History Main / BeliefMakesYouStupid

9th Jan '18 11:53:32 AM Peteman
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** The aesop of the episodes "[[Recap/SouthParkS10E12GoGodGo Go God Go]]" and "[[Recap/SouthParkS10E13GoGodGoXII Go God Go XII]]" is that religion or not, humanity (and sentient otterdom) will [[SillyReasonForWar still find petty reasons]] [[HumansKillWantonly to murder each other]].

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** The aesop of the episodes "[[Recap/SouthParkS10E12GoGodGo Go God Go]]" and "[[Recap/SouthParkS10E13GoGodGoXII Go God Go XII]]" is that religion or not, humanity (and sentient sapient otterdom) will [[SillyReasonForWar still find petty reasons]] [[HumansKillWantonly to murder each other]].
6th Jan '18 10:13:48 PM nombretomado
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** On the other hand, ''Babylon 5'' averts this trope more often than your typical Space Opera TV show, for instance including an entire order of Catholic monks who stay on the station for a season to learn more about alien religions, who are never depicted as either unintelligent or deluded. Indeed, nearly all shades of belief (and nonbelief) tend to get a fair shake on the show. Pretty impressive, considering series creator JMichaelStraczynski is a staunch atheist.

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** On the other hand, ''Babylon 5'' averts this trope more often than your typical Space Opera TV show, for instance including an entire order of Catholic monks who stay on the station for a season to learn more about alien religions, who are never depicted as either unintelligent or deluded. Indeed, nearly all shades of belief (and nonbelief) tend to get a fair shake on the show. Pretty impressive, considering series creator JMichaelStraczynski Creator/JMichaelStraczynski is a staunch atheist.
6th Jan '18 9:42:40 PM sgamer82
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* Literature/FatherBrown’s general appearance [[ObfuscatingStupidity made him look dumb to everyone]], but this trope is continually applied to him by the fact that he is a Catholic priest: A lot of people in his stories (''The Blue Cross, The Flying Stars, The Hammer of God, The Eye of Apollo'') constantly make the wrong assumption that a priest is a celibate simpleton unaware that in RealLife a priest must study philosophy and theology precisely to defend his beliefs helped by logic, and the fact of hearing a lot of people confessing sins to him gives him an interesting perspective about reality. {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in The Blue Cross when he explains to MasterOfDisguise GentlemanThief Flambeau how he discovered him:
--> ''"How in blazes do you know all these horrors?"'' cried Flambeau.
--> The shadow of a smile crossed the [[ObfuscatingStupidity round, simple face]] of his clerical opponent.
--> ''"'Oh, by being a celibate simpleton, I suppose,'' he said. ''Has it never struck you that a man who does next to nothing but [[{{Confessional}} hear men's real sins]] is not likely to be wholly unaware of human evil? But, as a matter of fact, another part of my trade, too, made me sure you weren't a priest."''
--> ''"What?"'' asked the thief, almost gaping.
--> ''"You attacked reason,"'' said Father Brown. ''[[WhatAnIdiot "It's bad theology.]]"''

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* Literature/FatherBrown’s ''Literature/FatherBrown''
** Father Brown’s
general appearance [[ObfuscatingStupidity made makes him look dumb to everyone]], but this trope is continually applied to him by the fact that he is a Catholic priest: A lot of people in his stories (''The Blue Cross, The Flying Stars, The Hammer of God, The Eye of Apollo'') constantly make the wrong assumption that a priest is a celibate simpleton unaware that in RealLife a priest must study philosophy and theology precisely to defend his beliefs helped by logic, and the fact of hearing a lot of people confessing sins to him gives him an interesting perspective about reality. {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in The Blue Cross when he explains to MasterOfDisguise GentlemanThief Flambeau how he discovered him:
--> ---> ''"How in blazes do you know all these horrors?"'' cried Flambeau.
-->
Flambeau.\\
The shadow of a smile crossed the [[ObfuscatingStupidity round, simple face]] of his clerical opponent.
-->
opponent.\\
''"'Oh, by being a celibate simpleton, I suppose,'' he said. ''Has it never struck you that a man who does next to nothing but [[{{Confessional}} hear men's real sins]] is not likely to be wholly unaware of human evil? But, as a matter of fact, another part of my trade, too, made me sure you weren't a priest."''
-->
"''\\
''"What?"'' asked the thief, almost gaping.
-->
gaping.\\
''"You attacked reason,"'' said Father Brown. ''[[WhatAnIdiot "It's bad theology.]]"''



