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Gayle in MD
09-29-2010, 05:17 AM
America Fails Religion Pop Quiz



By Elizabeth Tenety


Atheists and agnostics scored the highest on a Pew Forum study examining Americans' religious knowledge.

The survey, released Tuesday, tested knowledge of what Pew calls "the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions."

Out of 32 questions, atheists and agnostics, on average, answered 21 questions correctly, making non-believers the top performers. They had higher than average scores on questions about world religions and about religion's role in public life. The more you know, the less you believe?

Jews averaged 20.5 correct questions, followed closely by Mormons. The lowest performing group was Catholics, who answered 15 questions correctly.

The average American answered 16 out of 32 questions on his religious pop quiz. At 50%, that's not even a passing grade.

The specifics are more puzzling:

-45% of Catholics do not know that their church teaches that the bread and the wine become the body and blood of Christ.
-More than half of Protestants "cannot correctly identify Martin Luther as the person whose writings and actions inspired the Protestant Reformation."
-Just 36% know that public schools are constitutionally permitted to teach comparative religion.
There was some good news about Americans' religious literacy:

-71% know that, according to the Bible, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
-More than 6-in-10 know that Genesis is the first book of the bible.
Take a look at the full study for yourself.

Quiz yourself! See how you score on five of Pew's 32 questions.



http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/undergod/2010/09/america_fails_religion_pop_quiz.html


<span style="color: #FF0000"> Shouldn't surprise anyone. Faith is based on the suspension of critical thinking, after all, so why would they even bother learning anything about what it is they are subscribing to. LMAO! </span> /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

hondo
09-29-2010, 07:12 AM
4 out of 5. I hastily guessed Indonesia was Hindu.
I assume they are Muslim. Wasn't thinking. Haven't had my coffee yet.

sack316
09-29-2010, 07:29 AM
I passed, with 100%... but then again I am adding a minor in religious studies to my management degree right now, so I better have!

Now the rest of the process behind the quiz:

Indeed atheists scored higher on this test (and don't freak out, but Beck had this as a segment on his radio show yesterday!). But, this has actually been a point of discussion as well as a point of contention for me in class (yes, I rock the boat and ruffle feathers even when it comes to things I do believe in... I question EVERYTHING!).

The skinny is this (and keep in mind this is in general, not applicable to all): let's take a person from any denomination, who has selected his/her religious faith. Said person will study their holy book, go to their church, and basically be taking in whatever knowledge is associated with their own faith. By choice, their exposure becomes somewhat limited to their own belief. ie American Jew/Christian/whatever not as likely to study religious beliefs of Indonesia (this was one of the questions).

Atheists may "free" themselves to study whatever. Fact is most such people become atheists after a search through a variety of religions. The exposure, and hence all around knowledge, becomes greater than their faith based counterpart.

My only issue with the poll is not the results, because the results are factual, but rather the way in which the data is presented by some. Some take this as a way to say "Atheists are smarter than those who subscribe to some religion". Basically saying that it is because of higher levels of intelligence and education that people choose to become Atheist. But HOW the data is interpreted is misleading...

Let's take an example: for this, sports (all) will be religion period, encompassing all faith. Baseball, football, basketball, racing, golf, pool, etc will represent individual religions. Now, on this board we have pool fanatics. We have many people VERY knowledgeable in billiards, the game, the history, the characters of the sport. Many people from that group don't know jack about football, baseball, basketball, etc. While some here know a little, or even a great deal, about many other sports as well.

Taking this data, can we safely say those that know more about all sports are smarter than those whose knowledge is limited to billiards? No, in any study such a question would have to be listed as inconclusive given the data.

G, I know you weren't pulling the "smarter" card in your post and that you were just posting the facts there. But I did want to present the portion above as I've seen the data used as such in other places, which is very misleading.

I've actually got a research paper/case study on a flash drive around here on this very topic, I need to see if I can find it /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Sack

llotter
09-29-2010, 08:59 AM
If God is dead, anything is permissible as the graves of 100 million victims give testimony. Atheists have no method of establishing a consistent moral system and therefrom can justify/rationalize any means to achieve their desired ends.

Stretch
09-29-2010, 09:39 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: llotter</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If God is dead, anything is permissible as the graves of 100 million victims give testimony. Atheists have no method of establishing a consistent moral system and therefrom can justify/rationalize any means to achieve their desired ends. </div></div>

That pales in comparison to the atrocitys commited in the name of God. St.

