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Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds

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posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 03:33 PM
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sub-title "Religious belief appears to have negative influence on children’s altruism and judgments of others’ actions even as parents see them as ‘more empathetic’" (emphasis mine)

Most days I listen to a bit of 'conservate talk radio' for several reasons - to hear what is being said, to practise patience and tolerance and an open mind. One host I listen to quite a bit is Dennis Praeger. I don't like his viewpoint on most subjects but he is mostly respectful to those to whom he speaks unlike most others.

He mentioned this study - viamently disagreeing with the conclusions (as noted in the subtitle - which he did not mention). My experience tends to confirm this self-centered, defensive meaness in the religiously raised. What I mean as religiously raised would include private religious schools, home schooling with religiously centered curricula and strict adherence in public to religious norms and practises.

He made a cogent (but un-challenged) argument refuting the study.

Interestingly, earlier I'd heard an interview with the author Kevin Kruse who wrote "One Nation Under God: How Corporate America invented Christian America" on KPFK on "Politics and Letters. His interview contained a nice but not intentional agrument against Mr. Praeger's.

A link to Kruse's Politico article:

www.politico.com...

Here is a link to Dennis Praeger that is "holding space" for a transcript later:

www.dennisprager.com...

Now to the guardian piece on the study:

The lead:


Children from religious families are less kind and more punitive than those from non-religious households, according to a new study.

Academics from seven universities across the world studied Christian, Muslim and non-religious children to test the relationship between religion and morality.

They found that religious belief is a negative influence on children’s altruism.


From the actual paper published in "Current Biology"

www.cell.com...(15)01167-7.pdf


Parents in religious households reported
that their children expressed more
empathy and sensitivity for justice in
everyday life. However, religiousness was
inversely predictive of children’s altruism
and positively correlated with their
punitive tendencies.



Humans have evolved as highly cooperative species, and many forms of pro-social behavior emerge early in ontogeny, reflecting a biological predisposition.


What they are saying is that pro-social (sharing and caring) behavoir is a natural part of biological development initially. And that growth or decay of such tendencies are more 'nurtured' by home, family and other close interpersonal modeling.

Again from the published article:


If religion promotes pro-sociality, children reared in religious families should show stronger altruistic behavior.


And that was their assumption going in. However all past studies had been done with 'convenience subjects' (read college students) and they used a more comprehensive but age limited subject base.

There results, discussed extensively in the article, were quite "robustly" (their wording) the opposite.

The part I find interesting in this study is that the Parents rated their Child's empathy and altruism higher then what the child demostrated on the tests. If is is a case of children 'behaving' around their parents - then it increases the argument that religiousity is inversely proportional to altruim. Public compliance and private rage? Or is the parents assestment a type of Kruger-Dunning effect?

Insteresting.



edit on 10-11-2015 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 03:50 PM
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PDF


Non religious children were also lower in the case of sensitivity towards injustice.


So... There is that.



My God is better than your non-God.
edit on 10-11-2015 by CharlieSpeirs because: Grammar.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 03:54 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

There are - roughly - 8 billion human beings on this planet.
Each is as unique as their fingerprints.

There are many, many faiths and religions. Some kill if the next doesn't agree.

How do we make this planet safe and livable for 8 billion unique people?
Do we judge them by mass?
Do we preach hatred against those we don't agree with?

The arrival of the digital age has taken down the separations that have existed since day one... from whatever beginning one chooses to apply. But, regardless of that, here we are today learning NOT to accept, but to hate.

Why?

It's called the 'human condition' and it has been with us since day one.

Wars, slavery... slaughters...
If I may, ever see that large and ancient coliseum in Rome? Built by slaves, hosting many deaths of slaves of all ethnicity. Want to shut it down?

We have to rise above ourselves... we have to be able to accept what we have done and then say... okay, no more. But to get there, we can't preach hate this guy or that guy because of their politics or skin color...

We are an infant species. Someday, when the nursery door opens... we are gonna pack our diapers.

Instead of attacking, why not seek to find a way to make things better... for all?

...



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 03:58 PM
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Do you know they measured this?

They showed the kids videos of other kids basically acting out in anti-social ways - tripping, shoving, taking things away from other kids, etc.

