My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
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06-12-2013, 06:52 AM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
(06-12-2013 02:25 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Second, don't give up on math and science so soon. I don't care how old you are, unless you've suffered serious brain degradation from disease or injury, you retain the ability to master new subjects, and new ways about thinking about subjects. The latter is the key to understanding math and science. They have their own modes of thought. Once you master those modes of thought, all of the rest becomes digestible. One of my biggest complaints about pedagogy is that science and math are taught as a whole bunch of facts and rules to memorize, and not as methods of thinking. If you have trouble learning these things, perhaps you simply need a new approach. But again, these are not essential, and you should invest in them only insofar as that investment interests you.

This is a pet peeve of mine, feel free to skip this paragraph.... or the whole damn post. Like you need my permission. While I won't suggest that you, personally, are doing this, in my experience teaching math claiming that one doesn't have the brain for it is less often an innate fact and more often a crutch. By framing their frustrated efforts (and EVERY student of math or science faces frustrations in mastering them) as an undeserved and insurmountable curse, the student excuses herself of past difficulties and from future attempts. The result is a trap, a self-fulfilling prophesy that provides the appearance of an emotional shelter but does so by incorporating the message that one is inept, impotent, broken, and helpless. Most students can learn these things if they persevere... including the students who think they can't. You CAN learn them and you're NOT inept. But it requires effort and dedication... and really, if it doesn't excite you, that's reason enough not to bring the effort and dedication. If an adult doesn't want to study these subjects, they should own that with total honesty. We are free to explore those parts of life that we wish. We've got no duty to learn about chromosome fusion or abiogenesis or anything like that. "I don't want to" is a perfectly fine justification for an adult, and we're under no obligation to study these things. "I can't" is harmful, unverifiable, and unnecessary. "I don't want to" is all we need.

That said? Recognizing your limitations is the greatest form of wisdom. Socrates made a point of emphasizing that he understood nothing, and his genius wasn't in having all the right answers, but in having all the right questions.

I just read an article on this very thing about two weeks ago…..
Key difference between kids who excel at math and those that don't.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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06-12-2013, 06:55 AM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
(05-12-2013 05:13 PM)QueenTit Wrote:  Sometimes (okay, most of the time) I feel like I'm not intelligent enough to be a "good" atheist ("good" meaning one who can factually, effectively defend WHY and who is able to passionately argue for the side of logic and reason). Or, perhaps more specifically: I'm not smart (I'm talking about possessing the ability to grasp and process information) in the right areas.
I've never been math or science minded. I have an arts/english brain and clearly, based on my past, I haven't been a critical/free thinker. I'm in awe of the teens on here who are being raised in Christian homes but who have the type of minds/personalities to question and not just follow blindly.
My deconversion definitely consisted of reading and researching and listening to almost all of the podcasts in The Thinking Atheist archive. I'm reading Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman now. But, if I'm honest, I find it all very hard to retain. I know that I don't believe in a god because I know that I've read the evidence and it's convinced me... I just have a hard time recalling that evidence if it's not right in front of me. And, again, to be honest, I find a lot of the scientific proof to be dry and I have to force myself to read it and focus.
The thing that really keeps me strong in my anti-theism is this very strong feeling of knowing there is no god. But feelings don't really mean jackshit because they're really all Christians have to rely on and we all know they're completely deluded.
This is getting longer than I anticipated (I have this fear of not being understood, so I over-explain a lot) but I'm just wondering if there are any others who feel this way? I'm not really confident that I fully explained how I feel about this, but perhaps some of your comments might allow me to respond with more clarity.

I know in school and college the big words and complex subjects were intimidating, but you hinted on part of what was my lack of self awareness. Two major things were my stumbling blocks.

1. Pressure under the gun. Fear of getting it wrong and fear of being judged(graded).

2. Not having the self awareness of understanding that I process information differently. It is not enough for someone to simply plop something in front of you and have them parrot it back to you. I hated many of my textbooks and many teachers because they simply dictated and talked over my head.

