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If someone has already posted this, sorry for the repeated info.

The article boils down to this:

"When researchers ask people to report on their own behaviors and attitudes, religious individuals claim to be more altruistic, compassionate, honest, civic and charitable than nonreligious ones. Even among twins, more religious siblings describe themselves are being more generous.

But when we look at actual behavior, these differences are nowhere to be found."

I didn't need a study to know this!


Gwendolyn2018 8 May 25

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There seems to be a form of the Dunning-Krueger effect in place here. The more self righteous you are, the less righteous you are and the less you can see how evil you really are. Perhaps we all start out with blinders on and it takes study, learning, and real experience to lose them.

Spot on!


Have asked this question before,but its been there any such thing as a truely "selfless" act????

Yes there is.
I'll give you a personal example from my life I was homeless during the great recession and after my divorce. I found a comfortable spot in the park to take a nap, when I woke up there was a bag from a local restaurant with a huge chicken Caesar salad in it and under the bag was two one hundred dollar bills held together with a paper clip.
I don't know who put it there, there was no note, nothing.
You can't convince me that wasn't selfless on some very nice persons part.

@Willow_Wisp I won't try to convince you. My only advice would be that you try to achieve the feeling that person got about his/her self by passing it on when you have the ability....then try to tell me that the person received nothing from their act of kindness.

@HankSherman Well I did feel good about my 10,000 plus hours of voluntary unsolicited community service, but now I clearly see that I'm obvious a greedy low life that simply struggled to enrich myself.
I'll make it a point to never do that again and I'm sorry about my vile self serving ways.

According to studies, no--no act is is truly selfless. Even if there is no ulterior motive, it makes us feel good to help others. Perhaps this feeling of well-being is an evolutionary trait; people prospered and helped others because it gave them self worth.

@Willow_Wisp Hank Sherman did not state that you are a greedy lowlife nor was his reply in any way intended to insult you or your intentions. Feeling good about helping someone is not self-serving: it is a part of good mental health.

@Gwendolyn2018 My response was sarcasm.

@Willow_Wisp Good--sarcasm is very often difficult to determine in writing.


What else should one expect; more moral, nicer, more generous, more 'loving, more peaceful and more BS. They have demonstrated how they truly act over and over throughout the years. Open any history book and one will clearly see where religion and its puppets fall in the 'more' category.

I tell Christians who are self-righteous about their "goodness" that atheists have the higher "moral" ground: we are ethical because we choose to be, exercise empathy, and know the consequences of chaos. Many Xtians are "good" because they fear hell.

@Gwendolyn2018 And we're not hell bent on taking over the government and forcing others to accept our stupid beliefs.

@Gwendolyn2018 I have an ex father-in-law who went back to his Pentecostal roots before he died because he "did not want to burn." He actually told me this.

@DenoPenno I became friendly with a guy in a chat room many years ago. His mother had been a pagan but on her deathbed, accepted Jesus. He saw it as hedging her bets, but she did so because she feared hell--didn't have to be there to know that.

@JackPedigo I have heard some atheists on this site saying that religion should be banned--that is pretty strong. However, I strongly and completely agree that religion should be left out of politics.

@Gwendolyn2018 The constitution (at least the one most rational people follow) forbids the mixing of the two. I think banning would only have a negative effect. Besides now our side is gaining strength and soon the religious will just be another silly tiny minority.
I remember an article in the "Humanist" magazine about existential Risk Analysis. Basically, religiosity is a universal condition and it is estimated other intelligent life forms may have gone extinct because they couldn't get their act together. I still have the article.

@JackPedigo Banning religion would not get rid of religion. I just want it out of government.


An their fear and hate of Atheist.

I have to say that only a few Xtians have expressed fear and hate for me, and I am very honest about my "status." Of course, I am a wonderful person. πŸ˜›


I'd like them to explain all the fear and hate of LGBT and other religions.

Their self-righteousness gives them a sense of superiority which they would not otherwise have--not that they would admit it. This is ironic as Xtians are supposed to be humble and let god take care of others. After all, god did say that vengeance is his, not theirs.


This does not surprise me. What I find most interesting is that when I offer to help, people often wonder what is my motive. It is just my nature to try to help when I see the need and am in a position to help. I do not understand this mistrust at all.

I think that my experiences have been different from some those of some atheists. I have never had anyone question my motives for helping them. In fact, at times, I think my altruism shows them that their views of atheists are skewed.

@Gwendolyn2018 I grew up in the Midwest, at a time when everyone still helped each other, without having been asked for help. When I moved to California, that changed, and people were suspicious of my actions. The same is true here in Arizona. In California, people got used to me...and some are getting used to me here. But new people are always surprised and leery.

