26 December 2014

The moral superiority of the atheist

This one simple graph shows that, on average, modern American unbelievers are far more moral people than modern American Christians:

This should put to rest, immediately and forever, the lie that people need a belief in God to be moral.  By margins around three-to-one, adherents of this country's major forms of Christianity support torture.  The majority of the non-religious reject it, even if that 40% or so in support is disturbingly high.

Is there some innate depravity in the Christian religion that guides its believers toward evil?  In the case of evils like homophobia and subordination of women, the Bible itself clearly answers yes; in the case of torture, I think it's a bit more complex than that.  The number of non-religious people in the US has exploded in the last decade or two, reflecting a large-scale repudiation of Christianity by former adherents.  Given the ugly and intolerant character of modern American Christianity, it's likely the most decent and humane who are leaving, while the most depraved and cruel remain devout.

The trend will escalate.  What kind of people will stick with a religion whose leaders -- faced with the revelation that the US government has been torturing people, some of them to death (and that many of the victims were innocent people arrested due to mistaken identity or other errors) -- continue to screech that it's allowing gay marriage that represents the worst moral stain on American society?  What kind of people will leave in disgust as so many others already have?

So it's not exactly that being a Christian makes you more likely to be evil.  It's that being evil, at least in contemporary America, makes you more likely to remain a Christian.  Nevertheless, that old claim that being Christian makes a person more moral is now totally obliterated.

I found the above graph via this posting by Andrew Sullivan, a prominent Catholic, self-declared conservative, and vociferous opponent of torture.  Sullivan wrestles with the implications, but ultimately resorts to the No True Scotsman fallacy.  He doesn't address the rejection of torture by the non-religious at all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It takes character to walk away from the security that your faith provided. The chart is just one more example.

As for Sully, he fails the Christian test by his own standards. He's an HIV+ bigot that wants black dudes to hit it raw dog. The Old Testament hands him an unpleasant death. The New Testament leads him to a pissed off lord and savior that sends him to hell. I'm hoping for an autoerotic asphyxiation in Thailand with his boyfriend trying to cover it up.


26 December, 2014 06:49  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

I saw this the other day and planned on posting it.

Of course, it's not surprising. There has always been an element of sadism in religions. This proves the point.

Many a religious person would gleefully say "It's God's punishment for doing wrong." whenever some malady or catastrophe happened to a person or a group (See Robertson, Pat and his stupid rhetoric whenever some natural disaster occurs.)

I'd always ask the people who promoted that hogwash if they believed in punishment by their gods after death, why would they punish them in life as well? What sort of monster would make people suffer unimaginable cruelty here AND in the hereafter?

A sadistic monster made up by sadistic people?

This chart confirms it.

All the best to you in 2015.

26 December, 2014 08:51  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

Being Christian may not make you more likely to be evil, but in this country at least, being evil makes it more likely that you are a Christian.

26 December, 2014 13:29  
Blogger Jerry Critter said...

It is consistent with the belief that you will be tortured forever in Hell for being evil. If God can do it,why not man?

27 December, 2014 07:59  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Vic78: Didn't know that about Sullivan. I always figure any gay person who really knows the Bible and still wants to be a Christian must have a few issues.

Shaw: Well, the point is always to give the human believers the satisfaction of seeing the "bad" people suffer. You'd think Hell would make burning at the stake redundant, but they still did it.

Green: I guess Christianity knows its customer base.

Jerry: Especially when the god is just a bigger and bossier version of the man, anyway.

27 December, 2014 10:00  

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