Gayle in MD
09-29-2010, 10:09 AM
You know, I was shocked when I read about this..... Catholics who didn't know about the meaning of the communion wafer, and drinking the wine?

Unbelievable!

Sack, your post is very interesting. I'm sure you are far more well read on this subject, than I am.


<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
Atheists may "free" themselves to study whatever. Fact is most such people become atheists after a search through a variety of religions. The exposure, and hence all around knowledge, becomes greater than their faith based counterpart.
</div></div>

I think this is very true.


I went to Catholic school in grade school, and believe me, we knew everything about the Catholic Religion, by the sixth grade, and i fact, it was memorized, very early on.

The Nun would stand in front of the class and ask the questions, and the class, like parrots, would chime in with the exact response, from the Catholic teachings. I can still hear them..."Where is God?"
"God is everywhere."

Like most religious teachers and leaders of the various religions, we were taught by the Nuns, that ONLY we Catholics, would get into heaven, lol, and I used to feel so sorry for my friends who weren't Catholic /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif Finally one of them told me one day that I was wrong, and only those of her religion, would go to heaven. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif

I suppose that kind of religious teaching, is one of the parts of organized religion that I most dislike. So many of them claim that only their faith, can bring others to God, or the Afterlife.

Anyway, my Italian Grand-mother, and one of my aunts, were very devout Catholics, so I was often in church with them, as well, for special masses, and Novena's, all hours of the day and at night.

As a young child, I was awe struck by the majesty of the mass, but as I grew older, the statues with all of the blood, spear gashes, thorns and tears, began to bother me, as well, I had trouble reconciling the behavior of some of the Nuns, who seemd to be so angry, and even mean, either that, or they were saints, and that is what eventually led me to read about other religions.

We had an extention branch, of our main county library, at the end of my street, when I was growing up, and I was in and out of there constantly.

The Librarian was very nice to me, and seemed to love the fact that I loved to read, and she was very good about getting me the books I wanted, on order, from the main branch, but there were loads of books right there, all the time, copies of all of the classics, for example.

She was always talking with me, and suggesting various books that she thought would be best to read, dependiing upon whatever it was that I was interested in, at the time. We became like girl friends, actually, as I grew older.

Looking back, now, I realize what a huge advantage that was for me, as a kid growing up, and believe me, I took great advantage of it, having a library right on my block.

Over time, I managed to get some sense of most of the various religions, but as I have said, none was a good fit, for me.

The Buddhist Philosophies impressed me above all else, even though Buddhism is not really a religion, but a philosophy.

My years of studying Psychology, didn't give organized religion, a very good recommendation, either.

I think most of us really learn the most about what is right, and wrong, through our parents, if we're lucky enough to have good parents.

As I'm sure you will agree, most people who are searchers, people who question what is presented to them, and are always looking for the best version of truth, do learn more about everything around them, in the long run. Those who just accept what they're told, would, I think, be far more unlikely to end up with a broad understanding of things, in general. Hence, the findings of the study, seem pretty reasonable to me, but I didn't study the methodology.

I'm a true book lover, and I swear, I can still smell the aroma of that little library, at the end of my street, the same way I can still smell the wax they used on the wood floors of the studio where I took my dancing lessons.

Just imagine, how lucky I was, to be able to walk a block, and have access to shelves upon shelves of all kinds of books!
/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
G.

bobroberts
09-29-2010, 10:31 AM
Gayle, now that explains why your so uptight.I will have to give you a pass from now on.

sack316
09-29-2010, 12:51 PM
Gayle, I completely agree with ya here.

I think it would do everyone some good, regardless of their belief, to learn and understand those who think differently. You'd be surprised how how similar most faiths are once you study them. For example, Christian and Islamic beliefs are pretty well the exact same all the way up 'til Abraham's children. We happened to pick Isaac, they picked Ishmael.

Sack--- we ain't so different afterall

hondo
09-29-2010, 01:24 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Stretch</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: llotter</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If God is dead, anything is permissible as the graves of 100 million victims give testimony. Atheists have no method of establishing a consistent moral system and therefrom can justify/rationalize any means to achieve their desired ends. </div></div>

That pales in comparison to the atrocitys commited in the name of God. St. </div></div>

But not by God. Remember the distinction.

Gayle in MD
09-29-2010, 02:19 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: sack316</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Gayle, I completely agree with ya here.

