discussion: religious knowledge (in Debates)


Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 28 2010 2:56 PM EDT

i found this article very interesting and decided to go ahead and post it here!

http://pewforum.org/Other-Beliefs-and-Practices/U-S-Religious-Knowledge-Survey.aspx

Ankou September 28 2010 4:02 PM EDT

I think that the not-so-surprisingly-low scores stem from the idea that I had once. As a non believer in any religion, I felt that religion, while massively influential, was based in fallacy. This lead me to the conclusion that I was not to be concerned with knowing anything about them. The same can be said for anyone who strongly believes that their specific system of belief is the correct, the *only* correct one. If yours is the only one that's true, why learn about fake, inaccurate or wrong systems of belief.

At this point, I feel that while all religions are not necessarily true, it is very important to understand them. If for no other reason than to back my own opinions with a deeper understanding of what I am discounting.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 28 2010 4:11 PM EDT

which brings about another question. is it laziness or faith that allows the "my religion is right so why bother" argument?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 28 2010 4:12 PM EDT

another: how can something that actually fosters such close-mindedness and discourages learning be considered "enlightening"?

Ankou September 28 2010 4:19 PM EDT

Because your 'path' is the correct one, so its the only one worth being enlightened on?

QBOddBird September 28 2010 4:26 PM EDT

Because, as Ankou said, they probably feel that it is unnecessary to delve into the details of any other religion when they've already found what they believe.

That's not something that I see fostered by religion - an intentional lack of understanding regarding other religions - but rather it seems like it would stem from personal laziness or ignorance.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 28 2010 4:30 PM EDT

from the poll though it would appear that once people choose a religion many don't even bother to become enlightened of its teachings.

Ankou September 28 2010 4:43 PM EDT

OB, while you may be correct in attributing this lack of knowledge or understanding to personal laziness, its not like there is ANY real education about this. There is not class in school (that I have heard of) that covers a basic understanding of all mainstream religious beliefs.

A friend of mine told me that his mom once sat him down and gave him an opportunity to choose a system of belief that made sense to him. She provided him with informational pamphlets or other sources of info on 20 or more popular religions and he got to choose, on his own, what he choose to believe. In this, he got a chance to learn a little about many popular religions and choose that which made the most sense to him.I feel that some kind of similar religious exposure at a young age could help solve the problem.

Demigod September 28 2010 4:56 PM EDT

they probably feel that it is unnecessary to delve into the details of any other religion when they've already found what they believe.

This

it would appear that once people choose a religion many don't even bother to become enlightened of its teachings.

That's the odd part. I think it's skewed based on level of religious dedication. I dearly hope that anyone participating in Sunday morning church, Wednesday night church, and a weekly small group session would be able to score highly on their own religion, even the first quote means they bomb tests on other religions. But for those who claim to be religious without actually following the respective religion (likely most people), they would get the worst of both tests.

As for the high scores of atheists, I can somewhat understand that, too. As someone else mentioned, there may be a goal (whether good or bad) for atheists to learn more about religions. In college, I was a dick of an atheist. I read through the Skeptics Annotated Bible and countless religious arguments just to better argue my belief against street preachers and friends. It took a long time for me to realize how much of a jerk I was being, but in the meantime, I still studied religions.

And where are Nehemiah and the other vocal religious players? We need more opinions.

Tal [G6] September 28 2010 5:29 PM EDT

Atheists have to know religion so they can argue with the fanatic persecutors. If you can't prove your point whats the point?

Gunny Pew Pew [Red Permanent Assurance] September 28 2010 7:20 PM EDT

One could argue:
1)Those who preach do not practice.
2)Atheists are what they are because they sought understand within religion before giving into rationality.
3)The meek believe their path is the best as that's what was told to them since childhood and is continued out of habit.
4)Why learn more when you are guaranteed heaven at the door?
P.S. Ankou, sunday school, google it. They will teach about other religions. Mostly in order to "combat" the arguments. ;)

Adminedyit September 28 2010 7:30 PM EDT

11 out of 15 and i don't consider myself a deeply religious person.

but to answer your question with another question. don't most of the major religions all worship the same god just with different "twists"?

The jewish god is the catholic god of the old testament, the muslims god that made mohamid his prophet, the mormons also worship the same god. who's to say who is right in there beliefs. most have the same core beliefs, be good to your fellow man etc. its the "twists" that cause friction between the factions.

QBOddBird September 28 2010 8:33 PM EDT

There is not class in school (that I have heard of) that covers a basic understanding of all mainstream religious beliefs.

IDK about high schools, but college: world religion?

Demigod September 28 2010 8:48 PM EDT

That was the quiz?! I got 14 out of 15, and it should have been 15/15. If that was the real quiz, I have no faith in humanity. Wow.

Ankou September 28 2010 9:04 PM EDT

Wait... the text describes data corresponding to the survey we all took. The survey we took consisted of 15 questions. The 2nd paragraph opens with:
"On average, Americans correctly answer 16 of the 32 religious knowledge questions..."
Apparently, we don't get the same survey that the data was gathered with. Wonder why?

I scored a 10. For being admittedly religiously uneducated, I feel alright with that score. I also like the fact that the last question has 3 possible answers, but on average, 11% of people get it right.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 28 2010 9:31 PM EDT

there is a pdf link with the full survey, which survey are you guys taking?

Demigod September 28 2010 9:55 PM EDT

I thought the PDF link's survey was the same 15. Is there a 3rd survey I missed?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] September 29 2010 11:59 AM EDT

i got 14 out of 15 correct.

the pdf i was referring to is in the box on the right where it has an outline of the article. i believe it was roman numeral 10 (X).

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 29 2010 12:27 PM EDT

and understand that lasers do not work by focusing sound waves (60%).

o_O

Too many Dune fans?

I wonder how many know that LASER is actually an acronym... It would have helped answer the question.

SASER just isn't as catchy! :P

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 29 2010 12:29 PM EDT

IDK about high schools, but college: world religion?

Religious Education isn't part of the national curriculum, but is a compulsary subject in Secondary schools in the UK.
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