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Author Topic: American Religious Knowledge  (Read 5612 times)

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Offline DarklingAlice

Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2010, 05:51:34 PM »
I have no interest in debating atheist and religious beliefs in this thread and do not understand why someone has decided to do so.  My own post offers a theory to support and interpret the result of this survey and that theory is an established one.  I also provided alternative, non-religious examples to support my observations and interpretations.  Please do not toss me into the same arena as someone that offers no backing or theoretical basis for their arguments.
I was actually taking offense at your needless personal characterizations of Salamander that partake of ad hominem and serve absolutely no purpose in your argument. Religion is a passionate subject, but that sort of thing tends to be inflammatory and completely unhelpful. You are each offering a hypothesis (and since neither of you has evidence I don't see that either has a stronger base). Actually hypotheses concerning two separate parts of the theory. You are speaking to why Christians know so little about other religions. Salamander is talking about how little they know about their own.

As for your comments about the survey:
Further illustration of this point can be found in politics.  The amount of American people that know anything about foreign policies is laughable at best.  Americans do not know the presidents, leaderships structure or political appointments of many other countries including their neighbors.  Other countries though know who the president of the United States is and a lot of times also know the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and Speaker of the House.  Why?  Because Americans feel as if they are on top and have no need to know what is going on “beneath” them.  The influence of the United States causes other countries to be aware of the leadership in the United States and so they learn out of necessity.

The numbers really aren’t surprising at all and certainly aren’t a reflection of blissful ignorance.
I do think there is some merit in this theory in explaining why Christians do not know much about world religion, however it fails to account for the poor performance of Christians on the questions of Biblical knowledge and questions concerning the history of Christianity (e.g. founder of the Reformation, salvation through faith, the names of the four gospels, etc). As presented here. It seems that most Christians are as ignorant about their religion as most Americans are about their own politics (also from the study: only 59% of those surveyed can correctly name the Vice President <_<). What explanation would you give to this?

Offline Trieste

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Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2010, 05:52:37 PM »
I don't want to have to lock this thread because people are arguing about not arguing. Step back, take a breath, go back to chattering about the survey.

Thanks.

Offline Salamander

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Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2010, 06:23:32 PM »
To comment on what DarklingAlice says:

It seems to me that its easy enough to explain why believers of one faith should know very little about other religions. If you really honestly believe that your particular religion is the revealed truth, then there isn't much of an incentive to investigate the alternatives- these are at best inferior or garbled versions of your own faith, and at worst the work of the forces of darkness. However, there is (at least on the surface) a huge incentive to find out about your own religion- its the revealed truth, after all, and the path to bliss in the afterlife. So why Christians know so little about Christianity is precisely the sort of question that needs explaining.

I agree that my cognitive dissonance hypothesis is just that- a hypothesis. Its consistent with the facts, and its based on a well supported theory in Psychology. There may be alternative hypotheses which also fit the facts and have theoretical support, but I must confess that I can't think of any right now.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2010, 06:38:53 PM »
I return what is given to me which I consider Salamander’s response to be inflammatory.  Take notice that his explanation of his position made two posts later is better thought out, more concise and far more illuminating regarding his view point.  He did not need to begin calling people ignorant to make his point regarding cognitive dissonance.  Also I did propose the application of this theory to the reason why Christians would not know as much about their own religion as others.

The problem with using cognitive dissonance here is that within the article it states that those who attend services weekly and consider religion important to their lives scored higher.  Following the train of thought that Salamander has proposed this should be opposite.  Also note that on questions focused on Christianity, Mormons scored the highest followed by white evangelicals.  Atheists scored the highest overall on the questions, but not on those particular to Christianity.  Also note that Mormons scored only one point lower than Atheists.  That a religious group would be that close to follow behind Atheists should be a surprise if using this theory for framework.

The greatest predicator, according to the article, is education level not religious affiliation.  Religious affiliation should have an inverse relationship with these scores if cognitive dissonance was evident, making it a larger predicator.  Also for Cognitive Dissonance to be of use here, there would have to be information about how other religions cope with their beliefs in order to reduce the dissonance. 

