Author Topic: APA Study Shows that people distrust Atheists, but less "disgusting than gays".  (Read 1544 times)

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Offline holybuckets

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Even people with no religious affiliation distrust atheists, according to a paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The series of six studies also found that much anti-atheist bias stems from the belief that "atheists can't be trusted to cooperate rather than act in their own self-interest because they don't believe God is policing their behavior," says lead author Will Gervais, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia.

In the first study, the researchers asked 351 randomly selected Americans to rank, on a scale from one to 100, how they felt about three groups: gay men, atheists and people in general. Though participants liked gay men better than atheists overall, they found gay men to be more "disgusting" than atheists, and atheists to be more "untrustworthy" than gays.

Full Article: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/02/anti-atheist.aspx

Offline Irish

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The series of six studies also found that much anti-atheist bias stems from the belief that "atheists can't be trusted to cooperate rather than act in their own self-interest because they don't believe God is policing their behavior," says lead author Will Gervais, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia.

A lot of people find it hard to believe or recognize that rational human beings can police themselves.  I don't need a god to tell me not to rape, murder, and pillage simply because I know those things to be wrong.
La scienze non ha nemici ma gli ignoranti.

Online Nam

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And yet Biblegod doesn't seem to police its flock very well.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Online Jag

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Even people with no religious affiliation distrust atheists, according to a paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The series of six studies also found that much anti-atheist bias stems from the belief that "atheists can't be trusted to cooperate rather than act in their own self-interest because they don't believe God is policing their behavior," says lead author Will Gervais, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia.

In the first study, the researchers asked 351 randomly selected Americans to rank, on a scale from one to 100, how they felt about three groups: gay men, atheists and people in general. Though participants liked gay men better than atheists overall, they found gay men to be more "disgusting" than atheists, and atheists to be more "untrustworthy" than gays.

Full Article: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/02/anti-atheist.aspx

And? What's your point?
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Offline Hierophant

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This is actually old news, and has been analyzed in various ways. I have in the past posted my own analysis of the studies. I believe that atheists need to learn from these studies and concentrate on ethical issues, because that's where the real deficit lies now, not ontological issues. And I believe we atheists hold all the cards (especially if evolutionary intuitionism is true), so there's no reason for us not to win on the ethical issue. But for it to work, we need to develop pat answers for ethical issues as skillfully as we've developed pat answers for ontological issues, and we need to drive them home in the same way.

Offline Azdgari

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We don't have any more of a leg to stand on if, like you, we simply take our ethical approach to be true and shut down discussion that might call its underlying assumptions into question.

That said, I agree with your general message.
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Offline wright

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Full Article: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/02/anti-atheist.aspx


It's a lack of comprehension more than anything else. Just as acceptance of equal rights for nonwhites and LGBTs has been accomplished in part by educating the majority about minorities, so it is with atheists. It takes time, but given the rate at which "nones" are growing in the US, I'm confident that greater acceptance of atheism (at least in the US) is inevitable.

And I believe we atheists hold all the cards (especially if evolutionary intuitionism is true), so there's no reason for us not to win on the ethical issue.

What on earth is "evolutionary intuitionism"?
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Offline Hierophant

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What on earth is "evolutionary intuitionism"?

The position that ethics is a side-effect of an evolutionary adaptation, and is manifested under the form of intuitions (a priori knowledge) in the human mind. It is, I think, the definitive atheistic answer to where ethics come from, and should be one of the prongs of a future atheist push on ethics.

Offline Nick

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So what does that make you if you are a gay atheist?
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline wright

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What on earth is "evolutionary intuitionism"?

The position that ethics is a side-effect of an evolutionary adaptation, and is manifested under the form of intuitions (a priori knowledge) in the human mind. It is, I think, the definitive atheistic answer to where ethics come from, and should be one of the prongs of a future atheist push on ethics.

