— TC Newsome's Take —
"Why Are So Many of Our Most Highly Intelligent People Not Smart?"
After a few years of observation, I have come to the conclusion that whenever a person recognizes in himself an intellectual capacity that is likely greater than the norm, he seeks the company of others who reinforce that notion. Invariably, those others are given to the same elitist mindset. They often congregate in academic environments. Within the walls of our institutions of "higher" learning, they collectively seek reinforcement from continuing waves of young, naïve students who are often overwhelmed by the “apparent” genius of their professors. Those who are NOT so impressed typically perceive strong motivation to "worship," anyhow, along with the rank-and-file of their peers: Who would want to receive a failing grade based on his failure to acknowledge the superiority of those who are in charge of assigning grades?
Highly intelligent people are inclined to feelings-based “thinking” just like the rest of us—but they would never admit that to themselves...and certainly not to you and me. They, too, FEEL the need to “belong”
to something greater than themselves. In that, they find validation. What kinds of organizations do they join?
They commonly seek membership in groups like Mensa International. Those who gain acceptance FEEL really, really good about the fact that their elitism has been formalized. They stereotypically acquire a disproportionate zeal for the presumed acquisition of personal deity.
In matters of faith, they typically gravitate to Atheism and Agnosticism like iron dust to a strong magnet. And then many of them become extremely evangelical in their faith: They lobby our lawmakers and petition our courts to force their irrational religious dogma down our collective throats.
I must address that characteristic of irrationality further: Whenever one of their peers whom they respect highly presents a new, truly irrational concept, they repeat it frequently within closed company.
The more they banter it around, the more rational it begins to sound. At that point, they deem it “ready for primetime!” That is when you and I start hearing it:
"There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.”
“If one wants to discover the truth of Orwell’s statement, he need only step upon most college campuses."
—Walter E. Williams
Finally, I would be remiss if I were not to acknowledge that Atheism and Agnosticism are NOT the only irrational religions among us. "In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination." —Samuel Clemens
I was an Agnostic for several years, so I understand.
An Agnostic is an Atheist wannabe.