Fundamental Christians believe in ultra small government since the textbook size of government is one - God. Libertarians also are ultra small government types so Libertarians have been really good at hitching a ride onto all those religious donations. Mr Smart your use of, and deference to, research and the scientific method overall, is commendable I read the first line, got suspicious and then scrolled down the bottom to see the author.
I should have known. Religion doesn't make people any more generous, forgiving, nicer or different than having either having a different religion or having none at all. Christians aren't to be judged by the actions of criminal Catholic priests or witch-burning Protestants in PNG, Buddhists aren't to be judged by those monks advising the Burmese junta, Muslims aren't to be judged by Arab terrorists and Jews aren't to judged by rampaging settlers.
Some dolt will probably bring up Mao or Stalin- they can't be told. Only individuals can be judged, and then, only one at a time. Though certain religious doctrines and indoctrination programs that start when people are children are quite capable of shaping the adult mind to accept unreasonable and inappropriate behaviours as being reasonable and appropriate. True JB, it was St.
Francis Xavier who said "Give me the child until he is seven and I'll give you the man". Probably do not even need to wait 7 years these days to get a fully programmed unit - religiously trained or otherwise. Dove, perhaps if you had bothered reading the rest of the article you would realise there are studies by non-Christians that are the opposite of your opinion.
Perhaps that's why you skimmed past The meanest sickest people I have ever met were supposedly deeply religious. They were my teachers at the Catholic boys school my trusting parents sent me to, and while I was not in line for the worst expressions of their peculiarly moral hypocrisy, I got to be a witness in the destruction of the live's of others. What capacity I retain for kindness and sociability and seeing new people with an unprejudiced eye and open mind, I learned from atheists, immoralists and freethinkers - most of whom were actually rather decent people.
No, one should not generalize from the particular, but when I match the real world I have known against these theoretical attempts to re-enter Christian apologetics into the public sphere, I am just a little underwhelmed. Yes, yes and more yes. I, too, grew up in a deeply religious christian environment.
Went to church every Sunday etc. How can I put it? A lot of the people were, frankly, a-holes.
I found far more truly decent, open-minded people to be at University - not a christian in sight. And it finally dawned on me: the key to "altruism" and true morality is education. And religion is anything but "educational". It is the opposite. For brianf: your comments reminded me of the dreadful woman who was the headmistress of the infant school I attended many decades ago. She was a member of one of those more fundamentalist sects and a complete sadist.
Moral Character (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
She got her jollies hurting little children - and she was quite happy for the money the mothers' club raised to be used for the teachers' welfare, rather than the children's. For the record, she died of cancer in the late s. Couldn't have happened to a more deserving person. I read the report, earlier in this week, of the study and its conclusions. That's the worth of reading from more than one source. How were these books corrected for bias? How were the studied samples corrected for age and socio-economic factors? Were they at all? I think I'll trust the conclusions from the University of Chicago, rather than Mr Smart's plea in support of his agenda, thanks.
In my 52 years, I have met a few religious people.
Evil Good And Beyond The Selfish The Generous And The Fair
But in the end they have all revealed their main agenda and proved to be Mean. At varying levels, they have only been nice to get what they wanted, whether that be money, or to indoctrinate me or whatever. Snake Oil Salesmen or saleswomen is the best description I can give them. I avoid them or ignore them nowadays! If I ignore them and they keep pestering me, my response typically causes sufficient offence to them to make them go away. I have learned that I can be considerably meaner than them!
Im quite happy for them to consider me a godless Heathen! Pity not the people brainwashed since infancy into the mumbo jumbo of religion, but pour scorn and derision on the leaders who knowing the falsehoods still happily profit. One of the issues with the Pudnam report is that it doesn't differentiate from folk who give to their own church via a tithe and who contribute volunteer work strictly within their own community and those who give according to need.
This alone means you can't use it as an example of religious people being more generous, it's not generosity if you do it out of obligation. The study with the children was looking at the innate desire to share and be fair and is an interesting one. Obviously there is something the secular parents are tapping into that fosters this sense of sharing that should be encouraged in all children.
