While I was a practicing Hindu, I came across a gaggle of priests who each had their own interpretation of the multitude of religious rituals we were required to perform, supposedly to ward off evil spirits and acquire the winning lottery ticket…or for the more holier-than-thou, acquiring the ticket to enter Nirvana.
I soon came to realize that each knew less than the last; each having been tutored by priests before them who knew very little themselves. They were in effect mere snake-oil salesmen who relied on a very useful human fallibility – faith – to ply their trade. I’ll bet that the priesthood is a trade, perhaps even older than prostitution; only the latter to my mind, is by far more honourable.
Some of the efforts to explain the religious beliefs and the rituals were quite hilarious, even absurd to my curious mind. Which is why I soon drifted away from organized religion to find out for myself.
Most people don’t bother to dig deep to find out what their religion is all about – they have faith in what they’re
told sold. Researching one’s religion is just too much work, on top off having to attend regular religious services and perform the outlandish rituals demanded…by the priests/texts/superstitious mind of the believer.
It therefore comes as no surprise that a recent study conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, confirms that non-believers seem to know more about religion than the die-hard adherents themselves.
An article in the online NY Daily News attempts to make sense of the study thus:
Most people are afraid of what they might discover if they read the fine print too carefully, so they sign on the dotted line without a glance and then often feel the need to defend their lack of curiosity as an example of their holy trust in their own faith.
The article further attempts to explain why Atheists and Agnostics tend to know more about religion than believers:
Atheists tend to be those curious and truth-loving folks who do take a good hard look at religious professions of faith and hence they tend to know what they are walking away from. There have always been atheists, though not always very visible to the public. In fact, the perennial nagging doubts of the few atheists in the crowd have probably been the main force sustaining theology!
Catch the full article here.