Feed on Posts or Comments 20 December 2014

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 18 Nov 2011 12:54 am

Rampant prejudice against the non-religious

This article nicely summarizes the prejudice faced by non-religious people and tries to explain why it happens:

Distrust Feeds Anti-Atheist Prejudice

So why are atheists “among the least liked people … in most of the world,” in the words of a research team led by University of British Columbia psychologist Will Gervais? In a newly published paper, he and his colleagues provide evidence supporting a plausible explanation.

Atheists, they argue, are widely viewed as people you cannot trust.

“People use cues of religiosity as a signal for trustworthiness,” the researchers write in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Given that “trustworthiness is the most valued trait in other people,” this mental equation engenders a decidedly negative attitude toward nonbelievers.

Not an easy problem to solve.

19 Responses to “Rampant prejudice against the non-religious”

  1. on 18 Nov 2011 at 1:33 am 1.RJ said …

    I wonder how the families of all the boys who were molested by priests feel about “religiosity as a signal for trustworthiness”. Not to mention all the moral majority types caught in sex scandals over the years.

  2. on 18 Nov 2011 at 2:03 am 2.Anonymous said …

    Well, who wouldn’t trust a old man in a skirt, with repressed sexual desires, who believes in magic crackers and ritual cannibalism? It probably makes sense if you’re the kind of person capable of switching off all critical thought processes in order to believe in magic spirits in the sky.

  3. on 18 Nov 2011 at 1:05 pm 3.Anonymous said …

    David Silverman vs. Fox News Panel

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5NQF5Ha5tM

  4. on 18 Nov 2011 at 7:55 pm 4.DPK said …

    I love the lady’s comment, “You know, it’s REALLY HARD to raise children of faith in this day and age!”
    In admonishment to the atheist who dared expose her children to the idea that the nativity story is just a myth. The gall, to deflower her children of the brainwashing she tries so hard to maintain. If your faith was anything worth maintaining, why would it be so hard to keep your children from seeing it for what it really is, a sham?

    Apparently, freedom of speech should only apply to those who agree with you.

    And the “theologian” who claimed that all “god.. death.. resurrection” mythologies only were invented AFTER the Jesus story, and they we all copied from Christianity. Talk about revisionist brainwashing!!!
    All one can really say is, “Jesus!!!”

  5. on 19 Nov 2011 at 2:45 am 5.Anonymous said …

    Speaking of the boy himself, perhaps the theists on that program could have helped themselves by reading the following:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/alstefanelli/2011/11/15/a-case-against-an-historical-jesus%E2%80%A6/

  6. on 19 Nov 2011 at 12:57 pm 6.Anonymous said …

    #5 thats a good link

    How can anyone believe that Jesus existed?

  7. on 19 Nov 2011 at 3:05 pm 7.Obvious said …

    Prjudice against atheists as reported by Paula Zahn on CNN:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiyJzWy3CDQ

  8. on 19 Nov 2011 at 4:58 pm 8.Anonymous said …

    #6 — it’s the same thought process that allows them to think that their god exists.

    If you read this blog, you’ll see that the theists don’t provide any proof, and they rarely defend their views. Instead, what they do is to construct nonsense arguments about atheists so that they have someone to demonize.

    It’s not the atheists are untrustworthy per se. It’s that theists poison the well in order to distract from their lack of proof and to attempt to justify the existence of their superstitions.

    In short, religion doesn’t contribute anything to society that can’t be done without it. Hence, in order to maintain their delusions, the religious zealots need to invent bad guys to attack and to to justify their existence.

    It’s all so sad.

  9. on 19 Nov 2011 at 9:10 pm 9.o said …

    James S. Spiegel, The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief has written well-documented account of the ultimate origins of atheism.

    Unbelief, he argues, is not attributable to a lack of evidence for God. Rather, the problem is fixed in human rebellion against God himself, just as Paul explained in the first chapter of Romans. This book provides a much needed dimension of analysis in light of all the press received in the past few years by bitter atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris.

    The descent into atheism is caused by a complex of moral-psychological factors, not a perceived lack of evidence for God’s existence. The atheist willfully rejects God, though this is precipitated by immoral indulgences and typically a broken relationship with his or her father. Thus, the choice of the atheist paradigm is motivated by non-rational factors, some of which are psychological and some of which are moral in nature.

    The hardening of the atheist mind-set occurs through cognitive malfunction due to two principle causes. First, atheists suffer from paradigm-induced blindness, as their worldview inhibits their ability to recognize the reality of God that is manifest in creation. Second, atheists suffer from damage to their sensus divinitatis [the sense for God’s existence], so their natural awareness of God is severely impeded.

