Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Atheists Excel in Religious Knowledge


September 28, 2010 on CNN
From New York Times:
Americans are by all measures a deeply religious people, but they are also deeply ignorant about religion.

How much do you know about religion? Try answering a sampling of questions asked in a phone survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
Researchers from the independent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life phoned more than 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about the Bible, Christianity and other world religions, famous religious figures and the constitutional principles governing religion in public life.

On average, people who took the survey answered half the questions incorrectly, and many flubbed even questions about their own faith.
Read more

21 comments:

  1. I'll bet that we Americans are just as ignorant of other traditional disciplines such as history, science, art, literature, philosophy and geography as we are of religion.  So I don't see a story here.

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  2. The piece didn't mention that the study controlled for educational level.

    I'll bet that the average American theist knows less than the average American atheist about all traditional disciplines, not just religion.

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  3. Anyone spot rhe elephant in the room here? "Why are athiests and agnostics more knowledgable about religion?". Maybe, just maybe, they are athiests and agnostics precisely because they have more knowledge about religion?

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  4. funny how the religion professor attributed the atheists excelling to "they need to fight religious people a lot so they have a need to know about religion"- uhh no we are atheists because we researched religion so we had to get to where we are by gaining knowledge.

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  5. Maybe. It could also be because religious people perhaps tend to focus more intensely on one religion (a deeper understanding), whereas atheists are free to observe religion more as a whole (a wider understanding).

    In any case, the study did not look into the why, so there can be numerous reasons.

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  6. Atheist Media Blog (Germany)September 29, 2010 at 1:09 AM

    Atheists are better!!

    best regards from Germany

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  7. Atheist Media Blog (Germany)September 29, 2010 at 1:10 AM

    Atheists are better!!

    best regards from Germany

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  8. Atheist Media Blog (german)September 29, 2010 at 1:24 AM

    Atheists are better!!

    Best regards from Germany 

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  9. S-M-R-T... I mean, S-M-A-R-T!

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  10. But the study also showed that many didn't know very much about their own religion.

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  11. Since when is "Muslim" a religion?! As far as I know the religion is called "Islam"

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  12. M,

    Hence why they still believe in it.

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  13. Here's CNN's quiz:

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/28/dont-know-much-about-religion-youre-not-alone-study-finds/

    9 out of 10 for me.

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  14. Me too! But only because I refused to answer #6 "Joseph Smith was a:", because the correct answer "a fraud and a charlatan" was not available and I'm still cranky about being woken up early this morning by evil Mormon dorbell ringers.

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  15. My issue is that the Protestant reformation is actually completely seperate from Lutherans.  Protestantism arose because King Henry VIII wanted to get a divorce, Martin Luther's break with the Catholic church was completely seperate and Protestants claiming him as their theological source is a shameless rewriting of history.  Someone should inform the writer of this quiz.

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  16. To the Editor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7VcLCwnpt4&feature=player_embedded

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  17. I got a perfect score but only because the Martin Luther question was mentioned in a report I read about the poll shortly before this clip appeared on the blog.

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  18. Your right but, the professor does have a point. You do have to have good knowledge about what you are arguing against. 

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  19. In many cases, yes! But I only replied to Sverris claim that a reason so many knew so little of different religions was that they had only been concentrating on gaining deeper knowledge of their own religion at the expense of learning of other religions. But the study showed no such thing. These people were ignorant of all religion, including their own.

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  20. An atheist knows more about religion than a theist for the same reason than an oncologist knows more about cancer than a cancer patient.

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