Want to know more about religion? Ask an atheist.
September 28, 2010 3 Comments
Interesing study conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
According to a survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, atheists and agnostics tend to know more about religion than members of most faiths, the Los Angeles Times reports. For example, most Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the founder of the Protestant movement. Atheists took the top spot in the survey, followed by a tie between Mormons and Jews.
Why did atheists do so well? The study concluded that those who reject faith often do so after growing up in a religious household, and studying and deliberating keeping the faith. Also, atheists and agnostics tend to be better educated in general. Why did Christians do so poorly? It may be because once someone accepts a faith, they stop examining it.
Two things jump out at me.
The first is the obvious ignorance that religious people have of their own religions in contrast to those who lack belief. While I certainly wouldn’t expect every Christian to be an expert in Systematic Theology, I’m often started by how foreign church history, theology, etc. are to many Christians.
Second is that most Christians I know tend to assume that atheists and/or agnostics do not believe because they’re simply ignorant of the claims of Christianity. In my experience, this is very rarely the case, and this article seems to suggest that most atheists have fairly thorough understandings of the major claims of the major world religions.
Any other thoughts?