Fred on brains

I’d say this summary is about as accurate as it gets:

See, what happens is, as kids the bright don’t fit in. They don’t have much in common with anybody. They dress funny and get made fun of. They can’t dance. They don’t get laid much, or at all. This warps their heads. They retreat into isolation with others like them, become contemptuous of everyone else to get even, and deal in abstractions because it’s all they know…. In short, a large IQ is an infallible predictor of emotional inadequacy.

I’m not sure if it’s infallible, but it certainly is a reliable one. High IQ individuals do tend to have significant trouble finding emotional stability; if you ever want to know true craziness, try dating a woman with an IQ over 150. And I’ve noted the apparent connection between atheism and social autism before myself. Intelligence, obviously, is a component of that. It’s not a coincidence that many atheists, especially the most vehement ones, inform us that they became atheists when they were children. My father tells me that I first told him that I didn’t believe that there was a God who answered prayers when I was five.

Fred didn’t intend it this way, but his diagnosis explains one reason why the highly intelligent are so contemptuous of God. They are in effect blind, but they don’t realize that they are blind; one can’t reasonably expect the emotionally crippled to perceive a God whose relationship with humanity is based on His love. So they fumble about, feeling the elephant and describing it based on their abstract notions, never understanding how silly their descriptions look to those who are perfectly capable of seeing the beast.

I fit Fred’s profile very well as a child; to this day I possess an unusually high level of indifference to both my would-be peers and their opinions because I had no choice but to get by without them during elementary school. I was fortunate that my athletic ability and physical appearance happened to increase my social status during my high school years, thus causing me to miss out on the painful social abuse that leaves its mark on so many geeks, nerds and other losers, but by then I was already too detached from the flock to take the pecking order or the peckers engrossed in it very seriously.

However, I’m still far more interested in abstract notions than people, what has made a real difference in my adult outlook is that my religious faith now forces me to acknowledge the intrinsic value of all of God’s creatures, even if they are no more my intellectual peers than are my dogs. For example, I now look on the sort of simple man I would have previously scorned as virtually subhuman and see an individual to be admired for his powerful faith, his deep personal commitment to his church community and the genuine warmth of his heart. I can now see that in some respects, I am his inferior and that I would do well to learn from him.

This is why secular human philosophy is so important for the rational materialist, the fundamental problem is that secular humanism is no more rational than conventional religious faith while being less emotionally compelling than any religion at the same time. The reason atheism will never be popular is that even in the absence of Christianity, most people will turn to paganism and spiritualism in preference to the lifeless doctrine of rational materialism.

Reason is a useful tool, but it can no more be a substitute for faith than it can be for love or hope.