I just wanted to say

The poll doesn’t say anything about intelligence.

I’ve known for a long time that I know more about the Bible and Christian theology that 95% of lay people. But it isn’t because I’m smarter, it’s only because it’s important to me.

I think, in a lot of cases, it’s intentional ignorance. They sense there’s something wrong with their religion in the face of our vast store of knowledge and lack of evidence for ANYTHING supernatural, but don’t want to face it–they deem being part of an organized religion as necessary to fit in. I see it in my own family. My mother once said she believed because she wanted to believe, which is what “faith”, as the church uses it, comes down to. She gets 10 points for honesty and -10 points for hypocrisy.

I think the most honest answer is simply this: “I don’t care; it’s too complicated to learn extensively myself, I don’t trust my own judgement in examination, I’m quite happy with what I have, and it feels true enough.”

I think that would sum up most people that simply don’t bother checking further on any given faith.

But ultimately; I would place the fault on the religions themselves as an organized system of instruction.
It’s worth noting that the Jewish and Mormon religions favored close to the same levels of knowledge about their own faith and other faiths as the atheist and agnostics.

This is because these two religions spend a large amount of time, starting very young, teaching about other religions so that their adherents can understand better what it is that their religion is.

Many protestant and orthodox Christian forms do not have a culture of doing this.
Instead, simple dismissal is often the practice (or just straight wrong; the information I recall learning regarding Mormonism in Church was absolutely terribly inaccurate to what I learned personally from taking part in Mormonism).

Hey stumps,

FYI: I initially thought you were being sarcastic, but then for some reason got turned round by the mechanic example… in short, seems I’ve become emoticon-dependent. :unamused:

A relevant personal irony to your above note about religions not providing a comparative context: in the roman catholic diocese through which I received my catechism in the 70s, there was something of an emphasis placed on “world religions”, which was especially interesting when vetted through my freshly ex-nun’d religion teacher (who drove a convertible purple challenger with a rag for a gas cap), …to keep it short, the experiment was short-lived, and a much greater adherence to promulgating the one and only true apostolic faith recaptured the vogue after I left… but it provided me a great foundation for my own future faith perspective.

As I now continue on living without a precast metaphysical template by which to sieve reality, I do find myself at times oddly jealous of the Religiously Religious, possessed as they are with a structure of well assayed assurance. Even when accompanied with but an inadequate understanding of such structure, the mere belief that such a machination actually prevails does, no doubt, allow one to speak with a sense of authority which is otherwise impossible to reflect. Alas, though, I yet find comfort in my explicit inadequacy, assured as I am that my intelligence is about as meaningful as my capacity to relate to the persons who accompany me through this one-way ride. Pre-packaged programming, though existentially seductive, is less than amenable to an ongoing diversity of social relationships, imho. It affects one’s emotional intelligence. Such, I think, is where postsecular humanism/atheism-identity has yet to find a way to document itself: promoting the thought of … aw shit, I’m babbling… :shifty:

Knowledge of the Bible and Chritian tenets is fine. Implementation of those two things are of greater importance when tempered with wisdom and prayer. Faith is the crux of most religious organizations. Not everyone will utilize those attributes with the same measure. Being on the same page varies with locale and interpretation. It even seems Jesus has differences of status with believers.

Don’t get me wrong here; how can anyone expect every person to learn as much as some of us around here have taken the time to learn?
It’s really life consuming and not everyone is really interested in that.
They simply want a faith and nothing more.

There’s nothing wrong with that; my original point was that it’s obvious, however, that someone that studies a great deal is going to know more on a subject than someone that does not.
That’s true with any subject matter though.

In fact; pretty much everything I’ve written is true with any subject matter; not just religion.

Someone can know next to jack all about Leonardo da Vinci, but they can still take a life’s worth of ambition from one of his works…even if they don’t know one shred about him or the piece they are looking at.

One thing for sure , PT presents a most challenging view .complicated situation… I can’t understand it .I’m trying

What is this vast knowledge and lack of evidence that gives one a sense of wrongness of their religion?

Vast knowledge ? in a world of experts ? how do you get an expert in elephants to relate to an expert in the soap industry?

We used to play this game when we were kids . you say a word and I say a word that’s totally unrelated .this was like a mocking of psychoanalysis. Bar of soap , cross eyed , elephant , humpty

;lack of evidence ? the darn thing about the evidence it all points to providential mover. can’t get around that darn thing . PT seems to have done. beat all the experts .

I love my mother too. she was my god when I was child. mother knew everything and knew it best.her only draw back was my father . she liked him when she should only like me. when I was boy I used to get angry and grab my father legs and bite his knee . he is like shoo , beat it boy scram.he is trying to walk and i am holding to his leg biting away. .lol

I want to believe . what a statement ?. she got you so good .

does feel right to be a misfit?

supposing vast knowledge and lack fo evidence , so what ? I don’t see any relation to my religion being wrong . .

The people come to me I tell them oh yes I do believe I tell them. but when it comes to green dollar i have no religion. in god we trust the rest in cash if you please. I’m a man of deep religious beliefs. hey I’m not kidding I’m. . where is my money you vain glorious infidel?

who is the hypocrite ? the one who calls or the one who is called ? it think it’s the former most of the time.

hey here is million dollars . start praying . you are man of religion now . hey guys form a line. one at a time please . i was kidding . i just wanted to say . you know just want to say .

It’s one thing to be a hypocrite with others (saying you believe when you’re really just a materialist and don’t care about religious belief), even though that can weigh heavily on your psyche. You can at least partially excuse yourself if the issue is self preservation.

But it’s another to fool yourself, which I believe many people do. How can that not lead to the poor mental health of neurosis at least?

I really don’t know if you meant the layman version of neurotic, meaning overanxious in some fashion, or if you meant that people literally become a hypochondriac, or neurasthenic; that they become filled with anxiety, depression, insecurity, and fears irrationally, but do so without psychosis (delusions or hallucinations) from believing in something without amateur academic analysis of their faith.

I was thinking the dictionary definition: a mental and emotional disorder that affects only part of the personality, is accompanied by a less distorted perception of reality than in a psychosis, does not result in disturbance of the use of language, and is accompanied by various physical, physiological, and mental disturbances (as visceral symptoms, anxieties, or phobias)

Primarily being irrational, while not having a completely distorted perception of reality, as with psychosis. I imagine we all have our delusions, but the most rational will choose reality when forced to make such a choice.

My two cents–
First I do not see this forum as ultraconservative. In what other forum could a physicalist such as I be given the space to preach? Stumps, your tolerance or acceptance of my outlook speaks volumes about fair-handed treatment of contoversial issues.
The PEW (P.U.) discussion brought out the worst in us. What we should be asking is why that happened.
What we may have read or researched is not nearly as important as is how we believe what we want or need to believe. I’ve seen much academic exegesis embroiled in bias and self-substantiation at the expense of common sense or any hope of resolving religious or philosophical differences. The PEW thread exemplified this.

Would you work on your on heart, or be your own lawyer or be your own mechanic to an expensive car or other vehicle? How about would you make you own clothes or build your own home to specs. Or better yet can you do these things? there are specialties in life we depend upon others to learn things so that we who do not have time to learn it can still have the knowledge when we need it. I would rather buy my clothes than take the time to learn or even make them. Same with the others. Others depend upon my training so they do not have to learn. People trust their religious leaders the way you would trust your doctor, lawyer or mechanic. Put some perspective in this , religious texts take a long time to really read and gain some understanding. Thats why they have schools for it. People trust what they are told by their religious leader not from laziness but from habit or meme or just lack of time to actually study. A pastor is not any different from a doctor in that respect. We all have limited time and we all have our specialties. we need specialists to save us time and effort that can be better used elsewhere. Its not laziness but, need.

While I can certainly think of two people right off that fit this description, and I can think of one congregation that is questionable in promoting this concept; to be honest; out of my whole life, I can’t think of many that fit this description.
Maybe they would in a pulled out view during times of hysterical public contest, but on a personal one to one level; I’ve found most people to hold their religion for merited reasons.

My Great Grandmother In-Law holds some views that are VERY frustrating about history, and we’ll get into it at times because her view is just sometimes so very, very skewed from reality.
But this isn’t a result of her religion; this is a result of her era, her stubbornness, and her intelligence.
She’s smart, she’s from the 30’s when history was not nearly as wide open as it is today, and she’s incredibly stubborn to changing anything she learned from back then without an amazing amount of information.

That all said; is she harmful, or problematic?
Not at all; she’s one of the brightest and sweetest ladies you can find.

Now, I’ve definitely come across a couple people that take their skewed views of history far too far to the point where I can’t even bother to start talking to them because I already know where that conversation would go and it’s not a good one.
But in all honesty; that always struck me as people that were that was because of their own merit and would be regardless of their religion.

There may be a study out there that finds such people are more likely to be attracted to religion; just as there is a study that has shown specific enlargements in certain parts of the brain cause people to be attracted to cult or patriotic extremist following; but I wouldn’t say that this is exactly the consequence of religious people not learning something.

It’s more a consequence of people being people.
The general mass population knows little on much of anything; as ye olde Jay Leno shows loved to show.

Hell, In my line of work; I daily talk to someone that doesn’t understand:
A) What a “power cord” refers to.
B) What “On” looks like on an electronic device.
C) That a power outage stops cable television service too.
D) That the internet doesn’t work during a power outage.
E) That we can’t make service work for them if their outside line was cut by a lawnmower or chewed through by a dog.
F) That State Wide refers to including their city, and yes, their street in that city, in that same State.
G) That not being aware of what your bill is doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay it.
H) That “unplug the power cord” is not “too technical” of a request (anymore than a vacuum cleaner).
I) That “that little box” needs to be plugged in.
…and a slew of other similar things.

I am regularly shown daily that in general; people are quite stupid on a bell curve.
But I’d say that’s just people in general; I wouldn’t say that each of these is consequence of religious devotion neglecting reality.

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: That last part reminds of some of our old custumers with lawn sprinklers.

To have you lawn sprinklers go off automatically, yes, you need a timer.

The timer does not have lights on? Do you have power on at your house? Or Is the timer plugged in?

No it does have to have wires run to the valves to make it work and yes you have to have valves.

No we don’t accept food stamps for installing a sprinkler system to your vegie garden(Good try though).
No we do not attach it to your hose nor to your faucet.
Yes it can be manually shut off by that shut off valve we just showed you.

Some of these came from people with degrees
Gotta love it: people can make great conversation starters :laughing: :laughing:

The difference between doctor/lawyer/mechanic and a preacher/religious leader, is the preacher relies on faith. And further, he tells you to put your faith in what HE says or what some prophet from ancient times said, or in some completely unlikely miracle. What’s the difference in, say, between the resurrection and the face of Jesus on a grilled cheese sammich? Time, and only time, which somehow is translated to authority, with all that time to just give it a sense of mystery–which has nothing to do with authenticity.

Isn’t she harmful, at least to herself? And doesn’t she and people like her perpetuate that harm down through the generations, passing on her stubbornness and resistance to new knowledge, reason and change–change which the church resists with all its might in the face of an enormous amount of new information. Faith should be an emotional support of a belief (courage, loyalty, desire), not the belief itself–which, without the ability to adapt (and the false foundations which are unadaptive in the first place), all “revealed” religions become; blind faith.

PT Humans don’t look for authentic they look for convienence. If someone claims to have translated a lost language and they have some background in something that lends credence to that claim, humans will by and large accept that translation. We have to because we lack the time to do it ourselves, to learn it ourselves. Religious leaders don’t have to be authentic they just have to know how to con, or convince that they know what that religious text means. Its so much more convienent for those that follow.