Social Question

Blackberry's avatar

Very few people are actually knowledgable about religion? Are you even surprised by this?

Asked by Blackberry (31006points) September 28th, 2010

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/28/dont-know-much-about-religion-youre-not-alone-study-finds/?hpt=Sbin

I mean…sorry to generalize, I know it’s just one small study, but my point is this: It seems more and more beneficial to forget all of the ‘mumbo-jumbo’ in these religious texts and have a personal god. Obviously people don’t really care because, let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter.

Is it just me, or does it make more sense to just have ‘your own god’, disregarding all of the oppressive rules, restrictions, and fables of these doctrines in the bible, qur’an etc?

I want to hear your opinion, especially if you think some of this ancient information is beneficial to religion. Thank you.

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110 Answers

cazzie's avatar

How about those that ‘Don’t care to know…’ (raises my hand)

CMaz's avatar

Ignorance is bliss. Especially when there is a “wrathful” God involved.

crisw's avatar

I think it makes more sense to have no god at all.

Interesting article, though.

Blackberry's avatar

@crisw Of course, I felt that was obvious though :)

wundayatta's avatar

Very few people know a lot about history. Is that surprising?

In general, people are most interested in things that they believe have an immediate impact on their lives. Obviously, there are exceptions.

CMaz's avatar

And plenty do not understand good dental hygiene either.

Cruiser's avatar

I think people are a lot happier with the less they know. TMI can really mess with your head.

JustmeAman's avatar

I think it is a source for good for many people and not so for many others. It is relative to what the person is seeking and where they stand and see themselves. It is often times very good to have religion and often times saves the persons life. To answer your question I think there are as many knowledgeable about religion as there are people that are not.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Not in the least surprised at these poll results. That’s why Pat Robertson, Creflo Dollar and Eddie Long can do what they do and get away with it.

I would get into so many arguments with my guardian about religion, and with my Sunday school teachers at the church I was raised in. They never actually read the entire bible, or much of anything else in general. It was hard to sit there in church listening to seriously uneducated people talk about the bible. And I’d get angry at the pastor because, though he ran a storefront Pentecostal church, he was unlike the other similar self-ordained preachers in my neighborhood – he’d actually graduated from an Episcopal seminary and was ordained! He knew the bible!

His only reasoning for having a ministry like he did was that he felt what he was taught was “dry”. But to his flock he never explained how to read the bible. There’s a certain mindset in some inner city churches where you just thank God that you’re alive and trudge through life, where Jesus/God is a magician who’s going to miraculously get you that assembly job at AC Spark Plugs and where you listen to the pastor and not investigate or think things through for yourself. And the hypocrisy of saying “Every man must seek out his own soul’s salvation”, but if it differed from the prescribed doctrine or if you had doubts, or if it sounded like fairy tales to you, obviously, you were going to hell.

My head was exploding over this stuff by the time I was 12.

The parishioners were ignorant about basic facts, such as AD standing anno domini, or “in the year of our Lord” in Latin. I got smacked for that answer in Sunday school and was told it meant “after death”. O_o When I said something about how much of their worship was African in basis, I got accused of calling them “savages” and was punished. No one even questioned things like why we, as black people, blindly accepted Western religions, that was just right out.

Ridiculous.

BoBo1946's avatar

I got 9 out 10 (missed the one on the Supreme Court because i answered the question too quickly), but being very knowledgeable of religion will not get me to Heaven. Neither will my good works. I can only enter the Kingdom of Heaven and live with the Father by accepting Jesus as my personal Savior and repent of my sins. It is by Faith only. Knowledge is a great thing, but the plan is very simple.

Aster's avatar

It seems to me that some people need this “personal God” you mentioned regardless of not knowing much about “religion.” Reason I say that is because some Atheists claim to not care about a God’s existence. I question this. Why? Because I know what it’s like to not care about something and I see little of this on fluther. My best example: I am truly not interested in sports. Therefore, I would never , ever ask questions about sports. In fact, I would never read dozens of books about sports in order to make an informed decision about sports while Atheists have spent possibly years of their lives reading and questioning various religions. And this tells me they are anything but “not interested.”
Newsflash: they are interested in knowing about a God or Supreme Being; something outside of themselves. They think about it so much that they continue to ask questions about Him to the point that they can even become agitated about it. Bottom line: they do care. Now they need to ask, “why do I care?” because I certainly don’t care about sports or the aluminum industry.

janbb's avatar

Chacun a son gout

Discobitch's avatar

Not in the least.

