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Religion reduces empathy


jacee

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Study finds that children raised without religion show more empathy and kindness

In our study, kids from atheist and non-religious families were, in fact, more generous, said Prof. Jean Decety who led the study.

Consistent with previous studies, in general the children were more likely to share as they got older. But children from households identifying as Christian and Muslim were significantly less likely than children from non-religious households to share their stickers. The negative relation between religiosity and altruism grew stronger with age; children with a longer experience of religion in the household were the least likely to share.

The study also showed that punishment in religious households was much more severe as religious parents 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.

Together, these results reveal the similarity across countries in how religion negatively influences childrens altruism. They challenge the view that religiosity facilitates prosocial behavior, and call into question whether religion is vital for moral developmentsuggesting the secularization of moral discourse does not reduce human kindness. In fact, it does just the opposite, Decety said.

The study comes as little surprise to those of us who raise kids outside of religion as I outlined in my own book Parenting Without God. Children raised without dictatorship type rules and threats of eternal punishment just seem to turn out nicer.

- See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/danthropology/2015/11/study-finds-that-children-raised-without-religion-show-more-empathy-and-kindness/#sthash.pXWNFssT.sQoqwRNR.dpuf

So ... STOP GIVING TAX BREAKS TO RELIGIONS!!!

They raise children to be obedient to authority and punitive to those who think for themselves ... little Nazis in training.

Religious people have delusions of superiority and are less humane to each other and to those they see as inferior.

Not just IMO.

:)

Edited by jacee
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Way to Godwin your OP at the end making it completely irrelevant.

Just because you know a phrase, doesn't make the point irrelevant. Just like teaching kids to be racist or misogynistic, religious indoctrination is probably a bad thing for society.

So ... STOP GIVING TAX BREAKS TO RELIGIONS!!!

As for taxing the churches, I don't think that is much of a problem in Canada. From what I understand Canadian churches must follow the rules of any charitable organization; which, I believe means they cannot be politically active and their finances are publicly available. You may disagree with religious services being considered charitable acts, but they are valuable to some. Plus, churches do offer many other more legitimate or traditional charitable services as well including daycare, camps, meals, counselling, etc. As someone opposed to religion in the first place, I dislike the fact that they proselytize while offering these services. However, I am fine with McDonald's or Tim Horton's seeking to generate business by advertising their sponsorship programs; so, I guess I can't complain.

Some churches and religious organizations in the US are extremely politically active, so there is a case to be made that those entities deserve to lose their tax free status.

Edited by Guest
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They raise children to be obedient to authority and punitive to those who think for themselves ... little Nazis in training.

So if your grandkids, after being taught to think for themselves, came to the conclusion that native rights are abhorrent legacy of a racist time and have no place in a modern democracy would accept their view or would you do everything you could to "correct" their thinking to better fit the tenants of your deity free religion? Edited by TimG
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So if your grandkids, after being taught to think for themselves, came to the conclusion that native rights are abhorrent legacy of a racist time and have no place in a modern democracy would accept their view or would you do everything you could to "correct" their thinking to better fit the tenants of your deity free religion?

So if your kids, after being taught to think for themselves, came to the conclusion that all people in Canada should make the same income no matter their skill or talent in order to achieve a socially just egalitarian society would you accept their view or would you do everything you could to "correct" their thinking to better fit the tenants of your deity free religion?

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So if your kids, after being taught to think for themselves, came to the conclusion that...

My point was to illustrate the irony of a dogmatic ideologue complaining about how other dogmatic ideologues raise their children to believe things she believes to be wrong.

And the answer to your question is a yes. I would do everything I could to convince them of the error of the ways. What is your point? I am not the one who started an op as an excuse to attack people with religious viewpoints.

Edited by TimG
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I am not the one who started an op as an excuse to attack people with religious viewpoints.

