Anti-atheist Distrust and combating Religious Prejudice
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27-11-2011, 11:57 AM
Anti-atheist Distrust and combating Religious Prejudice
I've posted several of my blog articles on this forum in the past - primarily in the Politics Forum, and haven't received much feedback or discussion.

My latest article is based on the American Psychological Association study released this month on the conjunctive fallacy of distrust the religious hold for atheists.

The study is available, for purchase. If anyone is interested in buying it, or reading the abstract, it can be found here:

http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy....-25187-001

I spent a decent chunk of my weekend, when not eating turkey, visiting with family, or watching Syracuse lose yet another football game crafting this article and, if you take the time to read it, I'd really like your thoughts with regard to how such a diverse group as atheists can check this prejudice -- thanks in advance for reading and look forward to whatever discussion may ensue Smile

http://centersolid.blogspot.com/2011/11/...udice.html

Sean

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27-11-2011, 12:54 PM
RE: Anti-atheist Distrust and combating Religious Prejudice
Good read. I think the biggest way we can combat prejudice is to be heavily involved in the community - helping feed people, provide shelter, etc. while making our affiliation evident. Helping without the affiliation won't help, as people will otherwise assume a religious motive. The religious have been good at marketing themselves by doing a little good here and there. Our best bet is to demonstrate that we are not selfish like the religious like to think (because Jebus is the only reason to help others... lol) and that we want to help others, which will draw out questions from religious adherents.

Better without God, and happier too.
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27-11-2011, 01:00 PM
RE: Anti-atheist Distrust and combating Religious Prejudice
(27-11-2011 12:54 PM)Azaraith Wrote:  Good read. I think the biggest way we can combat prejudice is to be heavily involved in the community - helping feed people, provide shelter, etc. while making our affiliation evident. Helping without the affiliation won't help, as people will otherwise assume a religious motive. The religious have been good at marketing themselves by doing a little good here and there. Our best bet is to demonstrate that we are not selfish like the religious like to think (because Jebus is the only reason to help others... lol) and that we want to help others, which will draw out questions from religious adherents.

This is what I'm starting to refer to as "the Friendly Atheist" approach advocated by Hemant Mehta - show theists that we can be just as good, just as charitable, etc., without the supernatural overseer judging our actions.

There is the strength in numbers approach as well, but I found the closing view in the article, lifted from Atheist Revolution interesting - the opposite of Hemant's approach - as Christians will not recognize any good works by atheists, so why bother...

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27-11-2011, 01:09 PM
RE: Anti-atheist Distrust and combating Religious Prejudice
I've never set foot in the politics forum, so that is probably why I've never commented on your stuff before. I really liked your blog. The Newt video pissed me off. It's sad that there are people in power who think this way. I'm just glad that I've never had to face such prejudice in my atheist life. I used to live in the south too. However, I will say that I've seen it happen to others. While living in the south, the relative of one of my atheist high school mates protested a plaque of the 10 commandments that graced a court house. It was in the local news and newspapers. I remember people said the most horrible things about the lady.

By the way, you have a typo towards the bottom. You have repeating words in this sentence: "They can hear the stories of others of others and know that coming out of the proverbial closet is possible." I hate it when I miss stuff like this after reading it out numerous times.
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27-11-2011, 01:17 PM
RE: Anti-atheist Distrust and combating Religious Prejudice
(27-11-2011 01:09 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  By the way, you have a typo towards the bottom. You have repeating words in this sentence: "They can hear the stories of others of others and know that coming out of the proverbial closet is possible." I hate it when I miss stuff like this after reading it out numerous times.

thanks for catching that! I normally rely on wife's proof reading skills, but she hasn't gotten around to reading it yet...And yes, I missed it completely...Sad

Typo aside, now fixed, glad you enjoyed the article!

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27-11-2011, 01:43 PM
RE: Anti-atheist Distrust and combating Religious Prejudice
Another excellent article. And I learned about a new type of logical fallacy. Two opposable thumbs up Smile

I guess the reason atheists ain't so trusted is 'cos the merry lads spend so much time telling their congregations to fear the atheist threat? We're gonna come and make y'all ungodly and satanic and on top of that we like gay people... we're obviously bad news Tongue
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27-11-2011, 02:18 PM (This post was last modified: 27-11-2011 02:39 PM by Glaucus.)
RE: Anti-atheist Distrust and combating Religious Prejudice
Really great article!

