Wednesday, October 20, 2010

No Pew Study Says Atheits Know Bible Better than Christians.

Photobucket



My Actual Score
(that block thing at the right
is my score, it's off scale) 

Last week the net was abuzz with talk of a Pew study that said atheists know the Bible better than Christians do. I found about 14 blogs referring to it and it was on message boards all over. The Actual study is available on the Pew site it's called "U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey." The press began saying the study shows "atheists know more about religion." what it really says is that atheists know more about religion other than Christianity, than do Christians. That's not so unreasonable given the exclusivity most Christians believe their faith has over others. The media turned it into "atheists know more about religion" us as the Los Angels Times, (Tuesday Oct, 19th)"Atheists, Agnostics most knowledgeable about religion surveys say."

"Religious IQ: Why do Atheist Outscore Christians?" The Week "A significant number of Christians don't know the basics about their own professed faith or other major religions, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life survey, while atheists and agnostics have the highest "Religious IQ,"

The study doesn't say anything about an IQ, but it's plots the answers on a bell curve. The Pew Site offers a short version of half the questions (the original is 32 the short version is 15).  I took the short version (see my score above I'm the only one got every question right and went off scale). The site "debating Christianity and religion"  says "Atheists know more about the Bible" than do Christians.


The point is of the 15 questions11 were not about the Bible or Christianity. So the test was biased in the beginning to screen out Christians. I suggest it was a put up a job, designed to give other than Christians a higher score. Why would Pew want to do this? Pew is a respected polling organization but is ran by an private family that is very Evangelical and the Pew Evangelical trust gives a lot of evangelistic enterprises. They want to do that because they are the tough kind of Christians. They want to shame the chruch into learning more about the bible and about religion in general.

"The United States is a nation of religious illiterates," says Boston University professor Stephen Prothero, whose research on Americans' spiritual ignorance inspired a new study that has religion teachers and ministers aghast,"(from the Week)

 Here's what the study actually says:

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.

So it's up front about world religion and the media turns into religion as a whole and atheists sites turn into "know more about the bible." The actual study doesn't say that. The 15 question version 11 questions were about subject not in the Bible and off those about 3 were Christian history. Most the study is about world religion (I got them all right anyway). The study results say and the site reflects with a table and big capital letters that atheists know more about world religion But Mormons and Evangelicals know More about Christianity. That would seem to contradict the whole mocking point upon which most atheists are gleefully claiming that they know about "the Bible" than do Christians. On Bible White Evangelicals score 7.3, Mormons 7.9 whle Atheists score 6.7.

from the Pew study site:

Previous surveys by the Pew Research Center have shown that America is among the most religious of the world’s developed nations. Nearly six-in-ten U.S. adults say that religion is “very important” in their lives, and roughly four-in-ten say they attend worship services at least once a week. But the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey shows that large numbers of Americans are uninformed about the tenets, practices, history and leading figures of major faith traditions – including their own. Many people also think the constitutional restrictions on religion in public schools are stricter than they really are.
religious-knowledge-03 10-09-28More than four-in-ten Catholics in the United States (45%) do not know that their church teaches that the bread and wine used in Communion do not merely symbolize but actually become the body and blood of Christ. About half of Protestants (53%) cannot correctly identify Martin Luther as the person whose writings and actions inspired the Protestant Reformation, which made their religion a separate branch of Christianity. Roughly four-in-ten Jews (43%) do not recognize that Maimonides, one of the most venerated rabbis in history, was Jewish.
In addition, fewer than half of Americans (47%) know that the Dalai Lama is Buddhist. Fewer than four-in-ten (38%) correctly associate Vishnu and Shiva with Hinduism. And only about a quarter of all Americans (27%) correctly answer that most people in Indonesia – the country with the world’s largest Muslim
The survey should shame Christians, however, because it shows some shocking ignorance. Catholics have had a tradition of placing Church authority over Bible, but half of these guys don't even know their own church's stand on transubstantiation. Come on that's the one doctrine that is more uniquely Catholic!

There is a crying need for Christians take more of an interest in learning. Its also apparent that we need to branch out from just the bible and learn about religion as a whole.

