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← [Update-related article] In Atheists We Distrust

[Update-related article] In Atheists We Distrust - Comments

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 1 by prettygoodformonkeys

Dont like it, but it makes sense; people with those religious labels are professing themselves (rightly or wrongly) to be doing their best to be good people, and people who proclaim their atheism would be seen as making a stand against this widely-accepted good moral code. Simplistic, but understandable, and I still cant see a way around it.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:09:14 UTC | #909220

brighterstill's Avatar Comment 2 by brighterstill

One of the comments of the original web article gave one further explanation to why believers distrust atheists which is a little less sensical (and thus probably more believable coming from a believer) than the Big Brother Effect:

(I'm paraphrasing) Scripture says everyone knows god, though some are in rebellion, thus anyone who says they don't believe in god must automatically be lying. If they're lying about that, what else are they lying about?

I don't know how many atheists have been accused of secretly being theists who just have a bone to pick with the spaghetti monster... er.. deity, but this essentially seems like an unwinnable argument to me. I don't think there's any way to prove to someone that you don't believe in something...

Although it is interesting to note that the OT does claim that anyone who rejects biblical morality and decides to live by their own sense of right and wrong will be afflicted with every curse and punishment written in the book. I'm feeling un-smote, how about you?

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:14:21 UTC | #909223

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 3 by irate_atheist

Comment 2 by brighterstill -

Although it is interesting to note that the OT does claim that anyone who rejects biblical morality and decides to live by their own sense of right and wrong will be afflicted with every curse and punishment written in the book. I'm feeling un-smote, how about you?

I've just broken wind in a small windowless office. Does that count?

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:15:48 UTC | #909226

LucindaE's Avatar Comment 4 by LucindaE

This belief may have some truth to it.

What an absolutely uneducated, disgusting, prejudicial thing to say when there exists survey after survey disproving the same.

The article also fails to note that the same study showed that the atheists did not reflect a proportionate distrust of the religious.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:19:19 UTC | #909229

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 5 by crookedshoes

How ironic, I do not trust myself.

Funny, I do not trust the religious. For what it is worth, I do not trust atheists either. I do not trust anyone, save for my immediate family and some of them are pretty damn shady.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:25:02 UTC | #909231

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 6 by Carl Sai Baba

If they can't trust a priest not to rape their kids, I wonder what they could possibly be worried about atheists doing.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:25:42 UTC | #909232

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 7 by prettygoodformonkeys

(posted exactly the same as previous comment, same time)

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:27:57 UTC | #909234

prettygoodformonkeys's Avatar Comment 8 by prettygoodformonkeys

I dont see how reminding the public that atheists do moral acts, or that they are watched by civil authorities, will help to change much. We are seen as OTHER by the religious and the non-religious, because they are part of a larger club called Those Who Believe In Religion, and we are not. Maybe I am just feeling a bit pessimistic today, and I suppose we have to proceed on all fronts and not get caught in the Catch-22 of *well never have a secular society until we have a secular society*.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:35:39 UTC | #909237

Queen of the Pencils's Avatar Comment 9 by Queen of the Pencils

In many Scandinavian countries, including Norway and Sweden, the number of people who report believing in God has reached an all-time low. This may have something to do with the way these countries have established governments that guarantee a high level of social security for all of their citizens.

or could it be possible that countries who have better developed social care have got that way because they already had a comparatively large number of atheists? ....hmmmmm chicken or egg?

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:39:57 UTC | #909239

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 10 by aroundtown

This argument between atheism and religion is starting to look like a club you might join. I have no desire to visit or learn the secret handshake of the religious group. I could care less what they think of me really and to think otherwise is a waste of time. I am not an insecure atheist, I am just an atheist.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:40:38 UTC | #909241

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 11 by crookedshoes

aroundtown, Agreed, however the bigger picture is that of true bigotry and prejudicial treatment of atheistic people. That (I think) is the bigger picture, here. I mean, shit, I'd put my honesty against any one's any day. I fancy myself a pretty honest guy. That being said, why shouldn't I be a viable candidate for office? (not that I'd ever squat so low as to parade myself around as "electable").... What do you think?

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:44:27 UTC | #909243

TheLordHumungus's Avatar Comment 12 by TheLordHumungus

If there were a proper study, of which I have no idea how to conduct, that tested the religious against the non-religious based on trustworthiness (what would be the measurment?). I am willing to bet my life the non-religious would win it hands down. The vast majority of atheists I know are very forthcoming on things, even those that may be embarrassing, the religious on the other hand are always hiding something behind their advertised piety.

