The Practice of Altruism: Caring and Religion in Global Perspective
Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006 - 209 pages
The study of altruism and altruistic behavior has caught the attention of social scientists especially in recent years. What motivates individuals to cultivate attitudes and actions that promote the wellbeing of others at the expense of, or at the risk of negative consequences for their own?
In our contemporary global society marked by conflict and violence among different sectors of the population in various regions of the world, and wherein religion can be a factor that exacerbates such conflict and violence, harnessing the power of religion towards directions of reconciliation, creativity, and altruistic action, remains a crucial task for humankind.
This volume addresses a question especially relevant in our day: do people who profess religious commitment or affiliation in a particular religious community tend to nurture altruistic kinds of attitude and action more than others? Social scientists present results of their empirical studies on Japanese society, as well as on North American, European, Indian, and Thai societies, to focus on this issue and offer insightful reflections on the relationship between religion and society.
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Self reports concerning the motivation of altruism showed factors such as
parental training , life experience , religion and education to be particularly
relevant ( Sorokin , 1950 ) . Since his research , positive aspects of human nature
, such as ...
We shall now examine the motivations under the three headings . Empathy
Empathy means identifying and feeling sympathy for another person . Sympathy
is a similar concept but carries connotations of being on someone ' s side .
I call these kinds of motivation for altruistic acts the empathetic distress motivation
' . As members have been practising in new religions , the empathetic distress
seems to be alleviated . Rational Choice - - - - - - - - - - - - - - According to
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