Skip

They’re more open-minded, but here’s the thing: They’re no less faithful.
August 11, 2011 8:37 PM   Subscribe


 
Stab in the dark at an explanation, as a religious or spiritual person who considers himself fairly educated: religiosity tends to go up with age, as does educational attainment.
posted by Apropos of Something at 8:44 PM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


“If it’s simply attending religious services, then no. Highly educated people are not less religious; in fact, they’re more religious.”

“But if it’s saying the Bible is the literal word of God and saying that only one religion is the true religion, then they are less religious,” he continued.


Right. That's a pretty important distinction.
posted by empyrean at 8:45 PM on August 11, 2011 [24 favorites]


This study has insufficient historical scope. I want to know how much more or less religious I am than the ancient Greeks, considering how very much more educated I am.
posted by axiom at 8:45 PM on August 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have faith that this thread will go splendidly.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:49 PM on August 11, 2011 [22 favorites]


Right. That's a pretty important distinction.

It's not the faith that worries me, it's the blindness.
posted by 2bucksplus at 8:52 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess I would be curious to know whether more-educated people are more likely to go to church because they're more institutionally-affiliated in general and more likely to read the Bible because they read more in general.
posted by craichead at 8:54 PM on August 11, 2011


If I am gleaning this gibberish correctly, all the data appears to indicate is that religious views liberalize as education increases.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:56 PM on August 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Even assuming that this is true to some degree, I wonder if this is actually a consistent relationship. Because at the very high end - scientists, academics, etc. - we do know that rates of atheism skyrocket. And academics by definition are at the very highest end of educated. Something doesn't quite add up. At the very least, it would appear that at the highest end, the relationship reverses from what this study claims.
posted by VikingSword at 9:00 PM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Would I be correct in presuming that by 'people' they mean 'Americans'?
posted by pompomtom at 9:01 PM on August 11, 2011 [16 favorites]


It appears his "educational attainment" represents fairly ordinary people. We don't know if he has even covered graduate school, much less excluded theology graduate programs. Yes, there are easily enough theology grad students to destroy your sample.

Anecdotally, I've met exceedingly few STEM PhDs who confess any belief in god. Rigorously, all the National Academy of Sciences surveys have showed an extreme lack of religious belief at the real top end, i.e. the best of the best.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:02 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I look forward to reading the many attempts to argue (as one commenter in the article does) that the group in questions isn't really religious.

(And just to throw two cents in, educated != academics.)
posted by oddman at 9:03 PM on August 11, 2011


Michael Shermer's "Why People Believe Weird Things" is worth reading. People who consider themselves 'smart', as well as being more likely to believe in new age babble and being easy marks for magicians, tend to be better at coming up with articulate apologies for nonsensical things.
posted by joannemullen at 9:03 PM on August 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Here's some data:

"An international study has reported positive correlations between levels of education and not believing in a deity,[143] and the EU survey finds a positive correlation between leaving school early and believing in a God.[141] A letter published in Nature in 1998 reported a survey suggesting that belief in a personal god or afterlife was at an all-time low among the members of the U.S. National Academy of Science, 7.0% of whom believed in a personal god as compared with more than 85% of the general U.S. population.[144] In contrast, an article published by The University of Chicago Chronicle that discussed the above study, stated that 76 percent of physicians believe in God, more than the 7% of scientists above, but still less than the 85% of the general population.[145] In the same year, Frank Sulloway of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Michael Shermer of California State University conducted a study which found in their polling sample of "credentialed" U.S. adults (12% had Ph.Ds and 62% were college graduates) 64% believed in God, and there was a correlation indicating that religious conviction diminished with education level.[146] An inverse correlation between religiosity and intelligence has been found by 39 studies carried out between 1927 and 2002, according to an article in Mensa Magazine.[147] These findings broadly agree with a 1958 statistical meta-analysis by Professor Michael Argyle of the University of Oxford. He analyzed seven research studies that had investigated correlation between attitude to religion and measured intelligence among school and college students from the U.S. Although a clear negative correlation was found, the analysis did not identify causality but noted that factors such as authoritarian family background and social class may also have played a part.[148]"

Please note that if you go to the link above, all the numbers in square brackets are references.

