Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Scientific evidence on why atheists should be "out"

Tom Rees blogs about a master's thesis he found discussing the phenomenon of distrust of atheists. What really blew my mind was this graph:

The researchers gave subjects one of three passages to read before giving them a questionairre designed to gauge their level of distrust of atheists. The first passage was a control, something about food or something. The second was a passage from The God Delusion saying that religion was nonsensical. And the third -- the one denoted in the middle on the above graph -- was a little blurb talking about the increasing prevalence of atheism, including that 20% of the 18-25 year old demographic considered themselves nontheistic.

The result is dramatic. Simply being reminded that godless heathens are common was enough to virtually shatter -- at least temporarily -- people's prejudices against atheists.

This makes it the Out Campaign all the more important. We need to let people know that atheists are everywhere, and that we're perfectly normal.

Via Konrad Talmont-Kaminski.

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