So why are atheists “among the least liked people … in most of the world,” in the words of a research team led by University of British Columbia psychologist Will Gervais? In a newly published paper, he and his colleagues provide evidence supporting a plausible explanation. Atheists, they argue, are widely viewed as people you cannot trust.
“People use cues of religiosity as a signal for trustworthiness,” the researchers write in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Given that “trustworthiness is the most valued trait in other people,” this mental equation engenders a decidedly negative attitude toward nonbelievers.
Oh, izzat so? Well, good. I didn’t want to borrow your money or babysit your fucking kids anyway. Seriously, whatever. More fuel for the flames of my smug sense of superiority, that’s all.
Let me remind you, though, as I’ve noted before, that we facially behaired people are also seen as untrustworthy. When you combine beardedness and godlessness in one perilous package such as myself, well, as Nietzsche said, I am no man, I am dynamite.