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'Religious People Less Driven By Compassion Than Are Atheists And Agnostics'

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    Religious People Less Driven By Compassion Than Are Atheists And Agnostics, Study Says.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1468006.html
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    Doesn't surprise me in the least. When a person doesn't think Big Brother is hanging over them watching their every move, and deliberating on whether their acts will send them to eternal bliss or agony, then of course their acts are going to be driven by compassion, and not on fear or desire or simply to please magic man. Atheists and agnostics do good for good's sake only. It comes as no surprise that the most secular or atheistic countries on earth also have huge social welfare institutions, and give more foreign aid per capita than other countries, and regularly poll as being the happiest on earth.

    Edit: Wish the neg brigade would quote and respond to my post instead of throwing a hissy fit and running away.
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    Agreed. When your desire to help another person is genuine and heartfelt and not designed to be an act to put you in Gods good books in means that much more.
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    I don't believe emotional charity is the best and most reliable way. People's moods change, not everyone helpless can give a good pitch. When someone needs help, they need it. In other words, compassion can fluctuate, along with a whole lot of other problems if this was what we relied on.

    This study doesn't conclude Atheists give more to Charity, pretty sure religious people win that one.

    In Islam, charity is obligatory, since God knows humans best, the majority will not do something out of compassion. ie. You don't have a choice, you pretty much have to give Zakat, whether you want to or not. Then there's Sadaqah (which is always encouraged in Islamic theology based on compassion), which is volunteer based charity.
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    who cares why people do charitable things? i think the main thing is to do it. i'm sure a similar proportion of religious people are motivated by generosity or whatnot but religions requirements are a good driving force to what would have been the apathetic/stingy proportion of the population.
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    (Original post by Perseveranze)
    Wonder how many Muslims they asked.

    I don't believe emotional charity is the best and most reliable way. People's moods change, not everyone helpless can give a good pitch. When someone needs help, they need it.

    That's why in Islam charity is obligatory. ie. You don't have a choice, you pretty much have to give Zakat, whether you want to or not. Then there's Sadaqah, which is volunteer based charity and that I suppose can be somewhat based on compassion.
    But that's the whole point. Charity in the case of Islam is obligatory. Its a requirement. In terms of compassion, it's meaningless.

    How many would still give were that ruling to be destroyed?

    What the OP is saying is that when your motivations aren't based on a religious background, they tend to have more compassion. You aren't giving out of obligation. You are giving under total free will.
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    (Original post by Enigma.)
    But that's the whole point. Charity in the case of Islam is obligatory. Its a requirement. In terms of compassion, it's meaningless.

    How many would still give were that ruling to be destroyed?

    What the OP is saying is that when your motivations aren't based on a religious background, they tend to have more compassion. You aren't giving out of obligation. You are giving under total free will.
    I believe compassion is based on a persons experience and upbringing. A religious person may have the same compassion as an atheist does but will donate in the name of religion instead of humanity/compassion.
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    (Original post by Perseveranze)
    I don't believe emotional charity is the best and most reliable way. People's moods change, not everyone helpless can give a good pitch. When someone needs help, they need it. In other words, compassion can fluctuate, along with a whole lot of other problems if this was what we relied on.

    This study doesn't conclude Atheists give more to Charity, pretty sure religious people win that one.

    In Islam, charity is obligatory, since God knows humans best, the majority will not do something out of compassion. ie. You don't have a choice, you pretty much have to give Zakat, whether you want to or not. Then there's Sadaqah (which is always encouraged in Islamic theology based on compassion), which is volunteer based charity.
    What you desribe isn't charity. Charity is voluntary. What you describe is an obligated tax from "God". Really sucks the humanity out of the world, that does.

    Funny how assert (without any evidence) that the majority will not do something out of compassion, when I've already stated (and you can freely look up the facts) that secular, atheistic, democratic countries (as in the people freely elect representatives that carry out their will on their behalf, and are replaced if they fail to do so) have huge social welfare institutions and give more foreign aid per capita than other countries. And as a result have amongst the highest living standards and social equality in the world.
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    I stumbled this earlier. Very interesting to read. It didn't surprise me of the religious right in the US (their purported beliefs and their social and political opinions are at odd's ends with each other), but having been raised Christian in the UK (though atheist now) my experiences of religious people have been very different. Honestly, some of them are the most generous people I've met. I wouldn't argue it further than that though because scientific evidence trumps anecdotal evidence every time.
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    (Original post by Perseveranze)
    I don't believe emotional charity is the best and most reliable way. People's moods change, not everyone helpless can give a good pitch. When someone needs help, they need it. In other words, compassion can fluctuate, along with a whole lot of other problems if this was what we relied on.

    This study doesn't conclude Atheists give more to Charity, pretty sure religious people win that one.

    In Islam, charity is obligatory, since God knows humans best, the majority will not do something out of compassion. ie. You don't have a choice, you pretty much have to give Zakat, whether you want to or not. Then there's Sadaqah (which is always encouraged in Islamic theology based on compassion), which is volunteer based charity.
    char·i·ty - noun
    :1.The voluntary giving of help, typically money, to those in need.