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Makes you wander if the religious expend their generosity in the Church and consider that work is done, so no need for further generosity outside of it. My take on the University findings is that kids growing up in religious families typically have a more developed sense of 'in groups' and 'out groups'. The we and them of tribalism. A suspicion of the other. Non religious kids may not have the same limiting level of tribalism and therefore a broader acceptance and generosity to all.
Does this generosity extend to the various inquisitions the Christian faith launched on the population which resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent people, people were compassionate and kind before Christianity was forced upon them, evidence shows our prehistoric ancestors looked after the elderly and sick. I am not surprised that many people are abandoning Christianity and returning to the true natural faith of their ancient ancestors. This article is shear fantasy. The least religious countries are shown to be the most generous per capita as the world giving index shows quite clearly.
Further the most functional and happiest societies are shown to be the least religious ones. It's time that these infantile superstitions were disposed of for a better human future rather than "the end of the world" that religions so fervently desire. On current record, Justin, we may be heading for the end of our world, because religiously driven governments believe their God will look after them.
I seem to recall a prime minister who appeared to think along those lines But wealth leads to lack of religiosity as well doesn't it? People turn to religion when they living in a state of misery.
Evil, good and beyond: The selfish, the generous and the fair (English Edition) PDF Download
What I find particularly compelling about this particular opinion piece is that despite the scientific findings demonstrated by the study the author of this opinion piece Simon Smart continues to believe, despite the evidence, that "it remains the case that a grounding in the Christian faith and, importantly, commitment to a faith community, continues to provide an impetus towards generosity, mercy and kindness.
This is a wonderful demonstration of the dangers of religion, in that despite any evidence contray to indoctrinated beliefs the person will continue to believe in the beliefs generated by the long term since childhood in most instances indoctrination processes undertaken by religious groups. In fact I would suggest Simon Smart has in effect demonstrated exactly why religions etc should be precluded from indoctrinating any child or person who has yet to attain the mental capacity defined as being an "adult".
Joe, you once again have failed to read and understand the article, and gone straight to your preconceived conclusions. You really need to try harder. These studies include the church as a charitable organisation, and donating time to the church as community service. Contributing to building temples of zealotry and winning over more followers is not a charitable act. It's Stockholm syndrome. People's understanding of Religions has caused some pretty sickening side effects. In our own parliament there are strange chaps with totally amazing outlooks on life - their way or no way, non-confirmists either mad or bad or both.
No latitude in religion is a serious threat to mankind, fundamentalism is the stuff of terror, Spanish Inquisitions, fear and loathing. Not my cup of tea - live and let live. Religious or secular? Altruistic or empathetic is a valid comparison. The Sentimentalists, of which empathy is crown jewels, is the emotional mirroring of another so that we may either feel their pain or joys by aping their feelings to gather a memory of our own copy, or we can put ourselves in another's shoes - a transference of emotional states - and try to reconstruct their feelings whereby that construct will will us to act, e.
But altruism is the betterment of another's condition via a reasonable perception of outcomes, and such a process is more effective because the actions can be followed through with the baseline of reason needing no top-ups. Feelings are moodbased and are notoriously erratic There is no contradiction here with religion and reason ; within the parameter of language of which all the Testaments are recognized the fictional and fantastical elements of these texts can be taken as granted, and the realisms of them can be organized to form matters of human behaviour and propriety that relates to how we feel and reason now this is true of all history telling, whether, in degree, it is one of our forefathers or if the History is an academic one Mood based actions are unreliable and their secular origins come from the whimsy of a faith that is arbitrary, essentially selfish such acts rarely ask for more than a hug afterwards There is an old saying that "ideals are thought out by dreamers, then run by fanatics, then managed by opportunists".
Witch hunting by priests yesterday, "calling in some muscle" to harass journalists by self righteous professors today today and "social justice warriors" spreading malicious lies to bring down people whose opinions offend them. What do they all have in common?
They believe their moral platform is righteous enough that the well being of others can be compromised for their cause. If having faith provides any impetus towards generosity then I only hope it doesn't do so in a way that detracts from the quality of altruism. If people of faith were doing good deeds for the sake of posthumus reward then it'd seem somehow less moral or less laudable to me.