Study: Agnostics and Atheists Know More About Religion Than Their Religious Counterparts

A new Pew survey indicates that if you want to know something about religion, ask an agnostic or atheists. The survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found atheist and agnostic Americans fare more knowledgeable about religion than their religious neighbors.

For example, the majority of Protestants did not know that Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation and four out of 10 Catholics were clueless on the meaning of transubstantiation.

Alan Cooperman, the forum’s associate director for research, is quoted as saying that agnostics and atheists have simply given such matters more study and thought: “These are people who thought a lot about religion. They’re not indifferent. They care about it.”

Source: Telegraph

45 thoughts on “Study: Agnostics and Atheists Know More About Religion Than Their Religious Counterparts”

  1. Gyges

    Yes, I erred in following the lead of the producers of the test who separated Mormons from all other Christian categories. It would be interesting to know why they did that.

    I’ve always considered Mormons to be Christians, though separated from other churches through some of their practices; not as much as the Westboro Baptist Church perhaps, but maybe on a par with Bob Jones University officials.

    Officials of both the University and the Mormon church have revised their positions of Blacks in their organizations which is a welcome change.

    All Christians and all Christian churches need to be improved and you are being helpful in asking me to enforce that.

    I still think the choice to solicit younger members of a family rather than whichever adult answered the phone (just as soliciting the oldest member would) might have skewed the results. You, as a scientist, can probably explain why they thought it would not.

    It would seem to me the answer of which category the respondents fell into, without age considerations, would lead to a more informative result. But it’s been a long time since I’ve set up a scientific experiment and I’ve probably forgotten some of the discipline.

  2. Buckeye,

    Sorry, it took me so long to get back to you. The definition I like to use of Christianity came from Mr. Webster (who by the way had the Entirety of the Bible memorized) and was in every other dictionary I’d checked: Someone who claims to follow Christ.

    Mormon’s claim to follow Christ, therefor by the common usage, are Christian.

    Like I said, most of the time when you see the claim “Mormons aren’t Christians” the person saying it is a bigot, and possibly will go on to tell you all about the “secret” side of Mormonism. It’s a pretty common conspiracy theory among hard-core Evangelical Christians. From what I know of you, you’re pretty open minded and I just wanted to clue you in that you were using some rhetoric that doesn’t come from a good place (the conspiracy theorists, not the ECs).

  3. I believe that the good Lord clearly intended that there would be numerous agnostics and atheists so that the abundant religious hypocrites on our planet will not find mental peace while pursueing their foolish smugness.

    Lon Clay Hill

  4. “Mohler argued in his online essay last month that Christians who practice yoga “must either deny the reality of what yoga represents or fail to see the contradictions between their Christian commitments and their embrace of yoga.”

    From a Christian perspective the Minister is absolutely correct. That is why the theory of the “mind/body split” developed into stone 600 to 800 years ago. The Christian according to Orthodox teaching is supposed to view the body as an evil appendage dirtying the spiritual soul. This represents one reason, among many, why I’m not a Christian. My guess is that Jesus would feel differently about this, but then he was long departed before the ascension of the sexually screwed up Bishops of the Council of Nicaea.

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