Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Atheists and Agnostics Know More about Religion than Religious Do!"

On a Recent Knowledge and Understanding of Religion Survey Atheists and Agnostics Scored the Highest!

And Interestingly Enough, U.S. Catholics Scored the Lowest!

Finally I Have Proof!  This study from The Pew Research Center verifies what I've always known to be true.  Most religious people are clueless as to what their faith officially believes in.  It's always been the only plausible explanation to me as to how, or why people continue to practice and/or supposedly believe in their respective faiths. 

Take Catholics, for example...

According to the  Survey  more than five-in-ten Catholics in the United States do not realize that their church teaches the bread and wine used in Communion do not merely symbolize but literally become the body and blood of Christ when the priest blesses them. Catholic dogma calls this the Transubstantiation, and I have  Blogged  about it in the past.  Most Catholics don't even know this, but 87% of Atheists surveyed did!

The Protestants didn't do much better...

53% cannot even correctly identify  Martin Luther  as the person whose writings and actions inspired the Protestant Reformation, which is what made their religions possible in the first place.

Now let's look at the Jews...

Moses Maimonides a/k/a Rambam
While generally speaking Jews fared a bit better in the survey, still however more than four-in-ten (43%) did not recognize the name or image of  Maimonides  or Rambam as he sometimes called, even though he is one of the Most Preeminent, Respected and Venerated Rabbis in the History of Judaism.  And his fourteen-volume  Mishneh Torah  first published in the twelfth century, still carries canonical authority as a codification of Talmudic Law

This however was no surprise to me.  I've had many Jewish friends over the years and while their knowledge of Yiddish vocabulary and expressions may have far surpassed mine their understanding of Jewish teachings and theTalmud usually did not. 

Although in fairness it should be noted that most of the friends I speak of were not particularly religious or observant Jews.  But we're rather Jewish more by heritage and tradition than anything else.  My two Orthodox friends (you know who you are) would be the obvious exceptions.

The study also revealed that most religious people know even less about religions outside of their own.  Surprisingly few people know that the  Dalai Lama  is a Buddhist, Martin Luther inspired the Reformation, or that  Joseph Smith  founded the Mormons.  Most Atheists however, were very knowledgeable about all of these facts. 
This obviously begs the question, why are Agnostics and Atheists so much better informed?
One of the Pew researchers presents the following theory...

"American atheists and agnostics tend to be people who grew up in a religious tradition and consciously gave it up, often after a great deal of reflection and study" said Alan Cooperman, associate director for research at the Pew Forum.

"These are people who thought a lot about religion," he said. "They're not indifferent. They care about it."

So, as Mitchell Landsberg of the Los Angeles Times explains  "If you want to know about God, you might want to talk to an Atheist."

Heresy? He asks? Perhaps, he explains. "But the survey found that Atheists and Agnostics knew more, on average, than followers of most major faiths. In fact, the gaps in knowledge among some of the faithful may give new meaning to the term "Blind Faith." 

I certainly couldn't have said it better myself.
Also interesting is that some of the most fervent believers such as Black Protestants and Latino Catholics scored at the bottom of this survey.

Every time I see someone with a Bible.  I have to ask myself, Have They Ever Actually Read That Book? !!

And if they have.  Why would anyone want to follow a God like that? 

The God of the Bible (The God of Abraham)  is, whether they know it or not, the God of every Christian Muslim and Jew!  And, He's a Mean, Ornery, Vicious, Vindictive, Spiteful, Self-Centered, Egomaniacal Son of a Bitch!

If you don't believe that, or you think that's some kind of blasphemy. 

Then You Have Obviously Never Read the Book!

