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Atheists more religiously literate than religious people.

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posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 09:07 PM
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This study is very interesting to me, not just for the information, but because its implications are vast. Could it be that the more religiously literate we become, the more absurd our religion becomes to us?

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Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions.

On average, Americans correctly answer 16 of the 32 religious knowledge questions on the survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. Atheists and agnostics average 20.9 correct answers. Jews and Mormons do about as well, averaging 20.5 and 20.3 correct answers, respectively. Protestants as a whole average 16 correct answers; Catholics as a whole, 14.7. Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons perform better than other groups on the survey even after controlling for differing levels of education.


It seems some of the most vehemently religious people in this study were in fact the least religiously educated.

This study is particularly interesting to me because I was a religious studies minor in college, and while my beliefs fluctuate as I evolve as a person, I find myself in a state of atheism currently. Without getting too far into it, I believe in a soul, but I don't believe in a singular controlling entity and I don't believe in magic. I think science will eventually discover an answer to all the questions we have (if we don't blow ourselves up before that.)

So, atheists and deeply religious people alike: How educated do you think you are in something you believe in so passionately?

It seems this is the way of contemporary America.. We act proud and pompous about all our beliefs and in reality, we have clue what we're talking about.





posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 09:11 PM
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I understand why Atheist and Jews rank high on that list. Because religion and/or faith is a very important aspect of our lives. There are different types of Atheist and Agnostics. Many dislike religion, some enjoy being sarcastic to people who are religious and so on. Jews are very traditional and most likely also study how to respond to people who questions about the Jewish faith. Being religiously literate is awesome in my view. I like learning how people see eye to eyes.



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 09:14 PM
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reply to post by SantaClaus
 


While it would be an event of mental masturbation for me to post here and type in capital letters: "We knew it since before this test! Ignorance.. blah blah" I will state a logical perception.

Religious people will not be more literate about religion in general except their own (some aren't) simply because they don't care about the other religions. You are raised to be a christian or convert for example, you will most likely believe "for certain" that God this, God that, so Buddha or Krishna is unimportant their religion sais so. It's not that they are ignorant, it's just indoctrination.

For example; someone pursuing a career in biology will most likely know little about banking administration. Someone pursuing a career in banking will most likely know little about biology.
edit on 14-4-2011 by Somehumanbeing because: (no reason given)


I am El Capitan Obvio
edit on 14-4-2011 by Somehumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 09:16 PM
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reply to post by FeraVerto
 


Its kind of funny you say that. A prominent comedian and good friend of mine (who is jewish) claims that most jewish people are in fact atheists and only live a jewish life for morality's sake.

I also heard this in a Natalie Portman interview. She said she doesn't believe in god, but chooses judaism for lifestyle purposes.

I find jewish people extremely interesting in this respect.



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 09:21 PM
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reply to post by SantaClaus
 


Wow so do you think science is the end all and be all??



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 09:24 PM
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3,412 Americans age 18 and older, on landlines and cell phones, in English and Spanish. Jews, Mormons and atheists/agnostics were oversampled to allow analysis of these relatively small groups


Is it scientific when the control group is not controlled?

I don't want to split hairs but how many of the oversampled Jewish respondents listed themselves as atheists?

I do think that non-believers spend more time finding counterpoints to defend their position in a world where they were traditionally attacked. That makes perfect sense.

The sad thing is the bible tells of the tower of babel and language truly has separated humanity. Religion is just the organization after all.



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 09:24 PM
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reply to post by SantaClaus
 


Yes, there are different movements in Judaism. There are liberal and conservative groups. You also have very strict groups like Orthodox Jews who are more traditional. Kind of difficult to explain. You would have a higher chance of meeting non observant Jews since many of them live secular life styles. Many Orthodox Jews live strict lifestyles and follow Jewish law.



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 09:27 PM
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reply to post by American-philosopher
 


In short, yes.. I don't think of the human spirit as some magical, intangible entity living within us. I think its something real. But in the end, what I perceive to be my soul might very well have been an intense dreamscape my brain made for me to get by in a time of need.

When I say "science," I'm not necessarily referring to human science as it stands today. I think our mathematics are limited and our research methods are currently not at a level that certain things could possibly be understood.



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 09:27 PM
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I honestly think it's because Atheists look into religion, and study it. This is where they find flaws, and doubt sets in. Other just believe in a 3,000 year old book with no proof.

Atheists or Agnostics are level .ed, and know how to think.

Just my opinion



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 09:29 PM
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Science is not religion, and religion not science, and can't be viewed as such. Religion serves a purpose that science cannot. That being said, I'm an agnostic. Not because I can't pick a side, but because to be truly scientific, one must be. I'm also a religious studies major and find the nature of religion extremely fascinating. I posted this in another thread discussing my respect and admiration for the nature of religion.

I don't doubt that atheists are more religiously literate than most. My professors are some of the most historically, scripturally and philosophically literate people I know when it comes to religion, but many of them have said flat out that they don't believe the hype.



