Thursday, September 30, 2010

"I gave a Bible to my daughter. That’s how you make atheists.”

On the surface, the NYT story that says many Americans are stumped about religion is a story about religion. But it's really a story about how educating yourself makes you more informed. Go figure.
People are willing to suspend facts for belief when the belief makes them feel better. We kind of see that everyday now. It would be great if people practiced religion the way it was intended instead of preaching to others and living like a hypocrite.
Some people think you can't have morality without religion and for some people that's true, so I'm all for whatever gets you through the night. On the other hand, religion seems to be the great divider, lending no sense of morality. Atheists often are no better. Many approach religion with such disdain and disrespect that they come off as self righteous as the religious believer.
“Even after all these other factors, including education, are taken into account, atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons still outperform all the other religious groups in our survey,” said Greg Smith, a senior researcher at Pew.

That finding might surprise some, but not Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, an advocacy group for nonbelievers that was founded by Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

“I have heard many times that atheists know more about religion than religious people,” Mr. Silverman said. “Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter. That’s how you make atheists.” NYT