I Get YouTube Messages

Dear Elles,
How well read are you on religious literature? You seem very confident in the conclusions you have reached on religious matters, as I was at 15. I could be crazy, but I don’t think a video recording of you praying to God proves anything about either the existence or non-existence of God.

I’m a student at an elite university (Duke), high IQ and SAT’s, working for a think tank, and double majoring in two departments with a minor in a third. I love to read, think, and write. I am not saying to brag, only to question your assumption that all Christians are brainless. Intelligence and religion are not that strongly correlated. Maybe in your experience the brightest people you know are atheist, but experience is so limited and proves almost nothing about factuality. IQ and degrees do not necessarily speak to issues of truth. Some of the smartest people I know are Christians—and so are many of the dumbest. Ditto atheists.

I’m not angry with you and do not want to argue. I’m simply pointing out that it is a straw-man to attack anonymous Christians from random internet forums and expose their lack of critical thinking. I hope you agree to the intellectual shallowness of that tactic. I could enter into countless atheist forums and rip naive atheists for their errors, but don’t want to waste my time doing so.

I saw a link to your video and wondered what the deal was. Thanks for posting. As a small, but maybe helpful tip, I suggest that you pray in private and without fanfare. In all seriousness, if there is something you would like prayed for, I’d be happy to do so.

–Benjamen

And my reply…

Dear Benjamen,

I would like to clarify that I do not, in fact, think that all Christians are brainless. I have many Christian friends who are very smart people who simply are unwilling to question their faith in Christianity. I eat lunch every day with a creationist because he’s the closest I can come to another intellectual at my school (lamentably enough).

Ultimately, the existence of the Judeo-Christian god has nothing to do with the intelligence of those who believe in him. It has to do with what evidence there is. I never would try to use the overall or individual intelligence of Atheists as an argument against the Judeo-Christian god.

I have read much of the Bible, and I do try to follow some of Jesus’ teachings not because I think that’s what Judeo-Christian god wants me to do, but because I think that it just makes sense to be nice to your fellow human. I’ve also perused through a few religious books, though I was unwilling to purchase them, and I was unimpressed. If there is a particular book you feel I absolutely ought to read, please recommend one.

I’m sorry that it seemed like I was holding up Dawkinswatch as an example of what all Christians are like. I would most certainly not want to do that. Considering that he thinks that Dawkins is a New Ager, he’s an embarrassment to all of humanity.

And lastly, I have tried praying in private a few times and found no difference in the results. There is nothing I’d like prayed for for the time being, but thanks for the offer.

–Elles

Gotta hand it to him… friendly person. ๐Ÿ™‚

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3 responses to this post.

  1. If there’s anything you want prayed for, save the effort and just make it happen yourself (or accept that it can’t, if you’re praying for the ability to fly for instance).

    I never got the sense that your video was accusing all Christians of being like that. Dawkinswatch needed a smackdown, and that was all.

  2. Teehee… That he did. You’d think Ben would be thanking me for destroying him. I’d be embarrassed about Dawkinswatch if I were a theist.

  3. Very polite, intelligent and compassionate letter he sent you. Seems like a likeable and worthwhile fellow.

    Makes me all that more curious to know how he’d answer a few questions about his beliefs. ๐Ÿ˜› Even my most brilliant Christian friend bottoms out with ~ “But they provided me community, and I was lonely.” albeit, in a few more words. I think this was the pull for Wittgenstein as well.

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