Sunday, December 4, 2011

Believers view atheists as untrustworthy: study

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, December 2, 2011

Religious people distrust the world’s estimated 500 million atheistsas much as rapists, a study found Friday in the wake of a poll that said less than half of Americans would vote for an atheist president.

“Where there are religious majorities — that is, in most of the world — atheists are among the least trusted people,” said lead author Will Gervais, a doctoral student in psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

The study published in the current online issue of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that outward displays of belief in God are viewed as a proxy for trustworthiness.

This is particularly true for “religious believers who think that people behave better if they feel that God is watching them,” explained the study’s co-author Ara Norenzayan.

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