Tuesday, December 06, 2011

In-group, out-group, same old, same old..

Here is an interesting study done by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, it looked at trust between people of different stripes over the course of six studies using 350 adults and 470 students. The investigation concluded that religious people distrust Atheists more than people of other (competing) religions and the only group they distrusted more was rapists.

This bears out something I think atheists  have realised for a long time, i.e. that religion is mostly about group solidarity and very little to do with common sense. I would go as far to suggest that it's very sad reflection on the morality of some people that they more readily adhere to abstract groupings based on flimsy and variable imaginings and ancient literature, whereas they completely disregard the more obvious and real collective, i.e. basic human solidarity here and now!

The other side effect of this in-group/out-group phenomenon as indicated by this study is that religious people actually believe those of us who are more likely to cheat, steal or harm can be better identified by virtue of their opinions of a couple of specific Bronze age myths. Anyone with half a brain of course knows this is complete bunk, good people do good things and bad people do bad things and every fibre of our experience should tell us that's what we really see happening around us.

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