There are some things I will never grasp as far as complex detail. But overall concepts in general are not hard to understand. Much like you don't have to be able to build a car engine to understand the concept of the combustion engine.

I can't do a fraction to save my life. But I do know that math works. Just like I can drive my car and understand it does not run on pixy dust.

I used to be intimidated by giant walls of text and big words. But the great thing is the access of the internet and simply looking up the definition of something, or asking someone to simplify a subject for you, can give you that overall understanding, even if you are not an expert in the detail.

Much like a foot doctor isn't a neurosurgeon but has to understand the same concepts and methods and physical biology.

I had to audit my Greek/Roman mythology class in college because I was failing. I still have today my Oedipus trilogy plays book. I was stifled by the pressure in the class. But after I graduated, years later without the pressure, got board one day, and read them on my own. I still got stuck on some words but the plots of the play and overall motifs I finally understood.

When it comes to theists arguments always keep in mind, whatever elaborate language they use, they are still starting from a naked assertion in that an invisible fictional sky hero exists. Secondly, they know they would not buy another god claim if that person claiming another god were using the same argument.

If they try to use science to prop up their god claim, always keep in mind other people of other religions also do the same thing. No one of any religion has ever been able to take their claims into a neutral lab setting and get them tested and falsified. No one of any religion can take their god claims to a patient office.

When you keep that in mind dealing with theists arguments, you can see through their elaborate fluff and big words. It makes much more sense to me that people make up gods and falsely believe them to be fact.

I have found on line if I don't understand a concept. I can look it up. Or with all the great minds to pick, you can find someone who can explain it at your level.

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06-12-2013, 08:04 AM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
(06-12-2013 06:55 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  
(05-12-2013 05:13 PM)QueenTit Wrote:  Sometimes (okay, most of the time) I feel like I'm not intelligent enough to be a "good" atheist ("good" meaning one who can factually, effectively defend WHY and who is able to passionately argue for the side of logic and reason). Or, perhaps more specifically: I'm not smart (I'm talking about possessing the ability to grasp and process information) in the right areas.
I've never been math or science minded. I have an arts/english brain and clearly, based on my past, I haven't been a critical/free thinker. I'm in awe of the teens on here who are being raised in Christian homes but who have the type of minds/personalities to question and not just follow blindly.
My deconversion definitely consisted of reading and researching and listening to almost all of the podcasts in The Thinking Atheist archive. I'm reading Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman now. But, if I'm honest, I find it all very hard to retain. I know that I don't believe in a god because I know that I've read the evidence and it's convinced me... I just have a hard time recalling that evidence if it's not right in front of me. And, again, to be honest, I find a lot of the scientific proof to be dry and I have to force myself to read it and focus.
The thing that really keeps me strong in my anti-theism is this very strong feeling of knowing there is no god. But feelings don't really mean jackshit because they're really all Christians have to rely on and we all know they're completely deluded.
This is getting longer than I anticipated (I have this fear of not being understood, so I over-explain a lot) but I'm just wondering if there are any others who feel this way? I'm not really confident that I fully explained how I feel about this, but perhaps some of your comments might allow me to respond with more clarity.

I know in school and college the big words and complex subjects were intimidating, but you hinted on part of what was my lack of self awareness. Two major things were my stumbling blocks.

1. Pressure under the gun. Fear of getting it wrong and fear of being judged(graded).

2. Not having the self awareness of understanding that I process information differently. It is not enough for someone to simply plop something in front of you and have them parrot it back to you. I hated many of my textbooks and many teachers because they simply dictated and talked over my head.

There are some things I will never grasp as far as complex detail. But overall concepts in general are not hard to understand. Much like you don't have to be able to build a car engine to understand the concept of the combustion engine.

I can't do a fraction to save my life. But I do know that math works. Just like I can drive my car and understand it does not run on pixy dust.

I used to be intimidated by giant walls of text and big words. But the great thing is the access of the internet and simply looking up the definition of something, or asking someone to simplify a subject for you, can give you that overall understanding, even if you are not an expert in the detail.

