The Moral Inconsistency of Christianity

Atheistextremist
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The Moral Inconsistency of Christianity

 

 

As well as having an evangelical minister for a father and a missionary for a mother, I've been sorely blessed with an orthodox presbyterian minister for a brother-in-law. Recently I stayed at big sister's home in Brisbane and being an argumentative bastard, I had a discussion with the Reverend Doctor, who had me infuriated from the get-go and nearly packing my bags by the end of the conversation. 

Perhaps I should not discuss it but when all manner of every day events in your family are momentarily being put down as blessings from Him from finding a car park outside the shopping centre, to supplying funds to support a mother that I had paid for, it's pretty hard to restrain yourself from outright hostility.

The Reverend D is a fundamentalist and like every self-hating Augustinian before him insists all humans deserve to die and will be pitched head first into the lake of fire if they don't spend the rest of their lives rimming the exhaust pipe of the conceptual god-man, jesus. Things went south when the Reverend, with a particularly stern look at me, asserted that non-believers do not hold to the same standards as christians. 

As we went gruffly along, the good Rev-D insisting that eternal hell was just, I posed the question as to whether or not he would ignite the lake of fire to torture the billions. It was my belief he would say not, allowing me to suggest he was placing his human morality above that of the god-thing. But as I began to answer my rhetorical question, the Reverend Doctor told me it was up to christians to uphold god's justice and that he would ignite the lake of fire if god asked him to. 

Many of us have suggested that christians have a shortage of real empathy and it was with vitriol generated by this conversation that I happened upon this study which shows the godly are demonstrably low in compassion...I've pasted the first couple of pars to give the gist of it but there's the link to the whole report for those wanting more. Do you folks agree? In your experience are ungodly people more compassionate, understanding, generally nice than self-proclaimed god people?

 

Highly Religious People Are Less Motivated by Compassion Than Are Non-Believers

 

ScienceDaily (Apr. 30, 2012) — "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. The results challenge a widespread assumption that acts of generosity and charity are largely driven by feelings of empathy and compassion, researchers said. In the study, the link between compassion and generosity was found to be stronger for those who identified as being non-religious or less religious.

"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," said UC Berkeley social psychologist Robb Willer, a co-author of the study. "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."

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120430140035.htm

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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I try to avoid horrible people

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

Many of us have suggested that christians have a shortage of real empathy and it was with vitriol generated by this conversation that I happened upon this study which shows the godly are demonstrably low in compassion...I've pasted the first couple of pars to give the gist of it but there's the link to the whole report for those wanting more. Do you folks agree? In your experience are ungodly people more compassionate, understanding, generally nice than self-proclaimed god people?

 

The only theists I knowingly know are a few of my immediate family and I only see them once a year, so I'm not a good example, but they are all generally quite pleasant.

However, the three least likeable are probably two theists and myself.

 


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Yeah, i sped thru that

Yeah, i sped thru that article and after a second glance I think the kicker is the finding of where their generosity is derived from-  "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."  

  If you were to ask a christian "why did you help that person?" they may reply "because that's what any good christian would do".  If you asked me the same question i would say "because I felt it was the right thing to do".  Hence the old Atheist phrase "just be good for goodness sake".

I don't think that necessarily qualifies the christian's act of generosity as incompassionate.

I really think it just comes down to the inherent nature of a person.  Among the people I know in everyday life  Atheists would be a minority.  Percentage-wise the generally good people would be close to even.  You can be completely deluded and ignorant and be one hell of a sweet guy.  

The voice of their imaginary Lord misleads them  and sometimes their compassion is misdirected or even stymied.

"...but truth is a point of view, and so it is changeable. And to rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world is just as base as to use force." -Hypatia


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This study isn't saying that

This study isn't saying that atheists are more altrusitic or compassionate than theists.

 

Hamby warned of misreading the study

 

 

http://www.facebook.com/william.hamby.50/posts/228632707238242?notif_t=comment_mention

 

 

 

Quote:

I happened upon this study which shows the godly are demonstrably low in compassion

 

It didn't say the godly are low in compassion, it said atheist are more driven by compassion, it never said the godly didn't have compassion.

 

It even said that in the paragraph you posted

 

Quote:

For highly religious people, however, compassion was largely unrelated to how generous they were

 

In other words, it's not that they weren't compassionate, it was that their compassion was unrelated to how generous they were.

 

 

 


Atheistextremist
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Yes, I see this

 

 

but surely if believers are not motivated by compassion so much as by service to their own in-group of 'real' christians they are not being truly compassionate.

Brother in law, in my opinion, pays lip service to global love but would burn his neighbours if ordered to do so. 

Does duty to god short circuit his empathy circuits? 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Error message on link

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Hamby warned of misreading the study

 

http://www.facebook.com/william.hamby.50/posts/228632707238242?notif_t=comment_mention

 

I presume that one has to have a facebook account to read it.


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x wrote:Cpt_pineapple wrote:

x wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Hamby warned of misreading the study

 

http://www.facebook.com/william.hamby.50/posts/228632707238242?notif_t=comment_mention

 

I presume that one has to have a facebook account to read it.

 

Try this one

 

http://www.facebook.com/william.hamby.50/posts/228632707238242

 

That one was from my notifications which I guess only I can see

 

 


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The University of California

The University of California Berkeley article indicates that the behaviour of the religious people were not as affected by compassion.  Say I give you $10 that you could keep to yourself or share with John Doe.  If you were religious, knowing about John's life is not as likely to affect your sharing with him.  Whether you give him $1, $5, or all $10, is not based on your connection to him.... whether he is nice, helpful, down-on-luck, or likes long walks on the beach...  You act the same.  If you are less religious, then you do change your behaviour based on how you feel about him or poverty or pain (in the moment).

