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I received this in our local telegram chat and I'm taken aback by what this article says about Atheists being emotionally suppressive people.


I believe I was an emotionally strong kid to rise out of a suppressive religion. I was young enough, strong enough to realise it for the fake it was.

I would like to hear your comments regarding this article.

TimeOutForMe 8 July 29

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My first thought while reading the article (other than wondering if the research came from Pat Robertson's Regent University or a similar religious school) was the saying/proverb/song lyric "fools rush in where angels fear to tread."

My personal experience is that making decisions based on emotion has gotten me into more embarrassing and/or troubling situations than when I took the time to at least attempt to analyze a situation logically and rationally. Doing so meant attempting to remove - perhaps suppress- my emotional reactions from the situation.

Looking at this concept another way, I recall hearing and reading an article or two during my exit from Mormonism that Mormons were more susceptible to confidence scams than others in the US. In searching for a source to back up this assertion, I found the following article that mentions that others religious believers also appear to be susceptible. The article explains, "Why do religious groups make such easy targets? For one, a swindler who professes the same faith, or belongs to the same congregation, has an easy time of earning trust, however misplaced. Duped investors, meanwhile, also hesitate to suspect or report on one of their own, Schock added." "Harvard scholar Robert D. Putnam and Notre Dame's David E. Campbell found a connection between religiosity and trust in others". "In an interview, Campbell said the strong social networks found in some faith communities, such as "the tight bonds among Mormons," seems to make them especially vulnerable to fraud."

Another article at Science Direct goes into a bit more depth but essentially says some of the same things. Greater similarities between the scammer and his mark such as their belief systems can cause the mark to drop his guard and make himself vulnerable to the scammer. The scammer manipulates the mark's emotions allowing him to gain the mark's trust with the hope of also gaining access to the mark's financial resouces.

So, perhaps nonbelievers do have an issue with emotional suppression. Perhaps it is an issue nonbelievers need to work on for their own benefit. It could also be that while believers may not suppress their emotions as believers are said to do, perhsps they could find reason to learn a bit of emotional suppression for certain situations for their own benefit. It does not seem to me to be that believers are somehow superior because they don't suppress their emotions as often as they perhaps ought to.

RussRAB Level 8 July 29, 2020

Wow thanks so much for your indepth response🤗

Another article I overlooked earlier.

"Religious-based financial fraud is rampant. Here's how to fight it"

This is exactly why Trump went all in on professing his (non existing) religious beliefs. No one falls in love and remains loyal as steadfastly as an indoctrinated person of faith. All he had to do was convince (or in my opinion, blackmail) a few Christian leaders into supporting him, and their flocks would blindly follow.
This is not emotional (love), it’s blind allegiance to your perceived leader. Few Atheists have that need to be led through life. This is not lack of emotion, it’s asking for reasons and proof that something is worthy of giving our emotions to.


Sounds like they found something that would seem obvious reading the comments in this website: atheist tend not to use emotion as a basis for judging how true something like life after death (highlighted in the research) is. I fail to see where thinking through how well something fits reality is a "bad" thing when compared to using emotions for the same.


I think it is a positive to be less emotional. Just look at the nutty religious, speaking in tongues or being upset when someone tell them that they don't believe in god.

You don't speak with your tongue? I'm surprised Jolanta. 🙂

There was zero attempt to ask the 8 Atheists if they were recent former holy roller emotional believers....that would make predictable and trustworthy such Atheists remaining calm in a contrived situation on video tape WITH SOUND TURNED OFF gawdammit.....I have zero fucking respect for LIARS BURRIS & NOLAN

@DenoPenno I was brought up in Brooklyn and distinctly remember the first time I saw someone talk in tongues. I had wandered into a tent revival on Amelia Island. My only thought is there really is group mania , it’s a real thing . That and these people could benefit from some serious medication


Having 'worked' for many, many years both as Psychologist and a Counselor I'd say that Atheists are far more Emotionally Out There than are the Religious people.
In my educated opinion We are, for the most part, a more developed people morally, ethically, emotionally, etc, etc, than are the majority of those who claim Religious followings.
We seem to see being things like Morally, Emotionally, etc, etc, Supportive to others as an 'inherent Duty' of sorts to ALL in need regardless of circumstances, and without thoughts, etc, opportunity/opportunities for present or future rewards, etc, etc, whereas, imo, the more Religious amongst us see it only as something they ONLY do for those like themselves and are merely seeking extra future 'Kudos' as the end result.