I have come to believe that most of the time, an overtly religous outward appearance means that they are ashamed of a feeling inside them and/or addictions or actions that their religion speaks against that they regularly participate in even though they try not to. Don't be surprised if Tim Tebow gets found out for having a porn addiction or something of that nature. That man has a skeleton in his closet, mark my words

Edited once for a typo

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:49:27 UTC | #909246

Metal_Is_My_Religion's Avatar Comment 13 by Metal_Is_My_Religion

In response to Comment 4 by LucindaE

I suppose that there might be some ambiguity in stating that there is "some truth to it," but secularists / atheists should stress that being socially acceptable is not the same thing as being morally correct.

This article states that, "...reminding people about God’s presence has the same effect as telling people they are being watched by others: it increases their feelings of self-consciousness and leads them to behave in more socially acceptable ways," (my italics).

The first link that you provided does comment on the morality of atheists, however:

"...when we actually compare the values and beliefs of atheists and secular people to those of religious people, the former are markedly less nationalistic, less prejudiced, less anti-Semitic, less racist, less dogmatic, less ethnocentric, less close-minded, and less authoritarian" Zuckerman, p. 5

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:53:21 UTC | #909249

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 14 by crookedshoes

The lord humungus, I agree with you about the overtly religious using it to mask some other shortcoming. Do you think it is consciously that they do this or does it operate in a deeper way????

PS. I hope Tim Tebow is as pure as advertised. I respect anyone who would carry their convictions with them and actually LIVE BY THEM (which he seems to do). It is the hypocrite that I detest. I hope he is not a hypocrite.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:55:44 UTC | #909250

brighterstill's Avatar Comment 15 by brighterstill

Comment 6 by Carl Sai Baba :

If they can't trust a priest not to rape their kids, I wonder what they could possibly be worried about atheists doing.

Don't you know? Atheists eat babies!

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 18:07:01 UTC | #909255

brighterstill's Avatar Comment 16 by brighterstill

Comment 12 by TheLordHumungus :

If there were a proper study, of which I have no idea how to conduct, that tested the religious against the non-religious based on trustworthiness (what would be the measurment?). I am willing to bet my life the non-religious would win it hands down. The vast majority of atheists I know are very forthcoming on things, even those that may be embarrassing, the religious on the other hand are always hiding something behind their advertised piety.

Agreed. In fact, if you think about it - considering the numbers of people out there who are almost certainly atheists and just don't realize it, or are in the early, hyper-religious stages of losing their faith, many believers' claims about being believers at all is dishonest (not that I begrudge them their ultimate awakening).

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 18:13:13 UTC | #909259

brighterstill's Avatar Comment 17 by brighterstill

Comment 8 by prettygoodformonkeys :

Maybe I am just feeling a bit pessimistic today, and I suppose we have to proceed on all fronts and not get caught in the Catch-22 of well never have a secular society until we have a secular society.

Whenever I get pessimistic, I just remember that the ancient Sumerians, possibly the oldest civilization that ever existed, devoted 40% of their grain harvest to brewing beer. It always cheers me up to remember that, in the long run, humans always remember what really matters to them. :)

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 18:15:20 UTC | #909262

Lowpro's Avatar Comment 18 by Lowpro

It sounds to me as if there's a bit of a Panopticon within the minds of those who believe that God, the ever-present tower guard, is hovering over. Cannot be seen, but is known to be there, and because of that people are on their best behavior.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 18:17:31 UTC | #909264

potteryshard's Avatar Comment 19 by potteryshard

I don't know about the mildly religious, but I've always found the ostentatiously religious folk to be perfectly comfortable in taking gleeful advantage of others not a member of their particular club. I tend to see the fishhead on business advertising as a warninig hang on to your wallet, on on a car as fair warning that you will be selfishly cut off.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 18:19:33 UTC | #909265

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 20 by Mr DArcy

As one of the posters said on the SA site, in the USA, the public is bombarded with Christian tv, radio etc all day,every day. After all religion is big business in America! No wonder the image of not believing in a god is tarnished there. On this site we enjoy having a go at the likes of Bill O'Reilly and Fox news, but he is probably competing with 15 other broadcasters who are even more obnoxious than him.

It seems the Americans love to hate bogey men, while the Brits love to complain about them! At least over here, politicians like Rick Perry would be laughed outta' town. (Dragging his Bible down Main St).

