Skip to comments.Are kids from religious backgrounds really more selfish than their nonreligious peers? (Salon)
Posted on 12/14/2015 7:28:16 PM PST by Faith Presses On
Are kids from more religious families more or less altruistic than their peers from less-religious families?
That's what a high-profile new study from University of Chicago neuroscientist Jean Decety and a global crew of collaborators sought to determine...
In their study, Decety and his colleagues gave the sticker test to 1,170 kids at schools in six cities--Amman, Cape Town, Chicago, Guangzhou, Istanbul, and Toronto...The researchers also gave the kids another test, in which they watched videos of people hurting other people, and then judged (a) how mean the bullies were, and (b) how much punishment the bullies deserved.
"Nonreligious children are more generous," explained a headline at Science magazine. "It's not like you have to be highly religious to be a good person," Decety told Forbes. "Secularity--like having your own laws and rules based on rational thinking, reason rather than holy books--is better for everybody." Forbes headlined the article "Religion Makes Children More Selfish, Say Scientists." (Decety tweeted a link to the piece). In the Forbes interview, Decety cautioned that there would be naysayers, at least among the anti-science crowd. "My guess is they're just going to deny what I did--they don't want science, they don't believe in evolution, they don't want Darwin to be taught in schools."
I'd like to peel apart the methodological issues here with a cool and well-informed eye, except that the methods section of the paper is unusually vague, and Jean Decety isn't responding to my polite emails. Nor my polite calls. Nor the polite request that I lodged with him through his lab manager, who confirmed that Decety knows that I'm trying to reach him.
The problem is not that Decety and his colleagues' results aren't interesting, or even that they're wrong--for all I know, all the world over, kids who engage more with certain ritual experiences are less kind to their peers.
The problem is that, absent robust evidence for his generalizations about the Nature of all Christians and Muslims, it is difficult to tell where Decety's grand claims emerge from actual evidence, and where they may owe a debt to politicized beliefs about how religion in general, or specific religious traditions (i.e. Islam), motivate people to do bad things.
If it isn't clear, the Salon writer reacted skeptically to this study on the children of the religious versus the secular. I was surprised for a second by that, but by the end of the article it became apparent that the writer was defending religion against the unfair secular attacks for the sake of other religions besides Christianity, and Islam in particular (note his last line above in which he specifically suggests that there are "politicized beliefs" (biases) directed against Islam.
Total nonsense story. Knew it was a joke when I saw it circulating.
By ALL studies conservatives give more to charity than libs - state by state as well. Liberals want state forced charity because they are greedy bastards.
If the Secularists don’t think Ultra Religious people will be generous citizens, then why is Secular Europe letting in hundreds of thousands of Ultra Religious Muslims instead of favoring the Moderate / Lapsed Christians who already exist in their own countries?
Liberalism = Suicide!
Atheism = Nihilism = Nice Vacuum for the Islamist to grow and take over.
“The researchers looked at 1170 children aged 5-12 years old, from six countries (USA, Canada, China, Jordan, Turkey and South Africa). Most kids came from households that identified as Christian (24%), Muslim (43%) or not religious (28%). (Small numbers from Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and agnostic homes werenât compared.)”
“Compared to the other two groups, Muslims thought harmful actions were meaner and believed in harsher punishment. Christians judged the harm to be meaner than secular kids, though there was no difference in their punitive ratings. This is consistent with fundamentalism, when actions are seen as either right or wrong, with no gradient in morality between two extremes. Overall, religious children are less tolerant of harmful actions and favored harsh penalties.”
There is no charity in taxation or Marxist redistribution.
There's the problem right there with this steaming pile of horse dung.
Try some American cities next time.
Since the Garden of Eden, man has the knowledge of good and evil. That knowledge is confused with divine righteousness.
When people reject God’s Plan, they reject the light in favor of darkness, because the light convicts them of their sin.
They are condemned already, but seek any counterfeit substitute for what God provides to avoid their condemnation.
Those who accept His Plan by faith in Christ, receive a regenerated human spirit, separate from their soul. Those who reject Him, never receive the new life in that regenerated human spirit, nor are they able to perceive it, for they lack the faculty of perception.
The Plan simply isolates arrogance from the kingdom of heaven. Unbelievers might perform more human good, which are dead works, but they are arrogant, thinking it will make others debtors to their good works separate from God.
My grandchildren don't even know what religion is, and if any child religious, nonreligious, or whatever, could be more more selfish in their thoughts and actions ( which I accept as entirely natural ) than they are, I'd like to see it. Naturally, they are constantly admonished to "be nice" and "share" and so on, but they are just little beacons of egomania. Naturally, as a grandfather, I find it quite charming.
And well, I must admit, they will allow themselves on occasion to be coerced into compromise. Civilization!
That sort of thing is completely irrelevant. What's important is how they feel about punishing mean people.
So that means non-religious raised children can see someone murdered, beaten, raped or robbed and walk away unaffected and don’t think the perpetrator deserves any sanction?
This means secular people are especially soft on crime and criminals!!!
See what I did there with the results?
Just like Decety and his colleagues, I spun the facts politically.
Ah, the “social sciences.” All the intellectual rigor of a season of “Friends” reruns.
Actually, it sounds like you’ve hit it.
IOW - religious kids are more likely to be good stewards of their money and to recognize evil for what it is ....
“Overall, religious children are less tolerant of harmful actions and favored harsh penalties.â
Like that’s a good thing.
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