The non-religious kids were less likely to say that such behavior was wrong or merited some kind of disciplinary action than the religious kids. Based on that result, the researchers concluded that religious kids were less tolerant and more punitive and judgmental.

So I guess it depends on if you want your kids to be able to recognize the difference between right and wrong or if you want them to be insensitive to others.



And eventually, if they are tolerant to what goes on around them, they'll grow up to be like these people. You better hope you aren't the one bleeding out on the sidewalk though.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 04:05 PM
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originally posted by: redoubt
a reply to: FyreByrd

There are - roughly - 8 billion human beings on this planet.
Each is as unique as their fingerprints.

There are many, many faiths and religions. Some kill if the next doesn't agree.

How do we make this planet safe and livable for 8 billion unique people?
Do we judge them by mass?
Do we preach hatred against those we don't agree with?

The arrival of the digital age has taken down the separations that have existed since day one... from whatever beginning one chooses to apply. But, regardless of that, here we are today learning NOT to accept, but to hate.

Why?

It's called the 'human condition' and it has been with us since day one.

Wars, slavery... slaughters...
If I may, ever see that large and ancient coliseum in Rome? Built by slaves, hosting many deaths of slaves of all ethnicity. Want to shut it down?

We have to rise above ourselves... we have to be able to accept what we have done and then say... okay, no more. But to get there, we can't preach hate this guy or that guy because of their politics or skin color...

We are an infant species. Someday, when the nursery door opens... we are gonna pack our diapers.

Instead of attacking, why not seek to find a way to make things better... for all?

...





Not sure of the relevancy of your 'post' nor your point except that you imply that my OP was a 'attack' piece on something (not sure what precisely).

If that is the case, then you are demonstrating the behavoir research in the referenced study and not a 'means of making things better for all'. And study of the 'human condition' as you put it, is beneficial to all.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 04:08 PM
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originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
PDF


Non religious children were also lower in the case of sensitivity towards injustice.


So... There is that.



My God is better than your non-God.


Consider also that secular-minded people are generally oversensitive about everything and get offended easily. Dealing with someone who is forthright and direct (i.e. doesn't candy-coat everything for fear of offending) might be construed as "mean."



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 04:09 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
Do you know they measured this?

They showed the kids videos of other kids basically acting out in anti-social ways - tripping, shoving, taking things away from other kids, etc.

The non-religious kids were less likely to say that such behavior was wrong or merited some kind of disciplinary action than the religious kids. Based on that result, the researchers concluded that religious kids were less tolerant and more punitive and judgmental.

So I guess it depends on if you want your kids to be able to recognize the difference between right and wrong or if you want them to be insensitive to others.



And eventually, if they are tolerant to what goes on around them, they'll grow up to be like these people. You better hope you aren't the one bleeding out on the sidewalk though.


If you had read the actual paper you would see that they used and measured responses to 3 different 'tests'. The 'religious' in the test you are refering to did 'speak out' more but in the other tests, tests of action not words the inverserse response was the rule.

In simplier terms - they talked the talk but did not actually walk the walk.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 04:12 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd



Not sure of the relevancy of your 'post' nor your point except that you imply that my OP was a 'attack' piece on something (not sure what precisely).

If that is the case, then you are demonstrating the behavoir research in the referenced study and not a 'means of making things better for all'. And study of the 'human condition' as you put it, is beneficial to all.


Just a commentary of daily human anxiety upon itself.

Nothing personal.

best.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 04:18 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

I did read it, but the only one that actually was described was the one where they showed videos and measured response. The Dictator Game only said they were shown 30 stickers and allowed to keep 10 and then told that not every kid would be able to play the game.

That's it. I couldn't get my computer to stop jumping between pages to determine if they were given some task from that or if that was it. Were they asked to divine some purpose out of that?



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 04:55 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

I am a non-religious 'mean' person. I tend to stay out of other people's business and according to this study that is 'mean'. Personally I don't want other people in my business and I don't consider it mean, but respectful to others.

Anyway, I already know I am 'mean' and I don't mind if people see me that way. I also get described as weird and different and lacking emotion. I guess that is 'mean'.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 05:07 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: FyreByrd

I did read it, but the only one that actually was described was the one where they showed videos and measured response. The Dictator Game only said they were shown 30 stickers and allowed to keep 10 and then told that not every kid would be able to play the game.

