August 13, 2017 | David F. Coppedge

Atheists Don’t Trust Atheists

If atheists think they can be just as moral as religious people, see what they think of other atheists. launched a surprising headline, “Atheists thought immoral, even by fellow atheists: study.” The first paragraph says, “A unusual [sic] 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.” The survey of 3,000 volunteers from 13 countries, published in Nature Human Behavior, showed that most people view religion as a “moral safeguard.” Atheism is broadly perceived as “potentially morally depraved and dangerous.” Some of this may be unjustified bias, but countering that, “It is striking that even atheists appear to hold the same intuitive anti-atheist bias,” said Will Gervais, psychologist at the University of Kentucky. Only Finland and New Zealand failed to show this trend.

Bob Holmes at New Scientist (a strongly atheist science news site in the UK) is not ready to accept these results. “Are atheists really morally depraved? The idea defies logic,” his headline reads. He takes apart the survey, giving his speculations on why participants responded the way they did. It’s partly upbringing, partly anti-atheist bias, and part under-representation of atheists in the population, especially among teachers. But then he gives away the store:

One reason may be that the basis of religious morality is obvious. But it isn’t clear – even to themselves – where atheists get their moral guidance. Widespread atheism is also a relatively new phenomenon. Even today, most atheists were raised in religious homes and thus bring a lot of implicit religious baggage to matters of morality, says Phil Zuckerman, a sociologist at Pitzer College in California. As societies become more secular, this influence is likely to fade away within a few generations.

Holmes thinks, without empirical evidence, that the longer a society is atheist, the less anti-atheist bias it will have. “Let’s hope his work helps debunk the belief that you cannot be good without god,” he concludes.

But wait! Holmes never answered the question of where atheists get their moral guidance. Why? Because there is none! And he also never answered the question of where atheists get their logic. His headline claimed the survey’s finding “defies logic,” presupposing he knows what logic is. OK Bob, how do you get logic out of particles in motion? Holmes certainly understands logic, but the only way he gets it is by freeloading off of religion, particularly the kind of religion that values truth and reason (the Judeo-Christian tradition, not the other choices, some of which see reason as an obstacle to faith, and reality as an illusion). Hear how this works in Nancy Pearcey’s podcast on ID the Future, “Freeloading off of religion”.

We do have some empirical evidence of how atheists practice morality. It’s called Darwin’s Century—the 20th Century—with its atheistic communist slaughterhouses that killed over a hundred million of their own citizens. No wonder people have a bias against atheist morality. It’s justified.

Recommended Resource: How Darwinism Corrodes Morality by Jerry Bergman. Jesus said that you will know a man by his fruits. Well, look at the ugly fruits of Darwinism! Bergman is also working on another book about how Darwinism is the Doorway to Atheism, with dozens of case studies he has collected. Darwinism; Atheism; the two have a common ancestor.

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  • Baritone says:

    That seems logical. They may be on the path to truth. May their logic and truth continue to grow.

  • Nancy Pearcey’s discussion on freeloading was interesting. It’s also one of the main points of presuppositional apologetics as presented by Cornelius Van Til, Greg Bahnsen, and others. Atheism is irrational and incoherent, lacking the necessary preconditions of human experience. They have no consistent moral standard, as you indicated, so when a professing atheist complains that something is wrong, he or she is tacitly admitting that there is nothing in atheism to justify the complaint, so they stand on the biblical worldview.

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