Much like a foot doctor isn't a neurosurgeon but has to understand the same concepts and methods and physical biology.

I had to audit my Greek/Roman mythology class in college because I was failing. I still have today my Oedipus trilogy plays book. I was stifled by the pressure in the class. But after I graduated, years later without the pressure, got board one day, and read them on my own. I still got stuck on some words but the plots of the play and overall motifs I finally understood.

When it comes to theists arguments always keep in mind, whatever elaborate language they use, they are still starting from a naked assertion in that an invisible fictional sky hero exists. Secondly, they know they would not buy another god claim if that person claiming another god were using the same argument.

If they try to use science to prop up their god claim, always keep in mind other people of other religions also do the same thing. No one of any religion has ever been able to take their claims into a neutral lab setting and get them tested and falsified. No one of any religion can take their god claims to a patient office.

When you keep that in mind dealing with theists arguments, you can see through their elaborate fluff and big words. It makes much more sense to me that people make up gods and falsely believe them to be fact.

I have found on line if I don't understand a concept. I can look it up. Or with all the great minds to pick, you can find someone who can explain it at your level.

I understand the point you were trying to make...but...
You are talking about two different things with those analogies. Building an engine is mechanical. The concept of a combustion engine is physics. If you don't know how to build a car, the physics to building it to a mechanic is mostly irrelevant. Nor would you attempt to tell a mechanic how to do it.

Queen might not be able to talk shop, but he can paint a beautiful picture of the finished product. No understanding of the mechanics of the car, or the physics involved for how it moves, is necessary.

So that's the way queen should approach it. Paint the logic picture and ask how the viewer sees the picture instead of spending time describing how paint is made, what the canvas is made from, how the canvas is made, how the wood for the frame is treated and constructed, and so forth.

The majority of people you meet are not the intellectually elite anyway. There is no need to prove you are the smartest person in the room. You can talk to people on their level, which is what I suggested the OP do....not try to bully them into being on yours.

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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06-12-2013, 08:24 AM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
(05-12-2013 05:13 PM)QueenTit Wrote:  Sometimes (okay, most of the time) I feel like I'm not intelligent enough to be a "good" atheist ("good" meaning one who can factually, effectively defend WHY and who is able to passionately argue for the side of logic and reason). Or, perhaps more specifically: I'm not smart (I'm talking about possessing the ability to grasp and process information) in the right areas.
I've never been math or science minded. I have an arts/english brain and clearly, based on my past, I haven't been a critical/free thinker. I'm in awe of the teens on here who are being raised in Christian homes but who have the type of minds/personalities to question and not just follow blindly.
My deconversion definitely consisted of reading and researching and listening to almost all of the podcasts in The Thinking Atheist archive. I'm reading Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman now. But, if I'm honest, I find it all very hard to retain. I know that I don't believe in a god because I know that I've read the evidence and it's convinced me... I just have a hard time recalling that evidence if it's not right in front of me. And, again, to be honest, I find a lot of the scientific proof to be dry and I have to force myself to read it and focus.
The thing that really keeps me strong in my anti-theism is this very strong feeling of knowing there is no god. But feelings don't really mean jackshit because they're really all Christians have to rely on and we all know they're completely deluded.
This is getting longer than I anticipated (I have this fear of not being understood, so I over-explain a lot) but I'm just wondering if there are any others who feel this way? I'm not really confident that I fully explained how I feel about this, but perhaps some of your comments might allow me to respond with more clarity.


Never judge your *intelligence* by five-dollar-word posts made by others or their mathematical prowess. People tossing around their educational level or mastery of a dictionary is no real measure of their intelligence. I've been in online forums since 1995 and quite frankly those I've found to be **intelligent** rarely feel the need to throw around a big vocabulary - trying to look impressive. While it's always ok to wish to improve or seek such; it's not Ok to measure yourself against pseudo intelligence. Don't let anyone intimidate you by their keen knowledge of this or that. Have you ever met someone who's truly uber rich? Notice how they do not flaunt their wealth? I've always seen it as the same thing - ie how someone presents themselves in a forum. In fact, the more a person works at sounding So so impressive - the less impressed I am or the less I trust their willingness to impart pertinent information in a discussion. They're clearly more interested in themselves than the dialogue. Actual Intelligence means more than collected data in one's head as far as I'm concerned.

