Here is my definition of anti-intellectual: opposing or indifferent to an intellectual approach; basing an opinion on personal presuppositions and/or emotion, rather than on reason.
The rejection of the idea of God is based on an unproven, irrational presupposition — the view that nothing exists but the material world, matter and energy. However, those who deny God don’t live their lives as if the material world is all there is. Instead they embrace many non-material realities. They seek justice. They demand human rights. They express love. They speak up for ethics and morality. They act like they have free will and demand choice. They think and reason. All of these behaviors belie their presupposed belief that there is nothing beyond material existence and show them to be anti-intellectual.
When rationality encounters an effect, it seeks the cause. However, rejecting God embraces the irrational concept that there was an event without a cause, in other words, nothing produced something.
Much atheism is based on emotion rather than reason. I recently read part of a book that blatantly attacks belief in God (The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins). It is by a man who presents himself as an intellectual and a scientist, so I was expecting his book to be filled with reasoning and scientific ideas. However, I was shocked. His arguments against God are not based primarily on science and reason but on personal opinion, emotion, and his disapproval of religion and religious behavior.
For example, he uses the fact that religious organizations have supported the killing of innocent human beings, as an argument to deny God. This is anti-intellectual. The behavior of self-proclaimed religious people has nothing to do with the existence of God. Besides that, this author is inconsistent in his arguments (which is also anti-intellectual). He ignores the fact that in the 20th Century, atheistic governments killed an estimated 20 million people (which is probably far more people than have ever been killed in the name of religion).
This author also misquotes a John Adams letter to Thomas Jefferson. The letter reads: “Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been on the point of breaking out, ‘This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion at all!!!‘ But in this exclamation I would have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean hell.” In this quote, Adams is saying that religion is important and necessary. However, Dawkins puts only the words in parenthesis in his book and dishonestly writes that Adams was against religion. So why does he feel the need to be anti-intellectual in order to argue against God?
Intellectuals throughout history, from ancient Greek philosophers to many present day scientists, have recognized that honest logic leads to some kind of creator. It is anti-intellectual not to acknowledge that fact.