When Americans think about atheists, they tend to think about death

When Americans think about atheists, they tend to think about death May 2, 2016
Image: Grieving Statue via photopin (license)
Image: Grieving Statue via photopin (license)

Well, apparently fans of “trigger warnings” should start warning about any post associated with atheism as well. (Sarcasm!)

According to new research, when Americans were asked about atheism, it triggered thoughts about death.

According to researchers who spoke to Live Science, this could attest to the overall negative view of atheists in the US.

These death thoughts help trigger a subconscious dislike of atheists, said study leader Corey Cook, a social psychologist at the University of Washington, Tacoma. Not only do thoughts of death put people in a negative frame of mind, Cook told Live Science, but they also prompt people to hold more tightly onto their own values.

“There’s a little circular thing going on where encountering atheism will make people grasp their values closer and then become more negative because atheists are perceived as not having values,” Cook said.

In a world where politicians and political leaders tell the population that atheists lack moral judgment or a moral compass, and give endless promises of an afterlife, it’s not too surprising that Americans have such a negative view of atheists.

Perhaps all the infighting and blaming of atheists such as Richard Dawkins could come to a halt and we can realize that the world’s view of atheists is mostly based on an irrational fear than the words of a handful of vocal anti-theists.

Cook, however, thought these findings were surprising. “We found that thinking about atheism actually increased thoughts of death to the same extent as thinking about death itself,” Cook said.

Yet, if you stop and think about it, religion is nothing but a death cult, focused on the afterlife. What they do on this earth is just work for the next. Atheists don’t believe there is an afterlife and if they are correct, religious people have to accept that they have either been working towards a theoretical nothing or simply accept that this is all they get, and some are not happy with that. They like the idea of riches and everlasting happiness in the next life.

So Cook and his team’s findings should shock no one. When dealing with a functioning death cult, irrational thinking is to be expected.

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