Religion and its Sociopathism

Are you always a psychological egoist, unable to help another unless you get some payback, when you are religious?
 
Egoism as an ethical theory says you must put your own interests and wellbeing above that of others. It does not rule out caring for others - it only says you care about yourself most. The extreme version says that everything we do is entirely about ourselves.
 
Psychological egoism is the theory that everything we do is caused by self-interest only. It says we can’t help this – it is just the way we are made.  A softer version says we need to find something for ourselves even a little thing before we will help anybody.
 
Even if psychological egoism is nonsense, it could be the case that in so far as you are religious or spiritual or both that you are a psychological egoist.
 
Psychological Egoism
 
Some psychologists believe in psychological egoism. They think its human nature and we are all the same in that respect.
 
If you don't want to go that far, you may wish to ask yourself the question, is being religious in any form psychologically egoistic?  No two people are psychologically the same.  If psychological egoism is real, it could be something in us all or it could be in many of us.  DNA determines our psychology.  It could be that religious tendencies, as in the need for praying and being told by a revelation from God what to do are symptoms of psychological egoism.

What is confusing is that religion could be down to psychological egoism or psychological egotism.  The first does not take from anybody.  The latter is consciously vindictive and wishes to take from others. 
 
The suggestion that religious people are engaging in a spiritual or religious form of psychological egoism or egotism is a controversial one. It comes across as cynical and bigoted and judgemental. It seems unnatural to suspect that Catholic saints for example who go among the dying to look after them have a self-centred or selfish motive.
 
A self-centred person cannot reach out to others for they have so many problems they cannot get out of thinking only for themselves. A selfish person is defined as a person who is able to love others for their own sake but who doesn't and who uses them to get what he or she wants. The saints could be either or a mixture of both.
 
People fear saying "holy" people are bad because they don't want to accuse them falsely or to make unnecessarily negative assumptions about them. There is the fear of discouraging goodness - fewer people will want to be good if they are going to be judged for it. The truly good person will not be put off by being judged. She will be doing good for it is good and not for the praise. So judging her should actually encourage her!
 
If being religious and being self-interested and out for yourself are inseparable then it could be that the religious person is self-centred and not selfish or vice versa. Or the person may be both to different degrees.
 
Religion - a symptom of being selfish or self-centred?
 
If a faith lacks credibility and is disconnected from the outcomes of careful research like Christianity is then what is happening is that those who promote it may be looking for the buzz and the ego enhancing they get from getting others to believe nonsense.

The Christian Religion is passive-aggressive. That's what we are going to prove. That is how its selfishness or self-centredness manifests. Passive aggression involves using yourself as a weapon against those who care about you in some way. The person will not take a job for it is what her family want her to do. It is possible to be passive-aggressive against yourself - self-hate is what it is usually called. Wanting to be bossed by a God is a sign of self-hate and passive-aggression against yourself. A benevolent commander is still a dictator.
 
Religion may tolerate those who sin on the basis that if they are treated well and accepted they might change. It is feared that to quarrel with them will or may only confirm them in their disobedience to the faith. Or is it? Is it only an excuse for getting an easy life for life is hard if you offend people too much. If you respond in anger and hate to a person who attacks you for not believing in their religion, that does not change the fact that they know it is about truth and not you and not about how hurt they feel. If they offend you that does not mean their religious beliefs are wrong.
 
Manipulation sounds more like something a greedy and self-interested person would engage in. But not all religious people are ferocious about getting money. If you sacrifice all things for money, you would be said to be greedy and self-interested. That sounds strange considering your service of money is foolish. You can only spend so much. Also it will not necessarily stop you feeling unhappy. It will not save you from terminal illness or death. Surely you are worse if you think that doing good will help you win everlasting life in Heaven.
 
Belief in God leads to an increase in egoism
 
Religion sometimes says that it promotes God so that people will be able to bravely accept the trials and uncertainties of life. The God belief makes them strong enough to face up to them and to endure them. But does it really?
 
You cannot know yourself well enough to be able to tell if the strength came from you or not. If you are telling yourself that it is God then why are you doing so? Are you afraid to offend him in case it was and he is vindictive when crossed? Or it is to tell yourself that God is with you and there will be nothing you need to fear from now on? Neither one of these is good.

Even if God never lets evil triumph ultimately, the person who puts God first or to whom God alone matters, has to be hypothetical and be of the attitude that, "If it is God's will that babies be tortured by Satan forever then so be it!" In the midst of good we are in evil.

