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Opinion Religious people do not believe in atheists: study

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Archived_Member16, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. Archived_Member16

    Archived_Member16
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    Religious people do not believe in atheists: study

    National Post Staff Nov 30, 2011 – 9:53 PM ET 

    By Sarah Boesveld

    Many religious people don’t like atheists, and in fact would apparently rate them alongside rapists on levels of trust, suggests a new Canadian study that claims to be one of the first psychological probes into anti-atheist prejudice.

    Researchers at the University of British Columbia and the University of Oregon conducted a series of studies that found a deep level of distrust toward those who don’t believe in God, deeming them to be among the least trusted people in the world — despite their growing ranks to an estimated half billion globally.

    "There’s this persistent belief that people behave better if they feel like God is watching them," said Will Gervais, lead study author and doctoral candidate in the social psychology department at UBC. "So if you’re playing by those rules, you’re going to see other people’s religious beliefs as signals of how trustworthy they might be."

    The research began a few years ago, when a series of polls revealed atheists to be some of the least liked people in areas with religious majorities, which is to say, much of the world. In one poll, only 45% of American respondents said they would vote for a qualified atheist presidential candidate and overwhelmingly preferred to vote for African American, Jewish and female candidates. Americans also rated atheists as the group that least agrees with their vision for the country and the group they’d most disapprove of their child marrying.

    The resulting paper, published in the current online issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, includes six studies all designed to measure people’s perception of an atheist’s trustworthiness. The first study asked 351 Americans from across the country to compare the trustworthiness of an atheist and a gay man, since both represent groups often described as threatening to majority religious values. They rated atheists significantly higher than gay men on distrust, though lower on levels of disgust.

    The second study recruited 105 UBC undergrads —they purposely targeted a more liberal sample from a less-religious nation — to test whether distrust of atheists is more pronounced than distrust of other groups, including Muslims. The students read a description of an untrustworthy man who pretended to leave insurance information after backing his car into a parked vehicle and were asked to say whether it was more likely the man was either a Christian, Muslim, rapist or an atheist. People were far more likely to say he was either an atheist or a rapist and not part of a religious group. They did not significantly differentiate atheists from rapists, something Mr. Gervais found disconcerting.

    "It’s pretty shocking that we get the same magnitude of distrust towards atheists simply because they don’t believe [in God]," said the researcher, who is himself an atheist. "With rapists, they’re distrusted because they rape people. Atheists are viewed as sort of a moral wild card."

    Another among the six studies found people are more likely to hire someone for a job that requires high levels of trust, such as a daycare worker, if they believe they are religious. They would hire atheists for a low trust job, such as a waitress, the study found.

    The levels of distrust were more pronounced among respondents who said they were religious, said Mr. Gervais. One of the studies measured how much people thought believing God is watching makes you a better person.

    "That was a really strong predictor of distrust in atheists," he said.

    Those who did not identify as religious were more or less indifferent toward atheists.

    The research shines a light on the oft-overlooked issue of prejudice against atheists, an issue Mr. Gervais fears could become more of an issue as their populations grow.

    "The fact that we’re still finding fairly large and shocking results, such as morally equating rapists and atheists, is pretty remarkable," he said.

    A forthcoming set of his studies suggests prejudice against atheists can be reduced if people are reminded of other non-religious behaviour-monitoring authorities, such as the police, judges and the courts, Mr. Gervais said.

    National Post
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    http://life.nationalpost.com/2011/11/30/religious-people-do-not-believe-in-atheists-study/
     
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  3. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    From what I can see most Sikhs don't believe in the same God either ,as some believe in a Creator only ,( a not interested afterwards God),some believe that the Universe is God (the Expanding God),Some believe in the Bearded God (with or without personality or beard)
    Some believe in God who is Mystical,Some believe in the God who is practical(Humanist),some believe in a God that is heavy (Serious Sikh,some in the light one(funny Sikh),Some believe everyone together is God(Pantheisim or polite atheist), Some believe everyone together is still not enough to be God. (Panentheist)
     
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  4. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    The study also shows how religions make people ignorant, especially the dogmatic ones based on their subjective truths.

    The study forgot to mention that religions which are based on confession, forgiveness and redemption breed immorality and most of the dogmatic religions are based on them.

    The best example and the flavour of the month in immorality is the Christian Newt Gingrich, the latest shooting star in the GOP nomination dance in the US. He left his first 2 wives because of adultery and married to the third one named Callista Gingrich who was his staffer when he was in the congress with whom he had had an affair for 6 years and at the same time he was doing his best to impeach then President Bill Clinton because of Monica Lewinsky.

    This is the religious morality.

    One can name many religious people who have been caught in immoral positions(not all in a missionary) and feel fine about themselves because their "God" has forgiven them.

    I know many atheist people and some of them are good friends of mine to be more moral than the religiousos I have met in my life.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  5. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Veer Ji I'm a Kantian so I would say the aetheist still feels a moral duty within himself and imposes on himself,Religious morality only fails when the participant feels that morality is imposed from outside.I do believe in forgiveness as I have a vested interest in it.Morality differs from age to age perhaps we must rise above good and bad.
     
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  6. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Sp ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Exactly. The dogmatic religions impose morality, hence Hell and Heaven are concocted and fear is mode de jour.

    This is a beauty of Sikhi which breeds internal manifestations which instill will's and will not's rather do's and do not's as in the dogmatic religions.

    As far as forgiveness is concerned, forgiveness exists only in the mind of the forgiver, and therefore requires no "acceptance".

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  7. Harry Haller

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    Even an atheist needs a non god to not believe in
     
  8. Scarlet Pimpernel

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    Veer Jio's Back to the topic I think the distrust stems from the religious who feel there is a strict 'ought' to do and the Aetheist who seems to follow his own will ,but it is not so clear cut ,he will no doubt find himself conforming to societies laws and norms which are heavily influenced by theology.
     

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