@MsKathleen I was born in OK, but we lived in the backwoods and I didn't have much exposure to people outside of the family. We moved to Northern Cali when I was six but lived in "Oklahoma by the sea" and didn't have much exposure to people who had been established in Cali for years/generations. The town kids were not kind to us.

However, it was a remote area/county and people were largely friendly with each other. I was told that the atmosphere was much different than that of Southern Cali where people were suspicious of others. Oregon people also had the reputation of being suspicious and unfriendly, but in vacationing there on several occasions, I never found them to be.

When I moved to MO almost 23 years ago, people were friendly but suspicious! In the small towns which I lived next to, people were also curious, but in the larger towns, there are too many people to note the"outsiders."

@Gwendolyn2018 when one lives where nearly everyone is ultra-conservative and one is openly liberal, on3 is always an outsider. Los Angeles is a special place. Most people are highly class conscious and into status symbols...basically selfish individuals, so they do not understand charitable people.


Bullshit. If they're as thoughtful, altruistic, charitable and selfless as they think they are then where does all that ignorance, judgmentality, and the general stupidity of the religious right come from?

Even a warthog thinks it's pretty.

Are you sure. πŸ€”πŸ˜‹

@oldFloyd Well, I don't have a direct inroad into a warthog's self-image but they're reproducing so they must find each other attractive.

@Sgt_Spanky good point, I was thinking platypus. πŸ˜†

@oldFloyd Now that's a messed up critter.

I don't know about warthogs, but Xtians think that they have the word of GOD which gives them the inside track. Too bad that they don't exactly understand what Jesus said about not judging and taking care of the poor.

@Gwendolyn2018 Tell a Xian we should help the poor today and they'll just decry it as socialism by the libtards. Xians have gotten good at rewriting the messages of Jesus as needed to be more in line with their conservative values. That's where the prosperity gospel came from.

@Sgt_Spanky I never categorize all people--males, females, Xtians, pagans, atheist, even Republicans, etc.--by claiming that "all" in the category are alike. Many Xtians are fleeced by other Xtians. Some are sincere in their mission even if the mission is based on lies and half-truths.

@Gwendolyn2018 Problem is if they ever wanted to get to the reality beyond those lies and half-truths they'd have to be willing to acknowledge they're being lied to by their faith and that ain't gonna happen.

@Sgt_Spanky It happens to some--it happened to me. And the question of "lying" still applies: if the person perpetuates the lies believes they are truths, are they liars? My mother believed in the Garden of Eden and used to get angry when I mentioned evolution because she was "NOT AN APE AND DIDN'T COME FROM APES!" (as she vehemently put it). Her pastor believed as she did and so did the people I lived among.


Religion simply explained…….

For most, I think it is the last part.


If you are into religion, you are into fake claims, so whats to stop you.

I find it interesting that many Xtians are judgmental about sexuality--however, many/most go ahead and indulge anyway. Those who are most vocal about gays are most likely in the closet.


They believe lies, so it stands to reason that they would tell lies.
At least that has been my experience.

I honestly do not see the correlation. But I do agree that they have no reservation about lying.

@MsKathleen You don't have to. I said it was my experience that they do.

@KKGator I know, but I do try to understand why others see things the way they do. I just do not understand how believing lies makes them lie.

@MsKathleen They are not rooted in reality. Nor do they seem to be rooted in their own personal morals. They just seem to want to appear that they are.
All the while, using that as an excuse to judge others, and try to tell everyone else how to live.

@KKGator Thanks, I get it.

Is it a lie to them if they believe it? My mother bought into Jesus all the way, but she was delusional about what it means to be Xtian. She was also mentally ill.

@Gwendolyn2018 Some people truly believe the lies. Others use the lies to justify their own.
I think those that truly believe in gods are mentally ill.
I've always believed that.
No disrespect toward you or your mother.
Religion preys on people.

@KKGator Mental illness runs in my maternal side of the family; I had large issues with depression when I was younger. Leaving Xtianity helped me in many ways. Paganism gave me self esteem for several reasons; now, I call myself a pagan atheist. However, I know pagans who are totally clueless--in fact, most of them whom I have met are just as delusional, just not harmful as are many Xtians.