Offline Avis habilis

Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2010, 07:11:27 PM »
Pro tip: "he started it!" won't fly.

Play nice.

Offline Salamander

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Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #30 on: October 01, 2010, 07:50:11 AM »

The problem with using cognitive dissonance here is that within the article it states that those who attend services weekly and consider religion important to their lives scored higher.  Following the train of thought that Salamander has proposed this should be opposite.  Also note that on questions focused on Christianity, Mormons scored the highest followed by white evangelicals.  Atheists scored the highest overall on the questions, but not on those particular to Christianity.  Also note that Mormons scored only one point lower than Atheists.  That a religious group would be that close to follow behind Atheists should be a surprise if using this theory for framework.

The greatest predicator, according to the article, is education level not religious affiliation.  Religious affiliation should have an inverse relationship with these scores if cognitive dissonance was evident, making it a larger predicator.  Also for Cognitive Dissonance to be of use here, there would have to be information about how other religions cope with their beliefs in order to reduce the dissonance.

Church attendance is an obvious extraneous variable here. The more someone attends church, the more sermons they hear, so the more religious knowledge they get. I agree that in order to validate the cognitive dissonance hypothesis- or indeed any hypothesis that attempted to explain the survey results- you'd need additional research. For example, the cognitive dissonance hypothesis would predict that believers would avoid learning about certain inconvenient sections of the Bible (e.g. the parts that detail David's divinely-mandated massacre and rape spree through the Holy Land). Thats something that could be investigated, but in practice its unlikely to happen.

Offline Oniya

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Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #31 on: October 01, 2010, 09:47:14 AM »
From personal experience (and by extension, the experience of the entire parish I used to live in), there are certain parts of the Bible that the average church-goer does not get exposed to.  I attended two churches from before 'the age of reason' (somewhere under 7 - I remarked on all the 'plus signs' in the church) until after I moved out of my parents' home.  I did take the effort to read the Bible on my own, and a large volume of those 'inconvenient' sections (as well as a large number of Psalms, many of the heroic stories like Ruth and Esther, and some if the interesting imagery in Song of Solomon, Ezekiel, and Revelations) just isn't mentioned in the course of the year. 

Unless the parishioner takes the initiative to read it on their own, they won't hear about it.  It's not that the average believer avoids learning about it, but more that they haven't been spoon-fed it.  I can't speak on how many of the other parishioners had actually read the Bible cover to cover, but the pastor didn't go out of his way to mention these sections.

Offline Salamander

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Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #32 on: October 01, 2010, 10:31:43 AM »
Thanks Oniya, thats really very interesting. Having never been a believer, its the sort of thing that I'd have no way of knowing without being told.

From what you've said it sounds as if theres a sort of collective cognitive dissonance at work here. Christian churches only emphasise certain parts of the Bible and the bits that get omitted include the inconvenient sections. None of which is in the least bit surprising.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2010, 11:19:09 AM »
This would be supported by the study results showing that a minority of Christians are capable of identifying Job. Most likely due to less emphasis on the Old Testament, and less emphasis on the more difficult portions of the text. I can't recall if the study specifically examines those who attend church regularly but do not read the bible vs. those who read the bible regularly but do not attend church. I imagine those would be telling demographics.

Online TheVillain

Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2010, 11:51:53 AM »
Just throwing that I used to be a fundie myself, then went Apathiestic/Atheist. I still get a chuckle out of people who claim "Atheists would all convert to Christianity if they actually read the Bible", when I know far more people who went Atheist because they actually read the Bible then people I knew who were Atheists that converted after reading it.

Offline Shoshana

Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2010, 03:52:02 PM »
I took the 15 question version of the test and got 100%. So another Jew gets a good score, lol. But I majored in Comparative Religion--so it would have been really pathetic if I'd missed any of these questions. :P

I wonder what happens when you get multiple identites, however? If you're a Jewish atheist, did you have to choose one identity or the other?  ???

Meanwhile, I agree that this should have been a more comprehensive test, with more questions not only on Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, but also on contemporary Paganism, Sikhism, Taoism, Shinto, Baha'i, etc. It's a big world out there, religiously speaking.