    Zakat is not charity, it is a tax.
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    (Original post by killik)
    I believe compassion is based on a persons experience and upbringing. A religious person may have the same compassion as an atheist does but will donate in the name of religion instead of humanity/compassion.
    But whilst their compassion may well come from within it is always going to be juxtaposed by the forced nature of their religion. They may want to give, but that's always contrasted with the belief God likes charitable acts.

    Their religion removes the humanity and compassion behind it by creating this reward system. It's not really giving if they believe they will be rewarded for it in an afterlife.

    An atheist has no such system or belief. If an atheist gives (under normal circumstances) it is purely out of compassion.
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    (Original post by Perseveranze)
    Then there's Sadaqah (which is always encouraged in Islamic theology based on compassion), which is volunteer based charity.
    I can probably guess that less people give money to that than your tax.

    Here's a question, if you are required to give up money for charity by Islamic teachings, which isn't compassion at all, which pretty much shows that atheist/agnostics give solely out of compassion, which groups does the money go to?

    Whilst non-muslims may give to any number of charities all with different causes, where does your tax money go, let me guess, is it all internal? Wonder what the chances are that the tax goes on helping AIDS patients or oppressed non-muslim minorities.
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    (Original post by Algorithm69)
    What you desribe isn't charity. Charity is voluntary. What you describe is an obligated tax from "God". Really sucks the humanity out of the world, that does.
    Better than not helping the needy and relying on "feeling sorry for them" to ever think about helping them.

    (Original post by Algorithm69)
    Funny how assert (without any evidence) that the majority will not do something out of compassion, when I've already stated (and you can freely look up the facts) that secular, atheistic, democratic countries (as in the people freely elect representatives that carry out their will on their behalf, and are replaced if they fail to do so) have huge social welfare institutions and give more foreign aid per capita than other countries.
    1. Welfare (benefits) is an Islamic institution, first brought in by Umar(ra), the second Caliphate. So, I have no idea what your point is.


    2. Most of the people that give charity to those the governments can't/don't reach in these "secular countries" are actually Christians/Religious people. You're also living in a more economically developed country, so what little you give in ratio may still be higher due to higher level of wealth compared to charity given by poorer nations.


    (Original post by Enigma.)
    But that's the whole point. Charity in the case of Islam is obligatory. Its a requirement. In terms of compassion, it's meaningless.
    You give Sadaqah (volunteery charity) out of compassion and you do the same for Zakat. For people who do not care, and have no compassion, then Zakat basically says, ok, we've been nice to you, encouraged you to give all year out, and you still don't care for those people starving of hunger; so we have the power to take 2.5 million of your 100 million wealth by force.

    ie. People dying from hunger are more important than your petty love for money.

    (Original post by Enigma.)
    How many would still give were that ruling to be destroyed?
    Probably the same amount that give out of pure compassion do, much less. If you read and understand Islamic Theology, the religion is based on charity, it's just a fundemental part. Even take Zakat out of the picture, you would still be giving to charity just like any other person is due to righteous intentions.

    (Original post by Enigma.)
    What the OP is saying is that when your motivations aren't based on a religious background, they tend to have more compassion. You aren't giving out of obligation. You are giving under total free will.
    And I simply stated the flaw in that. You only give out of compassion, not because the person might really need your help. Compassion is purely based on how you might feel on any case that is presented to you.

    The article, does not say that Atheists give more to Charity compared to Religious (because they don't). The person who's starving of hunger at the end will probably want someone to help him regardless of reason, than wait for someone to feel sorry enough to eventually want to help him.


    Islam is the only religion that gives dignity to the poor. [Ramsey Clark, Former U.S. Attorney General]
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    (Original post by prog2djent)
    I can probably guess that less people give money to that than your tax.

    Here's a question, if you are required to give up money for charity by Islamic teachings, which isn't compassion at all, which pretty much shows that atheist/agnostics give solely out of compassion, which groups does the money go to?

    Whilst non-muslims may give to any number of charities all with different causes, where does your tax money go, let me guess, is it all internal? Wonder what the chances are that the tax goes on helping AIDS patients or oppressed non-muslim minorities.
    Dude, I just go on this site go to http://www.muslimaid.org/ type and click Sadaqah or whatever option you want. There is other methods, but each to their own.

    I agree that an atheist will donate money out of compassion whist a religious person will donate out of obligation or give sadaqah (not obligatory but will be looking for a return in the hereafter). Personally I donate out of compassion and if my religion is saying I will be getting good deeds by giving into my compassion of donating then I don't see how I become less compassionate than a person with no religion ;/.
    The Zakat (Tax) goes to the poor, if a person is poor them self and does not fit into the criteria of paying Zakat then its not a obligation for them. Zakat does not need to be money it could be food or resources or time likewise with Sadaqah.

