Highly religious people are less motivated by compassion than are non-believers

"Love thy neighbor" is preached from many a pulpit. But new research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that the highly religious are less motivated by compassion when helping a stranger than are atheists, agnostics and less religious people.

In three experiments, social scientists found that compassion consistently drove less to be more generous. For highly religious people, however, compassion was largely unrelated to how generous they were, according to the findings which are published in the July issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

The results challenge a widespread assumption that acts of generosity and charity are largely driven by feelings of empathy and compassion, researchers said. In the study, the link between compassion and generosity was found to be stronger for those who identified as being non-religious or less religious.

"Overall, we find that for less religious people, the strength of their emotional connection to another person is critical to whether they will help that person or not," said UC Berkeley social psychologist Robb Willer, a co-author of the study. "The more religious, on the other hand, may ground their generosity less in emotion, and more in other factors such as doctrine, a communal identity, or reputational concerns."

Compassion is defined in the study as an emotion felt when people see the suffering of others which then motivates them to help, often at a personal risk or cost.

While the study examined the link between religion, compassion and generosity, it did not directly examine the reasons for why highly religious people are less compelled by compassion to help others. However, researchers hypothesize that deeply religious people may be more strongly guided by a sense of than their more non-religious counterparts.

"We hypothesized that religion would change how compassion impacts generous behavior," said study lead author Laura Saslow, who conducted the research as a doctoral student at UC Berkeley.

Saslow, who is now a postdoctoral scholar at UC San Francisco, said she was inspired to examine this question after an altruistic, nonreligious friend lamented that he had only donated to earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti after watching an emotionally stirring video of a woman being saved from the rubble, not because of a logical understanding that help was needed.

"I was interested to find that this experience – an atheist being strongly influenced by his emotions to show generosity to strangers – was replicated in three large, systematic studies," Saslow said.

In the first experiment, researchers analyzed data from a 2004 national survey of more than 1,300 American adults. Those who agreed with such statements as "When I see someone being taken advantage of, I feel kind of protective towards them" were also more inclined to show generosity in random acts of kindness, such as loaning out belongings and offering a seat on a crowded bus or train, researchers found.

When they looked into how much compassion motivated participants to be charitable in such ways as giving money or food to a homeless person, non-believers and those who rated low in religiosity came out ahead: "These findings indicate that although compassion is associated with pro-sociality among both less religious and more religious individuals, this relationship is particularly robust for less religious individuals," the study found.

In the second experiment, 101 American adults watched one of two brief videos, a neutral video or a heartrending one, which showed portraits of children afflicted by poverty. Next, they were each given 10 "lab dollars" and directed to give any amount of that money to a stranger. The least religious participants appeared to be motivated by the emotionally charged video to give more of their money to a stranger.

"The compassion-inducing video had a big effect on their generosity," Willer said. "But it did not significantly change the generosity of more religious participants."

In the final experiment, more than 200 college students were asked to report how compassionate they felt at that moment. They then played "economic trust games" in which they were given money to share – or not – with a stranger. In one round, they were told that another person playing the game had given a portion of their money to them, and that they were free to reward them by giving back some of the money, which had since doubled in amount.

Those who scored low on the religiosity scale, and high on momentary compassion, were more inclined to share their winnings with strangers than other participants in the study.

"Overall, this research suggests that although less religious people tend to be less trusted in the U.S., when feeling compassionate, they may actually be more inclined to help their fellow citizens than more religious people," Willer said.

More information: Social Psychological and Personality Science April 26, 2012 doi: 10.1177/1948550612444137

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dogbert
1.8 / 5 (10) Apr 30, 2012
Wow.It took a lot of work to produce a study to support the premise that religious people are less generous than those who are, not religious.

If this were not a contrived study to promote an agenda, you would expect to find supporting documentation that the non-religious really give more than the religious.

You did not see that because this was about promoting an agenda not about c real behaviors by real people.
pauljpease
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 30, 2012
Actually, this report didn't show that religious people were less generous (although the way it was written makes it easy to read it that way). It just showed that compassion played a larger part in generous behavior for less religious people.
Szkeptik
3 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
@ dogbert

The study didn't look at information about HOW generous people were, but WHY they were generous. It turns out less/non religious people give because of compassion, while religious people give because their doctrine says so/ they think that is the right thing to do. In other words it's not such an emotional thing for them.
cyberCMDR
5 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
Perhaps the difference lies in the worldview of the religious, i.e. that everything happens by God's plan. If someone is poor, then they had done something to deserve it. A natural disaster? God did it as punishment (as in Pat Robertson's pronouncement that the Haiti earthquake was punishment for making a pact with the devil). The non-religious just see someone in need, and don't have that built in assumption that it was God's will.
Lurker2358
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 30, 2012
For highly religious people, however, compassion was largely unrelated to how generous they were,


It's always been this way, and Jesus rebuked this behavior in the Bible.

The "Highly Religious" often tend to be very wealthy, and use the church as a venue for status symbol. Everything they do is to be seen by someone else, or as was said, a legalistic "moral obligation," rather than true love.

We can cite any number of televangelists from the 1980's through present day, and their organizations, as proof of this.

I quit regular attendance to organized church about 8 years ago, and bothering to visit several years back as well.

One of the biggest reasons is I just flat out got sick of all the financial abuses and the "Mask" everyone wears.

I believe strongly in God, but I try to be as least "religious" as possible. "Religion" is diametrically opposed to "faith" and certainly "love".

The New Testament spends a great deal talking about that, and still nobody gets it.
Lurker2358
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 30, 2012
cyberCMDR:

Unfortunately for Pat Robertson, he doesn't read his own Bible very often.

See John chapter 9, where Jesus holds no such position.

The doctrine that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to evil people who are hiding things, comes from the Pharisees, and is a perfect example of what we call "self righteousness".

Where do we see this in the modern world?

Why yes, the conservative Republicans, whether it's fiscally conservative or "social conservative," either way, they tend to be professing Christians, and they hold the position that if a person has success it must be to their credit, and if they fail, it must be because they didn't try hard enough, etc. (or if it's a really religious Christian, they'll go far as to say you aren't praying enough or you must have hidden sin, etc, whatever the case, any evil or misfortune happens to you it must be your fault!)

That's "religion", it's always based on self-righteousness, even when it says otherwise...
freethinking
2 / 5 (8) Apr 30, 2012
This study showed that non-religious people don't use their brain when giving their money. Religious people think before giving to the street begger because they know the begger will take thier money and give it to the drug dealer to by dope.

Stats prove religious people are 1. more generous (just check liberals tax returns) and 2. religious people think how to impact lives positively with their generousity.
Lurker2358
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 30, 2012
freethinking:

I did taxes for 3 years.

Most people who give to charity, religious or not, don't report their donations on their return, even if it would help them.

You couldn't possibly have actual records to back up that claim.

Try again.

===

More on Pat Robertson's comments...

Ezekiel 18 is another place that debunks Pat's amateurish comments, because "God" is shown saying, paraphrasing, that he doesn't punish descendants for their ancestors sins.

Ironically, Haiti was officially more than 90% Catholic, and probably close to 99% Christian.

Pat comes from the false "Word of Faith" doctrine, which believes in permanent, unforgiven generational curses, but he doesn't mind contradicting himself on matters of theology or salvation, just so long as the viewers send in more money.