Offline Trieste

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Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2010, 03:56:49 PM »
I got 14 out of 15 correct, but that was only because I forgot that the Jewish sabbath actually begins on Friday. >.>

Offline Shoshana

Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #37 on: October 01, 2010, 04:57:09 PM »
I got 14 out of 15 correct, but that was only because I forgot that the Jewish sabbath actually begins on Friday. >.>

Yeah--Judaism measures days from sundown to sundown. So today is a holiday called Simchat Torah--but it started last night at sundown, and it will end this evening as we usher in Shabbat (the Sabbath) around sundown.

Sometimes you'll hear Jews call Friday night 'erev Shabbat.' And last night was 'erev Simchat Torah.' ('Erev' translates, more or less, into 'evening of.' )

So since we're so close to sundown, I can officially wish you a 'Shabbat shalom'--a peaceful Sabbath.  ;)
 

« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 05:13:30 PM by Shoshana »

Offline Trieste

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Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2010, 05:12:02 PM »
Yes'm. I was aware of that, and seem to vaguely recall being told that each day of Chanukah is celebrated right after sundown for that reason.

Offline Lilias

Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2010, 05:27:42 PM »
I got 14 as well, missing the one about teachers being allowed to read from the Bible as literature (I hadn't read this thread or links in over a day, so no cheating). All one big shrug, actually. I'm not in the US, so I don't have to know what applies in religious practice there.

Also, I'm Eastern Orthodox, and I didn't expect to see that represented in the sample. Frankly, I'm getting sick of used to having to tick 'Other' when the issue crops up.

Offline Shoshana

Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #40 on: October 01, 2010, 05:33:04 PM »
Also, I'm Eastern Orthodox, and I didn't expect to see that represented in the sample. Frankly, I'm getting sick of used to having to tick 'Other' when the issue crops up.

Yeah, I can see how that would get annoying.  :-(

Like I said above, this little quiz isn't nearly comprehensive enough. But at least it knows that there are Catholic Christians and Protestant Christians! It doesn't know that there are any different kinds of Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, or Hindus. And it doesn't know that Pagans, Sikhs, etc exist!

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #41 on: October 01, 2010, 05:43:05 PM »
No Salamander that’s not an extraneous variable.  The survey is a correlation survey which means that the survey is trying to find if two variables have a relation.  The strongest variable relation was found to be education level, not religious attendance.  This does not fit into cognitive dissonance since, as I pointed out, there should be an inverse relationship.  Religious attendance is not an extraneous variable but one of the variables being tested in the correlation study.  Also there is still the item of Mormons and Evangelicals scoring the highest on the Christian section of the survey.

 As much as you like Oniya’s personal account, you are leaping to an assumption that you have demonstrated is part of your bias.  Saying that is probably cognitive dissonance at work here is speculation at best.  If 95% of the Christian world (in truth for cognitive dissonance to really work this would have to be the religious world) is suffering from cognitive dissonance then why is the Bible printed in its current form?  The Bible is an edited work with several sections missing.  The Catholic Church continually reviews sections of the Bible to be included or removed.  Cognitive dissonance would suggest that people would welcome the editing of the Bible so as to reduce their dissonance.

Throwing around a scientific term or theory to explain your bias does not make the bias seem any better.

Offline Salamander

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Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #42 on: October 01, 2010, 06:17:11 PM »
No Salamander that’s not an extraneous variable.  The survey is a correlation survey which means that the survey is trying to find if two variables have a relation.  The strongest variable relation was found to be education level, not religious attendance.  This does not fit into cognitive dissonance since, as I pointed out, there should be an inverse relationship.  Religious attendance is not an extraneous variable but one of the variables being tested in the correlation study.  Also there is still the item of Mormons and Evangelicals scoring the highest on the Christian section of the survey.

As I'm sure you know, whether a variable is extraneous or not depends on the hypothesis that is being tested. In the context of the cognitive dissonance hypothesis that I put forward, church attendance is very clearly an extraneous variable.