The gap between logocentric, dogmatic “belief” in a deity and the included rituals bundle, and true spirituality is bigger than any other metaphysical gap.
The first one, having little to do with religion, is the well-known art of “my logically consistent system is better than your logically consistent system”. They are very comparable to the libertarian trolls (http://punkassblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/libertarianbingo.jpg) found on the internet.
They have a logically interlocking system, whether it is Islam, Christianity of just about anything, and they use logic to draw their morality upon.

Spirituality is always beyond logic.
And it is never about belief—a truly religious person does not believe in the deity.

Religion as we know it is no more than cargo cult religion.

And then of course we have the lower castes who are unable to understand.

Qingu's avatar

It’s not surprising, but I think it does really show that the more you know about religion, the less likely you are to believe in it. That certainly explains my (and many others’) atheism.

Qingu's avatar

@Aster, a lot of atheists do care about religion. I think religion is one of the most important forces in the history of humanity. It’s important to understand this force.

You’re confusing “not believing” with “not caring.”

Aster's avatar

@Qingu If you are sure God doesn’t exist then it should be end of subject. You should not care to understand Him. You never Will understand Him because he is not understandable so caring is out the window. He cannot be dissected and analyzed. It’s a faith thing.

Brian1946's avatar

@aprilsimnel

“My head was exploding over this stuff by the time I was 12.”

I’m sorry you were subjected to that Dark Ages redux. :/

I was liberated from religion when I was 11.
My parents decided that remodeling our house was more important than going to church.
Then religion became less important than enjoying our remodeled house, etc. :-)

Aster's avatar

@Blackberry So per your question, do you indeed have your “own God” then? Without rules or restrictions? I am positive you live by a code of ethics, Blackberry. Is that code God-based? Answer: it depends on which theolgian you’re reading.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Aster <<<<spot on>>>>

Aster's avatar

thank you , BooBoo. (-;

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I have no god. My word is my ethical code. You may have whatever god you want. Just don’t try to cram him down my throat. I got 9 out of 10 correct.

ucme's avatar

Nah, rumour has it that the three wise men were actually The Three Stooges in disguise. Thick as shit & twice as backward. Funny though :¬)

Lightlyseared's avatar

I once heard someone say that most Christians treat the bible like the EULA for a piece of software. Scroll to the end and click “I agree” with out bothering to read the details.

Blackberry's avatar

@Aster No, I do not have my own god; my morals, ethics etc. simply come from understanding how my actions will affect other people.

By the way, I got 8 out of 10 lol. I read one question too fast, the one about a teacher referencing the bible, and the one about the reformation.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Blackberry ha ha….i beat you!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

But what if one’s personal God is Child Abuse, or Drug Addiction?

Aren’t some Gods better than others/

JustmeAman's avatar

You are talking about morals when you are saying Child abuse or Drug addiction. That is not God or any kind of reference to God. You don’t need a God to determine that those things are morally wrong and should not be done.

Frenchfry's avatar

Have you ever read the bible front to back? My God!! To get a personel view. It is one boring book with a few good stories in it. I fall asleep trying. So no I can’t quote scripture but I know what is right and wrong and to get to heaven. I have to be a good person.I believe in God. Can I prove an existance? No. It gives me hope and faith makes me feel better.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Aster I think you are mistaken, though. Many nonbelievers are discriminated against and frequently have to defend their beliefs. No better way to do that than by understanding the opposition.
I’m sure for many of us (though not all), there was a little bit of a mental battle of accepting the conclusion that god can not exist. I studied many religions when I started to have doubts about my belief in god, and in that process I further studied my own. I started out just like most people with a deep desire to connect to something bigger than this world, and the more I read.. the less I found to be even remotely believable.

@Frenchfry you don’t have to believe in god to be a good person.

Frenchfry's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie I know that. That is not what I meant. It give me hope and help ME be a better person. I know alot of good Atheists who are good people.