Lol they didn’t interview me for that. I am not capable of suppressing any emotions , and am a true atheist . These articles are BS. Written through the scope of one persons limited lens. Just because they think it, doesn’t make it true.

ALeigh Level 4 July 29, 2020

Atheists are calmer and less emotionally volatile? Makes sense, but I'm surprised that a so-called professor of psychology doesn't seem aware that Buddhism is an atheistic religion.

Gareth Level 7 July 29, 2020

There are different kinds of Buddhists. Thai Buddhists worship deities similar to Lord Ganesha.

@AravindAjith I referenced "Buddhism", not what people who happen to call themselves "Buddhists" may or may not believe.

These 2 liars Burris and Nolan have proven themselves to be fake news of psychology shit publishers

@Gareth sounds a little like the no true Scotsman fallacy []

@MattHardy Can you not distinguish between Buddhism and Buddhists? If an atheist is also a racist does that make atheism a racist ideology?

@Gareth no, but while Buddism can overlap with atheism it's far from exclusively atheist.. Sounded to me like you were trying to discount the branches of Buddism that teach about celestial beings (polytheistic). You seem to be suggesting that they are unrepresentative of "true buddism" which seemed me to be simply whatever you thought supported your initial assertion. That why I referenced the no true scotsman fallacy.

@MattHardy I understood your post but even the most devotional and 'deviant' variants of the many schools of Buddhism are not theistic in the Abrahamic sense. If Buddhism is to mean anything at all it must relate in some way to the teachings of the Buddha, not simply not be expressly forbidden.

@Gareth so do you understand from my post that many buddists believe in and worship celestial beings, devas. You understand this is not despite being buddist, not alongside being buddist but as an integral part of being buddist. These beliefs are buddist beliefs taught by buddist teachers.
These are not deviant beliefs but that greater proportion of buddists in the world.
Do you understand that this is called polytheism and is not atheism?

@Gareth buddhism was condemned by Buddha himself but buddhists go on chanting pursuing nirvana and worshipping the Dali Lama reincarnation bullshit ....Sam Harris is selling stoic buddhist bullshit

@Larry68Feminist Christ preached poverty but many Christians pursue wealth.

@MattHardy "In Buddhism, the devas are not immortal gods that play a creative role in the cosmic process. They are simply elevated beings who had been reborn in the celestial planes as a result of their words, thoughts, and actions."Not polytheism then.
In the same way that most Christians believe in saints you could argue that they're an integral part of Christianity, but I think we could both recognise the fallacy in that. However, you seem to have missed the original point that you can't lump all Buddhists into the non-atheist box as the authors of this study have done, in favour of quibbling over the practices of various schools.

@Gareth I can agree that you can't lump all Buddhists into the non-atheist box. I disagree that "Buddhism is an atheistic religion." I disagree that buddist teaching believed by buddists as part of their buddist identity can be dismissed as not part of Buddhism", and just "what people who happen to call themselves 'Buddhists' may or may not believe."

@MattHardy I'd agree that "Buddhism is an atheistic religion" is incorrect to the extent that Buddhism is not strictly a religion at all, although that hasn't prevented people trying to turn it into one. Now, if all the Buddhists in the world were to agree that eating doughnuts is a sin, that would still not make the abjuring of doughnuts a part of Buddhism to me because I'd refer to original teaching, not popular practice but you are free to choose an alternate usage. I get no mileage from pursuing semantic differences online.

