(Closed) Is there a correlation between education and religious beliefs?

posted 5 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: Education and Religion (please use your highest level of education)
    I have a doctorate (MD, PhD, JD, DVM) and am an atheist : (29 votes)
    8 %
    I have a doctorate (MD, PhD, JD, DVM) amd am agnostic : (24 votes)
    7 %
    I have a doctorate and am religious : (22 votes)
    6 %
    I have a master's (MA, MBA, MPH, MHA) and am an atheist : (29 votes)
    8 %
    I have a master's and am agnostic : (28 votes)
    8 %
    I have a master's and am religious : (46 votes)
    13 %
    I have a BA/BS/BSN/BSBA and am an atheist : (37 votes)
    11 %
    I have a BA/BS/BSN/BSBA and am agnostic : (55 votes)
    16 %
    I have a BA/BS/BSN/BSBA and am religious : (53 votes)
    15 %
  • Post # 3
    8695 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I have a BS and I am agnostic. I dont see a correlation bc I know many people who have their Master’s and are Catholic. I also went to a religious university and most of my professors had their PhD and were very religious.

    Post # 5
    8695 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    @socialexperiment:  Interesting bc I’m agnostic and went to Catholic school my whole life. I grew up in NYC and NJ.

    Post # 6
    3357 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I have a BSc, and I’m agnostic leaning atheist. I don’t think education has much to do with it, it’s more whether people question the teachings or not. I was baptized when I was 17, and only two years later when I left home for school, did I really start asking questions and ended up where I am right now.

    Post # 7
    6355 posts
    Bee Keeper

    There is a negative correlation between religiosity and education, but it’s hardly a straightforward one… There are lots of exceptions to this general rule.

    Post # 8
    2055 posts
    Buzzing bee

    @socialexperiment:  I think it does and it doesn’t. You can have faith and still have a higher education. 

    My family is religious (immediate and extended), and we have PhDs, JDs, MDs, DDSs, PsyDs, judges, architects, political figures, etc. I myself have a JD and am a Christian.

    However, there are many of my friends, colleagues, professors, etc. who are certainly not religious. From my experience, the intellectualization of religion beliefs is probably the biggest common denominator I have observed from nonreligious persons with higher educations.

    Post # 9
    228 posts
    Helper bee

    You’re probably not going to get a representative sample from this poll, but in any case, I have a PhD in molecular biology and am agnostic only in the sense that no one can prove that God doesn’t exist, just as no one can prove that he does.  In practice, I would say that I’m atheist.  I grew up in California.

    There are enormous differences between a medical doctor and an academic one, and even between different kinds of PhDs.  PhDs (especially in the sciences) are taught to question everything, including themselves.  Medical doctors are taught to memorize (not to mean that they’re not smart; it’s just a different kind of thinking).  Furthermore, I would guess that PhDs in the sciences are far more likely to be atheist/agnostic than those in humanities.  Most of my colleagues in science were atheist/agnostic, and even those who were religious were generally loosely so (i.e. none of them took the bible literally).


    Post # 10
    1619 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I do not have a college degree and I am an atheist. I definitely think there is a correlation, though. 

    Post # 12
    3306 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I don’t know the answer to your question, but I have certainly noticed that it was very fashionable to be “atheist” when I was in college. As I got more and more educated, my peers seemed to be more and more cynical (and even contemptuous) of religion in general. I have a doctorate. I very frequently encounter colleagues who are genuinely shocked that I am religious. Not like “oh, wow that’s nice” shocked, but more like “OMG! How could you possibly subject yourself to such disgusting and antiquated indoctrination, I thought you were smarter than that!” shocked. Meh. I believe with my entire heart that I have achieved everything I’ve achieved in life 100% because God blessed me to do so. I don’t ever deny that or tone it down to fit in with the consensus among my colleagues. 

    Post # 14
    10601 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a correlation, but I think you’re focusing a bit on the wrong cause and effect.

    I think it’s hard to see if you just go all or nothing for one thing.  There probably aren’t many women who follow the Quiverful Method with a PhD.

    I also know many Christians some who are more fundamentalist/conservative/whatever descriptor you use than others who saw going into medicine as a way to serve God.  There’s also the Jewish doctor stereotype and I know a few who fit into that!

    Post # 16
    4311 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I really cannot see a correlation between education and religion.  I mean, creation vs. evolution is not a hard concept and it is heavily in rotation in most social circles.

    If you’re brought up in a certain religion, that probably causes you to ask less questions than you otherwise would regardless of education.

    It’s an interesting idea; however, I would think age and type of religious upbringing would have more correlation with religion than education.  There are, after all, a lot of higher ed schools deeply rooted in religion.  I find correlation would be seriously skewed from this.

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