Home > Uncategorized > Atheists know religion better than most of the religious

Atheists know religion better than most of the religious

At least, in the US.  Pew Research has done a poll testing people’s knowledge of Christianity and world beliefs.

Here are the results for knowledge about religious knowledge in general.

As an atheist I’m not surprised that atheists come so high up the chart.  It’s not a smugness thing, I just find it unsurprising.  It’s certainly something that I found with believers, including one interesting conversation (which may or may not make me look like an tool) where I expressed surprise at a black lass who talked about having very strong faith.  (It turns out that black happy-clappy churches are really popular in London.  I did not know this until I moved down here).

You see, I asked her if the bible’s views on slavery (1) may have put her off, given that slavery did seem to be a dominating issue over black culture and history.

Her reaction totally took me by surprise though; she simply, flat-out didn’t believe that the bible said any such thing.  How could it, after all?  Isn’t it the Good Book?  I had expected something like, I dunno, ‘well, it not longer counts because the Golden Rule pretty much prohibits it’ or some smoothing out; not straight-up denial.

That an atheist would know more about the religion of their country (2) isn’t a surprise because an atheist has to search and question if they really accept what they’re being presented.  That’s it.  There’s no major revelation here, just the process of finding out about X and then asking ‘does this sound like bullshit?’  I do it every time I read the news, it’s no great adventure.

It’s a really interesting report and I do recommend reading it.

(1) The Old Testament was all for it so long as it didn’t happen to Jews; the New Testament didn’t really talk about it.

(2) Normally at this point some commentator would go on about how lefties won’t dare face Islam and always blame Christianity, but that’s rubbish.  I don’t know about Islam because only a couple of percent of the UK population are Muslims.  If Islam were the state religion I’d be talking about the Koran.

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