Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

Are Some Religions More Compassionate Than Others?

Why do we have some people who are very religious who look at the world and other people in very compassionate ways and we have other people who are very religious and they look at the world in very negative ways?

Do certain types of religions foster different kinds of beliefs? It really depends a lot on the individual who is participating in that religion and what ideas in that context they hold onto.  If we look at the Christian tradition or the Muslim tradition or the Jewish tradition there are lots of people who are enormously compassionate and loving and wanting to help other people.  There are also people who are very hateful and very angered at people who don't agree with them or who don't see things the same way that they do. 


On the other hand, Buddhist and Hindu practices tend to be directed a little bit more on the notion of connectedness and interconnectedness and oneness.  They also can foster tremendous senses of compassion and love for other people, but sometimes they also go awry. 

So that's actually one of the big questions that I don't think we have the true answer to yet, which is why do we have some people who are very religious who look at the world and other people in very compassionate ways and we have other people who are very religious and they look at the world in very negative ways.  We don't fully know if it's just the doctrine that people are holding onto, or whether its the neural connections in their brain initially that lead them down a path of being more angry or being more loving.  

So this to me is a very important area for us to study going forward to try to better understand how all of the different traditions have an impact on the ways in which people believe, in the ways in which they think, and in terms of being compassionate.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

LIVE EVENT | Radical innovation: Unlocking the future of human invention

Innovation in manufacturing has crawled since the 1950s. That's about to speed up.

Big Think LIVE

Add event to calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo


Keep reading Show less

Two MIT students just solved Richard Feynman’s famed physics puzzle

Richard Feynman once asked a silly question. Two MIT students just answered it.

Surprising Science

Here's a fun experiment to try. Go to your pantry and see if you have a box of spaghetti. If you do, take out a noodle. Grab both ends of it and bend it until it breaks in half. How many pieces did it break into? If you got two large pieces and at least one small piece you're not alone.

Keep reading Show less

Unfiltered lessons of a female entrepreneur

Join Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and best-selling author Charles Duhigg as he interviews Victoria Montgomery Brown, co-founder and CEO of Big Think.

Big Think LIVE

Women today are founding more businesses than ever. In 2018, they made up 40% of new entrepreneurs, yet in that same year, they received just 2.2% of all venture capital investment. The playing field is off-balance. So what can women do?

Keep reading Show less

Why ‘Christian nationalists’ are less likely to wear masks and social distance

In a recent study, researchers examined how Christian nationalism is affecting the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Catholic priest wearing a facemask and face shield blesses a hospital on August 6, 2020 in Manila, Philippines

Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
Coronavirus
  • A new study used survey data to examine the interplay between Christian nationalism and incautious behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The researchers defined Christian nationalism as "an ideology that idealizes and advocates a fusion of American civic life with a particular type of Christian identity and culture."
  • The results showed that Christian nationalism was the leading predictor that Americans engaged in incautious behavior.
Keep reading Show less
Sex & Relationships

Two-thirds of parents say technology makes parenting harder

Parental anxieties stem from the complex relationship between technology, child development, and the internet's trove of unseemly content.

Scroll down to load more…
Quantcast