Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Atheists trusted as much as rapists

By BJ Bjornson

Nothing like knowing where you stand with people. Some folks at the University of British Columbia decided to do some research to see just how much atheists were trusted as a group. The results are not exactly promising.

The researchers conducted a series of six studies with 350 American adults and nearly 420 university students in Canada, posing a number of hypothetical questions and scenarios to the groups. In one study, participants found a description of an untrustworthy person to be more representative of atheists than of Christians, Muslims, gay men, feminists or Jewish people. Only rapists were distrusted to a comparable degree.

I wish I could say this is a surprise, but then the belief that religion equals morality or, more to the point, that the lack of religion means someone automatically has no moral compass and will commit whatever depraved act their imagination can come up with, is both widely accepted and actively promoted by those who dislike atheists and anyone remotely related to them in wishing to limit the influence religion has on public life.

Needless to say, such an attitude has real world consequences.

That prejudice had a significant impact on what kinds of jobs people said they would hire atheists to do.

�People are willing to hire an atheist for a job that is perceived as low-trust, for instance as a waitress,� said Gervais. �But when hiring for a high-trust job like daycare worker, they were like, nope, not going to hire an atheist for that job.�

Such attitudes make it more clear why the more activist type of atheism is actually important. If you don�t push back against such stereotypes, you risk being relegated to second class status. Remind me to drop a few dollars in support of those �Good Without God� billboards, and hope they don�t get rejected because they�re considered obscene or offensive.

One more thing to note is that the feelings here are not mutual.

The antipathy does not seem to run both ways, though. Atheists are indifferent to religious belief when it comes to deciding who is trustworthy.

�Atheists don�t necessarily favour other atheists over Christians or anyone else,� he said. �They seem to think that religion is not an important signal for who you can trust.�

One of the things that led to my atheism was that the more I learned about particular religions and their beliefs, the more I observed that however much a person professed their belief in whatever dogma they subscribed to, their actions rarely seemed to fit the actual dogma very well, for good or ill. Such was enough for me to learn that religious piety, or particularly the expression of such piety, was no proxy to a person�s morals or trustworthiness.

Now I have to hope that others can learn the same lesson, or at the very least stop making the opposite conclusion about unbelievers.

1 comment:

  1. I knew it was bad but I didn't know it was that bad.