BoBo1946's avatar

Anyone want to guess the number of answers this question will have….I’m saying, 247! Girls, bet you “Yankee dime!” Guys, will bet you a one good cold beer! But, the winner gets all the beer. I’m donating my beer to the Catholics…loll

Blackberry's avatar

@wundayatta Good point, I guess in a field where religious knowledge actually mattered, like trying to become a priest it would be very important to know your ‘textbook’.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies By personal god, I was referring to just believing in ‘that thing out there’ as opposed to your god being the ‘guy’ that got jealous and killed humans in the bible, for example.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@JustmeAman You and I have very different perspectives about what a God is, and can be.

IMHO, God is Truth, one in the same, plain and simple. So in that light, the first Commandment, “Thou shalt not have any Gods before me”, literally means, one should not allow anything other than Truth to consume their lives. When a hobby, or an activity, or an addiction begins to run one’s life, making it seem as though nothing else matters, that is worshiping a false god.

The only question that is important to me from my perspective is, Is Truth Sentient?

BoBo1946's avatar

There should be one prerequisite for answering religious questions. You must keep your sense of humor to answer all religious questions. That should be a Law.

Seek's avatar

10/10 for me. I was torn on the Indonesia question, but guessed right.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr dang….now, i really mad. loll you beat me….I knew the answer to the Supreme Court question but as soon as i hit the button saw the word, literature….wrong.

Seek's avatar

I took a class on Western Humanities in high school, that included a unit on The Bible As Literature, and The Bible as History. ^_^

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

9/10 here.. Indonesia question was the one that tripped me up, too. For some reason I expected the quiz to be tougher than it was.

BoBo1946's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie the reason i knew that one was i met a lot of Indonesian people on a cruise. They were the nicest people I’ve ever met anywhere. They were all real young and just delightful people. Wanted to adopt them all.

Aster's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie ” I think you are mistaken, though. Many nonbelievers are discriminated against and frequently have to defend their beliefs.” Really?? I thought they kept quiet about being non-believers. I have not met one person who has announced to me, “I am an Atheist” with one exception: a man in the medical field who is so “disinterested” in God that he has an entire website dedicated to slamming Him. I have never once heard or seen a nonbeliever discriminated against with the exception of Our Lady Madalyn Murray O’Hair who was murdered and had her limbs chopped off. But she was very hateful and sarcastic. I saw her in person. She got what she wanted: prayer was banned in schools. That obviously has helped our country.
I think Christians are discriminated against much more because they are “out” and not in hiding . As Jesus predicted would happen. But I really don’t have any firm beliefs about this. I’m speculating. And reading all the posts on here in response to Blackberry’s question.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Blackberry are you ignoring me?

Seek's avatar

@Aster Well, it certainly makes me feel better that you don’t believe in the discrimination against atheists. I’m sure it is difficult being a member of the religious majority in the country. No support at all.

cazzie's avatar

@Aster.. I’d like to introduce me and my husband. Now you know three.

Aster's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I have no difficulties; I keep to myself.

BoBo1946's avatar

One of my best friends is an atheist. He is a preacher’s son. I’ve been playing golf with Bob (not our Bob) for 30 years. One of the nicest human beings on God’s green Earth. A devouted family man, been married to the same lady forever, never once have i ever heard him curse, a real gentle soul, and he has an occasional beer at the golf course. Bob believe what he believes and i believe what i believe. We get along great.

Blackberry's avatar

@BoBo1946 No I’m not lol. It’s a good thing you did beat me, since you’re the religious guy : )

BoBo1946's avatar

@Blackberry lmao….ahhh… I’m just an old baldheaded fat guy that needs for Bob to come over and mow my grass. If you see him BB, tell him i’m looking for him!

Blackberry's avatar

@BoBo1946 Lol…...Roger that, sir.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Blackberry oh, my friend…..I’m a spiritual guy…. More so than religious. I’m not real overjoyed with some of the churches today…but, that is another whole story.

Discobitch's avatar

@BoBo1946

Perhaps you’d like to discuss your disappointment with today’s churches in another thread?

Blackberry's avatar

@BoBo1946 Yeah, Thomas Paine was religious, or just believed in god, and he was one of the first people to suggest that religion was simply a means to control people and make money. More people would be better off just spiritual.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@BoBo1946 I have no god, but I am a spiritual type, if that makes any sense. If I have to bury one of the wild animals living around me (last one was a red fox hit by a car) I always say a prayer for their spirit. Same with people.

