X-Message-Number: 27780
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 11:19:01 EST
Subject: Wow...compelling information re: "godless heathens."

In a message dated 3/31/2006 5:00:44 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  

Date:  Thu, 30 Mar 2006 10:14:10 -0600
From: IGGY & Svetlana  <>
Subject: Atheists identified as  America's most distrusted  minority,


Atheists  identified as America's most distrusted minority, according to new
U of M  study 

What: U of M study reveals America's distrust of atheism  
Who: Penny Edgell, associate professor of sociology  
Contact:  Nina Shepherd, sociology media relations, (612) 599-1148
Mark Cassutt  University News Service, (612) 624-8038 

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL  (3/28/2006) -- American's increasing acceptance of
religious diversity  doesn't extend to those who don't believe in a god,
according to a national  survey by researchers in the University of
Minnesota's department of  sociology. 

From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households,  university
researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims,  recent
immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in "sharing  their
vision of American society." Atheists are also the minority group  most
Americans are least willing to allow their children to  marry.

Even though atheists are few in number, not formally organized  and
relatively hard to publicly identify, they are seen as a threat to  the
American way of life by a large portion of the American public.  "Atheists,
who account for about 3 percent of the U.S. population, offer a  glaring
exception to the rule of increasing social tolerance over the last  30
years," says Penny Edgell, associate sociology professor and the  study's
lead researcher. 

Edgell also argues that today's atheists  play the role that Catholics, Jews
and communists have played in the  past-they offer a symbolic moral boundary
to membership in American  society. "It seems most Americans believe that
diversity is fine, as long  as every one shares a common 'core' of values
that make them  trustworthy-and in America, that 'core' has historically been
religious,"  says Edgell. Many of the study's respondents associated atheism
with an  array of moral indiscretions ranging from criminal behavior to
rampant  materialism and cultural elitism. 

Edgell believes a fear of moral  decline and resulting social disorder is
behind the findings. "Americans  believe they share more than rules and
procedures with their fellow  citizens-they share an understanding of right
and wrong," she said. "Our  findings seem to rest on a view of atheists as
self-interested individuals  who are not concerned with the common good." 

The researchers also  found acceptance or rejection of atheists is related
not only to personal  religiosity, but also to one's exposure to diversity,
education and  political orientation-with more educated, East and West Coast
Americans  more accepting of atheists than their Midwestern counterparts. 

The  study is co-authored by assistant professor Joseph Gerteis and  associate
professor Doug Hartmann. It's the first in a series of national  studies
conducted the American Mosaic Project, a three-year project funded  by the
Minneapolis-based David Edelstein Family Foundation that looks at  race,
religion and cultural diversity in the contemporary United States.  The study
will appear in the April issue of the American Sociological  Review.

Rate This Message: _http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=27777_ 
Reprint ends, Rudi Hoffman writing below:

The above reprint from today's "Cryonet" certainly has a bearing on  cryonics 
If cryonics is ever to be remotely "mainstream" in the near future, we need  
to reframe this so it is not viewed as the exclusive bailiwick of "godless  
Many of us who no longer believe in many cultural superstitions including  
traditional religions are in the vanguard, and are disproportionately  
represented among cryonicists.
But in our personal marketing and discussions of cryonics, it makes sense  to 
frame this as MEDICAL option.  
Implying that atheism is a given for people to want to sign up for cryonics  
is obviously NOT going to work for most people.  We may have known this  
intuitively, but the above article makes it GLARINGLY CLEAR.  
We aren't going to win the "hearts and minds" of the masses with a frontal  
attack on how baseless, illogical, unlikely, irrational, devisive, and just  
plain stupid their particular brand of superstition may be!
I confess that I still have tendencies to argumentative, smug, superior,  and 
annoying in this arena.  I have worked hard to become less so, because  my 
experience (and my wife) continually remind me how unlikely it is that I will  
change people's basic worldviews in a chance dinner encounter.  

And  how LIKELY it is I will simply be viewed as a kook, probably not an 
individual  to be liked and trusted.
Fellow cryoneters, we may intuitively know, and even have research that  
athiests are among the most ETHICAL, broad minded, decent, responsible, and  
honest people on the planet.  
We also may have personal experience of how ethical  humanist, enlightenment 
values can and do generate  greater overall benefit to humanity than sectarian 
But it is shocking...dismaying...and instructive to find the mainstream  

beliefs are still VERY much of the mind that people can NOT POSSIBLY be  ethical
without god or gods.
Would anyone agree that it may be a good idea to keep this in mind in our  
communication of forward thinking memes like cryonics?  

And resolve  with me to not unnecessarily antagonize the superstitious 

masses?  Oops...I  can start by not calling them that...I mean those who may 
other gods or  cultural artifacts in their worldview?
(This posting is especially relevant to me.  In a few hours I am  heading to 
South Georgia to go to a wedding of Dawn's nephew.  Right in the  middle of 
the most conservative Babtist bible belt.  These are good  Christian 

people...but their religion is as bloody and insane as can be.   Ahh...wwdd 
(What would 
Dale (Carnegie) do?).
Warm Regards, For Centuries,

Rudi Richard Hoffman CFP  CLU

Board Member Financial Planning Association fpafla.org
Board  Member Salvation Army salvationarmy.org
Member Alcor Life Extension  Foundation alcor.org
Certified Financial Planner(TM) CFP Board of Standards  
Member Libertarian Party libertarianparty.org
Member National Rifle  Association nra.org
Member World Transhumanist Association  http://transhumanism.org/
World's Leading Cryonics Insurance Provider  rudihoffman.com

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