It is not shocking once you look at the questions why atheists would do better than Christians on those questions where they scored higher. Most of those are world religion questions  such as "which of the following is an Islamic Holiday, 'Ramadan, Duwali or Christmas.' I got this one right too. Most Christians don't learn enough about Hinduism to even know their major holiday. BTW Duwali is the festival of lights. The celebration of rebirth and triumph of good over evil, they celibate with lots of little candles and lanterns and lights, they have parities. I think it should be a point with Christians to learn about festivals of re-birth.

13 comments:

a-hermit said...

Everything I read about this was clear that it was about general religious knowledge, not the Bible or even Christianity specifically. Apart from that one post you linked to I didn't see anyone claiming that the study showed atheists know the Bible better (although most atheists' knowledge of the Bible is a lot better than you give us credit for...).

I agree with you here though, when you say "The survey should shame Christians, however, because it shows some shocking ignorance." Thia is something you should try to keep in mind when you jump into arguments on CARM; remember that the Christians there are arguing in favour of a very different kind of God and religion than the one you believe in. So it's not the atheists who are arguing against them who are ignorant, or who can't think past the "big man in the sky" idea of God; it's your fellow Christians who are often the ignorant ones.

Metacrock said...

Everything I read about this was clear that it was about general religious knowledge, not the Bible or even Christianity specifically. Apart from that one post you linked to I didn't see anyone claiming that the study showed atheists know the Bible better (although most atheists' knowledge of the Bible is a lot better than you give us credit for...).

I did. I saw several such articles.

I agree with you here though, when you say "The survey should shame Christians, however, because it shows some shocking ignorance." Thia is something you should try to keep in mind when you jump into arguments on CARM; remember that the Christians there are arguing in favour of a very different kind of God and religion than the one you believe in.

Nope. Same God same faith. You don't understand the difference between the way something is and what you think about it.



So it's not the atheists who are arguing against them who are ignorant, or who can't think past the "big man in the sky" idea of God; it's your fellow Christians who are often the ignorant ones.


atheists are incredibly ignorant. When they say things like "no one can ever have an impersonal view of God, that's not Christian" they are just being ignorant as sin.

I told one once in such an argument about bout process theology he said I was lying. that's ignorance and no christian made him be ignorant.

Metacrock said...

these are all things articles claim that the study doesn't say

do atheists know more about Christianity than Christians.

Not the Bible but it is something the study doesn't say.

google search:

#
ached
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American atheists and agnostics know more about religion than ...
Sep 28, 2010 ... A more moderate reading of the Bible (or any other religious text) that ..... They don't claim that atheists know more than Christians about ...
boingboing.net/2010/09/28/american-atheists-an.html - Cached
#

Atheists Know More about Christianity than Christians | Slog | The ...
38 posts - 30 authors - Last post: Sep 28
It says atheists know more about ALL religions than Christians do. ..... I swear, most chritians don't bother to read the bible that ...
slog.thestranger.com/.../atheists-know-more-about-christianity-than-christians - Cached
Get more discussion results

Sep 27, 2010 ... So why would an atheist know more about religion than a Christian? ... showed greater knowledge of the Bible than evangelical Christians. ...
www.latimes.com/sns-religion-survey,0,2334966.story - Cached
#
Atheists know more about religion than believers says poll ...
When questioned specifically about Christianity and the Bible, ... Atheists know more about Christianity than Christians overall do. ...
www.peoplesworld.org/atheists-know-more-about-religion-than-believers-says-poll/ - Cached
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Atheists know more about God than Evangelical Christians Do ...
- Oct 19
Sep 28, 2010 ... Atheists know more about God than Evangelical Christians Do .... (at least Christians) tend to know the Bible only in "soundbite" form. ...
open.salon.com/.../athiests_know_more_about_god_then_evangelical_christians_do - Cached


Pew survey: Agnostics, atheists know more about Christianity...
Sep 28, 2010 ... A study showed recently that agnostics and atheists know more about religion and the Bible than Christians do. The Pew Forum on Religion ...
theundergroundsite.com/.../agnostics-atheists-score-higher-on-religion-test-than-christians-13862 - Cached

Atheist Know Bible Better Than Christians? - Topix
Sep 28, 2010 ... What a sad state of affairs when atheists and agnostics know more about the Bible than Christians. brown eyes66 ...
www.topix.com/forum/city/frenchburg-ky/T0NUI1F4RJ2SCC78L - Cached