Bottom line: this is a single study, that seems to come to conclusions not really borne out by a mass of other research. I suspect the devil is in the methodological details.
posted by VikingSword at 9:05 PM on August 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


We don't know if he has even covered graduate school

You can probably find out by looking at the General Social Survey, which the article cites as the source of his figures.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:05 PM on August 11, 2011


This data comes from NORC, the National Opinion Research Center, the nation in question being the US.
posted by craichead at 9:06 PM on August 11, 2011


The OPs link is not to a study, it is to a press release about a study. It's completely useless. For all we know the sensational headline is complete bullpucky derived by cherry picking data.

Until we can see the study this is not worth the non-existent paper it is printed on.
posted by Justinian at 9:09 PM on August 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Would I be correct in presuming that by 'people' they mean 'Americans'?

Are there any other kind?

Just kidding, put down the pitch forks.
posted by doctor_negative at 9:09 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been an atheist since I was in second grade. Second grade in Catholic school.
posted by longsleeves at 9:10 PM on August 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


I have no idea what to think of this, but I don't think it's worth jumping up and down about. It doesn't prove anything about the existence of God either way.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:13 PM on August 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


this just in: Easter eggheads?
posted by thelonius at 9:13 PM on August 11, 2011


I've been an atheist since I was in second grade.

No offense, but second grade isn't all that educated.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:17 PM on August 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Are there any other kind?

Canadians are people too.
posted by madcaptenor at 9:23 PM on August 11, 2011


Cite?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:24 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


CNN. Heh.
posted by secondhand pho at 9:27 PM on August 11, 2011


There are apparently four thousand students affiliated with the American Presbyterian Church's official mission council at any given time. In other words, there are more graduate students in Presbyterian seminaries alone than in mathematics.

There will be vaguely similar numbers for many other evangelical and protestant denominations. There are roughly five thousand Roman Catholic seminary students in the U.S. at any given time. I think Rabis must start young, but they've other religious Jewish graduate programs. You should also add many students from various non-denominational religious graduate programs.

We're talking an awesome number of people shifted into some pretty rarified levels of "educational attainment" whom many here might want counted separately.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:29 PM on August 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


This seems very specifically focused on American Christians, which is a particularly narrow view of what it means to be religious.

But anyway...

Since the definition of "more religious" being used here is at least partially about "goes to church more often," I wonder if this is more of a class issue than an issue directly related to educational levels.

If you've got more education it's more likely that you'll be working a middle-class 9-5 and less likely you'll be working a job in, for example, retail; your job is less likely to require you to work weekends, meaning that you actually have the time to go to church.

Basically, it could be that Mr. College Education has Sundays off so he goes to church even though he doesn't necessarily believe that his religion is literally true. Mr. High School Graduate has to work at Wal-Mart on Sundays so he can't attend church even though his faith is stronger than that of Mr. College Education.
posted by asnider at 9:29 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's also the fact - mentioned in the article itself - that attendance of services does not necessarily correlate with belief. Educational level also tends to rise with salary and career. I suspect that some of the respondents view attending services in the "right" church or temple in the same manner as being in the right golf club: it's a means of social contact with an influential circle of people, as well as being the socially acceptable thing to do. In more conservative states - think Utah and Kansas - you're unlikely to go a week without being asked which church you attend, especially as the new hire in a company. Attendance of religious services becomes a social obligation, irrespective of belief.

You can also see this in elected politicians. There is one declared atheist in Congress. The numbers say that there should be far more: but the majority of representatives faultlessly attend services, because that's What They Are Expected To Do if they wish to be re-elected. That behavior sustains religion in America, and certainly its influence in American politics.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 9:32 PM on August 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


I know this isn't the reason, but wouldn't it make sense for the engineer with a $100k/year job that has nice benefits and some stability to believe in a benevolent God who loves him than the service jockey barely clearing $16k/year with three maxed credit cards, no vacation since 2007, and is known on sight at the pawn shop?

On average, life is better when you are educated. As much as a tough life may make one want to seek comfort in religion, it feels a natural fit to those who are safe, secure, and whose biggest fear really would be death.

Again, probably not entirely true and almost certainly not the reason, but it sure sounds right, doesn't it?
posted by Saydur at 9:36 PM on August 11, 2011


More educated what? YOU NEED A NOUN THERE.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 9:36 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is one declared atheist in Congress.

