Do you stereotype based on religious beliefs?
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11-04-2012, 04:01 PM
Do you stereotype based on religious beliefs?
I know people generally believe that atheists are smarter than theists (Christians particularly). This is a common stereotype just like Republicans are Christians and love guns.

So, here are my questions:

1) When someone reveals that they are a Christian (on the Internet or IRL), do you automatically feel intellectually superior?

If yes then -

2) When a Christian shows that they are intellectually competent, do you still feel superior despite the fact that you may not be; however, subjectively you feel so because the idea of Christianity to you is so ridiculous that it automatically nullifies any intelligence?

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11-04-2012, 04:05 PM
RE: Do you stereotype based on religious beliefs?
1. Yes
2. No.


You are an example of someone I don't feel intellectually superior to. For the most part though, yes I do assume theists are less intelligent. I don't really allow that to interfere with any relationship I might have with that person though. I don't discriminate based on it.

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11-04-2012, 04:08 PM
RE: Do you stereotype based on religious beliefs?
No, I don't fall into the stereotype of believing that atheists are "smarter". In fact, I know plenty of dumb atheists (you know who you are!) and plenty of smart theists.


I do, however, typically assume several things upon meeting a theist. I assume that they care about morality as much as I do. I assume that they are not only Christian but one who believes in the literal truth of the bible (just as a matter of probability). I also assume that if I tell them I'm an atheist then they will attempt to convert me, usually starting with Pascal's Wager (again, probability and experience).

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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11-04-2012, 04:34 PM
RE: Do you stereotype based on religious beliefs?
No I not would automatically assume I was superior to a person, if they announced that they were Christian because, the difference between an athiest and a theist is, one has religous beliefs and the other doesn't, which has nothing to do with intelligence.
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11-04-2012, 04:35 PM
RE: Do you stereotype based on religious beliefs?
To judge someone's intelligence based on a single facet of their their character is rather the unintelligent thing to do.

Someone could be a bumbling idiot when it comes to one subject, but a friggen Einstein in another when you, yourself are a bumbling idiot there.

Now, there's plenty of variables at play here. Where am I meeting this Christian? In a deeply religious area? Then I can probably safely assume that they don't believe in evolution. In that case, I will assume that I am intellectually superior on THIS subject. But I will never act on this assumption until I hear from their mouth that they don't believe in evolution.

That was just an example and could be replaced by similar scenarios.

On the flip side of this, I also tend not to consider someone highly intelligent just because of their credentials. Dr. Michael Behe is infinitely smarter than myself in biochemistry, yet I consider him to be a bumbling idiot because of the way he defends creationism through his field of study.

I guess my real answer is one that many of my professors hated... It depends.

By the way, there have been cases where I thought someone was intellectually inferior on a subject only to discover that it was me that lacked the better understanding.
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11-04-2012, 04:53 PM
RE: Do you stereotype based on religious beliefs?
It's not about intelligence, per se. It is about clarity vs. delusion; I pity the deluded.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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11-04-2012, 05:09 PM (This post was last modified: 11-04-2012 08:27 PM by Anjele.)
RE: Do you stereotype based on religious beliefs?
Since most of the people I know consider themselves Christian to some degree, I would be stupid to assume that every Christian I meet is below my intelligence level. It's simply a matter of numbers. I have a couple dear friends that are quite evangelical and we have discussed religion at length. It doesn't color our relationships. We know where we stand and we respect each other.

If I meet someone that starts right off with setting a religious tone to things, I am wary because I don't want religious belief or lack thereof to be the main thing that defines us.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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11-04-2012, 05:47 PM
RE: Do you stereotype based on religious beliefs?
My gf is really smart when it comes to math things but when it comes to common sense and logic she fails hard so I assume alot of theists can be smart but they mostly lack overal logical thinking.
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11-04-2012, 07:53 PM
RE: Do you stereotype based on religious beliefs?
I don't like stereotypes of any kind. Most people actally do not fit them.

There are all kinds of christians. The ones who shout "praise the lord" all day long get on my nerves. I once had a part time secretary who would say this at least 10 times within 4 hours, day after day. She was a sweet lady, really, and competent too, but she drove me to distraction.

I have a lot of christian friends and I don't hang out with stupid people.

So, no, I don't stereotype, each person is unique.

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11-04-2012, 09:20 PM
RE: Do you stereotype based on religious beliefs?
Seeing as how I used to be a literal creationist it's more then a little hard for me to feel superior so much as just feeling a little empathetic and not liking myself for it.

People shouldn't be discriminated against based on their beliefs unless those beliefs are just total crazy or would harm another person.

ex. I don't feel superior to someone who says they are Catholic but if they mention that they beleive partial birth abortions actually do happen I get a twang of empathic guilt and will try my best politely to point out the faults in reasoning.
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