Are religious people more moral?
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« on: October 28, 2017, 08:39:52 pm »

Why do people distrust atheists?

A recent study we conducted, led by psychologist Will Gervais, found widespread and extreme moral prejudice against atheists around the world. Across all continents, people assumed that those who committed immoral acts, even extreme ones such as serial murder, were more likely to be atheists.

Although this was the first demonstration of such bias at a global scale, its existence is hardly surprising.

source:http://religionnews.com/2017/10/25/are-religious-people-more-moral/
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2017, 02:06:41 am »

Religious people have skeletons in their closets..... In my life experiences they are the worst people on earth.
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2017, 06:53:56 am »

Even as an atheist myself, I don't tend toward declarations that all people of religious belief are the worst.  However, I would agree that taken as a whole, more negative than positive actions have resulted from the enforcement of religious doctrines.

I enjoyed the article from religionnews.com, previously unaware of the site's existence.  And among the article's findings, I was struck, in particular, by:

"Overall, the results are clear: No matter how we define morality, religious people do not behave more morally than atheists, although they often say (and likely believe) that they do."
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 10:49:25 pm »

Even as an atheist myself, I don't tend toward declarations that all people of religious belief are the worst.  However, I would agree that taken as a whole, more negative than positive actions have resulted from the enforcement of religious doctrines.

I enjoyed the article from religionnews.com, previously unaware of the site's existence.  And among the article's findings, I was struck, in particular, by:

"Overall, the results are clear: No matter how we define morality, religious people do not behave more morally than atheists, although they often say (and likely believe) that they do."

That depends on how you're defining morality which, in turn, depends on your personal and group biases.

If you truly believe in an afterlife with hellfire and eternal torment, then the moral thing to do is fight the fight you think your deity wants you to. This ultimately means that groups like ISIS and The Westborough Baptist Church are morally superior to Muslims and Christians who follow a less strict version of their doctrines. This also means that the parents who throw their child out for being gay are (attempting) to act within the morality in their beliefs.

Who is more moral, the parent who stands by while their child burns alive in a fire or the parent who runs in to save them?

Morality is a tricky business. I think this title question would be better written as either "Are religious people better able to exist in our modern science-oriented society?" or "Are religious people more socially responsible than non-believers?". Maybe even, "Are religious people able to follow judicial law and social moors better than the non-religious?".
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2017, 02:46:05 am »


I think this title question would be better written as either "Are religious people better able to exist in our modern science-oriented society?" or "Are religious people more socially responsible than non-believers?". Maybe even, "Are religious people able to follow judicial law and social moors better than the non-religious?".


That's all great food for thought.  As far as the part i boldfaced, wouldn't religious people be less likely to do the "best" job in following judicial law and social moors, as they would claim spiritual beliefs take precedence when there's a conflict?  Isn't that what occurred with the horrible anti-gay postal clerk, Kim Davis? 

A bit of the end-game in that kerfuffle:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/07/21/kim-davis-kentucky-hook-legal-fees-gay-marriage-fight/500408001/
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2017, 05:24:05 am »


I think this title question would be better written as either "Are religious people better able to exist in our modern science-oriented society?" or "Are religious people more socially responsible than non-believers?". Maybe even, "Are religious people able to follow judicial law and social moors better than the non-religious?".


That's all great food for thought.  As far as the part i boldfaced, wouldn't religious people be less likely to do the "best" job in following judicial law and social moors, as they would claim spiritual beliefs take precedence when there's a conflict?  Isn't that what occurred with the horrible anti-gay postal clerk, Kim Davis? 

A bit of the end-game in that kerfuffle:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/07/21/kim-davis-kentucky-hook-legal-fees-gay-marriage-fight/500408001/

I would think so.

I see several possible outcomes:

  • Religious people who obey secular laws over religious ones meaning they aren't really religious but in name/identity. (New Yorkers, Azerbaijani .)
  • Religious people who thwart judicial/secular laws in favor of religion (Kim Davis, Cults, Saudi Arabia, Iran).
  • People who claim to be religious and bend with the wind (most of humanity).
  • Non-religious people who take to a secular cause with religious fervor to force upon others their ideas (SJWs, Civil Rights Movement, Iconoclasts).
  • Non-religious people who flow rudderless and create their own spiritual replacements (modern Wiccans, African-American this, White-Nationalist that).

