Atheists Are the Most Mistrusted Group: They Are Evil and Immoral!

1.   Some atheists are wonderful.
2.  Some atheists are horrible.
3.  Some believers are wonderful.
4.  Some believers are horrible

August 21, 2009 / Psychology Today

By Gad Saad, Ph.D./ Psychology Today / Homo Consumericus

Guess who’s coming to dinner: oh no, not an atheist!

The_AtheistSome of you might remember Mr. Obama’s inauguration speech wherein he made an explicit reference to non-believers. Apparently, this was the first instance where an incoming American president has formally recognized the existence of this group of Americans (which incidentally includes the great majority of intellectuals, scientists, and philosophers). Does this imply that atheists are now largely accepted within the greater American society? Are they respected for their non-belief in imaginary narratives of invisible deities? Regrettably, the answer is an emphatic no!

In a recent article published in the American Sociological Review, Penny Edgell, Joseph Gerteis, and Douglas Hartmann reported their findings, on how atheists are perceived, based on data from a national survey. To the question, “This group does not at all agree with my vision of American society,” ten groups were listed as options: religious groups (Muslims, conservative Christians, Jews), racial groups (Hispanics, Asian Americans, African Americans, and White Americans), homosexuals, recent immigrants, and atheists. By far, the most “detested” group were the atheists. To the question, “I would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group,” eight of the latter groups were included (homosexuals and recent immigrants were excluded). Again, the least desired group were the atheists. This might be one of the saddest scientific findings that I have ever read.

Hey, Francis Crick, James Watson, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Sigmund Freud, Alfred Kinsey, Linus Pauling, Steven Pinker, Noam Chomsky, Ivan Pavlov, Carl Sagan, Oliver Sacks, Steven Weinberg, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Jacque Monod, David Hume, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Popper, Emile Durkheim, and Herbert Simon: You are all unfit to date my daughter. Yes, you are all great scientists, philosophers, and literary giants. It is indeed true that many of you are Nobel laureates. However, you are eliminated from contention, as you are all godless atheists. Sorry I cannot trust Satan’s helpers with my daughter. I would much prefer an unemployed man who has otherwise accepted the Lord in his heart. Should the classic Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) be remade, the “shocking” guest will no longer be a highly accomplished, educated, and sophisticated black man (Sidney Poitier) but a highly accomplished, educated, and sophisticated atheist.

Think about it for a moment. Suppose that we had an extraordinarily accomplished would-be President who proclaimed her atheism. Let us assume that this person is a great orator; a righteous person with great personal integrity; a speaker of four languages; and a Nobel laureate. If she were to declare that she does not believe in the existence of a “celestial dictator” (to borrow the term from the remarkable Christopher Hitchens), she would be automatically deemed unfit to serve in political office and/or to date your son. Nobel Prize, Schmobel Prize. If she does not believe in one of the fairy tales (even though these conflict and contradict one another), she is not to be trusted, as Satan undoubtedly possesses her. She is probably immoral and evil. Let us exorcise the demon spirits out of her. Let us pray for her lost soul as a means of hopefully averting her from burning in the eternal fires of hell. You might have detected my sarcasm here however this dreadful set of reactions is rooted in an all-too-common anti-atheist reality.

Frankly, it is both sad and astonishing that in the 21st century, the populace of the most advanced civilization in history can still hold such backward views. The greatest intellectual framework that the human intellect has ever generated is the scientific method. On so many levels, it has freed us from the shackles of barbaric, divisive, and infantile superstition. Yet, all presidential candidates parade their faiths (even the closeted atheist Obama) as though it were a virtue to believe in virgin births, burning bushes, and flying horses.

For those readers who might be interested in some of my earlier posts that dealt with religion, please see here, here, here, and here.

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2 thoughts on “Atheists Are the Most Mistrusted Group: They Are Evil and Immoral!

  1. Chris Smith says:

    Tony Blair recently made a speech here in the UK in which he lumped together atheists and secularists with religious terrorists, and the religions here in the UK are attempting to fight back against the overwhelming tide of atheism. On the whole though, the UK is pretty much OK with atheists.

    It’s fascinating to hear things like this about the US. As a whole, it’s like it’s a Christian fundamentalist country sometimes.

  2. Dave says:

    Very hard to believe that someone with the ” grey matter ” to obtain a Ph.D. would even write this. “Atheism” is not a religion. It’s a theory, posturing the possibility that the Universe exists as a result of “happenstance”, but certainly does not entirely dismiss the intervention of an intelligent ” designer “. For Mr Saad to imply that he would prefer his daughter to marry a Jihadist revolutionary over an atheist is indicative of his true intentions in writing this article. Albert Einstein was quoted as saying ( paraphrase) ” It should be the goal of science to continue climbing the mountain and upon reaching it’s summit, possibly, be given the opportunity to finally touch the face of God.” Mr. Sadd’s inclusion of Carl Sagan and many others in propping up his bizarre theory is not well-researched. Most of these scientists and writers spent their entire lives attempting to meld their religious beliefs with an analytical discussion of observable phenomena. No Chris, we’re not a nation of Christian ” fundamentalists”, although, the odd one does squeak through the cracks from time to time. Spent some time living in Croft-upon-Tees, Yorkshire. Great to see you folks care about contributing to blogs like these. Let’s continue to reinforce our common values. Cheers!!

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