Atheists, agnostics more knowledgeable about religion

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by aloofman, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. aloofman macrumors 68020

    aloofman

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    #1
    As an agnostic, I've long felt that the more someone learns about religion, the less it seems inspired by faith and designed by man. Apparently there is at least a little bit of a basis for this.

    I've often found that many of the people who claim to take the Bible literally either haven't read much of it, or like most people, choose which parts they want to take seriously. And the less they've read, the more they seem to believe in it.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #2
    I encourage everyone to take the quiz and post your results:

    http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge/

    I got 14/15 myself.

    The results of the study aren't really surprising. The more educated tend to be atheistic/agnostic. Also, those who are atheistic/agnostic tend to have examine world religions as a consequence of their conversion. Conversions between religions is more rare I'd argue, leaving most people who are religious to having had only 1 faith to call their own. It's important to note that Jews topped the list of performers on the quiz, however.

    edit: after looking at it, it seems the study respondents took a slightly different quiz than the one linked. In the 15 question quiz, Jews ranked slightly higher than atheists/agnostics.
     
  3. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Once you've found a faith, there's no reason to look any further.

    Some might even think it's a threat to one's faith to do so.
     
  4. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #4
    The real question is chicken v. egg: does greater intelligence tend to lead to atheism, or does atheism tend to lead to greater intelligence (IOW, does religion have a suppressive/inhibiting effect on intelligence)?
     
  5. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #5
    The latter doesn't compute. Intelligence is a measure of raw capability.
     
  6. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #6
  7. R94N macrumors 68020

    R94N

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    #7
    I got 7/15, so according to the graph I'm average compared to everyone else. Is that right?

    Like Mord I don't find religion that interesting, but I know a few things here and there. I'm still at school though, if that makes a difference...I suppose the quiz is aimed more at adults.
     
  8. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

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    #8
    Overall, that might be true, since there are fewer atheists in the world than religious types. If compare the top percentile of religious and atheists, you'll see that top religious types knows a great deal more about religion. The big problem is most people who follow a religion don't know the reason why. Ergo, atheists like to call them "Sheeple."

    I'm an educated Catholic. I know why I'm Catholic. If everyone else in the world stops being a Catholic, I will remain one. Knowing as much as I know about my faith, makes it unshakable. Atheists are just as strong in their resolve. That I admire.

    BTW, I scored 15/15. :cool: That test was the most basic of basic, IMO. I'm not surprised most people...er Sheeple score so low. Sad really.
     
  9. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #9
    15/15

    I wish everyone would get a basic education about all the world's religions. Might eliminate some of the fear and misunderstanding.

    The problem is with generalizations. There are great thinkers that have come from all of the world's religions, as there are those who have been self-proclaimed agnostics/athiests. It's when you become complacent in a religion, accepting religious teaching as "gospel" despite what your head tells you is when we all get into trouble.

    OBTW - skeptic here.
     
  10. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #10
    I suggest that religious conditioning might have a negative impact on one' facility for reason. Consider, for example, the scientologist.
     
  11. R94N macrumors 68020

    R94N

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    #11
    In the UK, everyone in a state-funded (is that the right term?) school gets this.
     
  12. Mr. Chewbacca macrumors 6502a

    Mr. Chewbacca

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    #12
    We use the term "public school", same thing :D
     
  13. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #13
    It does not diminish the raw capacity, it merely puts a roadblock in the application of it. I'm not splitting hairs. The distinction is important because the question of whether an intelligent person will end up atheistic regardless of environmental conditions is an important one. Of course, you could argue that children born to religious parents are less likely to get the necessary nutrition and/or stimulation necessary for proper brain development, but that's adding a whole lot more burden to the argument.
     
  14. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #14

    15/15, no BS, but I had to guess at a couple, it could have been more like 12/13ish. Not in the slightest bit religious, the extent of my religious teaching was a couple of Sunday School lessons which stopped as soon as I told my mother I was bored.

    The theory I've read elsewhere why atheists and Jewish people seem to score highly on this test is that we have to learn to negotiate the roadmaps and cultural markers of religion in society, whereas believers seem to take many of the assumptions as axiomatic. We have to look at the map to understand where we are, they drive around the neighbourhood they've always known, ignoring the street signs.
     
  15. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #15
    But in the UK the term "public school" usually refers to independent, privately funded schools. :D
     
  16. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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  17. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #17
    But is raw capacity a static thing? If it can be affected in the short or long term by such things as alcohol, exercise, television or horniness, surely religious ritual has some effect.

    Which is not to say that intelligence should be considered the ultimate qualitative metric: smarter people are not ipso facto "better" than idiots - often the reverse is true.
     
  18. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #18
    I have faith in my score of 15 out of 15 on this test......if you BELIEVE, then you too will have a perfect score, and there will be no need to take this test, or any other, unless it's approved by the LORD himself!

    just wanted to share that with you brothers and sisters

    :p
     
  19. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #19
    You're starting to venture into knowledge rather than intelligence. Small perturbations caused by libido, alcohol use or other emotional/physical states are temporary and not significant to the discussion.
     
  20. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #20
    14/15 - missed the ten commandments questions. Makes sense considering my line of work.
     
  21. VideoFreek macrumors 6502

    VideoFreek

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    #21
    15/15 here, but I guessed at the "Great Awakening" one. Practicing Catholic.
     
  22. MultiM macrumors 6502

    MultiM

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    #22
    11/15, not a big surprise. I'm indifferent to religion.
     
  23. Macaddicttt macrumors 6502a

    Macaddicttt

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  24. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #25
    12/15, stupid.

    "Mother". Hello!!!!! :eek:

    Should have remembered Job's lament to God. 2x:eek:
     

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