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 09:34 PM
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Yeah agnostic here with a real religious family, so I know a thing or 2 about the book..... I tried being religious at some point in time, but my brain wouldn't let me be..... if that makes any sense?



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 09:35 PM
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Originally posted by SorensDespair
Science is not religion, and religion not science, and can't be viewed as such. Religion serves a purpose that science cannot.


I totally agree.. Which is why I don't see myself as religious. I just think there are a LOT of unknowns and unexplainables when it comes to the unique creatures that we are. I believe in evolution and science completely, but there is still a lot about our existence that we can't comprehend, and won't for a very long time. If that's religious of me, then my semantics are off.



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 09:37 PM
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I believe the study in the content of my own experiences with religion, growing up in a household in which my father was a very strict fundamentalist and a Catholic mother I was forced into two different views of believes that were so different from each other as day and night, now can you imagine what that can do to a child, actually it made me want to know more about what it was with religion that make people so Dependant.

As soon as I became an adult and research and learn about the history of religion I started to see that organized religion was not for me, further learning and more historical research into religion made me a none Christian believer.

No, I am not an atheist but I have come to a conclusion about my existence that no religion will satisfy.

At the same time looking back at my father fundamentalist views and my mother's catholic views they were not far away from what they were told in church and within the bible, yes I understand now that both were no very literate about religion at all, they just believe and that was enough for them.

Me, I needed more than just blind trust
edit on 14-4-2011 by marg6043 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 09:53 PM
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You know, its really interesting.. While I'm certainly jaded against staunch theists, I do find religion rather beautiful and artistic in a way. I suppose that why I spent so much time studying them.

Maybe removing any serious implication from religion helped me study it more objectively.



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 09:56 PM
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reply to post by SantaClaus
 


So what proves to you you that there is a soul or that we have a human sprit?



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 09:58 PM
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reply to post by SantaClaus
 


It is semantics, to a point. The greater purpose of a person's religious belief is their desire, or sometimes their need to understand their role in the the universe. If they can create a cosmology (or adapt an existing one for their own purposes) that allows them to create a better self, then that is, in essence, religion.

I often hear atheists and agnostics claim that they have no religion, then turn around and act genuinely morally in life because it is 'the right thing to do'. The understanding of what is right and wrong, morally, is in itself a religious value. If something is right, then it is right at all times, and is a universal truth. The search for universal truth is at the core of religion.

The term 'atheist' has been pigeonholed into something that is anti-religious, which I believe is wrong. In a broader sense, it is the absolute belief that there is no 'all powerful, omniscient and omnipotent God'. I can't claim that there is or isn't because there isn't sufficient evidence to point one way or another. I do call myself agnostic in that I don't apply any particular existing religious following other than my own concepts of morality. But even then, calling myself agnostic is, once again, pigeonholing.



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 10:00 PM
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reply to post by SantaClaus
 


So in your thinking you will have to go to the end of time to be prove wrong baout God. So everything that precieve as magical you will just say "well we will be able to prove what that is one day and move on? is that your mind set.

And someting has to be proven to exist for you in your terms that you can understand.

Maybe true inderstanding and enlightenment comes fromt he thinigs you can;t prove,. how bout that one.



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 10:03 PM
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reply to post by SantaClaus
 


They are not here on ATS. As I have viewed they will quote verses to support their argument yet they do not realize that words have meanings based upon the context of the writers subject.

Such as we use the word Sky, Look up in the sky a bird,(lower sky) Look up in the sky a Plane, (higher sky), look up in the sky a planet or star. All the time sky being used and no one would think a plane in the sky is flying near Saturn.

Yet as posted today by another ATS'er they said that stars were in the firmament like the birds.
So it is evident that they do not know vast amounts of information about God and his word.

And is said survey done with both Believer and non believers doing the study or just non believers???

God Bless and Good try.



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 10:06 PM
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reply to post by ACTS 2:38
 


The study was done with various religious groups. The percentages were gauged based on the religious follower's submitted belief, and questions following. It also involved understanding of religious other than ones own.

So yes, 'believers' and 'un-believers' alike.



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 10:12 PM
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Originally posted by American-philosopher
reply to post by SantaClaus
 


So in your thinking you will have to go to the end of time to be prove wrong baout God. So everything that precieve as magical you will just say "well we will be able to prove what that is one day and move on? is that your mind set.

And someting has to be proven to exist for you in your terms that you can understand.

Maybe true inderstanding and enlightenment comes fromt he thinigs you can;t prove,. how bout that one.


Maybe, but that isn't my personal belief.

And it seems to me that you're claiming I don't "understand" religion. Do you?

I think the idea of creationism is vastly less complex than the theory of evolution.

In other words, where you see I might be taking the easy way out, I think I'm taking the extra step to thoroughly understand all religion and then discuss why and how people actually believe it.

And while this thread is not about my personal religion, I say I believe in the human spirit as a thing because I've had a "religious experience" before. Again, it might have just been synapses firing off in my ., but I saw it as more than that at the time. I need a few more years to digest it to analyze it more objectively.



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