Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday School at The Sherman Foundation: Comics and Cleanliness

The Economist reports on a fascinating study on the relationship between cleanliness and ethical evaluations. You would think that personal cleanliness (as in hand washing) would instill a higher moral disposition, after all, isn't "cleanliness next to godliness"? It appears that this is not the case.

Physical purification, in other words, produces a more relaxed attitude to morality. Perhaps it is no coincidence that Pontius Pilate is portrayed in the Bible as washing his hands of the decision to crucify Jesus. Something to think about for those who feel that purification rituals bring them closer to God.

Dr Schnall’s study was inspired by some previous work of her own. She had found that when feelings of disgust are instilled in them beforehand, people make decisions which are more ethical than would otherwise be expected. She speculates that the reason for this is that feeling morally unclean (ie, disgusted) leads to feelings of moral wrongness and thus triggers increased ethical behaviour by instilling a desire to right the wrong. However, as the cleanliness and purification rituals found in many religions suggest, physical cleanliness, too, is linked to moral behaviour, so she decided to investigate this as well.

Read: Cleanliness is next to godlessness, from The Economist.

The DMC sent me a link to a Flickr page devoted to Spire Christian Comics. Christian comics from the 70s and 80s.


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When I read about it I had the idea to found an institution of people who appreciate comics because I love it, also we can share different magazines and ideas.

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