Uncommon Descent Contest Question 16: Are materialist atheists smarter than other types of believers?
|December 12, 2009||Posted by O'Leary under Atheism, Uncommon Descent Contest|
I say “smarter than other types of believers” because atheism is a form of belief like any other. Usually, in North America today, materialist atheism is meant. There are non-materialist varieties of atheism, but they are not usually strident, like the new (materialist) atheists.
Interestingly, materialist atheism tends to develop structures similar to other religious institutions (the latest is summer camps for kids). It all reminds me of Julian Huxley’s 1959 proposal for a religion of evolution – but that for another day.
So, for a free copy of The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist’s case for the existence of the soul (Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary, Harper One 2007), which argues for non-materialist neuroscience, provide the best answer to this question: Are materialist atheists really smarter than other people? By what measure would we know? What difference does social privilege – such as tenure at a tax-funded institution and general acceptance in popular media make in determining who is smart?
Here are the contest rules. Four hundred words or less. Winners receive a certificate verifying their win as well as the prize. Winners must provide me with a valid postal address, though it need not be theirs. A winner’s name is never added to a mailing list. Have fun!
This contest has been judged. Go here for info.
Here’s a bit of background on the subject.
Atheism and popular culture: Religious commitment as mild dementia
Albert Einstein on the importance of faith in the reality of what we see
An event I did not happen to attend: British atheist graces Toronto
Spirituality and popular culture: Amazon’s #1 atheist book is Christian
Religion: There is atheism, and then there is materialist atheism
The new atheists: Santa’s sleigh came and went, and never gave them what they needed