I think it would do everyone some good, regardless of their belief, to learn and understand those who think differently. You'd be surprised how how similar most faiths are once you study them. For example, Christian and Islamic beliefs are pretty well the exact same all the way up 'til Abraham's children. We happened to pick Isaac, they picked Ishmael.

Sack--- we ain't so different afterall </div></div>

<span style="color: #FF0000">Sack,
That is so true. I've been saying that my whole life. It is so pointless that some people think Islam is a threat, or they cherry pick the radical parts, our of the Qu'ran, without ever taking into consideration the radical elements of the Christian Bible.

After 9/11, I stated that if there were anything appropriate to build in that hallowed space, it woud be a Universal Religious church, with the goal of all religions joining together in the purpose of greater religious acceptance, and understanding.

I thought it incredible, that here comes this Imam, with exactly that sated purpose, and yet, he was attacked, slandered, and ostracised by so many, "Christians."

I thought that was very ugly, and not the American Way, nor the Christian Way, at all.

Good to learn that your mind is open regarding the similarities between Islam, and Christianity.

Education is a wonderful thing!

Kudos!

Love,

Gayle </span>

cushioncrawler
09-29-2010, 06:26 PM
My daughter lives in the Ozz bible belt. Just this week she told me she woz horryfyd to find that her 6yr old son had attended a religion class. She saw the principal and made sure it wouldnt happen again (she had ticked "No" at the start of the year). Jack iz now the only kid not attending.

Problem No1. Jack refused to eat dinner. Why??? Koz he didnt want to grow up. Why??? Koz when he grew up he would be put on a cross to die.

Problem No2. Jack, playing around at home, iz saying and mentioning "jesus" lots and lots. This iz after just one session.
mac.

cushioncrawler
09-29-2010, 06:39 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: sack316</div><div class="ubbcode-body">.....Let's take an example: for this, sports (all) will be religion period, encompassing all faith. Baseball, football, basketball, racing, golf, pool, etc will represent individual religions. Now, on this board we have pool fanatics. We have many people VERY knowledgeable in billiards, the game, the history, the characters of the sport. Many people from that group don't know jack about football, baseball, basketball, etc. While some here know a little, or even a great deal, about many other sports as well.

Taking this data, can we safely say those that know more about all sports are smarter than those whose knowledge is limited to billiards? No, in any study such a question would have to be listed as inconclusive given the data....</div></div>Sack -- No.
Most (all) atheists who (like me) hate religions are very interested in religions.
Most people who (like me) arent interested in most sports, are not interested in most sports.
mac.

Gayle in MD
09-30-2010, 12:50 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cushioncrawler</div><div class="ubbcode-body">My daughter lives in the Ozz bible belt. Just this week she told me she woz horryfyd to find that her 6yr old son had attended a religion class. She saw the principal and made sure it wouldnt happen again (she had ticked "No" at the start of the year). Jack iz now the only kid not attending.

Problem No1. Jack refused to eat dinner. Why??? Koz he didnt want to grow up. Why??? Koz when he grew up he would be put on a cross to die.

Problem No2. Jack, playing around at home, iz saying and mentioning "jesus" lots and lots. This iz after just one session.
mac. </div></div>

Well Max, from a psychological point of view, there are few things in the world as potentially damaging to children, as organized religion. Your daughter, is doing the right thing.

I exposed my daughter to a range of religious beliefs, but more from a historical point of view.

I told her mostly about the words of Jesus, and also educated her about the many religious sects, which made the same claims about their Gods, many of them long before Jesus ever emerged.

I suely didn't fill her head with guilt and remorse over the actuality of being a human being.

G.

cushioncrawler
09-30-2010, 06:10 PM
Gayle -- Yes -- Christian Indoctrination aint Religion.
mac.

sack316
10-01-2010, 09:31 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cushioncrawler</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
Sack -- No.
Most (all) atheists who (like me) hate religions are very interested in religions.
</div></div>

Mac--- Yes.
Thanks for backing my original point. You are very interested in religions (plural). Others may be very interested in their religion (singular). Hence, on a test based on multiple religions it is more likely you would know more about religions (plural) and score higher. Which, IMHO is a good thing for you! But such a test is not an indicator of intelligence... a faulty conclusion presented by some outlets using the quiz. We could say "Atheists in general have a more well rounded knowledge base of various religions" and we could even stretch and probably say "Atheists are more open minded to learning differing viewpoints than their own". But we cannot conclude "Atheists are smarter" from the data, which is how it has been presented in some circles and the only issue I take with it.

