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The belief that atheists are more materialistic than theists isn't one that is founded on any evidence, but it is a popular one. A survey done by researchers in the University of Minnesota's department of sociology found that atheists are the most despised and distrusted minority in America. The most popular reasons cited were "moral indiscretions" like criminal behavior, rampant materialism, and cultural elitism. Evidently being theistic and religious prevents such problems, but since when?

 

Read Article: Myth: Atheists Are Materialistic & Worship Money, Material Goods, Comforts

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January 30, 2010 at 9:38 am
(1) Eupraxsophy says:

The one fundamental virtue that is missing of all the people who decide to base their truths on beliefs (deception) is the truth. As I had pointed out in a previous post, is that truth may not be the greatest of virtures, but it is the most important one. Without it no other virtue has any real value because they would have no integrity to be true. Their truths are as superficial as their beliefs.
The truth must be the Alpha, not the Omega.

The creditable atheist has the integrity and the wisdom to see these differences that at first might seem quite subtle, but are in fact worlds apart from each other. Like evidence that has been substanciated and/or established as being true, as opposed to circumstantial and arbitrary evidence that has no intrinsic value of it’s own.
It is the difference between graditude and greed, between self worth and selfish worth, between humility and pride, between conditional love and unconditional love, between wisdom and foolishness, between the coward and the brave, and certainly it is the difference between that which is true and that which is not. And the only difference between their faith and ignorance is the truth.

Humble yourself in being brave to face the truth, be objective in weighing the truth so that you can have knowledge in accepting the truth, and have wisdom in seeing the differences and have integrity in being as honest to yourself as you are to others so that you can respect the truth. Then and only then can you have the understanding and focus of what your life, and life itself is all about.

For the variety of life springs forth the fountain of diversity which only makes us more distinguished and less insignificant.

January 30, 2010 at 7:40 pm
(2) Alig says:

Interesting – you argue that criticism of atheists as materialistic and greedy is unfair and untrue and then make an equally unfair claim that Republicans are more “associated” with greed, while Democrats are more “associated” with atheism. You are attempting to use one stereotype to disprove another.

Greed and materialism are human traits that cross religious and political affiliations. Republicans are no more or less likely to be greedy and materialistic than Democrats, and Democrats are no more likely to publicly associate themselves with atheism than are Republicans.

January 31, 2010 at 8:03 am
(3) Austin Cline says:

Interesting – you argue that criticism of atheists as materialistic and greedy is unfair and untrue and then make an equally unfair claim that Republicans are more “associated” with greed, while Democrats are more “associated” with atheism. You are attempting to use one stereotype to disprove another.

No, the comment in question isn’t an attempt to disprove the stereotype. Instead, I’m pointing out the inherent ridiculousness of the stereotype by drawing attention to a contradiction: allegedly greedy and materialistic atheists are more closely associated with one political party even while the other political party is itself more closely associated with business, greed, profit, etc.

What’s more, you seem to have trouble comprehending the difference between saying that some group or class is characterized by some trait and saying that a group or class is associated with some trait. The first is a claim about the nature of that group; the latter is a claim about popular perceptions of the group.

Republicans are no more or less likely to be greedy and materialistic than Democrats,

You have evidence of this?

and Democrats are no more likely to publicly associate themselves with atheism than are Republicans.

Only because of anti-atheist bigotry. However, atheists are far more likely to associate themselves with the Democratic party and vote Democratic because in America, atheists tend to be more liberal than conservative.

Did you have any facts to back up your objections, or what?

January 31, 2010 at 9:04 am
(4) Eupraxsophy says:

“Bravo!” Mr. Cline

I couldn’t agree with you more about your counter argument towards Alig.

Far too often it is the Republicans that prove that they are the greedy ones and even though there are some Democrates that are just as greedy, it is quite apparent that the majority of the greedy are Republicans. Just look at their lobbyist and their special intrests to see their greed. What about the statement that Sarah Palin said at the end of her speech at the RNC? “Just drill baby, drill!”
This should show anyone with an ounce of intelligence where her special intrests are at and isn’t it ironic who she is married to just happens to be working for an oil company and that she is an expert when it comes to the oil industry.

So if you were to ask me who the greedy ones are, I would have to say it is the ones who choose to feed their special intrests and to be irresponsible by disregarding the consequences of the truth.

January 31, 2010 at 9:23 am
(5) Alig says:

Austin, I assure you I have no trouble comprehending – I just happen to disagree. but thanks for your response. Given your comments, I think perhaps it is you who has trouble compehending the difference between truth and political spin…do you really believe that Democrats are altruistic while Republicans are greedy? I think there is an equal amount of hipocrisy and corruption on both sides of the aisle.

As for evidence, yes there is plenty. Pelosi with her new airplane, Al Gore with his giant energy-draining house, and countless other examples of privelege and misuses of power. And that exists for Republicans too. But since you made the original allegation that republicans are somehow *more* greedy, maybe you should be the one offering evidence to back up your claims?

I happen to be an atheist who is a political orphan – democrats seem to always be in my back pocket and republicans in my underwear drawer. I could do without the intrusion.

January 31, 2010 at 10:15 am
(6) Austin Cline says:

Austin, I assure you I have no trouble comprehending

Then why the failure to display comprehension?

do you really believe that Democrats are altruistic while Republicans are greedy?

