The understanding bit

It really isn’t surprising that a recent survey that measured Americans’ knowledge of religion found atheists and agnostics knew more, on average, than followers of most major faiths.

Analyzing religions, past and present, without bias and with critical thought typically leads most people to realize they can be easily explained as a product of human nature and culture (fear of death, dislike of the unknown, preference for a bad answer to no answer, tribal allegiances, trust of elders at a young age, proclivity for anthropocentrism etc.), rather than a framework for objective reality.

The results of this survey can be easily summed up with the words of Mark Twain: “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”

Note: This appeared as a Letter to the Editor in the Globe & Mail.