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← Want People to Trust Atheists More? Remind Them of Cops and Courts, Says New Study

Want People to Trust Atheists More? Remind Them of Cops and Courts, Says New Study - Comments

debaser71's Avatar Comment 1 by debaser71

How about less atheist buttery and less atheists refusing the label as such.

Wed, 16 May 2012 16:06:00 UTC | #941861

inleaguewithsatan's Avatar Comment 2 by inleaguewithsatan

This is a terrible idea. Do police officers and court systems have the best character to be in such a position? Most Christians that actually follow the Bible do not support capital punishment, yet there have been over a hundred people put to death who were innocent. Atheists should try to change the court system and police forces, not use them as an idealization and give thanks. They are not the logical, rational thinkers you believe. In the United States eye witnesses are used for conclusive evidence. I'm sure anyone here understands how ridiculous this is.

Wed, 16 May 2012 16:25:28 UTC | #941864

littletrotsky13's Avatar Comment 3 by littletrotsky13

Comment 2 by inleaguewithsatan :

Atheists should try to change the court system and police forces, not use them as an idealization and give thanks.

I don't think that's what the paper itself is suggesting. Based on the experiments done it looks more like an exploration of how reminding people of the real life bodies excecuting the social reinforcement mechanism that gods puportedly fulfill causes less distrust of atheists, if for no other reason than it reminds people that there's a secular punishment mechanism to coerce "good" behaviour, rather than a reliance on a supernatural one.

Wed, 16 May 2012 17:01:36 UTC | #941869

MilitantNonStampCollector's Avatar Comment 4 by MilitantNonStampCollector

Let me get this straight. If one doesn't believe in a celestial magician then they are lower than a rapist in the eyes of a believer? That's funny if it's coming from those who gloss over the rape in the bible.

Wed, 16 May 2012 17:29:54 UTC | #941876

Southern Humanist's Avatar Comment 5 by Southern Humanist

One of my favorite arguments is the judicial analogy. Let's see, if you're a believer and you've been wrongly convicted of a crime, would you want your defense attorney to introduce the evidence that establishes your innocence or would you rather she simply ask the jury to have faith that really didn't do it? Suddenly the concept of evidence starts to look pretty good.

Wed, 16 May 2012 17:36:41 UTC | #941879

PBrain's Avatar Comment 6 by PBrain

Comment Removed by Author

Wed, 16 May 2012 17:49:56 UTC | #941884

PBrain's Avatar Comment 7 by PBrain

So,eh,OJ Simpson was definitely innocent and it's right that so many people in the usa spend an un-proportionate amount of time in prison for the mere possession of personal weed? If the law was based on fairness...then yes,we could trust them,,,and at least be honest about it. There are also complex philosophical and logical issues to deal with,with regard to law,the way it's implemented and from who's opinion right and wrong is based,and, also the type of punishment,lock them up and throw away the key. Not including the fact that so many people are in jail in the USA because it's good for state funding,a employment in a town.(Look into it,it's f**king scary)."the land of the free" my hole. It's a good try,if you're looking for trust,but I'd rather be distrusted and be honest about my opinions. You go into court,swear on a book that wouldn't stand up in a court of law,and then of course(especially if you're looking at execution)(maybe in a so called modern country)you tell the absolute truth,if you're guilty. Makes no sense a lot of the time.The people who change the law,and have it enforced, to either suit themselves and/or for religious purposes,which is in many a case,are as responsible for this distrust as is religion itself ....... maybe. ok,i need a coffee

Wed, 16 May 2012 17:57:04 UTC | #941887

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 8 by Alan4discussion

I think the cases of the paedophile priests makes the case very clearly!
The secular authorities (police and courts) are dealing with them after their god and their fellow theists' authorities failed to enforce moral behaviour and allowed and/or facilitated cover-ups.

Wed, 16 May 2012 18:11:00 UTC | #941890

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 9 by SomersetJohn

I'm not too worried about theists trusting me. My own degree of trust towards those suffering from delusions is pretty much inversely proportional to the degree of delusion.

Since I have little trust in them I can hardly complain when they don't trust me.

Wed, 16 May 2012 18:25:29 UTC | #941893

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 10 by Steven Mading

I most emphatically do NOT place authority in cops and courts. They are just as prone to corruption as the propaganda artists who wrote the New Testament, and for exactly the same reason: When there's a story to be sold, truth takes a backseat.

Wed, 16 May 2012 19:30:12 UTC | #941898

R[A]Y's Avatar Comment 11 by R[A]Y

I don’t think I understand. I do see police officers as authority figures, but that doesn’t have anything to do with why I try to be a good, trustworthy person.

If I was asked, “How could you be a good, trustworthy person without believing in god?” I would be lying if I replied, “I only act good because I don’t want to be arrested.” I try to be a good person, because I want to be a good person.

Wed, 16 May 2012 19:57:57 UTC | #941906

littletrotsky13's Avatar Comment 12 by littletrotsky13

Comment 11 by R[A]Y :

If I was asked, “How could you be a good, trustworthy person without believing in god?” I would be lying if I replied, “I only act good because I don’t want to be arrested.” I try to be a good person, because I want to be a good person.

