Here’s a provocative study, conducted by psychologists, that concludes that Americans distrust atheists as much (and actually more) than they do rapists.
I include it in my “questionable religious statistic” category because, well, it’s a real stinker.
It doesn’t work at many levels, including committing a base-rate fallacy.
If your car gets dinged by somebody, it’s much more likely to be by a Christian than an atheist, because there are a lot more Christians in the country than atheists (about 2/3rds of Americans are Christians, about 4% atheists). This is true even if Christians are much less likely to ding your car (which I don’t know to be the case). But, if it’s between atheists and rapists, we can expect it to be an atheist, again, there are more of them. Several million atheists, but far fewer rapists (thankfully).
It’s a little embarrassing for us in the social sciences that this study got published.
“A new study finds that atheists are among society’s most distrusted group, comparable even to rapists in certain circumstances.
Psychologists at the University of British Columbia and the University of Oregon say that [Read more…]