When watching debates and interviews with atheists i always agree with them. However they tend to say that if you believe in god(s) you are stupid or that religion is "idiotic". Now i certainly agree that religion can be harmful, religious institutions are not always a force for good. But telling someone of faith so bluntly that they are wrong and in such a harsh way, surely that would only distance them from the idea of becoming non-religious or atheist. There are intelligent people who are theist and everyone has had moments in their life were an all knowing, kindly and loving god looks quite appeasing. Maybe instead of insulting them we should show that we understand where they are coming from and that we see their point, and slip in words like "however you must admit that..." or "the evidence is overwhelming..." so that it doesn't seem as though we see ourselves as being on some sort of higher ground. Then maybe they would be more comfortable and more open to new ways of thinking and ideas rather then being angry and constantly being on the defense or attacking.

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"stupid" [...] I guess... if you are referring to intelligence, then no... they are no more likely to be stupid. However, perhaps the better word would be "self-blindfolded." They refuse to know the truth.... because they are afraid of it.
It's interesting that I've come across this post, as I've recently been thinking how Glenn Beck is quick to accuse the media, pundits, or journalists, of specific types of undesirable behavior or activity (e.g., treating audience like morons). Realistically, it is he who exhibits the type of behavior or conduct he often demonizes. For example, this morning on his radio program, Beck accused Chris Matthews of selling his soul to the liberal establishment by toeing the left-wing line. But this is exactly how I have always viewed Glenn Beck. Beck toes the line of the far-right. Now I read that he recently told the audience of his TV program that the mainstream media treats them like morons. And this is definitely NOT the first time he has made this assertion. Again, it is Glenn who treats his audience like morons. Glenn is just like that closeted homosexual who crusades against gay rights. Reaction-formation anyone? Where are the psych majors???

I don't think theists are stupid. I know some very smart people who are theists. I know some very smart people who have some very off beliefs (I have one friend who just made up a religion out of thin air that makes no sence at all. She is deeply devoted to this totally nonsensical religion). I even know one very intelegent young earth creationist.

While all these people are very smart, I find it hard to think that their beliefs are anything but silly ideas that have nothing to do with the universe around us and how it actually works.

My knee-jerk reaction is, "yes."  Well, more like, "YES!"  However, I've met some very intelligent people who happen to be religious, which then... confuses me, honestly.  I don't know why it is so obvious to some that science, anthropology, historical accuracy, mathematics, etc. have discredited and disproved many a holy book, rendering them useless, even destructive, drivel, and yet others hold those same books near and dear and worthy of literal worship.  Not to mention a clinging belief in some sort of deity, which also seems like it would appear to be illogical to most folk.  How does this happen?  I can only accredit it to a special kind of blind stupid, I guess.  Or very willful hopefulness, because who doesn't want to be "loved" no matter what and have a comfy afterlife to retire to even if this life doesn't go as well as planned?     

There are a lot of well-educated theists, which confuses people and the issue because they seem intelligent.
The whole point is to persuade . . . not alienate.  Tact is certainly a useful tool for those who are genuinely interested in shining the light of reason.

No. Religious like Ideas are a part of our brains make up, It help us evolve when we were a young species. It let us imagination a world beyond our own and make sense of death, helped us cope with it and move on. It was the beginning of science, to help us curb our curious minds. like a fairytale we tell our children. Now that we are an older wiser species we need to move on - but these Ideas still linger and we want to hold on to them.

It will never go way, at least not for a long time. I think that our best hope is that people replace there religions with better philosophy's.

Anyone passed the child age which is over 12 would be considered stupid to me.  I think by then there are a lot of things they figured out not to be real like : Santa, leprechauns, tooth fairies etc...
There is no such thing as an all-encompassing definition of intelligence.  Intelligence is best described as being those collective mental faculties that serve to promote survival in any particular environment.  So you can't really say someone is or is not "intelligent" based solely on a belief system.  That being said, to maintain a belief in something as preposterous as a magic man in the sky pretty much exposes a deficit in the ability to process information efficaciously.  For me, that comes pretty close to being stupid.  One of the things that is bringing America to its knees is that the people we send to Congress, whether honestly or disingenuously, profess a faith that a supernatural, divine entity will take care of America, its problems, and its people as long as they believe in Him and not science and reason.  To maintain such a belief puts the entire country at risk of eventual ruin.  Placed in that context, a belief in God is effectively a lack of intelligence.  One, and only one congressman out of 535 - Pete Stark from California - has demonstrated to me that, in terms of the kind of intelligence it requires to make the best decisions for the country, he stands head and shoulders above all the others.  The man is honest and courageous enough to admit, publicly, that there is no such thing as GOD (or a god) who will heal all our wounds.  He does NOT believe there's a male in white robes floating around in the firmament loving America above all other nations; will lead it to victory in all conflicts; and will transport all Republicans to Heaven some day.  If that pegs me as calling believers in the supernatural "stupid," so be it.

Stupid?  No, not stupid.  I WAS a believer, after all, and at the time I certainly THOUGHT I had good reason to believe what I believed.  I wasn't being stupid.  I was being perfectly rational; my logic was simply flawed.  Unlike most, however, I eventually came to recognize and correct these flaws.


They are not stupid, merely deluded and "brainwashed" since childhood to believe a particular thing.  It's VERY hard to let that go when it's been indoctrinated into you for your entire life.  Even now as a die-hard atheist, I sometimes find myself second-guessing my own thoughts because of the little voice at the back of my mind warning me that God is listening to those thoughts.  That little voice might not ever go away, I just know it's full of shit now.

I wanted to add a clarification to my comments on this discussion:  Not all theists are the same.  They really have to be divided up into categories, especially for purposes of this discussion.  Young believers get a pass.  And, I think the question really only applies to true believers.  Many "theists" don't really believe in god; they believe in belief.  Although I think that belief in belief may also be less than intelligent, it is not in the same category as believing in the invisible magic man.
I'm assuming that you put all the "young earthers" in the category "most delusional", right?  After all, you have to willfully ignore the majority of science to actually get to the point of believing the earth is 10k years old.


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