Aster's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe that is so sweet of you to do that. To whom is the prayer directed? Very nice gesture. (:

BoBo1946's avatar

@Discobitch can do it here. It’s social and related. Too many churches are about money. The real good churches, and there are some, concentrate on helping their people and allow the money to come as God has asked us to do in the Bible. The church should not allow money to be their focal point. This turns off many.

And, evangelist…oh my gosh. Many, not all, do more harm than good. We all know the stories of the Bakers, Swaggarts, etc. I can understand why many are turned off by religion. But, let me be very clear, I’m a total believer in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe God sent His only Son for me, you, and anyone who will believe. I believe that with every bone in my body.

@Adirondackwannabe hey, did you read my comment about my friend Bob on this question? Understood….

BoBo1946's avatar

@Blackberry I thought Thomas Paine was an atheist. I will check that out. I might be wrong.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Aster It’s directed to nature in general.
@BoBo1946 Isn’t it amazing how much easier life is with a little mutual respect? :)

Discobitch's avatar

@BoBo1946

Isn’t it possible to organize a Christian community not based on money? A group of people praying, in, say, a garage?

BoBo1946's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe yes, it is my friend. for sure!

BoBo1946's avatar

@Discobitch could not agree more…many are doing that today. Many have turned their homes into a place to read and study God’s word.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Blackberry you are right…he was spiritual. Many of critics said he was an atheist, but after doing some reading, he was spiritual.

http://atheism.about.com/od/weeklyquotes/a/paine01.htm

BoBo1946's avatar

Got to eat lunch…see you guys later! Enjoyed it. As @Adirondackwannabe said, we can disagree and still love one another. In my mind, that is what being a real Christian is….everyone should be our neighbor!

Discobitch's avatar

@BoBo1946

Yes, I see the same thing happening with the mosques in my area. If a community opens a small mosque somewhere in a garage or cellar, they are often visited by people who tell them they will receive money to build a proper mosque.
Of course, if and only if they are allowed to install one of their imams there.

The money said comes from Saudi Arabia, and the imams are wahhabite.

Mista_Reflexivity's avatar

Religion is a mental crutch.

Discobitch's avatar

@Mista_Reflexivity

You seem very sure of yourself

tinyfaery's avatar

10/10 and (mostly) an atheist. I also took a lot of comparative religion classes in school.

And no, of course it does not surprise me. I know more about Christianity than most people who tell me I am going to hell. :/

BoBo1946's avatar

@Discobitch take care my friend. Will see you later.

@Mista_Reflexivity well…everyone has to decide that for themselves. If loving they neighbor as thyself is a mental crutch, I take the crutch. Personally, i would be happy believing or not believing. I chose to believe. Also, religion in itself, is not what this about. Please read my prior answers. Thank you.

roundsquare's avatar

Sorry, maybe someone else mentioned this, but the jump from “most people don’t know much about religion” to “you should have your own god” seems completely unfounded. Can you explain it?

Honestly, I don’t think the idea of having a personal god is legitimate. I don’t mean that we shouldn’t respect beliefs, but I’m not sure I can get behind the idea that god is different for different people. Of course I can get behind the idea that we all perceive god in different ways due to personal limitations, but thats not the same thing (okay… I agree, its only a subtle difference).

In any event, if there is a “real” god out there who cares what believe and uses that belief to dictate what happens to us for eternity, there’s very little you can say in favor of not following whatever that god wants (at least, if you believe you can choose your beliefs, a questionable but separate point).

P.S. 8/10.

cazzie's avatar

@BoBo1946 Believing that loving thy neighbour as thyself is NOT a religious sentiment. You don’t NEED a god to tell you that. Or .. at least… I don’t…. so if you do.. keep going to church my friend. I don’t think we should ever confuse religion with MORALS. You can have morals without believing in some paternal deity.

BoBo1946's avatar

@cazzie a given, but it’s a byproduct of the Christian faith.

I never said that…Have not mentioned morals. Please read my comments before getting testy. Did you read the one about my atheist friend(it is on this question)? If not, please do. Thanks.

