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Switch to Forum Live View Study finds less religious people more driven by compassion to be generous
2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 5:44PM #1
Kwinters
Posts: 18,127
www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-04/...


'...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 July 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."

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 5:51PM #2
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617

Charity given out of obligation and duty to doctrine and principles seems to me to be much more reliable than charity given purely out of the goodness of one's heart.

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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 5:55PM #3
Kwinters
Posts: 18,127

May 1, 2012 -- 5:51PM, nieciedo wrote:


Charity given out of obligation and duty to doctrine and principles seems to me to be much more reliable than charity given purely out of the goodness of one's heart.




Because charity given with motivations of ego are more reliable than selfless ones?!  That is pretty absurd.

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 6:01PM #4
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617

May 1, 2012 -- 5:55PM, Kwinters wrote:


Because charity given with motivations of ego are more reliable than selfless ones?!  That is pretty absurd.




Where in the study that you cited was it demonstrated that the the more religious donors were motivated by ego? And how do you know that the supposedly "selfless" people aren't motivated by ego, too?


No matter. It's a simple matter of stability of cash flow. If a religious regularly donates 10% of his income to charity, that is a regular and steady and reliable source of charitable giving than a non-religious person who feels a momentary swell of emotion and makes a one-time gift.


Both are appreciated and both accommplish good, but the regular less-emotional religious giving it like getting paid a salary while the emotional compassionate non-religious giving is like working on commission - or going to Vegas.



 

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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 6:03PM #5
Kwinters
Posts: 18,127

May 1, 2012 -- 6:01PM, nieciedo wrote:


May 1, 2012 -- 5:55PM, Kwinters wrote:


Because charity given with motivations of ego are more reliable than selfless ones?!  That is pretty absurd.




Where in the study that you cited was it demonstrated that the the more religious donors were motivated by ego? And how do you know that the supposedly "selfless" people aren't motivated by ego, too?




In the part with the words.


"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."

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 6:11PM #6
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617

May 1, 2012 -- 6:03PM, Kwinters wrote:


In the part with the words.


"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."





OK. I'll concede the ego in the the "reputational concerns" part. None of those things are bad in themselves, though, are they?


And if the end result is that charity is given which might not otherwise have been, that's all that matters to me (and I expect the recipients).


Again, I think that a regular pattern of giving - even if given out of ego - is a more reliable and more stable source of funds than random, emotionally driven one-time gifts.


I owe my entire livelihood to regularly-scheduled emotionless ego-driven charity so perhaps I'm biased :)

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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 11:00PM #7
Blü
Posts: 23,957

nieciedo


And if the end result is that charity is given which might not otherwise have been, that's all that matters to me (and I expect the recipients).


Isn't that the strongest argument for government welfare?  That to an effectively large degree it dispenses with the idea of the 'deserving poor' and its parallel notions in health, mental health &c, and just addresses the problem in front of it?

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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 11:21PM #8
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669

May 1, 2012 -- 5:55PM, Kwinters wrote:


May 1, 2012 -- 5:51PM, nieciedo wrote:


Charity given out of obligation and duty to doctrine and principles seems to me to be much more reliable than charity given purely out of the goodness of one's heart.




Because charity given with motivations of ego are more reliable than selfless ones?!  That is pretty absurd.




no, because it has larger numbers ATTACHED to the checks

Non Quis, Sed Quid
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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 11:27PM #9
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617

May 1, 2012 -- 11:00PM, Blü wrote:


nieciedo


And if the end result is that charity is given which might not otherwise have been, that's all that matters to me (and I expect the recipients).


Isn't that the strongest argument for government welfare?  That to an effectively large degree it dispenses with the idea of the 'deserving poor' and its parallel notions in health, mental health &c, and just addresses the problem in front of it?




Precisely. 

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2 years ago  ::  May 01, 2012 - 11:30PM #10
Hoppy393
Posts: 2,412

Would you like a giving relationship based on commitment or mood swings? =P


Nifty, but have the background numbers been released?


For instance, I read that the less religious were more quickly swayed by compassion - even if it was unrelated compassion.  But it did not directly indicate that generosity, itself, was significantly different based on being religious.


Also, isn't it kind of difficult to objectively say how compassionate you feel at any moment?

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