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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Poll: Brits View Atheists As More Moral Than Believers, Religion More Harmful Than Good (VIDEO)

I am pleased to add my commentary to the article.

My Dad used to say, get your guards up when a person says, " I am a good Muslim (Hindu,  Christian, Sikh, Jain, Jew or other), trust me, I will get the job done". My Dad would say, the guy is more than likely not trust worthy, he is "using" God to hide behind something. Be wary of those who wear their religion on their sleeve, but good people do not shout - I am good because of my religion.

Morality is individualistic and comes from religions for those who are religious and from the fact of existence for those who do no believe in God. But morality is not the exclusive creation of Religion and it would be wrong to say Atheists have less morality than Theists. There is an asshole in every category of humanities and most in all groups are good people.

God or the System that created the world, has created everything in balance, different elements of the web work in tandem and cohesively, and due to the free will of humans and anomalies built into the nature, things go off balance. Quran (or science and generic wisdom) adds that we are made vice-regent of this planet, by the virtue of intelligence and ability to manage our own affairs unlike the other species that may disappear due to storms, fires, heat, cold, floods etc.  Indeed, the survival of humanity depends on how we manage our affairs. Quran 55-9, "So establish weight with justice and fall not short in the balance." This is where science can help us understand that elusive balance, and what does it take to keep it, and we have made significant advances, and still have to work on climate control.
 God has given us guidance and free will and it's up to us to figure out that balance and maintain it for our own good. God may not be there as we imagine, but it is a name given to the cause that created life, and the God-balance is there protecting and operating on its own schedule. God does not meddle with day to day details, or take sides with one and not the other,  though his grace will always be there for all, it is upto us to shape our destiny - full story at What is God doing in Phillipines at Huffington Post.

Mike Ghouse
foundation for PLuralism
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Poll: Brits View Atheists As More Moral Than Believers, Religion More Harmful Than Good (VIDEO  below)
Courtesy of Addicting info

An eye-opening survey conducted in the UK reveals a truth many in the United States will find shocking. When asked if atheists are more or less moral than religious people, our allies across the pond favor atheists.
The British feel those who identify as atheists are more likely to be good people. In fact, 12.5% of Britons believe atheists are more moral, while only 6% say atheists are less moral.
Fewer than a quarter of Britons believe religion is a force for good. On the contrary, over half believe religion does more harm than good. Even 20% of Britons who describe themselves as ‘very religious’ are on record stating religion is harmful to society.
The poll, conducted by Survation for the HuffingtonPost UK’s series Beyond Belief doesn’t address why Britons have come to this conclusion, however faith in God and religion is falling in America as well. Jerome Baggett, a professor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California told The San Francisco Business Times why he thinks people are retreating from religion in the United States,
“Religious institutions themselves have lost their legitimacy in the eyes of many Americans due to sexual and financial scandals, or political overreaching ‘by the so-called Christian right.'”
 Linda Woodhead, professor of the sociology of religion at Lancaster University, told The Huffington Post UK she found the results of the poll “striking,”
“This confirms something I’ve found in my own surveys and which leads me to conclude that religion has become a ‘toxic brand’ in the UK. What we are seeing is not a complete rejection of faith, belief in the divine, or spirituality, though there is some to that, but of institutional religion in the historic forms which are familiar to people.”
Woodhead explains the reason Britons are distancing themselves from religion are “numerous” and include: sex scandals involving Catholic priests and rabbis, as well as Islamist terror attacks and conflict in the Middle East,
“I’d add religious leaderships’ drift away from the liberal values, equality, tolerance, diversity, [which is] embraced by many of their own followers and often championed by non-religious and atheist people more forcefully”.
Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association had this to say,
“This survey just confirms what we know is the common sense of people in Britain today – that whether you are religious or not has very little to do with your morality. Most people understand that morality and good personal and social values are not tied to religious belief systems, but are the result of our common heritage and experience as human beings: social animals that care for each other and are kind to others because we understand that they are human too. Not only that, people understand that religious beliefs themselves can be harmful to morality: encouraging intolerance, inflexibility and the doing of harm in the name of a greater good. We only need to look around us to perceive that fact.”
In an unrelated video, noted American author, philosopher, and neuroscientist Sam Harris offers a detailed explanation of why he feels morality based on the Christian God is lacking.
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i3mX0YRrjM 
Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. He is commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post.  All about him is listed in several links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. 

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