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Thread: The Moral Contents of Anti-Atheist Prejudice (and why Atheists should Care About it)

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    Default The Moral Contents of Anti-Atheist Prejudice (and why Atheists should Care About it)

    The Moral Contents of Anti-Atheist Prejudice (and why Atheists should Care About it)

    PDF - https://www.researchgate.net/profile...e-about-it.pdf

    ABSTRACT
    Anti-atheist prejudice is pervasive worldwide. Past research indicates this is driven by perceptions of atheist immorality, yet such perceptions have not been explored in detail. Using Moral Foundations Theory and samples of U.S. Christians, we investigated whether anti-atheist prejudice is explained by atheists’ perceived adherence to certain foundational moral values more than others. Study 1 participants completed measures of moral value endorsements from the perspective of a typical atheist. Study 2 participants read that either atheists or people in general strongly endorse one of five moral foundations. Anti-atheist prejudice was consistently explained best by perceived atheist concern for values of caring/compassion rather than fairness/justice, loyalty, deferential respect, or purity/decency. Findings suggest that efforts to reduce anti-atheist prejudice should emphasize atheists’ capacity for kindness and caring. Keywords: Atheism, morality, moral foundations, religion, prejudice.
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    Default Re: The Moral Contents of Anti-Atheist Prejudice (and why Atheists should Care About

    The simplest solution would be to kill all atheists and cats, then the world would be a paradise of harmony!

    Now I suppose I will have to read the article.
    Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifiable hypotheses to destruction.

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    Default Re: The Moral Contents of Anti-Atheist Prejudice (and why Atheists should Care About

    Thank you...interesting read for sure.

    One of my goals in life at present is to present myself as someone with good morals, and only then let people know I am an atheist, so that they might see that people can be decent moral individuals, and still be an atheist.

    I've had people ask me the cliched question...if you don't believe in god, then what's to stop you from raping and killing? I usually reply something along the lines of "if your belief in god is all that is preventing you from raping and killing, and I am prevented from such horrible acts because I simply have no desire to rape and kill, then which between us is morally superior?"

    It's hard to fathom that people still think that morality comes from religion...it's sad really. I prefer to think that people actually desire to do the right things, those things that are most beneficial to society, rather than do them out of fear of punishment from some supernatural monster, or expectation of reward in some supernatural existence.

    Anyway, thank you for the link to the article...I will be reading it again very carefully as this is an interest of mine. In my particular neck of the woods, there is still a good deal of anti-atheist prejudice, and I generally feel the need to be careful where I say I am an atheist.
    Living in the pools, They soon forget about the sea...— Rush, "Natural Science" (1980)

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    Default Re: The Moral Contents of Anti-Atheist Prejudice (and why Atheists should Care About

    Hmm. Even though religions are horribly bad at coming up with explanations of things [mainly because they are centred on the "whys" rather than the "hows" ] , religious conceptual debris and poor thinking habits can remain, even if one becomes an atheist.
    For example, few people these days believe in the "Great Chain Of Being" [GCOB], and yet a huge chunk of religious morality is based on that construction. Racism and sexism for example, can find safe harbour in the GCOB's ghost.

    Too much "respect" for hierarchies, particularity religious ones, give harbour to notions of special privilege or status, irrespective of actual merit. "The Priest is a moral compass, so of course he doesn't abuse children".

    And in biology, for a long time, I was sold the pup that humans were unique, despite reading Darwin. Among the many things that polymath did, one clear and profound thing was to blur boundaries. [Especially between human and non-human apes]. This I believe was the tool that undermines faith and religion more than anything else. In particular, it undermines the GCOB and satellite beliefs, like the origins of morality, and religiously reinforced bigotry.

    Of course it is easy to debunk religious myths, and perceptive individuals have been debunking such things for thousands of years. One of the most valuable ideas I have had from thinking about creationist viewpoints is something we merely debunk and don't think much about [or at least I didn't]. That things is that "begging the question" is not a totally fallacious idea, not in itself. Not what creationist do when they discover a "gap" in evolutionary biological knowledge [the meme "evolution is wrong, ergo god"]
    but the fact that once we have discarded a religious story, it really does beg the question about how it all came about.

    Of course science is addressing these questions, and making excellent progress in giving good answers. More recent research is revealing unexpected non-human animal talents in cognition, personality and theory of mind. And yes, the origins of morality in social species.

    So science is becoming more and more able to explain, and explain well, those subjects that were traditionally the sphere of theistic ponderings.
    Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifiable hypotheses to destruction.

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    Default Re: The Moral Contents of Anti-Atheist Prejudice (and why Atheists should Care About

    Thanks workmx. I read the paper.

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