Secular Children are more likely to Share

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Secular Sanity, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. Secular Sanity Registered Senior Member

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    Well-well, what do you know. A new study finds that secular children are more generous.

    “Our findings contradict the common-sense and popular assumption that children from religious households are more altruistic and kind toward others. In our study, kids from atheist and non-religious families were, in fact, more generous,” said Decety.

    "Across all countries, parents in religious households reported that their children expressed more empathy and sensitivity for justice in everyday life than non-religious parents. However, religiousness was inversely predictive of children’s altruism and positively correlated with their punitive tendencies. Together these results reveal the similarity across countries in how religion negatively influences children’s altruism, challenging the view that religiosity facilitates prosocial behavior."


    http://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(15)01167-7.pdf
     
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  3. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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  5. Bells Staff Member

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    I was reading about this study.

    The part about punitive tendencies was even more interesting, and somewhat disturbing..

    Children from religious households favored stronger punishments for anti-social behavior and judged such behavior more harshly than non-religious children. These results support previous studies of adults, which have found religiousness is linked with punitive attitudes toward interpersonal offenses.

    Probably explains why so many religious nutbags are such strong supporters of the death penalty while screaming about their pro-life stance.

    What story? She's linked the actual study.

    You linked a news story about it, which then goes on to discuss volunteering among adults, which doesn't really have anything to do with this current study of children.

    And frankly, the study isn't really that surprising when you think about it. Just like the results from studies that look at how children are able to discern fantasy from reality based on religious beliefs are not that surprising.
     
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  7. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    The report I linked to noted the disparity in numbers between two religious groups in the study. I'm not certain how Muslims view others with charity, but the lopsided numbers just might have skewed the study, I would think. Also, an adult Christian owes much of their charitable behavior to values they learned as children.
     
  8. Secular Sanity Registered Senior Member

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    Good point!
     
  9. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Right. Because being told you'll burn in hell is such a charitable, non-punitive message.

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  10. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    If that's all you get from it, sure, it looks pretty bleak.
     
  11. tali89 Registered Senior Member

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    LOL at the second link. It even has the word 'echochambers' in the URL. Go figure

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    .
     
  12. Bells Staff Member

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    What? BBC not good enough for you?

    Do you have anything to counter the studies being discussed in this thread?
     
  13. tali89 Registered Senior Member

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    Am I going to discuss second-hand information on a blog that has the word 'echochamber' in the URL? Nahh, I think I'll pass. If you post a link to the original study, along with your own in-depth analysis (instead of a summary from a blog), then I might invest a bit of effort.
     
  14. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I'm still trying to understand why people would be opposed to the murdering of unborn children (millions by last count), and be in favor of killing those who commit heinous crimes. Those terrible, unwanted children are such a burden on society, more so when you weight in the likes of Ted Bundy.
     
  15. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    Let us cater to your laziness Tali - here is the original paper from Cognitive Science: http://www.bu.edu/learninglab/files/2012/05/Corriveau-Chen-Harris-in-press.pdf

    Now we can watch you pull the next "fact avoidance" maneuver from the standard fundamentalist right wing bag of tricks.
     
  16. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    "A total of sixty-six 5- and 6-year-old children participated"

    Hardly a telling analysis.

    What's the title of the study? "Judgments About Fact and Fiction by Children From Religious and Nonreligious Backgrounds"
     
  17. Bells Staff Member

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    The blog had a link to the actual study. Here it is again, in case you missed Randwolf's link:

    http://www.bu.edu/learninglab/files/2012/05/Corriveau-Chen-Harris-in-press.pdf

    You can invest the effort in reading the study, lest, you know, you whine that I left something out. Heaven forbid you end up unhappy because you think someone left something out.

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    Or do you wish to continue avoiding discussing the subject matter of this thread and instead prefer to nitpick and refusing to click on links and reading..?
     
  18. tali89 Registered Senior Member

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    But you posted a summary from a blog with 'echochamber' in its URL, instead of directly linking the study and providing your own original thoughts.

    Have you? Explain the study to me, along with how it supports whatever you are contending.
     
  19. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    It's not worth the effort in engaging you.

    You'll just rant something about the study being leftist and ignore everything else.
     
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  20. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Actually, there's an abundant literature on the psychological and social effects of religious adherence and practice. Most of it seems to indicate that religious belonging and practice tend to be beneficial.

    http://spirituality.ucla.edu/docs/newsletters/4/idler_final.pdf

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2614329/

    Religious adherence apparently is correlated with lower rates of self-destructive behaviors such as violence, drug and alcohol abuse, less indiscriminate sex (and lower STD rates), higher marriage rates (and lower prevalence of the many social problems associated with single parenthood), less social isolation and a broader social support network at all stages of life, and lower mortality rates generally.

    If we consider the effects of particular religious practices such as meditation and mindfulness, the evidence of beneficial effects is even more abundant. There's a huge literature on that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  21. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    Nothing about empathy, compassion, and generosity?
     
  22. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    My main gripe with the study is that it limits "religion" to essentially just the Abrahamic religions. Which, while easily containing a majority of religious people, are actually rather atypical religions. It speaks for nothing of the institution or concept of religion in the general sense.
     
  23. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    How are you defining "beneficial"?
    It seems difficult within these studies to actually prove any causality rather than mere correlation. There is, as acknowledged by the author of the first link, inherent selection bias in the samples, such as: "The better outcomes observed for individuals in stable marriages may result in part from the greater likelihood that healthy, happy, and wealthy people marry and stay married.".
    As such, it may just be that those people who are inherently less prone to the non-beneficial items you suggest are those people who are also inherently prone toward religion, resulting in a correlation but not causation. As also acknowledged in the study, there needs to be far more effort in understanding why people choose to do what they do. Only then can one conclude that perhaps it is the belonging to a religion and religious adherence that causes the benefits, rather than the correlation that they seem to have identified.
    I think you'll find that mortality rates for religious and non-religious remain, as they always have done, at 100%.

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    . (And no, anecdotal evidence does not go toward lowering the rate for the religious

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    )
    Those may be practices that some religions do but they are also practices that non-religious people also do. They are inherently secular activities with no need for religion for an individual to be able to practice them.
     

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