No. The op was to point out the difference in empathy between kids raised in a religious family and those that aren't. I saw no such attack. It's s valid OP that should raise serious discussions.

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My point was to illustrate the irony of a dogmatic ideologue complaining about how other dogmatic ideologues raise their children to believe things she believes to be wrong.

And the answer to your question is a yes. I would do everything I could to convince them of the error of the ways. What is your point? I am not the one who started an op as an excuse to attack people with religious viewpoints.

My point is that we all have viewpoints and we all try to delegitimize the viewpoints of others if we disagree with them, including you and I.

I am not the one who started an op as an excuse to attack people with religious viewpoints.

She thinks religion is harmful and that religious people can be harmful and is providing evidence for that.

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Couldn't we say that for just about every social science study though?

Yes. The nature of the field makes it very easy for researchers attach significance to spurious correlations.

This cartoon illustrates a important point to keep in mind whenever a study claims something based on statistical significance:

https://xkcd.com/882/

IOW, if someone tested religious children for 20 different character traits there is a 100% chance of finding one spurious correlation.

There is huge problem in many fields where results cannot be reproduced:

http://www.nature.com/news/over-half-of-psychology-studies-fail-reproducibility-test-1.18248

Don’t trust everything you read in the psychology literature. In fact, two thirds of it should probably be distrusted.

Edited by TimG
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I'd say the fact that less than 1,200 children were studied also undermines the study. Pollsters often make declarations about the voting intentions of large populations with similar numbers but they cross section of people questions are scientifically chosen as to get a broad cross section. Were similar considerations made here? The article in the OP cites different countries but does it control for socio-economic conditions as well? And what's the breakdown of the religions studied?

It sounds to me, like with many studies and polls, the author was looking for a specific result.

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It sounds like it to you because you didn't like the results? Can you defend your statement?

I did by questioning the small number of children surveyed. I think member TimG effectively argues how such studies can be question.

I have many questions about the study that aren't in the article provided.

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I did by questioning the small number of children surveyed. I think member TimG effectively argues how such studies can be question.

I have many questions about the study that aren't in the article provided.

Tim always argues about studies! Doesn't make his statements factual.

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Yes. The nature of the field makes it very easy for researchers attach significance to spurious correlations.

This cartoon illustrates a important point to keep in mind whenever a study claims something based on statistical significance:

https://xkcd.com/882/

IOW, if someone tested religious children for 20 different character traits there is a 100% chance of finding one spurious correlation.

Your point is valid but the last statement (that there would be a 100% chance of finding one spurious correlation) is incorrect. In fact, if each study has a confidence level of 95%, there would only be about a ~64% (1-0.95^20) chance of one of them finding a spurious correlation.

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Tim always argues about studies! Doesn't make his statements factual.

I provided a link to an article in Nature which confirms many of my complaints about correlation studies. If you wish to refute that Nature article, go ahead. If you can't be bothered then just admit you don't want to read anything that might force you to re-examine your pre-conceptions.

In fact, if each study has a confidence level of 95%, there would only be about a ~64% (1-0.95^20) chance of one of them finding a spurious correlation.

Point taken. Edited by TimG
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I provided a link to an article in Nature which confirms many of my complaints about correlation studies. If you wish to refute that Nature article, go ahead. If you can't be bothered then just admit you don't want to read anything that might force you to re-examine your pre-conceptions.

You can refute this study, and the ones finding different results.

Correlation is not causation. It's likely that people who feel morally superior are drawn to organized religion.

My point is to question the presumed moral superiority of religious people.

:)

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It's also hilarious that a study like this, of less than 1,200 people in 6 countries, is evidence that Churches have their charitable status revoked.

It's just a suggestion.

Legitimate charity work should be evaluated on the same criteria as non-profits for tax deduction purposes.

But not the whole organization.

People who want churches and religion can pay for it.

Morally, I am opposed to and I do not want to pay for churches, religion and trappings.

.

Edited by jacee
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