There's also more false prophecies given on the 700 Club show than probably all other televangelist networks and shows combined, with the possible exception of Benny Hinn.
Gammakozy
1.4 / 5 (9) Apr 30, 2012
All this proves is that non-believers (aka liberals)are good at faux charity and giving money that is not their own.
Russkiycremepuff
1 / 5 (5) Apr 30, 2012
"While the study examined the link between religion, compassion and generosity, it did not directly examine the reasons for why highly religious people are less compelled by compassion to help others. However, researchers hypothesize that deeply religious people may be more strongly guided by a sense of moral obligation than their more non-religious counterparts."

One of the disadvantages of taking a national survey of 1,300 people, or any other amount, out of 332 million in America is that the results can be manipulated by the survey takers to suit their own opinion and feeling if those opinions are anti-religion. There is no guarantee that they would be completely unbiased and may misinterpret results according to their own biased opinion. That being said, I must include that the survey does not reveal the financial status of the religious or the nonreligious. That alone may influence the ability of those people to take money from their pocket to donate for charity.
freethinking
2 / 5 (8) Apr 30, 2012
lurker, do a bit of research. Progressives give less to charities than Conservatives. Im too busy to do a simple google search for you.
Russkiycremepuff
1 / 5 (5) Apr 30, 2012
Whether or not compassion enters the picture, it is less likely that those who struggle financially can AFFORD to give even a small sum to the less fortunate, and risk bankrupting themselves.

"In the final experiment, more than 200 college students were asked to report how compassionate they felt at that moment. They then played "economic trust games" in which they were given money to share or not with a stranger. In one round, they were told that another person playing the game had given a portion of their money to them, and that they were free to reward them by giving back some of the money, which had since doubled in amount."

This paragraph is very suspect in its less defining of participants.
They = college students (plus) another college student
Them = ?? Who is "them"?
Is "them" the stranger? Or is "them" the 'other' student? This is bad double-talk.
Russkiycremepuff
1 / 5 (4) Apr 30, 2012
Perhaps the religious are less trusting of how their charity money will be used by the recipients and the non-religious do not care how theirs will be spent, but only wish to act on the contribution, but not so much for the compassion of it.
My case in point: I have faith in God, but I do not believe in religion since religion is manmade, and therefore questionable. Because I have some American dollars and coins in my pocket, I will offer to buy a meal for the homeless when I chance upon them. About 8 times out of 10, the meal is refused and instead, the money itself is demanded. After I have given my money, the homeless in the shopping mall parking lot will go to the liquor store and buy a bottle of alcoholic spirits. Some of them seek their drug dealer to spend my money on illegal chemical addiction.
Russkiycremepuff
1 / 5 (4) Apr 30, 2012
I have watched these people do this time after time, and only a very few have accepted the meal offer which I paid for. So I say that sometimes, a meal offer at a restaurant is best to offer, rather than offering money. The money may be used for destructive purposes instead. I believe that people of religion are aware of these things.
In Soviet Union, we were warned to not offer money to those drunkards even if they claimed to be hungry. We learned that to offer money instead of meal was only contributing to bad behavior. When I came to America fifteen years ago, I noticed many homeless, and some were Vietnam war veterans. Most often it was the veterans of Vietnam war and now Gulf wars that will accept meal. I do not differentiate between religious and nonreligious as Americans do. It makes no difference. But how my money is spent and what it is spent on makes big difference.
julianpenrod
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 30, 2012
Everything about this article, from the title to the "experiment" itself are specious to the point of likely being a deliberate attack on religious people.
"Highly religious people are less motivated by compassion than non-believers" can convince the cursory, title only, reader that religious people don't feel compassion for other to the same degree as non-believers and, therefore, don't do as much for the disadvantaged. The article, however, "explains" that it really meant that religious people do show charity toward others, maybe even more than non-believers, but for reasons other than compassion. Supposedly, they feel the need to be kind out of a moral obligation. Whereas, the article can be interpreted as assertting, non-believers require as a mandatory pre-requisite for helping others that they feel sympathy for them.
julianpenrod
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 30, 2012
Consider, too, that those who would represent themselves as non-religious also tend to depict themselves as more "scientific". Such indiivduals like that would surely see such leading facets as asking how you feel about someone being treated unfairly or displaying a film then being asked how much they would give a stranger as part of an "experiment" on compassion and so would artificially tailor their actions to give as good a picture as possible of the God hating. Rather than telegraph their intentions, the "researchers" could get a good idea of the viciousness of the atheistic and "scientists" by looking at the malignant comments they post in response to articles on the net.
Russkiycremepuff
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 30, 2012
You are correct in your observance, julianpenrod. The nonreligious or, as you say, non-believers require first to experience the sympathy before developing the charitable contribution in self for others. That could be explained with the phrase, "out of sight, out of mind". Yes? There is also the tax deduction motive, which I understand.

Whereas , the religious charity does not require such stimulation of senses to elicit charitable response to the needs of less fortunate, and is most often automatic response to a good cause for its own sake.
Russkiycremepuff
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 30, 2012
At University in Russian Federation, we were taught to be analytical, critical thinking, and discerning of contradictions in all things, including religion and science and the teachings of the philosophers. Atheists would always deny such a thing, but the Jewish writers of the bible were also philosophical as to relationship with God of the bible, and with man. Good relationship between man and God is not dependent on the giving of money, because even before there was such a thing as money, there was the sense of righteousness. I do not mean "self-righteousness" for one's own sake. I mean the righteousness of the spirit (not in ghost meaning). It is this sense that propagates the automatic giving without requirement of prior knowledge of those in need, nor of emotion of sympathy. I can only explain that it is "the right thing to do".
Dug
3 / 5 (4) Apr 30, 2012
Perhaps the non-religious are just more interested in immediate self-gratification of the warm-n-fuzzy feeling of giving to someone in need - rather than the religious who see giving as a transaction to purchase a place in heaven. As several have pointed out, in either case you can be sure their are con games working both sides of Charity street. All in all - the comments are far more informative regarding what makes people tick - than the study discussed in the article.
Russkiycremepuff
1 / 5 (4) Apr 30, 2012
Dug, there is no evidence of God and none of heaven or hell. Most religious people are aware of that. It is only the few who are unable to analyse and discern true meanings of what the bible teaches and they assume that belief in all of it is required of them. For myself, I have a faith in God as existing, but in a passive way without interacting in human affairs and events. Fear of punishment is only for those who make a concerted effort to do bad things, while knowing what they are doing.
Of course, there will always be those of unscrupulous and low morality who take advantage of the ignorant and the self-punishing. But at some point in their life, these unremorseful thieves will usually wind up hurting themselves with severe diseases. The human mind can do that and cause such punishments to happen to the wicked. And wicked they are. Psychologists often call it psychosomatic, but it does happen to such people who may have had some religious training once.
Argiod
1 / 5 (4) Apr 30, 2012
Do the sons bear the sins of the fathers or not?
Argiod
1 / 5 (4) Apr 30, 2012
Yes they do
(Exodus 20:5) - "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,"
(Deuteronomy 5:9) - "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,"
(Exodus 34:6-7) - "Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations."
(1 Cor. 15:22) - "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive."
Argiod
1 / 5 (4) Apr 30, 2012
...and; No they don't
(Deuteronomy 24:16) - "Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin."
(Ezekiel 18:20) - "The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the fathers iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the sons iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself."
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (5) Apr 30, 2012
Argiod:

Don't twist the text to say something it doesn't say.

It says, "...of those who hate me..."