I guess I agree more with the Atheist Revolution blogger, that soft power can't get us the entire way. We do need to confront them when they make bold claims and start moving in public debate, lest they drown us out. For example (I hope Spectre doesn't mind me using him as one): A few months ago, some of us went and argued on an evolution-fairy-tale website, attracting some of them (Spectre included) here to avoid their censorship. Then, Spectre returned after a few month hiatus saying that we had helped start him thinking about his stance on Young Earth Creationism.

If we don't speak out, then we simply let their indoctrination continue. But our confrontations with believers will help to get some of them to start questioning their beliefs, and eventually seeing us as people who thought religion through rather than people who "love sin" or are "mad at god".
I do feel a little hypocritical saying that though. I like talking with religious people or confronting them when they start preaching while I'm at school in Colorado, but I tend to keep a low profile when I go home to Michigan. I've been testing the waters with my family on facebook (my main method of keeping in touch with friends and family back home) by posting youtube videos or quotes about religion, but I'm still very cautious because I don't know how my religious family with react.

Though I recently learned that my brother and his wife considers themselves humanists (and have for over a year), and my younger sister is taking college classes on religion. So they make me hope that at least the youngest half of the children are breaking away. But my brother and still I don't talk about religion when there's a chance that our dad will hear, he seems to be going further and further into faith.

Of all the ideas put forth by science, it is the principle of Superposition that can undo any power of the gods. For the accumulation of smaller actions has the ability to create, destroy, and move the world.

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." -W. E. Henley
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27-11-2011, 02:38 PM
RE: Anti-atheist Distrust and combating Religious Prejudice
(27-11-2011 02:18 PM)Glaucus Wrote:  If we don't speak out, then we simply let their indoctrination continue. But our confrontations with believers will help to get some of them to start questioning their beliefs, and eventually seeing us as people who thought religion through rather than people who "love sin" or are "mad at god".

I'm falling more and more in this line with this way of thinking. I started out by taking the tack of being respectful of beliefs and looking for opportunities to engage with theists on the basis of mutual respect, but I notice more and more that mutual respect does not really exist.

(27-11-2011 01:43 PM)morondog Wrote:  Another excellent article. And I learned about a new type of logical fallacy. Two opposable thumbs up Smile

I guess the reason atheists ain't so trusted is 'cos the merry lads spend so much time telling their congregations to fear the atheist threat? We're gonna come and make y'all ungodly and satanic and on top of that we like gay people... we're obviously bad news Tongue

I'm sick of this messaging as well - like the "atheist threat" is destroying America....what a load of horse crap...lol

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27-11-2011, 02:49 PM
RE: Anti-atheist Distrust and combating Religious Prejudice
I think that atheists need to show that we aren't just "baby-eating god mocking satanists" by helping out the community in much the same way that theists do. However, being confrontational about it is the only way we will get our voice heard. At least in the USA, atheism is the underdog so we need to be on the attack until our stance can be affirmed.
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28-11-2011, 11:36 AM
 
RE: Anti-atheist Distrust and combating Religious Prejudice
Well, i live in the deep south, so everyone here is baptist by default.

The way momma raised me is to open the door for everyone and help the elderly.
Heck, if i see someone filling their car with groceries and they are about done, i'll ask them if i can take their cart for them (regardless of age). Thats more of a selfish move for me as i want to reduce the ghost driven shopping carts. But its in the spirit of helping people.

But when i do, and someone smiles and says "God Bless You" i smile back and say its not necessary as i am a "Friendly Neighborhood Atheist" (props to Dan Barker).

It ALWAYS gets a reaction of a grimmace, but it plants the seed and causes some to think that "He just helped me like a good christian fellow, but he isnt...bzzzt bzzt...does not compute....bzzzt bzzt". If ALL i do is plant the seed.....then i have done my part.

Dennis
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