Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast
Results 31 to 45 of 90

Thread: Religious people are 'more helpful, honest and generous'

  1. #31
    Then dawns the Invisible Psycheinaboat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    335
    Blog Entries
    70
    I have skimmed the thread, so hopefully I am not about to bring up something someone else has already pointed out...

    Religion can make people better, but it seems to me that those people were good to begin with. The idea of "making good men better" from the Freemasons comes to mind.

    Perhaps it is not that religion scares people into behaving with kindness and goodness as much as that it attracts people who already have an inclination toward goodness. I think most of us are at a real loss to accept our own demise, so the idea of fear of hell being a motivation is one I doubt.
    If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.
    - Emma Goldman

  2. #32
    Bibliophile Drkshadow03's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    My heart lives in New York.
    Posts
    1,716
    I should point out that the conclusions of the literature review in Science are far more nuanced than what was reported in the newspaper article.

    Link to the article's abstract.

    The reason the newspaper article is confusing is that what the researchers did was a literature review. They didn't perform any new research or scientific experiments, but instead went through the books and journals in the field in an attempt to report on every study done on this subject and synthesize the conclusions of a lot of different studies dealing with religion and prosociality.

    So all the studies the newspaper article talks about are really different studies. The article appearing in Science goal was to look at all these different studies, discuss their methods, and results, and then draw conclusions by synthesizing these variously different studies dealing roughly with the same topic. Another task was to identify areas where not enough research has been performed (i.e. where future research should go).

    My blog has an example of a literature review on Gender Stereotypes in Children's Literature for anyone curious on what one does in a literature review. I didn't actually do my own experiment, all I did was bring together a variety of studies on that topic and synthesize the results.
    Last edited by Drkshadow03; 10-04-2008 at 01:06 PM.
    "You understand well enough what slavery is, but freedom you have never experienced, so you do not know if it tastes sweet or bitter. If you ever did come to experience it, you would advise us to fight for it not with spears only, but with axes too." - Herodotus

    https://consolationofreading.wordpress.com/ - my book blog!
    Feed the Hungry!

  3. #33
    Internal nebulae TheFifthElement's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,067
    Blog Entries
    176
    Don't really want to get involved in the debate here which seems, to be honest, kind of pointless, but this made me giggle:

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    You have no evidence that it wasn't in good faith or it was biased. If you're going to make a general statement like that, then all studies of everything is not in good faith and is biased. If you have any evidence of what you claim, put it forth, or you're just spouting empty words.
    in the context of these little gems...

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Atheists still get the same tax break and they despite that they don't donate as much as religious people.
    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    If there is no fear of God and divine justice, then being a "goody-good" person is being a "sucker." It's what you can get out of life. There is no reason for doing good.
    not general at all, and of course all supported with a wealth of empirical evidence

    Sorry Virge, couldn't help myself
    Want to know what I think about books? Check out https://biisbooks.wordpress.com/

  4. #34
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    20,355
    Blog Entries
    248
    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    OK, so when the Nazis published their scientific evidence against Jewish people, it was in "good faith as well" based on the newest scientific models.
    We're discussing a specific study. If you're making the claim that all studies are worthless. Ok, but to smear one bad study with another study is irrelevant.

    Seriously, the article doesn't even give one actual fact, and merely says, "scientists say" to cover outrageous comments. Does that not seem the least problematic?
    I think D-Shadow answered this nicely.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  5. #35
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Belo Horizonte- Brasil
    Posts
    3,279
    By all logic, atheist devoted to democracy are also going to be more honest, helpful and the fear of a law would cause it, after all it seems the study does not exactly excluded such group in his study (as matter of fact, since religious institutions are social organizations, finding a study that shows the religious doctrines help to build up the group ties of such societies is just expected. Strange would be to find - hey, christianism promote selfishness and no society ties but yet they lived with each other for centuries)

  6. #36
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    20,355
    Blog Entries
    248
    Quote Originally Posted by TheFifthElement View Post
    Don't really want to get involved in the debate here which seems, to be honest, kind of pointless, but this made me giggle:



    in the context of these little gems...

    not general at all, and of course all supported with a wealth of empirical evidence
    Originally Posted by Virgil
    Atheists still get the same tax break and they despite that they don't donate as much as religious people.
    Well, that's a fact. Everyone gets the same gets the same tax break. The article points out that religious people donate more than non-religious. And to throw in a little different fact, though it does not really deal with religious versus non-religious, it has been documented that Conservatives donate far more than Liberals in the United States. http://talkingpoints.wordpress.com/2...ity-donations/.