Loving or hating God is an individual choice.
MandoZink
4 / 5 (4) Apr 30, 2012
There is no agenda here. This study reflects much of what I already know. I had several friends who seemed to devote incredible amounts of their own time, even personal vacations, to selflessly help people they did not know. I finally had to ask them about their religious leanings, which they never discussed. To my initial surprise, they were atheists and dedicated skeptics, like myself.

As I soon understood, atheists are more likely to be committed to serving humanity rather that a supreme being they cannot believe in. Looking at some of these comments, I do not understand why theists would be angry to find this out. Friendship, cooperation and empathy induce its own rewards. Aware people already know that! Good folks who are still attached to religious practices consider it grace. Atheists understand this as a wonderful thing we all need to find in ourselves.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
Moral people exist whether religious or not. I find that being good and having integrity is starkly more real if you take responsibility for yourself, and don't rely on an invisible entity. That is an incredibly personal responsibility and motivates me to be considerate to my fellow man, as I would want them to do also. It is often disappointing see people of the utmost integrity and sincerity being painted as immoral and evil when we rationally understand why we should be good human beings.

"Good is better than evil 'cause it's nicer! - Mammy Yokum
determinist
not rated yet Apr 30, 2012
Religious beliefs are part of cultural belief, i.e. the system of beliefs, rituals, practices, etc. which compose biological adaptation to the environment. God is not out in the universe, 'god' is a typically human adaptation. My question would be, "what is the correlation between strong religious adaptation and lack of emotional connection ?"
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
I really don't understand why it is so upsetting to some religious people to find that non-theists are motivated to be generous and sympathetic. I expect those who seek out science research are wanting to learn things they didn't previously know. It delights me to be surprised by new revelations. The angry reactions, such as accusations of agendas, might be another phenomena to study.

Is it be that they are disappointed to find the research refutes core beliefs they do not want to accept, which they were mistaken about? In this case, wouldn't you WANT to find the people you were suspicious about are NOT the evil beings you had imagined? That should be wonderful news!

Is any theist here calm enough (and honest enough) to elaborate on that?
verkle
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 30, 2012
How about comparing some real life situations. Like going to Haiti or other 3rd world countries and counting the percentage of Christian organizations and persons working in compassion compared to that of atheist organizations.

Tewk
1 / 5 (4) Apr 30, 2012
I'm becoming disappointed in this site continuing to give these sloppy propoganda "studies" an outlet. How can a scientific study be based upon emotion ? Strong emotion maybe caused by a chemical imbalance for crying out loud. Perhaps this study proves the religious are more logical, critical thinkers. I would far , far rather be aided by someone motivated by their moral code than someone acting on some emotional outburst. You know how long emotions last ? Does this also mean athiest only help those they like ? This whole thing is messed up ! And I find some of these atheist postings here downright bizarre.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (5) Apr 30, 2012
determinist:

The biblical God is described as "Logos," which is translated, "The rational principle which governs the universe."

It is not possible for God to not exist.

The "cosmological argument" did not originate with Aquinas. It originates in the 1st chapter of the Epistle of John.

But you know what? I don't need my Bible to believe in God.

In fact, I've practically quit reading it for a while, because I dare not ever find myself in the condition of "Bibliolatry" in which I perhaps once was.

I don't except inspiration or infallibility, if for no reason other than some texts are simply unacceptable, and others could have easily been lost their original meaning and context over the many thousands of years since they were written. Case in point, a literal translation of some of the older manuscripts of Psalm 23 reads quite differently than any of the modern English translations.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (4) Apr 30, 2012
Loving or hating God is an individual choice. - Lurker

How can you hate something if you simply don't believe in it's existence? Sigh. I couldn't imagine hating leprechauns, or the tooth fairy, or Sasquatch. Growing up, I read a lot of traditional mythology. It was fun reading. Why would I EVER hate a mythological being?

Atheists do not hate any god. It just makes no sense whatsoever.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (3) Apr 30, 2012
How about comparing some real life situations. Like going to Haiti or other 3rd world countries and counting the percentage of Christian organizations and persons working in compassion compared to that of atheist organizations.

Obviously you do not know what non-theists do. Religious organizations are visible groups. Non-theists are doing good works daily too, without any need to be admired. That guy who stopped to help you with the car trouble may have been me. That guy who quietly picked up your litter and recycled it WAS me. We are a substantial, but quiet force. You do not need to be part of an organization to be a potent positive influence. And we are.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
I am now beginning to understand the anger and confusion of some less-than-committed posters here. I noticed that my first comment, which was honest, well explained, and very positive in nature, was immediately given a 1 ranking by "verkle".

I am not upset by the ranking, but I would love to see opposing comments, and commentors, who are not just viscous and vindictive. Try to be the person of your religious beliefs.

The reduced ability to recognize sincerity might be an unfortunate side effect for some believers. That may well be another idea for study.
julianpenrod
1 / 5 (6) Apr 30, 2012
In point of fact, those who describe themselves as non religious or anti religious voice incredibly vicious sentiments in reply to blogs across the ne. A common sentiment that those who make mistakes don't get the "Darwin Award" or lose the evolutionary sweepstakes. There is no compassion here, just the loathsome mockery of someone who is suffering. Likewise for human rights. To the non religious, human freedom is an impediment to the New World Orde. The "rank and file" get in the way or don't know how to handle situations and so are a liability. On NPR right new there is an article that describes an empty highway as "clogged" with onlookers at a tornado and the website is touting the idea that people don't have a right to gawk at tornadoes, since they might get in the way of emergency personnel. Add that to refrains that letting the people know the connivery that goes on in behind closed doors political meetings, it would "inhibit" expressing novel ideas.
Lurker2358
1.1 / 5 (7) Apr 30, 2012
Anyway, we argue over the meaning of words in our own modern languages, never mind a 3000 year old dead language, such as ancient Hebrew. Modern Hebrew is NOT ancient Hebrew, any more than modern English is middle English or Old English, and no matter what anyone tells you. Dialects change dramatically over just a few generations, especially in an era before dictionaries or public education.

"God must be worshiped in Spirit and in truth"...not some religious show, or even rules and regulations, but just personal peace.

I don't think I've ever managed to convince an atheist of much of anything, but one thing I hope they would see.

Think of it this way, even if you cannot be convinced, whether you believe in God or not, you may as well conduct yourself in a manner of conscience which Almighty God would be pleased with.

I cannot dictate to anyone exactly what that means individually, except to say that if you want the truth, for real, then God will not turn you away.
CardacianNeverid
5 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
Highly religious people are less motivated by compassion than are non-believers

Isn't it ironic, don't you think?
A little too ironic, and yeah I really do think...
alfie_null
not rated yet May 01, 2012
I wonder how they measured religiosity? God-thoughts per minute?
The comments that followed presume the testing involved Christian doctrine, probably correctly. It would be interesting to examine non-Christian religions.

Also interesting to see if there is any difference in different Christian faiths. Some faiths, for instance, place much more emphasis on unthinking follow-the-rules activity, while others encourage introspection.
Anorion
5 / 5 (1) May 01, 2012
ah yeah, all those believers who live in beautiful houses, wake up Sunday, put their most beautiful and expensive clothes, sit in their beautiful and expensive cars, then drive by by all the hungry , homeless and poor people, to go in their beautiful church and listen to a preacher clothed in silk and with golden cross explain them how to be more like jesus, then they drive by all the hungry , homeless and poor people again to go back home and make an huge bbq that would make jealous even roman emperors. and without to forget the astronomical amount of money they spend on huge cathedrals and mosques and other temples , instead to spend on hospitals or schools or food for poor. and most of them don't mind give money to religious organizations so their leaders can live in luxury, but they get in fanatical anger, if they asked to spend some money for public health care for poor people that cant afford. religion is the root of immorality
Sinister1811
2.1 / 5 (7) May 01, 2012
They believe that it's God's responsibility to show compassion. And, by "God", I mean the supposedly "invisible" sky being. I've never believed such fairytales.
Benni
2.3 / 5 (6) May 01, 2012
In the article, and most of the postings, a pattern I've noted is that Religious=Christianity, with so many of the above postings quoting Bible verses or Christian mentors.

