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On morality and religion

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BoogieMonster
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« on: February 15, 2010, 09:36:18 AM »

http://www.physorg.com/news184857515.html

Most of the article is just speculative, but I want to highlight this passage:
Citing several studies in moral psychology, the authors highlight the finding that despite differences in, or even an absence of, religious backgrounds, individuals show no difference in moral judgments for unfamiliar moral dilemmas. The research suggests that intuitive judgments of right and wrong seem to operate independently of explicit religious commitments.

"This supports the theory that religion did not originally emerge as a biological adaptation for cooperation, but evolved as a separate by-product of pre-existing cognitive functions that evolved from non-religious functions," says Dr. Pyysiainen. "However, although it appears as if cooperation is made possible by mental mechanisms that are not specific to religion, religion can play a role in facilitating and stabilizing cooperation between groups."


Seeing as humans are inherently violent, tribal groups.... it does seem that religion does lead to co-operation in tribal groups (ie, church denominations), albeit in tribal and violent ways. It still lacks enough cohesion to bring "all the people together", IMHO. Of course, I'm still of the opinion that the larger scales of "co-operation" that some beliefs can reach (Catholics, Muslims), is not a good thing anyway.... it still retains a taste of tribalism (the word 'heathens'), and is definitely violent at times.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2010, 11:08:23 AM »

The article reports on research that aims to settle the question of whether “religion does lead to co-operation.”  The findings, as Dr Pyysiainen outlines, suggest that religion not so much leads to cooperation as it plays a role in making it easier and perhaps more organised.  Cooperation does not seem to require “mental mechanisms that are specific to religion.”

'Luthon64
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2010, 15:58:33 PM »

Quote
The research suggests that intuitive judgments of right and wrong seem to operate independently of explicit religious commitments.

If intuitive moral judgments can be independent of explicit religious commitment, then surely co-operation can be too. Any way to get people together with a common goal will produce co-operation. For example: soccer clubs, joining the army during a time of war etc.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2010, 16:26:00 PM »

As is obvious from us skeptics being able to co-ordinate events etc.
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Lilli
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 07:36:54 AM »

Seeing as humans are inherently violent, tribal groups.... it does seem that religion does lead to co-operation in tribal groups (ie, church denominations), albeit in tribal and violent ways. It still lacks enough cohesion to bring "all the people together", IMHO.

Why the obsession with 'bringing all the people together'? All people are not the same, and shouldn't be the same, and the only thing that should be a clearly defined similarity between us should be the ability to choose and to act out of those choices. I don't care if you follow a moral code because the church convinced you to or because of some logical deduction you have made regarding the societal consequences of your actions. As long as society in general is in a state of evolution (ie moving forward, progressing) rather than a state of decline, I am happy.
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 08:45:33 AM »

I agree. Also, the trouble with people who "co-operate" under a religious banner is that some religions tends to be exclusive - i.e. we are right and everyone else is wrong. So religion may be able to get people to co-operate but it is also probably one of the biggest causes of division (war, persecution, genocide). One of the first things I noticed after becoming an atheist is that I was a lot more tolerant of people's differences.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 09:33:53 AM »

Quote from: Lilli
Why the obsession with 'bringing all the people together'? All people are not the same, and shouldn't be the same, and the only thing that should be a clearly defined similarity between us should be the ability to choose and to act out of those choices.

Quote from: StevoMuso
religion may be able to get people to co-operate but it is also probably one of the biggest causes of division (war, persecution, genocide)

Trust me on this one, I'm not what you would consider "normal", and I'm usually the first one to object if you would say we all have to be "the same". However it would be nice if we could rid ourselves of the instinct to demolish any group that differs from us. That is what I'm getting at. I didn't say we need to all be the same, but getting along in some sort of "agree to disagree" manner would go a long way. It's an impossible goal of course, given the deep religious and social divides at play in the world. That is what I lament.

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Hermes
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2010, 10:35:33 AM »

some religions tends to be exclusive - i.e. we are right and everyone else is wrong.
I would imagine this applies to all religions?   The attitude of superiority is universal among religions - that attitude of I'm going to heaven and you're going to burn in hell.
I didn't say we need to all be the same, but getting along in some sort of "agree to disagree" manner would go a long way. It's an impossible goal of course, given the deep religious and social divides at play in the world. That is what I lament.
Fortunately we have come a long way from the inquisition to the secular state.   The problem lies predominantly with states that are not secular.
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2010, 13:53:48 PM »

So ... the answer is ... WE are right and EVERYONE else is WRONG ... so let's destroy them all ... hahahaaa ... as commanded by our No-God  Evil Bwuaahahahaaa
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