You may talk about God and pray. But in so far as you are not manifesting the love that is God in your life, then your God is really an idol. You want a god of your own and you follow a good that may resemble the good that God wants you to do but which is in fact not it. If it is true that a relationship with God enables us to become remarkably and unusually good, then why are people like that so few and far between?
 
Suppose you believe we only or mainly or partly help others out of self-interest. Then if we think God will reward us that makes us even more self-interested than we would be if we were not believers in God.
 
To accept God for that reason is really not accepting him at all. If you want to believe in God for your own benefit then you are really using God and practicing selfishness in the form of virtue. You have the false virtue of the hypocrite. You will be in danger of fearing, hating and persecuting those who can cause your mask to slip. Unless God is accepted for is sake and not yours or anybody isles he is not accepted.
 
The Self-Aggrandisement of "Love the Sinner and Hate the Sin"
 
Religion says we must hate the sin and love the sinner. The sin is not separate from the person - it is about the person, the kind of person. To wish the sin didn't exist is the same as wishing the person didn't exist to commit the sin. To love the sinner is to wish the person did exist. So loving the sinner and hating the sin is a contradiction.
 
If you oppose the sin you must oppose the sinner. Hate is merely opposition. Opposition is always an intention to harm something. If religion does not oppose sin, then it should not exist. There is no point and its just giving people an excuse for sectarianism and fomenting division.
 
And if religion admits the obvious that love the sinner and hate the sin does not work, it follows that it is inciting to hatred at least up to a point and not being honest about it.
 
Society is as bad as religion to be fair. When people have the freedom to be evil such as in wartime, their true colours emerge. Ultimately, that is down to some belief they have and it will ultimately be the crafty "I hate you but I am telling myself and everybody else that I do not" kind of thing.
 
Loving a person and hating the harm they do to themselves is different. You are not judging the person as a sinner.
 
Prayer
 
Religion condemns superstition as a selfish attempt to manipulate other people by magic. Both those who pray to God to do something and those who use superstition to control things argue that it is for the best when they fail. Even failure is turned into success. This is a tactic used by liars and frauds to avoid being exposed. Prayer is a form of superstition. The person who prays has no right then to object if somebody decides to drink deadly poison and who says the St Christopher medal will protect them.
 
God will do what is right whether we ask him or not if he is really wiser than us and more powerful. But if we reason, " He inspires us to pray for what he intends to send so it is not like the prayer causes him to act" we end up claiming to be infallible! And it is obvious that people do pray for things that never happen. Prayer thrives on the argument from ignorance: "I cannot know that the prayer is working or has worked though what I asked for happened. Therefore the prayer did it." That is even worse than superstition for superstition often tries to pass as scientific.
 
God would be the one thing we need if he is our maker and we depend on him for all we have and if he is the source of love. Religion creates a need for God, and keeps people praying to instil this need, and this need is an illusion. It is cruel in the extreme to make people to need what they do not need at all. Would it be right to make the poor need cake when they can need bread?

EGOCENTRIC

Believers' estimates of God's beliefs are more egocentric than estimates of other people's beliefs.
Epley N1, Converse BA, Delbosc A, Monteleone GA, Cacioppo JT.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19955414
 
Abstract

People often reason egocentrically about others' beliefs, using their own beliefs as an inductive guide. Correlational, experimental, and neuroimaging evidence suggests that people may be even more egocentric when reasoning about a religious agent's beliefs (e.g., God). In both nationally representative and more local samples, people's own beliefs on important social and ethical issues were consistently correlated more strongly with estimates of God's beliefs than with estimates of other people's beliefs (Studies 1-4). Manipulating people's beliefs similarly influenced estimates of God's beliefs but did not as consistently influence estimates of other people's beliefs (Studies 5 and 6). A final neuroimaging study demonstrated a clear convergence in neural activity when reasoning about one's own beliefs and God's beliefs, but clear divergences when reasoning about another person's beliefs (Study 7). In particular, reasoning about God's beliefs activated areas associated with self-referential thinking more so than did reasoning about another person's beliefs. Believers commonly use inferences about God's beliefs as a moral compass, but that compass appears especially dependent on one's own existing beliefs.
 
Finally
 
If psychiatry is generally uncertain that human nature is only or mainly motivated by self-interest and fakes altruism, it cannot deny that religion may always be based on egoistic motives at the least.  A lot of outright toxicity can be a basis for many religious people as opposed to egoism.