Thursday, September 30, 2010

Heretical Blasphemers May Know More Than They Seem

Cracked up when reading this article from the NY Times this week, in which athiests and agnostics performed better on a basic-knowledge religion test than most religious believers:

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.

On average, people who took the survey answered half the questions incorrectly, and many flubbed even questions about their own faith.

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. [...]

That finding might surprise some, but not Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, an advocacy group for nonbelievers that was founded by Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

“I have heard many times that atheists know more about religion than religious people,” Mr. Silverman said. “Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter. That’s how you make atheists.”

So you're curious? You can take some of the test's questions here.

23 comments:

Jason said...

I used this as my PCS/VORP fill-in. Turns out I know too much about religion and bears humping in the woods.

Josh S. said...

Aced it. I better have, since my parents are in the religious education publishing business.

Mr. Customer said...

6/6, like a good little heathen blasphemer.

Neeebs said...

6/6. Fairly easy.

Neeebs said...

MC and I are like Soddom and Gommorah, no?

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

5 of 6. Fucking Indonesia.

Mr. Customer said...

@Neeebs

Do you smell brimstone, or is it just me?

I did have eggs for breakfast...

Steve Sax said...

6/6? I could have sworn I took a 15-question test last night...I may have posted the wrong link. Can anyone find it?

Jason said...

@Sax - Perhaps this one:

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

Jason said...

14/15. Damn your First Great Awakening whatever you are!

Mr. Customer said...

New quiz, same heathens 15/15.

Mr. Customer said...

@Jason

Actually, a relative of mine (tangentially)!

Josh S. said...

14/15. I, like article data suggests, screwed up one about my own religion.

el montanero said...

6/6. don't know what this 15-question business is about.

"oh, sky cake, why must you be so delicious!"

QuadSevens said...

4/6 then 14/15. I originally missed the question about Job and suffering. Reading the bible isn't my thing...I'm Catholic. HA!

MeanieBreanie said...

14/15
Memory retention from having it drilled into me from my private school days. Can't believe I missed the beginning of the Jewish sabbath since I grew up in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. Go figure.

karina said...

6/6 and 15/15 but I went to a catholic school were Religion classes were mandatory,even if you weren't catholic. If you failed that class, you were in HUGE trouble, sometimes it was very interesting because the priests taught us about other religions with details.

However, in the questions regarding the US Supreme Court rulings, I used common sense (how would I know anyway?) and I just guessed the First Great Awakening one.

I'm proud I scored way higher than my religious affiliation: Hispanic Catholic, which in turn, it's the lowest scoring group :(

p.s @Mr C @Neeebs I'm going to pray and light candles for the salvation of your pagan souls ;) vade retro!

Mr. Customer said...

*Nerd high-fives karina*

Josh S. said...

Does a nerd high-five even connect?

karina said...

Mr C, I will nerd high five you but:

a) what did I do to deserve it?

b) what is it anyway?

back to my IELTS homework :(

Mr. Customer said...

@k

For being the 15 (that posted)

Since I just made it up, I actually I don't know how a nerd high five differs from a regular one, except that it would be performed by nerds.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

15/15. Take THAT, Indonesia!

Spanky said...

11/15. Give me a break I haven't been to a church or read the bible since Billy Idol was on the top of the charts.

(yes I got the catholic one's wrong. Sorry Abuelita)