    And here:

    Q. We often hear that religious people give more to charity than secularists. Is this true?
    A. In the year 2000, “religious” people (the 33 percent of the population who attend their houses of worship at least once per week) were 25 percentage points more likely to give charitably than “secularists” (the 27 percent who attend less than a few times per year, or have no religion). They were also 23 percentage points more likely to volunteer. When considering the average dollar amounts of money donated and time volunteered, the gap between the groups increases even further: religious people gave nearly four times more dollars per year, on average, than secularists ($2,210 versus $642). They also volunteered more than twice as often (12 times per year, versus 5.8 times).
    http://www.american.com/archive/2008...tion-of-givers

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil
    If there is no fear of God and divine justice, then being a "goody-good" person is being a "sucker." It's what you can get out of life. There is no reason for doing good.
    No I wasn't making a factual claim there. That was a potential philosophic underpinning to support the data being discussed, more specifically as to why religious people donate more than non-religious. So I ask you Fifth, since I know you're an atheist, why should an atheist do good in life? Why shouldn't he grab life for his total pleasure, despite who it may hurt along the way? What philosophic basis is there for self-sacrifice and doing good if there is no God? Why don't people if they don't believe in God look at do-gooders as suckers ?

    Sorry Virge, couldn't help myself
    That's ok. Especially when it's easy to refute back.
    Last edited by Virgil; 10-04-2008 at 10:53 PM.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  7. #37
    Registered User Shield&Sword's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Paradise i built inside me.
    Posts
    273
    nice research virgil.
    I wanted to paste some of my thoughts about athiesm but these days i dont have enough time to enter in discussion, university is about to start.

  8. #38
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    20,355
    Blog Entries
    248
    Quote Originally Posted by Shield&Sword View Post
    nice research virgil.
    I wanted to paste some of my thoughts about athiesm but these days i dont have enough time to enter in discussion, university is about to start.
    Thanks S&S. I haven't even mentioned all the good charity that Muslims are required to perform in life. Islam has a great tradition in charity and helping the less fortunate.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  9. #39
    Not politically correct Pendragon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Blue Ridge Mountains, SW VA
    Posts
    21,241
    Blog Entries
    133

    Smile

    Being a minister for years and a traveling one at that, I must disagree with the study. In many cases, religion makes people only more judgmental and less tolerant. Salvation on the other hand, will tend to make anyone a better person in both church and home and community life. But Salvation and religion or being religious are emphatically not interposing words. One can have little to do with the other!

    God Bless

    Pen
    Some of us laugh
    Some of us cry
    Some of us smoke
    Some of us lie
    But it's all just the way
    that we cope with our lives...

  10. #40
    dum spiro, spero Nossa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Egypt
    Posts
    1,168
    Blog Entries
    50
    Why do people always, like ALWAYS, blame religion for every single thing? Did it ever occur to you that we, as people, are not as perfect as we might like to think we are? Anyone can be offensive and judemental, you don't need a religion to do that.
    For me, I do mistakes, but the point is that I know there's someone watching me when I do it, so I try as much as I can not to do them, not cuz I'll rot in hell if I did, but cuz I simply love and respect God. We all have that in ourselves, whatever you wanna call it, and no matter what you believe in. People try to be good and kind to others simply cuz this is the right thing to do. Religious people derive it from their beliefs, non-believers do it for other reasons. Why is it that when things go wrong we blame religion rather than human nature? Are believers less nice than non-believer? I just don't get it.
    If you don't believe that religion makes people better, then I respect your right in saying that. But you don't have to say that religion makes people worse. I mean, unless you see every religious person on this forum as a horrible person, then don't you think you might be a bit wrong? (I'm not adressing a certain person here, just generally speaking)
    I'm the patron saint of the denial,
    With an angel face and a taste for suicidal.

