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Author Topic: Bus Billboards Say Atheists Good Without God  (Read 2027 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 28, 2010, 05:45:24 AM »


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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – An atheist group in North Texas is launching another advertising campaign this week.

The DFW Coalition of Reason will be using bus billboards in Fort Worth to spread the gospel of nontheism during the month of December.

Signs that read ‘Millions of Americans are good without God’ will appear on four buses belonging to the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, better known as ‘The T’ through December, a time many are celebrating religious holidays.

In April of 2009, also a time of religious holidays, the DFW Coalition of Reason launched a similar billboard campaign, placing billboards along I-35E in Dallas and I-35W in Fort Worth. Those Billboards read, ‘Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.’

Coalition Coordinator Terry McDonald says the bus signs are designed to show that atheists are good Americans as well.
http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2010/12/01/bus-billboards-say-atheists-good-without-god/

The problem Terry McDonald is defending is not so much "that atheists are good Americans" but rather the billboards are saying that millions of Americans are good without God, saying they don't need Him.

Moral relavitsim is going to keep defragmenting this country more and more, can we even honestly say we are even united?
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2010, 10:11:27 AM »

One could make the argument that any person can be good according to a loosely defined moral code.  The problem is when a religion becomes 'official' for a community.  Then, what are the costs?

As far as I have been able to tell, societies that have become officially 'atheistic' end up oppressing and murdering their own people at an alarmingly high rate and compromising with religion in order to provide some kind of vent for their people's unmet desires.  I would argue (and have) that the combined death/torture rates of atheistic states rival by a fact of 1,000s the rates within even the most barbarous Mohammedan nations.

The last time I got into this debate, the person decided to invoke the 'Inquisition Fallacy,' saying that Christianity has killed and suppressed millions of Europeans and others.  New historical research into the actual records of the time indicate that relatively few people were either tortured or killed, and most of those were carried out by local warlords rather than the Roman Church.  Yet, even those trials on average had only a 25% conviction rate, most of those not resulting in executions.

In fact, the Church of Rome actually went out of its way to assure that trials would be fair, and it stood against unjust accusation.

Whereas Communist regimes enforced atheism with great brutality, which eventually brought down the belief system itself.  Today, Cuba is now officially permitting religion to spread, and China is even loosening restrictions.

Atheism is, in my opinion, what everyone should be worried about.
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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2010, 11:12:36 AM »

Good according to whom?

I've run into countless people that consider themselves good, but they're definition of good varies according to their desires. Good all to often to non-religious/chrisitan is anything that makes you happy and not sad.
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2010, 11:40:22 AM »

Denying they need him only legitimizes that he exists. I don't think that is what they are trying to get across. They are trying to detach morality from religion. That is atheists biggest dilemma. To some extent they are correct.  Even scripture states that the law is written on peoples hearts.  With that said. I can certainly see a complete disregard of morals in the future if people allowed atheists to prevail. Over time morals will degrade within a society. It's only natural because slowly a society can drift when the only measure of morality will be themselves.
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2010, 12:43:46 PM »

Oh, Dallas...
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2010, 01:21:47 PM »

Good according to whom?

I've run into countless people that consider themselves good, but they're definition of good varies according to their desires. Good all to often to non-religious/chrisitan is anything that makes you happy and not sad.

Maybe we can learn how to be good without God by following the example of Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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In 1941, she married John Henry Roths. They separated when they both enlisted for World War II service, he in the United States Marine Corps, she in the Women's Army Corps. In April 1945, while posted to a cryptography position in Italy, she began an affair with an officer, William J. Murray, Jr. Murray was a married Roman Catholic, and he refused to divorce his wife. Mays divorced Roths and began calling herself Madalyn Murray, and gave birth to a boy she named William J. Murray and nicknamed "Bill."

