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Atheists identified as America’s most distrusted minority

kaniz

TRIBE Member
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What: U of M study reveals America’s distrust of atheism Who: Penny Edgell, associate professor of sociology Contact: Nina Shepherd, sociology media relations, (612) 599-1148
Mark Cassutt University News Service, (612) 624-8038 MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (3/20/2006) -- American’s increasing acceptance of religious diversity doesn’t extend to those who don’t believe in a god, according to a national survey by researchers in the University of Minnesota’s department of sociology.
From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in “sharing their vision of American society.” Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.
Even though atheists are few in number, not formally organized and relatively hard to publicly identify, they are seen as a threat to the American way of life by a large portion of the American public. “Atheists, who account for about 3 percent of the U.S. population, offer a glaring exception to the rule of increasing social tolerance over the last 30 years,” says Penny Edgell, associate sociology professor and the study’s lead researcher.
Edgell also argues that today’s atheists play the role that Catholics, Jews and communists have played in the past—they offer a symbolic moral boundary to membership in American society. “It seems most Americans believe that diversity is fine, as long as every one shares a common ‘core’ of values that make them trustworthy—and in America, that ‘core’ has historically been religious,” says Edgell. Many of the study’s respondents associated atheism with an array of moral indiscretions ranging from criminal behavior to rampant materialism and cultural elitism.
Edgell believes a fear of moral decline and resulting social disorder is behind the findings. “Americans believe they share more than rules and procedures with their fellow citizens—they share an understanding of right and wrong,” she said. “Our findings seem to rest on a view of atheists as self-interested individuals who are not concerned with the common good.”
The researchers also found acceptance or rejection of atheists is related not only to personal religiosity, but also to one’s exposure to diversity, education and political orientation—with more educated, East and West Coast Americans more accepting of atheists than their Midwestern counterparts.
The study is co-authored by assistant professor Joseph Gerteis and associate professor Doug Hartmann. It’s the first in a series of national studies conducted the American Mosaic Project, a three-year project funded by the Minneapolis-based David Edelstein Family Foundation that looks at race, religion and cultural diversity in the contemporary United States. The study will appear in the April issue of the American Sociological Review.



If they dont belive in god, then what do they belive in?!$ - damn, those gay, immigrant athiests who converted to athiests must really be screwed!

I wonder if these people consider Agonstic as athiest? as that seems to be a common misunderstanding.
 
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The Watcher

TRIBE Member
That's fucked, and a total misrepresentations of what an athiast is.

Just because I dont believe in god, doesn't mean I dont believe in the inherent goodness that all humans can posess. Right and wrong is not dictated by a god that I would believe in. I use common sense, compassion and empathy to judge wether what I am doing is considered right or wrong to those around me.

Just because I'm an athiast doens't mean I'm a heretic. I do follow alot of the same Dogma that most religions dictate.

This irks me. Probably explains why I mistrust Americans.
 
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VinylRach

TRIBE Promoter
thats retarded. I'm athiest. i'm a very trustable person. I actually have a hard time trusting really religious people. Thtas such a generalized comment. Whatever Americans can be so fucked sometimes.
 

glych t.anomaly

TRIBE Member
i cant believe they distrust athiests more than SCIENTOLOGISTS


those fuckers quit for isacc hayes, cunty fucking dorklords and whorebags the lot of them.


[jai]
 

kaniz

TRIBE Member
damn, those gay, immigrant who converted to athiests must really be screwed!

(I accidently added an extra athiest in there..oops, ohwell)
 
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Sleepy Giant

TRIBE Member
VinylRach said:
thats retarded. I'm athiest. i'm a very trustable person. I actually have a hard time trusting really religious people. Thtas such a generalized comment. Whatever Americans can be so fucked sometimes.
Maybe because one of their fundamental beliefs, especially in the case of Christian believers, that their religion is superior to all other faiths.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
As atheists we have proven that we cannot be brainwashed by institutions regardless of there grip on society. This I believe makes us more difficult to trust in that we don’t have preconceived rules that we are supposed to act within.

I don’t believe in the concept of a god. I respect that others believe in religion and in spirituality and try to resist making fun of it. I respect the rights of all to define there beliefs but I choose to make my personal selection ‘hell no’.
 
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JEMZ

TRIBE Member
More importantly who cares about the opinions of people who believe so greatly in a god that they cannot do so without joining an organization and categorizing their faith by a set of human moral standards?
 

Booty Bits

TRIBE Member
ummmmm its been pretty well accepted for a long time that religious people have more in common with other religious people, regardless of their particular dogmas.

how is this news?
 
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Sleepy Giant

TRIBE Member
What is an 'open atheist'?

I would describe myself as an atheist latitudinarian. That is to say I don't believe in 'a god' but I am tolerant of differing religious views.
 

Amy_J

TRIBE Member
Ditto Much said:
I respect that others believe in religion and in spirituality and try to resist making fun of it. I respect the rights of all to define there beliefs


In my experience I've found that as Athiests we are more open to understanding of people's views on religion, whether they be like minded or not. Whereas, I've found (especially with my dad's side of the family), people who hold their religion at a fairly high standard are not accepting or understanding of athiest beliefs, or non-beliefs as the case may be.I don't know why, but I find this to be really odd and almost backwards.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Sleepy Giant said:
What is an 'open atheist'?

I would describe myself as an atheist latitudinarian. That is to say I don't believe in 'a god' but I am tolerant of differing religious views.


I have met many people who don't believe in god or in religion or in an afterlife who will never state it publicly. They are atheists who will still go to church and pray with family simply not to have to explain themselves.

think of it them as ''in the closet' atheists
 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
Sleepy Giant said:
Maybe because one of their fundamental beliefs, especially in the case of Christian believers, that their religion is superior to all other faiths.

no youre very much wrong. muslims have as a core beleif that non-bleievers are dammed to hell, while jews insiste their races is inherently in the favour of their god. christians are theoretically much more lax about this.
(hence the reason why there are virtually no limitations on most christian chruches on who can enter and take part in mases, prayer or visit their holy lands, unlike the other 2 big ones.

the fundamental beliefs of christians stem from Jesus H being the son and living embodiment of their god, and his will as the gospel to which to live their lives. the second core belief would be that you dont judge others and practice forgiveness. there is nothing in christianity doctrine that says non-christians are inferior.

those kind of statemnts stem from foolish people who enjoy rendering unfair judgements against others.

i agree atheists in general are more open minded accept when it comes to christian beliefs (probally because thoes are the ones they have distanced themselves from in their decision to become atheists) they are as closed minded and judgemental as the christian religious zealots.
 

The Watcher

TRIBE Member
Amy_J said:
In my experience I've found that as Athiests we are more open to understanding of people's views on religion, whether they be like minded or not.
My atheism came from looking past Catholic views (Being born into a Catholic family and going to Catholic school), and exploring the ideals of other religions and then realizing that they all have some merit, and some parts that really make no sense to me at all and were completely ass backwards, so none of them fit how I saw the world.

So in this exploration came understanding and taking what I deemed good from all religions and incorporating what worked for me and made my own belief structure which is pretty much based on science and goes with the idea that in a perfect world, everyone would treat each other as equals with respect and acceptance and help each other achieve a better community. Since we are all here wether we like it or not, we must work together to make the world a better place, and that's not going to happen if we only think of ourselves. Or exclude others for not seeing the world as we/I do. You have to lead by example, and accept others if you expect other to accept you.

I explain God as the global consciousness of all this world's inhabitants. Religion is what divides us.
 
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