BoBo1946's avatar

I’m the last person that you will find to be judgemental…

One of my best friends is an atheist. He is a preacher’s son. I’ve been playing golf with Bob (not our Bob) for 30 years. One of the nicest human beings on God’s green Earth. A devouted family man, been married to the same lady forever, never once have i ever heard him curse, a real gentle soul, and he has an occasional beer at the golf course. Bob believe what he believes and i believe what i believe. We get along great.

cazzie's avatar

@BoBo1946 I just didn’t like the way you twisted the comment by @Mista_Reflexivity. I know that if you had thought about it a bit more, you could have come up with a better comment. And I don’t agree that it’s a bi product of ANY faith, as such. If you practice the moral teachings, sure… but having faith in an unseen deity doesn’t make you a nicer person. I think it’s great that people believe, but I think off the cuff comments on EITHER side of the argument… Like @Mista_Reflexivity s comment doesn’t bode well and makes no points for either side.

BoBo1946's avatar

@cazzie I’ve had a good time discussing this with people who show tolerance, until now.. My comment to @Mista_Reflexivity was said to reflex that religion is not a crutch for me, that is all. Twisted…loll grrr…I said nothing mean spirited in that comment. I never attack people for their beliefs… i just try to defend my beliefs if attacked. Seems like you are making this a habit. If you don’t believe, cool…but, am i suppose to consult you before writing a comment here? NOT hardly. Have a good day. All i got to say.

cazzie's avatar

@BoBo1946 That’s what I meant. That @Mista_Reflexivity comment was flippant.

BoBo1946's avatar

@cazzie how was that a flippant comment? I don’t get it. But, my comment was not mean spirited in anyway, shape, fashion, or form.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry I am not surprised at all. l don’t see why it has anything to do with having your own God. As @janbb said chacun a san gout.

@Aster the word care can be interpreted too many ways. I am an atheist. I was raised by atheists. God was never mentioned in my household, except on passover we read some stuff out of the Haggadah before we could eat. God does not even occur to me, except when it is brought up by other people. I am interested in religion and the belief in God, so I ask questions about it and Him, it is hard to ignore when the majority of the people seem to believe in God and take their religious beliefs very seriously, affecting how they vote, which in the end effects me. For me, I don’t care, means for me personally, but it does not mean I don’t care about other peoples beliefs, and it does not mean I am not curious about how they think. I see religion help many people, I’ve seen it hurt people, I find it interesting.

I don’t see how you can say atheists are not discriminated against. Statistics show that many people would not vote for an atheist politician. When I tell people I am an atheist I sometimes get questions like,“then where do you get your morals from?” Christians seemed awfully upset when Obama included atheists in his inaugural speech. Some Christians seem to think keeping church and state separate, and wanting secular education is synonymous with trying to take away Christianity and that evil atheists are the ones doing this. Same with taking God out of the pledge.

BoBo1946's avatar

got to be the moon’s fault… seems like everyone is in the attack mode today!

JLeslie's avatar

@BoBo1946 Me? I did not want to come across as though I am attacking.

BoBo1946's avatar

oh my gosh no…..you have always been respectful. Sorry!

Blackberry's avatar

@roundsquare @JLeslie

Yes, you’re correct and I’m wrong, that was some of my bias coming out lol. Although I still have a hard time understanding the whole concept of adhering to some of these ostensibly outdated doctrines and history simply to explain god and what happens when you die.

I’m guess I’m just wondering why follow it all because everyone’s religion and history of how it all occurred is different; it’s causing unnneeded strife.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry but your article kind of demonstrates they aren’t following it. How can they follow something they basically know little about? Remember, the religious people are not doing very well on the test.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

If I play pool religiously, practicing my masse’ as a christian would practice patience, enshrining my cue as a catholic enshrines rosery, and literally honoring the rulebook as a lutheran honors the ten commandments, then could it not be said, that pool is my religion?

Heh, I’ll more than likely even abuse and put the hurt on some young unsuspecting lad tonight… with my stick!

roundsquare's avatar

@Blackberry Cool. Well, I would argue that there are at least two reasons. The first is @JLeslie‘s excellent point. (Thanks for that btw, I hadn’t put it together liek that). The second is that no matter how outdated something is, if its the truth, thats it. You can’t argue that something is false just because it was discovered a long time ago.