In 1949, Murray completed a bachelor's degree from Ashland University.[7] In 1952, she completed a law degree from South Texas College of Law; however, she failed the bar exam and never practiced law.[4] In later writing for American Atheists, she referred to herself as "Dr. O'Hair," likely with regard to her law degree (a juris doctorate), although it is not standard practice for individuals in the United States with law degrees to do so. On November 16, 1954 she gave birth to her second son Jon Garth Murray, fathered by her boyfriend Michael Fiorillo.[3]

She and her two children traveled via ship to Europe with the intention of defecting to the Soviet embassy in Paris and residing in the Soviet Union. The Soviets denied them entry.[4] Murray and her sons returned to Baltimore, Maryland in 1960.[8]

Murray stated that she worked for seventeen years as a psychiatric social worker, and that in 1960 she was a supervisor at the Baltimore city public welfare department.[7]

In 1960, Murray filed a lawsuit against the Baltimore City Public School System, in which she asserted that it was unconstitutional for her son William to be required to participate in Bible readings at Baltimore public schools. In this litigation, she stated that her son's refusal to partake in the Bible readings had resulted in bullying being directed against him by classmates, and that administrators condoned this.[7] After consolidation with Abington School District v. Schempp, the lawsuit reached the Supreme Court of the United States in 1963. The Court voted 8-1 in Murray's favor, which effectively banned coercive prayer and Bible verse recitation at public schools in the United States. Thereafter, she declared herself to have been the leader of the movement to remove prayer from public schools. However, her son William later noted that there were several similar cases before the Supreme Court at the same time, and her case simply happened to be decided first.

Murray left Maryland in 1963 after she allegedly assaulted five Baltimore police officers who came to her home to retrieve a runaway girl, Bill's girlfriend.[9] In 1965, she married U.S. Marine Richard O'Hair.[7][10] Although the marriage resulted in separation, she remained married to him until his death in 1978.[10]

O'Hair filed a lawsuit with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in regards to the Apollo 8 Genesis reading.[11] O'Hair wished the courts to ban US astronauts—who were all Government employees—from public prayer in outer space.[11] The case was rejected by the US Supreme Court for lack of jurisdiction.[12]

O'Hair constantly challenged and publicly debated religious leaders and public figures on a variety of issues. She described herself as a "sexual libertarian" and stated that children in sixth grade should be given sex education and "be allowed to go at it without supervision or restriction -- in their parents' bedroom, on the grass in a park", and so forth.[7] She felt that relationships between people, emotional or sexual, were not open to any kind of supervision by other people and especially not by the U.S. government.[6]

Following her arrival in Austin, Texas, O'Hair founded American Atheists, "a nationwide movement which defends the civil rights of non-believers, works for the separation of church and state and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy." She acted as the group's first chief executive officer.

O'Hair was the voice and face of atheism in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s, therefore making her a highly controversial figure. Her son, William, described her as, "profane and vulgar," and said his mother had several grotesque statues of mating animals displayed in her home.[13] In a 1965 interview with Playboy Magazine, she claimed religion was "a crutch" and an "irrational reliance on superstitions and supernatural nonsense."[7]

O'Hair was the very first guest on The Phil Donahue Show, when it debuted as a local program in Dayton, Ohio on November 6, 1967;[15][16] she would make several appearances on the program during its run. Host Phil Donahue would later call her message of atheism "very important," but said that O'Hair was "unpleasant" to be around and that she mocked him off-camera for being Catholic.[17]

O'Hair remained a polarizing figure into the 1980s. She served as "chief speechwriter" for Larry Flynt's 1984 presidential campaign, and continued to be a regular talk show guest.[2] Jon Murray succeeded her as leader of the American Atheists; he was not liked by many in the organization, and various chapters seceded from the main group. In 1991, the remaining local/state chapters were dissolved.[2]

In 1980, William Murray was baptized at a Baptist church in Dallas, where he took up work as a preacher. This led to a permanent estrangement between mother and son. As she put it, "One could call this a postnatal abortion on the part of a mother, I guess; I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times...he is beyond human forgiveness."[26]

Murray spoke critically and regretfully of his mother after her disappearance, and characterized her social activism as being motivated by a love of hedonism and a need for dominance:

"When I was a young boy of ten or eleven years old she would come home and brag about spending the day in X-rated movie theaters in downtown Baltimore.... My mother’s whole life circulated around such things... It was love of power over people that finally caused not only her death, but the deaths of my brother and my daughter... My mother was an evil person... Not for removing prayer from America's schools... No, she was just evil. She stole huge amounts of money. She misused the trust of people. She cheated children out of their parents' inheritance. She cheated on her taxes and even stole from her own organizations. She once printed up phony stock certificates on her own printing press to try to take over another atheist publishing company....Regardless of how evil and lawless my mother was she did not deserve to die in the manner she did."[13]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madalyn_Murray_O%27Hair
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2010, 01:51:39 PM »

When I was an atheist, I didn't care whether or not someone else was religious, and I recognized that they were good people. I felt no need to ram my worldview down someone else's throat. They never persecuted me; I never persecuted them.

