“Religion prevents our children from having a rational education; religion prevents us from removing the fundamental causes of war; religion prevents us from teaching the ethic of scientific cooperation in place of the old fierce doctrines of sin and punishment. It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion.”
Bertrand Russell (1930)
Education means learning new things. Religion is based on old things. It introduces nothing new. It only attempts to contain the minds of believers in antiquated thought processes and superstition. Religion is about adherence to dogma and ideology, and education is about informing, teaching, and equipping people with the ability to continue to expand their knowledge. Learning is continuous. Religion is not.
It does depend entirely on the quality of knowledge with which the individual is being educated. Though even those with an extremely poor, theological based education, there are surprises, as I have known many Theologians who outside the church had gained enough rational, good knowledge to throw away their Bibles and Korans.
The Internet has also had such an influence, because if used properly, it is a brilliant education tool and it has educated many Theologians about the wrongness of their Theology and thus many have left their religion to swing all the way to Atheism.
Loss of belief in nonsense is a definite side-effect of a great education.
I studied Theology, but also attended science and studied ancient history.
Both of those practical, realistic, subjects destroyed any hope of my wanting to continue with the entirely Make-Believe subject of Theology.
Educated people are less likely to be religious because they have most likely attended a university that is more focused on science and less on religion. Science is most often associated with a non-religious approach and outlook. This is why I believe that educated people are less likely to be religious.
The more educated a country, the less religion. The big things that makes people atheist are a good understanding of the natural world, and reading the holy book. And considering literacy, goes under education, then yes. A good, full, uncensored reading of a holy book is possibly the best way for someone to lose faith.
It should come as no surprise that the more educated an individual becomes the less likely to be religious they are. The statistics for that have been around for quite some time now. I believe that WHAT you are educated in has a very significant impact on your level of belief as well. It seems obvious, to me at least, that a religious moderate who pursues degrees in science would have a much larger likelihood of losing their religion than a religious moderate who decided to study English education instead.
Those that have eyes to see and ears to hear, will see through the facade of organized religion and how it controls the populace, how it shames them into obedience. These are the informed people, the smart people, the ones who pay attention. Those who are not, are the more vulnerable ones, and are easier to dictate to and to be made believe in something that is unbelieveable on its' face. So yes I'd say the more educated you are, the less of a chance there is that you will be highly religious.
People who have been educated will have a grounding in science and rationality that is often antithetical to religion, and, as such, are less likely to be religious. Of course, the nature of their education would play a role-- someone educated in a hard science would be less likely to be religious than someone educated in theology, I would guess.
If you look at polls around the internet, people of higher education, especially those in the science and mathematics field, tend to not believe in the existence of a deity. It is through science and education that people will come to a realization that the existence of any higher power is illogical.
Religion doesn't have to do with your level of education. It is only those of faith who have religion. I know many people, including myself, who are educated as well as religious. You do not have to have education to be religious--there are those who have little education and are non-religious as well.