My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
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05-12-2013, 06:32 PM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
Don't confuse the intellectual banter you see for intelligence, particularly the ones self promoted with unverifiable qualifications, "I went to X school therefore im smarter than you "

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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05-12-2013, 06:37 PM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
Q-Tit, really I know how you feel. I'm not so sure that your brain is geared wrong.

I find that, for me, it's the sheer amount of information that I never knew I was even interested in knowing is all of the sudden available and I want to know it now. It takes little more than some honest questions and some rational thinking to become an atheist, but for me (and you also, it sounds like) this process led to inquiries into all sorts of fields of knowledge that, before deconverting, I was happy enough to just ignore.

This is not to mention the megashitton of history, theology, comparative religions, evolution, archaeology, and on and on, that has to do with religion. It's downright overwhelming, and the more I try to cram into my brain the more shit I can't remember.

I'm not out in my personal life to but very few people, and this is the only forum I'm on, so debates don't happen too much and only really ever happen here, where I have plenty of smart as shit people to back me up with the details. So I'm trying to learn to take it slower, and concentrate on one thing at a time.

Plus, with as many brain cells as I've killed over the years that's about all I can handle anyway. So don't despair, you're fine. Just do what you can at your own level.

GuitarNut, ha! I'm so with you on the guitar lick remark. I don't know how many songs that I've heard a million times that I could sing you the guitar solo note for note, but don't have a clue what the lyrics are saying! Big Grin

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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05-12-2013, 06:38 PM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
(05-12-2013 06:02 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(05-12-2013 05:29 PM)guitar_nut Wrote:  Part of being a critical thinker is seeking out all the information you can on things you're interested in; it sounds like you've started down that path. It's one thing to feel like there's no god (as you acknowledged, feelings aren't facts). It's another to watch the debates, read the apologetic and atheist arguments, and form your own conclusion. The fact that you can't recall arguments and data at a moment's has no bearing on their validity. You might lose a debate because you can't recall a certain counter-argument, but that doesn't necessarily make your position wrong. It just makes you a poor debater Tongue

I'm a musician and I feel your pain. I've always had to work extra hard to absorb facts and information, unless they were related to a subject I was extremely interested in. Show me a guitar lick and I'll remember it forever. Tell me how many electrons a molecule has and I'll forget before I've walked out of the room.

Wow. Excellent posts, both of you. I'm in exactly the same boat. Welcome to the club!

Move over, make room for me on the 'I can't remember facts on atheism' sofa.

I was raised in an atheist home, never really thought about it, we never even said the words agnostic or atheist in our home. It was a topic that NEVER came up. It wasn't until my father passed away last December and hospital/funeral/end of life planning that we actually had to label it. It was then that I started googling and heard of Dawkins and Hitchens and TTA podcasts. I can't debate it, I just know I've always been this way.

"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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05-12-2013, 07:39 PM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
(05-12-2013 05:13 PM)QueenTit Wrote:  I've never been math or science minded.

All you need is one formula. I would suggest that you put on a pair of glasses, press your finger to your temple and paraphrase Euler, “Monsieur, (a + bn) / n = x , hence God does (not) exist; reply!"

I guarantee success.

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05-12-2013, 08:16 PM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
Even the Hobo village idiot (not you) can see that The Emperor Has No Clothes. Cool

No need to worry about explaining yourself. You are smart enough to see through the bullshit, that means you are well ahead of anyone who believes in iron-age goat herders' superstitious fairy tales. Thumbsup

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!

Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77

You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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05-12-2013, 08:39 PM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
There is a belief that started somewhere that if you are an atheist you must be a scholar in some field of science or some other area of devil worship. Like the only way to not believe in a deity is to have been tricked into that non belief by some hideously clever cult that uses made up science and pseudo facts.

No way to come to that conclusion without being led into it.

Its the exact opposite really. Its easy to come to the conclusion of a lack of gods. Its hard to come to the conclusion that there is a specific god out there who used magic to create everything but is somehow exempt from this law.