I suspect these New Atheists are, in actuality, virulent marxists intent upon putting the final nail in an opposing worldview's coffin. Christianity stands against everything marxists avow in their attempt to create a new "Heaven on Earth."

Make no mistake: marxism is the Number One enemy of the Church.
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2010, 01:53:43 PM »

I guess they are starting their own religion but I thought Lennon said, "and no religion too... a brotherhood of man" (man) "imagine all the people ....you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one..."
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2010, 02:03:25 PM »

They tried this on the busses in Fort Worth.  Caused such a ruckus that the board of the T, in what looked like a kneejerk reaction, ended up banning all religious ads on busses.
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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2010, 02:18:40 PM »

That's not nearly as bad as this atheist bus campaign coming to Canada soon:
http://atheistbus.ca/2010/12/02/cfi-canada-launches-new-campaign/

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« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2010, 04:33:31 PM »

Isa,

I've never heard that story. Thanks for posting that.
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« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2010, 05:29:14 PM »

Good according to whom?

I've run into countless people that consider themselves good, but they're definition of good varies according to their desires. Good all to often to non-religious/chrisitan is anything that makes you happy and not sad.

I think good can be generally categorized as helping those in need and sacrificing your own wants, needs and desires for those of other's.
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« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2010, 07:23:51 PM »

They only repeat what was done in the GB.
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« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2010, 07:57:12 PM »

Good according to whom?

I've run into countless people that consider themselves good, but they're definition of good varies according to their desires. Good all to often to non-religious/chrisitan is anything that makes you happy and not sad.

I think good can be generally categorized as helping those in need and sacrificing your own wants, needs and desires for those of other's.
What if your want, need, and desire is to help those in need, by sacrificing what only appears to be your wants, needs, and desires?
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« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2010, 08:18:13 PM »

If it's said on billboards, it must be true and deep Roll Eyes
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« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2010, 03:28:15 AM »

Good according to whom?

I've run into countless people that consider themselves good, but they're definition of good varies according to their desires. Good all to often to non-religious/chrisitan is anything that makes you happy and not sad.

I think good can be generally categorized as helping those in need and sacrificing your own wants, needs and desires for those of other's.
What if your want, need, and desire is to help those in need, by sacrificing what only appears to be your wants, needs, and desires?

Either way,  I would say that such a person would be considered 'good' by the public at large, regardless of their personal motivations.
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« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2010, 11:51:24 AM »

Good according to whom?

I've run into countless people that consider themselves good, but they're definition of good varies according to their desires. Good all to often to non-religious/chrisitan is anything that makes you happy and not sad.

I think good can be generally categorized as helping those in need and sacrificing your own wants, needs and desires for those of other's.
What if your want, need, and desire is to help those in need, by sacrificing what only appears to be your wants, needs, and desires?

Either way,  I would say that such a person would be considered 'good' by the public at large, regardless of their personal motivations.

If ultimately your reason for being 'good' is public image, like a politician?
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« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2010, 01:34:19 PM »

Atheism is, in my opinion, what everyone should be worried about.

Completely agreed.

Posted by: sainthieu
Quote from: sainthieu
When I was an atheist, I didn't care whether or not someone else was religious, and I recognized that they were good people. I felt no need to ram my worldview down someone else's throat. They never persecuted me; I never persecuted them.

I believe you were an exception though.  During my later phases of agnosticism, I felt the same way.   

Quote
I suspect these New Atheists are, in actuality, virulent marxists intent upon putting the final nail in an opposing worldview's coffin. Christianity stands against everything marxists avow in their attempt to create a new "Heaven on Earth."

Make no mistake: marxism is the Number One enemy of the Church.

A strong argument can be made for materialism being the No.1 enemy though. It has permeated various economic/political/philosophical beliefs, including both religious and secular.  Additionally, it has ceased to be identified as a coherent movement, so it has effectively hidden itself.   
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« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2010, 02:06:14 PM »

Good according to whom?

I've run into countless people that consider themselves good, but they're definition of good varies according to their desires. Good all to often to non-religious/chrisitan is anything that makes you happy and not sad.