@Gareth fair enough, I think we've reached as much common ground as we're going to. You seem to have a very narrow view of what buddism is and won't be budged to accept that what is buddist practice and belief in much of the world counts as part of buddism too. As I've repeatedly said, these beliefs and practices are not simply coincident with buddism but the buddists themselves consider them to be an integral part of buddism. You may have a blind spot to that but I can't open your eyes for you. I wish you well

@MattHardy Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. Have a good day.


Preferring to be as rational as possible in any given situation is not the same as "emotional suppression".

I'm inclined to call bullshit.


"Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.. "
That sums it up. Sudo-Science.
Religion controls and suppresses emotion. Not the other way around


Well...they surveyed 1095 psych undergrad students half of which are white and christian. And only about a 150 are atheists.

Gee Wilikers! Thats about the bestest sample size you can get to generalize the entire group of atheists. 🙄


that is utter bollox


I too am skeptical. The author of the study is a professor at a Catholic university yet, 45% of his subjects identified as atheist, agnostic and non-religious?

Some of the findings in the study do not even support the claim in the title of the article.

Smells like more of the usual pro-religion claptrap to me. Don't let other people define you.

Thank you. I like the way you summed this up. Short and to the point 👍.

LovinLarge - I missed that the research was conducted at a Catholic university. I would think that nonreligious students at a religious school might find reason to be intimidated in their personal emotional expressions in such an environment. I wonder if it might be enough to skew the results of the study.


Not true for me, personally. I tend to be very expressive with my emotions. There wasn’t a ton of data in this study. It just says more atheists. How many more? It could be one more. Not very helpful.
I would need to see more studies, and more precise reporting. Based on just this, I don’t buy it.

The article writer and fake professor did not conduct a "study" both OBVIOUSLY are attacking the facial expressions and body language of 8 Atheists on video tape WITH SOUND TURNED OFF ....this is 100% bias and opposite of double blind observed "control group" 100 % worthless McCarthyism in action


My early decisions (rising above-and-out of religion) bode well for my future (positive) decisions in life. My peers saw me as an emotionally strong person.
I believe religion drains people emotionally and suppresses them.

Religion suppressing people was more my experience as well. The article did refer to the expression of emotion and particularly positive emotions which is kind of curious. I wonder how authentic the emotion measured was (sounded like most the data came from surveys?) Or just how connected to something reality based the emotion was. I believe that a number of believers (Christians mostly) are told they are supposed to be happy because of "the good news" so they put on their happy face and act as if they are. I would think it might be difficult to tease out this kind of deception in the research.

This fake study hides the harm religion perpetrates upon people and insinuates lies against Atheists.....I would spit in the faces of both Burris and Nolan today as they played sick dishonest games with a fake 2011 "study" ....pure McCarthyism in action


What a ridiculous pile of hog wash. I’m guessing the “research” was sponsored by religious money.


Social sciences experiments can be notoriously difficult to replicate.

Author seems to have a focus on religious topics.

Three studies all agree that atheists have the same emotions as non-atheists.
The first asked if they suppressed the outward expression of those emotion. Atheists were more likely to answer that they did.
The second and smaller study asked people to try suppressing their emotions and found that doing so primed them to be less supportive of afterlife theories.
An even smaller study of 8 videos of atheists and 8 videos of non atheists found that the atheists were observed to express less emotion and were deemed less trustworthy.

If true, which is a big if, it raises some questions. Author suggests emotion suppression may drive an atheistic outlook. Alternatively effect could a societal issue. Growing up atheist in a religious society might lead to a more guarded affect. It's that second study that indicates that it suppression emotional expression might cause a suppression of supernatural beliefs. I'd love to see if that can be replicated.

From my perspective they don't seem to be describing atheism but Britishness. We're both less religious and far more stiff upper lip than you colonials. I wonder if there's a large number of international students in his cohort?