And even he self-identifies as a Unitarian, meaning that he probably attends religious services. As an atheist Unitarian myself, I certainly don't think there is anything wrong with that; I just find it interesting that even the (openly) atheist congressman is probably a churchgoer.
posted by asnider at 9:36 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Also, really, it should be "better educated." Suck on that, God.)
posted by evidenceofabsence at 9:39 PM on August 11, 2011


"This seems very specifically focused on American Christians, which is a particularly narrow view of what it means to be religious."

That's understandable, what with them saying that the correlation between educational attainment and faith predicts a move to "mainline Protestants." They're what's driving the numbers, at least according to this article, so while it's a normative bias for Christians, it's also fairly understandable for the data set of Americans.

As for your class argument, that doesn't seem to be a very decent predictor at all, and contains some weird assumptions about what real faith looks like.
posted by klangklangston at 9:41 PM on August 11, 2011


As for your class argument, that doesn't seem to be a very decent predictor at all

Why not? (Honestly, I'm asking; no snark intended.)

and contains some weird assumptions about what real faith looks like.

I think this is mostly a fault of poor wording on my part. I was trying to pull in the points that the article seems to be making about more educated people going to church more often while also having less conservative/literalist views on religion. So, an educated person who is less of a Biblical literalist might go to church more often than a less educated person who, despite going to church less often, has a more fundamentalist view of their religion of choice.

Does that make more sense?

I'm not saying that this is actually correct. I'm just trying to understand what the data might be revealing about the correlation between religiosity and education.
posted by asnider at 9:46 PM on August 11, 2011


More educated tend to be more religious, by some measures.

And terrorists tend to be engineers. Wait... was it the other way round?
posted by vidur at 9:50 PM on August 11, 2011


I've been an atheist since I was in second grade.

"No offense, but second grade isn't all that educated."

The dogma just sounded like bullshit to me, even then.
posted by longsleeves at 10:06 PM on August 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


His study will be published in an upcoming edition of the journal Review of Religious Research.

Peer review? Our journal is reviewed by THE ALMIGHTY GOD!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:20 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is probably better for MetaTalk, but can we not have mainstream media coverage of academic studies on the frontpage as single links?

It's almost a bigger issue when social science is involved. I don't really have any opinions about the message behind this post (or the CNN article it links to), other than "eh, I don't trust the summary in any way, shape, or form."

Without any backing from a serious source, I just want to ignore this entire thing.
posted by graphnerd at 11:27 PM on August 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you've got more education it's more likely that you'll be working a middle-class 9-5 and less likely you'll be working a job in, for example, retail; your job is less likely to require you to work weekends, meaning that you actually have the time to go to church.

There are few group experiences as energetic as the black church. I have only been to a few services but the massive churches are filled to the brim. And there certainly is a correlation between being Black, poverty and having less education (less than half of Black males graduate high school).
posted by munchingzombie at 12:17 AM on August 12, 2011


Anecdotally, I've met exceedingly few STEM PhDs who confess any belief in god.

This is anecdotal evidence, too, but I know significantly more PhDs in STEM subjects who evince religious beliefs or practices than I do in other fields, including people at the top of hard-science fields. I don't know why this is. Perhaps our contrasting anecdotal impressions show the need for more data, or else display problems with the terms of inquiry.

As others have said, there's considerable difference in the character of religious belief and practice among the highly-educated compared to the less educated, perhaps to the point that they have nothing in common. I'd be interested in seeing some research about religiosity among people who study religion - theologians, sociologists, anthropologists, textual critics of sacred texts and so forth. For example. it seems to be possible for some to consider themselves rigorously historical - scientific, even - in their understanding of the transmission of the Christian New Testament while also believing it has supernatural origins. Others want to debunk beliefs that they've inherited or that they see around them. But for others - and this is where we find the interesting grey-area that this study sort-of points to but doesn't comprehend - the process is a working-through, or a tacking back-and-forth between ideology and certain comfortable habits that may have accumulated over the years. I suspect that a lot of the "educated", "religious" people in this study find themselves in this position, too.
posted by GeorgeBickham at 12:48 AM on August 12, 2011


Would I be correct in presuming that by 'people' they mean 'Americans'?

Well...half right. They mean "Americans who answer polls".
posted by hal_c_on at 1:32 AM on August 12, 2011


Wait.

So does this mean...

If I get educated enough I can literally become God.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:09 AM on August 12, 2011


There was a letter to Nature published on this topic in 1998. it suggested religious belief declined amongst highly educated scientists, see here.
posted by biffa at 2:35 AM on August 12, 2011


"People with a prestigious quality tend towards a set of beliefs that I want to promote, provided that I lean towards favorable criteria."

