There’s this story going around about why believers are afraid of atheists, and here’s a video that summarizes it.
It annoys me in a couple of different ways, I’m sorry to say.
For being the “most despised and distrusted group in America”, we do fairly well. Atheists tend to be better educated and a bit more well off than many believers; I can walk down an upscale suburban street and not get hassled by the police or shot. Ask a black atheist or a woman atheist which aspect of their identity is most likely to get them discriminated against, and it usually won’t be their atheism.
So back off on the persecution theme, already. Leave that to the Christians.
The pat answer for why atheists are hated given here is that it’s because we make believers conscious of their mortality. I don’t buy it. There is no one answer! There are a lot of different believers out there, and they have different beliefs, and you’re not going to explain everything with one lovely umbrella hypothesis. There are Christians who are obsessed with death and the afterlife, for instance, and they make me uncomfortable with their fears.
Quit trying to find a one-size-fits-all answer for everything, atheists!
Look at the study. It was a simple, short test given to 236 American college students. There were 42 atheists among them, and their answers were thrown out. You cannot draw universal conclusions from that data set, especially when you discard 18% of the sample that has completely different views!
This is more for the media, but media consumers should also be aware: stop turning introductory psychology courses into media sensations.
Just a suggestion: if you’re going to make a video about these kinds of subjects, fewer exploding fireballs and more effort making sure you know how to spell “atheism”.
I don’t disagree that atheists are disliked, but I really doubt that it’s because we make believers afraid — what I’ve most often seen is anger because we’re rejecting their traditions, and annoyance because we’re arrogant (and righteously so, because we’re right!) I suspect we could get a similar reaction — more thoughts of death, worries about personal mortality — if you flashed crucifixes at atheists. Does that mean we’re afraid of Christians because they make us think of death?