Religion, Conflict & Cooperation, Recent Study & HCRUs Approach

A recent article was published in the journal Science about the effects that religion has for both encouraging conflict and in group trust.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  However, the research in the article also discussed the possibilities for religion, or in-group identifications around the ‘scared’, benefiting inter-group reconciliation.  Science Daily published a review of the article as ‘Religion is a Potent Force for Cooperation and Conflict, Research Shows‘ here.

What struck me about the article is what it said about how to approach people. It reinforced the Humanist Chaplaincy’s view that humanists/atheists will get more cooperation from religious people if we show some respect and humility rather than confront them aggressively. If our objective is, as I think it should be, peace and mutual tolerance with the religious, then this tells us how to proceed rationally to achieve that objective.

Gary Brill

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One Response to Religion, Conflict & Cooperation, Recent Study & HCRUs Approach

  1. Hope says:

    agreed. When I was in Iraq, I went through a three-month peorid in which I lost my marriage, a close friend, and my belief that anything we were doing over there was better than doing nothing (and almost always a hell of a lot worse). My small base also took 2-20 mortars, rockets and other explosives per day for several weeks during that stretch. I needed to talk to someone, and a chaplain was the only option available. I told him I was an Atheist, so he just listened, and gently invited me to attend a service (which I did, for the purpose of being somewhere quiet and peaceful for an hour). I don’t know if he saved my life, but he definitely made it better.There should be more counselors, because a more dogmatic, pushy chaplain might have made things worse for a guy like me in that moment. But he seems to have taken his mission to minister to all seriously, and for that I thank the Chaplain’s Corps and the values they teach.

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