American Atheist Deviant Analysis

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The Struggle of the American Atheist Cognitive deviance is the term used when someone holds a belief that is widely held as unacceptable, wrong, or irrational by a society. This category of deviance can often cause great strife within communities with opposing beliefs. One example of cognitive deviance, atheism has been looked down upon in the United States since it was founded. There is such a great stigma associated with being an atheist, that many keep their ideas and beliefs to themselves rather than face ostracization. This raises the question, why is it still unthinkable to be an Atheist in America? The constructionist view of atheism ascertains that it is the audience who’s differing and majority idea defines it as a deviant attitude.…show more content…
244) Religion as Social Control Atheism is often seen as immoral because centuries of religious social control have ingrained the idea that morality is connected to a belief in God. Religion can be seen as using fear to urge obedience. Social Control Theory claims that without societal norms and rules, and institutions to enforce them, we could not expect proper behavior from people. Religion is an institution set up make and enforce norms and conformity. Without which, according to its followers, we could not be a moral and just society “We are expected to do certain things because they are right, because that’s the way things are done” (Goode, 2015 p. 52) For many this means following and believing in God because biblical teaching tell us what is right and how things should be done. Famed Sociologist Karl Marx, “attributed to religion the independent capacity to create false consciousness by serving as an…show more content…
According to Goode (2015), “In the eyes of many mainstream and conventional citizens of the United States, godlessness is considered very close to immorality. Hence, for much of the American population, not believing in God remains a deviant belief.” (p. 9) It is believed that atheism goes hand in hand with moral decay, including crime and even bad parenting. The prejudice against atheism is also prevalent in our political system, a little over a decade ago, less than half of the population was willing to vote for a candidate who identifies as a non-believer. Many American admit that they would not approve of a family member marrying an Atheist, and non-belief is often cited as being un-American. Though it doesn’t happen in America, non-believers who express their beliefs in others countries, may face extreme punishment. Many Americans believe that Atheists represent the rejection of the moral society. Until the idea that a belief in God is the only way to be a valuable and trustworthy citizen is discredited, the stigma associated with non-belief will

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