    Compassion is an emotion that all human can achieve, I dont think its fair to be judgemental on ones compassion for another.
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    (Original post by Perseveranze)
    Better than not helping the needy and relying on "feeling sorry for them" to ever think about helping them.
    But this isn't the point being discussed. Of course plentiful charity based on obligation is pragmatically preferable to scarce compassion-based charity, but the issue being discussed is whether or not religious people are charitable due to the obligation or due to actually giving a crap about other people.
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    (Original post by prog2djent)

    Whilst non-muslims may give to any number of charities all with different causes, where does your tax money go, let me guess, is it all internal? Wonder what the chances are that the tax goes on helping AIDS patients or oppressed non-muslim minorities.
    Already answered above, not repeating. As for helping non-muslims, it's done in sadaqah and we have a long history of it;


    In 1845, the onset of the Great Irish Famine resulted in over a million deaths. Ottoman Sultan Khaleefah Abdul-Majid I declared his intention to send 10,000 sterling to Irish farmers but Queen Victoria requested that the Sultan send only 1,000 sterling, because she had sent only 2,000 sterling herself. The Sultan sent the 1,000 sterling but also secretly sent 3 ships full of food. The English courts tried to block the ships, but the food arrived in Drogheda harbor and was left there by Ottoman Sailors. Due to this the Irish people, especially those in Drogheda, are friendly to the Turks.

    Source
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    (Original post by Steevee)
    char·i·ty - noun
    :1.The voluntary giving of help, typically money, to those in need.

    Zakat is not charity, it is a tax.
    Tax for the poor and needy. Doesn't really make a difference, the intended receivers are still the same, I guess in a sense it's more defined. One is obligatory and is intended with compassion, the other isn't and is solely reliable on compassion.

    Sadaqah then is the "compassionate" charity.
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    Doesn't suprise me.

    It's like the saying "Live like your mother is watching." I don't need to pretend like someone might be watching me to be a good person. Nor do i need the promise of 'reward' in the afterlife.

    But as someone else pointed out: It's more important that people give to charity than that they give 'for the right reasons'. I'd rather people acted with fake compassion then were honestly malicious. If the only thing that is stopping someone from being a theif murderer is the fear of god then i hope they never become an atheist.
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    (Original post by Perseveranze)
    Tax for the poor and needy. Doesn't really make a difference, the intended receivers are still the same, I guess in a sense it's more defined. One is obligatory and is intended with compassion, the other isn't and is solely reliable on compassion.

    Sadaqah then is the "compassionate" charity.
    Yes, it does make a difference. It's like calling a conscript a volunteer, is an oxymoron.
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    (Original post by Perseveranze)
    Better than not helping the needy and relying on "feeling sorry for them" to ever think about helping them.



    1. Welfare (benefits) is an Islamic institution, first brought in by Umar(ra), the second Caliphate. So, I have no idea what your point is.


    2. Most of the people that give charity to those the governments can't/don't reach in these "secular countries" are actually Christians/Religious people. You're also living in a more economically developed country, so what little you give in ratio may still be higher due to higher level of wealth compared to charity given by poorer nations.




    You give Sadaqah (volunteery charity) out of compassion and you do the same for Zakat. For people who do not care, and have no compassion, then Zakat basically says, ok, we've been nice to you, encouraged you to give all year out, and you still don't care for those people starving of hunger; so we have the power to take 2.5 million of your 100 million wealth by force.

    ie. People dying from hunger are more important than your petty love for money.



    Probably the same amount that give out of pure compassion do, much less. If you read and understand Islamic Theology, the religion is based on charity, it's just a fundemental part. Even take Zakat out of the picture, you would still be giving to charity just like any other person is due to righteous intentions.



    And I simply stated the flaw in that. You only give out of compassion, not because the person might really need your help. Compassion is purely based on how you might feel on any case that is presented to you.

    The article, does not say that Atheists give more to Charity compared to Religious (because they don't). The person who's starving of hunger at the end will probably want someone to help him regardless of reason, than wait for someone to feel sorry enough to eventually want to help him.


    Islam is the only religion that gives dignity to the poor. [Ramsey Clark, Former U.S. Attorney General]
    Putting a giant quote from somebody isn't going to further your cause.

    I never once made any point about the person on the receiving end.

    The point of this discussion/article is the comparison of the compassion levels between atheist givers and religious givers.

    And you destroy your own argument and I quote

    'You give Sadaqah (volunteery charity) out of compassion and you do the same for Zakat. For people who do not care, and have no compassion, then Zakat basically says, ok, we've been nice to you, encouraged you to give all year out, and you still don't care for those people starving of hunger; so we have the power to take 2.5 million of your 100 million wealth by force.'

    Here you have basically said that you are not giving out of COMPASSION you are giving because if you don't you will be stripped of it.

    This is not a compassionate act. It is a legal obligation.

    Its like a robbery. You can GIVE your money to the robber or he can take it with force. That doesn't mean you giving it is in any way compassionate.


    And please do not give me that overwhelmingly deluded argument that Islam treats the poor with dignity.

    I have lived in Saudi Arabia. I grew up there. I spent 11 years in the Eastern Province. The arabs treat the working class people who are usually immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and places in Africa like they are sub human. Dignity is an alien concept to these people.

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