We are not talking about physical traits which are objective and unavoidable.
I am. I'm talking about definitions that carry necessary implications.
An example of a prejudiced point of view would be to look at the crime rates in America and a sample of race populations in the prison system and "logically" concluding that black people can't be trusted because they are as a whole drug addicted murdering criminals.
It would also be wrong. An excellent example of why I'm not making a claim like that.
The example of the Nazi party is not the same. That political movement has very specific tenants. If you don't agree with those tenants and swear allegiance to them then you are not a Nazi.
You're right, it's not the same as your racial example above, it has to do with necessary implications of definitions. The same thing I'm talking about.
By comparison, if someone claims to be a Christian we have no idea what they stand for specifically until they tell us. Same for atheists.
The definitions of theist and atheist are clear regarding the one quality that separates them: God belief. Theists do, atheists don't. There are necessary implications we can draw from this that appear to be all around us.
Then you agree that it is irrational to defend the claim that atheists are the most principled and rational group on the planet?
No. I merely pointed out that it may be the weakest
part of the claim, not that it has been refuted.
Would you agree that theists as a whole would say that they allow their theistic beliefs to influence -- in part -- their decisions? I mean, what would be the point of having
a theistic belief if it didn't affect your life in some way? Well, atheists don't have that particular irrational influence on their decisions, and so as a group they are less
irrational than the other group that does
have that additional irrational influence.
Principled is a harder sell and depends on what kind of definition you're using. I would say that a principled person in addition to having a code to live by understands the reasons
behind that code. If he doesn't, and just follows rules, then we can justifiably call a computer "principled", and that robs the word of much of its meaning. I would argue that theists, in general, fall on the "follow the rules" side of that dichotomy, with many believing that their god's reasoning is beyond human understanding. They have a code to live by, but don't understand why
it is the way it is. Atheists don't have that excuse. In general they have to concoct their own code during their lives, and since they themselves come up with their own code, they understand why it is the way it is.