You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

letters | religion and compassion

Those who equate religion with morality miss a key point

Like many of those who equate religion with morality, Jeff Jacoby, in his column “Where does compassion come from?” (Op-ed, Sept. 4), misses what is, to the nonbeliever, an obvious and critical point. If people are taught to behave well because they are being watched — by a supernatural being or by other people — then that is likely to remain their only motivation for being good.

But we are better than that. Humans can, and do, learn that honesty, kindness, generosity, responsibility, and integrity are infinitely precious components of a happy and satisfying life. The good nonbeliever is good because he or she knowingly chooses goodness as the best way to be, and actually wants to be good, not because of anyone’s “surveillance.”

Bob Binstock

Cambridge

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.