Religious Doubts Scale
1. Doubts that religious writings‚ such as the Bible‚ could really be the word of God‚ because the writings seemed contradictory‚ irrational or wrong.
2. Doubts about the existence of a benevolent‚ good God‚ caused by the suffering of death of someone I knew.
3. The feeling that I had not really developed my own ideas about religion‚ but instead was just a copy of other people’s ideas. (Or‚ if you were raised in no religion‚ that Christians‚ Jews‚ et cetera in general do not develop their own ideas‚ but instead are copies of other people’s ideas.)
4. The feeling that religion didn’t really make people better; people who went to church were still unkind‚ cheated on others‚ et cetera but pretended they were better.
5. The feeling that religion exists basically because people are afraid of death and want to believe life does not end then.
6. The feeling that today’s religions are based on a collection of superstitions from the past developed to “explain” things primitive people did not understand.
7. The feeling that religion makes people narrow-minded and intolerant and causes conflict between groups who believe different things.
8. A feeling that the overall religious teachings are contradictory or that they don’t make very much sense.
9. Resentment or rebelliousness when someone (say‚ a minister‚ priest or rabbi) tried to tell me how I should behave or what I should believe. (If you were raised in no religion‚ how resentful would you have been had this happened?)
10. The feeling that religion makes people do stupid things and give up perfectly wholesome pleasures for no good reason.
0 = none at all‚ 1 = Only a little bit‚ 2 = A mild amount‚ 3 = A moderate amount‚ 4 = Quite a bit‚ 5 = A great deal
Altemeyer‚ B. (1988). Enemies of freedom: Understanding right-wing authoritarianism. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Altemeyer‚ B. (1998). The other ‘authoritarian personality.’ In M. Zanna (Ed.) Advances in Experimental Social Psychology‚ 30 (pp. 47–92). San Diego: Academic Press.