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 18:31:35 UTC | #909267

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 21 by drumdaddy

Surveying answers to hypothetical questions is a suspicious modality. And then "His conclusion: It comes down to trust" is a weak conclusion indeed. I would test the contributive element that glares out like a supernova - youth brainwashing. Most who have been brought up in religion acquire information and attitudes about atheists from biased clergy. From early on atheism is cast as a synonym for sin. Children are assured that god will torture and punish atheists forever. We are recapturing the narrative but should not waste much time on entrenched minds. Let's let the young know we are here, we care, and we are an alternative to dogmatic tyrants.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 18:33:56 UTC | #909269

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 22 by aroundtown

aroundtown, Agreed, however the bigger picture is that of true bigotry and prejudicial treatment of atheistic people. That (I think) is the bigger picture, here. I mean, shit, I'd put my honesty against any one's any day. I fancy myself a pretty honest guy. That being said, why shouldn't I be a viable candidate for office? (not that I'd ever squat so low as to parade myself around as "electable").... What do you think?

I can certainly appreciate you position and I wholeheartedly agree that we should be considered viable for any endeavor. I think of the wizard of oz as an example to bolster my original position and it is as follows, Dorothy: How do you talk if you don't have a brain? Scarecrow: Well, some people without brains do an awful lot of talking don't they?

I think you can see my point, religionist certainly do a lot of talking but unfortunately it is nonsense. I could care less what they think of me and their actions do not thwart my ability to think for myself. The issues are separate to my way of thinking. We are not going to be invited to the table by religion which presently has the best seats in many areas of society including government. They suffer from a mental delusion that affects the inclusion of anyone who does not adhere to their belief system so we will never be accepted but I don't feel we should try in the first place. The answer/solution to the condition is an elimination of religious dogma purported to affect the entire populace or seek an adamant separation of church and state but you have seen where that has gone. Bottom line is I am never going to seek their permission to believe as I do.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 18:47:56 UTC | #909274

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 23 by crookedshoes

aroundtown, I agree with everything you posted. everything. That being said, would you ever run for office?

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 18:51:49 UTC | #909276

holysmokes's Avatar Comment 24 by holysmokes

Perhaps it is high time that we start encouraging our like-minded friends to run for offices around the country.

Does anyone know a few rich atheists that can back me financially to run for office? Running for a state representative or senator should do nicely. I'd love to test this notion of atheists not being trusted, especially considering the fact that I spent a lifetime defending this country.

Oh never mind, I dislike politicians far too much to ever join their ranks.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 18:52:24 UTC | #909277

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 25 by aroundtown

Comment 23 by crookedshoes aroundtown, I agree with everything you posted. everything. That being said, would you ever run for office?

No! But I will standup for our values and not back away from a potential ass kicking in the process. We have every right to be sane and time will out these boogers from society. I may not see it in my lifetime but they are not going to get away with it indefinitely.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 18:58:33 UTC | #909279

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 26 by crookedshoes

Aroundtown, Here's to hoping you are right. Cheers. crooked

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 18:59:54 UTC | #909281

MilitantNonStampCollector's Avatar Comment 27 by MilitantNonStampCollector

Comment 9 by Queen of the Pencils :

In many Scandinavian countries, including Norway and Sweden, the number of people who report believing in God has reached an all-time low. This may have something to do with the way these countries have established governments that guarantee a high level of social security for all of their citizens.

or could it be possible that countries who have better developed social care have got that way because they already had a comparatively large number of atheists? ....hmmmmm chicken or egg?


I would imagine that the more developed a country in terms of health, education, opportunity etc ... the less the need for the opium of religion.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 19:00:39 UTC | #909283

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 28 by Premiseless

Comment 15 by brighterstill :

Comment 6 by Carl Sai Baba :

If they can't trust a priest not to rape their kids, I wonder what they could possibly be worried about atheists doing.

Don't you know? Atheists eat babies!

They are trying this one out here!

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 19:04:37 UTC | #909284

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 29 by aroundtown

Whenever I get pessimistic, I just remember that the ancient Sumerians, possibly the oldest civilization that ever existed, devoted 40% of their grain harvest to brewing beer. It always cheers me up to remember that, in the long run, humans always remember what really matters to them. :)

Cheers Mate! Here's a shout out to the froth on a mug of grog!

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 19:29:56 UTC | #909289

the way's Avatar Comment 30 by the way

Comment 22 by aroundtown

I could care less what they think of me

Please forgive me aroundtown, I am a bit confused here. How much less could you care? A lot less? Not much less? You could...care less, but they're still ok in your eyes? (ie you do have a small soft spot for them)

Or are you saying that you could not care any less than you already do...you have reached the bottom of your caring for them?

It does confuse me...my apologies.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 20:04:19 UTC | #909294