The religious can be empathetic towards their own kind, but those who are non-religious tend to be broadly, even compassionate to others they share nothing in common with including even animals, plants, and even protists.
This study cleanly dovetails with the finding that religionists are brain-damaged in their pre-frontal cortex. The take-home is that, unless we find out mitigating benefits, reducing religion-based damage is in the interest of our own survival.
This is consistent with my personal observations.
Makes perfect sense...me: I need to help!
Them: it's up to gawd
“Overall, this research suggests that although less religious people tend to be less trusted in the U.S., when feeling compassionate, they may actually be more inclined to help their fellow citizens than more religious people,” Willer said.
I agree that sometimes the religious people have "reputational concerns" whether it be their reputation on "judgment day" or their reputation with their fellow church goers.
I remember the first time I was moved to donate a large sum of money that I really couldn't afford, but I just couldn't live with myself if I hadn't. So, I guess it was my own reputation with myself after seeing images of the devastation. I tend to be more realistic for my budget nowadays. I don't like to have my donations listed publicly, though I know some people who seem to only volunteer or donate money if they get recognition for it.
"Simple. My God (if you accept Him) will look after you, so I have no need to [look after you]."
Good post. I have seen a number of such surveys on this, but this is one of the most plain. I suspect that one of the main temptations for becoming religious in the first place, or remaining in one, is that, it gives you a clearly marked off zone to set limits to where you need to show empathy, and enables you to limit the obligations of conscience only to those most like you in the same congregation.
But if you only pay the slightest of attention you will notice Gods often seem to dos absolutely nothing.