* In ''Literature/GoodOmens'', most of humanity appears this way. Best shown when Aziraphale gets accidentally exorcised by [[ChurchMilitant Shadwell]] and spends the next several hours body-surfing around the aether, causing nearly everyone he encounters to assume they're being inhabited by a Demon. With slight irritation, Aziraphale has to correct them that he's actually an ''Angel''.
** Aziraphale also excoriates a televangelist and his congregation for the ludicrous notion of the Rapture, pointing out that during the Final Battle, the Angels fighting in the Celestial War will simply be ''too busy'' fighting the forces of Hell to go around picking random people up. Between the Heavenly War and the War down on Earth, any human that dies in the crossfire will be considered acceptable civilian casualties and it's up to God to clean ''that'' mess up... And that's if they actually ''win''!
*** It's not really belief in general, it's just that that specific aspect (which is pretty much unique to American evangelicals) happens to be wrong.

to:

* In ''Literature/GoodOmens'', most ''Literature/GoodOmens:''
** Most
of humanity appears this way. Best shown when Aziraphale gets accidentally exorcised by [[ChurchMilitant Shadwell]] and spends the next several hours body-surfing around the aether, causing nearly everyone he encounters to assume they're being inhabited by a Demon. With slight irritation, Aziraphale has to correct them that he's actually an ''Angel''.
** Aziraphale also excoriates a televangelist and his congregation for the ludicrous notion of the Rapture, pointing out that during the Final Battle, the Angels fighting in the Celestial War will simply be ''too busy'' fighting the forces of Hell to go around picking random people up. Between the Heavenly War and the War down on Earth, any human that dies in the crossfire will be considered acceptable civilian casualties and it's up to God to clean ''that'' mess up... And that's if they actually ''win''!
***
''win''! It's not really belief in general, it's just that that specific aspect (which is pretty much unique to American evangelicals) happens to be wrong.
6th Jan '18 9:39:04 PM sgamer82
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* Although the Literature/{{Discworld}} novels criticize organized religion much more than belief itself, the third ''Discworld/TheScienceOfDiscworld'' book, ''Darwin's Watch'', employs this trope somewhat.
** "Somewhat" in this case meaning "If Darwin hadn't written ''Origin of the Species'', humanity would never leave the planet before it froze."
*** He doesn't just not write it; he writes a book just as convincing in the other direction and more or less ''ends science''.

to:

* Although the Literature/{{Discworld}} novels criticize organized religion much more than belief itself, the third ''Discworld/TheScienceOfDiscworld'' book, ''Darwin's Watch'', employs this trope somewhat.
** "Somewhat"
somewhat. "Somewhat", in this case case, meaning "If Darwin hadn't written ''Origin of the Species'', humanity would never leave the planet before it froze."
*** He
" In fact, Darwin doesn't just not write it; he it. He writes a book just as convincing in the other direction and more or less ''ends science''.
5th Jan '18 1:42:15 PM CurledUpWithDakka
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* Typical of a New Atheist, Creator/BillMaher once told a guest that being a man of faith meant he was a man who "suspends critical judgement and accepts things on no evidence. Shockingly, Maher's religious guest agreed with him, a moment so strange that [[Creator/BishopBarron a Roman Catholic Bishop]] did a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGDDKlXl488 whole video on it]].

to:

