I’ve commented on some posts from Evan Erwin’s blog before, and I subscribe to his RSS feed, but I have to admit that my respect for his opinion dropped with one of his latest posts. Here is how he gets started:
It’s weird to me yet strangely familiar. I see, first hand, the overzealousness of the religious among us. The sort of blank stares, the blind beliefs, the insistence on the imaginary guy they’ve been told their entire lives really, really cares and is listening to them.
And I can’t help but shake my head in pity.
–Evan Erwin, The Search for a Good Story
Look, I can deal with being made fun of and ridiculed for believing that Christianity is true. Every Christian in this country must develop thick skin or else you won’t be able to watch TV for five minutes without getting angry. But, comments like the one above make the writer instantly lose credibility in my eyes. It doesn’t make me mad or upset, just disinterested. I’m just not interested in what people have to say when they start off by declaring that they have a higher level of knowledge than 85-90% of the global population over the course of human history. Self-proclaimed atheists have an elevated opinion of their own intellect that is unrivaled in any other circle.
The line of reasoning that says that people believe in supernatural things because they are too stupid, gullible, scared or weak-minded to face the facts, is a dead-end. Just look at a cross-section of the Christian population and I have no doubt that you will indeed find lots of people that fall into those categories. But, you will also find some of the greatest thinkers in human history. And they don’t fall into any of those categories at all. And atheists as a group reflect the same type of cross-section. You will find stupid people standing right alongside brilliant ones in the atheist camp too. So the reality of the matter is that whatever category you fall into really doesn’t matter one whit to whether or not what you believe is true.
A person’s IQ score tells you nothing about the truth of his beliefs. Any given person is going to have many true beliefs and many false ones. They might not be able to tell which ones are which, but that doesn’t mean the true ones are any less true. No, an idea or belief stands on it’s own and should be judged according to it’s own merits and proofs. The intelligence of it’s adherents has about as much bearing on it’s validity as the way they smell does. Atheists need to stop acting like they are the smartest people in the world and learn some humility. You lose respect when you tell people that you pity Christians for being weak-minded, because you just included many of the greatest minds the world has ever known in the group that you believe is beneath you. I really don’t think Antony Flew, GK Chesterton, John Clerk Maxwell, Blaise Pascal or Thomas Aquinas need the pity of modern day atheists.