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October 2021

''And who is my neighbor?'': Intrinsic religion as a source of universal compassion

Author(s): Floyd, R. B., Meyer, J. M., Winner, A. L.

Journal/Book: J Sci Stud Relig. 1999; 38: Brigham Young Univ 875 Swkt, Sociology Dept, Provo, UT 84602, USA. Soc Scientific Study Religion. 445-457.

Abstract: Are the intrinsically religious less likely to help a person if that person's behavior violates conventional values? If so, is it because they have antipathy toward the person or toward the behavior? To answer these questions, 90 undergraduates were given the opportunity to help either of two same-sex peers win a monetary prize. About one peer, they Knew nothing; from the other, they had received two self-disclosing notes. The first note either did or did not reveal that the discloser was gay; the second revealed that the discloser wanted the money for an activity that either would or would not promote homosexuality. Participants scoring high on measures of devout, intrinsic religion helped the gay discloser less than the non-gay, even when their help would not promote homosexuality. These results suggest that devout, intrinsic religion is associated with antipathy toward value violators, not just toward value-violating acts; it is associated with compassion that is circumscribed, not universal.

Note: Article Batson CD, Univ Kansas, Dept Psychol, Lawrence,KS 66045 USA


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