Thursday, March 26, 2009

What's the IQ of the average atheist?

Contrary to popular Christian propaganda, atheists vastly outnumber Christians. Die you know the tree outside my window is an atheist? My chair is an atheist. A clam is an atheist. A sea-slug is an atheist. A cabbage is an atheist. A sponge is an atheist. A bicycle is an atheist. An eggbeater is an atheist. A toaster is an atheist. My bicycle is an atheist. My underarm deodorant is an atheist.

Just consider a standard definition of atheism. If you were looking for a standard definition of atheism, where would be a logical place to go? Why not the Secular Web?

And, not surprisingly, the Secular Web furnishes a nice, compact definition of atheism: “Atheism is characterized by an absence of belief in the existence of gods.”

So, by definition, all inanimate objects and lower animals are atheists. I don’t have any polling data on higher animals like dolphins

With that in mind, perhaps I now need to qualify my previous classification of the toaster. There’s an AI toaster in Red Dwarf which might or might not believe in God.

The advantage of this minimal definition is that it apparently lowers the burden of proof. Unfortunately, there’s a catch.

Not only does it lower the burden of proof, but it also lowers the bell curve. If you factor in all the candidates for atheism, the IQ of the average atheist is barely measurable.

Yes, you’ve got a few bright guys like Russell and Quine and Quentin Smith. But if you throw in all bicycles and toasters and hairdryers, I’m afraid to say the average mean is pretty low.

Considering the fact that sentient atheists (a statistically insignificant fraction of the whole) pride themselves on the intellectual superiority of atheism, it must be humbling for them to realize that, on average, Christians are geniuses compared to the typical atheist–like the garden-variety lawnmower or toothbrush.

Indeed, it’s no exaggeration to say the average atheist is utterly irrational. Mindless. Brainless.

That’s not a putdown. That’s a statement of fact.


  1. This post was hilarous. A very good rethroical argument against the current standard defintion of Atheism.

  2. The definition implies that someone is reasonably capable of have some sort of belief. "All inanimate objects and lower animals" are not able to have beliefs. I guess your dog might believe you are his pack leader, but does that count?

  3. That's not what the definition implies. The definition is an attempt to define atheism in a way that minimizes the burden of proof. Once you begin to qualify the definition, you lose that putative advantage.

  4. The atheist will claim, at any rate, that proving a negative is impossible, that the existence of God is an extraordinary claim, etc.

    Another oddity about that definition is that one could claim nominal churchgoers who do not profess faith in Christ (such as the unbaptized) as atheists, because they have not shown evidence of faith.

  5. BTW, proving a negative isn't ALWAYS impossible. For instance, if I have three quarters, it's pretty easy for me to prove that none of them were minted in 1957. (Yes, that's vastly different than proving a negative across the entire universe; I'm just pointing out the "universality" of the statement "It is impossible to prove a negative" is actually not so universal after all...) :-)

  6. Vallicella has discussed this issue:


    "The atheist will claim, at any rate, that proving a negative is impossible."

    Most Christian apologists don't use the argument from silence to justify belief in God. They don't say we should believe in God because we can't disprove his existence. Rather, they appeal to various lines of positive evidence–and not the absence of counterevidence.

    "That the existence of God is an extraordinary claim, etc."

    But, of course, that's a prejudicial assertion. They need to argue for that contention.

  8. Peter,
    "No negative statement can be proved" is, after all, a negative statement. ;D

  9. "No negative statement can be proved."

    I can prove a negative statement. My computer is here with me. Ergo it cannot be packed up in the trunk of my car.

    I've always believed that many atheists do not really care if God exists, but that they only care about attacking Christianity. Virtually all anti-theist work I've seen, especially pre-9/11, is trying to oppose the Gospel.

  10. The statement, "One cannot prove a negative statement," needs to be clarified. One cannot deductively construct a valid negative syllogism, vis Denying the Antecedent or Affirming the Consequent. However, Modus Tollens or Modus Ponens containing negative statements are deductively valid. Such arguments move from self-evident truths; otherwise it's a rhetorically inductive thrust and parry of unquantifiable likelihoods.

    As such, the observation made by the article stands. One cannot claim to have no foundation of belief without reason. Read the last sentence again until you understand what I'm saying. It's not absurd to observe that inanimate objects are atheistic regardless of the particulars of the definition for there is no foundation for disbelief.

    Believing in the lack of a Creator is a positive belief. What reason does one have for such a belief? I've never been presented a good one that addresses the accurate and full import of classical Christian apologetics without defeating itself.

    No, rather anti-Christian apologists either provide negative attacks on particular aspects of Christian faith (often straw men) or foundationless positive arguments that are subsequently logically conflicted and often rhetorically ambiguous.

    The reason is because such arguments are not the real reason why the non-Christian apologist has chosen some other belief system, including atheism. The reason these reasons are not presented as arguments by well-considered non-Christians is either because they realize that the arguments are not reasonable or they aren't aware of the arguments.

    The challenge for Christians is to see that the reason for our faith is sure, for there are so many milk-drinkers among us whose reasons for belief in Christ is no better than that of the non-Christians for denying Christ. Thus, our faith must suffer challenges that his revelation may be established to us through his activity among us. Therefore, we have reason for our faith far beyond that of any other belief system. This is why, throughout the scriptures, people were encouraged to faith through the recitation of God's works.

  11. I am unsure if this for satirical purposes or an actual argument. I hope it's the former, because if the latter is true you are profoundly stupid.

    The first thing that is wrong with this argument is that your averages are messed up mathematically. You are factoring in outlying figures.Ill give an example and the error should become obvious.

    Worker 1 -$23,000
    Worker 2 -$25,000
    Worker 3 -$22,000
    Worker 4 -$50,000
    Worker 5 - $20 million

    Average salary $4 million

    #'s 5 & 4 are the outlying figures here.

    The same could be said about Christians

    Christians do not believe in Fnarf(as well as an infinite amount of religious concepts).

    An infinite amount of objects do not believe in Fnarf(as well as an infinite amount of religious concepts)

    Therefore if you have the same mind set as a Christian on average your IQ approaches 0.

    I would hardly call this funny, because its a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Not only that but it makes you look incredibly stupid.

  12. Corbin just nailed it PERFECTLY. Mektoub!