People who think the simple fact they profess to be atheists makes them automatically smarter than anyone who believes in god can shut the fuck up any time now. I’m not sure what pisses me off most about this attitude – the innate arrogance, the internal logical contradiction or the ignoring of objectively observable reality.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think religious fundamentalists are morons. I’ve been very clear that I think people who want to place their religious beliefs on an equal footing on science are evil and enemies of humanity. None of that means there aren’t atheists who are utter fuckwits. I can’t stand people who push the line “I think believing in god is stupid, I don’t believe in god, therefore I’m smarter than anyone who believes in god.”
My response is: shut the fuck up you egotistical, self-deluding simpleton.
Because this type of bigot reflexively accuses me of being a religious fundamentalist I’ll waste a little time explaining what my beliefs are. (I call this a waste of time because it’s no easier to reach atheist bigots than it is to reach any other sort of bigot. Who else but a religious nut would challenge their sacred belief is the superiority of atheism?) My take on the question “Does god exist?” is that it’s irrelevant.
The idea that any “supreme being” could possibly give a shit what us insignificant insects get up to is laughable. And the idea that said deity would punish us for eternity for not bowing down and offering out lifelong obeisance is fucking ridiculous. Those are human behaviours. Any being with those sorts of failings is a long way from supreme.
And I wholeheartedly reject every religion on the planet. No matter how humble and selfless the beliefs of any individual may be, religious institutions exist solely to exert power over other people. Fuck that. Besides which, all religions are working on the assumption that at least 95% of the planet is wrong (when it comes down to it, intra-religion sects hate each other more than they do outsiders). Why not go with the odds and assume 100% of them are wrong?
So if I reject religion, why am I telling hardcore atheists to shut the fuck up? Maybe you consider yourself a follower of science and rational, objective reason. Good for you. That doesn’t make you innately more intelligent than ANYONE. Atheism is a belief system the same as any religion. You can’t prove that god doesn’t exist any more than anyone can prove god does exist. You believe that your rational thought system is right and religious belief is wrong. But by itself, that isn’t a measure of intelligence.
Sure, you can point to insane bastards who reject conclusive science like evolution in favour of their literal interpretation of religious texts. Being able to point out complete freaks doesn’t define you as a genius. In fact, an arrogant belief in one’s superiority is usually a sure sign of lack of intelligence. Intelligent people are actually the most likely to say “I don’t know”. Something religious fundamentalists and atheist bigots have in common is an unswerving beliefs in their rightness – there is something essentially wrong with anyone who disagrees with them.
When someone says “My fundamental non-religious beliefs make me automatically smarter than someone with fundamental religious beliefs” I say “Shut the fuck up!” The fact that someone who would say that is too stupid to see the inherent logical contradiction would be funny if it wasn’t sad. Neither intelligence nor your worth as a human is measured solely on where you lie on the religion/atheism continuum. Unless the person doing the measuring is a fundamentalist zealot.
It really bugs me how atheist zealots argue they are more intelligent than religious believers in the face of objective evidence to the contrary. Saying that a belief in god makes you automatically stupid denies obvious things like the number of scientists and scholars who are religious. Not to mention the amount of scholarly work that has been done through the ages and continues to be done by religious groups.
Why are some atheists so scared to admit that they are following a deeply held belief rather than some objective reality? What the hell is wrong with belief? When you can admit you hold beliefs rather than some indisputable truth you’re saying that you’re still open to questions. You’re intelligent and objective enough to admit that there is always more to learn.
Of course you think your beliefs are right. By definition when you believe something you think you’re right. And it makes sense to defend your beliefs passionately and point out what you think is wrong with contradictory views. But a sure sign of an ignorant, anti-intellectual fuckwit is someone who’s convinced they have no more to learn and it’s impossible they will ever be proved wrong.
I’ve learned from experience that there is a certain (small) subset of atheists who are incapable of making the concession they could be wrong. In this they are every bit as much a fundamentalist as the most backward religious freak. Pressing them on this point tends to make them freak out. But I don’t give a fuck.
Atheist bigots need to shut the fuck up.