Bias against atheists

An international study claims that there is bias against atheists in countries around the world, with the only exceptions being in Finland and New Zealand. Our tolerance to religion and our tendency to keep religion to ourselves are likely factors.

RNZ: Study shows international bias against atheists

According to a new study, some atheists even have an in-built “anti-atheist bias” when it comes to judging a person’s morality.

But anti-atheist bias was strongest where there are high numbers of believers, like the United Arab Emirates, United States and India.

A diverse bunch of biased countries.

Only New Zealand and Finland did not exhibit a clear bias against atheists.

The study, put together by an international team and published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, was based on the responses of more than 3000 people across 13 countries and five continents.

Across the study group, it was found people were twice as likely to believe the killer was an atheist.

Study co-author Will Gervais, a psychology professor at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, told news agency AFP: “It is striking that even atheists appear to hold the same intuitive anti-atheist bias.

“I suspect that this stems from the prevalence of deeply entrenched pro-religious norms.

“Even in places that are currently quite overtly secular, people still seem to intuitively hold on to the belief that religion is a moral safeguard.”

But apparently not so in New Zealand. Which doesn’t surprise me, generally here people have no idea whether people are religious or not, and don’t care if they are because it impacts little outside where the practice their religion.

And a significant proportion of the Kiwi population are virtual atheists or are barely or nominally religious.

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16 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  August 8, 2017

    I have nothing against atheists, myself.

    Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  August 8, 2017

    Come in Richard Dawkins. ..atheist and formidable debater.

    Reply
  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  August 8, 2017

    His billboards weren’t very profound !

    Reply
  4. Corky

     /  August 8, 2017

    Interesting study. I’ve seen atheists on the receiving end of discrimination, but only in certain circumstances and situations. For example atheism has no place in Maori society.

    Many older organisations still believe in divine providence as a guiding force in their works.

    The problem with atheism is the denial of an innate human intuition that a singular human unit is part of something larger. Hence most atheists I know aren’t happy campers.

    Atheism organisations also use rejigged religious trappings to creating their own pseudo religions ceremonies.

    http://rationalists.nz/services/celebrants.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  August 8, 2017

      What convincing religious paradigm is evident? So many. ..brands leads to skepticism.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 8, 2017

      Well, I’m an atheist, of sorts, & I’m happy most the time. You can’ really classify all atheists as having the same attitudes and beliefs. Mind me asking if it’s just the atheists you say you know who aren’t happy? Is it possible you just tend to hang around more with people who’re generally not happy about things, for example?

      Reply
  5. Corky

     /  August 8, 2017

    We often see crazy religious nutters in the media. But atheists, or fundamental materialists, can also get animated when their religion is challenged.

    Reply
    • Anonymous Coward

       /  August 8, 2017

      And when that “christian” isn’t chasing people round campus for god knows how long (edit at the start leaves that unclear, I suspect it may have been some time) he’s knocking on peoples doors telling them their neighbour is an abortionist.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  August 8, 2017

        Obviously a nutter. Don’t be upset. Just offering another point of view that isn’t readily accepted by ” cool” society.

        Reply
        • Trumpenreich

           /  August 8, 2017

          Reply
        • Mefrostate

           /  August 8, 2017

          You’re inventing stuff. This cool” society, which pretends like all atheists are amazing people and that none of them could ever be an asshole, simply doesn’t exist. You’re shadowboxing with strawmen.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  August 8, 2017

            You need to read before you engaging your brain.

            Reply
            • Mefrostate

               /  August 8, 2017

              You: “atheists, or fundamental materialists, can also get animated when their religion is challenged”

              Me: Yes, obviously. Every group contains some idiots. People tend to react badly when their worldview is challenged.

              You: “Just offering another point of view that isn’t readily accepted by ” cool” society”

              Me: This cool” society, which pretends like all atheists are amazing people and that none of them could ever be an asshole, simply doesn’t exist.

            • Corky

               /  August 8, 2017

              Me, copying from you: ”you are inventing stuff” It’s called gobbledygook.
              That’s why I never push my self debating on this site. It’s full of piss takers.

            • Mefrostate

               /  August 8, 2017

              I have no idea what you’re banging on about.

              Please elaborate on what you meant by: “Just offering another point of view that isn’t readily accepted by ” cool” society.”

            • Gezza

               /  August 9, 2017

              That’s why I never push my self debating on this site. It’s full of piss takers.

              Naturally I can’t speak for any other piss takers, but, personally, I only tend to do that sort of thing where I encounter someone who’s talking shit. Sometimes they might try to *take me down a peg or two* but, on the whole, that’s not usually very fruitful.

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