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jerv's avatar

What do you think of this study on religion (details inside)?

Asked by jerv (31034points) September 29th, 2010

I had long suspected this was the case, but a recent study has shown that, at least here in the US, Jews, Atheists, and Agnostics know the most about religion in general, and actually know more about Christianity than many Christians (especially Catholics).

What are your thoughts on the results of this study?

BTW, feel free to take the quiz and see how you do. I got 13 out of 15.

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26 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Blackberry beat you to it with this thread.

kenmc's avatar

15 out of 15

Not surprised at the finding.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

14/15… missed the last one. There were more questions on Gov and History than I would have thought. Not really many religion questions actually.

jerv's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I am going to have to edit my tags then, since I didn’t see that one pop up the other day. D’oh!

jaytkay's avatar

Not surprising. As an atheist freshman in a conservative Christian college, I was not bothered by the faculty or teachings. They were all smart and committed, and of course they had a religious bent. But I was appalled at my fellow students, who knew less than I did about the Bible.

DominicX's avatar

That doesn’t surprise me. I’d suspect that many atheists and agnostics were raised Christian (since the majority of Americans do consider themselves Christian) and thus later decided that they disagreed with the beliefs of the religion. That would take study and research into the beliefs to determine what exactly it is that you disagree with. Many Christians, I’d assume, just read some Bible passages, go to church every Sunday, and don’t put much study or research into their religion.

Blueroses's avatar

14/15 I also missed the last question. My score surprises me because although I spend very little time thinking about religion, I thought the quiz was pretty simple.
It was interesting to look at the question by question breakdown. I would not have thought the evangelicals would have performed better overall than other Christians.

jaytkay's avatar

BTW, feel free to take the quiz and see how you do. I got 13 out of 15.

14 out of 15 for this atheist
I did not know Jonathan Edwards was a preacher in the First Great Awakening.

Seek's avatar

Woo! I’m kicking ASS at these things. 15/15 again. 10/10 on the other one (though, they were all the same questions, so I’m only 50% smarter than I was last time. ^_^)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

clearly you must be the benefactor of demonic insights. no one is that smart

kevbo's avatar

It kind of jives with this discussion from before, but more than that, I wanted to contribute a passage that I recently came across from a sardonic travel writer who ventured into the Holy Land Experience theme park in Florida. Regarding a born-again’s story of personal salvation, the author muses:

Born-again Christianity is by far the most convincing argument we have attesting to the wicked power of drugs and alcohol. Talk to a few fake-Christians and it becomes obvious that liquor, coke, and smack are but mere gateways to the hard stuff of megachurch depravity…

… Paul pukes out the familiar convert yawner of a dissolute former existence under the spell of booze, drugs, pornography, loose women… eventually, of course, he hit rock bottom, whereupon God took him by the hand and showed him the Way…

… “Guys like you are the most self-centered conversationalists of all time,” I say, as cordially as possible. “You’re a fraud who knows nothing of Christian doctrine.”

“I never brought up doctrine,” Paul whines. “You don’t have to go to church or observe a bunch of rules to be a Christian. You just have to let God into your heart…”

… During the entire three and a half hours I’ve been in the park, not one performer, attraction or preacher has mentioned anything about traditional Christian values… what [they] do talk about—exclusively, is themselves. Their story. Their relationship with God… as though nothing else is required of the believer beyond a singular devotion to the self and an imagined connection to Greatness.


Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

15 out of 15 for me. I would have thought there might have been a few trick questions, but it was pretty straightforward.

Rarebear's avatar

14/15 for me. I had no idea on the last one.
My affiliation is atheist Jew.

kenmc's avatar

@Rarebear Then you should be doubly knowledgeable!

Trillian's avatar

15/15. So what? I always test well. I’m also nominally a Methodist.
I think Kevbo’s author might be on to something. He mentions it and really doesn’t seem to get what he just said, but it is the concept of a personal god. I haven’t the expertise or education to expand on this as much as I feel it, but the idea of a personal god makes more sense to me than so much of what I hear on this site and other places.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

You n’ me missed the same Q @Rarebear. I simply refused to answer Graham.

Jabe73's avatar

I got 12 out of 15. I feel I am very knowledgable when it comes to Christianity (Catholicism and Protestantism) since I grew up with those religions and actually read my bible (though I do not remember every single little thing from it). I suck when it comes to other religions, especially Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism. I know a little about Islam.

I know alot about my own former religions along with Spiritualism, Wiccan and Paganism. I would consider myself to have a more deist view on god but unlike most deists I have a strong belief in a spiritual existance or should I say dualism. So I guess I would consider myself more of a Unitarian Universalist Deist if I had to classify myself.

ETpro asked a similar question with a test but that test had less questions.

Hobosnake's avatar

12/15. I’m Christian but let it be known that I did take a world religions class last year. I think one of the big issues here you may be ignoring is the fact that many people claim to be Christians yet show little to no real interest in their “faith”. They’re more like existentialists who just kind of like the idea of a god.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I mean really, I was expecting some actual religious questions… Like, who was the main character speaking with Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, who was he fighting against, why, and what did Krishna have to say about it?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

14 out of 15 automatically gets you into heaven @Rarebear like it or not… sorry.

jerv's avatar

@Hobosnake Some would argue that that is a fallacy, specifically, the No True Scotsman fallacy.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I wasn’t expecting much depth in a 15-question quiz about such a broad subject as religion, but it seems that even the basics are beyond many people.

Hobosnake's avatar

@jerv to some degree I see what you mean. But let me clarify; I don’t believe that studying doctrine is an indispensable aspect of a “true” Christian, but rather that the desire to do so often comes from it. If one’s life has truly been changed by something, they might be interested in learning a bit more about it. The people I am criticizing are those that show no genuine interest in true Christianity yet claim to be Christians nonetheless because they like the idea of morality and a God, while simultaneously not believing in either when it comes down to it.

jellyfish3232's avatar

9/15. I am Christian, but not Catholic. I don’t go to church but I do consider myself a practicing Christian. And Catholics consider eating bread and wine to be the actual body and blood of Jesus? I find that odd. I consider them symbolic.

jerv's avatar

@jellyfish3232 Some people take things too literally, and I would like to think that people are not worshiping an alcohol-infused baked good.

JenniferP's avatar

I think that they didn’t include the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the study because they are extremely knowledgeable. They read the entire Bible through once a year. They read from more than one version of the Bible and know some of the Hebrew and Greek words used in the Bible. They study religious history and other religions as well. They also are up on current events and read scientific material. Mormons are pretty knowledgeable too.

jerv's avatar

@JenniferP Note that Mormons, as uncommon as they are, outnumber Jehovahs’ Witnesses by about 2-to-1. Put another way, you will rarely find a Mormon at random, so it stands to erason that you would have a harder time finding a JW. Given teh size of this poll, I think it entirely possible that they just didn’t have enough JWs to draw any statistically meaningful conclusions.

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