Sack

Gayle in MD
10-01-2010, 10:30 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: sack316</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cushioncrawler</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
Sack -- No.
Most (all) atheists who (like me) hate religions are very interested in religions.
</div></div>

Mac--- Yes.
Thanks for backing my original point. You are very interested in religions (plural). Others may be very interested in their religion (singular). Hence, on a test based on multiple religions it is more likely you would know more about religions (plural) and score higher. Which, IMHO is a good thing for you! But such a test is not an indicator of intelligence... a faulty conclusion presented by some outlets using the quiz. We could say "Atheists in general have a more well rounded knowledge base of various religions" and we could even stretch and probably say "Atheists are more open minded to learning differing viewpoints than their own". But we cannot conclude "Atheists are smarter" from the data, which is how it has been presented in some circles and the only issue I take with it.

Sack </div></div>

Sack,
Were there any general I.Q. tests used. I'm only asking because I have read somewhere that such tests did show a higher intelligence among Athiests, than others.

The only thing that I think might support that finding, as we have already agreed, is that usually the more inquisitive a person is, the higher they score on intelligence tests, in general, or so I have read, where I read that, I haven't a clue, but it stuck...

/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

sack316
10-01-2010, 11:40 AM
There was no IQ element in this research I am aware of. The actual results are as follows:

3,412 US adults were given the test via random sampling by landline or cellular phone. Out of 32 total questions:
http://pewforum.org/uploadedImages/Topics/Belief_and_Practices/religious-knowledge-01.png

those are the results directly from Pew. If we were to accept "Atheists are more intelligent than those of a particular religious faith" (based on THIS study) then we would also have to accept a statement such as "White people of faith are more intelligent than black and hispanic persons of faith". I do not believe anyone would dare make that assumption based on this study... as such the assumption that I took issue with could not as well (one would either have to accept or reject both statements).

To show I'm not blowing smoke, here's my result histogram (based on the 15 question online sample survey they currently have available--- if anyone is interested I am non-denominational Christian, most similar to Methodist if I were forced to choose, though)
http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge/img/histogram-15.gif
http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge/img/yourscore-15.gif

http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge/img/quizchart-affiliation.gif


Sack

p.s. if anyone would like to take it, it is available at http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge/index.php?

cushioncrawler
10-01-2010, 04:35 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cushioncrawler</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Sack -- No. Most (all) atheists who (like me) hate religions are very interested in religions.</div></div><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: sack316</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Mac--- Yes. Thanks for backing my original point. You are very interested in religions (plural). Others may be very interested in their religion (singular). Hence, on a test based on multiple religions it is more likely you would know more about religions (plural) and score higher. Which, IMHO is a good thing for you! But such a test is not an indicator of intelligence... a faulty conclusion presented by some outlets using the quiz. We could say "Atheists in general have a more well rounded knowledge base of various religions" and we could even stretch and probably say "Atheists are more open minded to learning differing viewpoints than their own". But we cannot conclude "Atheists are smarter" from the data, which is how it has been presented in some circles and the only issue I take with it. Sack</div></div>But we can agree that atheists are smarter about religion(s). Its a bit like people who dont beleev in pool being smarter about pool than people who beleev in pool, plus smarter about billiards and carom and snooker.
mac.

sack316
10-01-2010, 04:50 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cushioncrawler</div><div class="ubbcode-body">But we can agree that atheists are smarter about religion(s).</div></div>

Generally speaking, we could say that. If that was the contention being made by some outlets I could even agree, though I would phrase it as "more knowledgeable" rather than "smarter" (there is a difference).

For example, I scored 100%. I can say I'm more knowledgeable about the topics covered within the quiz than over 99% of the people surveyed. It would be faulty reasoning, though, for me to say I am smarter than 99% of the people surveyed because a)in all likelihood that simply isn't true and b) there is no basis to make such a statement.

That was my whole point.

Sack

cushioncrawler
10-01-2010, 05:25 PM
For sure intelligence and smartness and knowledge are different things to different people.
Luckyly this iznt a problem in theusofa.
I hav more money -- therefor i am smarter.
Giv me the money -- u can hav the knowledge.
$$$$$ beats smart -- and $$$$$ beats knowledge.
Smart and knowledge iz worthless, unless it makes $$$$$.
mac.