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Tue May 1, 2012, 05:02 PM

Study: Atheists More Driven by Compassion than Highly Religious People

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by ScreamingMeemie (a host of the Latest Breaking News forum).

Source: Raw Story

Study: Atheists more driven by compassion than highly religious people

By David Edwards
Tuesday, May 1, 2012 16:17 EDT

- snip -

Research from University of California, Berkeley published in the most recent edition of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found a stronger link between compassion and generosity among non-religious or less religious people.

“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,” UC Berkeley social psychologist and study co-author Robb Willer explained. “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.”

- snip -

“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 said.

- snip -

“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 concluded.

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/01/study-atheists-more-compassionate-than-highly-religious-people

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply Study: Atheists More Driven by Compassion than Highly Religious People (Original post)
Hissyspit May 2012 OP
fascisthunter May 2012 #1
otohara May 2012 #3
fascisthunter May 2012 #4
progressoid May 2012 #6
riderinthestorm May 2012 #21
Namvet67 May 2012 #2
Auggie May 2012 #16
Auntie Bush May 2012 #25
Namvet67 May 2012 #26
Poll_Blind May 2012 #29
Scuba May 2012 #5
DallasNE May 2012 #13
rfranklin May 2012 #7
Curmudgeoness May 2012 #17
KansDem May 2012 #8
nobodyspecial May 2012 #12
BlueJazz May 2012 #9
Lawlbringer May 2012 #11
PassingFair May 2012 #15
Lawlbringer May 2012 #24
PassingFair May 2012 #28
Lawlbringer May 2012 #32
BlueJazz May 2012 #22
Lawlbringer May 2012 #10
Namvet67 May 2012 #27
Lawlbringer May 2012 #30
Lawlbringer May 2012 #31
PassingFair May 2012 #14
rainbow4321 May 2012 #20
Odin2005 May 2012 #18
RUMMYisFROSTED May 2012 #19
Flatpicker May 2012 #23
ScreamingMeemie May 2012 #33

Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 05:05 PM

1. but, but, but... I thought Atheists were evil?

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Response to fascisthunter (Reply #1)

Tue May 1, 2012, 05:11 PM

3. And Liberal

which in some circles is worse than being evil

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Response to otohara (Reply #3)

Tue May 1, 2012, 05:12 PM

4. When we care, we mean it....

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Response to fascisthunter (Reply #1)

Tue May 1, 2012, 05:14 PM

6. You can't trust this study.

It's from Berkeley.

Hitler. That's all the proof you need that Atheists are teh evil.



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Response to fascisthunter (Reply #1)

Tue May 1, 2012, 09:39 PM

21. And "militant" (whatever that means as applied to atheists but its used pejoratively). nt

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 05:10 PM

2. Absolutely....driven by real altruism and empathy, not by fear and browbeatings

More open-minded, better educated,certainly more rational. I would rather my daughter date an atheist any day.

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Response to Namvet67 (Reply #2)

Tue May 1, 2012, 07:10 PM

16. +1

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Response to Namvet67 (Reply #2)

Wed May 2, 2012, 09:50 AM

25. +200 They also help others more because

they TRULY feel compassion...whereas, most the Religious do it out of fear of God or to wrack up points with him. lol

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Response to Auntie Bush (Reply #25)

Wed May 2, 2012, 09:57 AM

26. Harm no one and no thing.

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Response to Namvet67 (Reply #2)

Wed May 2, 2012, 10:09 AM

29. +1 nt

PB

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 05:13 PM

5. Surprises me not at all especially since ....

.... "highly religious" is often the same as "con artist".

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Response to Scuba (Reply #5)

Tue May 1, 2012, 06:15 PM

13. You Mean Like Chuck Colson

Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump?

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 05:14 PM

7. Liberals see a poor or disabled person and say, "There but for the grace of God go I..."

 

Conservatives say, "God made me better because I am more deserving."

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #7)

Tue May 1, 2012, 08:05 PM

17. Or if they don't believe in God at all,

"there but for fortune go I". My favorite saying. It rules my life and I know it is true.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 05:21 PM

8. I know atheists who are more "Christian"...

...than many Christians.

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Response to KansDem (Reply #8)

Tue May 1, 2012, 05:32 PM

12. I'm one myself

People are often surprised that I have no belief in a deity. To me, it is the final stage in moral development. You are compassionate just for the sake of it, not because of fear of retribution or in hopes of a heavenly reward.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 05:28 PM

9. Gee....I wonder if this will be on the news tonight.?

No,,They'll have some story about a person who beat cancer and how prayer "cured" them.

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Response to BlueJazz (Reply #9)

Tue May 1, 2012, 05:32 PM

11. What news are you watching?

As crappy as US mainstream news is, I've never EVER seen a story like this. Maybe they'll get into how they prayed alongside like...chemo or radiation or while a family member was in surgery. Never prayer alone.

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Response to Lawlbringer (Reply #11)

Tue May 1, 2012, 06:29 PM

15. Ok, how about survivors of tornadoes....

Talking about how "blessed" THEY are, while bodies are being
pulled out of the home next door...

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #15)

Wed May 2, 2012, 09:28 AM

24. If the survivors say they're blessed

that's interchangeable with lucky. Doesn't matter if it was God, luck, right place right time, chance, or whatever. They're expressing their relief that their kids are still sucking air. That's also what the news is reporting on. I've never seen an in depth story on the "power of prayer" without it being overwhelmingly skeptical.

The day I see the news lauding prayer healing, or talking about how it does anything except provide some sort of mental relief or placebo effect (not actually being healed by prayer), is the day I throw my TV out the window.


Although, I should probably do that anyway.