Consider also the non-Christian religious "lack of compassion". At least the silly Pat Robertsons are not out advocating for the lopping off of the heads of anyone who disagrees with them, but you hear a regular drumbeat of this kind of stuff coming from Islamic sources, of course during the middle ages Catholicism advocated for the same position against anyone who disagreed with them.

How many religious organizations have existed claiming to be the one "true organization"? Lots, and all have sunk, or are sinking, into a degenerate abyss of hate, and then they seem somehow mystified why their version of the "truth" is eventually rejected by rationally thinking people.

Lurker2358
1 / 5 (4) May 01, 2012
Anorion:

Believe it or not, a lot of people who consider themselves Christian quit going to organized "church" for that very reason.

If an individual has a personal conviction to attend a "church," by all means, go, I'm not stopping them, maybe they'll be one of the "lucky" ones who ends up in a decent place that isn't filled with hypocrisy and abuse.

But look around on youtube, for example, for non-affiliated Christian apologists, and I don't mean the idiots, I mean just good people talking about the real world. Many of them will tell their watchers point-blank that they should NOT attend church, for the same reasons YOU, the atheist (or agnostic if that's what you are) has mentioned.

The "church" building and organization is not of God, beit it Catholic or Protestant. It's a man made institution that is run like a family business or corporation.

The true "Church" (capitalized) is people who really have a sincere heart for God.
Lurker2358
1.8 / 5 (5) May 01, 2012
Now I can't tell you who the true "Church" is, because it's an individual thing.

Jesus told the priests and the pharisee sect that "The harlots and publicans(turncoat tax collectors) would go into the Kingdom of Heaven before them. That's right, according to Jesus, the "sinners" that everybody frowned on would go to heaven, and the self-righteous "religious" groups would not.

Or try reading the old testament book of Hosea, where God commands the prophet to go marry a prostitute and love her, and then when she runs away and they catch her and were going to sell her as a slave at an auction, he went and bought her back and set her free.

Now that's love, but by and large, you will not find that in "church".

I've been on the wrong side of that most of my life. I've been the one misguided and "throwing stones" so to speak, thinking I was doing God or myself or someone else a favor; singing "mercy rewrote my life," and losing the context towards others. Oh, yes. Religion, instead of love
baudrunner
1 / 5 (4) May 01, 2012
This reminds me of the 30-Rock rerun I watched yesterday, (Tracy: "I believe that there are thirty letters in the white alphabet!"). Jack explains to Tracy that to be an Irish Catholic is plum because you can do anything you want so long as you confess, then everything will be alright.

I've always thought that regular church goers do Sundays so that they can go ahead and be total a-holes for the rest of the week. I agree with the study.
panorama
5 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
Jesus told the priests and the pharisee sect that "The harlots and publicans(turncoat tax collectors) would go into the Kingdom of Heaven before them. That's right, according to Jesus, the "sinners" that everybody frowned on would go to heaven, and the self-righteous "religious" groups would not.


Jesus was filled with fun lessons to confuse the masses.

Mark 11:13-14, "And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find anything thereon; and when he came to it, he found nothing bu leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. An his disciples heard it."

Mark 11:20-21, "And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou curedst is withered away."

No compassion from Jesus for fig trees in the off season.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
On the other hand religion does serve a puprose. When you hear the arguments from godders that say "what keeps you from murdering if you don't have the commandmends from god?" you just have to come to the conclusion:

Religion/belief is a catchbasin for that defective part of the species that WOULD go on murdering rampages if they weren't restrained by major threat and psychological guilt trips.

It's for those that can't think for themselves and must be given a set of rules to follow - because otherwise they'd not be able to function as part of the species (much less society).

Being automatically forgiven for sins? That's only needed for people who can't take responsibility for their actions.

It only makes sense that those with less compassion/mental capacity are found in the godder camp (and prison) in the largest numbers.
spacealf
1 / 5 (1) May 01, 2012
Humans should be more humble. It is not the Old Testament and Ten Commandments given to Moses and the Jews as I understand it, it is the New Testament and the Two Commandments given by Jesus Christ to all humans. Remember God is the only one who judges in the end. Unfortunately for humans, humans do not have to exist in this reality but can exist. Helping out people in a foreign Country who neither have the Wisdom or Knowledge to do any better does not make the so-called religious person who tries and help them either have the Wisdom or Knowledge of God in the end or the Compassion of Jesus Christ to actually make anything better either. Unfortunately it may take a hard lesson, while in the end it seems just to be about "money". Better to fix your own civilization first which is being done in before mucking up other people in the world. Humans should have been more humble. Only the strong survive in what only this reality??
panorama
5 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
Compassion of Jesus Christ to actually make anything better either.


Or kill fig trees for not producing fruit in the off season...compassionate.
chardo137
2.7 / 5 (7) May 01, 2012
Religious people tend not to understand science. They also tend not to understand the tenets of their own religion. Critical thinking tends to undermine belief in religion. Critical thinkers are more likely to understand, and empathize with, others who are having problems. Most people who profess strong religious beliefs have not thought about the issue enough to really be able to actually profess belief in the concept that they are espousing.
spacealf
3 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
Oh, and according to your thinking that Jesus Christ is not compassionate, meaning to your way of thinking, perhaps not the big picture of God's Grand Design. Of course, even adults are children of God, and perhaps the Devil got in there somewhere along the way, not even realized by those who purport that it did not happen to them along the way. Perhaps they were kids that way also, and no one ever told them to be different or they could be different in their thinking, so along we all go, tra-la-la-la-la! No need to be fanatical about it all either, otherwise there be no more need for religion in the future, it be so cut and dried as to be nothing anymore like it is apparently to some people bent on only having their own individual way of belief. And then there are those "Just Wars" nowadays, where you will be this way or else. Sorry, I am not a slave to religion either.
panorama
5 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
Of course, even adults are children of God

And Jesus was ghod's only son, making every one else a bunch of girls. So help us ghod as we resist the temptation of lesbianism.
spacealf
1 / 5 (3) May 01, 2012
And Jesus was ghod's only son, making every one else a bunch of girls. So help us ghod as we resist the temptation of lesbianism.

You, Sir, can not even read correctly about religion. I suppose that is why you give it up!
Part of the problem with any religion is human thought about it.

elektron
1 / 5 (3) May 01, 2012
'social scientists' is an oxymoron. This is not real science.
Deathclock
3 / 5 (8) May 02, 2012
Part of the problem with any religion is human thought about it.


Exactly, the problem with all religions is that humans eventually think about it... If it wasn't for pesky thought you guys would have quite the racket going, tax free and all.
spacealf
1 / 5 (3) May 02, 2012
It is pointless to debate who is better than whom. Some religious people say that God is punishing humans on this planet to prove one thing coming up in the future - That God Does Exist!
And He (God) does not like how humans are treating religion even in the Churches of Religion let alone the fanatics about it. Still there are good people in all walks of life, and then there are other humans not really all that good. Politics included by I guess God according to these people long thinking about what is really going on in this world.
Stayed tuned for the future is always coming into the present.
The article here may not find an answer only having 1300 participants.
elektron
2 / 5 (4) May 02, 2012
@spacealf, "I'm punished therefore I am"?
DavidW
1.8 / 5 (5) May 02, 2012
"Highly religious people are less motivated by compassion than are non-believers"

The highest form of love is compassion. Compassion is Truth manifast.

