Respondents to the survey were asked 32 questions with a range of difficulty, including whether they could name the Islamic holy book and the first book of the Bible, or say what century the Mormon religion was founded. On average, participants in the survey answered correctly overall for half of the survey questions.
Atheists and agnostics scored highest, with an average of 21 correct answers, while Jews and Mormons followed with about 20 accurate responses. Protestants overall averaged 16 correct answers, while Catholics followed with a score of about 15.This really comes as no surprise within the atheist circles. Many atheists are recovering theists. The Richard Dawkins website has a whole area devoted to deconversion stories. it is also not surprising to me that Catholics are at or near the bottom. I think fall into an ignorance is bliss category. I mean, that whole transubstantiation thing is just plain creepy and ew.
This also gives me a chance to throw out two of my favorite atheist quotes. The first from Isaac Asimov,
"Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."Second,
— Isaac Asimov, in 1966 (quoted in Yours, Isaac Asimov, p. 316)
"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."The irony in all of this is that John Shook, from the Center for Inquiry of all places, wrote a piece how atheists are ignorant of religion and should mind or place in the debate since atheists can't really "know" religion. He opens his article with this gem,
— Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
Atheists are getting a reputation for being a bunch of know-nothings. They know nothing of God, and not much more about religion, and they seem proud of their ignorance.Ha! In your face John Shook! Epic fail. Not only on because he is utterly clueless in his statement, but also because it came out only a day before the Pew survey. Sweet!