It’s called “projection”, asserting that another has your own failing. Typical of the breed.


I consider this to be complete rubbish from beginning to’s pseudo science and basically worthless. Our religious belief or disbelief does not determine whether we are more or less emotional, our genetic make-up does that. Atheists are not a homogeneous grouping, the only thing we have in common is we don’t believe in the religious mumbo-jumbo which the religious believe. Maybe because we seem less impressed by things unless we see that they are actually real and therefore are less ready to be overjoyed at the kind of examples they used in this survey, they interpreted that as being emotionally suppressed. To say that atheists are regarded as untrustworthy, I would ask them how in the general population can you tell who is an atheist....we don’t go around shouting from the rooftops that we’re unbelievers, so how can they know we’re untrustworthy, unless it’s because they have their own inbuilt bias towards anyone who doesn’t believe in the bullshit they believe in. That speaks to their insecurities, prejudices and misconceptions, not ours.

The depth of McCarthyism in USA college campus culture is thinly veiled against 2 thousand undergraduates and whoever reads the insulting conclusion buried at the end of Nolan's LIES


I think they need to do a lot better of a study before they will convince me

That was no "study" it was character assassination of Atheists boosting both Agnostics and believers together against Atheists and their feelings "observed" with the sound turned OFF ? 100 % ATTACK on my character side by side branding believers feelings as honest ??? Fucked up liars Nolan and Burris


I'm in agreement with RussRAB. But utter bollox takes less time to say. A strong emotional reaction may not give the result hoped for.


Just ohferpetessake........

Aw come on, don't just hold back, say it like itreally should be said, i.e. FFS.

@Triphid believe me, i have a sailor's mouth on a good day......even I need relief sometimes, and ohferpetessake is fun to type! Somebody on here kept trying to make me use "OFPS" or some such instead... fuck that


I think the "research" was very shortsighted and destined to have the results it as wanting.

I was not fond of emotional displays when I was a Bible-thumping theist. Nothing has changed.

I have a feeling that intelligence and personality types, which go along with intelligence, play a MUCH bigger role in how someone displays emotions than religiosity. (Gender also plays a part, and NO I'm not being sexist, just adding a little factoid.)

This is much more complex than sampling a couple thousand people and leaving out all sorts of other controls. I have a feeling someone needed this to complete a grant project.


I don't see it; "spiritual experiences make people more emotionally expressive", or alternatively, "suppressing emotions makes one less open to spiritual experiences".

Isn't this just another way of saying "People distrust shifty atheist intellectuals who think things through, and prefer honest emotional Christian people who react from the gut?" In other words, reinforcing the right-wing religious stereotype?


So, I am atheist because I don’t feel the vibes when the religious people awe? Dated a lady who was shopping churches and went a couple times. For someone who prized herself on picking up on bullshit, she fought so hard to justify it when I pointed it out at each visit. Maybe we are emotionally suppressed because we have to bite our tongues when people around us say these things expecting everyone to just agree. He is essentially claiming good feelings from an echo chamber are somehow meaningful without considering it may just be they get cheered for performing the awe.


From the research: “Compared to non-atheists (which includes agnostics and the nonreligious as well as believers), atheists are not more likely to manage their emotions by thinking differently about situations. Atheists are more likely to resist expressing their emotions, however, and people apparently notice this even if they don’t know someone is an atheist,” he told PsyPost.

I guess it is all a matter of labels, I do not believe in gods or religions, I do not like to use labels, ergo I have never said I am an atheist , when people ask me I always say I am a non-believer in gods o religions, so my question is if in the research they compare atheists with non-atheists, and the latter include: believers, as well as agnostics and non religious people, makes me somewhat doubt the issue at matter.


I would like to see that study replicated a few times before I could give it any sort of credence.

I would also like to see the methodology that was used and have that methodology critiqued by an atheist psychologist.

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