 
Quote
As much as you like Oniya’s personal account, you are leaping to an assumption that you have demonstrated is part of your bias.  Saying that is probably cognitive dissonance at work here is speculation at best.  If 95% of the Christian world (in truth for cognitive dissonance to really work this would have to be the religious world) is suffering from cognitive dissonance then why is the Bible printed in its current form?  The Bible is an edited work with several sections missing.  The Catholic Church continually reviews sections of the Bible to be included or removed.  Cognitive dissonance would suggest that people would welcome the editing of the Bible so as to reduce their dissonance.

I'm not leaping to any assumptions that I've demonstrated anything at all. As I made clear in my previous posts, additional research would be required to reach any sort of conclusion on this one. As for the Bible- its been its current form for an awfully long time (since the 5th century, in fact), and of course its also regarded as a holy text, so changing it would hardly be practicable. On the other hand, many Christian organizations publish selected excerpts from the Bible for the edification of believers. It would be interesting to know which particular sections of the Bible are used the most often. Similarly, it would be interesting to know which sections are most often used in sermons.

Offline Oniya

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Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #43 on: October 01, 2010, 06:40:40 PM »
As much as you like Oniya’s personal account, you are leaping to an assumption that you have demonstrated is part of your bias.  Saying that is probably cognitive dissonance at work here is speculation at best.  If 95% of the Christian world (in truth for cognitive dissonance to really work this would have to be the religious world) is suffering from cognitive dissonance then why is the Bible printed in its current form?  The Bible is an edited work with several sections missing.  The Catholic Church continually reviews sections of the Bible to be included or removed.  Cognitive dissonance would suggest that people would welcome the editing of the Bible so as to reduce their dissonance.

Also, I did put out there that my personal experience in church doesn't reflect what people may or may not have read of the Bible at home.  I suspect that with what we used to call 'C&E Catholics' (the ones that show up only for Christmas and Easter Mass), that effort isn't put forth.  The people that go in the middle of the week as well as on Saturday or Sunday are more likely to have read more, simply by being that wrapped up in their faith.  Then there's people like me who will read just about anything if it's handy and I've got nothing to do.  (This would probably fall under the education level correlation, seeing that there is a strong correlation between education level and reading for fun.)

What my anecdote does support is that the middle- to lower-ground of both variables (i.e., only religious enough to show up once a week if that, and not of the educational level to enjoy reading for reading's sake) are going to only experience what the pastor is putting out there.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #44 on: October 01, 2010, 08:16:42 PM »
First, you have not made a hypothesis.  You have not made a testable statement but instead attempted to take current information and fit that into a framework.  Second, the study is a correlational study which means that the study is attempting to find a relationship between different variables.  You do not get to throw one variable out simply because that variable does not fit into your framework.  Third if you are once more falling back to say that more studies would have to be done to prove your hypothesis, as you are calling the statement, then the hypothesis does not get applied as if factual.  In a sense you are just stating a guess and throwing some makeup on that guess to make the statement factual.

And Oniya, this is why personal accounts are not used in a study that is attempting to be objective.  Not enough information can be drawn from your account to make that sort of determiantion.  Subjective studies are used to develop a theory, whereas Salamander contends that he is supporting a current theory with a hypothesis.  A personal account does not do that and his statement is an assumption at that point.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #45 on: October 01, 2010, 08:58:18 PM »
First, you have not made a hypothesis.  You have not made a testable statement but instead attempted to take current information and fit that into a framework.  Second, the study is a correlational study which means that the study is attempting to find a relationship between different variables.  You do not get to throw one variable out simply because that variable does not fit into your framework.  Third if you are once more falling back to say that more studies would have to be done to prove your hypothesis, as you are calling the statement, then the hypothesis does not get applied as if factual.  In a sense you are just stating a guess and throwing some makeup on that guess to make the statement factual.

This is seriously wearying. They are both hypotheses, they are both testable, neither of them should "get applied as if factual" because they aren't. They are untested hypotheses. Neither can be asserted as truth or falsified without gathering more data. You have a vendetta against Salamander's hypothesis. Fine. Go prove yours. Without more evidence, continually belaboring the point that you don't agree with his theory is useless.