I never made such a claim.

When you assert that you “have no trouble comprehending,” you really undermine you case when you attribute to others something they never said. At a bare minimum, “comprehension” must include some idea of what others have said and what they have not said.

As for evidence, yes there is plenty.

The plural of “anecdote” is not “evidence.” Isolated instances of materialism among Democrats is not evidence that Republicans are “no more or less likely to be greedy and materialistic than Democrats.” For that, you would need detailed statistical surveys of the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of both Democrats and Republicans, factoring out other factors like socioeconomic status, education, etc.

For someone how has “no trouble comprehending,” you really seem to have trouble understanding how to provide evidence for a demographic claim.

But since you made the original allegation that republicans are somehow *more* greedy, maybe you should be the one offering evidence to back up your claims?

Like I said: “you seem to have trouble comprehending the difference between saying that some group or class is characterized by some trait and saying that a group or class is associated with some trait. The first is a claim about the nature of that group; the latter is a claim about popular perceptions of the group.”

No matter how often you claim that you “have no trouble comprehending,” your above comment demonstrates unequivocally that you don’t comprehend at all.

January 31, 2010 at 1:27 pm
(7) Alig says:

ok, so you’re not suggesting at all that republicans are *actually* more greedy than democrats, but rather that voters *perceive* republicans as more greedy? All voters, or just democratic voters?

And you’re saying voters only *perceive* democrats as altruistic? Again, do you mean all voters perceive democrats as more altruistic or just those that vote for them?

“allegedly greedy and materialistic atheists are more closely associated with one political party even while the other political party is itself more closely associated with business, greed, profit, etc.”

Who associates republicans with greed? Who associates business and profit with greed? Everyone? What percentage of people agree with these associations and without statistics, how would you know? And further, what if anything do weak, unsupported associations prove or disprove about the spectacularly ridiculous myth at the top of your blog entry?

January 31, 2010 at 3:34 pm
(8) Austin Cline says:

ok, so you’re not suggesting at all that republicans are *actually* more greedy than democrats, but rather that voters *perceive* republicans as more greedy? All voters, or just democratic voters?

I’m talking about exactly what I wrote: a greater association between greed, selfishness, and materialism with the GOP than with the Democratic Party. This is only natural because the GOP is now and has long been the party of capital: policies and platforms are more consistently aimed at the defense and expansion of the interests of capitalist and business leaders than the interests of workers than the policies and platforms of the Democratic Party.

And further, what if anything do weak, unsupported associations prove or disprove about the spectacularly ridiculous myth at the top of your blog entry?

Thank you, once again, for demonstrating so clearly that despite professing that you “have no trouble comprehending,” you still don’t comprehend what I clearly wrote: “Iím pointing out the inherent ridiculousness of the stereotype by drawing attention to a contradiction.”

What’s significant about your failure to comprehend this is the fact that you quoted the text immediately after. So, there’s no question that you saw it ó it’s just that you failed to comprehend that it directly answers the question you asked.

Finally, it almost appears as though you dispute the existence of popular perceptions of the GOP being more closely associated with policies favoring greed and the rich and the Democratic Party more closely associated with policies favoring workers and the poor. Insofar as people vote there interests, this perception is also reality in that the less money a person has, the more likely they are to vote Democrate and the more money a person has the more likely they are to vote Republican.

January 31, 2010 at 3:55 pm
(9) Alig says:

You can’t have a debate without being a complete jerk, can you? It’s a shame because you have decent arguments most of the time. This one is weak. I pointed it out. You suggested (not knowing me or my background or anything about me) that the only reason I could possibly disagree with you is that I don’t “comprehend”. Your continued reference to my failure to comprehend is both annoying and condescending. You argue like a 14 year old who learned some big words this week. And by the way, it’s “their” not “there.” Schmuck.

January 31, 2010 at 8:33 pm
(10) Austin Cline says:

It’s a shame because you have decent arguments most of the time. This one is weak.

That’s a difficult position for you to take given that every time you’ve tried to describe my argument, you’ve demonstrated that you don’t understand it.

You suggested (not knowing me or my background or anything about me) that the only reason I could possibly disagree with you is that I don’t “comprehend”.

I’ve suggested no such thing. I have, however, pointed out that you have consistently and unequivocally failed to demonstrate any comprehension of the matter or the argument.

If you have reasons for disagreement that aren’t related to your lack of comprehension, you’ve yet to show htem.

Your continued reference to my failure to comprehend is both annoying and condescending.

You may find it annoying, but the fact is that your consistent lack of comprehension is highly relevant to your failure to offer any real or substantive critiques here. If you find it “condescending” to you have failures pointed out when those failures are relevant, then I suggest the problem lies with you.

February 2, 2010 at 9:50 am
(11) Liz says:

I’m not sure Alig actually fully read the article – or if he (she?) did, didn’t take it in fully. I think the article makes clear that there can be greedy, materialistic atheists….

I think the article is a good one. In comments to other articles, Xians have come on to say that atheists *must* be more egotistical than religious people “because they rely on themselves instead of a higher power”. There are comments that claim that atheists *must* have no morals/ethics because they “do not respond to a higher power”. All of that is based on some perception created through some weird process of logic that privileges a religious viewpoint.

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