April 19, 2012

Which authority figures do you need to be good?

I thought I might like this article until I read it.  Instead it irks me.

From Science Daily:

"Sincere commitment to belief in God may be viewed as a signal for trustworthiness, particularly by religious believers who think that people behave better if they are under supernatural surveillance," says Norenzayan. "Atheists consider their disbelief as a matter of private conscience, while believers think atheists' absence of belief is a public threat to cooperation and honesty. However, this negative perception of atheists declines to the extent that people are reminded of secular means of social surveillance."


"Norenzayan and Gervais find that in countries where the government is more effective and stronger, atheists are both more common and more trusted."

Being a believer doesn't make you more trustworthy or better behaved, and the implication that one needs an authority figure to do so is very disheartening for the human race.  Personally, I don't need supernatural surveillance or the government to watch me.  We're also trying to raise our kids so that they will know the difference between right and wrong by how it makes them feel, and the impact their actions have on others.  I thought this is what most people did.

1 comment:

  1. No surprise there!

    Good post!