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Study: Education liberalizes religious views

The old wisdom: The more educated you are, the less likely you will be religious. But a new study says education doesn't drive people away from God — it gives them a more liberal attitude about who's going to heaven.

Each year of education ups the odds by 15% that people will say there's "truth in more than one religion," says University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor Philip Schwadel in an article for the Review of Religious Research. Schwadel, an associate professor of sociology, looked at 1,800 U.S. adults' reported religious beliefs and practices and their education.

People change their perspective because, as people move through high school and college, they acquire an ever-wider range of friendships, including people with different beliefs than their own, Schwadel says. "People don't want to say their friends are going to hell," he says.

For each additional year of education beyond seventh grade, Americans are:

•15% more likely to have attended religious services in the past week.

•14% more likely to say they believe in a "higher power" than in a personal God. "More than 90% believe in some sort of divinity," Schwadel says.

•13% more likely to switch to a mainline Protestant denomination that is "less strict, less likely to impose rules of behavior on your daily life" than their childhood religion.

•13% less likely to say the Bible is the "actual word of God." The educated, like most folks in general, tend to say the Bible is the "inspired word" of God, Schwadel says.


Please click HERE to read the rest of the study's findings...

Education is a subject about which The Urantia Book has a good deal to say...please click HERE for a distillation of some of its wisdom on education

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