* Typical of a New Atheist, Creator/BillMaher once told a guest that being a man of faith meant he was a man who "suspends critical judgement and accepts things on no evidence.evidence". Shockingly, Maher's religious guest agreed with him, a moment so strange that [[Creator/BishopBarron a Roman Catholic Bishop]] did a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGDDKlXl488 whole video on it]].
12th Dec '17 11:05:32 AM BeerBaron
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12th Dec '17 11:05:00 AM BeerBaron
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* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'', while it's certainly true most of the priests are decent people and the gods are mostly benevolent, the Church itself participates in mass censorship, oppressed the necromancers into demon-worship thereby creating one of the {{Big Bad}}s of the series, and perpetrated the genocide of the Ayleid.
** In the other Franchise/TheElderScrolls games, it's played with. The way the story is told (player perspective only) and the way said player receives information about the religions (other character perspectives only) most religions claim this about most other religions.
** Of course, one must consider that Necromancy by it's very nature is considered an abomination by law abiding magicka users, and that by all accounts the Ayleids were pretty big dicks.

to:

* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'', while it's certainly true most of the priests are decent people and the gods are mostly benevolent, the Church itself participates in mass censorship, oppressed the necromancers into demon-worship thereby creating one of the {{Big Bad}}s of ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** Throughout
the series, and perpetrated the genocide of the Ayleid.
** In the other Franchise/TheElderScrolls games, it's
this is heavily played with. The way the story is stories are told (player perspective only) and the way said player receives information about the religions (other ([[UnreliableExpositor other character perspectives only) only]]), most religions claim this about most other religions.
conflicting religions.
** Of course, one must consider that Necromancy Though near-universally depicted as a benevolent SaintlyChurch throughout the series, The Church of the Nine Divines (the official religion of the [[TheFederation Third Tamriellic Empire]]) does have skeletons in its closet. It participates in mass censorship, [[WrittenByTheWinners re-writing history]] both to downplay some of the atrocities committed by it's very nature is considered an abomination by law abiding magicka users, the races of men and that by all accounts to [[HistoricalHeroUpgrade hide the flaws]] of great heroes of mankind. It was originally founded as part of a BargainWithHeaven, made with the Aedra in exchange for their aid in overthrowing the [[AbusivePrecursors Ayleid]] empire (with the Alessian Order, an extremest and [[FantasticRacism fantastically racist]] sect within the church later working to drive the Ayleids were pretty big dicks.to complete extinction).
27th Nov '17 10:57:28 AM DustSnitch
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* ''Franchise/StarTrek'', at least until ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' fleshed out the Bajorans as more than spiritual cannon fodder for the Cardassians. Many episodes throughout the series explore the importance of faith (spiritual and otherwise) as well as the nebulous boundary between SufficientlyAdvancedAliens (be they benign or malicious) and ''actual gods'', especially when they really are (relatively) omniscient.
* The ''Series/BabylonFive'' episode "[[{{Recap/BabylonFiveS01E10Believers}} Believers]]" depicts a family from a zealously religious species refusing to allow Dr. Franklin perform simple life-saving surgery on their son because their religion states that he will lose his spirit if he is cut open. The alien parents are earnest and loving, but their arguments are little more than strawmen, and their culture is depicted as insular and close-minded at every turn. Franklin's belief that science is superior to their religion fits this trope as well, right up to the point where [[spoiler:he saves the child, expecting the parents to turn around and realize he was right, only to have the wind taken out of his self-righteous sails when the parents kill their own child, believing him to be effectively a soulless zombie]]. In the end, the episode leaves who was right and who was wrong ambiguous and up to the viewer to decide. In another episode Franklin is revealed to have a religion himself (albeit fictional) and not portrayed as any less intelligent for it (this helps him beat a drug addiction, in fact).

to:

* ''Franchise/StarTrek'', at least until ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' fleshed out the Bajorans as more than spiritual cannon fodder for the Cardassians. Many episodes throughout the series explore the importance of faith (spiritual and otherwise) as well as the nebulous boundary between SufficientlyAdvancedAliens (be they benign or malicious) and ''actual gods'', especially when they really are (relatively) omniscient.
* The ''Series/BabylonFive'' episode "[[{{Recap/BabylonFiveS01E10Believers}} Believers]]" depicts a family from a zealously religious species refusing to allow Dr. Franklin perform simple life-saving surgery on their son because their religion states that he will lose his spirit if he is cut open. The alien parents are earnest and loving, but their arguments are little more than strawmen, and their culture is depicted as insular and close-minded at every turn. Franklin's belief that science is superior to their religion fits this trope as well, right up to the point where [[spoiler:he saves the child, expecting the parents to turn around and realize he was right, only to have the wind taken out of his self-righteous sails when the parents kill their own child, believing him to be effectively a soulless zombie]]. In the end, the episode leaves who was right and who was wrong ambiguous and up to the viewer to decide. In another episode Franklin is revealed to have a religion himself (albeit fictional) and not portrayed as any less intelligent for it (this helps him beat a drug addiction, in fact).



