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Taking Religion Seriously
American Magazine, by Charles Murray

Original Article

Posted By:eagleblurst, 4/18/2014 9:33:43 AM

If you are a high-IQ recent graduate from a top college or university, here is where you probably stand when it comes to religion: It’s not for you. You don’t mind if other people are devout, but you don’t get it. Smart people don’t believe that stuff anymore. Perhaps you are explicitly an atheist. Even if you are an agnostic, you don’t spend much time worrying about God, because there’s no point. If a God exists, it cannot be the kind of God who has anything to do with this flyspeck world… [Split]

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: bugboy, 4/18/2014 10:07:47 AM     (No. 9815550)

Smart people don’t believe that stuff anymore

And they are smart why?

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
there is none who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.
They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.
Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
who eat up my people as they eat bread
and do not call upon the Lord?
There they are in great terror,
for God is with the generation of the righteous.
You would shame the plans of the poor,
but the Lord is his refuge.
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.


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Reply 2 - Posted by: Immanuel Goldstein, 4/18/2014 10:10:14 AM     (No. 9815552)

My experience with "High IQ Elite College Graduates" socialized religious skeptics is that they are intellectually dead, solipsitically minded narcissists who cannot simply not believe in God. Rather, they think that they have to do battle with this thing that they don´t believe exists. They are mentally shallow, and immature.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: farmwife, 4/18/2014 10:10:51 AM     (No. 9815553)

Intellectual vanity is a very strong component of the non-believers. And for believers, it is good to remember that it takes a little work to fully live the faith.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: WAN2, 4/18/2014 10:16:44 AM     (No. 9815563)

Fear of dying is a powerful elixir.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Bigbird, 4/18/2014 10:18:03 AM     (No. 9815565)

I like reading Charles Murray. He is intelligent and original. It sounds like, in this article, he is becoming more open to the idea that God exists and I´m happy for that. I would consider myself a high IQ college graduate, and I have no problem reconciling science and religion. First, one has to understand that we have "faith" in science too. Scientific theories can´t all be proven and at some point, man has to simply "believe" they are true based on all available evidence. This is true despite the fact that our current science can´t fully explain cancer, Alzheimer´s, or whether it will rain next Tuesday. Our knowledge is limited, just as it says in the bible. Those of us who try to humble ourselves to this fact , I believe, are better able to reconcile science with religion.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: notlongforhere, 4/18/2014 10:49:47 AM     (No. 9815608)

Religion can be compared to putting on a coat. It is something you do.
Faith is accepting God on His terms and allowing Him to transform us. Faith weaves itself into the fabric of our life.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: coldborezero, 4/18/2014 10:51:20 AM     (No. 9815615)

True faith is simply the seeking of Truth, as is true science.

Both paths eventually lead to God; for God IS Truth.


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Reply 8 - Posted by: rmagnus, 4/18/2014 11:21:18 AM     (No. 9815666)

I have seen God´s work in my own life so it is easy for me to have faith.
About a month after my mother passed away I was talking to my father on the telephone. He was expressing his ongoing anguish to me over the loss of my mother - they were together constantly because he was her caregiver. He said that he wished that she would give him a sign that she was ok. Within seconds of him making that statement and before I could even reply the buzzer that she pressed from her bedroom to call him buzzed three times and stopped. I could hear it in the background. He was the only one home and it had never malfunctioned before. We were so overcome with emotion that we had to hang up. I share this very personal story on this Good Friday in hopes that it gives comfort to those prone to skepticism.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: M2, 4/18/2014 11:36:02 AM     (No. 9815685)

Outstanding article! I have written a book on this very subject and am on the final edit of my second one, so this is a subject I know well. The writer clearly knows it, too.

For people with no interest in religion, these points, if taken seriously, could change minds:

If you’re waiting for a road-to-Damascus experience, you’re kidding yourself.

More often than not, becoming a person of faith is a slow process without thunder and lightning.

Taking one of the great religions seriously, getting inside its rich body of thought, doesn’t happen by sitting on beaches, watching sunsets, and waiting for enlightenment.

It´s work. Most people don´t care to put in the effort. But it is worth it. The best is never cheap.

It can easily require as much intellectual effort as a law degree.

More effort, because once you begin the quest, it raises three questions for every one answer you get.

In the case of Christianity, with which I’m most familiar, the church has produced profound religious thinkers for two thousand years. You don’t have to go back to Thomas Aquinas (though that wouldn’t be a bad idea). Just the last century has produced excellent and accessible work.

Many of the best intellects of modern times are Christians. But you will never know that without reading them. I have sat stupefied at some of the brilliance I have read and heard from some modern Christians whose names are rarely heard outside Christian circles.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: M2, 4/18/2014 11:36:29 AM     (No. 9815687)

....continued

But whomever you read, Christianity considered seriously bears little resemblance to your Sunday school lessons. You’ve got to grapple with the real thing.

Amen. Today is a deeply-religious holiday for Christians. Yet some "Christians" will be in Church tonight, tomorrow and Sunday for the first time in a year. We call them CEO Christians (Christmas and Easter Only).

Murray says you have to "grapple with the real thing" but the real thing is found in so few places in America and even fewer Churches. You have to hit the books.

A good book to read about what Christianity is really about is C.S. Lewis´ "Mere Christianity". Hardly a "lite" thinker, Lewis was an Atheist. He reluctantly found out what real Christianity is all about. As he says, "I was the most reluctant convert in all of England." I know how he felt because I was an Atheist until I was 52. Lewis went on write some of the finest Christian work in two centuries.

I didn´t get to be a Christian easily, either. It was hard work, a lot of reading, a lot of talking to others, a lot of angst. Giving up a lifetime worldview for one that is diametrically-opposite is not an easy thing to do.

Then the day came when God did the rest. I am eternally grateful.

This article is excellent, truly.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Axeman, 4/18/2014 11:37:47 AM     (No. 9815691)

Our DNA contains the code to principles which are the better way to live. Following those principles makes things better all around. Just following animal instinct makes things degrade.
Thousands of years of the wisest minds have gone into religious thought. It is beyond foolish to dismiss that.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: bmw50, 4/18/2014 11:57:11 AM     (No. 9815723)

Therein lies the difference between smart (knowledge) and wisdom.

We are producing children that know only what they are taught but not how to use it wisely, people who know a lot but don´t know how to think.

Some of the most stupid people I know graduated from college, stupid because they don´t know what to do with what they know.

And what is the point of having all this knowledge? To impress people, to get rich, to be able to be more self-indulgent, selfish, perverse, arrogant, pompous, or self-righteous?

This is nothing more than the "world" trying to justify itself in a universe GOD created.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: BigGeorgeTX, 4/18/2014 1:20:46 PM     (No. 9815850)

#8 Thanks for your testimony. If it causes just one doubter to seek the truth that is everywhere you have blessed them.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: kono, 4/18/2014 1:32:18 PM     (No. 9815860)

Hubris believes truth is judged by us.
Humility understands that truth judges us.

The intellectual´s drive to possess truth becomes an obstacle to achieving wisdom.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: marthaville, 4/18/2014 3:24:41 PM     (No. 9815977)

The problem with the intellectual atheist or agnostic is his mind is his god. He measures himself by himself. He is unwilling to consider that God exists and sent His Son to die for this intellectual´s sin. Until God reaches out to him.

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