I think good can be generally categorized as helping those in need and sacrificing your own wants, needs and desires for those of other's.
What if your want, need, and desire is to help those in need, by sacrificing what only appears to be your wants, needs, and desires?

Either way,  I would say that such a person would be considered 'good' by the public at large, regardless of their personal motivations.

If ultimately your reason for being 'good' is public image, like a politician?

I think my original point is fading. Basically, if someone does a good act, like feed the poor or give to charity, the public at large considers that a good act. Therefore, a person who spends much of their time doing so would typically be considered a good person, regardless of their religion or belief system.
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« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2010, 02:31:23 PM »

The campaign reeks of immaturity and insecurity, just like Christians who use billboards as a medium. It's just as gay to sell "No God" as it is to sell "God" on billboards and TV.
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« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2010, 11:06:02 PM »

The campaign reeks of immaturity and insecurity, just like Christians who use billboards as a medium. It's just as gay to sell "No God" as it is to sell "God" on billboards and TV.

Exactly.
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« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2010, 02:57:02 AM »


Maybe we can learn how to be good without God by following the example of Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Are you drunk, or do you merely require a rise that badly?

Hey, I can play that game too. Want to learn how to be good with God and raise a wholesome family? Follow Gertrude Baniszewski's example. No, no, how about Dale Neumann, and the countless other parents who allow their children to die needless deaths because they're convinced prayer is superior to medicine?

You can cherry pick an example of complete and utter heinousness from ANY group of people. Such cases in no way denote a standard. Especially when Atheism has no beliefs, teachings or behavioral qualifications. It is only a lack of belief in Gods. Yet, people still commit innumerable atrocities in the name of a God, and subsequent atrocities that can be made in no name other than a God. (Such as with faith healing.) I'm more than certain a nut can bomb religious buildings due to a hatred of religion, I'm merely elucidating aforesaid points to lambaste the shins of high horses.

Belief in God(s) does not a good (wo)man make. Regardless of what doctrine says, if people believe they can communicate with, and uphold a God's standards, their (potential) madness will flourish unremittingly. Religion practically begs the mentally ill to justify their psychotic tendencies, especially if 'God tells them to'. At least with Atheism, this sense of underserved purpose which so often fuels the thoroughly deranged makes shorn of itself.
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« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2010, 03:55:34 AM »

The campaign reeks of immaturity and insecurity, just like Christians who use billboards as a medium. It's just as gay to sell "No God" as it is to sell "God" on billboards and TV.
Huh
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« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2011, 05:20:24 AM »

Nah, nevermind, I hate spats, lol  Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2011, 12:14:26 PM »

From an Orthodox perspective, this argument does not work, because not all labels reading 'God' are the same.  Therefore, we cannot take responsibility for those false gods the way atheism does not want to take responsibility for all atheists who become conscienceless beasts.

Belief in God does a good person make, so long as that belief is a belief in the True God and that the 'belief' is according to the original meaning of what the Church has always taught regarding Faith.  In our case, 'belief' is not merely agreement with an idea, but a singlemindedness of purpose which guides all action: repentance which leads to union with God.

When a 'Christian Scientist' decides to depart from the ancient Faith and strikes out on an experimental path, then he no longer 'believes' in the sense that he has chose his own way rather than that of the Church.  To say that the neglectful murder of a child through the heresy of a CS adherent naturally implicates all religion means that all atheists are equally guilty of millions of murders done in the name of atheism within Communist/Socialist regimes.

The real problem of atheism is one of definition, since atheism as a movement has never been able to define itself successfully an independent enterprise, and by that I mean that it primarily busies itself (as a movement) with 'protesting' religion (sorry, I could not avoid that).  They are so busy disproving the existence of God that those few adherents have never been able to show where an atheist of the 'revolutionary' variety who feels obligated to kill Christians has really departed from the true embodiment of atheistic beliefs.

The only way I see that happening is when the atheist movement embraces the idea of not needing to reject any other belief systems in order for one to be an atheist.  When atheism moves from rejection to mere abscence of belief in God, then we may see a different type of atheism emerge as a movement.  I would argue that this type of atheism is actually much more popular already that the common spokesmen of atheism would have us believe, but that is mostly because the 'spokesmen' are of the 'rejectionist' school of atheism.  The average person is what I call a 'functional atheist' because he mouths the outward signs of 'belief' in a religion but acts in a moment-to-moment manner as if there is no God.

