Friday, November 21, 2008

It isn't religion that makes us do good things

Believers often claim that religion is a force for good because it inspires so many people to do good things. I've even seen it claimed that the good feeling that people get after doing good things is a result of religion, and is not possible without faith.

Let's not try to make the ridiculous claim that atheists can't be good people. Despite what even the most religious reader might claim, everybody knows (if they even have a little knowledge of atheists) that atheists are generally good people and do good things, too.

Here's what I think. People do good things not because of religion, but because it is hard-wired in us to do good! We were given a tendency to pro-social behaviour by the social context of our evolution. Religion is only an excuse that people use to do good things. I find it hard to believe that these people wouldn't do good things if not for their religion compelling them to.

2 comments:

Caitlin said...

We aren't born 'religious', but we are born 'good' (in my opinion). And no, we don't always stay that way... funny how some people stray from the latter once religion comes into play.

Dale Roberts said...

Dale's Rules of Religion
Pope - Random Nazi
Bishops - Child Abuse Supervisors
Holy City - Dunno but lets have a fight
Creed - Keep the money rolling in
Holy book - 'Myths and Lies'
Fellowship - American and Fundamentalist
Faith - we will be saved!
Agenda - Control and Wealth
Moral Code - Don't do as we do, do as we say!
Language - just keep mentioning the carpenter and we will get away with it!