From what I see most people don't really believe in the Gods or religions they claim to, at least not the big three in the modern West. In and around Asia and the Middle East things get more complicated. But to the type you bolded, I think the majority of Western people can and do try to follow secular law first and as a whole we do a pretty good job. Do you see something different?
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2017, 11:38:57 am »

Are religious people really saying the only thing keeping them from murdering and raping is that some book or scroll told them not to? And not because they can see that those are evidently, obviously evil things to do? Because that's what they seem to be implying when they say that atheists are less moral. Scary thought, especially when you think about what kinds of evil some religious texts do endorse. For example, the bible endorses slavery.
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2017, 01:06:31 pm »

Are religious people really saying the only thing keeping them from murdering and raping is that some book or scroll told them not to? And not because they can see that those are evidently, obviously evil things to do? Because that's what they seem to be implying when they say that atheists are less moral. Scary thought, especially when you think about what kinds of evil some religious texts do endorse. For example, the bible endorses slavery.

The Bible (Koran, Torah) don't endorse slavery. They record the history of slavery and the thinking of their day which, if you're talking about the slavery brought into the Americas, was later used to endorse/justify what the Europeans were doing to other human beings through the slave trade.

Maybe Flozen and others will disagree but my readings and experience with religion (I was born into a Protestant and Catholic split home) never taught me that we don't kill, rape, cheat because the Bible/God said not to. The essence of the faiths I grew up around said that God put within us the ability to know right from wrong and the devils (through their means) sway us from what we know is right. To not believe in God is to be deceived by The Satan (originally known as The Adversary) and so we're prone to continue to make bad decisions including rape, murder, deception, yada, yada.



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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2017, 01:25:08 pm »

If a text outlines rules about slavery (eg how they should or shouldn't be treated), and never once condemns slavery, then yeah, that text endorses slavery. Not saying all contemporary christians endorse slavery -- in fact I'm pretty sure the vast majority doesn't -- but the bible does endorse slavery.

Your 2nd paragraph actually makes a lot of sense to me, though. I didn't grow up in a religious household, so that's a new way to see it for me.
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2017, 03:56:41 am »

If a text outlines rules about slavery (eg how they should or shouldn't be treated), and never once condemns slavery, then yeah, that text endorses slavery. Not saying all contemporary christians endorse slavery -- in fact I'm pretty sure the vast majority doesn't -- but the bible does endorse slavery.

I'm grumbling under my breath but you're right.

For me, slavery always goes back to what we did to the blacks from the 1500's. That wasn't endorsed. Also, slavery was, more or less, an economic model. Modern times have wage slavery whereby we push to get people to do ever more work for even lower pay. Hey, there's a question for this thread:

Salaried work ideas grew out of the feudal societies which were oriented around western religion (to my understanding). Communist ideas grew out of an atheist ethic. Do religious or atheists create a more moral business culture?
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2017, 07:33:09 am »

The Bible (Koran, Torah) don't endorse slavery. They record the history of slavery and the thinking of their day which, if you're talking about the slavery brought into the Americas, was later used to endorse/justify what the Europeans were doing to other human beings through the slave trade.


Hi there, ct and other thread voices.  The bible may not endorse slavery, but it certainly spends enough verses offering guidelines on how to best practice certain facets of the "arrangement," and how to "treat" them.  And that raises all the questions of "implicit endorsement," and, in the NT, begs the question of why Jesus and the apostles didn't make a point to stamp out something so -- to the topic at hand -- immoral.

How times change, in that today, I think many might agree that slavery carries the moral weight to stand as its own Commandment.  Alas, the bible of ancient times floats around the topic, its writers knowing that the ruling class would destroy such printings.

In this and many other respects, i see the bible as authored by decent men, writing words that are "practical to the time," rather than "divinely inspired" words that bring you god's hell-fire if amended.  It helps explain why I'm an atheist, as I simply disbelieve its claimed provenance.

Anyway, since I love a citation, OT and NT biblical references to slavery can be found in oodles of places:

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_Bible

@cteavin:  You're one of the few GT members who make thought-provoking contributions to both the Religion and P&D boards.  I tend to prefer the latter, but I don't have your fortitude for the current long-haul topics, currently at loggerheads.  I do like getting out my fly-swatter, now and again.  Carry on!

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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2017, 12:47:52 pm »

I have to agree - generally - with most here:

My supposed religion did nothing to add to my morals/values - I figured out wrong & right e.g. Murder is wrong etc on my own. If anything Religion taught me that all bad is forgiven so just be bad, get forgiven, then do more bad and continue the cycle..

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