* On ''Series/{{Lost}}'', [[spoiler:Richard Alpert]] is Catholic, and, in 1867, he accidentally kills a man while getting medicine for his dying wife, gets arrested, is told he can't be absolved for his sins,[[note]]Which is not Catholic doctrine[[/note]] and then crashes on the island. Naturally, he is willing to believe he's gone to hell when told just that by an apparition of his dead wife and a mysterious Man in Black. Exploiting [[spoiler:Richard's]] faith, the Man in Black tells him he can only escape "hell" by killing "the devil," the Man in Black's archenemy [[spoiler:Jacob]]. The plan falls through when [[spoiler:Jacob]] explains [[spoiler:Richard]] is not dead, not in hell, and was misled by the Man in Black.
* On ''Series/StargateSG1'', Senator Kinsey shows himself to be this. When he talks about how things will be okay if the Stargate project is shut down, the team tell him about the Goa'uld. They then just stare in shock when Kinsey says even if this alien armada invades ''God will not let anything happen to the United States.''

to:

* On ''Series/{{Lost}}'', [[spoiler:Richard Alpert]] In ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', Sheldon's mother is Catholic, and, about as offensively stereotypical as you can get for a Bible-believing Texan.[[note]]Granted, ''every'' character on the show is some sort of offensively exaggerated stereotype.[[/note]] [[ZigZagged Conversely]], she's also often portrayed as the down-to-earth voice of reason in 1867, he accidentally kills contrast to Sheldon's antics.
* Typical of a New Atheist, Creator/BillMaher once told a guest that being
a man while getting medicine for his dying wife, gets arrested, is told of faith meant he can't be absolved for his sins,[[note]]Which is not was a man who "suspends critical judgement and accepts things on no evidence. Shockingly, Maher's religious guest agreed with him, a moment so strange that [[Creator/BishopBarron a Roman Catholic doctrine[[/note]] and then crashes Bishop]] did a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGDDKlXl488 whole video on the island. Naturally, he is willing to believe he's gone to hell when told just that by an apparition of his dead wife and a mysterious Man in Black. Exploiting [[spoiler:Richard's]] faith, the Man in Black tells him he can only escape "hell" by killing "the devil," the Man in Black's archenemy [[spoiler:Jacob]]. The plan falls through when [[spoiler:Jacob]] explains [[spoiler:Richard]] is not dead, not in hell, and was misled by the Man in Black.
* On ''Series/StargateSG1'', Senator Kinsey shows himself to be this. When he talks about how things will be okay if the Stargate project is shut down, the team tell him about the Goa'uld. They then just stare in shock when Kinsey says even if this alien armada invades ''God will not let anything happen to the United States.''
it]].



* {{Averted}} on ''Series/TheXFiles'', of all shows. Though the premise of aliens and the paranormal may seem like the antithesis of religion (as it's usually portrayed), religion gets a ''ton'' of screen time during the series. Besides the Monster of the Week episodes that deal with things like stigmata, demonic possession, and recordings made by Christ, the show has a lot of religious undertones. However, these undertones aren't "God is responsible for everything on the show" kind of things. More questioning religion and how it came to be. At one point, Scully finds an extraterrestrial engraving that contains passages from the Bible, and Scully herself experiences a birthing experience similar to the birth of Christ. This interplay of religion and science also plays a large role in Scully's character development. Though a skeptic of Mulder's theories, she is a practicing Catholic and often must reconcile what she's learning with her faith. Played straight in earlier seasons, however. Mulder does everything but call Scully an idiot for her belief. It comes out horribly, however, as up to this point, Mulder has yet to come up with any significant proof for his own theories. And someone who believes in spirits and some sort of afterlife who criticizes the religious will always seem a bit silly. Scully calls Mulder out on this several times.



