But could any of this be related to a dislike of atheists? According to a new study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, the answer, surprisingly, is yes. Two experiments were conducted, and the first found that negative feelings towards atheists was greater among those who had very recently thought about death, while the second showed that “the mere contemplation of atheism can arouse intimations of mortality.” The finality of death associated with atheism appears to be subconsciously translated into a distrust of those who dare to espouse the view.
If true, this means nonbelievers have even greater obstacles to overcome than previously thought.
For more on the study, see: http://www.psmag.com/health-and-behavior/why-atheists-terrify-believers