Nevertheless, on a subconcious or concious level, I suspect a lot of believers think this about atheists, and the reminder in the experiment puts in the "they're trustworthy because they can't get away with being untrustworthy" thoughts in their head, confirming the bias but alleviating the symptoms of it, I think.

This experiment isn't about how good/bad/corrupt secular figures of authority are, they're about how much their existence lessens distrust of atheist (in the USA I presume).

Wed, 16 May 2012 20:32:42 UTC | #941913

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 13 by Peter Grant

This is somewhat ironic considering that the US has a higher percentage of its population incarcerated than any other country, including South Africa, and hardly any of them are atheists. But hey, whatever works.

Wed, 16 May 2012 21:45:58 UTC | #941920

inleaguewithsatan's Avatar Comment 14 by inleaguewithsatan

Comment 3 by littletrotsky13 :

Comment 2 by inleaguewithsatan :

Atheists should try to change the court system and police forces, not use them as an idealization and give thanks.

I don't think that's what the paper itself is suggesting. Based on the experiments done it looks more like an exploration of how reminding people of the real life bodies excecuting the social reinforcement mechanism that gods puportedly fulfill causes less distrust of atheists, if for no other reason than it reminds people that there's a secular punishment mechanism to coerce "good" behaviour, rather than a reliance on a supernatural one.

I understand experimentation, but this does not translate to the world of dialogue in which we exist. We are constantly exchanging ideas and information, so how is one supposed to respond to a theist which does not approve of the current authoritative policies outside of an experiment? What argument can you really make that you can trust secular-entities when in reality police injustice and constitutional dissonance are no better than the alternatives?

I understand the essence of this experiment, and it's quite a genius device to explore underlying themes of humanity, but in reality atheists really don't have an argument that definitively says secular rule is entirely superior to theocracy. Discrimination of minorities is secular; yes, there can be ideas in a religion which influence those at fault, but the action itself is entirely out of religion's reach. You don't have to believe in god to bash homosexuals, lynch blacks, or send an innocent man to the contemporary gallows. Perhaps we should try to improve this system rather than pointing our fingers. That's all I'm saying.

Wed, 16 May 2012 22:11:35 UTC | #941924

inleaguewithsatan's Avatar Comment 15 by inleaguewithsatan

Comment Removed by Author

Wed, 16 May 2012 22:12:08 UTC | #941925

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 16 by Alan4discussion

There is a fundamental problem with the trust of a closed minded theist.

They have been indoctrinated that morality is following dogma, which is "deity endorsed"! This is constantly reaffirmed in church prayers, chanting, preaching etc., which may also include stroking the egos of sheeples and disparaging and vilifying unbelievers.

Sheeple morality is "deity endorsed" and enforced by threats of Hell etc. from an all seeing snooping god, who makes them behave as dogma dictates through fear.

It follows in the sheeple mind, that atheists who "deny" god is watching them, also deny "morality" is being enforced on them, and are therefore immoral (or at least amoral), and are therefore untrustworthy. Atheist disregard of the sillier aspects of dogma illustrates this to the sheeple.

This distrust of those outside their circle, is good for spreading the religious meme, as it actively encourages discrimination in favour of other sheeples, and discrimination against others.

It is also illustrated when competing sheeple organisations vent their discrimination and hate against each other. (As in the crusades, Ireland, Palestine etc)

Atheists being seen a good upright citizens should help to build trust, but scurrilous hate preaching will undermine this as the gullible lap it up. We only have to look at the bigoted abuse on some religious web sites and in the press, to see this.

Wed, 16 May 2012 22:59:06 UTC | #941935

xsjadolateralus's Avatar Comment 17 by xsjadolateralus

Comment 9 by SomersetJohn :

I'm not too worried about theists trusting me. My own degree of trust towards those suffering from delusions is pretty much inversely proportional to the degree of delusion.

Since I have little trust in them I can hardly complain when they don't trust me.

THIS!

^^^^

We have to stop worrying about changing their views and get busy changing the world we all live in, so their delusional views are no longer relevant to what actually takes place. Kind of what the article was trying to say. Using secular law as an example to raise consciousness of it's efficacy and relevance to atheists. We should focus on enforcing the secular law, so it makes the supposed celestial law appear more obsolete to theists, if not younger generations.

Besides, bolstering equal human rights and laws to protect us does both advance our cause and forces people to view us as the humanitarian civil servants that we are.

Thu, 17 May 2012 00:15:23 UTC | #941942

xsjadolateralus's Avatar Comment 18 by xsjadolateralus

Comment 14 by inleaguewithsatan :

Comment 3 by littletrotsky13 :

Comment 2 by inleaguewithsatan :

Atheists should try to change the court system and police forces, not use them as an idealization and give thanks.

I don't think that's what the paper itself is suggesting. Based on the experiments done it looks more like an exploration of how reminding people of the real life bodies excecuting the social reinforcement mechanism that gods puportedly fulfill causes less distrust of atheists, if for no other reason than it reminds people that there's a secular punishment mechanism to coerce "good" behaviour, rather than a reliance on a supernatural one.

