HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

BYSTANDER EFFECT - WHEN RELIGIOUS PEOPLE LET THEIR FAITH DO HARM
 
The bystander effect is interesting. People will not help a person even who has been stabbed if there are some other people around.

 
The bystander effect can come about a number of ways:

+ The rank and respect you have for the other who will not react – you look up to them thus you are influenced by what they do

+ The number of the bystanders which must be at least two – you feel it is not much about you when you are not the only one who will not get involved: diffusion of responsibility 

+ Anything that makes you see the victim as not being a proper member of society – eg an unborn baby or outcast

 

+ The feeling that most other people would not help either

 

+ The feeling that good will come from the harm you witness - faith

We can see how having a sense of God’s presence can lead to you feeling not responsible or not very responsible. Indeed it should lead which is why the doctrine is intrinsically bad. And more so when religion sees evil more in terms of lawbreaking than in terms of a person being hurt. The slate cannot be wiped clean though religion lies that it can.

If you feel responsible at the time, faith can soothe that and have you telling yourself: “It is in the past and I am no longer to blame for I cannot go back and fix it.” And you can tell yourself, “And why would I worry when it was not just me?”

 

With the bystander effect it takes one person to help before anybody else will do it. The reason is that we don't feel very responsible for what happens to the victim if other people are around. We feel that responsibility is shared among us all. That is cognitive dissonance at work.

One person among many who does not help is no more or less responsible than if he were on his own. If you do not help, you are the cause of that person's suffering as much as you would be if you were the only person there. The presence of others is not even relevant. Your responsibility is not reduced by other people being around. You are all individuals who can act. Our failure to recognise this is the number one reason why dangerous political parties and religion thrive so well. The members stay in them instead of looking for something better. That makes them complicit in the risk of harm and the harm done. Unless they are doing a lot to challenge the evil and the problems, they are complicit.

There is enough to promote the bystander effect without religion. To be in a religion is to help others to embrace the lack of responsibility that shared responsibility offers and it is to pave the way for their victims to suffer.
 
We all have the delusion that bad things happen to others and not us. Feeling that God protects you and that the religion blesses you makes it worse. Believers even imagine that the Hell of eternal torment is for other people and not them. Even those who do terrible things feel like that. They may live in sin with somebody's wife or husband and think that it is other people who commit this sin that have to worry about Hell not them. What is wrong with that? It means they think others should go there and they should not. Not nice!
 
Religion makes us feel less responsible if a baby dies because we preferred to spend the money that might have saved her or him. We will feel that way if our family and friends worry as little about the baby as we do. But we will be worse if our family and friends are part of a religion that we consider good.

 

Diffusion of responsibility is a very common thing. Somebody is in serious trouble.  Diffusion of responsibility happens when everyone assumes that someone else will intervene and you may think God can get involved or get others who are better than you to get involved. If you trust God is wise then it may be that they are the best person.  Belief in God does not diminish the bystander effect as studies show.  Are we surprised?

 

If you create a form of religion or faith that leads to trouble or damages the environment you will feel okay about that as long as you think religion is something that is going to appear in one form or another sometime so if you don't found the religion somebody else will do it.  That creates a feeling of diffusion of responsibility.
 
To unnecessarily promote an entity, such as religion, that thrives on cognitive dissonance, is paving the way for violent people to argue say that they are good Catholics and that their going out to bomb Protestants and Muslims is part of their faith. And especially when Jesus said the Old Testament was infallible and the word of God though he knew fine well that it justifies murder and bloodletting in the name of God and contains commandments from him that endorse violence. And the pope does not excommunicate Catholic extremists who are violent.