Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Now That is What you Call Ironic

This should make some on of the faithful blow a gasket or two. Atheists, agnostics most knowledgeable about religion, survey says

The thing is, the questions were not that arcane.
A majority of Protestants, for instance, couldn't identify Martin Luther as the driving force behind the Protestant Reformation, according to the survey, released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Four in 10 Catholics misunderstood the meaning of their church's central ritual, incorrectly saying that the bread and wine used in Holy Communion are intended to merely symbolize the body and blood of Christ, not actually become them.

Atheists and agnostics — those who believe there is no God or who aren't sure — were more likely to answer the survey's questions correctly. Jews and Mormons ranked just below them in the survey's measurement of religious knowledge — so close as to be statistically tied.
If you profess to believe in something, shouldn't you know what that something is?

And it is nice to see someone who actually understands statistical calculations.
Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists were included in the survey, but their numbers were too small to be broken out as statistically significant groups
Small numbers are always misleading, but that never stops people from building arguments (or even government policy) based on them.

But then these results are not surprising when you consider the abysmal state of Americans' knowledge of any subject.
For comparison purposes, the survey also asked some questions about general knowledge, which yielded the scariest finding: 4% of Americans believe that Stephen King, not Herman Melville, wrote "Moby Dick."
That's just sad.


Rich said...

What has happened since the early 1960s to protestant churches and to Catholic churches since Vatican II is a general washing out of all detail and all knowledge of the actual religion. Both were/are trying to make their practice acceptable to the other and in general have gone the feel good new age route of nothing means anything except what you want it to be.
I was a practicing Presbyterian but as I say to anyone who asks, my church left me becoming something which I and many others from then do not recognize. It became "progressive" and in doing so can up all meaning.
The same is true in the modern day Catholic churches. It is all new age feel good stuff, no real religion.
If you want to find people that know their religion you have to go to the conservative versions of both especially Latin Mass Catholic, which by the way is growing.

Zendo Deb said...

In my youth, one of my favorite lunch-time diversions was to rattle the cage of the born-again Christians I worked with.

They would start in on the "trying to convert" speech, and I would ask them questions about the various, offensive passages from the Old Testament. (Now that the King James full text is available for searching on the interwebs, it is less difficult.

If you do searches, look for all the passages that call for capital punishment. There are a lot. Then there is the Old Testament Hebrew King (Not sure if it was Solomon) who went to a psychic to consult with the dead.

The list of things is legion. From handling pig-skins (an abomination) to eating shrimp to what have you.

Now I just feel that life is too short to deal with them. (Illegitimi non carborundum)