That's it. I couldn't get my computer to stop jumping between pages to determine if they were given some task from that or if that was it. Were they asked to divine some purpose out of that?



Yeah - I know you don't understand. The point of the dictator game is to give the kids stickers with the understanding that not all the children will receive stickers and observe how the children act - do they give to others or not, all, none or some. That is what some of their data came.

In fact it was the Muslim children who scored highest on the "sensitivity to injustice" tests, Christian second and non-religious third. The non-religious didn't feel it neccesary to 'voice' (not a measure of action remember) horror at the injustice.

You are not arguing against this study not from reason but from emotion - the need to have these results be untrue. The very definition of close mindedess.

I would not have expected these results either, though my experience with many self-styled 'believers' is constant with their findings and know really know how to interperate them. I do want to find out more. Maybe it's the authoritarian organization of most organized religion that is the problem not the teachings themselves - had you considered that possibity.

I hope this study is scaled up to a larger model with more subjects and more measures but the results of this study are clear statistically.

Self-report is never a valid measure of behavoir.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 05:10 PM
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originally posted by: Metallicus
a reply to: FyreByrd

I am a non-religious 'mean' person. I tend to stay out of other people's business and according to this study that is 'mean'. Personally I don't want other people in my business and I don't consider it mean, but respectful to others.

Anyway, I already know I am 'mean' and I don't mind if people see me that way. I also get described as weird and different and lacking emotion. I guess that is 'mean'.


Not about you!



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 05:15 PM
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originally posted by: FyreByrd

originally posted by: Metallicus
a reply to: FyreByrd

I am a non-religious 'mean' person. I tend to stay out of other people's business and according to this study that is 'mean'. Personally I don't want other people in my business and I don't consider it mean, but respectful to others.

Anyway, I already know I am 'mean' and I don't mind if people see me that way. I also get described as weird and different and lacking emotion. I guess that is 'mean'.


Not about you!


I was simply noting that I would be considered 'mean' by the standards in the study. I don't think this research is very scientific and the key to the entire study is predicated on what behavior is considered 'mean'.

Also, who funded this research and wanted to prove religious people are 'mean'? It seems like anyone that started with that premise is probably agenda driven.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 05:39 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

That description was not in the paper that I saw. All I saw was the description of the researcher telling one child that. Nowhere did I see that there were more than one child in the room at that time with the researcher.

So aside from your implied slander, I was honestly asking for the full description of the exercise if there was one because all I got was a mental image of a researcher giving a child some stickers with a story and that was it. I saw nothing about any other interaction or the presence of other children.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 05:47 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd

PS, I don't see my son as more empathetic just because we are raising him in a household with religion. He's a kid, and like any kid, he has the potential to be and shows the same tendencies as any other kid to be perfect little monster.

Anyone who thinks their kids are otherwise is fooling themselves. That's why we parent, so that they stop becoming the precious little snowflakes who think it's all about them.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 06:10 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd
Exclusionary and separatist religion, like the Abrahamic religions teach children(and adults) they are better than other people outside of their belief system, without actually saying the words in most cases. They're taught elitism and bigotry along with the idea that in the end, god is going to murder everyone that doesn't believe like they do because they're evil, and refuse to submit. So they are deserving of their execution. In fact, they brought it on themselves. So how would we expect religious children to act when they are taught songs like "Ain't no homo gonna make it to heaven", sent to Jesus camps, and the best of all. Kidnapped for Jesus. Note also, that in the case of Christianity, saints are the "elect" or "chosen" of god.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 06:39 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: FyreByrd

That description was not in the paper that I saw. All I saw was the description of the researcher telling one child that. Nowhere did I see that there were more than one child in the room at that time with the researcher.

So aside from your implied slander, I was honestly asking for the full description of the exercise if there was one because all I got was a mental image of a researcher giving a child some stickers with a story and that was it. I saw nothing about any other interaction or the presence of other children.



LOL = clutching at straws - one child. Still not a valid argument.... definitely not slander.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:12 PM
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originally posted by: redoubt
a reply to: FyreByrd

There are - roughly - 8 billion human beings on this planet.
Each is as unique as their fingerprints.


Yes, and it also true that the human brain is
different (like fingerprints) for each of us.

