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7/14/2018 7:48 pm  #1


Atheist = intellectual

I encounter this regularly, especially among lay persons--the idea that atheism is to be equated with higher learning, critical thinking, etc. Why is this such a prevalent characterization in our culture? What do you think the historical roots are for this?

I partly blame some mainstream flavors of Christianity divorcing themselves from the theological tradition of philosophy alongside religion, and opting for a fideism based mostly--I guess--in good feelings and spiritual inspiration. The atheist is the natural skeptic of this form of theism, and is seen as someone who is grounded in the facts and prefers intellectual investigation over pure fideism.

Last edited by RomanJoe (7/14/2018 7:55 pm)

 

7/23/2018 5:36 pm  #2


Re: Atheist = intellectual

RomanJoe wrote:

I encounter this regularly, especially among lay persons--the idea that atheism is to be equated with higher learning, critical thinking, etc. Why is this such a prevalent characterization in our culture? What do you think the historical roots are for this?

I have no idea. The New Atheists pushed the equivalence hard; but, if I had to, I might look further back to see if it had roots in Enlightenment ideas of the Middle Ages being mired in the ignorance and darkness of religion. (This is why I questioned Mr. Chicy about what he meant here. The Enlightenment narrative has been thoroughly debunked, but for some reason it's still surprisingly popular.)

 

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