Posts Tagged ‘Ara Norenzayan’

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Faith, Hope & Charity

In Christianity & Atheism on July 2, 2010 by thesignalinthenoise Tagged: , , ,

Arthur Brooks has undertaken significant research finding that atheists are decidedly less charitable than their God-fearing counterparts. Indeed, his research discloses that people of faith even give more money to wholly secular charities than their non-believing brethren, by any measure.  In Gross National Happiness, Brooks notes that atheists donate less blood and are less likely to offer change to homeless people on the street.  Since giving to charity makes one happy, Brooks speculates that this could be one reason why atheists are so miserable, referencing a 2004 study finding that twice as many religious people say that they are very happy with their lives, while the secular are twice as likely to say that they feel like failures. In a review published in Science, psychologists Ara Norenzayan and Azim Shariff discuss research on the connection between faith and morality. In one of their own studies, they primed half the participants with a spirituality-themed word jumble (including the words divine and God) and gave the other half the same task with nonspiritual words. Then, they gave the participants $10 each and told them that they could either keep it or share their cash reward with another (anonymous) subject. Ultimately, the spiritual-jumble group parted with more than twice as much money as the control.

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