Agnostic Thinking... Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word comments if the panel is not open) or you can e-mail me direct at and your comment will be posted. And don't forget to check out my original blog   Just Thinking 


  1. "Ateus sabem mais de religiao do que religiosos"

  2. The results of this survey don't surprise me in the least!

  3. I'm a Jew, (can't you tell by the name?) and I'm not sure that I've ever heard of Maimonides either but then again I'm not very religious and I was never a very good student. Even though I was raised in a relatively observant household I barely learned enough Hebrew to get through the basic traditions and rituals of my parents faith. I remember while practicing for my bar mitzvah how frustrated and angry the rabbi was with my pronunciation. The ceremony was still held on time, however. Which in Judaism simply means the check to the synagogue didn't bounce.

  4. "To know God and to love God is the supreme goal of life for every living being.


    If you really want to know God you must learn from his devotees, not some ignorant atheist.

  5. Atheists and agnostics are a minority (for now) in our society but most were not raised that way but raised in a specific religious tradition. Then doubts arose, they sought to learn more about their faith, maybe other faiths and then they abandoned religion altogether. They get pressured by family and friends to come back to the church and or try this new church. One has to be well informed to be an atheist/agnostic in today's society. Especially when one is constantly being asked to defend his or her lack of faith.

  6. By the way Eddie do you know where I can find the entire survey? You know, with all the questions and answers, I would love to take it.

  7. I would also like to take the survey but I can't seem to find it online. I did read that there's 32 questions in all. Does anyone know where I can find the complete survey? Perhaps if someone could post a link.


  8. Oh comon Jews! We can do better than that! ;)
    Not exactly surprising results, eh? Dogmatic memes survive most effectively when they dissemble their true ideology.
    Anyways, good to see your blogs are doing well. I hope the same can be said for you.

  9. I'm a Good God-Fearing Christian Woman and I got 15 out of 15 on the survey a perfect score!

    I think that websites like helped me learn about my faith. This website would obviously be very beneficial to some of the hedonistic readers of this blog.

    I also attend Bible study classes on a regular basis!

    So yes, I Have Read the Book!!!!!!

    I don't mean to sound hostile as I said I'm a good Christian but sometimes you atheists frustrate me so much!

    I pray for you guys in the hopes that one day you will find The Love of Our Lord Jesus. Otherwise I fear you're all going to burn in hell forever!

  10. With reference to 'anonymous' above: All I can say is, How Christian of You!

    I do have one favor to ask, though , and perhaps your Christian Generosity will move you to answer me. Where did you find the survey? I've been looking for it. I think I would enjoy taking that. I'd like to see how I do.

  11. Joey, and everyone else,

    If you click on the highlighted word survey towards the beginning of this blog post (second or third paragraph in) it will take you to a partial quiz. It features 15 of the original 32 questions. Go ahead and take it, it's kind of fun. You shouldn't have any trouble finding it. After All, a Good Christian Woman Did! ;)

    Since some of you have asked, I plan on posting the entire survey, all 32 questions, in a new blog post sometime later this weekend. So keep your eye out for that.

    In the meantime, Thanks Everyone for All of Your Comments! As usual, they're the best part!! Also, thanks Danny for sticking up for me in the comments section of a recent blog post. And Callif. It's really good to hear from you again. It's been a long time. I hope all is well with you too!

  12. i worry a great deal about "g-d fearing christians" or anyone else who needs fear to do the right and/or moral thing. that is not faith, that is fear of retribution. one thing my Rabbi taught was that ethical people did the correct things even when no-one was there to witness them. now, i was lucky, because i had a scrupulous mensch of a Rabbi. my cousin went to a synogogue that was led by a smarmy shmuck who ran a bar mitzvah mill. when my dad passed away he jacked up my uncle for thousands of dollars so he could bury his brother in a jewish cemetary. it sucked and was as immoral as it could be. me, even though it's "against my religion" well, by the time they finish harvesting and slicing & dicing, there should be about enough left to fit in a zippy-bag. i sorta want to be toasted and have my ashes thrown on johnny depp. i think he'd get the joke. any way, religion should not ever be confused with personal morality. organized religion is primarily used to justify immoral behavior. the smug think they'll inherit the earth.