Conservatives like to proclaim that liberals because they often use situational ethics can and will do anything. Without a creed and a God than anything is permissible so goes their theory. But all alone it has been those who are convinced of society’s norms are the ones that think anything is permissible for them. Studies show that religious people do not behave more morally than atheists. Yet if you ask any Christian they would believe they are more moral than atheists.
Now the studies did show American Christians do most of the charitable giving on Sunday and they even watched less porn on Sunday. But they made up for it the rest of the week where there were no statistical differences between Christians and others.
If you are an atheist and do not believe God or the saints are there to assist you in crises it seems to me you would be much more likely to rely on family, community, and friends. After all that is all you have to rely on. And if you rely on family community and friends it is more likely you would work to nurture and maintain those things. But someone who believes God will intervene on their behalf would not be as willing to compromise and nurture these relationships because they can always call on God in-a-pinch. God will look after the strangers in our midst, so I do not have to.
One study showed that trust in the rule of law , is also a predictor of moral behavior. If one believes transgressors are being punished and no one is seen above the law there is better moral behavior. “And indeed, when the rule of law is strong, religious belief declines, and so does distrust against atheists.” Maybe this is why the current crop of religious right does not care about the rule of law. It distracts or can even substitute to a certain degree for God. The rule of law works against the spread of religious beliefs. May I suggest here this is why probably on a collective unconscious level the religious right is so comfortable with President Trump and his almost disdain for the rule of law.
In another study ‘researchers found that believers act more morally than nonreligious people only when interacting with other members of their own religious community’. This may explain the far right’s problems with POCs. For them to act morally they have to be connected with people who act and believe as they do. Otherwise without those bonds their values become loss. The researchers say ‘Such selectivity makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. If, as some scientists hypothesize, religion evolved to increase social cohesion, it shouldn’t just make you “blindly nice to everybody; it should make you more virtuous when you are interacting with others of the same faith.”
So this would appear to say if you parse it out that xenophobia and all the isms are products of the religious need to perpetuate itself and its communities at the expense of others. Hmm sound familiar?*
*I used the information from this article from The Conversation 'Are religious people more moral?'
October 23, 2017 8.14pm EDT