The Social Cost of Atheism

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The Social Cost of Atheism

#1  Postby ymitchell » Jun 16, 2010 5:26 pm

The results of an online survey published in the latest issue of Skeptic Magazine show that atheists in America fear paying a high social price in coming out as a non-believer. “The Stigma of Being an Atheist: An Empirical Study on the New Atheist Movement and its Consequences,” written by Tom Arcaro, was based on the results of 8,200 people who identify as atheists or non-believers in God. www.religiondispatches.org
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Re: The Social Cost of Atheism

#2  Postby Sityl » Jun 16, 2010 6:49 pm

Facebook > Religion at social networking.

We'll be fine.
Stephen Colbert wrote:Now, like all great theologies, Bill [O'Reilly]'s can be boiled down to one sentence - 'There must be a god, because I don't know how things work.'


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Re: The Social Cost of Atheism

#3  Postby IIzO » Jun 16, 2010 6:59 pm

Must be environment specific , people don't give a shit about religious inclination as long as its kept private and out of public decisions where i live.
Between what i think , what i want to say ,what i believe i say ,what i say , what you want to hear , what you hear ,what you understand...there are lots of possibilities that we might have some problem communicating.But let's try anyway.
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Re: The Social Cost of Atheism

#4  Postby Nostalgia » Jun 17, 2010 5:43 am

Hmm. I live in one of the strongest Christianised areas of the UK; rural Scotland.

And I've never had a problem with being an atheist. But then, all my friends are either agnostic or atheist and my parents have never gone to church. So maybe I was just lucky.
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Re: The Social Cost of Atheism

#5  Postby Sophie T » Jun 19, 2010 1:32 am

By a wide margin, atheists in the U.S. were more likely to feel a sense of stigma, highest among those living in the south. For instance, 57 percent of U.S. respondents said they felt they would suffer at least minor social repercussions in the workplace if they came out as an atheist, compared to only 35 percent of respondents in Canada, 24 percent of Australians, 15 percent of residents of United Kingdom, and 12 percent of Western Europeans.

More than two-thirds of Americans said they would suffer stigma in their community and 61 percent said they would suffer stigma from their family.


This didn't surprise me at all. Religion is a big deal here, and evangelical, fundamentalist Christians are extremely aggressive in their attempts to demonize atheists. Even so, there are signs that the tide is beginning to turn. According to a recent Religious Identification Survey, written about in USA Today, the number of Americans claiming no religion at all went from 8% in 1990 to 15% in 2009. That's a big jump, which is encouraging.
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Re: The Social Cost of Atheism

#6  Postby FRAP38 » Jun 19, 2010 1:43 am

Indeed! I live in Kentucky USA . . . Its pretty bad. Your faith matters, to the point that upon introduction many will ask you right out . . . "what Church do you go to?" Note: it is not "do you believe" or "do you go to church?" They just fucking assume you a Christian and want to know whether you are Baptist, Methodist, etc.... Its fucked up!

Just had an encounter in a job interview,

Boss: "You from KY?"
ME: "No sir...Boston, lived here for about 6 years now"
Boss: "hmmm...didnt think you were from here"

(And here it comes I just knew it....)

Boss: "What church do you got to?"
ME: "Well sir, I find supernaturalists to be completely insane, actually, the very fact that you believe that some thing [pointing up] is watching us and listens to us . . . well sir...it creeps me out, and all I want to do right now is back away slowly, in the hopes that any sudden movement doesnt set you off..."

Well thats how it went up till the last part at least....so the issue is very real. If I did tell my employers my true lack of belief I'd be rather unemployed.
"Intolerance is the natural concomitant of strong faith; tolerance only grows when faith loses certainty; certainty is murderous" . . . "Inquiry is fatal to certainty." -Will Durant
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Re: The Social Cost of Atheism

#7  Postby tactik » Jun 25, 2010 4:48 am

FRAP38 wrote: If I did tell my employers my true lack of belief I'd be rather unemployed.

That's a whole lotta fucked-up right there...

Any way to oppose this discrimination where you are?
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Re: The Social Cost of Atheism

#8  Postby Ubjon » Jun 26, 2010 2:37 pm

The organisation I work for undulges all this diversity crap but I'm fairly sure that they don't include atheism within their definition of diversity. I once mentioned that I was atheists and it ended up turning into a full-blown arguement about how my position was untenable and eventually I gave up because I was just being talked over every time I tried to explain my position.
Ubjon wrote:Your God is just a pair of lucky underpants.


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Re: The Social Cost of Atheism

#9  Postby Ihavenofingerprints » Jun 27, 2010 1:16 pm

Its kind of dull being an Atheist were i live (in terms of drama about the topic :P ). Everyone gets along and there isn't much discrimination, its more that we have to bend over backwards for theists now because we are the majority.

Its sucks to know there are parts of the world (and USA) where this crap still happens.
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Re: The Social Cost of Atheism

#10  Postby Bolero » Jun 30, 2010 1:53 am

Last night on TV in Australia, I was really heartened to see a mainstream TV show (The 7pm Project) discussing our new Prime Minister's atheism. Apart from one dick on the panel, the (mostly young) presenters said they thought the Australian public wouldn't give a shit about her religious views. Checking their website this AM, it seems they were right. The comments are all very much in support of keeping the leader's religion out of politics. Yay Australia!

Whether or not the views of these particular fans of this particular TV show represent a larger portion of the population remains to be seen at the election, I guess.
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