Periodically I run into statements which imply or directly state that those who believe in the tenets of Mormonism are less intelligent than those who believe in other Christian faiths, or those who have somehow rid themselves of any beliefs whatsoever and thereby transcended the stupidity of Mormons.
This is a particularly common assertion among those who are atheists or secularists. For instance, Sam Harris has stated that “Mormonism, it seems to me, is—objectively—just a little more idiotic than Christianity is. It has to be: because it is Christianity plus some very stupid ideas.”
Sam is not alone; you can find a plethora of such assertions from other equally illustrious athiests, such as as Christopher Hitchens. Similar feelings run rampant among the ex-Mormon crowd, and are proudly on display in numerous posts at the Recovery from Mormonism message boards.
Some of the posts are quite comical in their self-congratulatory nature. It is not unusual to find the top 50 athiest sayings being passed around; a perennial favorite is “Too Stupid to Understand Science? Try Religion!” (How does one respond to such condescending tripe?) And people actually believe this!
Regardless of the propensity of athiests and ex-Mormons to feel that they are more intelligent than their poor, benighted Mormon cousins, the evidence doesn’t bear out such beliefs. (This is, of course, rather ironic, since athiests and ex-Mormon critics often condemn Mormons for what they view as belief without evidence.)
What such folks don’t come to grips with is how Mormons, as a people, tend to maintain their beliefs even as they attain more education. If those who no longer belief are somehow more enlightened than adherents to Mormonism, then why wouldn’t those who are higher educated abandon their beliefs?