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Study of similarities/differences in moral views of religious and non-religious people

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by essentialsaltes, Mar 4, 2021.

  1. essentialsaltes

    essentialsaltes Stranger in a Strange Land

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    [T]he present research investigated whether there are reliable similarities as well as differences between believers and disbelievers in the moral values and principles they endorse.

    [The studies] show that disbelievers (vs. believers) are less inclined to endorse moral values that serve group cohesion (the binding moral foundations). By contrast, only minor differences between believers and disbelievers were found in endorsement of other moral values

    [R]esults also show that disbelievers (vs. believers) have a more consequentialist view of morality in both countries [US and Sweden]. A consequentialist view of morality was also associated with another presumed antecedent of disbelief—analytic cognitive style.


    The paper is a bit dense with academese, but here is a summary in Live Science.

    The moral compasses of atheists and believers are different in a few key ways, a new study finds.

    In some aspects, the moral compass was incredibly alike between the two groups; they both highly rated fairness and protecting the well-being of vulnerable people, for instance, and both highly endorsed liberty but not oppression. However, the groups diverged when it came to matters of group cohesion, such as valuing loyalty and respecting authority, the study found.

    "Virtually everyone," atheists and believers alike, scored high on these two values, showing that they valued protecting the vulnerable and being fair toward others; and they saw these values as moral issues, Ståhl said. However, he found differences between believers and disbelievers on the other three values: authority (respecting authority figures, such as police, parents and teachers), loyalty (being loyal to one's group, such as a country — not burning a country's flag, for instance) and sanctity (not doing anything perceived as degrading, usually in a sexual sense, such as being promiscuous).

    [Both] groups scored low on amorality, disagreeing with statements such as "I am willing to be unethical if I believe it will help me succeed."
     
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  2. essentialsaltes

    essentialsaltes Stranger in a Strange Land

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    Mark it for my tombstone: "He was a disrespectful, rebellious pervert, but he was fair-minded and protected those who didn't have his advantages."
     
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  3. Estrid

    Estrid Well-Known Member

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    If they had interviewed non Christians in China they'd have
    gotten rather different results.
     
  4. essentialsaltes

    essentialsaltes Stranger in a Strange Land

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    That's one of the things the author mentions as potential work for the future. To try these experiments in non-Western cultures.
     
  5. Whyayeman

    Whyayeman Well-Known Member

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    Let us not prejudge this. I would like to see results in other countries. My prejudice is that I would expect to see similar results in Asian and African societies, but I should like such preconceptions to be tested.
     
  6. Tinker Grey

    Tinker Grey Wanderer Supporter

    +3,280
    Atheist
    Well, going off stereotype, I'd imagine that atheists in China, say, might endorse "group cohesion, such as valuing loyalty and respecting authority" the way atheists in the west don't.
     
  7. The happy Objectivist

    The happy Objectivist Active Member

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    In terms of fundamentals, Theists and most atheists are identical in terms of morality. I've spoken to a lot of atheists and theists and both groups, in general, hold to the morality of selflessness. At least that's been my experience which is admittedly limited. With the exception of other Objectivists, every single atheist I've encountered was leftist in his politics. I've never met a leftist who didn't preach altruism and collectivism. Christianity promotes altruism and collectivism. The fundamental principle underlying both is that man has no right to exist for his own sake.
     
  8. CatsRule2020

    CatsRule2020 New Member

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    The outcome of this study is not surprising because more than half the globe has been exposed to the moral light of the New Testament.
     
  9. Strathos

    Strathos No one important

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    Would you be happy if you were the only person alive in the world?
     
  10. The happy Objectivist

    The happy Objectivist Active Member

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    No. I think relationships with other people are crucial to happiness. Why do you ask?
     
  11. The happy Objectivist

    The happy Objectivist Active Member

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    It's also not a surprise that non-believers are less inclined to endorse moral values that serve group cohesion. A moral view that teaches man that he is a sacrificial animal is not compatible with group cohesion because it puts man into two groups, forever at odds with each other, namely the sacrificers vs. the collectors of sacrifice, the eaters and the eaten, the individual vs. the collective. A morality that teaches one to live for the sake of others can only result in disgruntlement and hatred for others. Not peacful cooperations and mutual respect. For that man must have self-esteem.
     
  12. Strathos

    Strathos No one important

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    Because that's the ultimate endpoint of 'living only for yourself'.
     
