The study showing widespread doubt about atheist morality assumes that this demonstrates widespread anti-atheist bias.
A study of attitudes in Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and secular countries found that even atheists doubt atheist morality. In all except a couple (New Zealand and Finland), people believed that atheists were more likely to be depraved and dangerous. But the study assumes that the data can only mean that there is widespread “bias” against atheists.
Isn’t there another possible interpretation supported by such data?
AFP reports, “Atheists thought immoral, even by fellow atheists: study.”
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A unusual social study has revealed that atheists are more easily suspected of vile deeds than Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists — strikingly, even by fellow atheists, researchers said Monday.
This suggests that in an increasingly secular world, many — including some atheists — still hold the view that people will do bad things unless they fear punishment from all-seeing gods.
The results of the study “show that across the world, religious belief is intuitively viewed as a necessary safeguard against the temptations of grossly immoral conduct,” an international team wrote in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.
And it revealed that “atheists are broadly perceived as potentially morally depraved and dangerous.”
The study measured the attitudes of more than 3,000 people in 13 countries on five continents.
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