  10. on 19 Nov 2011 at 9:10 pm 10.RC said …

    James S. Spiegel, The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief has written well-documented account of the ultimate origins of atheism.

    Unbelief, he argues, is not attributable to a lack of evidence for God. Rather, the problem is fixed in human rebellion against God himself, just as Paul explained in the first chapter of Romans. This book provides a much needed dimension of analysis in light of all the press received in the past few years by bitter atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris.

    The descent into atheism is caused by a complex of moral-psychological factors, not a perceived lack of evidence for God’s existence. The atheist willfully rejects God, though this is precipitated by immoral indulgences and typically a broken relationship with his or her father. Thus, the choice of the atheist paradigm is motivated by non-rational factors, some of which are psychological and some of which are moral in nature.

    The hardening of the atheist mind-set occurs through cognitive malfunction due to two principle causes. First, atheists suffer from paradigm-induced blindness, as their worldview inhibits their ability to recognize the reality of God that is manifest in creation. Second, atheists suffer from damage to their sensus divinitatis [the sense for God’s existence], so their natural awareness of God is severely impeded.

  11. on 19 Nov 2011 at 9:20 pm 11.DPK said …

    Re: #8

    It’s not a thought process at all. It’s a complete lack of a thought process.
    Embarrassed to admit it, but I guess it more a fault at my education than me personally, but even though I “knew” from about the age of 12 or 13 that there was no god and that the religion that I had been raised in was really just a bunch of superstitious nonsense, it really never occurred to me until much, much later in life that perhaps the historical Jesus was just a myth. I mean, in the world in which I lived, EVERYONE accepted that Jesus was, at the least, real.

    The only debate I was every exposed to was as to whether he was divine, or just a man. No one EVER dared postulate the idea that there was absolutely no contemporary historical evidence that he even existed. It just wasn’t considered a possibility in my world. I think many people today are in the same situation. It is just considered a “given” that the person described in the bible was at least, real, and not just a myth born of legend and hearsay. This link was very enlightening to me. I had heard bits and pieces of arguments against a historical Jesus before, but never so comprehensively.

    I have also read, it bits and pieces and comments, that there is actually no historical evidence, outside of the bible, that the Israelites were ever actually held as slaves in Egypt, and that the story of Exodus is also a myth. Does anyone know the facts behind that contention?

    D

  12. on 19 Nov 2011 at 9:25 pm 12.DPK said …

    #9 and 10

    Thanks for posting. Unfortunately, I hate to break it to you, but as someone who actually IS an atheist, I have to tell you your argument could not possibly be more wrong. Sorry about that, but you can add this to the long list of things you think you know, but in fact do not.

    And what the hell is a ” sensus divinitatis”…. is that a scientific term?? I do, on the other hand, have a very well developed “sensus bullshitis” and man is it going off now!

  13. on 20 Nov 2011 at 2:33 am 13.Emily said …

    There are many extra-biblical Egyptian references giving credence to the above story:

    Slaves building monuments in Egypt – Papyrus, Leiden #348, “Distribute grain to the Habirus (or Apiru – Hebrews) who carry stones to the great pylon of Rameses,” Mural paintings indicate starving men with prominent spavined ribs.)

    An Austrian dig of dwellings and tombs at Tel-ed-Daba, Egypt, in 1989, discovered ancient cities near Goshen. Data from 800 drill cores gave evidence of a large number of Asian, non-Egyptian slaves; eleven levels at the site indicate many generations during the 12th and 13th Egyptian dynasties {compatible in duration and time period to the Biblical history of the Hebrew sojourn as slaves in Egypt}:
    The Brooklyn Papyrus 35.1446, tells of the reign of Pharaoh Sobekhotep, containing over 95 names of slaves, more than half are Semitic, seven being Biblical names {including the name of one of the two midwives named in the Bible, “Shiphrah”},

    In direct conformity with the Bible {the killing of male Hebrew babies – infant Moses is saved by Egyptian princess} was the discovery of unusual demographic burial data at Tel-ed-Daba – 65% of the graves were of babies less than 18 months old, compared to a normal percentage of 20-30%. In addition there were far more graves of adult females than of males (conforming to male infants being killed at birth.);
    Historians of the 300 BC era, Eusebies and Artapanus, with ancient records from the library at Alexandria, tell of Mouses {Moses}, an Egyptian prince who led a military campaign against Ethiopia. The Roman historian, Josephus and a stela fragment in the British Museum, indicate such an event occurred during the reign of Pharaoh Khenepres-Sobekhotep. Also supporting the story of the military campaign by Moses was a statue of Sobekhotep {Moses’ stepfather} found on the island of Argo, proving that Egyptian conquest and authority extended to 200 kilometers from Egypt. Egyptian historians wrote that Mouses’ fame caused Sobekhotep to target him {causing him to flee from Egypt to Midian – as in the Bible story, however, the Bible and the Jewish Haggadah say the cause was Moses killing an Egyptian slave-driver who was beating a Hebrew};
    The Pharaoh of the Exodus is identified as King Dudimose, 36th ruler of the 13th Dynasty. {The Bible describes him as, “Pharaoh who knew not Joseph”}.