It really comes down to how you view religion. If you view it as a result of historical circumstances than what you say makes sense. However, if you view it as the word of god passed down to us, not believing it requires an argument along the lines of either a) we misunderstood it or b) god wants us to change the rules (or god has changed the rules).

I try to make it a point to think along both lines whenever religion comes up, but it can be tough to do.

Blackberry's avatar

@roundsquare Indeed. Thanks :)

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Religion in most forms does not lend itself to knowledge so much as blind faith. I am not at all surprised by that. I think dilution of religious beliefs is inevitable, as belief in a deity becomes more and more untenable in the light of modern knowledge and understanding.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

oh hell… here come et… and I’m on my googaphone… outgunned… I’m gettin outta here

ETpro's avatar

Ha! I asked a question about this same Pew Research study. Little different drift though—not a duplicate. You must have been posting this as I was writing mione, because a search didn’t show it.

No, I wasn’t at all surprising. Based on how many of them act versus what scripture says they should be doing, I knew they either don’t know or don’t care what their Lord asked of them.

Qingu's avatar

@Aster, again, you seem confused about the nature of my (and other atheists’) interest in religion.

I think Yahweh, your god of preference, is a fictional character, along with all the other ancient Mesopotamian deities people believed or continue to believe in. Understanding religion, for me, has nothing to do with understanding such fictional characters—beyond their role in their respective ideologies and cult practices.

Those ideologies and rituals—religions—have been tremendous forces in the development of human history. I think it’s important to understand what ancient people believed about their gods, and why they believed it, and how those beliefs have changed and developed into modern religions—and, in turn, how those modern religions inform people’s beliefs in other areas, such as politics and science.

You don’t have to believe in something to understand what it is and why it’s important. I don’t believe in Marxism, or Islam, but I try to understand the basis of these ideologies because they’ve hugely shaped the world I live in.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

What’s that game called where a person whispers a secret, passes it along, another whisper, another, another… so finally the last whisper is nothing like the original? What’s that game called?

Oh that’s right… it’s called Religion.

cazzie's avatar

Oh… and I don’t know if it’s really relevant any more, but I got a 10 out of 10 on the test. It was super easy. Just trivia stuff.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I just realised there was a quiz attached. I also got 10/10, and found the questions to be basic at best. I would hope every high school graduate would get full marks. If not, chances are they have either been sheltered, indoctrinated, or just don’t want to learn.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@cazzie @FireMadeFlesh Congratulations! You’ve just earned a ticket to heaven!

Qingu's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, I’d argue another important facet of religion is that the “original” you talk about is a collection of bronze-age myths and legal texts, written by people who thought the earth was flat and that a man could purchase a wife for a little more than the cost of a slave.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Sure, I get it. I feel those perspectives were proper for the times and conditions that people lived in back then. None of that disregards the fact that the ancient wisdom hails from those who believed they were in direct contact with a superior being (Zorastrian), or hidden knowledge (Tao). They were either crazy lunatics, geniuses, or the recipients of extraterrestrial teachings, or perhaps even an entity that they could not begin to comprehend, and thus they personify that being in human terms.

But let’s consider, that our current society also suffers from its own misgivings. We base our health care on profiteering, rather than well being. We settle conflicts with war, use it as a political tool, and encourage our youth to join in the violence with video war teaching strategy and how to objectify people at a very very early age. Our media is rife with alluring deception, quick schemes, and me now mentality.

Should our entire modern culture be disregarded simply because we don’t have it all figured out? Imagine the fun that future generations will have at the expense of our idiocy. Certainly they’ll be capable of filtering through the confusion, to pull the best from Martin Luther Kings and Gandhi’s of our era. Perhaps not.

Seek's avatar

I wholeheartedly believe wisdom is wisdom, no matter how come by. However, I don’t eat the rind of a pineapple just because the inside is juicy and delicious. I throw away the inedible junk and keep the good part.

Learn what you can from the religious text, and leave the mythology behind.

