Believers Find Atheists as Untrustworthy as Rapists
And many would discriminate against them in hiring: study
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2011 10:25 AM CST
The phrase "under God" is seen spray-painted by vandals onto an atheist billboard on in Charlotte, NC in this file photo.   (AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, via North Carolina Secular Association)

(Newser) – Atheism might just be the most reviled (un)belief system out there, according to a new study from the University of British Columbia, which found that believers think atheists are roughly as trustworthy as rapists. In one of the study’s six parts, researchers described an untrustworthy “archetypal freerider” performing selfish or illegal acts, and asked subjects to say if what type of person the description was most likely to apply to, CTV explains. Atheists and rapists were found to be trusted less than Christians, Muslims, Jews, gay men, and feminists.

In fact, “people did not significantly differentiate atheists from rapists,” the study says. Respondents also said they’d discriminate against atheists when hiring. “When hiring for a high-trust job like daycare worker, they were like, nope, not going to hire an atheist,” the study’s lead author tells the Vancouver Sun. Atheists, on the other hand, seemed fine with believers. “They seem to think that religion is not an important signal for who you can trust.”