October 10, 2010

Ignorance of One's Own Beliefs

Few atheists were surprised by the recent Pew survey which found that atheists know more about religion than those who claim to be religious believers. David Silverman, president of American Atheists, summed up the general reaction as follows:
I have heard many times that atheists know more about religion than religious people. 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.
I agree. However, I want to add one observation that I haven't seen being made nearly enough in the aftermath of this survey: atheists are not the ones claiming that religious beliefs are sacred, worthy of respect, an important part of one's life, etc. That is, one would expect that those who valued such things as much as they are constantly claiming to know a whole lot more about them. Otherwise, it sounds an awful lot like they really do not know what it is that they claim to believe so deeply.

H/T to Library Grape