Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Across societies, religious folks are fairer, study finds

This science story in the New York Times was intriguing for it's finding that strangers in a WalMart were more likely to be fair to each other, than were people who lived in kinship clans. One finding regarding religion particularly caught my eye:

"People belonging to a modern “world religion,” like the Islamic faith of the Orma cattle herders in Kenya or the Christian faith of the Dolgan reindeer herders in Siberia, tended to share more of their prize than did adherents of local religions. As larger communities became possible after the invention of agriculture, the researchers write in Science, 'intersocietal competition may have favored those religious systems that galvanize pro-social behavior in broader communities, perhaps using both supernatural incentives (for example, hell) and recurrent rituals that intensify group solidarity.'"

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