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Do Atheists Know More About Christianity Than Christians? - Yahoo ...
Sep 28, 2010 ... Of course Atheists/Agnostics know more about Christianity and religion than Christians. They are just Christians that actually read the ...
news.yahoo.com/.../doatheistsknowmoreaboutchristianitythanchristians5192 - Cached
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Atheists know more than Christians about the Bible
2 posts - 2 authors - Last post: Sep 28
Atheists know more than Christians about the Bible. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/us/28religion.html?src=me&ref=general ...
forum.minneapolisfinder.com/post-33352.html - Cached
Get more discussion results
#
Atheists know more about the Bible than Christians do - Knowledge ...
- Oct 19
Oct 16, 2010 ... Post 2: Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:02 pm Post subject: Re: Atheists know more about the Bible than Christians do, Reply with quote ...
debatingchristianity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=329259 - Cached

a-hermit said...

"Nope. Same God same faith. You don't understand the difference between the way something is and what you think about it."

I understand the difference between the fundamentalist's theology and yours...
"atheists are incredibly ignorant. When they say things like "no one can ever have an impersonal view of God, that's not Christian" they are just being ignorant as sin."

And what about Christians who say that? When I'm in a conversation with one of them should I address THEIR beliefs or yours?

Metacrock said...

Meta:"Nope. Same God same faith. You don't understand the difference between the way something is and what you think about it."

Hermit:

I understand the difference between the fundamentalist's theology and yours...

I don't think you do

Hermit quotes me:
"atheists are incredibly ignorant. When they say things like "no one can ever have an impersonal view of God, that's not Christian" they are just being ignorant as sin."

And what about Christians who say that? When I'm in a conversation with one of them should I address THEIR beliefs or yours?

This is what I don't get. Many people often think a religion is not defiend by it's thinkers or its cerlics but the aggregate of it's member's view points, even though the religion itself has a top down sturcutre with councils and creeds to define its doctrine.

Christianity is not just an amalgam of stupidity by its members in the rank and file.

All you are doing is opposing one camp to another. You totally ignore the existence of the process theology camp and then say "Christianity is only this camp over here."

that makes no sense to me.

as one of your fellow atheists put it today "You are a..." just kidding!

a-hermit said...

"Christianity is not just an amalgam of stupidity by its members in the rank and file."

Maybe not, but c`mon Joe, these are the kind of people we're dealing with out here in the real world...

christiangovernance.ca

This is too often the public face of Christianity; the proudly ignorant, anti-education, creationist, homophobic, racist, anti-feminist reactionaries.
Now, when I'm arguing with these people (who want to establish a theocracy here in Canada) should I engage them as if they embraced Tillich? How would that work?

"as one of your fellow atheists put it today "You are a..." just kidding!"

Funny, One of the nice Christian folks at "christiangovernance" is calling me a bigoted Nazi skinhead. Glad you've never stooped to that kind of thin...;-)

Metacrock said...

you forget the study doesn't say what it's been billed to say. We are not talking about you have to believe like the majority of Christians. We are about what is truth?

Metacrock said...

This is too often the public face of Christianity; the proudly ignorant, anti-education, creationist, homophobic, racist, anti-feminist reactionaries.
Now, when I'm arguing with these people (who want to establish a theocracy here in Canada) should I engage them as if they embraced Tillich? How would that work?

don't be one of them. Be like me.

Metacrock said...

Funny, One of the nice Christian folks at "christiangovernance" is calling me a bigoted Nazi skinhead. Glad you've never stooped to that kind of thin...;-)

>>>I never called you that. I called you something much worse.

a-hermit said...

"don't be one of them. Be like me."

What, misrepresent their opinions and call them names? How will that help?

Metacrock said...

When one sees through everything one sees nothing. When you press your nose to the pavement to examine every single little crumb you can find to prove how bad someone is you miss all the good they do around while you are looking at the ground.

a-hermit said...

"When one sees through everything one sees nothing. When you press your nose to the pavement to examine every single little crumb you can find to prove how bad someone is you miss all the good they do around while you are looking at the ground."

That sums up your attitude on this blog quite nicely...;-)

Metacrock said...

That sums up your attitude on this blog quite nicely...;-)

>>such a substantive comment. I wouldn't have bothered allowing it but I want be nice to you.