Saturday, July 09, 2011

An interesting correlation?

"If we take the term ‘morally worse’ as purely descriptive, denoting people whose characters generally appear to be morally worse than average, and if we restrict our attention to those who have had some non-negligible degree of education, we find that people who have religious convictions are on the whole morally worse than people who lack them. Are the religious worse because they’re religious, or are they religious because they’re worse?

"The first direction of causation is well known, but it’s the second that is more prominent in everyday life. The religious (sociologically speaking) tend to be religious because religious belief provides them with a framework in which they can handle certain unattractive elements in themselves. In converts – those who take up religion without having been brought up in it, or without having previously taken it seriously – the correlation between religious belief and relative moral badness in the strictly descriptive sense (which is not incompatible with charm) is particularly striking."

Galen Strawson

1 comment:

norm said...

Some of the meanest people I have met were people of the cloth. Also, some of the kindest people I have met work as preachers. I think those of a religious bent are no different than regular people, some good, some bad. A good rule of thumb is that if a person is fond of telling you what a fine religious person they are, putting on airs, then keep a good eye on them because 9 times out of 10 they are on the make.