I understand experimentation, but this does not translate to the world of dialogue in which we exist. We are constantly exchanging ideas and information, so how is one supposed to respond to a theist which does not approve of the current authoritative policies outside of an experiment? What argument can you really make that you can trust secular-entities when in reality police injustice and constitutional dissonance are no better than the alternatives?

I understand the essence of this experiment, and it's quite a genius device to explore underlying themes of humanity, but in reality atheists really don't have an argument that definitively says secular rule is entirely superior to theocracy. Discrimination of minorities is secular; yes, there can be ideas in a religion which influence those at fault, but the action itself is entirely out of religion's reach. You don't have to believe in god to bash homosexuals, lynch blacks, or send an innocent man to the contemporary gallows. Perhaps we should try to improve this system rather than pointing our fingers. That's all I'm saying.

Kind of hard to take you serious when the bible endorses slavery, genocide, etc.

If you had a following behind a book that endorsed slavery, genocide, rape, etc. you're saying that following and book would not be more likely to commit those crimes?

Yes, almost all religions have racism and or prejudice toward one or more groups.

When you mandate and justify prejudice with "we have god on our side" it becomes religion. That is the primary utility of religion. With god, anything is permissible. Not the other way around, as theists would like you to believe. It's a justification for why they are discriminating race, sex, religion, etc.

There is no mechanism for prejudice on the secular side of that equivalent, sorry. You are sadly mistaken.

Thu, 17 May 2012 00:25:22 UTC | #941945

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 19 by QuestioningKat

When I was a kid there were "the atheists neighbors" down the street. The kids were well behaved, the mother was highly involved in the PTA, and they were a very "together" family. A couple of intelligent kids revealed in elementary school that they did not believe in God.

Here is a novel idea. Set an example of being good, well-balanced, productive individuals and families and people will get the idea. If you argue, belittle other people's beliefs, and act combative, others will be on the defense.There is much power in making a quiet stand for who you are and what you stand for. It certainly made an impression on me.

Thu, 17 May 2012 00:42:34 UTC | #941946

silentbutler's Avatar Comment 20 by silentbutler

Set an example of being good? Sounds like snow cones and summer camp; a nice retreat, but now it's time to go home. An atheist is no more likely to commit a crime than a theist, and no less likely. In fact that's what I'm getting from this article. If you are superstitious, the punishment in all its brimstone and wrath, comes from your god, and if you're not so much, the punishment is still dolled out, but from a not so on high place. The one supplanted by the other. This is an important point. The social need for accountability. The primative need for responsibility. And it's literally older than god! Your secular punishment, unlike your theistic counterpart, is fashioned in such a way as to be scrutinized for its flaws. And flawed as it is, I'd take it over any bible in any language on any continent. Because in any language on any street corner, in the free world at least, secular law is under scrutiny. And open for revision. Religious law, aside from places like this, is not. Sadly so few recognise the value and worth of intelligent skepticism. "Give me fruitful error any time, full of seeds bursting with its own correction. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself".

Thu, 17 May 2012 06:15:28 UTC | #941977

Roedy's Avatar Comment 21 by Roedy

The biggest problem is the canard that without fear of after-death roasting people will run amok and rape and pillage. I presume this means that Christians feel they are always on the verge of running amok, and thus so must everyone else. If not, they are acting superior.

Most of the soldiers are religious. Religion seems to spur on their raping and pillaging as Bertrand Russell repeatedly pointed out.

I repeatedly heard the argument that even if god did not exist, you should still lie and pretend he did to control all the wicked people.

The three obvious ways to combat this is to:

  1. quote evil and cite evil deeds from famous Christians like Luther, Henry VIII and St. Augustine.

  2. point out that many highly respected and moral people did not believe a word of the god Jehovah propaganda.

  3. explain the many motivations for good behaviour that have nothing to do with torture.

Thu, 17 May 2012 06:51:26 UTC | #941978

dawkinsian-darwinian1859's Avatar Comment 22 by dawkinsian-darwinian1859

I do not need a mythical creature to tell me what is ethical and what is unethical, my ethics come from my evolutionary history as well as from my understanding of pain. We form relationships in life and when we see our love ones suffering then we know what is ethical and what is not. Religion is no kind of morality, it is wrong and truly unethical.

Thu, 17 May 2012 11:02:52 UTC | #942004

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 23 by Mr DArcy

From the OP

Is there a way to get religious believers to trust atheists?

Let them know that you don't put up with bullshit.

"I'm an atheist but......." types are more insidious than the "creeping Jesus" types.

(Oh what a wonderful sunset, now down on your knees and thank the Lord).

Thu, 17 May 2012 18:36:00 UTC | #942076

wdbailey's Avatar Comment 24 by wdbailey

One shouldn't allow his own issues with authority to blind him to what is revealed by this study. The righteous will profess their faith till they are blue in the face but despite the assurances of that faith when the righteous are confronted with crime and disorder they don't pray but rather dial 911. Though they will never admit it they know deep in that righteous heart of theirs that god won't respond but the police will.

Fri, 18 May 2012 00:42:14 UTC | #942117