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Old 10th August 2017, 03:55 PM
ptah's Avatar
ptah ptah is offline
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Default Do people think atheists are immoral?

I suppose others saw this article on the World Today web site?
http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/con...6/s4714852.htm

It discusses a paper by Gervais et al in Nature Human Behaviour in which the authors claim that people are more likely to assume a person who has committed immoral acts is more likely to be an atheist.

The statistical analysis used is fine. But the interviewing methodology involves describing a person who commits an immoral act and then asking the respondent if the person is more likely to be (a) a teacher, or (b) a teacher who is an atheist. i.e. either X or (X and Y).

I'm not familiar with this as an interviewing technique. So I hunted down another paper by Gervais in Plos One where he does a similar study but substitute "atheist" by various religious options like "Buddhist". As you may guess atheists come out rather badly.

I don't doubt the researcher's work but I have to wonder if this is an elaborate form of a leading question, particularly as the immoral acts described are very nasty (e.g. "necrobestiality") and pick up on confirmation bias. This is research that definitely needs repeating!
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Old 10th August 2017, 05:30 PM
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The Irreverent Mr Black The Irreverent Mr Black is offline
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Default Re: Do people think atheists are immoral?

@Ptah: It's been seen, all right.

This thread deals with Gervais' paper.
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