googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Their Smugness Kills Me

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Their Smugness Kills Me

So, I was perusing Yahoo! Answers again, hoping to be inspired with something to write on my blog when I came across this gem:

Can religious people (Christian's and Muslims) Survive an education invasion?
In the past thousand of years ago people belive that god created the first man and women adam and eve.

Now when people are getting, better education and scientific studies on top that we know that Adam and eve. Was fake and human evolution tells us there was homo erectus neanderthal cro magnon and modern human homo sapiens which came out of Africa and spread all over the world.

Since more people are getting smarter they now know that religious myths and. Superstitions are just to keep people down, Christian's how will you stop people from becoming smarter the next. Generations of people who will become doctors scientists and so on?

Do I even need to explain why questions like this annoy me? This person stereotypes all Christians (actually all religious people) as uneducated simpletons who fear education – and not only for themselves, this person alleges we fear anyone becoming educated. He goes so far as to suggest we're trying to stop people from “becoming smarter.” Why do critics have to resort to such tactics? Beyond the straw man representation of Christians, the whole question reeks of snobbery.

By the way, the user who asked the question was posting under the name, “southasiangurung.” English is probably his second language so I'm going to excuse the terrible grammar – the misspellings, the random use of capitalization, inappropriate punctuation, verbs not agreeing with nouns in number, sentence fragments, etc. Even so, I cannot excuse the premise of his question – namely that generations of “educated” people (by “educated” he obviously means “non-religious”) will go on to be doctors and scientists and Christians won't be able to stop them.

I've mentioned before that Yahoo! is a bunch of liberals and on several occasions my answers have been removed for allegedly violating community guidelines. I was a little surprised the first time it happened but I later realized that many liberal people are just offended by religious/conservative viewpoints because I certainly don't include any offensive language in any of my answers. Yahoo! certainly doesn't have time to sit and read every question/answer posted in their forum so they rely on Yahoo! members to report inappropriate comments. So why is it that same type of people who flag my comments as inappropriate see no problem in asking inappropriate questions like this?

The Yahoo! community guidelines says, Yahoo Answers is a diverse community of people with diverse opinions. It is up to each of us to be polite and treat each other with respect. I believe this question violates that point so, just for fun, I reported the question as a violation. It's the only time I've ever done that. I'm more curious to see if Yahoo! handles comments against Christians the same way it handles comments made by Christians.

In the meantime, let me just say that liberals are an intolerant lot. For all their talk about inclusion and equality, you certainly can't see any of it in their attitude toward Christians. They have this attitude that they're the enlightened ones, the educated ones, and the champions of “fairness” while all religious people are just stupid. I need to sign off and get some fresh air. Their smugness stinks.


Steven J. said...

Would you feel better about the argument if it was expressed with more nuance and fewer gratuitous insults?

It's difficult to filter out various extraneous factors, like income, social class, ethnicity, etc, but there does seem to be a negative correlation between education and Christian belief. I do not mean that there are no well-educated Christians, but that well-educated people are rarer among conservative Christians (and especially among creationists) than among secular or weakly religious people who accept evolution (by way of analogy, to say that "on average, men are taller than women" is not to assert that Tom Cruise is taller than Nicole Kidman; it's a generalization that admits of many individual exceptions).

I don't even think this is particularly controversial: Answers in Genesis has been known to complain about the effects of secular education (and here, of course, you have the problem of distinguishing between the effects of scientific education per se and attitudes popular among professors and fellow students).

AiG has also noted that a lot of conservative Christian organizations (containing a lot of educated Christians) have recently begun questioning the theological need for a literal Adam and Eve. I'm pretty sure that this is due to the popularization of recent work on the minimum size of human population bottlenecks in the past (several thousand individuals at the smallest). Granted, these are mostly people who already were willing to concede that perhaps Adam and Eve had ancestors, including monkey ancestors, but this a step further, to no literal Adam and Eve at all.

So regardless of sentence fragments and liberalism, there is a case to be made that the advance and popularization of science is making it harder to be, in approximate order of difficulty, a young-earth creationist, any sort of biblical creationist, and, well, I suppose you yourself would state that relegating the creation stories in Genesis to myth or allegory has consequences for classic Christian doctrine.

I'm not sure whether you meant to argue with the thesis that advancing knowledge is chipping away at the percentage of the population that accepts Christianity and/or creationism, or if you were just arguing with the writer gloating over it. Those are, obviously, rather different complaints.

By the way, did my reply to your previous post get through?

RKBentley said...

Steven J,

I agree that many secular colleges have been successful in persuading young believers away from their beliefs. However, I fail to see how that equates to the notion that Christians abhor education. The impression given by militant atheists is that atheism is the default position of the educated and while theism is flush with the ignorant. It's a straw man but you seem to have bought into it.

In a 2011 Gallup survey, 92% of Americans said “yes” to the question “Do you believe in God?” Here's how that broke down among levels of education:

High school or less: 92%
Some College: 93%
College grad: 94%
Postgraduate: 87%

People without a belief in any god represent only a fringe minority – even among the most educated. So the question is not only smug – the premise is a lie.