Be yourself. There's no stronger sign of intelligence.Thumbsup

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06-12-2013, 10:08 AM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
You don't have to defend being an Atheist, because there is nothing to defend. By definition you can never be wrong.

I had a friend ask me a few months back, "What if you're wrong"? I said, "Impossible, I know it's true that I don't believe in God".

And that's all it is, a lack of a belief. You don't have to defend it, and it's true that you are an Atheist by virtue of that lack of a belief alone.

If you feel you need to prove the bible wrong, or that there is in fact no "God" (rather than simply that you don't believe in one), or to validate to others that your position is more reasonable than theirs, than that's another thing, but Atheism itself does not need defending. If you don't believe, guess what, you are right that you don't believe. You've just defended your Atheism.

So the question is not, do you want to be able to defend your position. It's, do you want to be able to take down "their" position? If not, then you are fine. If so, then their is studying to do.

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06-12-2013, 10:18 AM (This post was last modified: 06-12-2013 10:39 AM by Raptor Jesus.)
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
(06-12-2013 10:08 AM)Raptor Jesus Wrote:  So the question is not, do you want to be able to defend your position. It's, do you want to be able to take down "their" position? If not, then you are fine. If so, then their is studying to do.

Actually, I take that back. There is no studying to do because their position is so obviously bullshit you don't need to.

There is only studying to do if you want to take them down at their own game, using their own book, and their own made up logic, rules, and reconstituted language.

Like with Creationist, I'll obliterate a Creationist, but that in part because I have an educational background in evolution, and have "studied", if you can even call it that, Creationism, so that I can use Creationism against itself.

That sort of approach requires some looking into what they actually think and believe, but that only matters if that is the kind of approach you want to take?

If all you want to do is explain to someone why you don't believe, you don't have to defend that. Just ask them to explain why you should believe, or why they believe, and whatever they say will make no sense, and just explain to them why. That's all you have to do. Unless they give you convincing evidence that makes you think, "well maybe there might actually be a god, based on what you just said", which I've never heard such convincing evidence, so you should be able to refute anything they say, because it's nonsense.

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06-12-2013, 10:28 AM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
(06-12-2013 10:08 AM)Raptor Jesus Wrote:  You don't have to defend being an Atheist, because there is nothing to defend. By definition you can never be wrong.

I had a friend ask me a few months back, "What if you're wrong"? I said, "Impossible, I know it's true that I don't believe in God".

And that's all it is, a lack of a belief. You don't have to defend it, and it's true that you are an Atheist by virtue of that lack of a belief alone.

If you feel you need to prove the bible wrong, or that there is in fact no "God" (rather than simply that you don't believe in one), or to validate to others that your position is more reasonable than theirs, than that's another thing, but Atheism itself does not need defending. If you don't believe, guess what, you are right that you don't believe. You've just defended your Atheism.

So the question is not, do you want to be able to defend your position. It's, do you want to be able to take down "their" position? If not, then you are fine. If so, then their is studying to do.