Offline Salamander

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Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #46 on: October 02, 2010, 06:19:15 AM »
This is seriously wearying. They are both hypotheses, they are both testable, neither of them should "get applied as if factual" because they aren't. They are untested hypotheses. Neither can be asserted as truth or falsified without gathering more data. You have a vendetta against Salamander's hypothesis. Fine. Go prove yours. Without more evidence, continually belaboring the point that you don't agree with his theory is useless.

Yes, this is getting tiring. As you say, my cognitive dissonance hypothesis is an untested hypothesis- I've never claimed otherwise. However, as you note it is a testable hypothesis. In fact, testing it would be relatively straightforward. Heres a very rough outline of how one might go about doing so:

Background: The phenomenon under consideration is the relatively poor knowledge of the Bible shown by Christians in the survey. One possible hypothesis for explaining this poor knowledge is cognitive dissonance. That is: consciously or (more likely) unconsciously, Christians actually avoid gaining Biblical knowledge, since such knowledge potentially undermines their faith. If this hypothesis is correct, then you'd expect Christians to particularly avoid gaining knowledge of certain problematic sections of the Bible- e.g. the Davidic conquest of Palestine, Jesus' negative comments regarding the family.

Design: The study would use 2 groups:
Group A- Christians who affirm that their beliefs are of great personal importance to themselves.
Group B- Christians who say that their beliefs are less important.

Matching the 2 subject groups would be tricky, because there are at least 2 major extraneous variables to worry about- church attendance and education. Matching for church attendance might be especially hard, but it wouldn't be impossible. You'd also have to match for the usual stuff- age, gender etc.

Both subject groups would be given a questionnaire testing Biblical knowledge. Some of the questions would relate to previously-identified 'problematic' Bible passages.

The primary hypothesis is that Group A would actually do worse on the test than Group B. A secondary hypothesis is that this would be especially marked when it came to knowledge of the 'problematic' passages. As is usual in these sort of things, there is a good chance that the results would be ambiguous. However, if Group A actually did better on the questions relating to 'problematic' passages, then the cognitive dissonance hypothesis would clearly be disconfirmed.


Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #47 on: October 02, 2010, 10:12:57 AM »
I will begin this post by giving an apology to those that have grown weary or tired of the discussion at hand.  While my behavior has not been up to the standards others would desire, I do not believe my points are any less important or valid.  There have been accusations that I have a vendetta against the “hypothesis” poised by Salamander.  This statement is untrue because I have no issue with cognitive dissonance, nor would I have an issue with a study that provided data to support the application of cognitive dissonance to the religious.  Where I take issue is in making a statement under the guise of science that has no basis in actual scientific data.  To say that a person of religious faith must place themselves into willful ignorance of their religion in order to properly function is a bold statement, even more bold without any evidence to back up this assertion.

Now I will hope to garner the reader’s attention once more in order to show that this is no evidence from this survey to uphold the use of cognitive dissonance.  Salamander was kind and diligent enough to setup a model to prove his point.  I would be remiss not to address and review the model.  Now the background statement discusses the survey data as the basis for this belief, in particular the lack of knowledge by Christians about their own religion.  This phenomenon that is described and illustrated by the survey does not actually exist.  Allow me to quote the article presented by the original poster, “On questions about Christianity, Mormons scored the highest, with an average of about eight correct answers out of 12, followed by white evangelicals, with an average of just over seven correct answers.”  Therefore, on questions determined by the survey creators to be focused on Christianity, two Christian denominations scored the highest.  Also note that the survey in question did not only ask questions related to the Bible and the article did not give indication about anyone’s knowledge of the Bible.

The second portion of the background maintains that a person belonging to a Christian religion will avoid Biblical knowledge in order to reduce dissonance in their lives.  Once more the survey contradicts this statement.  Allow me once more to quote from the article, “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.”  Salamander has asserted that this variable is extraneous, but I feel confident in reintroducing this variable since this is the independent variable utilized in the design of his experiment.  In the design Salamander does state a desire to separate the variables of church attendance and importance, but I feel safe in stating that the majority of people that mark religion as important in their lives will also mark a high attendance of weekly mass.  More than likely there is a positive correlation between the two.

