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Perpetual3am 09-28-2010 09:55 AM

Atheists more informed about religion.
I was really surprised by this survey, lot of pre-conceived notions I had about religious people are completely off-base:


For example, it's not evangelicals or Catholics who did best - it's atheists and agnostics.

It's not Bible-belt Southerners who scored highest - they came at the bottom.

Those who believe the Bible is the literal word of God did slightly worse than average, while those who say it is not the word of God scored slightly better.

Barely half of all Catholics know that when they take communion, the bread and wine literally become the body and blood of Christ, according to Catholic doctrine.
I was surprised about the bible belt southerners scoring lowest and Catholics not knowing the meaning behind communion. How can you not know the meaning, even I've been to enough Catholic church services to know why you're getting a snack.

Don't know much about religion? You're not alone, study finds – CNN Belief Blog - Blogs

PaoloSmythe 09-28-2010 10:58 AM

i am not surprised by this conclusion and it really isn't due to my overall disdain for god-botherers.

religious folk tend to be from the apathetic / lazy / down right stoopid mould.

those choosing to walk a different path from presumed salvation, have the capacity to ask 'why?' usually combined with a sense of 'know thine enemy'.

the point to be laboured is that atheists and agnostics do not choose their 'belief' due to a contempt for religion (or the folklore surrounding such) but because they simply reject what is offered as evidence to support the idea. a lack of faith is an effect not a cause.

if one does not seek out such evidence, there is little risk of their feeling inclined to reject it.

ignorance remains holy bliss!

snowjeeper 09-28-2010 11:46 AM

slightly better story :)
unfortunately the pew website has crashed because of all the traffic after this story. but this is no surprise, americans in general are pretty ignorant.

Flick Montana 10-02-2010 08:43 PM

I think this is kind of a loaded study.

People who are religious never question it, step in line, and donate their time and money to sing songs about God. People who are agnostic are the people who ask the questions, learn the answers, and realize how absurd it all is.

justdust 10-02-2010 09:01 PM

Faith does not require fact, it tends to discourage it.

HoboMaster 10-02-2010 10:55 PM

Exactly that. More then anything Religion is for weak people who need something to latch onto because they have a hard time understanding the world. It gives a simple, clear explanation and allows people to operate at a very low level of intelligence because instead of questioning and learning they just are able to do what they're told. No thinking necessary.

I hate to be so Anti-Religion, but since the dawn of civilization it's been nothing more then a method of controlling a huge populous. I will however give religion credit for helping kick-start human civilization. It made people follow a set of rules and have a conscious beyond eat-sleep-kill. It created the whole "Family" and "Clan" structures and helped take away the chaos of anyone just walking into your ho-ho-hut and killing you for food and possessions because that would simply just be animalistic survival. Before science was a viable methodology, it gave people answers to the unknown and a way to live. Since the peak of Ancient Civilizations however, it has been nothing but poison, and a way to control the simple minded masses.

I feel that Religion has the power to do good, just as Science does, but humans being given consciousness and free-will will always manipulate both for their own objectives.

In the end, it's not so much the application but the applicator: Shitty Humans.

Donutz 10-02-2010 11:44 PM


Originally Posted by justdust (Post 310011)
Faith does not require fact, it tends to discourage it.

Exactly on point. All to often, theists display what I like to call "aggressive ignorance", where they not only do not know something, they do not WANT to know it, will actively avoid knowing it, and if they accidentally learn something will seek to purge it asap. For instance, you can only believe literal creationism if you are carefully ignorant of biology basics, so most creationists steer clear of learning anything about it. It's only possible to believe in the bible at all if you very carefully do not learn about the anthropological and historical information about it. etc. As a result, theists tend to look upon knowledge, logic, and stuff like the scientific method with contempt. Well, wouldn't you if it constantly caused you so much trouble?

Conversely, atheists when arguing with theists (which happens often) have this perverse tendency to want to argue based on facts (those scum!) and will actually look stuff up.

It tends to make atheists more knowledgeable about the reality of religion, especially the unsanitized stuff.

Donutz 10-02-2010 11:53 PM

For instance (ok, someone went and pushed my LECTURE button), Jesus almost certainly did exist (or at least someone named Yeshua around 0-30 CE plus or minus a few years almost certainly formed the basis for christianity) but he was neither a singular figure nor did he preach anything unique. The message commonly ascribed to Jesus was part of the reformism of judaism that had been sweeping through Israel starting about 160 BCE when the Hellenistic Greeks took over. There were in fact any number of wandering 'holy men' preaching the same set of messages at the same time. It's kind of ironic that what xians are always selling as 'christian values' were actually acquired a century or more before Jesus' birth from a bunch of polytheistic pagans. That's right, folks -- christian values are really good old fashioned greek philosophical values.

Now, how do you think that's gonna fly with your average fundie?

john doe 10-03-2010 01:08 AM

The major christian populous pisses me off with their ignorence of their own religion. Christianity is a socialist religion by it's very nature. Yet the american christians are always yelling about socialist. They vote for multi millionaires that claim to be christians yet Jesus said "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" making any rich man non christian.

cpt_usa 10-03-2010 05:23 AM

i'm pretty sure there are ignorant, abusive, and downright bad atheists in the world too. just sayin'

i thought the survey was certainly interesting, but i would like to see if there was also a correlation between the education of the people in each group and the test score. there are plenty of intelligent people who are also religious. I had a physics professor doing cutting edge research into fiberoptics who taught a class about religion and science. He was a christian, and a physicist.

for the record, I scored better than any of the groups listed on the test, and I am not religious. I just don't like seeing this become a hate on religious people thread. while not being religious myself, I see that for some people it is such a powerful influence for good in life. it's sad that it can also be the cause of so much hate.

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