But it doesn't matter that this perception is incorrect because as an atheist Christians often seem to judge you based on it. This has the reverse affect on us than I think May have been the intended goal. Instead of us all claiming knowledge (though there are those of us that do as though stating you're an atheist somehow increases your IQ.) It, in my experience at least, has caused us to seek out the information and knowledge we are being unfairly expected to know verbatim.
Meanwhile the vast majority of Christians I have had conversations with, don't seem to have a very good handle on the gospel they preach. Nor the science they think we know so well. They are not planning this out very well.

Still. Who gives a shit really? Learn the things you desire to learn. There is so much information out there to be taken and so very little time on earth to take it. Why waste your precious time filing your head with non relevant information?

Only learn the other stuff when its needed. Like say you are going to battle the Christies about forcing their babble into school or government. Then its like learning how to shoot a gun properly. Or wield a sword. A tool to be used.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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05-12-2013, 08:40 PM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
Not all atheists are skeptics by nature.

Hell - I still got lots of woo to deprogram myself out of. I mean, look at my sig - unicorns are REAL dude!

[Image: 3d366d5c-72a0-4228-b835-f404c2970188_zps...1381867723]
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06-12-2013, 01:57 AM (This post was last modified: 06-12-2013 03:26 AM by Dena.)
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
I'm curious is why you feel you have to defend atheism? Is someone pushing you or is it something you've decide personally that you need to be able to do? I guess I hadn't considered it something one must defend. There are many reasons one might come to the conclusion there are no gods in existence. Some of them have to do with science, some with morality but at the end of the day I think part of it is a matter of personality. A group of people can grown up in the same religious community, share the same religious experiences, being taught the same religious ideals and one of them come away from it an atheist while all the others remain believers in their particular god. I've seen this for myself. You do not need to explain yourself.

Now, if you really feel like you're just interested in debate that's another story. I seriously doubt you're incapable. Maybe pick a couple of topics and work on those?
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06-12-2013, 02:25 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.

First, ditto what everyone else said about not needing to be a left-brain-savant to be an atheist. Speaking as someone with a math-geared brain, it's not all it's cracked up to be. Sure, I can put someone in their place when they start in on the "God is infinity" and "Infinite regression is absurdity" and probabilistic arguments and all that crap, but really, NO ONE is an atheist or a theist because of those. Someone who can respond to Oprah saying "atheists have no sense of awe or wonder" (or something like that, paraphrasing here) with magnificently, poetically phrased descriptions of wonder and beauty in the natural world, or gorgeously rendered art of the same, is a thousand times better when it comes to reaching others. Art cuts past the intellectual flesh and gets to the underlying emotional marrow.

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.
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06-12-2013, 06:01 AM
RE: My Arts Geared Brain is Too Stupid for Atheism
It's important to understand what's been said in this thread.
Just because you're an atheist doesn't mean you are smarter than a theist. Sure you might be able to see the futility of religion and the theist may not, but I'm the opinion that there are a LOT of theists that are very very smart trapped in the pockets of robust theological traditions that are armed with a quiver of apologetic arguments that reinforce their beliefs. As far as pop-Christianity in north america is concerned, I know of many people that start to find the average mega church intellectually unsatisfying usually make their way to skepticism but are sometimes 'saved' by a more "intelectual" and systematic tradition like the Reformed or Lutheran denominations. I have heard christian apologists admit that if they wouldnt have found these the would probably be an atheist or an agnostic by now.
Having said that, atheists are ironically in the US at least (i think Canada as well), the 2nd most religious literate and the most educated demographic (after Reformed Judaism), the least educated being JW's. The average atheist is much more educated than the average religous person but results may vary. This seems to cause the notion that just because you're an atheist you're smarter than a theist and that's not always the case although in most cases it is.
Having said that, I am of the opinion that you should educate yourself in what you have interest about and not what you feel pressured to in order to always have a passion for learning

“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.” ― Richard Pryor
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