Marilee J. Layman (mjlayman) wrote,
Marilee J. Layman
mjlayman

This journal has been placed in memorial status. New entries cannot be posted to it.

Kindness

I've forgotten to put this in my entry three days in a row, so it gets its own. A study showed that religious people were kinder than atheists in only two situations:

...on condition that they believe their acts will enhance their reputations among their peers. The second condition is being freshly reminded, in a subconscious way, of the existence of a morally tinged God or supernatural being, the researchers said.

So basically, the only times religious people were kinder than atheists was when they had immediate religious reasons to do so. It wasn't out of the goodness of their hearts.

Years ago when I was on the condo board, I was walking with another board member, an elderly black man who was highly involved in his church, and I pointed out an ant hill. He said "What a wonderful thing for God to make!" and I said "Well, I don't believe in gods, but I think it's a great anthill!" He stood with his mouth open, dumbfounded. We'd known each other for a few years by then and he finally said "But you're so nice, so fair, so kind." I said "You don't have to believe in god to be nice, fair, and kind." We continued our walk while he continued to wonder about how I could not believe in gods and be the person I was. And now we have a study.
Tags: kindness, religion
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