put me in a classroom and I’ll be one of the smartest guys there; put me on the street, and I’ll end up looking pretty dumb.
Oozoid: The distinction between “when” and “if” makes alle the difference in the world
I try to be a charitable observer, but it’s not always easy.
I like where you are going here with the intelligent/stupid smart/dumb, but there is still something nagging me about that analysis. The street thug may not be stupid at all. He could easily have really good native intelligence, but the local gang kept him from attending school. He could be intelligent (native intelligence) smart (he is getting rich from his gang activities) but since he can’t read and doesn’t know the basic facts of the government of his country he is uneducated and in normal parlance we would say he is stupid and dumb. My problem is that adding educated/uneducated to your paradigm doesn’t fix it all up, because your father is both educated and uneducable. In my opening salvo, I am calling un-educability stupid, but I fail to discern between too dumb to learn and too stubborn to learn. It is impossible to think of someone with an MS in chemistry as stupid, but there is a selective stupidity there (which you call dumb). In the 1600s when Bishop Ussher calculated from the bible that the earth was made by God in November of 4004 BC, he was neither stupid nor dumb nor uneducated. I now tentatively put forth the following: Intelligence-Education-Intellectual Honesty. You are not dumb about the street. You are uneducated about it. Your father lacks intellectual honesty about religion. I have met people who were unintelligent and anti-educated who could not be persuaded that Noah’s ark is false. Your father may believe Noah’s ark and if so it is due to a lack of intellectual honesty.
Would you say that E.A. Blair’s father is stupid? I wouldn’t. Clearly he could be smarter by not having that blind spot in his intellectual honesty, but stupid?
If people who do, or say, stupid things are stupid then doesn’t it logically follow we’re all stupid? After all, haven’t we all done something stupid at some time or other (bar those saints who haven’t, of course)? If someone does stupid things, or holds stupid beliefs, then I’m all for mocking those acts or beliefs, it’s one of the best ways of helping the deluded see the stupidity of their ways. But I very much avoid mocking the person. Blame the sin, not the sinner, as they say Or am I just being plain stupid!
Floridakitesurfer, That was an intemperate remark and you are correct to call me on it. I’ve met many very bright people who hold very stupid religious beliefs. I know they aren’t stupid. What they are is unwilling to really consider any evidence or arguments that their beliefs are stupid. It’s always amazing to me that very bright people can insist that they have looked at the evidence and concluded that all the scientists are wrong. Unfortunately, they get help from like minded people who feed them nonsense with authority.
Sorry, everybody. I took the easy way out there. Wishful thinking. If would be wonderful if we could just say that people with stupid beliefs are stupid. That would clear up a lot of confusion. Unfortunately it isn’t true. There’s a theory going around that intelligence evolved not as a tool for getting at the truth, but as a tool to use when persuading others that our beliefs are correct. People can apply their intelligence to arguing for their beliefs, or they can apply their intelligence for examining evidence and reaching a correct conclusion. Most people do the former, including me on occasion. Sigh.
Is this one a little hat tip to the atheist pig’s blog entry from the 2nd May
@StevenLeggs – you know, it might be. I remember reading that, and it could have sparked this. I’ll add a link. Thanks!
Stupid, pertaining to theology
Gives the vacuous mind room to run free
Where facts are dogmatic opinion
Enforced by the biggest minion
Seeking the source, the pursuit of money.
I’ve always believed that even with a huge head start you can’t outrun stupid, everywhere you go it’s already there waiting for you.
There’s no flexion like deflection (to the tune of there’s no show business…)
“If you weren’t so stupid… I could explain to you just how STUPID you are!”
Hilarious. Love the J and M strip.
Just noticed that the level of Guiness in their glasses gradually drops. Lovely touch of detail.
I wonder whether clever educated people who believe in “stupid things” are just people who can not or will not come to terms with the finality of death, and thus cling onto these fairy stories to give themselves hope of an afterlife.
Or people who won’t come to terms with human depravity, fatalism and objective otherness, predeterminism in the face of freedom, the lack of meaning in existence, the ultimate absurdity of justice in the universe, etc. Surely existential disillusionment and angst extend beyond immortality.
I think you should look at this video from Neil Tyson about intelligent design. It is very interesting and fit well with current discussion. As he say, there is very bright people that belive in god. So, it is not a trivial problem.
Isnt today http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everybody_Draw_Mohammed_Day ?
And Saturday 25th May is towel day
And I don’t have to swear any longer damn it I like to swear.
Crap! Towel day! I almost forgot this year!!
Thanks, Mike N.
Glad to be of service
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