  13. The happy Objectivist

    The happy Objectivist Active Member

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    Where did you get that from?! You put that in quotes. That's not what it means to be an individualist. Individualism means holding individual rights as an absolute. This means recognizing the right that every man and woman has, by virtue of his or her nature, to exist for his own sake. That means everyone's individual rights, not just mine.I'd say that this recognition is a pre-requisite for having any type of human relationship.
    I live primarily for myself as all living organisms must do. Notice the difference? That does not in any way preclude relationships with others, Strathos, and I don't know why you would think that it does. I assume you get up every morning and you pursue your interests. Do your interests not include others? Are you seriously trying to say that it can never be in one's own interest to have relationships with others, to cooperate with others, share your life with others? You are introducing a false dichotomy that there is no rational reason to introduce. It's not either you live only for yourself or only for others. That's one of the many reasons the morality of Altruism does not hold up to rational scrutiny because it does tell you to live only for others, never yourself. That's why I reject it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  14. Strathos

    Strathos No one important

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    So the only value you see in other people is as personal entertainment for yourself? That sounds like the view of a sociopath.
     
  15. The happy Objectivist

    The happy Objectivist Active Member

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    Wow, recognizing that other people have rights, that they are not mine to do with as I please, that they have a right to exist for their own sake, and that their rights are inviolable makes you a sociopath? Where did I say that the only value I see in other people is as personal entertainment?

    Also, I asked you a number of questions that you totally ignored. If you had answered them honestly your confusion would have been cleared up. Therefore my questions were aimed at helping you to understand because I'm a helpful guy and I value others. For this, I get called a sociopath?

    But it's clear now that you don't want to understand. That's a shame.

    What I value about others is their character. The virtues that they have achieved in their person. I need that value in my life, not as "entertainment" but as a reflection of my values.

    Now I asked you a question and that was do you think it can ever be in someone's self interest to have relationships with others, to cooperate with others, share your life with others? Yes or no.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
  16. Strathos

    Strathos No one important

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    You said that you only had relationships with others because it was 'in your own interest'. That tells me you don't have any empathy for them.

    Sure, but if that's your only reason for doing so, you lack empathy.

    If you were in the desert and came across someone dying of thirst, would you give them any water (assuming you have it) even though they had nothing to offer you in return?
     
  17. The happy Objectivist

    The happy Objectivist Active Member

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    Wow, you completely ignored everything I said. You obviously are more interested in pushing a narrative than in learning my views. I do not owe you an answer to your question as it is not an honest question but I'll answer it for those people who will read this. Yes, I would give them water, in fact, I've done just that in real life. I stopped and gave a complete stranger a ride to his home when I saw him out riding his bike at night in the snow and 8-degree f weather. I did it because I like people strathos and I had empathy for his situation. I'm a cyclist myself and know what he was going through. It turned out that his car had broken down and he couldn't afford to fix it. He was working 7 miles from his home at a potato cellar, packing potatoes. I admire him. He isn't sitting on his duff expecting others to take care of him. He's trying to take care of himself. Those are the kind of people I desperately need in my life. So when I helped him, I was serving my own values and my own interest. Sorry if this doesn't fit your narrative that you are trying to push. I guess I don't have any empathy at all.

    Talking with you does not serve my interests so I will not do it anymore. Ignore.
     
  18. The happy Objectivist

    The happy Objectivist Active Member

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    Last reply to you, because I missed the first part of your response. That's a rather hasty assessment, don't you think? See, the problem is your own baggage that you are bringing to this discussion and projecting onto me. You have bought into a false idea, that self interest means not caring about others. I've tried my best to correct this error but it's become crystal clear that you don't want to correct it.

    This is why I will not discuss this with you anymore.
     
  19. Strathos

    Strathos No one important

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    So if you didn't know this person, and you didn't know that he was not "sitting on his duff expecting others to take care of him", you would have let him die?
     
  20. The happy Objectivist

    The happy Objectivist Active Member

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    Well duh. You didn't read what I wrote very carefully (again). I said he was a complete stranger. I did not know anything about him except that he was obviously suffering and I was a bit curious to find out why he was risking his life to ride in such horrible conditions with snow and ice and below zero windchill. After I found out the reason, he rose in my esteem. You see I treat all people with a basic level of regard based on their potential. They either rise or fall on my hierarchy of values based on their character. See I'm a trader in all things. I got paid by the pleasure I got from helping a fellow human being. It was a bonus to find out he shared some of my values. Call it a profit. See I don't make sacrifices. Sacrifice is defined in my philosophy as giving up a value for a lesser value or for no value at all. I don't believe in win-lose relationships. I believe that all human relationships should be win-win.

    Now if I came upon Hitler dying in the desert or Pol Pot or Mao I wouldn't help them.
     
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