The egoistically motivated prosociality may also affect self-reports, resulting in biased results.Peer ratings can be biased by stereotypes, and indications of a persons group affiliation are sufficient to bias reporting.
According to global research done by Gallup on people from 145 countries, adherents of all the major world religions who attended religious services in the past week reported higher rates of generosity such as donating money, volunteering, and helping a stranger than do their coreligionists who did not attend services (non-attenders).
Even for people who were nonreligious, those who said they attended religious services in the past week exhibited more generous behaviors.
Membership of a religious group can accentuate biases in behavior toward in group versus out group members, which may explain the lower number of interracial friends and greater approval of torture among church members.
Furthermore, some studies have shown that religious prosociality is primarily motivated by wanting to appear prosocial, which may be related to the desire to further ones religious group.
Another global study by Gallup on people from 140 countries showed that highly religious people are more likely to help others in terms of donating money, volunteering, and helping strangers despite them having, on average, lower incomes than those who are less religious or nonreligious.
One study on pro-social sentiments showed that non-religious people were more inclined to show generosity in random acts of kindness, such as lending their possessions and offering a seat on a crowded bus or train. The overall relationship between faith and crime is unclear.Richard Paula and Linda Elder of the Foundation for Critical Thinking assert that, "Most people confuse ethics with behaving in accordance with social conventions, religious beliefs, and the law." They separate the concept of ethics from these topics, stating: The proper role of ethical reasoning is to highlight acts of two kinds: those which enhance the well-being of others—that warrant our praise—and those that harm or diminish the well-being of others—and thus warrant our criticism.They further note that various documents, such as the UN Declaration of Human Rights lay out "transcultural" and "trans-religious" ethical concepts and principles—such as slavery, genocide, torture, sexism, racism, murder, assault, fraud, deceit, and intimidation—which require no reliance on religion (or social convention) for us to understand they are "ethically wrong".The ability of religious faiths to provide value frameworks that are seen as useful is a debated matter.Religious commentators have asserted that a moral life cannot be led without an absolute lawgiver as a guide.Many of these share tenets with secular value frameworks such as consequentialism, freethought, and utilitarianism. Morality does not necessarily depend upon religion, though for some, this is "an almost automatic assumption." According to The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics, religion and morality "are to be defined differently and have no definitional connections with each other.Conceptually and in principle, morality and a religious value system are two distinct kinds of value systems or action guides." In the views of others, the two can overlap.In line with other findings suggesting that religious humanitarianism is largely directed at in-group members, greater religious identification, greater extrinsic religiosity and greater religious fundamentalism were associated with racial prejudice.This is congruent with the fact that 50% of religious congregations in the US are racially segregated, and only 12% have a degree of diversity.Morality and religion is the relationship between religious views and morals.Many religions have value frameworks regarding personal behavior meant to guide adherents in determining between right and wrong.