Views on atheists

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Concerning various views on atheists, research in the American Sociological Review finds that among several groups listed, atheists are the group that Americans relate least to in terms of their vision of American society and are the group most likely to be mentioned as one that Americans would not want to have marry into their family. [1] Dr. Sam Harris is one of the founders of the New Atheism movement. Sam Harris is quite aware of the stigma surrounding atheism and has even advocated that atheists no longer call themselves atheists.[2] In fact, Dr. Harris has said concerning the label of atheist, "It's right next to child molester as a designation."[2] See also: Atheism and social outcasts

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Americans and Canadians distrust atheists as much as rapists

See also: Atheism and rape and Atheism and social outcasts

On December 10, 2011, USA Today reported in a story entitled Study: Atheists distrusted as much as rapists:

The study, conducted among 350 Americans adults and 420 Canadian college students, asked participants to decide if a fictional driver damaged a parked car and left the scene, then found a wallet and took the money, was the driver more likely to be a teacher, an atheist teacher, or a rapist teacher?

The participants, who were from religious and nonreligious backgrounds, most often chose the atheist teacher.

The study is part of an attempt to understand what needs religion fulfills in people. Among the conclusions is a sense of trust in others.

"People find atheists very suspect," Shariff said. "They don't fear God so we should distrust them; they do not have the same moral obligations of others. This is a common refrain against atheists. People fear them as a group."[3]

See also:

Christian patience, forgiveness and long-suffering towards atheists

See also: Christian patience, forgiveness and long-suffering towards atheists

Although it is not reported in the press often, due the press preferring to focus on controversy and conflict, as it garners more viewership/readers, many Christians quietly pray for atheists/agnostics - even those of the militant variety such as Richard Dawkins.[4] The late atheist Christopher Hitchens had many Christians praying for him before he passed away and they were saddened when he died.[5]

Richard Wurmbrand, who endured years of torture by an atheistic communist government and wrote the wrote the book Tortured for Christ, indicated that he had a compassion even for those who tortured him by "looking at men .. not as they are, but as they will be ... I could also see in our persecutors ... a future Apostle Paul ... (and) the jailer in Philippi who became a convert."[6]

Jesus Christ said pray for those who persecute you and love your enemies (Matthew 5:44).

Results of an American study

Position: This group does not at all agree with
my vision of American society:
I would disapprove if my child wanted
to marry a member of this group:
Atheist 39.6% 47.6%
Muslim 26.3% 33.5%
Homosexual 22.6% NA
Conservative Christian 13.5% 6.9%
Recent Immigrant 12.5% Not Asked
Hispanic 7.6% 18.5%
Jew 7.4% 11.8%
Asian American 7.0% 18.5%
African American 4.6% 27.2%
White American 2.2% 2.3%

Atheism is significantly less appealing to women

See also: Atheism and women and Atheism and marriageability

Survey data and website tracking data of prominent atheists' websites indicate that in the Western World, atheism is significantly less appealing to women.[7][8][9] Studies also indicate that atheists are a minority in the population.

Atheism and public relations efforts

Richard Dawkins
Although the New Atheist Richard Dawkins was always known for his abrasiveness and arrogance, post Elevatorgate and subsequent to his various embarrassing Twitter posts, many atheists are now asking if he is a liability for the atheist movement.[10]

The biggest challenge facing atheist public relations efforts is that most theists do not think about atheism and would prefer not to as they it is an unreasonable, arrogant and unattractive worldview. As a result, many atheist campaigns, particularly one's by militant atheists, are designed to be provocative which has the effect of further lowering the public's view of atheism/atheists (see: Atheism and public relations).

In areas of the Western World where theists are in the majority, atheists on the left end of the political spectrum, using the strategy of identity politics, have made various attempts to portray atheists as an oppressed minority, but this has not much lessoned the low opinion and/or antipathy many theists hold towards atheists for multiple reasons.[11]

For example, the atheist population in the United States is skewed towards white, atheist men in both adherents and positions of influence within the atheist community (see: Western atheism and race and Atheism and women). So it is difficult for atheists to portray themselves as an oppressed minority.

Secondly, historically atheists have often used oppressive governmental actions to promote their ideology/worldview (see: Militant atheism and Suppression of alternatives to evolution and Atheism and mass murder). And atheists are not known for the empathy and charitableness (see: Atheism and uncharitableness). And in many cases atheists organizations have acted in a manner that displays an emotional tone deafness for the consequences it will have on public opinion (lawsuit to remove a grieving mother's roadside cross erected in memory of her late son who died in an accident, attempted removal of the World Trade Center cross, lawsuits to remove beloved community Christmas manger scenes, etc.).[12][13]

Furthermore, atheists have earned a reputation for arrogance, anger and quarrelsomeness (see: Atheism and arrogance and Atheism and anger and Atheism and social intelligence and Atheist factions).

In addition, atheism is seen as symptom of moral decay and atheists have often promoted and engaged in immorality (see: Atheism and morality and Moral failures of the atheist community and Atheism and hedonism).

Another problem the atheist community faces in terms of its public perception is its intellectual cowardice that first became noticeable within the Western World since the 1980s and has continued to the present (see: Atheism and cowardice and Creation scientists tend to win the creation vs. evolution debates).

Liberal media - apostles of atheism

The Media Research Center released a study in 2008 reporting pro-atheism bias by major press outlets in the United States.[14] The study is not surprising given the liberal bias that commonly exists in the major media outlets.

See Also

Notes

  1. Edgell, Gerteis & Hartmann 2006
  2. 2.0 2.1 Roberts, Jessica, et al. (June 19, 2007). "Interview with an atheist". News21. Retrieved on July 30, 2014.
  3. Study: Atheists distrusted as much as rapists
  4. Richard Dawkins upset that public doesn’t like him by Warren Nunn, Published by Creation Ministries International 13 May 2014 (GMT+10)
  5. Christians Grieve Death of Christopher Hitchens; Share Hopes for Deathbed Conversion by Eryn Sun, Christian Post Reporter, December 16, 2011
  6. dc Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs. Jesus Freaks: Stories of those who stood for Jesus: the ultimate Jesus Freaks. Bethany House Publishers, 1999, p. 67
  7. http://www.americanreligionsurvey-aris.org/reports/NONES_08.pdf
  8. http://www.livescience.com/culture/090227-religion-men-women.html
  9. http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_appears_to_be_significantly_less_appealing_to_women
  10. Disliked, not oppressed By Paul Thornton, LA Times, April 7, 2007
  11. Atheists Demand Grieving Mom Take Down Cross Remembering Her Son by David French, Christian Post, March 13, 2014
  12. http://articles.cnn.com/2011-07-26/us/new.york.wtc.cross_1_atheist-group-american-atheists-cross?_s=PM:US
  13. "Smoking gun proof that there is an atheist media bias" (July 17, 2008). YouTube video, 2:56, posted by Atheism Sucks! Retrieved on July 25, 2014.
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