Qingu's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies, I don’t think we should throw out the baby with modern culture’s backwater… but I also hope that people living 2,000 years from now realize that (for example) Scientology isn’t actually a revealed truth from space-spirits, but rather the silly ramblings of a 1900’s science fiction writer taken as fact by his delusional cult. Likewise for the ramblings and cults of previous eras—regardless of how well they are preserved.

I also think that, for all of our modern society’s flaws, it is morally superior to the societies that brought us the Code of Hammurabi, the Bible, and the Quran. I would rather live today than in those previous eras; I would rather someone be born today than be born then (especially if they are a woman).

Seek's avatar

And, if we want to learn morality from ancient cultures, how about the Celts – who had “year and a day” trial marriages and treated their women as equals. There are better choices than the Bible.

Aster's avatar

Many are not knowledgeable because they are not in the least bit interested in reading , in depth, the history of Jesus and the Church. It is all so detailed with so many names and dates that they are either overwhelmed by it all or lose interest. I like reading church history, or what I refer to as it’s history as in:
There are tens of thousands of manuscripts from the New Testament, in part or in whole, dating from the second century A.D. to the late fifteenth century, when the printing press was invented. These manuscripts have been found in Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Italy, making collusion unlikely. The oldest manuscript, the John Rylands manuscript, has been dated to 125 A.D. and was found in Egypt, some distance from where the New Testament was originally composed in Asia Minor. Many early Christian papyri, discovered in 1935, have been dated to 150 A.D., and include the four gospels. The Papyrus Bodmer II, discovered in 1956, has been dated to 200 A.D., and contains 14 chapters and portions of the last seven chapters of the gospel of John. The Chester Beatty biblical papyri, discovered in 1931, has been dated to 200–250 A.D. and contains the Gospels, Acts, Paul’s Epistles, and Revelation.
The number of manuscripts is extensive compared to other ancient historical writings, such as Caesar’s “Gallic Wars” (10 Greek manuscripts, the earliest 950 years after the original), the “Annals” of Tacitus (2 manuscripts, the earliest 950 years after the original), Livy (20 manuscripts, the earliest 350 years after the original), and Plato (7 manuscripts).

Qingu's avatar

Yes, cults tend to be good at copying and spreading their marketing materials.

Want to count how many manuscripts there are of Dianetics floating around?

Seek's avatar

Hell, I can’t go into a nightclub bathroom without seeing Jehovah’s Witness manuscripts lying on the tampon disposal.

crisw's avatar

@Aster

“Many are not knowledgeable because they are not in the least bit interested in reading , in depth, the history of Jesus and the Church.”

You seem to be missing the fact that the most abysmal ignorance displayed i this survey was regarding religions other than Christianity. There are other religions, you know :>D

Aster's avatar

I’m sorry. I noticed in the Q “the bible” and I got it jumbled up. I’d actually enjoy reading lots of long answers strictly on Buddhism or some other religion but it seems jellies want to argue talk about Christianity so that’s what I’ve been reading about for so long I just assumed….oh, never mind.

crisw's avatar

@Aster

You might try reading the original study, if you have not already. Fascinating stuff.

crisw's avatar

By the way, for anyone interested, the whole survey with all 32 questions is here.

Seek's avatar

^ Server crashed.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aster I think Jellies talk about Christianity a lot, because the majority of the collective is American, and Christianity is the predominent religion in our country. Since the collective also seems to have a lot of liberals and atheists for that matter, we are very curious about how the “other side” thinks, to understand them. I hate to use other side, because I prefer not to think of Americans as adversaries within our own country. I think the majority of the people have a common goal, and just some different philosophies on how to reach the goal.

ETpro's avatar

@crisw In @Aster‘s defense, there were a number of very simple questions about Christianity. You would ba amazed and disappointed by the numbers of Christians that didn’t know what the little wafers and wine/grape juice were all about, and couldn’t name the four gospels. We are not talking questions you’d need to read multiple ancient translations to answer.

crisw's avatar

@ETpro

There were a couple toughies on Christianity too. I had to think a bit about the one on salvation by faith, and the question on the Great Awakening was the one question where I had to simply guess!

It surprised me that the hardest question on the survey was the religion of Maimonides, with only 8% answering correctly. There were some other shockers on there too that had nothing to do with religion- such as that only 59% of respondents know who the vice president is and a majority of respondents don’t have the faintest idea who wrote Moby Dick.

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