Schwadel found that with each additional year of education:

– The likelihood of attending religious services increased 15%.


Yeah, the Unitarian/Universalist Church in the college town where I grew up was largely attended by professors and their families. Many, if not most of them, were self-admitted atheists who liked the sense of community and concern for social justice. At least in New England, the only people actually going to Christian churches besides Catholics are upper middle class liberals.

– The likelihood of reading the Bible at least occasionally increased by 9%.

The Bible is a foundation of Western Literature and shapes Western thought. The likelihood of reading Chaucer and Joyce probably increases by a much larger percentage.

– The likelihood of switching to a mainline Protestant denomination - Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian USA or United Methodist - increased by 13%.

When people become white-collar executives and academics, they distance themselves from perceived blue-collar religions like Catholicism and Evangelicalism? What a revelation! Of course, if we remove the class associations, it suggests that education actually deters people from the strict dogma of Catholicism and evangelical sects, making the educated LESS religious.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:52 AM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anecdotally, I've met exceedingly few STEM PhDs who confess any belief in god.

True, but in my experience it extends further than that; I've met very few PhDs (barring theologists) who confess any belief in god. As long as we're still talking Christianity here.
posted by ob at 4:00 AM on August 12, 2011


Some of this might depend on who they're counting as non-believers.

College-educated non-believers tend to identify themselves as atheists or agnostics, less educated non-believers tend to say something like "There might be something, but I don't believe in organized religion." Most of them are technically agnostics, but they don't identify themselves that way. On surveys they show up as simply "unaffiliated" or "don't know/didn't answer."

Based on my on personal experience, there are a lot of these "don't believe in organized religion" non-believers - most of the people I worked with when I worked in construction described themselves this way. I'm not sure why this difference exists. Perhaps higher education instills an insistence on labeling things. Perhaps some non-believers who emphasize rejecting religion see labeling themselves atheists or agnostics as too much like joining another religion. Maybe it's a matter of intellectual humility and being unwilling to claim that your own position is the correct one. Maybe it matters what religion you're rejecting.

According to the Pew Research Center, 16.1% of Americans are "unaffiliated," broken down into 1.6% atheists, 2.4% agnostics and 12.1% "nothing in particular." How many of these 'nothing in particulars' are committed Christians who are "unaffiliated" because they just moved recently and haven't joined a new congregation yet or are dissatisfied with their church, how many of them are non-believers who don't identify themselves as anything? We don't know, Pew didn't ask them. If you don't call yourself something, you just end up in the miscellaneous category.

The unpublished study the article refers to seems to primarily be relying on church attendance as a measure of religiosity. Counting religiosity this way would give you different results than counting atheists. And the General Social Survey asks more detailed questions about belief than most surveys. Their numbers for people who say they "don't believe" God exists or there's "no way to find out" are nearly double what Pew reports for self-labeled atheists and agnostics, so they do seem to be counting non-believers that other surveys miss.

(The General Social Survey also reports that about 9% of Americans say they believe a "higher power" of some kind but not God. I'm curious about who those people are.)
posted by nangar at 4:53 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


At least in New England, the only people actually going to Christian churches besides Catholics are upper middle class liberals.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, unless you're just talking about Caucasians. Some of the largest, most vital, and high growth congregations out my way are a Hispanic Catholic Church, several different African American Baptist congregations (attended by janitors all the way up to CEOs and state legislators, so can't be easily profiled as a "poor thing"), and even a couple budding "megachurches" that straddle the line between mainline and evangelical for middle class white folks. At least 4 different streets in my medium sized city are lined with small but vigorously healthy storefront churches as well.
posted by availablelight at 5:18 AM on August 12, 2011


Oh, and the largest Pentecostal churches here: Hispanic (they're not just Catholic).
posted by availablelight at 5:19 AM on August 12, 2011


Of course, if we remove the class associations, it suggests that education actually deters people from the strict dogma of Catholicism and evangelical sects, making the educated LESS religious.

The only people who believe that belief in a strict dogma is "more religious" are fundamentalists and atheists.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:24 AM on August 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


The likelihood of switching to a mainline Protestant denomination - Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian USA or United Methodist - increased by 13%.