The grand mistake of the 'revolutionary atheists' is that when they have forced their fellow atheists to renounce their outward religious tendencies, they usually only succeed in converting a whole bunch of people back into their mimicked religion.  This is why atheistic governments quichly create a 'cult of personality' with all the 'religious' pomp and circumstance they can.

That type of 'religion,' the 'pomp and circumstance,' I believe is what you are saying begs the mentally ill to justify their illness.  On that I would agree, so long as the ritualistic behavior is not motivated by true belief.  Again, only a true wacko would equate, let's say, the victory march of the Wehrmacht through Paris with the Allied march through the same streets a few years later.  There was a similarity of form, but not all four-legged creatures are dogs, nor are they all mammals.

Ritualistic behavior cannot be compared to true religion (the later being acts carried out in obedience to God for the benefit of all), since such a reduction of equating ritualistic behavior would include all people, since we all engage in it, both religious and atheists.

Of course, the Orthodox Church teaches us that we are all ill and in need of healing.  The faith does not teach us that membership in the Church automatically heals us.  It is, rather, a first step.


<snip>
Belief in God(s) does not a good (wo)man make. Regardless of what doctrine says, if people believe they can communicate with, and uphold a God's standards, their (potential) madness will flourish unremittingly. Religion practically begs the mentally ill to justify their psychotic tendencies, especially if 'God tells them to'.
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« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2011, 06:04:16 PM »

Even from a Christian perspective, I would say that, in a sense, they can do good without God. Of course, according to Christian belief all good things come from God (John 3:27; James 1:17; Tob. 4:19), but what I mean is, they can do good through God while not realising it, and while lacking faith in God. I think Paul hints at this when he says:

"For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)" - Rom. 2:12-15

So if people, inclined towards the good by God's nudging (Phil. 2:13), are doing that "law written in their hearts," they can still be said to be doing good, even if they don't know that it's God behind it.
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« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2011, 06:26:52 PM »

Is there not at least one part of Christian doctrine that tends to confirm the message on the bus?  If our beliefs are correct, we would expect ourselves to be the most tempted to sin.  If Satan were smart (and we have every reason to believe that he is at least cunning), would he not take every opportunity to display atheism as a good and moral option?

We might not like the idea that atheists can be just as good and moral as Christians in this world, but I'll be darned if I can think of a reason that this shouldn't occasionally be the case.
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« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2011, 10:38:34 PM »

When I was an atheist, I didn't care whether or not someone else was religious, and I recognized that they were good people. I felt no need to ram my worldview down someone else's throat. They never persecuted me; I never persecuted them.

I suspect these New Atheists are, in actuality, virulent marxists intent upon putting the final nail in an opposing worldview's coffin. Christianity stands against everything marxists avow in their attempt to create a new "Heaven on Earth."

Make no mistake: marxism is the Number One enemy of the Church.

What an Army of science and logic? I would much more worried about the rush hour traffic, then dealing with an Atheist.

If Christians were hornets, atheists are merely poking the hornets' nest with a stick, not spraying the hornets' nest with bug spray.

« Last Edit: January 11, 2011, 10:39:03 PM by mtgdude » Logged
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« Reply #28 on: November 16, 2011, 09:09:00 PM »

Quote
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.
....
But the link between atheism and amorality persists in the public imagination, and is particularly strong for those with strong religious beliefs. Gervais and his colleagues provide evidence of this in the form of six experiments, five of which features students at the University of British Columbia.

Western Canada, they note, is one of the most secular regions of North America. But they found even in that environment and among highly educated people, implicit distrust of atheists is easy to identify.
....
Another experiment suggested this distrust has real-life ramifications in the job market. Forty undergraduates were asked to choose between a religious candidate and an atheist for two jobs – a daycare worker and a waitress. Beyond their religious affiliation (or lack thereof), the candidates had identical qualifications for the position.

“Participants significantly preferred the religious candidate to the atheist candidate for a high-trust job (as a daycare worker),” the researchers report. “Conversely, participants marginally preferred the atheist candidate to the religious candidate for a low-trust job (as a waitress).”

To put it simply: “Participants discriminated against an atheist candidate when hiring for a job that required a particularly trustworthy individual.” This means “distrust of atheists translates into discriminatory decision-making,” they write.
....
But Gervais and his colleagues make a strong case that a perceived lack of trustworthiness is at the heart of anti-atheist sentiment.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 09:10:00 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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