But I think it's the other way around: smart people have a higher tendency to not believe in supernatural things than dumb people. This is because, well, supernatural things are by definition not part of the natural world we can analyze, test and document, and smart people are usually more driven by logic and analysis than emotions and feelings.
The reason atheists are smarter is because they have the mental capability to question what they have been told. All of my atheist friends were raised Christian, and studied to make their own opinions. I became an atheist when I had a cross burned on my lawn right after reading about a whale's vestigial legs under several feet of blubber. If god created those legs, what purpose do they serve if they are disappearing over millions of years? Why would god give a creature a useless body part?My personal IQ is 153, and I have been meeting Christians who are denying proven things to happen in history like the expanding of the multiverse after the Big Bang. My Christian friend had an IQ of 92. Much under average, Christians will cover their ears to drown out scientific evidence. While atheists embrace it with excitement.
The disbelief in god through a studies (unbiased) have shown that Atheism has nothing to do with higher Intelligence. Also through personal experience, I have met dumb atheists one really dumb would be a kid I once know named Stephan. His grades where so bad and I also defeated him when I came to the debate on whether god exists or not. Also, I believe that after 20 years or so there will be more unintelligent athirst popping up.
Aside from numerous studies correlating religiosity with lower IQ, lesser academic success and lifetime career success, lesser familiarity with history and current world affairs etc... There is an inherent stupidity to being religious. In any religion, it is compulsory to ignore more nuanced positions on morality and philosophy. This lowers the level of uncertainty and anxiety people face during the course of their intellectual development and consequently it blurs the intensity of one's creative investigation into their own identity. A religious person is less likely to withhold judgement on any subject in life and therefore shades the lens of all their experiences. They are also less likely to question the established stance of contemporary political and social institutions thus making them less capable of navigating the world to find innovative views about the bigger picture complexities facing them.
We all face the uncertainty, gnawing curiosity and imminent existential crisis accompanying us in this life. However atheists face it honestly and directly.
Obviously It'd be foolish to make the assumption that ALL atheists are more intelligent since there will undoubtedly be atheists who aren't intelligent. However I do believe that there is a correlation between intelligence and atheism since judging not only from statistics which indicate there to be a correlation but by the act of thinking independently and logically is in fact a fair definition for intelligence and since being an atheist tends to be a result of thinking independently and logically I believe that it is more likely that an atheist will be intelligent than a believer of religion.
"I’m an atheist because I don’t believe in any gods. What would you say if someone asked you if you believed in Sasquatch? Well, there’s simply not enough evidence for it! Same with God, except more so… Now imagine if millions claimed they saw Sasquatch in their dreams, but some say he was yellow and tall, others said he was blue and small, and some even said he was invisible! Some people ask the Sasquatch to do things for them, but things only work out in their favor at about the same rate as chance! You hear that the Sasquatch wants to help everyone and have everyone enjoy his company, but of course, Sasquatch has never come to visit you! He never shows up in any physical way at all! And he certainly isn't helping babies born with birth defects or people caught in fires, no matter how hard they wish Sasquatch would help him! You hear that Sasquatch wants only love, but then read a story about Sasquatch forcing people to eat their own children if you work on Sunday too much. Perhaps that’s not quite fair, but that’s what claims about gods sound like to me."
Many statistical analyses have supported that the Atheist community most generally have a higher IQ, lower crime rates, and less violence. The higher IQ is most likely why the individuals are Atheist in the first place, but that's not the question at hand. The lower crime rates are due to the fact that the Atheist populous thinks not about the instantaneous gratification, but the possible outcomes of their actions. Lastly, there is the issue of violence. The violent nature of man is the most primal instinct and the religious followers ignorantly say to themselves "If it isn't my way or my religion it's dumb." Or something along those lines in general. This shuts down any open mindedness and causes them to react violently to those of whom do not agree with their way, gives disproving or counter arguments that they can't respond to, or just because they want their God to be the only God standing... On the mass of bodies they had just slayed in the name of their God.
The problem here is that this question seems to imply that atheism causes intelligence, or intelligence causes atheism. So I doubt this question will receive a real answer based on any valid statistics, but rather on personal beliefs. But finding an intelligence trend in atheism or an atheism trend in intelligence proves nothing yet. It could be that atheists tend to be smarter people - but whether atheism causes intelligence, or intelligence causes atheism, or if there is another causal factor in culture, time period, or something we have not foreseen is the harder and more important question, judging from all these answers. My answer: there has not yet been a conclusive study to validate or deny any such intelligent atheist trend. My anecdotal evidence: atheists tend to be more of the academic sort; but not necessarily more intelligent, if you catch my drift.
Are atheists intrinsically smarter than theists by virtue of their atheism? No. Do smarter people end up atheists? I'd say so. If you plot religious belief against scientific education, it's an inverse relationship - as science goes up, religion goes down. Way down. It's not a question of whether the religions are true, as they clearly aren't. It's, of the people indoctrinated into a religion, who is smart enough to figure it out? They would seem to be the ones to possess a keener mind for logic and evidence. Many atheists are atheists because they demand evidence and logical thinking, which would say that value smarts more. Really it's that smarter people -> atheist, not atheist -> smarter people.
I am a believer myself and I have different views of the world than Christianity which are based on evidence. As there is no proof that God does not exist I don't think that believing in him even without the support of valid proofs this does not make you less smart as belief for some people gives them strength and hope. While there are some Christians who will insult you and tell that you are stupid just because you don't follow the same beliefs as they do. These types of people really are a lot dumber than most atheists.
Atheism itself is a faith, and as other faith there is no visible, tangible proof we would normally know of to ABSOLUTELY confirm it. An atheist might argue that it takes a feeble mind to be convinced there is GOD but from a believer's point of view they are the ones misguided. Evidence that supports each side exists if you search for them. It is why people from both sides have crossed over many times.
The belief in God has little to do with intelligence or worldly accomplishments. There is no knowledge or wisdom that atheists possess that is not available to any believer. On the contrary, believers acquire a knowledge or wisdom beyond that of an atheist. And they are spiritually acquired and discerned.
I think that the question solves itself. Being atheist does not guarantee a new level of education. Religion, or absence of it has no general effect on the followers of the religion psychologically. Please, if there is a valid statistic saying atheists are smarter, inform me, by all means. If it did, I would turn atheist for all of my finals and midterms.
I am an atheist, but there is no proof that we are smarter then the rest of the world, its just we have a different view of faith and the world. So for us its more about what we can understand, and not being convinced by something that is simply faith talking.
Atheists are not necessarily smarter than those who are not atheists, it may be that atheists appear to be more logical or rather pessimistic and as a result require fact based information. Likewise, there are schools of thought that have outlined how science and spirituality are one in the same and one could argue that based on that idea, atheists may not be the smartest people.
There is a general and in-accurate stereotype that Atheists have a higher intellect that normal, or religious people. This, like most stereotypes is highly in-accurate and is based upon an unfair measurements of the relation between ones religious beliefs and intellect. Take for example two peoples, one atheist and one protestant christian; the atheist argues that he possesses a higher intelligence than most christians, yet when at school the christian person made higher marks in both chemistry and biology. The Atheist also argued that religion is wrong and should be banned because it is the cause of all major wars in history, he then went on to contradict himself by saying that a war on religious people is justified for the better good of the world. In the end, a persons belief's don't make them smarter.