I met a calvary chapel Navy veteran Christian at the park the other day.
His wife had recently died of stage four cancer of some kind and he's on an oxygen bottle.
He was told his heart and lungs were in such bad condition that he only had two years left, that was seven years ago.
He had seen me parked there so often the last couple of years that he came over to talk with me, and watch me smoke with fascination since he had had to give up smoking seven years ago. He even confessed that me smoking was why he had came over when I offered to put it out, and insisted that I continue.
Harry has a brother in law that's a musician with Motley Crue their guitarist Mick Mars.
I think Harry was lonely, we spoke for about two and a half hours.
He was very intent on explaining Christianity to me, and shocked as he steadily came to realize I knew at least as much about the Bible as he did, and certainly more about Christianity and it's history than he.
I was up front about not believing now.
You know what I didn't do? I didn't at any point challenge him about anything in his faith other than telling him I didn't believe. Why would I do that to an old man with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel?
At some point I told him about my spiritual quest after my divorce and he was honestly stunned that I an atheist put in over 10,000 hours of voluntary public service.
Honestly it's a weird experience being called a "Good Samaritan" but to Harry's credit he quickly pointed out that Samaritans didn't believe as the Jews did, and he was convinced that if Jesus was telling the story today it would be the story of the "Good Atheist" because it's how we help one another that counts, not our opinions.
I wish more Christians were like Harry.

Some individual christians are very good people (and I assume this is true as well with Muslims, Jews, Hindus, etc). It is the rules set up by the organized religion which is where the problems are and the trouble starts.

I would not see the wisdom in challenging the beliefs of any person, whether or no they had β€œone foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel”.
Thank you for your service to humanity. I do believe we are all responsible for each other.

I don't challenge their beliefs unless they literally ask me to do so, and some do. My sister is Southern Baptist, has cancer, had a heart attack last year, and her adrenal gland shut down this year. She would have died a few weeks ago had she not already been in the hospital when her BP dropped to 50/30.

She no longer believes that anything is eternal, she doesn't want to live forever even in heaven, knows that evolution took place, and says it is god's place to judge others. And yet, she doesn't wonder why god afflicted her and her faith gives her some peace. She knows that I am an atheist but has never said a word to me about going to hell, etc. She also says that if her faith gives her comfort, that is her business. I agree. If Xtians were all like her, the world would be a different place.

@Gwendolyn2018 Exactly! You do you is the very essence of cultural tolerance, its destruction is antithetical to a free society. It's the intolerance that's the problem, so why be an avatar of intolerance? Evangelicals are under the impression that opinions hold the secret to salvation, I think opinions are irrelevant to all but the person that holds those opinions. It's a tricky notion and easy to get wrong especially if like me you were forcefully coerced into religions of intolerance. It takes some maturing to leave fight or flight mode after being traumatized like that.

@Willow_Wisp We are in total agreement. As I tell my composition students, there are "truths" and there are facts. Facts are truths, but many "truths" are subjective opinions. And even then, facts can be based on erroneous evidence, i.e. the sun never revolved about the earth, but people believed that it did based on their observations and a lack of technology to know otherwise.


The religious beliefs are a main source of hate and prejudice

bobwjr Level 10 May 25, 2021

I disagree, my friend: Humans are the only source of hate and prejudice, and they use religion to validate their hates.

@Gwendolyn2018 Religion is used to make their hate and prejudice respectable.

@TomMcGiverin I go along with that and that was my point!

@Gwendolyn2018 Your point about hate and prejudice is extremely well put.

@anglophone I know that if religion did not exist, not much would change about the human "experience." There would be still be wars, prejudice, and all of the ills that humans embody. These negative aspects would just have different validations.


No surprise here. Religious people tend to cover up or put on a front of being more nice, moral, etc. because they want to impress their religious peers and also to convince themselves they are getting to go to heaven.

They want to fool themselves, as well.

@Gwendolyn2018 True, but their primary mission is fooling others, like their neighbors and fellow citizens, that they are righteous people.

@TomMcGiverin I think that the mission to deliberately fool others is largely leadership, i.e. Joel Osteen. I have known many Xtians who are truly sincere about about trying to save the lost. Again, if they believe the lies, are they liars?

@Gwendolyn2018 Not sure that it's mostly the leaders who are into fooling people. I have met way too many rank and file Christians who are hypocrites and phonies, that are into fooling those around them about their real character. As to whether believing lies makes you a liar, I'm not sure about that. Depends on the individual.

@TomMcGiverin Most Xtians based their subjective beliefs on their religious leaders; they even model their behaviors after them. If Osteen wants a mansion, then the people in his church at least want a nice house. One of the biggest hypocrisies I see is that Xtians think that they are forgiven for anything they do--so, adultery and cheating on their taxes isn't a big deal: just repent. They do not realize that intent is the issue--just not the sin.

@Gwendolyn2018 I agree, people's bad intentions matter the most, because they say everything about their character.

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