Now, concerning young earth creationism, it's true that belief in a recent creation falls dramatically as people become more educated. It's a testimony to the success of secular institutions' indoctrination tactics. Here's another survey you might be interested in:

The latter survey says that among postgraduates, 22% believe “God created humans in present form within last 10,000 years” - 22%! Only 25% believe God had no part in our creation. That means there are almost as many YEC among postgraduates as there are atheistic evolutionists! 49% believe “Humans evolved, God guided process” so the overwhelming majority of educated people believe in some type of creation or intelligent design.

So I say again, it's their smugness that bothers me because the premise of the question is a lie. Educated people are religious. Educated people are believers in ID and YEC. Should I ask what atheists are going to do about it?

Thanks for your comments. And, no. I didn't get any reply to my last post.

God bless!!


Carvin said...

I really don't know what cherry picking someone who can neither debate nor write in proper sentences is supposed to prove. I have no doubt I could find many just as poorly said and far more divisive statements from Christians on Yahoo! Answers. I don't think many liberals, non-theists or those supporting mainstream, accepted science education would consider this person as representing their views. I find it rather insulting that you would imply such with the title of this post ('their' smugness kills me). Find a leading scientist or other major advocate that is being 'smug' and then you have something to talk about. Bill Nye would be a good example, except he is incredibly kind and compassionate to a group of people he clearly sees as a threat to our progress in science.

So, congrats, you found an idiot who disagrees with you. Frankly, I'd be surprised if Yahoo! does anything about it because the guy's statement is simply too dumb to be insulting.

RKBentley said...


I do not have to resort to cherry picking to find examples of elitists who equate being religious with being stupid. Bill Nye may have been on his good behavior in his debate with Ken Ham but he's made plenty of comments on YouTube about how a belief in creation is going to destroy America's education system. Penn & Teller have their own series of videos mocking religion. Then, of course, there are many of the professional atheists like Dawkins and Myers.

I'm not saying all non-believers are like this but there are enough that I can say this attitude is typical.

God bless!!


Carvin said...

To be clear, it's not Christians, a belief in a super natural creation or God that bothers most people. It is the Young Earth psuedoscience that Ken Ham sells that infuriates people. YE Creationism is a genuine threat to our science education because it confuses personal belief with science. You can't have a real discussion of the Scientific Method and pretend like YE Creation 'Science' follows it. At it's core it is an attempt to ignore any evidence that doesn't fit your model, never be open minded, never believe you can be wrong. And that IS NOT SCIENCE.

I am a Christian, as I hope you would recall, and I have always felt that Nye has been respectful of religious belief. As for the rest... meh. Dawkins has some interesting theories, but you are right on the professional atheism thing. Most atheist are quite pleasant though, because when you don't believe in a thing you are less compelled to shove it in other people's faces. Dawkins, and the like, are still compelled for some reason.

RKBentley said...


To be clear, it IS Christians that are stereotyped as being stupid and uneducated. You will notice that the question I highlighted as an example begins by saying “religious people” but then specifically names Christians and Muslims.

Of course, this particular critic used Adam and Eve as examples of the superstitious beliefs of the uneducated Christians so I'm sure he rejects the creation account in Genesis. However, I'm equally sure this person also rejects the historical fact of other people in the Bible like Noah, Jonah, Moses, Abraham, and Jesus.

When people accept the premise that you don't have to believe all the Bible, it's only a small step to the conclusion that you don't have to believe any of the Bible. Jesus told the Pharisees that they didn't believe His words because they didn't believe Moses's words. I've seen it myself that people who reject the Old Testament usually reject the New Testament as well.

God bless!!


Carvin said...

I think it's more relevant that if you state that everything must be taken in a specific interpretation (including YE Creation), and then we can observe that there is nearly no way that some of this interpretation could be true... then you bring into question the entirety of the belief.

If, on the other hand, you say it's not important that creation story is literal for salvation to be literal, you say that science is not an enemy to faith. The mysteries of the physical universe will be understood quite well with time. If you place God in that mystery, you shrink him whenever new things are learned.

RKBentley said...


It's a straw man of critics to say that creationists read the Bible “literally.” I don't believe every word in the Bible is meant to be literal. Instead, I believe the Bible should be read the same way we read any other book – with an ordinary understanding of the words.

Some parts of the Bible are difficult to understand. I will grant you that. However, some parts aren't. When the Bible makes a clear statement, why should we look for any meaning other than the obvious one?

Exodus 20:11 says, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day;” So tell me, precisely how else should I “interpret” that? Why should I look for another meaning of “six days”?

If we begin reinterpreting Scripture to fit our personal beliefs, then every word in the Bible becomes suspect. If “six days” doesn't mean “six days” in Exodus, then how do I know Jesus rose after “three days”? How do I know if He even rose at all? Maybe His resurrection is a “spiritual” truth and not a literal one. How do I even know Jesus was a real Person? Maybe He is just a literary Character like Adam.

Salvation may not hinge upon the correct understand of creation. However, I sincerely believe that salvation does require a correct understanding of Scripture. And if someone claiming to be a Christian carefully picks apart the Bible, accepting the parts he likes and discarding the parts he doesn't, then I do wonder if he is even saved at all.

God bless!!