It seems to be indicating that religion helps stabilize compassionate generosity.  This makes sense.  Random acts of kindness are a key of the non-religious and by essence they are "random".


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Same error

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 Try this one

No worries though, I'll live without it.


movin4ward
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Stemming from a town of a

Stemming from a town of a mere 3000 characters reduces the noise in my data aquisition, a smaller sample size allowed me a fairly accurate glimpse on the details of an individuals true character-given enough time, rather than merely glimpsing the sickly sugary sweet facade that the majority of christians often parade around.

Long before my deconversion/debrainwashing(I was indoctrinated so technically I didn't deconvert- first I would've had to convert) I noticed that the members of my pentecostal church took the cake. They were the most judgmental, materialistic, narcissistic, maniacal emotional outburstin', wrath inducing, two faced, petty, fallible, greedy, overweight, nasty mystery tuna n vegi casserole potluck servin', wishy-washy, insecure, gossiping, hollywood bashing,700 club watchin, heavy perfume wearing, crazy hat sportin' and quite frankly the most disturbing group of people I have ever met. A friend at church once pointed out how everyone there looked dead- I looked around and he was right, at least emotionally and cognitively speaking. AA and even my old party pals had more sense and manners.

There is one exception and I chalk it up to my geographical location living near native american reservations and in liberal washington state and that is the people that call themselves "spiritual". Thankfully some/hopefully most don't believe in jesus but have very strong albeit differing beliefs in a god of their own design. These folks are generally genuinely good and compassionate individuals. When I was 16 one of these spiritual types who used to attend my church told me jesus and the afterlife were a sham and heaven or hell is here on earth. I should've listened instead I told my mom who said he had no right to say that to me- in hindsight I realize how helpful, brave and caring he was trying to help me out.

 


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That's a funny story and it sounds very believable

movin4ward wrote:

Stemming from a town of a mere 3000 characters reduces the noise in my data aquisition, a smaller sample size allowed me a fairly accurate glimpse on the details of an individuals true character-given enough time, rather than merely glimpsing the sickly sugary sweet facade that the majority of christians often parade around.

Long before my deconversion/debrainwashing(I was indoctrinated so technically I didn't deconvert- first I would've had to convert) I noticed that the members of my pentecostal church took the cake. They were the most judgmental, materialistic, narcissistic, maniacal emotional outburstin', wrath inducing, two faced, petty, fallible, greedy, overweight, nasty mystery tuna n vegi casserole potluck servin', wishy-washy, insecure, gossiping, hollywood bashing,700 club watchin, heavy perfume wearing, crazy hat sportin' and quite frankly the most disturbing group of people I have ever met. A friend at church once pointed out how everyone there looked dead- I looked around and he was right, at least emotionally and cognitively speaking. AA and even my old party pals had more sense and manners.

There is one exception and I chalk it up to my geographical location living near native american reservations and in liberal washington state and that is the people that call themselves "spiritual". Thankfully some/hopefully most don't believe in jesus but have very strong albeit differing beliefs in a god of their own design. These folks are generally genuinely good and compassionate individuals. When I was 16 one of these spiritual types who used to attend my church told me jesus and the afterlife were a sham and heaven or hell is here on earth. I should've listened instead I told my mom who said he had no right to say that to me- in hindsight I realize how helpful, brave and caring he was trying to help me out.

 

Where I live there are a lot of spiritual-woo-hippie types.

I think it's a load of nonsense and a con, but I'd much rather live amongst them than amongst monotheists.


Atheistextremist
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That's

 

x wrote:

They were the most judgmental, materialistic, narcissistic, maniacal emotional outburstin', wrath inducing, two faced, petty, fallible, greedy, overweight, nasty, mystery tuna n vegi casserole potluck servin', wishy-washy, insecure, gossiping, hollywood bashing,700 club watchin, heavy perfume wearing, crazy hat sportin' and quite frankly the most disturbing group of people I have ever met. A friend at church once pointed out how everyone there looked dead- I looked around and he was right.

 

probably the best description of a pentecostal church congregation I've ever read...As the great, great nephew of the founder of the first pentecostal mission in New Zealand (Roslyn City Road in 1903), I've always been fascinated by how my educated antecedent (the man was a lawyer) could be so convinced of faith healing as to promote the horseshit spouted by the likes of those irrational wishful thinkers, Dowie and Wigglesworth, et al.  

It's sideways to the conversation but the modern assemblies of god church in NZ is utterly convinced that the country is being destroyed by a series of satanic laws - what are these terrible laws? Gay marriage and the legalisation of prostitution. They're not worried about poverty, child abuse, the global oppression of women, the mindless money-grubbing of corporations who pollute the core resources of poorer nations for profit. No fear! It's the bloody poofs who are bringing down the wrath of god!

Monotheists are so utterly moronic in their refusal to understand the evolving social tenets of morality (perhaps because their beliefs are pinned to myths that existed at the instant the written word became affordable), I sometimes believe that simply by refusing to re-write their outrageous doctrines they will consign themselves to history.   

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote:Does

Atheistextremist wrote:

Does duty to god short circuit his empathy circuits? 

 

Short answer : yes. 

Long answer : Well, also yes.

I've had too many confrontations like the one you describe. Way too many. 

It's just too easy to find a religious excuse to avoid compassion or to be downright cruel. As an atheist, there are no excuses.