Switching from what? There are certainly plenty of Baptists and Catholics around, as well as a host of smaller sects like Pentecostals. Switching from one of them to a more open-minded denomination might be considered becoming less religious in the eyes of some.

Also, the saying around here is that a Presbyterian is just a Baptist that went to college; an Episcopalian is a Baptist who drinks.
posted by TedW at 5:29 AM on August 12, 2011


More educated tend to be more religious, by some measures.
posted by selfmedicating


Someone has to say it: eponysterical.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:37 AM on August 12, 2011


If everyone here will send me 10% of their incomes, I will do two things:

1) Guarantee entrance to heaven.
2) Answer all your questions about what I want you to do.
2a) Try and get in your pants.

I do take credit cards.

Trust me. I am a man of god. Kinda sorta.
posted by FauxScot at 5:44 AM on August 12, 2011


“But there are a lot of atheists in the pews, or at least people who are not committed to and probably haven’t even thought about and examined carefully the religious views that are being expressed in that church.”

They're just avoiding the foxholes.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:47 AM on August 12, 2011


Having seen this article practically word-for-word already, the quantitative claims don't make sense to me from the abstract, and the abstract at least seems to be a bit more guarded it its clams.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:47 AM on August 12, 2011


I just find it interesting that even the (openly) atheist congressman is probably a churchgoer.

One word: Networking.

You want to get elected, you need votes. You want votes bad enough, you will leave no stone unturned.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:52 AM on August 12, 2011


Wrong, wrong, wrong, unless you're just talking about Caucasians.

Well, yes. I thought that was implicit. But regardless, you make a good point that growth churches for non-whites do not appear to be the Mainline Protestant churches outlined in the article. I don't know anything about the levels of higher education for the adherents, but that seems to be where the real action is.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:02 AM on August 12, 2011


The only people who believe that belief in a strict dogma is "more religious" are fundamentalists and atheists.

Yeah, sorry about that. When I think "more religious," I actually mean "more crazy." I forgot that it's not the standard definition.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:02 AM on August 12, 2011


I wonder what happens to the data if we cut out MBA's and business degrees in general.
posted by TrialByMedia at 6:03 AM on August 12, 2011


If I get educated enough I can literally become God.

Two old friends, a priest and a rabbi, are having lunch. The priest has some great news: his son has decided to follow in his father's footsteps and has become a deacon. The rabbi says:

"Ah, that's great! What would be next for him?"
"Well, after that, he could become a priest, as I am."
"Okay, and after that?"
"Well, I guess if he would want to continue into the church government, he could become a bishop."
"Okay, okay, after that?"
"Well, if he's very invested in it and wants to keep going, he could be an archbishop."
"I see. What about after that?"
"Well, if the pope values his work, he could be called to become a cardinal."
"I understand, and after that?"
"Well, if God himself smiles upon him, he could become the next pope, himself!"
"Okay, and after that?"
"What do you mean 'after that'?! What, you want him to become Jesus Christ himself?"
"...one of our boys made it."
posted by griphus at 6:22 AM on August 12, 2011 [10 favorites]


We're talking an awesome number of people shifted into some pretty rarified levels of "educational attainment" whom many here might want counted separately.

So, they'd advocate separating out supposedly tainted degrees because they are pursued within a religious context?

"The only people who believe that belief in a strict dogma is "more religious" are fundamentalists and atheists."

Amen.
posted by oddman at 6:42 AM on August 12, 2011


People who consider themselves 'smart', as well as being more likely to believe in new age babble and being easy marks for magicians, tend to be better at coming up with articulate apologies for nonsensical things.

This.

You see it on MeFi every time there comes a reason to denounce the "New Atheists." Lots of self-identified Christians who, upon interrogation, will admit that they don't literally believe in Heaven... or in the resurrection... or in miracles... or in prophecy. Basically Jesus was a cool dude, assuming he existed. Hey how dare you criticize Christianity?! Don't you know most Christians are like me?