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Response to Lawlbringer (Reply #24)

Wed May 2, 2012, 10:09 AM

28. Never the less...I see it on the news all the time.

They may be expressing their "relief", but what I hear is

"God must have been looking out for ME",

and the unspoken
"God must have really had it in for my neighbors".

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #28)

Wed May 2, 2012, 11:15 AM

32. Meh, they can believe what they want.

I was just pointing out that the news doesn't do stories on the power of prayer.

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Response to Lawlbringer (Reply #11)

Tue May 1, 2012, 10:07 PM

22. Southern news

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 05:29 PM

10. It's easier to judge on a case by case basis.

Most people who follow religion treat the Bible as fact rather than parable are the type to get mad at Bill Nye for saying that the moon doesn't produce light. Those are the kind who listen to their religious leaders and think that whatever THOSE people say are absolute truths, and will hate. But if those people were even remotely literate, and would stop trying to read the freaking KING JAMES version so they can actually understand what they're reading, they'd realize that the Christian PHILOSOPHY is the same as any other religion, just a way to get people to get along with each other, which is a cause I can get behind. Even if I don't follow the religion itself.


I also know probably just as many Athiests as I do...Thiests...and I gotta say, both sides are equally as selfish. In fact, the Atheists (my wife included) preach against religion as much as the Thiests preach for it, which is compassionate from one POV vs disrespectful from the other. I feel kinda in the middle of things because I honestly don't care either way and get squawked at from both sides.


As I said before, it's probably better to make the call once you get to know a person, because prejudging anyone isn't very compassionate at all =oP

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Response to Lawlbringer (Reply #10)

Wed May 2, 2012, 10:08 AM

27. Nothing wrong with preaching against superstition and holy "ghosts"...it's called education

Let's say you're a senior in high school and one of your classmates tells you he can't wait for Santa....there's no way you can let that pass. He'd be laughed out of school....someone would have to educate him as to why his view was wrong...for his own sake.In your heart you know it would be the best thing to do so that he could function in school and life.Someone would explain why his view that Santa comes bringing gifts is wrong......it might as well be you or me that tells him

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Response to Namvet67 (Reply #27)

Wed May 2, 2012, 11:13 AM

30. If he's gotten to 17 years old

he's already indoctrinated and would lash out at anyone who questions his beliefs.

Personally, I say let him. If it keeps him from snapping (same as the freedom to drink, smoke, do drugs, or eat shitty foods) then it's not hurting. My biggest problem with religion is, as I stated before, the zealots who don't even follow the basic tenets of the religion itself! Some people wouldn't have the basic common sense not to steal, or push someone off of a subway platform. But if their belief in Santa, or God, or Karma, w/e, keeps them in check, it's all up to the individual. Those who corrupt their respective words of God, whether they're Islamic "Fundamentalists" or "Christian" hatemongers, they're sullying the basic message of either. "Love thy neighbor." Three words, which if those morons would live their lives actually following their religion, we wouldn't have such a fight about Gay rights, Civil rights, Gender rights, etc. "it's none of my fucking business what you do, but I'm happy if you're happy."

I agree, that sometimes it's more helpful to steer people on the right path, but if that person resists, it's less about compassion and falls in line with the early missionaries "civilizing" the natives. Better to just be happy with the end result rather than micromanaging every little detail on the journey.

My kids, for instance. I'm hoping that what I teach them sticks, and that they have enough of a head on their respective shoulders to do the right thing without any sort of promise of reward (other than satisfaction at helping someone), but if they decide to join a particular religion, as long as it's nonviolent and nonaggressive in nature (I think that religion isn't bad, people are) then that's their decision and I'm happy for them. Just so long as they have the facts and aren't influenced by something someone tells them.

The same could be said about political affiliations. The Republican party of today is vastly different from prior generations, and while it might represent many values which are anathema to me, the message they're spreading today is because of negative influence by a select few. I like to make that analogy to Religious affiliation/identification because I'm sure that any religious founder would be horrified to see the crimes committed in their name, same as a Republican like Lincoln would probably shoot himself in the head if he saw the way the Republicans were acting now.

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Response to Namvet67 (Reply #27)

Wed May 2, 2012, 11:14 AM

31. Sorry if the post seemed disjointed

Multitasking while having a conversation with someone on a forum makes it hard to keep track of thoughts.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 06:27 PM

14. Most atheists I know are less likely to be hypocrites, too.

And less likely to bother about what goes on in their neighbor's bedrooms.

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #14)

Tue May 1, 2012, 08:47 PM

20. +10000

Oh, yes. NOTHING makes me grind my teeth more than when my "Christian" co-workers stand around in a group and praise God, quote the bible, talk about how "Christian" they are and how blessed they all are, how horrifed they are when fellow worshipers have "misbehaving children" in church...and then in the next breath (day after day) turn around and trash other people using HORRIBLE, hateful language...sometimes their targets are people who were standing around with them doing the praising, etc...those targets just happen to be off that day.
Whenever they do the whole hypocrisy thing, the phrase that pops into my mind is one I have seen here and elsewhere on the 'net: "standing in a church no more makes you a Christian than standing in a garage makes you a car".

I say this knowing that every mainstream religion has these kind of hypocrites....it just happens that the people I work claim to be Christians.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 08:39 PM

18. In other news, water is wet.

We help people because we want to help people, not because it gets us to heaven.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 08:45 PM

19. Any word on Lowly Religious People?

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 10:16 PM

23. Makes sense

Life becomes nicer once you realize that you can be moral without needing to reference a book about it.
They also don't have to do something compassionate because they believe that it will help themselves in the afterlife. They do it because it's the right thing to do.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed May 2, 2012, 11:29 AM

33. Locking.

This is not Latest Breaking News material, as it is an analysis piece. Feel free to repost in Good Reads or Religion. Thank you.

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