In another forum, “the Conversation,” dedicated to collating and curating and coruscating various quick journalistic jetsams from the remaining professors still standing across the more accessible disciplines, a tenured “theology” prof from the land of the American Taliban, Texas, which is a scandal in itself (getting a paycheck for god-bothering the young ‘ns), slapped together some dismal nonsense about god-botherers reaching self-flagellating ecstasy if they gave up their smartypants devices for something called “Lent” -which rhymes only, as a proper noun, with Kent cigarettes.
In objection to this noisome joke of a prof’s theobangery, “The Onion” was referenced. A mature adult-like person was mortally offended, accusing FSN of “smug condensation” against religious people, of the Trumpmaniac sort. Smug, we antitheists imbibe along with our every breath according to these believers, but the only condensation would the steam coming out of our ears. “Condescension,” of course, was the intended term, and maybe that just wasn’t the word of the day back in sixth grade.
Here we go again, antitheists claiming vastly superior intellectual skills to the poor, stupid believer knuckle-draggers. And yes, on the religion angle, antitheists are far more cognitively advanced than the Middle Eastern cultists can ever be. Yet the world does not run on just one kind of “smart,” and indeed does not run on “smart” much at all. In this Information Age, with all the world’s data available at all times to virtually anyone, there are, inevitably, vast areas of knowledge to which all humans, antitheists included, will forever remain neo-frontal-cortex–crushingly stupid. We humans will always be striving to know more, more, to stuff recondite strata and ineffable museology into our power-packed cranium, but that’s a losing battle, which will end in instant expiration of all ownership of knowledge upon our death.
Smart” has solved nothing – look at the climate catastrophes, the racialized poverty, the medical traumas of depression, disease, and purposelessness that afflict our rotund fellows. Smart can be enjoyed, when earned, where locally appropriate, where it can celebrate one kind of human ability, but it is always a limited function, a small gift, a troublesome inheritance. Willful ignorance, though, especially when it has such deleterious social consequences as in the Middle Eastern cultist traditions, that is anti-humanity in action, and needs smug, self-satisfied, arrogant condensation in direct rejoinder.