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When I was a child (maybe 9 or 10 years old) my Dad while reading the newspaper stated matter-of-factly that, “There are no smart criminals.”

His reasoning was simply this; Criminals always go to jail. Nobody (not even criminals) wants to be in jail. Therefore, criminals are stupid.

Me, bright kid that I was, took that logic and applied it to atheists. My reasoning was this; Atheists go to hell, Nobody (not even atheists) wants to be in hell. Therefore, atheists are stupid.

However, it did not take me long to discard this as faulty logic when I discovered the disturbing fact that some very smart people are atheists. Einstein was a hero of mine and when I discovered that he didn’t believe in a personal God, it troubled me. Later, when I really started delving into the forbidden territories (e.g. learning about evolution) I realized that these people were very smart and they knew a lot more than I did.

Later, my Dad again made that same claim about there being no smart criminals. This time I disputed him. My reasoning was that some criminals plan and successfully commit intricate crimes and it would take a very smart person to plan such a thing and pull it off. He admitted that I could be right.