* In ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', Sheldon's mother is about as offensively stereotypical as you can get for a Bible-believing Texan.[[note]]Granted, ''every'' character on the show is some sort of offensively exaggerated stereotype.[[/note]] [[ZigZagged Conversely]], she's also often portrayed as the down-to-earth voice of reason in contrast to Sheldon's antics.

to:

* In ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', Sheldon's mother On ''Series/{{Lost}}'', [[spoiler:Richard Alpert]] is Catholic, and, in 1867, he accidentally kills a man while getting medicine for his dying wife, gets arrested, is told he can't be absolved for his sins,[[note]]Which is not Catholic doctrine[[/note]] and then crashes on the island. Naturally, he is willing to believe he's gone to hell when told just that by an apparition of his dead wife and a mysterious Man in Black. Exploiting [[spoiler:Richard's]] faith, the Man in Black tells him he can only escape "hell" by killing "the devil," the Man in Black's archenemy [[spoiler:Jacob]]. The plan falls through when [[spoiler:Jacob]] explains [[spoiler:Richard]] is not dead, not in hell, and was misled by the Man in Black.
* On ''Series/StargateSG1'', Senator Kinsey shows himself to be this. When he talks
about how things will be okay if the Stargate project is shut down, the team tell him about the Goa'uld. They then just stare in shock when Kinsey says even if this alien armada invades ''God will not let anything happen to the United States.''
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'', at least until ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' fleshed out the Bajorans
as offensively stereotypical as you can get more than spiritual cannon fodder for the Cardassians. Many episodes throughout the series explore the importance of faith (spiritual and otherwise) as well as the nebulous boundary between SufficientlyAdvancedAliens (be they benign or malicious) and ''actual gods'', especially when they really are (relatively) omniscient.
* {{Averted}} on ''Series/TheXFiles'', of all shows. Though the premise of aliens and the paranormal may seem like the antithesis of religion (as it's usually portrayed), religion gets
a Bible-believing Texan.[[note]]Granted, ''every'' ''ton'' of screen time during the series. Besides the Monster of the Week episodes that deal with things like stigmata, demonic possession, and recordings made by Christ, the show has a lot of religious undertones. However, these undertones aren't "God is responsible for everything on the show" kind of things. More questioning religion and how it came to be. At one point, Scully finds an extraterrestrial engraving that contains passages from the Bible, and Scully herself experiences a birthing experience similar to the birth of Christ. This interplay of religion and science also plays a large role in Scully's character on the show development. Though a skeptic of Mulder's theories, she is a practicing Catholic and often must reconcile what she's learning with her faith. Played straight in earlier seasons, however. Mulder does everything but call Scully an idiot for her belief. It comes out horribly, however, as up to this point, Mulder has yet to come up with any significant proof for his own theories. And someone who believes in spirits and some sort of offensively exaggerated stereotype.[[/note]] [[ZigZagged Conversely]], she's also often portrayed as afterlife who criticizes the down-to-earth voice of reason in contrast to Sheldon's antics.religious will always seem a bit silly. Scully calls Mulder out on this several times.
20th Nov '17 11:12:43 AM lillolillo
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Added DiffLines:

* Defied in ''[[ComicBook/Supergirl2005 Supergirl (Volume 5)]]''. During the ''ComicBook/NewKrypton'' story arc, ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} frequently and openly mocks her friend Thara's belief in the Kryptonian gods and treats her as a loony who believes she is Rao's daughter Flamebird's incarnation. When it is revealed that Thara IS in fact Flamebird, Kara apologizes and feels happy, because if their gods are real, then her deceased father is in a better place.
15th Nov '17 11:18:20 PM spiritplumber
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Added DiffLines:

* Surprisingly mostly averted in Fanfic/LeftBeyond since Yahwists are not stupid, merely supremely confident that their God will prevail. This does discourage them from bothering with advancing their tech level or undertaking great works that aren't related to worship, however.
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