Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Random Tuesday: I have smart phone envy

Just because I married a Dutch guy, doesn't make me Dutch.  But, maybe I am cheap.  I cannot, for the life of me, see my way to trying to get a Blackberry, Samsung Acclaim, iPhone or any of the other myriad of smartphones out there.  They are cool.  I would like to be able to whip one out and look up information on the web right there and then, maybe post an update or two to Facebook, but at $100-$150/month just to own one of these things does not appeal to me.  I still cringe that we pay $70/mo just for two of us to use a service, though when you break it down, it's $35 each, which in the grand scheme of things, is not bad.  I will have to wait until I am an old lady and my fat fingers cannot maneuver the little keys.  Sigh.

No surprise.  Many Americans know little about religion, its origins for it tenants and about other religions.
In a perhaps counterintuitive finding, the researchers discovered that atheists and agnostics generally know more about religion than people who profess a belief. Atheists and agnostics, on average, answered 20.9 questions correctly. Dave Silverman, president of the advocacy group American Atheists, told The New York Times that he was not surprised by that.

"I have heard many times that atheists know more about religion than religious people," he 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."

Atheists and agnostics were closely followed in religious knowledge by Jews, who answered 20.5 questions correctly on average, and Mormons, who averaged 20.3. Protestants averaged 16 correct answers; Catholics averaged 14.7.
There were also some differences due to amount of education, which stands to reason.  In addition, though they knew more about their own faith, what they knew was still relatively low.
Respondents were generally more knowledgeable about their own religion than about other religions, but still had significant gaps even there. More than half of Protestants (53 percent) could not identify Martin Luther as the man whose teachings inspired the Protestant reformation. And 45 percent of Catholics did not know that that the Catholic Church teaches that the communion bread and wine actually become -- not just symbolize -- the body and blood of Christ.
I took the quiz.  I got 14 out of 15 right.  I guess nirvana is part of Buddism.  I thought Hinduism.  Still, not bad.  But I am an historian and we do study a lot of the backgrounds to cultures.  It depends on how broad your undergrad is, but mine was pretty broad.  In addition I was raised in a church that studied books of the Bible carefully and intellectually.  I wish I could find a church that studied the Bible for my children, rather than making them memorize verses.  Really?  Doesn't anybody do Sunday school classes where the kids hear the Bible story and then learn about what it is supposed to teach us about our own lives?  Memorization teaches you nothing but a bunch of archaic verses.

Not so random today.  Go random up.



Keely said...

I'm not surprised by that at all - I know all kinds of things about random religions, I find them fascinating. I just don't want one for myself :)

Anonymous said...

I felt just as you did about iPhones until waiting till I got home to reply to work emails, update online forms and documents, and keep up to date with stuff started to slow me down, or take away from potential sleeping time. Now, I am addicted because I work on the damn thing as much as I goof around on it. I have a Zoo, Scrabble, a Resort, the news, my email, twitter, facebook, wordpress... I'm usefully useless... Totally worth the $$$

Hilary said...

I wish I could be blackberry free. I need one for work, but then feel like I can never leave work behind.....

tulpen said...

I got two wrong on the quiz.

I'm not affiliated with any organized religion but consider myself spiritual and love me some Tao.

Also? I LOVE my CrackBerry.

Aliceson said...

I had a smart phone for 1 day! It was wonderful and I fell in love right away but my husband freaked out and said it was too much (an extra $30 each month) so I returned it the next day. I miss it. :(

I scored 13 of 15. Most of my religious awareness (of many religions) came from Sunday school. Unitarian Sunday school, mind you. When I was 12 our teacher took us to a different religious service each week. Catholic Mass, a Mormon service, Quakers, Bahia and on and on. Very educational and not once were we told to believe any one thing.