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