    M. Bietek, in his dig at Tel ed-Baba, which he dated to the middle of the 14th Dynasty, found shallow mass graves all over the city of Avaris – clear evidence of some type of sudden major and widespread catastrophe {not unlike what would result from a biblical “Tenth Plague”, death of all first-born}. In addition, site-archaeology suggests that the remaining population had abandoned their homes quickly and en masse;
    Information from the extra-biblical source of Josephus, a Roman historian born a Jew – who aided Titus in his conquest of Jerusalem in 67 AD, and was then, as a reward, given the Temple Scrolls – quotes Monetho, an Egyptian priest, circa 300 BC, regarding the “easy” conquest of mighty Egypt by the Hyksos. {Bible – Egypt’s loss of its entire army of 600 chariots and charioteers at the Red Sea seems a reasonable explanation}.

    A highly important extra-biblical source of corroborative detail to many of the narratives of the ten-plagues and the Exodus events of both Bible and Hebrew-Passover-Haggadah, is the Ipuwer Papyrus Scroll – Leiden 344. Found in Egypt in the early 19th century, it was taken to the Leiden Museum in Holland where it remains. Described in many books about ancient Egypt, it is a papyrus scroll over twelve feet in length, called “Admonitions of Ipuwer”. It was written during the 19th dynasty (the Middle Kingdom period) by a scribe/historian named Ipuwer, and interpreted in 1909 by A. H. Gardiner. The scroll describes violent events in Egypt which seem to parallel the Biblical ten plagues and the Exodus story – it seems a description of a society in total crisis, providing, in essence, an eyewitness account of extreme and unusual occurrences:
    “What the ancestors had foretold has happened”, (Imhotep/Joseph, approximately 260 years earlier, had foretold the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt.) {Gen. 50:24-26}
    “We don’t know what has happened in the land.”

    “The river is blood .. there is blood everywhere, no shortage of death .. many dead are buried in the river .. lacking are grain, charcoal .. trees are felled .. food is lacking .. great hunger and suffering”. {The first plague};
    “destruction of grain” {The plague of hail or locusts};
    “animals moaning and roaming freely”;
    “darkness” {The ninth plague};
    Deaths of the “children of princes, prisoners, brothers” {The tenth plague, deaths of all the first-born};
    “Gone is what yesterday has seen. See now, the land is deprived of kingship. See, all the ranks, they are not in their place .. like a herd that roams without a herdsman.”
    “Poor .. have become .. of wealth .. Gold and lapis lazuli, silver and malachite, carnelian and bronze are strung on to the necks of female slaves.” {“…and they requested from the Egyptians, silver and gold articles. And God made the Egyptians favor them and they granted their request.” Ex. 12:35-36};
    “See, he who slept wifeless found a noblewoman .. “are no more”.” (This, written long afterwards, obviously describes conditions after the loss of the Egyptian army and the upper-class male officers. Note: This also supports the request of the “royal” widow of Pharaoh, lost in the Red Sea, in a remarkable Amarna letter to the King of the neighboring Hittites, asking for one of his sons to become her new husband

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1804275

  14. on 20 Nov 2011 at 3:02 pm 14.Observer said …

    #13 Re Ipuwer Scroll. It is interesting that Egyptologists do not agree with your account. Yet you chose to make believe that it is written about the Exodus myth. Of course, I must have fallen into the trap of appealing to authority.

  15. on 20 Nov 2011 at 9:06 pm 15.Anonymous said …

    #13 is standard apologetics. I doubt the poster has actually read those links, but it sure feels good to post that wall of text, huh?

    Sadly, for theists, the truth works differently. In the articles above, they start with the belief that the bible is true and scour whatever they can to find things that maybe, kinda, perhaps, sort of, well almost, slightly line up. If they were to go from the evidence and go forward, they’d fall flat on their faces, so they don’t try that.

    For example, it usually doesn’t mater if the time-line is wrong, nor if the rest of the document doesn’t support their tale, nor if the weight of evidence and opinion is against them, or if the veracity is in doubt, or if they reference the actual event that their myth was based on in a circular manner, as long as they can say “See, look here, if you try really, really, really hard, you can read this in a way that supports a teensy-tiny bit of our cause”. Too bad that in many cases you can’t go from the documents to their claim, nor does it follow that their entire book of stories is true.

    tl;dr, there is even more evidence that the bible is simply the work of man and is mostly a collection of myths, legends, and other fairy stories.

