Why Atheists Terrify Believers

Die atheistische Bedrohung
Die atheistische Bedrohung
Their presence challenges fundamental defense mechanisms that protect people from fear of death.


Even as an increasing number of Americans declare their disbelief in God, the nation as a whole continues to hold a dim view of atheists, in large part due to non-believers‘ perceived lack of morality. However dubious its premise, the assertion „There is no good without God“ reflects a widely held mindset.

But it turns out that’s not the whole story. Newly published research finds another dynamic driving antagonism toward atheists: They threaten the comforting narratives that gives meaning to so many people’s lives, and make the thought of death bearable.

Humans instinctively search for ways of „mitigating the potential terror arising from the uniquely human awareness of death,“ writes a research team led by psychologist Corey Cook of the University of Washington-Tacoma. Atheists „pose a fundamental threat“ to the belief systems that perform this vital function.


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