Sunday, December 11, 2011

Would an atheist teacher steal the cash?

A recent poll asked the following three questions in response to this scenario. …if a fictional driver damaged a parked car and left the scene, then found a wallet and took the money, was the driver more likely…
  • a teacher
  • an atheist teacher
  • a rapist teacher
The results showed a predictable response. The atheist did it.
“People find atheists very suspect,” Shariff said. “They don’t fear God so we should distrust them; they do not have the same moral obligations of others. This is a common refrain against atheists. People fear them as a group.”
I’m not surprised, although I am disappointed in the possible answers. I would have gone with an obvious comparison.
  • a Christian
  • an atheists
  • A pastor convicted of child rape
I’m betting that atheists would still come in as the people most likely to commit the crime. The reason is simple. We are part of a different tribe. If you asked 100 atheists the same questions, the Christian would lose. Substitute Christian for Muslim and and atheist for Jew and a new class of people will be on the outs. You can’t win if you are not part of the tribe. We are the other team.
We already know that the morality question is baseless. Christians are as amoral as anyone else, and just as likely to commit petty little crimes. The only way I can see to address the situation is to dilute the importance of the Christian population. The more secular we become, the more this question becomes irrelevant. We fight back by spreading the truth.
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