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Atheists more...

Posted by on May. 4, 2012 at 7:30 PM
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compassionate than believers, study finds.

File photo of money being placed in a cup (© Flickr/Getty Image)

Atheists more compassionate than believers, study finds

Who's more generous, religious people or atheists? If you guessed believers, you're wrong, according to a new study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley. Researchers found that atheists and agnostics were actually "more inclined to help their fellow citizens" by, say, giving food or money to those in need, than were people who identified as religious. The study's authors, who surveyed 1,300 Americans, suggested that non-believers may be driven by emotions like compassion, whereas religious people may be motivated by "doctrine, a communal identity or reputational concerns." Chances are atheists will find the study's conclusions easy to believe, while believers will doubt them.

* I thought this was Intresting since this topic is often debated on cafemom. What do you guys think? True or not?

by on May. 4, 2012 at 7:30 PM
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by on May. 4, 2012 at 7:34 PM

I've seen a wide spectrum on both sides of the coin.  I believe it truly depends on the individual and how he/she sees the world.

**update** Let me say that growing up in a Christian environment, there's a boatload of compassion from those who have truly dedicated their existance to easing the suffering of others.   

As I've found my way in this world, I find myself looking at Christians differently if they are, indeed, acting a lot like I do - passing by the outstretched hand, cursing, drinking, smoking and gossiping like crazy.  I know who I am and what I am.  I define myself and myself only by the compassion I have and feel on any given day.  One moment I might be in a generous mood and help the older lady across the street with her groceries.  A few moments later, I'll pass up the older lady with new shoes, new outfit and a snooty attitude who is doing a fundraiser for a local charity that I don't perfer to associate my money with. 

Compassion, in my own opinion, is in the moment.

by on May. 4, 2012 at 7:36 PM

I dont believe you have to be "religious" to be a good person. I dont believe in God but I believe Im a good person. I have a big heart but thats how I am, its not because I believe in a God.

by on May. 4, 2012 at 7:42 PM
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by on May. 4, 2012 at 7:44 PM

I'm not surprised

by on May. 4, 2012 at 7:55 PM
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by on May. 4, 2012 at 8:06 PM

I think that its a little of everything.. Sadly some of the most loving and compassionate people i know aren't Christians some are atheists others have other beliefs. I know that not all Christians are hateful, mean, cruel, biddies but the ones who are are truly screwing over the rest of the Christians.. especially on cafemom. which is why i feel there is such a great divide.. Because the few truly stupid people ruin it for the truly good and Christ like people.

by on May. 4, 2012 at 8:17 PM

I think it's based on the individual, not what faith they do or don't follow.  

I've always been a compassionate person.  Before I became a Christian and after.

"Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification"  Romans 14:19

by on May. 4, 2012 at 9:24 PM

Interesting study. I tend to agree with PP that it's probably dependent more on the individual than their beliefs.

by Silver Member on May. 6, 2012 at 10:17 AM

I have seen that and can come up with equal studies that show the opposite.  As an employee of a food bank that distributes 20 million pounds per year through agencies affiliated with us, my experience is different than the article.  around 85-87% of our agencies are churches and the rest are secular.  That makes the churches responsible for well over 17 million pounds per year to the hungry.  I believe that the amount of care and support provided by churches is not well known, because it is just part of their life, and they don't go around telling everyone about it.  They just do it.  I can only judge by what I see, and what I see are Christians doing the work.  Our volunteers at the food bank are also about the same percentage Christians.  About 15% are a combination of those ordered to do public service and groups like the Optimist Club.  The rest are Churches, Christian schools, etc.

by on May. 6, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Some Christian churches do food banks to get more people into their churches.. I have gone into several churches and have personally been made to feel very uncomfortable because i am not nor will i ever go back to being christian... Many mothers on Cafemom have said the same thing about christian food banks. They use these things not to do the good christian thing but to better their churches with people in the pews. The few Non Christian based food banks out there do it for the charity not for their own sense of entitlement. Like the person above me i can only judge by what i have seen. I have seen More atheists, and Non Christian based beliefs acting Christ like and christian then i have seen Christians.

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