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Poll: Atheists and Agnostics Know About Religion (Merged)
Posted: 28 September 2010 04:48 AM   [ Ignore ]
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In the NYTimes today, read HERE:

On Basic Religion Test, Many Doth Not Pass
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: September 28, 2010
Americans are by all measures a deeply religious people, but they are also deeply ignorant about religion.

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.

<snip>

Those who scored the highest were atheists and agnostics, as well as two religious minorities: Jews and Mormons. The results were the same even after the researchers controlled for factors like age and racial differences. ...

The Pew Forum survey itself is HERE.

This is a rejoinder to any who might claim that atheists and agnostics are generally religiously ignorant.

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Posted: 28 September 2010 05:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I saw that! Thanks for the link, I’d been looking for the questions. I didn’t know the last two…that was it. I knew everything else.  cool smirk

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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Posted: 28 September 2010 05:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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That poll is very good news. It shows that most atheists and agnostics have come to their convictions from knowledge, while most theists come to their conviction by indoctrination, without questioning.

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Posted: 28 September 2010 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Somehow, I was not surprised….

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

These are among the key findings of the “U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey,” a nationwide poll conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life from May 19 through June 6, 2010, among 3,412 adults.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/28/pew-forum-religious-knowledge-survey_n_741349.html

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Posted: 28 September 2010 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Write4U - 28 September 2010 05:21 AM

That poll is very good news. It shows that most atheists and agnostics have come to their convictions from knowledge, while most theists come to their conviction by indoctrination, without questioning.

Do atheists and agnostics consciously pursue greater knowledge about religion or does greater religious knowledge lead to atheism?

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Posted: 28 September 2010 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I like it.

John Shook has a blog post up on this today - Atheist Pride in Understanding Religion

Atheists capable of guiding public discourse about religion, and capable of showing religious people a dignified and smart way to abandon religion’s delusions, are heroic figures in these dangerous times. We must use every strategy possible to confront religion. From the sparks of slashing debate to the smiles of pointed blasphemy, atheists can do it with our wits.

The comments thus far are entertaining. Mine is the first and I refer back to my comment on Lindsay’s blog (interesting comments there also). Bruce Gorton rips into Shook with this opener:

I read your Huffington Post piece. I know you must be very proud of it.

Let me join the chorus in a hearty fuck you.

Derek C. Araujo also has a post up on the survey - Atheists, Agnostics Trump Believers in Religious Knowledge Test

Yet those who scored highests were atheists and agnostics, along with two religious minorities: Jews and Mormons.
[Snip]
Believers still trumped nonbelievers on questions related to the Bible and Christianity; Mormons and evangelical Protestants scored highest.  On questions about world religions (such as Islam, Buddhism, Judiasm and Hinduism), however, atheists, agnostics and Jews scored highest.

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Posted: 28 September 2010 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Skepticus, we are not responsible for blog comments here on the forum, but that reply is in violation of our stated rules. In particular 3(f), although it is also a form of trolling. You are free to express your disagreement on this forum in a civil manner, but epithets and name calling are not allowed. Rule violations may lead to banning.

[ Edited: 28 September 2010 10:03 AM by dougsmith ]
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Posted: 28 September 2010 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Doug,

My bad, I apologize. I had wrongly assumed the blog was more intimately associated with the forum and that the name calling quoted directly by someone else was ok.

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Posted: 28 September 2010 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Skepticus - 28 September 2010 10:13 AM

Doug,

My bad, I apologize. I had wrongly assumed the blog was more intimately associated with the forum and that the name calling quoted directly by someone else was ok.

OK, understood. FWIW the Blogs are self-policed by the bloggers. I have no idea how each of them does it, but our rules here on the Forum are explicit. If Shook decides to delete that response or the offending phrase I will do the same here. It adds nothing to any reasoned argument.

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Posted: 28 September 2010 12:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I am amazed and dismayed.
One of the atheist’s greatest tools in a debate is the theist’s ignorance or dismissal of science. Now there is a “chorus” of some atheists clamoring for ignorance and dismissal of knowledge in theism? If not, why then these attacks on someone who urges and applauds better knowledge of theism?  So much for a united front in the quest for knowledge of mankind and the universe.
Bizarre!@!!

[ Edited: 28 September 2010 01:18 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 28 September 2010 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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skuld - 28 September 2010 09:04 AM
Write4U - 28 September 2010 05:21 AM

That poll is very good news. It shows that most atheists and agnostics have come to their convictions from knowledge, while most theists come to their conviction by indoctrination, without questioning.

Do atheists and agnostics consciously pursue greater knowledge about religion or does greater religious knowledge lead to atheism?

Seems to me that exposure and knowledge of both theism and science leads to rejection of theism.

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Posted: 28 September 2010 01:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Seems to me that exposure and knowledge of both theism and science leads to rejection of theism.

Or fundamentalist theism.  Or apathetic shrugs.  It depends on the person.

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“In the end nature is horrific and teaches us nothing.” -Mutual of Omicron

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Posted: 28 September 2010 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Dead Monky - 28 September 2010 01:36 PM

Seems to me that exposure and knowledge of both theism and science leads to rejection of theism.

Or fundamentalist theism.  Or apathetic shrugs.  It depends on the person.

I disagree. Theism is founded on indoctrinated belief and science is founded on demonstrable fact.
But you touched on a point. Perhaps there is a fundamental fear of the lure and lore of theism. This may have been true in the past where the church could imprison people for blasphemy. But with today’s knowledge of science and undisputable facts of evolution of the universe and life, why should an atheist fear theism? Unless one is indifferent (then don’t complain), it is up to the atheist to demonstrate provable falsehoods in the scriptures. I know this is placing the cart before the horse, but theism is the established social fabric and if we wish to correct this, we must be be knowledgable in both to prove our point.
Abject rejection of god without debating the merits is useless and divisive, as is abject adherence to theism without debating the merits.

[ Edited: 28 September 2010 02:59 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 28 September 2010 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I think I may have misread your post.  I assumed you meant that once a person has knowledge of both science and theism, they will inevitably reject theism.  Which they won’t.  Not always.

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Posted: 28 September 2010 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Dead Monky - 28 September 2010 02:00 PM

I think I may have misread your post.  I assumed you meant that once a person has knowledge of both science and theism, they will inevitably reject theism.  Which they won’t.  Not always.

True, but as the ranks of atheists are slowly growing, in spite of the established (6000 years) social teachings and indoctrinational practises, it seems that atheists need not fear a mass exodus from atheism in favor of fundamental religion.
Allow me to direct you to a prominent physicist, David Bohm. His paradigm of the implicate and explicate order of the universe and its fundamental structural workings incorporate analogies to several aspects of Eastern deism, but with a defensible scientific analysis.
I am not qualified to judge the actual merits of his presentations, but he makes some profound comparisons.
Unless we are prepared to reject the notion that the universe had a causal beginning, both theists and scientists are basically speaking of the same thing. Problem is that theists declare the matter closed while science rightfully admits that the matter is far from closed and that there is an ongoing investigation into the origins of the universe.
I completely reject the notion of a god with human qualities (man made god), but to reject the possibility of the existence of an impersonal “universal driving force” which caused the origination of the universe is equally biased.

[ Edited: 28 September 2010 02:43 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 28 September 2010 02:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I’m one of those people that reject the existence of a “universal driving force”.  ;D

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