  11. #41
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Belo Horizonte- Brasil
    Posts
    3,279
    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    No I wasn't making a factual claim there. That was a potential philosophic underpinning to support the data being discussed, more specifically as to why religious people donate more than non-religious. So I ask you Fifth, since I know you're an atheist, why should an atheist do good in life? Why shouldn't he grab life for his total pleasure, despite who it may hurt along the way? What philosophic basis is there for self-sacrifice and doing good if there is no God? Why don't people look at do-gooders as suckers if they don't believe in God?


    That's ok. Especially when it's easy to refute back.
    You are joking right? The concept of evil and good is not even the same inside the same religions during the century they exist. Sometimes killing is allowed, sometimes it is not. Sometimes spanking a woman is allowed, something having slave is allowed. Saying that people are good only for religiousity only is only fair if you say they are only evilo for religiousity only. (plus, there is religious and gods that are dedicated to pleasure.).
    Take the romans, no self sacrifice for god, no fear of punishment - Yet, they build a society that lasted centuries basead on civil principles and nacionality.
    What keep an atheist from being a mad scientist willing to destroy the world (Keep in Mind that the only organized groups that aknowledge selfsacrifice and world's end were religious groups, so I doubt all the time the good of world and people are part of religious dogmas) is either our biological disposition and species preservation and something called ethical education. (It was not like an atheist is educated out of a religious society in the western. How many western countries have a secular majority or only families and schools completelly secular?)
    I am atheist but I was raised as catholic, where did I lost my altruistic capacity?
    All those research are searchng is quite simple, religious groups are organized and religious organizations have lost almost all their social role but of charity and help. They had historically the position to give charity (in past was a form of political power). Our societies are also still pretty much organized like this. It does not point an ethical diference or even spiritual, but a historical difference, only this and nothing more.

  12. #42
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    20,355
    Blog Entries
    248
    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    You are joking right?
    I said a potential philosopphic underpinning. And the study did not say that every single religious person was good and that every single secular person was bad or uncaring. It said a higher percentage of religious were good or charitable than secular or atheists. Do you understand the concept of statistics or does that need to be explained to you?

    The concept of evil and good is not even the same inside the same religions during the century they exist.
    So? The study was focused on western cultures I believe. It made not statements on other cultures. The study held constant the notion of what is good and what is not.

    I am atheist but I was raised as catholic, where did I lost my altruistic capacity?
    I'll ask it again, do you understand the concept of statistics?

    All those research are searchng is quite simple, religious groups are organized and religious organizations have lost almost all their social role but of charity and help. They had historically the position to give charity (in past was a form of political power). Our societies are also still pretty much organized like this. It does not point an ethical diference or even spiritual, but a historical difference, only this and nothing more.
    So then you agree with the study. Why are you arguing? For whatever reason religious people are more altruistic.

    Ok, smarty pants, I'll ask you the same questions I asked Fifth:
    Why should an atheist do good in life? Why shouldn't he grab life for his total pleasure, despite who it may hurt along the way? What philosophic basis is there for self-sacrifice and doing good if there is no God? Why don't people if they don't believe in God look at do-gooders as suckers ?
    I truely want to know.
    Last edited by Virgil; 10-04-2008 at 10:56 PM.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  13. #43
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Belo Horizonte- Brasil
    Posts
    3,279
    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    I said a potential philosopphic underpinning. And the study did not say that every single religious person was good and that every single secular person was bad or uncaring. It said a higher percentage of religious were good or charitable than secular or atheists. Do you understand the concept of statistics or does that need to be explained to you?
    Too fast attacking me. Statistics are just number, like all numbers they are going to need interpretation, they do not offer you conclusion. However in no part of my arguments I attacked the numbers offered, so trying to imply I am needing to learn what statistic is just trying to switch the argument to me. Thanks, I need no central stage.
    As well, my answer also pointed to your potential underpinning, which is not statistics at all, just a reasoning you developed.