The problem is the definition of highly religious people.

The end of the world? I can't say.

The end of sufferring is upon us though! The greatest wish to have come through is about to be granted no matter what we do. Isn't that nice?

However, before all the suffering is gone forever, and it is pretty bad right now with 10 million children and 56 billions animals dying needlessly a year, many suffering terrible for long periods of time so people can eat hamburgers, etc., may get worse or better. That all depends on how long it takes for every knee to bend before the Truth and acceptabce of the the only authority there really is. It is going to get realy, really bad if the knees don't bend. There will be no exceptions. The suffering is coming to end. It will get worse and worse until every knee bends.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) May 02, 2012
It will get worse and worse until every knee bends.

Although science generally strives to cure physical ailments, I would speculate that simply better comprehension of science will successfully address the crippling effect of bent knees.
panorama
5 / 5 (1) May 02, 2012
You, Sir, can not even read correctly about religion. I suppose that is why you give it up!
Part of the problem with any religion is human thought about it.

"You don't use your mind to think about your religion." Rev. Ivan Stang
Who says I've given up on religion? In fact, I actually use the Roman approach and collect ghods.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) May 02, 2012
Theists really need to understand that so many atheists once WERE theists. More important is that most of us have a very extensive background in MANY religious doctrines, having had the curiosity to read about, and understand how they are so different. There are so many beliefs in opposition to one another, yet they all claim to be the truth! That is very thought-provoking, if not down-right revealing to us.

The overall grasp gained from studying that diversity provides some obvious insights into the phenomenon. I do believe it to be an important subject for scientific scrutiny, since it is such a deep-seated driver of human behavior. I don't even need to go into some of the more questionable behavior.
spacealf
1 / 5 (1) May 02, 2012
Only to your Western Civilization way of thinking. But there is the Eastern Civilization still present. And I doubt even me or you will be this:
http://en.wikiped...tibility
or this:
http://en.wikiped...x_Church
but only with the Western Civilization which according to some have caused more wars than it is worth. But please have science explain the paranormal, or anything else faith may bring up, because simply they won't even consider it, and only a few may even consider it now!
Please tell us how religious you think you are, when I am not even a priest or a reverend, or a minister. But please go explain yourself before other religious people think you actually are from Hell, which you may be according to some. Perfect don't exist, so compassion is the only thing that may be something that helps. Too bad the govmint is taking care of it mainly now, or did you forget who spent money for disasters here lately??
panorama
5 / 5 (1) May 02, 2012
Please tell us how religious you think you are, when I am not even a priest or a reverend, or a minister.


I'm ordained bro. Reverend Panorama at your service.

As to the rest of your last entry...you want to develop that idea and get back to us?
Tewk
1 / 5 (5) May 02, 2012
"Religious people tend not to understand science. They also tend not to understand the tenets of their own religion. Critical thinking tends to undermine belief in religion. Critical thinkers are more likely to understand, and empathize with, others who are having problems. Most people who profess strong religious beliefs have not thought about the issue enough to really be able to actually profess belief in the concept that they are espousing."

Hhmm...in my experience the opposite it true. And the basis of atheism "There is no "God"." I believe to be the most nonthoughtful statement that a human is capable of. It takes a stunningly uncreative, shallow, limited brain to "think" such a thing.
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet May 02, 2012
Yes, it is all part of the global war against Christmas.

"Wow.It took a lot of work to produce a study to support the premise that religious people are less generous than those who are, not religious." - DogberTard
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet May 02, 2012
Your belief is not relevant to the real world.

Science describes that world.

"I believe to be the most nonthoughtful statement that a human is capable of." - Tewk
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet May 02, 2012
Some say they saw bigfoot eating out of a soup can under a bridge on the I90.

"Some religious people say that God is punishing humans on this planet to prove one thing coming up in the future - That God Does Exist!" - JumboJones

If true, then I side with Lucifer.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) May 02, 2012
I believe to be the most nonthoughtful statement that a human is capable of. It takes a stunningly uncreative, shallow, limited brain to "think" such a thing.

That idea is but another casualty of belief systems. Without facts, or knowing, yours is simply an uninformed assumption. You have no real reason to believe that, other than you wish it were true.

Atheists don't have to "think" there is no god, just as we don't have to "think" there is no tooth fairy. It just doesn't involve that.

My niece might "think" she has an invisible friend. I don't need to even think about that. Rationally, it's just not something I need to think about. Kids will be kids, good imagination or not.

Now I do think the universe is - at minimum - several thousand times more interesting (and vast) than any religious story ever told.

Tewk
1 / 5 (4) May 03, 2012
"Your belief is not relevant to the real world.
Science describes that world."

Ok if you and Mando want to go there, fine. Of course you realize that it's completely legit for me to say the same about your "belief" in science. Yes science is nothing but a describing. It is no more the thing-in-itself than a starvings artist landscape painting. How impotent our science is !! No..admit it. It is nowhere close to replacing "God". I'm no Luddite...but please, humility ! There is no disgrace in surrendering to the truth that our science as it is now is pathetic...laughable in the face of what we see. Again I say...atheism is the ultimate in nonthought. And Mando, religiousness is not uninteresting. Quite frankly I find it limitless and all encompassing. Your niece's "invisible friend" is really a cheap insult and do I really need mention that humanities greatest minds have believed ?
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) May 04, 2012
Well I'm certainly not trying to recruit you into anything. I just do my best trying to explain what you don't understand. It is interesting to see how you endeavor to explain away our viewpoints, and the insights we offer into our reasoning, as some derangement or perversion of human logic. You struggle NOT to be convinced that Atheists might have a way of understanding the world in a manner more rewarding than you can conceive of. It is certainly a phenomenon to behold.

And it is not unexpected that people would do just that. We can count on the fact that most humans will hold onto their convictions for dear life. I see for now you are abjectly shielded against learning what we really are.
panorama
not rated yet May 04, 2012
Your niece's "invisible friend" is really a cheap insult

Your invisible friend is worse.
spacealf
1 / 5 (1) May 04, 2012
Complicity is such a bad state of affairs, whether religious or atheists or with any such group. What you fail to understand is that you are STUCK ON THIS PLANET and you are going nowhere soon. Even if you did, you are in a comfort zone for life while the rest of spacetime is harsh even to the point that you and others probably would not survive for long. You fail to see the Grandeur of Anything and the real inherent Nature of the Universe. Science fails to see it also, disregarding anything that does not make sense to them because it is invisible (but not) and can not be proved (oh it can but it will take more time). And as you grovel on this planet explaining how science will save you when the Sun decides through Nature to heat up all the planets release further evolution of bacteria and viruses, you fail to see the real Nature of anything and how fragile life can be.You will regret your pompous, arrogant selfish attitudes more than you ever will understand since it is happening now!
Tewk
1 / 5 (4) May 04, 2012
Mando, ask any of those at the forefront of quantum physics....logic fears to tread there !!!! Human logic is useless in "reality". Your brain is designed around the fleshes senses. You ever seen dark matter/energy ? Oh no ? No doubt you are ready to accept it instead of dismissing it as a niece's invisible friend. I'm reading that many on the forefront of science indeed are so awestruck at the glimpse of reality that they find themselves with no choice to surrender to "God". And that is what it is, a surrender...the voluntary death of one's ego. And *gag*...good riddance.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (1) May 05, 2012
Tewk - You've gotta be kidding! Where in the world did you find a particle physicist who is not an atheist? Where? Really! Where? When? How?

