It starts with the strong correlation between political liberalism and atheism. It’s not 100 percent, of course, but the connection has been noted by many researchers, and there’s no doubt it exists. The further left a person’s politics, the more likely he or she is to be an atheist.
It continues with atheists’ frequent dismissals of faith as “belief without evidence.” Atheists insist on evidence; they won’t believe anything without it. And it had better be more than just someone’s opinion; it has to be corroborated, usually scientifically.
It proceeds through noting how often atheists have accused me and other Christians of confirmation bias: believing what we want to believe about reality.
And finally, there is the obvious observation that people on the left believe what Christine Blasey Ford said about Kavanaugh, despite the perfect lack of corroboration for her story. It’s her word, and hers alone. The people she called on to support her story all say it didn’t happen. The best she has going for her is her own statements to others including her husband and therapist decades after the alleged event, and even her therapist can’t support the story completely. Yet one Democratic senator after another looked at her and said “We believe you.”
My point ought to be clear enough already, but let’s throw in a couple other data points, for those who might question whether that link between atheism and believing Ford’s testimony is real.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State wrote a statement on the hearings, including:
Rather than a full and fair hearing that would have examined Kavanaugh’s record and the serious charges against him, the country saw a rushed, perfunctory process that had all the hallmarks of a sham. … As if his troubling stances were not enough, the Senate’s failure to adequately address the serious allegations of Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct is enraging.
Hemant Mehta, the “Friendly [?] Atheist,” echoed that, with emphasis. I’ve searched carefully, and I haven’t found a single atheist website challenging Democrats for believing her prematurely. Neither have I run across any who called down the protesters on the Supreme Court steps for chanting, “We believe survivors!” (For the record, I believe survivors too. No one has questioned that. The question has been whether she is one. See more in the midst of this article.)
So what’s going on here? Could it be that atheists don’t always insist on corroborated facts before they’ll believe?
So let’s return to this matter of confirmation bias. Every major atheist website has raised deep concerns about Kavanaugh’s nomination — using terms like “how screwed are we?” and “alarm.” Atheists are running scared. They absolutely can’t stand the thought of him on that bench.
So that makes two principles they’re violating: requiring solid corroborated evidence, and avoiding confirmation bias at all costs. Could it be they’re not so committed to those principles as they say they are?
Concerning comments: If you have something to say about the politics of the matter, I’m totally fine with that, but not here, since that’s not my topic in this blog post. You can choose among five links above where that dialogue would be relevant. This is about the epistemology (requiring corroboration) and social psychology (confirmation bias) instead. So I’m asking us to focus our discussion on that.