Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Episode 76 Religious Illiteracy

America is one of the most devout nations in the west but it also has one of the lowest levels of religious literacy. According to the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey published by the Pew Research Center most Americans cannot correctly answer simple questions about their own faith. But America was not always this way…what changed? Stephen Prothero attempts to answer this question in his book Religious Literacy. For this episode the doubtcasters discuss the Pew Survey and offer a short synopsis and critique of Prothero's ideas. Also on this episode: the fundamentalist response the recent string of gay suicides, the Crystal Cathedral goes bankrupt and a renegade Christian filmmaker discovers the founder's dark secret.

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14 comments:

Darth Conans said...

Fletcher named his daughter Valkyrie? That's AWESOME! There are only two better names for a girl: Jayne, and Thana (there's never a wrong time for a Ms. .45 reference).

RonH said...

nice thank you

James said...

Tim Kreider, in his comic "The Pain", captured "American Jesus" perfectly in the strip Jesus vs Jeezus.

Lausten North said...

Have I mentioned this book before? A little more subtle than "America is the most religious country, Europe is moving toward secularizaion". I'm not quoting anyone in particular there. http://www.amazon.com/Religious-America-Secular-Europe-Variations/dp/0754660117

Just wanted to point to it since you brought it up.

Alan said...

Whence did you take the great Herzog quote ?

Jeremy said...

the making of Fitzcarraldo documentary called The Burden of Dreams.

Chris said...

Thoreau, not Emerson, wrote Civil Disobedience. :p

Anonymous said...

This is Luke: I realized that right after i said it because i was thinking of the dialogue where Emerson visited Thoreau who was in jail for refusing to pay taxes in protest of the Mexican American war. Emerson asked what Thoreau was doing in there (jail) and Thoreau countered "What are you doing out there?"

OhMan said...

Hey just found this site off another atheist website, loving it so far. You are kicking ass in this debate I am listening too right now!


I have been having real-life arguments with theists as well, and though I know nearly all the arguments you use, I don't seem to be able to express them as well as you do.

Do you have any tips for me, or is it simply a matter of continually debating until practice makes perfect?

If you have talked about this before could you chuck me a link?

email: callumdray@hotmail.com

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Could you supply a reading list? What should the masses know to be able to cut through the BS. I'm currently trying to play catch-up. I've been agnostic in the past but leaning heavily toward atheist. Not ready to announce it yet. I want to have my ammunition of knowledge ready for the backlash. Here in Indiana there is a church on more street corners than I'd like.

Anonymous for now

Andrew Ryan said...

Anonymous, the obvious one is Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion.

But I advise you to listen through this site's back catalogue and pay particular attention to the 'Counter apologetics' section.

Also listen to 'The Atheist Experience' (you can find clips on youtube), a show where atheists take calls from Christians and argue with them. That'll teach you how to deal with their points 'on the fly'.

Lausten North said...

In answer to the two requests for "how to", I wish Jeremy would offer his class about Skepticism online. I don't remember what it was called, the one where you teach how to do cold reading and other tricks of the mystics.

I'm not sure if anyone can emulate Matt Dilahunty on Atheist Experience. He is not only classically trained in theology, he also has a strong grasp of logical arguing and is able to keep his head cool under pressure, well, most of the time.

I know there are iPhone Apps for apologetics. I assume there are skeptical ones too. :)

Anonymous said...

@lausten
i'm pretty sure that there are. from what i understand, the apologetics app was made as a counter to the atheist one.

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