All, and I do mean EVERY ONE of the particle physicists I have ever read about and whose lectures I have EVER listened to are ALL invariably in awe of the distance it puts them from any theistic thoughts. They KNOW with absolute certainty that there are no GODs anywhere in the mix. The subject often comes up in lectures as a side comment on how little use there is for a god when you understand THIS MUCH of realities true nature!

The richness of the insights Particle physics gives clearly eliminate any notion that you would ever need a god to derive meaning. This universe is magnificent on it's own merits. Just to be so awestruck at the glimpses of reality that you understand that god is not even an option.

I find these sentiments universal among high-level physicist.
Anorion
not rated yet May 05, 2012
Religious people and donkey's: A donkey is a simple creature it would follow a carrot on a stick, but it is still capable, even with its most basic of intellect of determining when there is no carrot.
Tewk
1 / 5 (3) May 05, 2012
"They KNOW with absolute certainty that there are no GODs anywhere in the mix."

It's simply impossible to KNOW this. Ok you've WAY overstated the evidence of your case.

And Anorion I take it english is not your primary language. That's fine but comparing the religious to donkeys is not constructive.

Anyhow personally I think this thread is at its end.
Russkiycremepuff
1 / 5 (4) May 06, 2012
Not quite! I would like to say that both atheism as belief only in science fact, and basic religion (as well as some areas of the Christian religion and Bhuddism), all have their many good points. The bad points have all been mentioned already by others, so I will not. As believers in one thing or the other seem to be at "war" with each other, I feel that somehow, belonging to a religion of whatever type seems to give a feeling of "strength" to the believer; a kind of sustenance to know that you are not alone in your belief. It is also true for the atheist or disbeliever whose convictions give him strength, especially to know that he is not alone in his convictions.
Both sides more or less utilise a capacity of intellect to confirm or reject the others' one-sidedness. This is good because both sides are made aware of each other, and the flow of ideas and critical thought must be continuous to prevent one side or the other from becoming too powerful. A fine balance is necessary in a
Hev
not rated yet May 06, 2012
Obvious to most historians - religion was invented to control people - so they are made to believe that getting themselves killed in battles - and handing over part of their income - will benefit them - not the wealthy institution that controls them.

Russkiycremepuff
1 / 5 (4) May 06, 2012
- cont'd -
civilised country and, in fact, the world. Without the balance that is accompanied with civilised discourse, understanding and social accommodation, there is nothing but hatred that turns into bigotry.
Scientists are not generally inquired of as to their personal religious or non-religious ideas in order to get employment and join faculty at University. In academia, it is an unwritten law as to inquiries of personal nature, unless it is a part of teaching curriculum which may involve the teacher's/professor's personal convictions. Religion or nonreligion is included in the hands-off of personal life. In this way, it is the course of study itself and the logic that it offers that is the main source of interest for students. Personal convictions offer nothing but confusion, whether in religious or nonreligious studies at University.
In social circles, discussion of both sides may result in antisocial behavior from participants, so it is best not done. Many friendships end.
antialias_physorg
1 / 5 (1) May 06, 2012
Obvious to most historians - religion was invented to control people - so they are made to believe that getting themselves killed in battles - and handing over part of their income - will benefit them - not the wealthy institution that controls them.

You could also replace 'religion' with 'nations'.
Russkiycremepuff
1 / 5 (4) May 06, 2012
Obvious to most historians - religion was invented to control people - so they are made to believe that getting themselves killed in battles - and handing over part of their income - will benefit them - not the wealthy institution that controls them.



Yes, religions have a tendency to control the people who would be controlled, or want to be controlled. To be or want to be controlled is clear indication of mindlessness and lack of will. Some Christians are that way, mindless and less of logic; but it is really the followers and believers of the very dangerous religion of Islamic Fundamentalism who are so willing to die for their religion and believe their religious leaders without regard to personal safety. We could not subdue the Afghani insurrectionists because of their strong religious convictions, although the mountainous region was also difficult, as the Americans and NATO are finding out.
Religion itself should not be for the controlling of the people, but to bring good
Russkiycremepuff
1 / 5 (4) May 06, 2012
- cont'd -
messages of hope, even more understanding and much aid, but not threats. I think it is the threats that inflame atheists more so than lack of credulity of an unseen God. The threat of burning in hell for eternity is unwise decision that religionist leaders of past and present are guilty of, and their commitment to those teachings is even less appealing.
kaypee
5 / 5 (1) May 06, 2012
No one likes being told their high horse isn't so high. Expect lots of negative reactions to this study, mostly from equestrians.
spacealf
1 / 5 (2) May 06, 2012
What a bunch of bias, prejudiced crap! People pay taxes, and part of that money goes to help people even in Haiti. Religion is here to help poor people which it does. There no thought process going on in atheists that is clear, because this rating system also sucks!

Paticle Physicists have their head in the sand also. Now explain the latest experiment given that because of a entanglement view or with a classical view, with entanglement a paper was just written that shows that effects can be known before the cause happens!

Enough of your demon crap out of your brains. You view everything as negative and never see what could be the positive!

That is why you types (atheists) fail in the end! Oh, give it a one-point rating as if I ever cared what utter crap was written as comments to an article that makes no sense in the end!
spacealf
1 / 5 (1) May 06, 2012
And I am mainly talking about the Christian religion not the Muslim Ottoman type religion, as I doubt that people giving money to a Church to be used for the Churches type Business are invisible except by those who don't look for what is really going on.

And who said that the demons are not in the Church also, but does that negate the main overall positive aspect of religion? NO!
mosahlah
1 / 5 (4) May 06, 2012
"Overall, we find that for less religious people, the strength of their emotional connection to another person is critical to whether they will help that person or not,"

I'm a conservative, and I have believed this for 20 years. Liberals tend to put their heart first, and logic second.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (4) May 06, 2012
Religious people tend not to understand science. They also tend not to understand the tenets of their own religion. Critical thinking tends to undermine belief in religion. Critical thinkers are more likely to understand, and empathize with, others who are having problems.


Isaac Newton was a believer in God and also believed in Bible prophecy.

I think if he were alive today, he'd be ashamed to be a part of physorg.
spacealf
1 / 5 (2) May 06, 2012
Oh, of course it must make sense, it came from "But new research from the University of California, Berkeley". Is that the same Berkeley of the '60's, ya, know, protesting won't help much either. Of course we all should see things that way because it is from Berkeley students.

Well, there you go, wherever those students brains are (which a lot of other people do not know where those students' brains tend to be), there they be!

Yippee, Ty-O, Ki-A
Let's confine that study to that college only.

Bible Prophecy does not have to be acted out either, for people who have free will.
Let's hope and pray it is not the "In" thing!

antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) May 07, 2012
Isaac Newton was a believer in God and also believed in Bible prophecy.

He was also a believer in alchemy and astrology. Your point?

At the time of Isaac Newton there was no clear distinction between superstition and science. Much of what he did back then would be classed as superstition today. His bible studies among them.
DarkHorse66
1 / 5 (3) May 07, 2012
@Tewk: "Human logic is useless in "reality". Your brain is designed around the fleshes senses. You ever seen dark matter/energy ?"