    Still waiting on that proof that these gods exist.

  16. on 01 Dec 2011 at 8:51 pm 16.Anonymous said …

    UBC study finds believers distrust atheists as much as rapists

    “Religious believers distrust atheists more than members of other religious groups, gays and feminists, according to a new study by University of B.C. researchers.

    The only group the study’s participants distrusted as much as atheists was rapists, said doctoral student Will Gervais, lead author of the study published online in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

    That prejudice had a significant impact on what kinds of jobs people said they would hire atheists to do.

    “People are willing to hire an atheist for a job that is perceived as low-trust, for instance as a waitress,” said Gervais. “But when hiring for a high-trust job like daycare worker, they were like, nope, not going to hire an atheist for that job.”

    The antipathy does not seem to run both ways, though. Atheists are indifferent to religious belief when it comes to deciding who is trustworthy.”

  17. on 02 Dec 2011 at 4:10 pm 17.LadyInMaine said …

    I am new to his blog and the website. How do any of you handle your atheism? Do you have Christian friends or family members? I have lost more friends as a result of my questioning, doubt and outright disbelief. I was seeking to find an answer to why I exist and my total fear of death and the fact we just stop existing. I only found confusion, contradiction, judgment, self-righteousness and total rejection. And it was all done in “love” so they said. Thanks for your comments.

  18. on 02 Dec 2011 at 4:30 pm 18.Lou (DFW) said …

    17.LadyInMaine said …

    “I am new to his blog and the website. How do any of you handle your atheism? Do you have Christian friends or family members?”

    All of my friends and relatives are well educated and intelligent people. While most of them claim to believe in god, none of them are religious.

    Anybody who rejects me because of my disbelief in god are not people with whom I want to associate or call friend. The only time I might have to deal with hard-core theists is in my business dealings. In that case the subject of god rarely rears its ugly head, but when it does I usually ignore it.

    So, as you see, my “atheism” handles itself. The real question is how do you handle theism? My “atheism” is easy to handle.

  19. on 19 Jun 2012 at 12:14 am 19.Chris said …

    Re posts #13, 14 and 15: Well done, Emily.

    For the rest, Christians will never be able to “prove” the existence of God to atheists for the following reasons:

    1. It is doubtful there is anything you would accept as proof.

    2. Any proof you might say you accept would have to be on your terms as defined as proof. While you accept various unproven theories, details and observations as “proof” of the nonexistence of God, you demand absolute irrefutable physical evidence for His existence.

    Although incomplete, Emily’s list contains impressive discoveries that support the evidence of the historical Jews as depicted in the Bible. Yet, you dismiss it with a wave of your hand and without any educated rebuttal other than to say that Egyptologists dispute some of it. Of course Egyptologists dispute Exodus! They advocate for the history as presented by the ancient Egyptians who erased every mention and evidence of the hated Hebrews.

    But even the historical research stonewalling of the current official Egyptologists is starting to crack as the old guard fades away and a new, open-minded crop of historians and archeologists make new discoveries and offer new interpretations and timelines much more in line with known facts about the past, rather than relying upon traditional and cultural bias.

    Still, archeology, how ever accurate it may be, will never offer proof of the existence of God. And that is the reality of dealing with matters of the spiritual realm.

    The recent book, “Divinity of Doubt”, offers some well-thought arguments and critiques of both traditional religion and the (so called) new atheism. It’s a good read if you are so inclined. In his book, he concludes that there is no physical evidence for the existence of God one way or the other, and that it is foolish for theists and atheists to argue over the unprovable. And that the only reasonable belief is to be agnostic.

    Yet, in his chapter on the Cosmological Argument, he comes very close to admitting that there is no way to get around this argument. His explanation of the ramifications of the CA are inescapable in that the physical realm cannot have produced itself, by and through nothing. And while the CA does not prove the existence of God, it clearly proves that no other explanation is probable or even possible.

    As a Christian, I cannot pull God out of a hat for you. But I can show you that all the other hats are empty. After that, you have a choice to make: Either to cling to things that are evidently not true, or to take a leap of faith. While traditional cultural Christianity has done a very poor job of presenting God to the world, that is not God’s fault.

    PS: Did you know that, for many centuries, the nonexistence of the state of Israel was “proof” that the Bible was false. There was a well-known maxim given, “I’ll believe when Israel comes back from the dead.” What would they believe if they could be transported forward in time to our century and see the reality of the State of Israel, which is unprecedented in history.

Trackback This Post | Subscribe to the comments through RSS Feed

Leave a Reply