    So? The study was focused on western cultures I believe. It made not statements on other cultures. The study held constant the notion of what is good and what is not.
    Sorry, but this afirmantion is joke. US Americans do not even agree if certain libertities taken while dealing with prisioners suspect of terrorismo are justifiable or not, if a certain war is justifiable or not, etc. Imagine the whole western cultures (Hope you are couting latin america), how can you just pull out such generalization about a study that can classify all that. (As matter of fact, during some period, Religious institutions are against certain level of charity because they should encourage work and not "vagabonds")


    So then you agree with the study. Why are you arguing? For whatever reason religious people are more altruistic.
    So, you just posted a study here so we call say "Hey nice study", "hey bad study" (Considering the study itself was not posted, what would be the point of arguing it without even knowing the study) ?
    Wait, but the very first post you posted is arguable. it ends with a "they are nicer people" or anything that implies, so the conclusions are arguable, only this.
    Plus, yourself asked things beyond the study, so I guess we are arguing because we can not drink tea together.

    Ok, smarty pants, I'll ask you the same questions I asked Fifth:


    I truely want to know.
    Actually I answered that question but you somehow considered that you should lecture me about statistics.

  14. #44
    Charles the Grinning Boy SirRaustusBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    122
    Virgil, that question has been pondered for thousands of years. In the republic Plato came to the conclusion that living virtuously enables one to live a happier life.

    If everyone was injust, society would cease to function because no one could work together. Therefore it is in the interest of society as a whole to be just. This still leaves it open for an individual to prosper through injustice as long as the rest of society continues to be just, or "suckers" as you said.

    Plato argued that those who resist the urge to commit injustice have constitutions that allow reason to prevail over our appetites both for immediate pleasures like food and sex, as well as for honor and pride. This is because reason is always looking out for the greater long term good for ourselves.

    The unjust man, who commits crimes in order to satisfy appetites, is perpetually weak-willed. There is therefore unhapppiness to be found in the inability to control oneself.

    More importantly however, is the idea of what is the best kind of happiness. Plato believes it to lie in philosophical contemplation. Those who are weak-willed are unable to appreciate this due to constant appetitive indulgence any more than someone who eats only fast food every day will be unable to truly know that a fine meal cooked with fresh vegetables is the best food. You can repeat that healthy food is the best kind but you cannot truly know it because it tastes bad to you after a lifetime of fast food. Constant indulgence in the appetite renders one incapable of truly knowing that intellectual stimulation is more rewarding.

    Plato offers several reasons why practicing philosophy is more rewarding but none of them are thoroughly convincing so his argument is left incomplete. I think he was on to something though.

    There is a scene in The Republic, however, that is very affecting. A character mentions a magic ring that renders the wearer invisible, and goes on about how with the ring, everyone would rob and kill at will. This is very similar to your statement about morality without God. The character goes on to say that if the wearer saw a woman he was attracted to, he could and would rape her without recourse.

    Whether this is intentionally over the line or not it makes a statement. The comments about stealing with the ring may strike modern readers as accurate, but upon reading the line about rape, the typical reader would recoil and say no, even without accountability I would never rape anyone. This is because humans feel sympathy and empathy for one another. This is why I remain moral without belief in a God, because I do not want to cause others to suffer. I value others and understand that their suffering is as real as mine, and I do not like it when others make me suffer.

    This is in direct opposition to thinkers like Nietzsche, who believe that schadenfreude, or pleasure in the misery of others, is a natural human instinct. But like I said, philosophers have been thinking about this question forever, and there is no real conclusive answer. On this subject I prefer Plato's line of thought to Nietzsche's.
    Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

  15. #45
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Belo Horizonte- Brasil
    Posts
    3,279
    I would end with ethical vallues can keep any human acting with care and respect for others. We must be teached by this, religion is one of the ways that it is done, but not the only one.

Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Is Satan a freedom fighter?
    By blazeofglory in forum Religious Texts
    Replies: 116
    Last Post: 09-01-2010, 05:06 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •