Why do atheists know more about religion?
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24-04-2013, 01:41 PM
RE: Why do atheists know more about religion?
Kc is anomalous, yes.

But also, I'd say that one reason many atheists read up on religion (esp the one they were born into) is because they have more to lose by being an atheist than they would for remaining in their religion. Some people lose friends, family stops talking to them, etc., so they probably want to be really sure of what they do or don't believe.
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24-04-2013, 02:21 PM
RE: Why do atheists know more about religion?
Religion was a major part of my life for four decades. I studied it. I accepted it. I internalized it. I preached it. I married within it. I tortured myself when that marriage failed, and sought solace in my religion (even though I believed my divorce was irreconcilable with my faith). I argued about it. I defended my faith. And finally, I rejected it with cause -- not blind rebellion, but open-eyed realization. Do I know religion better than the religious do? I would never say that, generally speaking. But I know what's wrong with it better than the religious do.
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24-04-2013, 03:15 PM
RE: Why do atheists know more about religion?
There is a great quote (similar to what Vosur said in post #2) that goes something like; the best argument against the bible is to actually read it. Damned if I can find it.
Anyone.....?

Or perhaps I'm misremembering and actually quoting Vosur now? That wouldn't surprise me.

"Which is more likely: that the whole natural order is suspended, or that a jewish minx should tell a lie?"- David Hume
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26-04-2013, 06:33 AM
RE: Why do atheists know more about religion?
Because people who identify as atheist (as opposed to "none") are sending a specific political message about the religious. The nones don't care, but the atheists do. Anyone who calls themselves an atheist has probably done their research. If you average out the atheist and the none figures the percentage falls to around the same level as the protestant group[1].
[Image: religious-knowledge-02.png]

[1] http://www.pewforum.org/U-S-Religious-Kn...urvey.aspx

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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25-05-2013, 02:12 PM
RE: Why do atheists know more about religion?
(27-03-2013 05:20 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Because learning more about religion is precisely what causes many deconversions. Wink

I'm ok with you. That is why I think to deconvert myself.
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25-05-2013, 06:32 PM
RE: Why do atheists know more about religion?
Count me with amyb and the rest for whom the more they knew, the less sense it made. I read a lot anyway, especially when interested in a subject, and I got interested in this since everyone said it's so important. I came to the opposite conclusion than most where I live. There are no doubt Christians here who know more about their religion than I do, but most non-clergy Christians I know are unaware of the (lack of) historical beginnings, such as when the gospels were written, when Paul wrote, that he and the disciples were likely not the names under which they wrote, etc. Not that it bothers them much if I point this out because...ya gotta have faith, or don't confuse them with the facts. I like facts,so I know more. I had to in order to make an informed decision, quite the opposite of ya gotta have faith. I read, therefore I know more. And believe less.

Godless in the Magnolia State
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09-09-2013, 12:03 PM
RE: Why do atheists know more about religion?
(27-03-2013 05:20 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Because learning more about religion is precisely what causes many deconversions. Wink

This. My turn from faith was exactly because of this. I was raised in a devout christian household. Unquestioning, unexamined faith was expected. I went to VBS, Christ Camp, Church 3 times a week, etc.

In my teens, something strange happened, I met an atheist that I became good friends with. Up until this point, all atheists were to be shunned and prayed for. I started having friendly debates about religion with him. (seriously, there was never any name calling or shouting) I got my ass handed to me regularly. Every time I'd recite some talking point my pastor had fed me, he had a rebuttal that I couldn't refute. I decided it wasn't because he was right, it was because I didn't know enough about the Bible to properly argue. So I prayed and began studying the scriptures in earnest. I was convinced that all I needed to win him over was more knowledge and the power of God behind me.

This is when things really started to fall apart. I studied and researched as much as I could find. The internet was still new then, so I read every book I could that supported Christianity. I found almost nothing new that supported Christianity. I'd heard all the "good" arguments that were pro-religion. All of the new information that I did manage to find either contradicted itself or was terribly faulty logic, hearsay, or "testimonial".

I felt my faith slipping. I felt the seeds of doubt germinating in my head. I prayed. I prayed until I cried and then I prayed some more. I begged God to remove this evil that had rooted in my brain. To cleanse the terrible shame that my doubt had placed on my soul.

More knowledge. I knew I needed it. I had been told so many times that only true knowledge comes from God and that gaining knowledge would only strengthen my faith. My pastor even gave me some resources to read. I poured over them, re-read the Bible cover to cover, attended more religious events. My faith continued to decline.

I thought I was broken.

It was several years later while I was doing more research that I caught myself actively refuting the arguments in favor of God. It was a kick in the face. I literally sat there stunned, thinking "Do I even believe in God anymore?" Even more stunning was the fact that I was no longer mortified by simply forming the question. I didn't feel guilty about questioning my faith as I had in the past. For the first time, I could be honest with myself.

I could feel the cognitive dissonance evaporating, like a cloud in my mind that was beginning to dissipate. I began to see the wonders of the universe in a different, clearer light. No longer was the filter of "God's Majesty" coloring my thoughts. I could pose questions I once thought would bring God's wrath down on my head. No longer did I fear judgement by a divine being.

I wish I could say that it was that moment that I completely turned from religion, but indoctrination's grasp on me was strong. I struggled for several years after that, dabbling in different denominations and churches. In the back of my mind there was still the part of me that needed religion.

I can't put an exact date or time on when I finally fully accepted myself as an atheist. I can't point to a single episode that finally removed the last bit of superstition. All I know for certain is that a sunset is ever more beautiful now that I know that god didn't do it.

Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense. You're just not keeping up.

"Let me give you some advice, bastard: never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." - Tyrion Lannister
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