When you watch the debates between Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, or Daniel Bennett, and some religious figure or scholar or zealot, the argument of the religious consistently emphasizes the point that humans “need“ religion in order to act ethically, to act for others, to extend “beyond” selfish desire into compassion. Without the precepts found in religious texts and traditions, they argue (without fail), “we are no better than animals”.
We don’t need religion to act compassionately, folks. Better yet, maybe living somewhat closer to the inarticulate compassion of “the brutes” would be a lot better philosophy for this world:
This recent tweet, by the eminent Sterling Professor of Natural Sciences at Yale, Nicholas Christakis, shows that these actions are not unique even to our cousin-primates: