I thought religion was supposed to be evil

From here:

Religion binds individuals into groups through habits of altruism, creating relationships of trust strong enough to defeat destructive emotions. Far from refuting religion, the Neo-Darwinists have helped us understand why it matters. No one has shown this more elegantly than the political scientist Robert Putnam. In the 1990s he became famous for the phrase “bowling alone”: More people were going bowling, but fewer were joining bowling teams. Individualism was slowly destroying our capacity to form groups. A decade later, in his book “American Grace,” he showed that there was one place where social capital could still be found: religious communities. Putnam’s research showed that frequent church- or synagogue-goers were more likely to give money to charity, do volunteer work, help the homeless, donate blood, help a neighbor with housework, spend time with someone who was feeling depressed, offer a seat to a stranger or help someone find a job. Religiosity as measured by church or synagogue attendance is, he found, a better predictor of altruism than education, age, income, gender or race. Religion is the best antidote to the individualism of the consumer age. The idea that society can do without it flies in the face of history and, now, evolutionary biology. This may go to show that God has a sense of humor. It certainly shows that the free societies of the West must never lose their sense of God.

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One Response to I thought religion was supposed to be evil

  1. Tim Lambert says:

    These attempts to form an atheistic/secularistic community are doomed to failure. In Edward Feser’s book “The Last Superstition” he showed quite saliently that there’s no positive content to atheism and more generally secularism. At their root they consist of nothing more than a rejection of the traditional religious conception of community (along with calls for adherence to the virtues: wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice).

    Individualism is paramount in the culture in America. No need for moderation, you indulge in what you want to indulge in. No need for justice in a culture that puts a premium on revenge. No need for courage when there’s nothing you think worthy to fight for. No need for wisdom when you can dictate your own truth.

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