Survey: Atheists Know More About Religion Than Believers

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Have a question about religion? You ought to ask someone who has completely rejected it.

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.

(More on NewsFeed: Atheists are the new movie villains.)

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.

(More on TIME.com: What your brain looks like on faith.)

The survey had one bright spot, at least: 80% of respondents knew that Mother Teresa was a Catholic.

4 comments
RandolphBoyer
RandolphBoyer

Atheists know very little about the faithful, atheism is the belief in no deities thereof. Thought atheists claim they know about religion, they have mostly never read the bible, nor any other religious texts. If one can compile all religious texts and read them they could understand the all so many questions that man seemingly desires to want. I am a Coptic Christian, and we are typically somewhat of the Samaritans of the Church, but if you look in depth to Coptic Christianity a branch of the orthodox church Atheists begin to know more of the protestant faiths than the Orthodox ones. To be precise to understand the entirety of faith it takes years of research not just looking at a bible or any other religious text one time. Atheists claim little Historical Inaccuracies of the Bible. Though everyday in Israel and other parts of the middle east there are biblical cities found every day. The Branch of the Church has been corrupted by false prophets and dastardly people that claim sovereignty, yet they only shove what they do not know about faith down other peoples throats.  Religion isn't about force and it never was till the false corrupted it. Muslims, Christians and Jews lived in peace for thousands of years till the 6th crusade and the desolation of vast libraries, and knowledge in what would become later the conquest of Constantinople by Islams Mammot II in 1453 though it did not fully take over till 1496. Knowing religion is also knowing its history. If you take time to look at religion god speaks to us through many ways. Most people are too afraid to explore religion thoroughly, and even some of the most faithful have trouble with understanding it. I am not the radical southern preacher type I am hereby something else, a believer who provides facts on faith. I am a modern day Philosopher, and I believe the more we know the sciences of the world the more we receive the image of god and sometimes we can feel gods presence through times of darkness and self pity. Just takes the will to know, and ask questions to do so.  

MartinØverby
MartinØverby

@RandolphBoyer I, personally, prefer to believe in the things that I can touch, see, smell, hear & feel on my body and around me. Intellectually I'm aware of most religions and the details behind them (I studied them a lot because some time ago I made it a mission to debunk them, so I went very in-depth in my research), but I find little proof in that there is any god out there from any religion.


Reading religious scriptures, I've come to realize that most of them, regardless of era, are written to scare people into believing. "Nonbelivers will go to Hell", etc. And they are written to scare people away from doing things that individual people once thought inappropriate or offensive such as homosexuality & other things we now know today aren't at all dangerous or even unhealthy.

Generally the religious scriptures of almost every known religion today are written with intent to scare, not to inspire. There are some exceptions (Buddhism & Hinduism, to name two off the top of my hat), but today's incarnation of religion is a joke. I shouldn't have to mention the details of the Dark Ages, either.


A religion isn't about forcing people to believe, a religion is about uniting a group of people with the same beliefs. A concept that was indeed lost around the 6th Crusade, as you point out, when it started to be corrupted by selfish, greedy men who had the scriptures altered & misinterpreted to suit their own bigotry. And until religion turns back into the way it was before that time, I won't support nor condone it. I chose to be an atheist because I wanted no part in a very blemished history of mankind.

thecraftyknitter
thecraftyknitter

@RandolphBoyer 

You are an idiot. Have YOU read the bible? The whole bible, and understood EVERYTHING within it? If you say yes, you are an idiot. 

1. I have read the bible mulitple times and around Kings 1-2 I start falling asleep, for a 'religious' text that is supposed to be full of wonder and joy, and blah blah blah then quite frankly it fails so utterly to captivate me. There is nothing that puts a man or woman to sleep faster then fraking genology, in which the ONLY POINT of is to say "i am tangentally related to moses!" crap like that. 

2. Mankind doesn't like the thought of not existing. We make up tales to make us feel better. How does it feel to know that when you die, you don't even KNOW what will happen, after all, no one YOU KNOW has died and has come back to life to describe heaven and hell now have they?

3. To understand faith is simple. It is as thus: "Belief in something." the belief on the other hand is SUBJECTIVE. Meaning that what you believe is not the exact same as what your mother, or father to siblings believe. Most atheists I know look at the BIBLE not the belief within it, they tackle the STRUCTURE, not the person inside of it. When that person feels buttshurt about their structure being attacked maybe they need to move out rather then letting people attack it and yelling from their doors like a sterotypical old man. 

4. Yes, but again there is a LOT of 'god destroyed' such and such. Just like in the old Greek Myths and the Odyssey they found the cities in which the stories talk about. SO don't go around saying "this city exists so therefor god does" cause that means that Zeus and Hera, and all those Gods and Goddesses exist because the cities that they did stuff in existed as well. 

5. Um no, we did NOT live in peace. It was more "leave me alone and I leave you alo-KILL THE UNBELIEVERS!!!" Hell early Christians killed EACH OTHER because of differing view points. Don't spout "it was all fun until X time!" because that is no.  Once Christians gained power they started killing EVERYONE that did not share their view point. Don't go spouting they didn't. They did and that is a historical fact. 

6. Rome was actually quite tollerant of other religions all they cared about was you killing cows and junk in their honor to honor their gods. Since they believed that if they didn't kill animals in the gods name the gods would personally frak their crap up. So in actuallity... Rome was quite good. Until the christians took over and started killing everyone that they deemed 'non-christian'. 

7. I know about ten thousand if not a million Christians that would scream at you and tell you don't need to know the HISTORY of a religion, you only need to worship Jesus, make that a billion. 

8. Okay, what was the facts of the forty two children being mauled to death by she-bears? 

9. So science brings us closer to god? You're right, Iron Man is so smart and so.... no that wont work. AH! Superman! He is all powerful, kinda, and basically a god! So science one day might make us as strong and powerful as him. ALL HAIL KAL-EL!! ALL HAIL HIM! FOR HE IS GOD! 

10. If that last bit annoys you it was planed.