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Do atheists get a bad rap?

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posted on May, 12 2011 @ 09:49 PM
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A growing body of social science research reveals that atheists, and nonreligious people in general, are far from the unsavory beings many assume them to be. On basic questions of morality and human decency — issues such as governmental use of torture, the death penalty, punitive hitting of children, racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, environmental degradation or human rights — the irreligious tend to be more ethical than their religious peers, particularly compared with those who describe themselves as very religious. Consider that at the societal level, murder rates are far lower in secularized nations such as Japan or Sweden than they are in the much more religious United States, which also has a much greater portion of its population in prison. Even within this country, those states with the highest levels of church attendance, such as Louisiana and Mississippi, have significantly higher murder rates than far less religious states such as Vermont and Oregon. As individuals, atheists tend to score high on measures of intelligence, especially verbal ability and scientific literacy. They tend to raise their children to solve problems rationally, to make up their own minds when it comes to existential questions and to obey the golden rule. They are more likely to practice safe sex than the strongly religious are, and are less likely to be nationalistic or ethnocentric. They value freedom of thought.


I'm curious to know why in places such as Louisiana and Mississippi are their murder rates higher? Killing is like the biggest no-no in religion. You go to hell for it so I don't understand why in more religious areas you have higher murder rates. I think being atheist gets a bad rap because people make the false stereotype that you worship the devil or something. Very interesting though that atheists tend to score high on measures of intelligence. They do their own thinking and not let the bible dictate every facet of their life.




posted on May, 12 2011 @ 09:58 PM
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reply to post by Authenticated
 


Like any group in history, be it religious, political, social or racial there are always going to be people giving a bad reputation to said group.

Westboro Baptist Church are a prime example. The regular christian going about his day to day business would understand and feel the pain for a family who has lost a member, but the WBC sees it fit to protest the funerals of soldiers who fought and died so the WBC has the right to protest.

Same thing goes for atheists. There will be people like Richard Dawkins who are outspoken, but at the same time very well informed and educated who have the ability to argue with religious leaders about their beliefs. Then there is the run of the mill 'angry atheist', who has not researched his/her arguments and is not at all informed about their beliefs and they give a bad rap to atheists everywhere because they usually end up spouting profanities and generally looking like a dick.

It's kind of a 50-50 thing. If you're serious about your beliefs it shouldn't matter what the general consensus on your particular views is. You should remain well informed about your arguments and as always be prepared to deny ignorance.


edit on 12-5-2011 by SnedsDawg because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 10:00 PM
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God forgives sin if you simply ask...therefore that frees you to do horrible things and still get candy in heaven

If you ever spent any time in a prison system, you will think you entered a cross between a war and a church...many people making crosses out of sandwich wraps and praising jesus...everyone has a bible beside their bed and are all "saved".
meanwhile, they commit more crimes, and simply ask for forgivness


An athiest goes with the foundation that this is what we got...we have life. the breaths we are taking now is all we truely know we are given and the only absolute immortality we will achieve that we know of is our legacy...therefore, we must make the world a positive experience. A athiest quite often has a profound respect for life and to keep things living...the "miracle" of life is not lost on us (typically).

the "miracle" of life is lost on the religious in my opinion, considering they spend most of their life dwelling on how cool stuff awaits verses what could be done here.

As far as the bad wrap athiests get...that simply comes from the religious types wondering how they would be if they didn't have a invisible boogieman watching them...its reflection...they know they personally are some evil SOBs (even use religion as part of that to feel superior and invunerable) and then push their issues onto others whom don't need the control measure in order to be a positive aspect in society

We simply are good because we want to live in a good world...not because if we don't, we will be tortured by space goblins and minotaur men.




posted on May, 12 2011 @ 10:05 PM
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Originally posted by SnedsDawg
Then there is the run of the mill 'angry atheist', who has not researched his/her arguments and is not at all informed about their beliefs and they give a bad rap to atheists everywhere because they usually end up spouting profanities and generally looking like a dick.


I think the biggest misunderstanding is the inability for people to see the difference between an athiest and a anth-theist.
I am a bit of both mind you...I tend to let my anti-theist flag fly now and then simply because I get frustrated at politicians using some religion (pro or con) to influence policy...it annoys me because to me its like public policy being decided over, quite literally, on the thoughts of what pink verses blue unicorns may think.
(incidently, blue unicorns is the one true unicorn breed, the pink and white groups are heathens that were decieved by leprecauns).