The design portion is a comparison between two groups.  One that identifies itself as Christian with low importance for religion and one that identifies itself as Christians with high importance for religion.  All other variables being equal, a test is given to both groups with the scores being compared.  Once more though this is a correlation study where two variables are being compared to one another.  Those variables being importance of religion and Biblical knowledge.  In order to determine the cause for a lack of Biblical knowledge a causative experiment would have to be carried out.  Such an experiment may look similar to this.

Begin with a random sampling and introduce a lesson on several Biblical passages, including those believed to invoke dissonance.  Before playing the video check the heart rate of participants and also give them a questionnaire to determine religious affiliation and importance of religion in their lives.  Monitor heart rate during the lesson and then perform an exit questionnaire to inspect their knowledge of the material afterward, paying particular attention to the question believed to cause dissonance.  This is the control group.  Using this group will help evaluate the effectiveness of the lesson, the standard heart rate different during the lesson and the subsequent scores following the lesson.

Next focus on the independent variable of high religious affiliation and importance.  Repeat the study on this target group.  The hypothesis that lead to this experiment may look something like this.  A Christian stating a high importance of religion in their daily life will experience greater stress during portion of a Bible lesson containing portions thought to cause dissonance and subsequently will score lower on a questions regarding these portions. 

Granted the experiment is flawed and the hypothesis not exact, but the pair were concocted in about five minutes.  Specifics aside the model is sound since to prove cognitive dissonance is the reason for a lack of knowledge, that dissonance has to be introduced through an experiment.  The passages have to be determined to cause dissonance in the person, displayed as stress, and then the subject has to show an inability to recall the events or rationalize them.  Notice though that the hypothesis that would lead to this experiment, a causative one that is, does not involve the survey.

This is because Salamander did not state a hypothesis, but rather an inference.  He inferred a claim from the survey.  The inference is shown to be incorrect I believe for the previously stated reasons.  Salamander has also said that his “hypothesis,” now shown to be an inference hopefully, is not tested.  Continuing to use this inference or “hypothesis” is making a broad, general claim about a group of people with no basis in fact.  He is stereotyping at this point by saying that Christians are ignorant of their own religion.

Thank you for your attention and I hope this adheres to a higher standard of behavior and argument.

Offline Salamander

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Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #48 on: October 02, 2010, 10:47:40 AM »
Well, first of all its very good to read a constructive post from Pumpkin Seeds. The causal/ experimental investigation that is proposed in her post looks interesting, and many thanks to Pumpkin Seeds for taking the time to think it through. I think that if you wished to look at the dissonance issue properly, it would make sense to carry out something like her experiment and the kind of correlative study that I proposed. That way you'd be approaching things from 2 different angles. If both studies ended up producing results consistent with the dissonance hypothesis, then you'd be able to say something like:
a) - Individuals with strong religious beliefs experience stress when watching videos concerning certain types of Bible passage
AND
b) - Individuals with strong religious beliefs are less likely to be knowledgeable about those particular passages.

You'd then be able to reasonably postulate a link between a and b. If you only did the first study, you wouldn't be able to say what the consequences of the observed stress were. If you only did the second, then you wouldn't be able to say what the cause of the phenomenon was.

Pumpkin Seeds doesn't think that there is a phenomenon there to begin with, of course. I disagree, for reasons that I've aleady discussed. For me, the fact that atheists are more knowledgeable about Christianity than most groups of Christian is something that needs to be explained, and I personally don't find the explanation that its just a matter of education very plausible. I'm quite happy to admit that I may be wrong here; unfortunately, in the absence of further information its impossible to say one way or the other.

Offline Will

Re: American Religious Knowledge
« Reply #49 on: October 02, 2010, 01:24:15 PM »
It really seems like you're trying to find a phenomenon where there isn't one, Salamander.  Even in the OP, it was stated that the difference between the results of atheists/agnostics and Mormons isn't even statistically significant.  Furthermore, it was stated in the article that those who considered religion more important in their lives did better.  Is there really a need for an explanation here?  More "casual" Christians obviously just don't take the time to delve deeper, and so they did more poorly. 

You're putting forth a hypothesis that has already been disproven in the article in question. O.o

Well, first of all its very good to read a constructive post from Pumpkin Seeds.
Also, this is really, really unnecessary.