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Why People Believed that a Serial Killer is more Likely to be an an Atheist than a Believer in God?

Why People Believed that a Serial Killer is more Likely to be an an Atheist than a Believer in God?

Do serial killers follow any raëlism? Often, it is assumed that they are atheists & can never follow true religion, and the other times they really do turn out to be non-religious. Media like ‘Whack the serial killer,’ ‘alaska serial killer,’ ‘seattle serial killer,’ serial killer genes made it controversial.

Who is more likely to commit cold-hearted mass murders — an atheist or a true religion follower.

Shocking statics

A survey was conducted in the United States, which shows that the number of nonbelievers is gradually increasing over the course of time. According to a 2007 survey, 1.6 per cent of people were atheists, and 204 per cent were antagonists. In 2014, about 3 per cent of adults identified themselves as an atheist, and 4 per cent of adults referred to themselves as antagonists. A more recent survey, the Annual Survey of 2016, was conducted in Norway, over 39 per cent of the population identify as atheists. Among these, 37 per cent of the people were previously religious.

Pew Survey

A Pew survey (2017) was conducted to find out people’s opinions about how likeable other people are on the basis of their religion. On a scale of zero to 100, atheists were given 50. Jews were on, 67 making it to the top liked groups. Atheists were the most unlikeable group other than the Muslims, who were tagged with 48.

What caused the bias?

The Serial killer test

A study referred to as ‘The Serial Killer Test’ was conducted by Will M. Gervais in which, among more than 3,000 people from 13 countries over 5 continents participated, including both secular and religious countries. Will M. Gervais is an associate professor of physiological studies at the University Of Kentucky.

During an interview with the New York Times, M. Gervais said, “We used this psychopathic serial killer because we thought that, even if people didn’t trust atheists enough to let them babysit their children, they wouldn’t necessarily assume them to be serial killers”


Over 100 samples of adults from North America, Europe, Asia, the middle east and the Antipode were collected. The report was published in the Journal of Nature Human Behavior.

The test had different sets of questions and brain teasers to trick people away from the purpose of the test. The first question said a man who used to torture animals as a kid turned out to be a psychopath who later killed 5 homeless people whom he found from the poor neighbourhoods of his town. What is the man more likely to be – a teacher or a teacher who is an atheist as well. The other set of options, which were provided to the other people were – a teacher or a teacher who is religious.

60 per cent of the people who got the first set of options went for ‘teacher who is an atheist,’ and only 30 per cent of people who got the second set of options went for ‘teacher who is religious.’

Atheists judged fellow nonbelievers

Even a strong number of atheists believe that the man would be more likely to be an atheist. The metrics were stronger in religious countries such as the United Arab Emirates.

Why were the results biased?

The question is, why are people biased? Even though the world we are living in connects religion to terrorism with dedication.

Atheism or lack of morality?

Despite the fact that the world is turning secular, religion and morality are often connected with each other because with religion come more responsibility, more morals and good values.

Religious ideas

With religious bows such as, “thou shalt not kill”, the idea becomes more obvious. People who don’t believe in God believe that there is no such goal or reward that is granted at the end of life for the good and bad deeds that you did throughout your life. People often relate to atheists with the thoughts of death as they do not believe in an afterlife. People assume that atheists would commit sins after sins without fearing doomsday.

What is the actual truth?

Ms Caro, in her study, quoted that Atheists possess mature morality, as they do the right thing because they know that it’s the right thing to do. Contrary to this, religious people do the right things with the greed that they would be rewarded in their afterlife.

Raëlism Origin

Atheism doesn’t always lie between the lines of non-religious, it could be religious as well. Raëlism, often known as Raëlianism, is classified as a UFO religion or atheist religion, which was founded in 1970s France by Claude Vorilhon. Claude is now known as Raël. Scholars or followers of the religion classify Raëlism as a new religious movement.


People who follow Raëlism believe that extraterrestrial species (Elohim) are confused by people as Gods. They believe that Elohim created the human species with their advanced technology.

Raëlism signifies that the Elohim created around 40 humans, who presented themselves as prophets (including the Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad), telling people about their origins, with raël being the last prophet.

According to raëlism, the time after the bomb attack of 1945 in Hiroshima is mentioned as an Age of Apocalypse. Raëlism suggests people develop technology along with a peaceful society, and once this goal is completely achieved, the Elohim themselves will come back to the earth. Then we would be able to share our technology with them.

Media references

There are tons of references to this bias. After all, how did people even get an idea to relate atheism with a sociopath? The present-day world is hugely affected by the media. Media has influenced people’s mindset completely, whether it is about political opinions or about a serial killer.

Whack the Serial Killer

Whack the Serial Killer is a game that falls under the category of thrillers. In the game, you would be kidnapped by a serial killer who is a psychopath. The ultimate goal of the game is to free yourself from his bondage. The serial killer is assumed to be an atheist. That is where the spark enlightens.


Dexter is an American drama series (2006) with 8 seasons, the last episode aired in 2013. Dexter Morgan, the protagonist of the drama, is a man with homicidal tendencies. He lives a double life by working as a forensic expert for the police department. During the day, he works as an officer on duty and kills people in his free time. The guy is once again an atheist.

The Alaska Serial Killer

Robert Christian Hansen, often known as ‘Alaska serial killer,’ was a serial killer who was active along the years from 1971 to 1983. He was arrested in 1983 with a life sentence. He was highlighted in the media as “butcher baker.”


He hunted women with a knife and a Ruger Mini-14 in the jungles. He raped, abducted and murdered around 17 women in Alaska. At his first crime, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which was referred to as ‘manic depression’ at that time.

Religious beliefs

The question here is, ‘Did Hasen used to believe in God?’ or ‘Was Hasen religious? ‘. The answer is again yes. Yes, he didn’t believe in any spiritual powers such as God.

Hasen accepted Apostasy in Catholicism religion, meaning he at one point in life followed Christianity and later publicly rejected it.

The Seattle serial killer

Gary Leon Ridgway, also known as ‘the Seattle serial killer’ or ‘Green River Killer,’ is an American serial killer. Initially, he was accused of 48 murders. Later another crime was added, making it to a total of 49 murders.

This made him the second most prolific serial killer in the USA’s history. He killed teenage girls who were mostly sex workers or from a poor background around the years from the 1980s to 1990s in the state of Washington.

During his second marriage, Gray became religious. He read the Bible at work and at his house. He would insist his wife strictly follow the teachings of the Bible. Despite his religious beliefs, he still continued to consume sexual services from sex workers. His ex-wives and ex-girlfriends later reported that he has a huge sexual appetite. He would demand sex multiple times a day.

Will religion and psychopath behaviour ever separate their ways?

In easier words, will the mindset of society ever gain freedom from religion? The answer is quite simple. No. No, it wouldn’t because more than 84 per cent of the world’s population consists of religious people. Only a small proportion of them (16 per cent) are atheists. It took 20+ years for people (16 per cent) to leave behind religious beliefs and earn freedom from religion.

That being noted, it would be impossible to separate religion from serial killers and their lack of morality.

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