Are Believers Less Intelligent Than Unbelievers?

Are Believers Less Intelligent Than Unbelievers? May 22, 2024

a scholarly priest looking at the sky
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Sometimes, I wonder why many people today who don’t believe in Jesus seem to think that the faithful are less intelligent and logical than them.

Is it because they have truly used the scientific or philosophical way of analyzing things and found out that it is very unlikely Jesus did exist? Or that He couldn’t be who He claimed to be?

I couldn’t help but think that perhaps some of them have only lightly questioned the idea and quickly carried on with their lives. They didn’t think too deeply because they didn’t care that deeply.

Some may have disbelieved because they believed in someone else. They believed in a mentor, a friend, a celebrity or an academic figure they trusted. And that was enough to convince them there was no God. Neither did He enter into human history and become like one of us.

On the other hand, some may think they have thought about it very deeply. They may have even written books to disprove God’s existence. But they did not look into their own hearts. And they did not see that the prejudices that they carried clouded their objectivity. They did not see because they did not want to find.

“The modern atheist does not disbelieve because of his intellect, but because of his will…”
– Fulton J. Sheen, Peace of Soul

I am not saying that this is always the case. I would like to think that many unbelievers are also sincerely seeking the truth. And only God can possibly know when and how they are going to find it.

But I would like to disagree that believers are less intelligent than those who don’t have faith in God. Please try to make a survey first and see the academic background of Christians. Find out the IQ of Christian Scholars and Theologians. Examine the works of St. Thomas of Aquinas. Try and gauge the intelligence of the priest considered to be the Father of the Big Bang Theory of the Universe.

They are certainly not less educated or lacking in earthly knowledge.

Even beyond this knowledge, they have wisdom. A wisdom that corrects their vision and protects them from using science to justify their sinful inclinations.

Stubborn unbelief (without taking measures to investigate the truth) does not show wisdom, but it can show foolishness. It does not enhance one’s capacity for truth, but lessens it.

Thankfully, God understands our weaknesses and the burden of our sinful nature. And for those who may not believe now but sincerely seek the truth, they can rely on His firm promise. That those who seek, shall find!

“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”- Matthew 7:7–11, (NRSVCE)

Yet for those who would persist not because of any defect in intellect but of will, what evidence is left if one’s mind is already set not to believe?

“The denial of God springs from a man’s desire not to have a God — from his wish that there were no Justice behind the universe, so that his injustices would fear not retribution; from his desire that there be no Law, so that he may not be judged by it; from his wish that there were no Absolute Goodness, that he might go on sinning with impunity.” ― Fulton J. Sheen, Peace of Soul

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their hearts; who having become callous gave themselves up to lust, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”-Ephesians 4:17–19, WEB

We can find the truth if we seek for it, but those who deny it cannot say later on that there is no way to look for the truth about God.

“ Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse… ” — Romans 1:20 (NRSVCE)

“Our holy mother, the Church, holds and teaches that God, the first principle and last end of all things, can be known with certainty from the created world by the natural light of human reason.” – CCC 36

“By natural reason man can know God with certainty, on the basis of his works.” – CCC 50

“To do away with a supreme cause is to claim that, as someone has said, ‘A brush will paint by itself provided it has a very long handle.’” — Reginald Garrigou LaGrange

You may also want to read “If People Are Searching For God, Why Couldn’t They Find Him?”

Jocelyn Soriano is the author of To Love an Invisible God. Is it really possible to love a God we cannot even see? Can we really love Him as we love another Person? A Person who can listen to us and respond to us? A Person who can know us far more intimately than any human being ever can?

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About Jocelyn Soriano
Jocelyn Soriano is an author, poet, and book reviewer. She is an introvert who enjoys a cup of coffee and listening to the cello ****** while working.

She wrote the books To Love an Invisible God, Defending My Catholic Faith and Mend My Broken Heart. She also wrote books on poetry including Poems of Love and Letting Go and Of Waves and Butterflies: Poems on Grief. She has published more than 15 books and developed her own Android applications including God’s Promises and Catholic Answers and Apologetics.

She writes about relationships and common questions about God and the Catholic faith at Single Catholic Writer. She is currently single and happy and she would like everyone to know how happy we can be by drawing close to the love of God!

You can read more about the author here.

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