Why atheism makes you mean

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by S.A.M., Nov 21, 2008.

  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    An interesting study that links prosocial behaviour to religiosity:

    We have proposed that the cultural spread of religious prosociality may have promoted stable levels of cooperation in large groups, where reputational and reciprocity incentives are insufficient. If so, then reminders of God may not only reduce cheating, but may also increase generosity toward strangers as much as reminders of secular institutions promoting prosocial behavior. These hypotheses were supported in two anonymous economic game experiments, one with a sample of university students and another with nonstudent adults​


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    Thoughts of God, activated without conscious awareness (2), thus caused greater generosity between anonymous strangers. One explanation for this finding is that the imagined presence of a morally concerned supernatural watcher reduced the anonymity of the situation and heightened prosocial reputational concerns, thereby increasing prosocial behavior. Alternatively, it is possible that thoughts of God and thoughts of charity or benevolence are cognitively associated; thus, priming the former concept increased behavioral tendencies consistent with the latter (1). This explanation, however, begs the question as to why God concepts are mentally associated with charity in the first place. These alternative explanations await further experimental investigation.​

    Comments??



    reference:
    1. A. F. Shariff, A. Norenzayan, Psychol. Sci. 18, 803 (2007)
    2. J. A. Bargh, T. L. Chartrand, Am. Psychol. 54, 462 (1999)
     
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  3. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Reciprocal altruism and sharing predate deific conceptualization. Couldn't stable levels of cooperation in large groups simply be a larger-scale development of early social behaviour?
     
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  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe you should write to them. Is there any evidence for prosocial behaviour in athiestic societies [apart from communism]?
     
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  7. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Are there any atheistic societies apart from communism? Anyway, it's more a question of separating the extrapolation of group altruism from "godliness".
     
  8. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    You could tell us about the prosocial behaviour of communist societies, seeing as you are/were pretty close to those ideals
     
  9. spidergoat Venued Serial Memberlist Valued Senior Member

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    Culture? Tradition?
     
  10. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    How would culture or tradition associate God with charity? And why?
     
  11. spidergoat Venued Serial Memberlist Valued Senior Member

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    That's what churches tend to do. Probably to gain followers.
     
  12. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Ah so the association of charity and God is created by churches?
     
  13. spidergoat Venued Serial Memberlist Valued Senior Member

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    It seems so.
     
  14. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    So charity was created by the religious, interesting.
     
  15. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    I think one of the problems here is the distinct separation of "religious" versus "community". In the old days, waaaaaaaay back, people might not have had organized religion, yet they might well have, and probably did have, empathy and compassion for their family and tribal members.

    But ....remember, tht was reseverved for only a select few, not the whole fuckin' human race as people these days try to claim!

    I do think, however, that religious organizations probably extended that usual, limited ideal to apply to all those other stinkin', nasty people that no one seems to like or want!

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    Baron Max
     
  16. spidergoat Venued Serial Memberlist Valued Senior Member

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    That is a completely different thing. They didn't create it, but they do exploit it, the same way a clan chieftan solidifies their power by sponsoring a feast.
     
  17. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    We're talking about charity to anonymous strangers. Everyone is mean to their family. :bugeye:
     
  18. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

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    I donate money and my time to charities all of the time, and I'm an atheist. I do it because of how it makes me feel, to help out other people. Everyone has their reasons for what they do and I think it has more to do with who you are and how you were raised than it does with what your religion is.
     
  19. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Was your family religious?
     
  20. spidergoat Venued Serial Memberlist Valued Senior Member

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    Charity is the filthiest invention of the human mind: first you steal what belongs to everyone; then you use the policeman and the atom bomb to protect it. You give charity to prevent the have-nots from rebelling against you. It also makes you feel less guilty. All do-gooders feel 'high' when they do good.

    U.G. Krishnamurti​
     
  21. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Is he an atheist?
     
  22. Mr. Hamtastic whackawhackado! Registered Senior Member

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    maybe this is pointed out later, but if this is the case, then what the hell caused churches?

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  23. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Most people in prison are religious in America.
     

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