But ya, an uneducated anti-thiest is the bane of athiests...they do far more damage in their ramblings and rantings.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 10:14 PM
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reply to post by Authenticated
 


Atheists are always a threat to religions because they plainly show that there either is no God or that the deity plays no favorites. And if either of those is true, what is the point in being religious?
.



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 10:21 PM
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Originally posted by Aliensun
what is the point in being religious?


Well, they do have some cool ceremonies...and lets not forget the outstanding costumes



posted on May, 12 2011 @ 10:45 PM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
 


If this was true, they may as well join a community theatre group. At least then there is some sort of gratification for all their effort.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 12:12 AM
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Do atheists really get a bad rap for being some sort of vile, sinful criminals? I never got that impression...

If I had to build up a stereotype of "atheist", at the most it'd be "opinionated arrogance". Or maybe I'm talking about anti-theists?



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 12:46 AM
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Originally posted by babloyi
Do atheists really get a bad rap for being some sort of vile, sinful criminals? I never got that impression...

If I had to build up a stereotype of "atheist", at the most it'd be "opinionated arrogance". Or maybe I'm talking about anti-theists?



Athiests are frustrated as a general trait.
like a farmer milking a cow and someone saying its magic juice...the farmer may explain its not magic, its actually just breastmilk...the other person demands then its magic no matter how much the farmer tries to show its just breast milk

does that make the farmer arrogant?
no, but he might get frustrated and ultimately dismissive.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 12:59 AM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
 

Yes, exactly. That image macro is a good example of what I meant.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 01:29 AM
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reply to post by Authenticated
 


Damn straight we do. Being a publicly declared atheist is something that can ruin a lot of things for you in a lot of different countries. "Atheist" is synonymous with an image of a bogey man that's reminiscent of how some used to speak about other minorities.

Oh, and here's a video of an interview of one of the authors on the Atheist Experience.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 05:38 AM
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Youtube

Faux News essentially tells people that even mentioning atheists is offensive. The most watched media outlet in America, of course has influence over people.

Then you have the churches dumbing down the theories of evolution, abiogenesis, big bang, to the point where it'd take a total idiot to think their version of the theories was right. Now they think atheists are total idiots because they think they believe things they actually don't.

And, of course, listening to the churches, the only reason someone wouldn't believe in god, is because they're selfish. Immoral creatures who don't want to be held accountable for their actions to any deity. That obviously shines atheists in a negative light too.

The list goes on, but it all essentially goes back to trying to keep people from analyzing and questioning their beliefs.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 09:08 AM
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I think one of the best analogies to highlight the Atheist's frustration with unprovable, positive claims regarding the universe and unwarranted beliefs in them is:

Russell's Teapot
============

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time

edit on 13/5/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 01:31 AM
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reply to post by Authenticated
 


It is clear that higher education (some call it re-education) favors atheism. Many are converted by atheist professors - if they want to be successful in academics. This does not mean atheists are smarter. It means atheists are more easily manipulated by and obedient to authority.

Atheists have a bad rap because they are intolerant of the diversity in belief that is humanity. They make the mistake of thinking themselves superior to others and they are not. That is why they have a bad rep.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 06:17 AM
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reply to post by sara123123
 


Nonsense, religion and a belief in God is the ultimate appeal to authority. Join me or burn in eternal flames is just one version of God. "Do what God says even if it's written by MAN"

To believe that there is a being that supervises you 24/7, that can convict you of thought crime, a being that there is no escape from, so either conform or burn.

Sounds like a universal dictatorship to be quite honest.

Yes, Atheists are generally smart because they ask questions. Yes there are stupid Atheists, just as there are clever believers (Isaac Newton) but it's just a stereotype.

Atheism has no dogma. The only commonality that ALL atheists share is their lack of belief in a deity. A lack of belief because the positive claim that God exists is based on 0 evidence - I don't think that's an ignorant position.
edit on 14/5/11 by awake_and_aware because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 11:12 AM
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reply to post by sara123123
 


Or it could just be that atheism is such a reasonable position that education leads people to accepting it. I mean, I keep hearing people say this about 'atheist professors', but I'd like to see evidence of pressure being put on academics.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 12:35 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


You would want evidence, wouldn't you?!

Damn heathen!

Sorry, i had to get there first.




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