As a kid, I knew a number of PhD+ scientists who were Orthodox Jews. To a person, they either compartmentalized (having a different set of mental processes about work and religion) or rationalized with the best of 'em (Bible Codes, Day-means-Era types.)
posted by callmejay at 6:46 AM on August 12, 2011


Abstract.
I challenge the scholarly contention that increases in education uniformly lead to declines in religious participation, belief, and affiliation. I argue that education influences strategies of action, and these strategies of action are relevant to some religious beliefs and activities but not others. Analysis of survey data shows that (1) education negatively affects exclusivist religious viewpoints and biblical literalism but not belief in God or the afterlife; (2) education positively affects religious participation, devotional activities, and emphasizing the importance of religion in daily life; (3) education positively affects switching religious affiliations, particularly to a mainline Protestant denomination, but not disaffiliation; (4) education is positively associated with questioning the role of religion in secular society but not with support for curbing the public opinions of religious leaders; and (5) the effects of education on religious beliefs and participation vary across religious traditions. Education does influence Americans’ religious beliefs and activities, but the effects of education on religion are complex.
I don't particularly feel like spending $35 to look deeper into the claims.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:48 AM on August 12, 2011


more educated - more money - more likely to get married and have children - more likely to buy a house and join a community - and the fastest and easiest way to ingratiate yourself into your new community is to join a church. This has nothing to do with belief and everything to do with tradition.
posted by any major dude at 7:08 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The positive correlation between education and religion is well-documented actually. The identification of the causal effect of education on religion is not, though. Dan Hungerman (Notre Dame, dept of economics) finds the causal effect of education on religion to be negative in this NBER working paper (gated version).

The Effect of Education on Religion: Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws
Issued in April 2011

Abstract: For over a century, social scientists have debated how educational attainment impacts religious belief. In this paper, I use Canadian compulsory schooling laws to identify the relationship between completed schooling and later religiosity. I find that higher levels of education lead to lower levels of religious participation later in life. An additional year of education leads to a 4-percentage-point decline in the likelihood that an individual identifies with any religious tradition; the estimates suggest that increases in schooling can explain most of the large rise in non-affiliation in Canada in recent decades.
posted by scunning at 7:23 AM on August 12, 2011


I have no idea what to think of this, but I don't think it's worth jumping up and down about. It doesn't prove anything about the existence of God either way.

Where is it that you're seeing that this is what the study was trying to do?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:09 AM on August 12, 2011


Lots of self-identified Christians who, upon interrogation, will admit that they don't literally believe in Heaven... or in the resurrection... or in miracles... or in prophecy.

It's great that you've finally figured out who gets to be called a Christian and who doesn't. We'd been working on that for a long time now.
posted by Tennyson D'San at 8:19 AM on August 12, 2011


Where is it that you're seeing that this is what the study was trying to do?

I don't. I'm mostly amused by the mad rush around here to prove that the study is flawed.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:30 AM on August 12, 2011


I think you may be misreading why people are attempting to prove the study is flawed, though. I don't think people's objections have anything to do with "this has nothing to do with God's existance", I think it's more "this is a badly written study," period.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:34 AM on August 12, 2011


That's quite possible, but my explanation is funnier.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:37 AM on August 12, 2011


I don't know that it's a badly written study because I've not seen anything beyond the abstract. I can safely say that the news summaries I've seen of the study are likely crap (increased by 15% of what?).
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:38 AM on August 12, 2011


[Let's please try to keep this reasonably civil - as in, not telling people to kiss your ass. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 10:02 AM on August 12, 2011


Then they are clearly educated stupid!
posted by Decani at 10:02 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


and the fastest and easiest way to ingratiate yourself into your new community is to join a church.
posted by any major dude at 3:08 PM on August 12


Please let's not forget that this emphasis on church-as-major-social-community is an American thing. We just don't think of church that way - at least for the most part - in the UK and much of Europe. It always makes we shake my head when I see American atheists asking "What can we offer as a replacement for church?" To me that's a bit like asking what we can offer as a replacement for cancer.
posted by Decani at 11:05 AM on August 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Memail me if you want the paper. I'm not going to comment on the paper, but I know a guy who can help you get it if you wish to know more than the simple CNN take.
posted by Lord Force Crater at 11:33 AM on August 12, 2011


Wait.

So does this mean...

If I get educated enough I can literally become God.


In Hinduism it's called jnana yoga. So, maybe?
posted by Errant at 11:37 AM on August 12, 2011


more educated - more money - more likely to get married and have children
Is that still the case in America? I thought marriage and birthrates for those at the top of the economic ladder were lower than those at the middle and bottom. Of course, housing purchases are obviously higher and so your comment still makes sense either way.
posted by soelo at 12:57 PM on August 12, 2011


« Older Teachers   |   Reach out and touch someone. We're Beatrice Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post