Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Who knows more about religion than an agnostic?

A very interesting survey was released today by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. They surveyed over 3,400 people to see how well they understood various religions. Not surprisingly, members of the LDS church (Mormons), and Jews scored well. Perhaps what was surprising was how well atheists and agnostics scored. Thirty-two questions were asked. On average, LDS members and Jews scored 20 points. Protestants scored 16, and Catholics got 15 correct. Atheists and agnostics however averaged a whopping 21 points.

I found that interesting. Continuing to read the article from Fox News,article I realized why:

Not surprisingly, those who said they attended worship at least once a week and considered religion important in their lives often performed better on the overall survey. However, level of education was the best predictor of religious knowledge.

It reminded me of the passage in 2 Nephi 9:28-29,
28 O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.
29 But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.

So the highly educated tend to scorn God and his counsels, but they score very high on these sorts of surveys.

One more quote from the article:
On questions about Christianity, Mormons scored the highest, with an average of about eight correct answers out of 12...


Steve said...

I read that article too. Very interesting.

Clifford said...

An atheist says, "There is no God."
An agnostic says, "There could be but I don't know."

Huge difference. One is sure in his non-belief; one just hasn't found belief -- or perhaps had it educated out of him in a cerebral sandstorm. Evolution; DNA; the senseless cruelty of polio, candiru and guinea worm; so-called higher criticism of scripture; historical difficulties -- all these things can take an awful toll on a person's faith.