I have long suspected that "White" people
(which is to say "Christian" people) have a
brain that is different than non-whites.

If you take one ethnic group and test what
parts of the brain light up when they think
about this or that, you would find exactly
what this study shows.

It is my opinion that there are two factors
at play here. One is genetic and the other
is environment. This study is only looking
at the later, and ignoring the former.




The arrival of the digital age has taken down the separations that have existed since day one... from whatever beginning one chooses to apply. But, regardless of that, here we are today learning NOT to accept, but to hate.

Why?

It's called the 'human condition' and it has been with us since day one.

Wars, slavery... slaughters...


Fear and attack.
Fear and attack.
Fear and attack.

Yes, this is the "human condition" or what some call
the "sinful nature." But in the context of what we are
discussing here, it boils down to not addressing the
problem of "fear and attack" which is built into the
primitive brain (AKA the "reptilian brain").



We have to rise above ourselves... we have to be able to accept what we have done and then say... okay, no more. But to get there, we can't preach hate this guy or that guy because of their politics or skin color...


I agree. We need to become AWARE of our primitive
impulses and rise above them. The real problem is
many people see no problem with "fear and attack"
because they BELIEVE the system (fundamentally
rooted on "fear and attack") is working for them.
They think HATE keeps them on top, as they
look up from the bottom with envy.

For 200 years this has been "White" people in
American society. They BELIEVE the system
(which they created and support) will reward
them if they work hard. This "belief" is now
being questioned by many. Indeed, "White"
people are now beginning to feel like they
are immigrates in their own county.

I placed "White" in quotes for a reason.

When I use this term, I am not making reference
to those of Anglo-Saxon decent only. It is rather
a reference to the ruling class and all those who
envy them (want what they have). This would
include any one of any race who is confident
the system of "fear and attack" is working
for them and rewarding them.

Human beings (of any skin color) will envy those
people in other groups who have more power
then they do. One aspect of "Human Nature"
is to imitate, emulate and assimilate the
"bad" qualities of those who rule over them.

Religion, as practiced in the West, does very
little to rectify this problem of human nature.
Indeed, one could argue that the history of
Christianity proves the reverse is true. Here
in America, the "White People" killed off
the "Red People" -- and doing so was not
a problem for "religious" ruling class.

I had a Mormon co-worker tell me: "We
need to turn Iran into a glass parking lot."
I said, "You don't mean that" but then
he got mad at me and repeated himself.
Once again, this is the same old song
and dance: FEAR and ATTACK.



We are an infant species. Someday, when the nursery door opens... we are gonna pack our diapers. Instead of attacking, why not seek to find a way to make things better... for all?


When humanity become AWARE of their own
primitive "fear and attack" impulses, then there
is hope for change. Sadly, most people envy the
success and power of American icons and so they
adopt "White" coping strategies for their own
human interactions. These are coping strategies
that this study labels "religious" but is very far
from being spiritual.

A bad attitude always manifests in bad behavior.
As long as value the valueless, we will fail to
end the madness.

FEAR and ATTACK is a piss poor coping strategy
for an individual (or a nation of people). Before
we can change "the system" we must 1st become
the change we want to see in the world.


edit on 10-11-2015 by wasaka because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:27 PM
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a reply to: wasaka


I have long suspected that "White" people
(which is to say "Christian" people) have a
brain that is different than non-whites.

Only whites are Christian? Obviously, you don't get out much.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:36 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: FyreByrd

PS, I don't see my son as more empathetic just because we are raising him in a household with religion. He's a kid, and like any kid, he has the potential to be and shows the same tendencies as any other kid to be perfect little monster.

Anyone who thinks their kids are otherwise is fooling themselves. That's why we parent, so that they stop becoming the precious little snowflakes who think it's all about them.



I was a PK. (AKA a preachers kid) That made me a
perfect little monster for real. I got the nick-name
"tuffy" because I was a bully to the other kids.

Even as a child, I had sense of entitlement that
other kids didn't have. In fact, one time I got
a N/I ("needs improvement") on my report card
for "self esteem" - when my mother ask about
that, the teacher flatly told her that I had
too high of self-esteem.

My mother just smiled and said, "Life has a
way of dealing with that." and let it go.




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