This is - by far - the most eloquent and articulate way I've every heard anyone put it. Bowing

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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06-12-2013, 10:44 AM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
(05-12-2013 05:13 PM)QueenTit Wrote:  Sometimes (okay, most of the time) I feel like I'm not intelligent enough to be a "good" atheist ("good" meaning one who can factually, effectively defend WHY and who is able to passionately argue for the side of logic and reason). Or, perhaps more specifically: I'm not smart (I'm talking about possessing the ability to grasp and process information) in the right areas.
I've never been math or science minded. I have an arts/english brain and clearly, based on my past, I haven't been a critical/free thinker. I'm in awe of the teens on here who are being raised in Christian homes but who have the type of minds/personalities to question and not just follow blindly.
My deconversion definitely consisted of reading and researching and listening to almost all of the podcasts in The Thinking Atheist archive. I'm reading Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman now. But, if I'm honest, I find it all very hard to retain. I know that I don't believe in a god because I know that I've read the evidence and it's convinced me... I just have a hard time recalling that evidence if it's not right in front of me. And, again, to be honest, I find a lot of the scientific proof to be dry and I have to force myself to read it and focus.
The thing that really keeps me strong in my anti-theism is this very strong feeling of knowing there is no god. But feelings don't really mean jackshit because they're really all Christians have to rely on and we all know they're completely deluded.
This is getting longer than I anticipated (I have this fear of not being understood, so I over-explain a lot) but I'm just wondering if there are any others who feel this way? I'm not really confident that I fully explained how I feel about this, but perhaps some of your comments might allow me to respond with more clarity.


I like to celebrate intelligence and knowledge and rational thinking as part of atheism, but I really don't think atheism requires massive intelligence. I'm artistic, and am a game designer, graphic designer, and animator (per my education anyway), but this has never slowed my atheistic bent.

Frankly, I think religion is hard and atheism is all too easy, which is why I'm baffled by how few of us there seems to be, but it adds to explaining why religion is so cruel in how it demands blind obedience. Religion is defeated with easy, simple questions. It takes no effort.

Why does the Bible mentions unicorns?
Why would a loving god give a child AIDS?
How does Jesus dying for my sins actually benefit me in any way? What was the point?
Why should I give my money to a church?
Why should I worship a child rapist like Mohammad?
Where is the evidence of any of this?
How can they prove that death is preferable?
Why is hell so bad?
Why should I define people different than me as enemies to be murdered?
Why are my morals superior and have more humanity than those of god?
Why would god create imperfect creatures then punish them for that imperfection?

I don't want to downplay the intelligence we happily embrace as atheists, but really, this shit is easy. At no time do I have to struggle with trying to explain my bullshit beliefs against highly contradictory evidence. I simply don't have bullshit beliefs.

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06-12-2013, 10:50 AM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
Thanks for all of your support and responses (particularly WitchSabrina and Cathym112). I'm so thankful to have found this community last month as I didn't expect to find an outlet like this for the struggles I'm having.
The main question I think a lot of the responses are asking is why I feel the need to defend atheism. I think, because I was so IN IT when it came to christianity that I know all of the christian responses to any non-scientific argument. There's a this christian voice in my head that tells me how I would have responded to any of the arguments I've read for atheism. NOW, I can see that those responses were illogical, but I also know that if I was to encounter a christian who argued those things, I don't have anything to really come back at them with because I understand how they think. Honestly, I think I'm putting too much pressure on myself to try to convince others of my position (I'm a recovering people-pleaser Smile)
I do have this personal desire to find hard evidence that I wasn't aware of when I believed. I think the biggest reason I feel this pressure to be prepared with info. is that my boyfriend's family (particularly his mom) are devout mormons. His mom continuously broached the subject of religion with me until my boyfriend had a talk with her about it and after that she's sent missionaries to our place multiple times. Up until this point, I've just told them that I don't believe and that I don't have the desire to debate with them about it, but they continue to pry and I HATE being in that situation and sounding like someone who just doesn't believe because of feelings.
I understand a lot of you who are saying that atheism is kind of the default and that religion should be the one to have to prove itself, but in my world, it's been the opposite, which is part of the reason I think I feel this way.
Many of your responses have been very kind and I really appreciate them. You've helped me to feel more OK with not being able to remember all of the data, and confirmed for me that it's perfectly fine to just not believe because you don;t believe.
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06-12-2013, 10:54 AM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
(06-12-2013 10:50 AM)QueenTit Wrote:  Thanks for all of your support and responses (particularly WitchSabrina and Cathym112).

....Undecided

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