I see; thanks for the clarification.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Offline bgb

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The more attention atheists can get doing humanitarian work the better.
The whole point of science is that most of it is uncertain. That's why science is exciting--because we don't know. Science is all about things we don't understand. The public, of course, imagines science is just a set of facts. But it's not.  Freeman Dyson

Offline Hierophant

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Religions use humanitarian work as a rationalization of their evil acts, so putting an emphasis on that will just make us look like another religion trying to justify its existence. This is not to say that atheists should not be doing humanitarian work (we already do, anyway), but it shouldn't be shown as evidence that atheists are ethical people.

Offline Quesi

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If I had childcare in place, and was given the option to spend a Saturday night in the company of a bunch of gay men (of varied belief systems) or a bunch of atheists, (of mixed gender and sexual orientation) I'd pick the gay men in a heartbeat. 

They are just more fun.  At the risk of making gross generalizations, I would expect the drinks to be better, the music to be worse[1], (unless they were Latino gay men, in which case the music would be better), the conversation more animated, and quite frankly, if any dancing were involved, in my experience, if you put a volume of gay men together in a room, at least one or two of them will make me look good on the dance floor. 
 1. I may be showing my age here, but I've spent a huge percentage of my life in men's bars listening to disco :(

Offline Add Homonym

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They are just more fun.  At the risk of making gross generalizations, I would expect the drinks to be better, the music to be worse[1], (unless they were Latino gay men, in which case the music would be better), the conversation more animated, and quite frankly, if any dancing were involved, in my experience, if you put a volume of gay men together in a room, at least one or two of them will make me look good on the dance floor.
 1. I may be showing my age here, but I've spent a huge percentage of my life in men's bars listening to disco :(

Ya, but all the gays I know are atheist.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline Traveler

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... Ya, but all the gays I know are atheist.

I know lesbians who are quaker and pagan. I also know a gay man who is, I think, christian.
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline Jontom10

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If you were a gay christian, would you stand a better chance of getting into heaven if you stone yourself to death perhaps ?
Hasa Diga Eebowai

Offline jetson

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If you were a gay christian, would you stand a better chance of getting into heaven if you stone yourself to death perhaps ?

Assuming he has the stones to do so, why not?   ;D

Offline Add Homonym

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and pagan.

Oh, yeah, I probably know 2 gay men who are hippies.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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If someone asked me who do I trust more - a gay man or an atheist - I should have to respond that I would need know each of them before I could decide.  How does one just decide to trust or distrust a whole group of people?  On this forum I've been exposed to both likable and unlikable atheists and theists.  I do admit I've pretty much written off the Westboro Baptists and Jihadist types.  I'm not thrilled with the teabaggers either.   But only because they seem to exist to hate.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Tonus

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In the first study, the researchers asked 351 randomly selected Americans to rank, on a scale from one to 100, how they felt about three groups: gay men, atheists and people in general. Though participants liked gay men better than atheists overall, they found gay men to be more "disgusting" than atheists, and atheists to be more "untrustworthy" than gays.

I honestly can't take seriously the opinion of people who think that gays are "disgusting."  And I am not surprised to find that in a country where a considerable majority still profess a belief in god, atheists are seen in a negative light.  This is a nation where we're still trying to keep schools from adding creationism to the curriculum, after all.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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In the first study, the researchers asked 351 randomly selected Americans to rank, on a scale from one to 100, how they felt about three groups: gay men, atheists and people in general. Though participants liked gay men better than atheists overall, they found gay men to be more "disgusting" than atheists, and atheists to be more "untrustworthy" than gays.

I honestly can't take seriously the opinion of people who think that gays are "disgusting."

"Disgusting" is picketing the funeral of someone who died in service to their country.  "Disgusting" is picketing a clinic where women are faced with possibly one of the most painful decisions they have had to make.  "Disgusting" is the idiotic questions Chris Christie is having to answer about his weight loss surgery as if it is anybody else's f-ing business.  "Disgusting" is that these 3 women who have just been found had been labelled as runaways initially and their disappearances were ruled unrelated despite evidence to the contrary. 
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Graybeard

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The article says, "In the first study, the researchers asked 351 randomly selected Americans to rank, on a scale from one to 100, how they felt about three groups: gay men, atheists and people in general." In Europe, I doubt that you would find anyone could be bothered to become excited about such a question.

However, I could understand how controversial it would be in Iran, and how similar answers could be expected.

Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline holybuckets

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The article says, "In the first study, the researchers asked 351 randomly selected Americans to rank, on a scale from one to 100, how they felt about three groups: gay men, atheists and people in general." In Europe, I doubt that you would find anyone could be bothered to become excited about such a question.

However, I could understand how controversial it would be in Iran, and how similar answers could be expected.

Do you have any figures to the percentage of gays/atheists in Europe? UK? Even rough guesses? Thanks

Offline Graybeard

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The number of gays follows the global normal distribution.

This Wiki article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism#United_Kingdom gives the figure as 50% atheist but I have seen figures as low as 35%. However, regular church attendance is also given as ~7%. Of those 7%, most are in the age group +45 years. Elderly women, Catholics and Afro-Caribbeans have a somewhat higher average attendance rate.

These figures are, by nature, vague. In the UK, people over ~45 all received "Religious Education" which was basically "The Bible as understood by the Church of England/Scotland." with a few asides to explain why Catholics do things differently. All this was necessary because the history of the UK from Henry VIII until the late 18th Century was dominated by religion.

From about 1970 onwards, the subject was changed to a study of the systems of general beliefs, in which the basic tenets of the major religions and some minor ones plus ethics was taught. This continues to be the case as far as I am aware.

It is worth noting that the importance of religion started falling dramatically after WW2 with the introduction of free health care, free welfare services, cheap, good quality housing and a revision of the education laws. (There were other factors.)

It is also worth noting that it used to be the case when asked officially for their religion, many people will reply "Church of England" (usually said, "C of E") without thinking. It was also the case that when people replied "None" they were also put down as "C of E" (This is true, as on most official forms there was no space for "None" and the tick box for "Other" did not seem appropriate.)
« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 04:42:11 AM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Anfauglir

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If someone asked me who do I trust more - a gay man or an atheist - I should have to respond that I would need know each of them before I could decide.  How does one just decide to trust or distrust a whole group of people?  On this forum I've been exposed to both likable and unlikable atheists and theists.  I do admit I've pretty much written off the Westboro Baptists and Jihadist types.  I'm not thrilled with the teabaggers either.   But only because they seem to exist to hate.

Bingo.  Change the question to "who do you trust less, blacks or Hispanics?" and we wouldn't even be considering whether its down to those groups to "change how they act" in order to make people trust them more.  We would instead - quite rightly - just be slamming the racist predjudices that were being revealed.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Aspie

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Wait a minute - the majority of a society distrusts people who don't conform to the majority opinions and attitudes? Say it ain't so! It's almost as though highly religious cultures will be more likely to emphasize religiosity as a core value.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Wait a minute - the majority of a society distrusts people who don't conform to the majority opinions and attitudes? Say it ain't so! It's almost as though highly religious cultures will be more likely to emphasize religiosity as a core value.

I am pretty religious, although admittedly one of the least conventional religious people, and I would have to say "religiosity" isn't even in my Top 10 Core Values.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline natlegend

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So what does that make you if you are a gay atheist?

Hey you filth, get offa mah lawn

*aims shotgun*

Again and as usual, I find it interesting that these 'gay' debates always centre on the bedroom acts of homosexual men. Never lesbians. I'd find it interesting to hear the results of the same study conducted, where instead of the term 'gay', the specific word 'lesbian' was used.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Offline jetson

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So what does that make you if you are a gay atheist?

Hey you filth, get offa mah lawn

*aims shotgun*

Again and as usual, I find it interesting that these 'gay' debates always centre on the bedroom acts of homosexual men. Never lesbians. I'd find it interesting to hear the results of the same study conducted, where instead of the term 'gay', the specific word 'lesbian' was used.

I would bet cash money that the most outspoken men against gay males, are far less concerned about gay females when it comes to the sexual activity.  After all, who doesn't like to see a little female on female action?  And it is also unfortunate that some of the gay-bashing community are fixated on the sex - as opposed to the human beings who are homosexual.  To them, the entire issue for homosexuals is around what they do in the bedroom.  I bet they think that homosexuals are so confused as to believe they could actually procreate by having sex.