Religion, Irreligion & the Compassionate Life

I’m not sure what to make of it, but this article from the University of California’s News Center is certainly challenging, and it does make me think…

Yasmin Anwar writes, “‘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 religious people 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 most recent online issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.”

For the rest of the article go here.

I still hear people from some religious perspectives claiming atheists and others not identified with a religious tradition cannot be trusted to do the right thing. That’s always been patent nonsense, disprovable by looking at the lives of those who do not profess religions, and…

And, while I think the organized charity of organized religious communities is worthy, I find how the study as presented in this article points to the individual impulse to compassion being markedly stronger in professed non-religious people worth noting.

Particularly on this day of prayer and reason…

Thanks, Mark, for the pointer…

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