I did not think that you would actually make such an unthinking argument. Are you implying that because we can't/don't see something, that it doesn't exist??? That is a child's literal and short-sighted interpretation of the world. And even a child soon begins know differently. Who has what sense of religion in this thread is not really of interest to me. To each their own. I prefer to exercise the quality of tolerance of difference(s). I'm also not interested in taking sides. However, from a semantics point of view, we can't see g/gh/God/? (non/believers, pick your preferred spelling; 6-1, half to a dozen to the other!!) either, so according to your own arguments...(wait for it..)...s/S/h/He/it/It/? does NOT exist!!! Perhaps you need to work on refining your own critical thinking skills???
Best Regards, DH66
DarkHorse66
1 / 5 (2) May 07, 2012
@Tewk re: "the uselessness of human logic"
I should also point out that reality is subjective. But reality is REAL. Our sense of reality dictates how we interface with the external world & what we define as 'life' in general. However no matter what we each might see, no matter what we accept or decree as such (real), we still have an innate need to make sense of it all. Human logic takes many forms (types of chains of reasoning etc, even 'just' accepting has a certain logic to it) & formats (thoughts come in pictures, emotions etc, as well as words), but it is a FUNDAMENTAL REQUIREMENT underpinning the process. Without thought, you might as well equate yourself to a plant. In terms of functioning, they just run on genetic coding. Nothing else. Or do you perceive it as "safer" not to think? After all, if we think about something, we run the risk of questioning it, perhaps even learn to reject it. Not a desirable thing for belief based F/f/aith in general. Cheers DH66
Yellowdart
1 / 5 (4) May 07, 2012
I wonder how these studies would have gone had the participants been asked to use their own money, instead of someone else's. Using others money is easy, esp when emotionally charged.

Another reason a more religious person may not give all is due to an expectation that someone else will need some as well. Where as victims in a earthquake is major, someone down the street may need help with the their utilities the next day. And there are plenty of ways to give without money to help others. Does one give everything to one cause? No they don't. Whether religious or not, no one does that.

These studies attempt to divide people. Why do we worry about what one another gives? We should mind our own business because chances are those who are doing the most giving are usually not the ones being seen.

Liberals do think with their hearts first, and conservatives lead with their brain. These are two ends that lead to problems. The right approach is neither, it's balanced inbetween.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) May 07, 2012
Where as victims in a earthquake is major, someone down the street may need help with the their utilities the next day.

The problem with that sort of reasoning is: there is potentially always someone in greater need the next day. So you end up never giving anything.
We should mind our own business

Quite the contrary: we should watch out for one another. We're in a society. That comes with obligations as well as benefits. A society where everyone only watches out for themselves won't be a society for very long.

These studies attempt to divide people.

No, they just put long held preconceptions to the test (in this case the superstition that "religious people are more compasionate").

Is it not better to know whether a preconception is true or not rather than stick one's head in the sand and keep believing in things which aren't real?
Dug
1 / 5 (3) May 07, 2012
One of humans greatest weakness in their process of understanding is not being able to separate and simply problems for their analysis. It's the same tool magicians and con artist use in their deceptions. The discussions above range over almost a countless number of problems related to the proof of the existence of a god.

Why not simplify. Either your god exists exactly under the terms of the religious dogma (no exceptions or re-interpretations) that describes it, or not. Personally I don't see any that do and as such they are disproven to me and any further discussion or debate is useless. Consequently, there will always be the possibility of an unknown god, but there may never be the probability of one.
Anorion
5 / 5 (1) May 07, 2012
The U.S. has more churchgoing than any other major democracy and it reports much higher rates of murder, rape, robbery, shootings, stabbings, drug use, unwed pregnancy, and the like, as well as occasional tragedies such as those at Waco and Jonestown. There may be no link between the two conditions, but the saturation of religion has failed to prevent the severe crime level. Societies rife with fundamentalism and religious tribalism are prone to sectarian violence. In contrast, England, Scandinavia, Canada, Japan, and such lands have scant churchgoing, yet their people are more inclined to live peaceably, in accord with the social contract. The evidence seems clear: To find living conditions that are safe, decent, orderly, and 'civilized,' avoid places with intense religion.
foolspoo
1 / 5 (3) May 07, 2012
freethinking (ironic that you are so far from this realization)
Stats prove religious people are 1. more generous (just check liberals tax returns) and 2. religious people think how to impact lives positively with their generousity.

What an impossibly arrogant, false, and down right idiotic comment
foolspoo
1.8 / 5 (5) May 07, 2012
lurker,
Ah! hit two stars. when clearly you were deserving of no more than one. Arguing along the lines of 3000 year old languages: Would we be having this same conversation if we were both born of that time. Say 3800 years ago? No, we would be arguing the existence of Zeus while I was dreaming of Athena. Loser, live your life the way you see fit. Not the way some really clever fellows thought you should by scaring the bejezus out of the common by threats of some unknowing wrath and scorn. Take the spiritual lessons that all religions to heart. And leave them at that. Lessons on how to live a happy, successful life. Success is not monetary my friend. Clearly you are educated. Do some more. Learn how every single religion can be traced to the original. God is just a beautiful moissanite. tons of uses. appealing to some. worthless to others
foolspoo
1 / 5 (3) May 07, 2012
lurker,
Ah! hit two stars. when clearly you were deserving of no more than one. Arguing along the lines of 3000 year old languages: Would we be having this same conversation if we were both born of that time. Say 3800 years ago? No, we would be arguing the existence of Zeus while I was dreaming of Athena. Loser, live your life the way you see fit. Not the way some really clever fellows thought you should by scaring the bejezus out of the common by threats of some unknowing wrath and scorn. Take the spiritual lessons that all religions to heart. And leave them at that. Lessons on how to live a happy, successful life. Success is not monetary my friend. Clearly you are educated. Do some more. Learn how every single religion can be traced to the original. God is just a beautiful moissanite. tons of uses. appealing to some. worthless to others
MandoZink
5 / 5 (2) May 07, 2012
At the time of Isaac Newton there was no clear distinction between superstition and science. Much of what he did back then would be classed as superstition today. His bible studies among them.

I suppose we were lucky that Newton's believed bible stories held mathematical clues to the secrets of creation. Newton recognized the absolute connection between mathematics and the reality we exist in. Fortunate for us, his brilliance was not derailed by the his belief systems. Instead it drove him to conceive of mathematics that explained nature and inevitably advanced our ability to further science.

It is wonderful that people like Aristotle and Leonardo da Vinci were also brilliant in the world they existed in. In spite of the fact that their world was believed to be flat and created by a deity, they also excelled.

I wonder - with those great men's observational brilliance, would they have fought science tooth-and-nail when evidence began to challenge their inherited convictions?
Yellowdart
1 / 5 (4) May 08, 2012
So you end up never giving anything.


Untrue. You just don't give everything, or you find ways to give that don't involve cash.

Quite the contrary: we should watch out for one another. We're in a society


Which you just pulled out of context. Minding one's business was in regards to worrying about your neighbor's giving habits.

Is it not better to know whether a preconception is true or not rather than stick one's head in the sand and keep believing in things which aren't real?


Sure, but read the article, where in the first study there isn't a difference till they get into food/money for the homeless. The 2nd study has them watch a video of kids, then give money to a stranger...not the same kids.

Should compassion be defined by emotion only? Or should it be tempered with reason? I don't think nonreligious are entirely emotional, nor should one think that religious are less compassionate because they chose to give in different ways.

antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) May 08, 2012
Which you just pulled out of context. Minding one's business was in regards to worrying about your neighbor's giving habits.

If that neighbor brags about his giving habits then it's only fair to check if he has the bragging rights.

if godders didn't act as if anyone not subscribing to their fairytales is an evil, heartless human being then we wouldn't have this problem. More precisely: if godders weren't evil, heartless human beings that deluded themselves into thinking the opposite then we wouldn't have this problem.

Should compassion be defined by emotion only?

Since compassion is, by definition, an emotion I don't know what you're saying here.

But the article suggests that religious people need to be told when to be compassionate (by doctrine).
I.e. they have an emotional deficiency in that area. As I said: heartless and evil (at least more so than the average human being)
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) May 08, 2012
Religion is here to help poor people which it does.
Religions are invariably configured to aid families within the fold which have grown past their ability to provide for themselves.

When times are good the religions can afford to be magnanimous; but when their reproductive aggression begins to take its toll, and their children begin to starve, they will ask why it is that the heathens and the apostates have food and the children of the righteous do not?

The zakat, one of the 5 pillars of islam, is typical of all religions;

"[The zakat] is considered to be a personal responsibility for Muslims to ease economic hardship for others and eliminate inequality...The Zakat must be distributed in the community from which it was taken..."

-Another direct indication that the religions which survive have done so because they were the best at outgrowing and overrunning their counterparts. Todays religions are naked conquest machines. If unchecked they will flood the earth and destroy it.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) May 08, 2012
But the article suggests that religious people need to be told when to be compassionate (by doctrine).
I.e. they have an emotional deficiency in that area.
Goodness AA youre getting to be quite the antireligionist. Better change your name.

The surviving religions are really only the very successful institutionalization of the tribal instinct. That being of course intratribal allegiance, altruism, loyalty vs intertribal animosity and aggression.

These group identities are often artificial and not always obvious, and it is no surprise that believers must often be prompted to share with others they may not feel a natural tribal bond with.

But one thing is true - religions INCREASE the tribal dynamic and the tribal instinct; the perception of us vs them. They are the saved and the chosen; their counterparts are the condemned. Satan was CREATED as the spokesperson of the unbeliever.
dogbert
1 / 5 (5) May 08, 2012
Ghosty,
Satan was CREATED as the spokesperson of the unbeliever.


Not really. People such as yourself serve as spokespersons of the unbelieving.

Satan was created as an angel of light. He rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven with others who rebelled with him. Those who were cast out of heaven certainly believe.

James 2:19
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (1) May 08, 2012
When theists find out how wrong they are about atheists, I wonder if they will be delighted, or just angrier than ever.

Personally, if I found out a group of people I had demonized were actually wonderful in ways I had not conceived of, I would be both thrilled and relieved.

Sorry to have used the theistically-derived term "demonized".
Tewk
1 / 5 (3) May 08, 2012
Now isn't this interesting ?
http://medicalxpr...tal.html
Strong emotions overrule the brains high reasoning function ! Of course they do.
Let's us then reach a conclusion on this matter then....
Contrary to propoganda, the religious are generally more logical, rational and less suceptible to hysteria and misguided emotional outbursts.
Emotion is in no way relevent or connected to true compassion. An obvious example would be...say...nursing a duckling with an obvious genetic defect to adulthood, at end enabling that duck to perhaps bear offspring...thereby continuing the genetic defect to another generation and perhaps beyond. (I've witnessed this). So now what may have ended with one death has now the potential to sicken and entie population leading to multiple cases of suffering and premature deaths.
Oh sure emotion demands we nurse this unfortunate duckling. A calm logical mind (Christian) knows the danger.
panorama
5 / 5 (2) May 09, 2012
A calm logical mind (Christian) knows the danger.

Based on the source material christians aren't very logical.
DarkHorse66
1 / 5 (3) May 09, 2012
A calm logical mind (Christian) knows the danger.

Based on the source material christians aren't very logical.

Judging by the venom and spittle that tends to dominate here, nor very calm.

DH66
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (6) May 09, 2012
Not really. People such as yourself serve as spokespersons of the unbelieving.
Yes but people such as you think people such as me are subject to demonic possession. I happen to believe the same thing of religionists, only not literally of course.
Satan was created as an angel of light. He rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven with others who rebelled with him. Those who were cast out of heaven certainly believe.
So sayeth your book of fairy tales in one fashion or another. But tribes have enemies, and tribal gods must have them too. If you worship the source of good, then your enemies must worship the source of evil. And they of course feel the same way about you.

The god of both good and evil had to be cleaved in twain in order to make the world work:

"7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things." isa45

But that was not yet enough; The good god had to be trisected (in committee) and given a mother...
MandoZink
not rated yet May 09, 2012
If any one of you rational folks out there ever wanted to express your viewpoint in as well a manner as you could ever conceive, this is a MUST SEE video.

This video was just posted showing a 10-minute introduction that physicist Dr. Sean Carroll gave just before a recent debate. I have not yet watched the debate, but the plain and wonderful way that Dr Carroll expressed a totally rational viewpoint of reality WITHOUT offending any other is truly admirable. I wish I could always do it this elegantly.

Enjoy:
http://www.youtub...embedded
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) May 10, 2012
If any one of you rational folks out there ever wanted to express your viewpoint in as well a manner as you could ever conceive, this is a MUST SEE video.

This video was just posted showing a 10-minute introduction that physicist Dr. Sean Carroll gave just before a recent debate. I have not yet watched the debate, but the plain and wonderful way that Dr Carroll expressed a totally rational viewpoint of reality WITHOUT offending any other is truly admirable. I wish I could always do it this elegantly.

Enjoy:
http://www.youtub...embedded
Hey thanks that's a keeper.
nosterrex
1 / 5 (1) May 23, 2012
People that say they believe in God but are not religious are only fooling themselves. What they are really saying is that they have created their own religion created in their own image and likeness. Show me in Scripture anywhere in Scripture that it says that religion is bad? I can show you where religion is praised. People that believe that people that go to church are hypocrites should first look in mirror.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet May 24, 2012
Show me in Scripture anywhere in Scripture that it says that religion is bad?I can show you where religion is praised.

That's like asking to show you a place in "Mein Kampf" where it says the Nazis were bad. Not surprising that there isn't any. I could also show you places in "Mein Kampf" where they are praised.
What kind of argument is that supposed to be?

What they are really saying is that they have created their own religion created in their own image and likeness.

So are you fooling yourself since you stopped believing in Santa and have created a 'belief system' that centers around that fact? Or have you simply put aside a childish superstition?

If you understand this then you understand that atheism is not a belief. It is putting aside a childish superstition (and for most it's just not subscribing to the superstition in the first place).
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) May 24, 2012
That's like asking to show you a place in "Mein Kampf" where it says the Nazis were bad. Not surprising that there isn't any. I could also show you places in "Mein Kampf" where they are praised.
What kind of argument is that supposed to be?
We can find lots of things in mein kampf, the bible, the Quran, and most any other holy book which we think are obviously BAD which adherents will assert are not. Such as persecution of minorities, murder of unbelievers, subjugation of women, etc.

One only needs to read the bible with an open mind to see that it is very BAD indeed, not only in the things it encourages adherents to do, but in the authority it claims gives them the right to do these things. They ALL elevate bigotry and cruelty to moral imperatives.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (5) May 24, 2012
This medexpress is less poster-friendly than physorg. Wonder why that is?

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