Religious upbringing linked to less altruism

Here’s some new research that seems likely to stir up some debate and media attention. (Can we just look this over without taking sides here?)

Many families believe religion plays an essential role in childhood moral development. But children of religious parents may not be as altruistic as those parents think, according to a new international study from the University of Chicago published Nov. 5 in Current Biology.

Children from religious families were less likely to share with others than were children from non-religious families. A religious upbringing also was associated with more punitive tendencies in response to anti-social behavior.

One can read the entire text of the original journal article at

http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(15)01167-7

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How you call a side of not taking a side lol?

I think you know me well enough to know that all I suggest is that people be willing to step back and take a look at the beliefs they have that keep them locked in their emotional and behavioral jail cells. :relieved:

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They have to be careful otherwise they might step back into a crap.

I’m not a religious person, but I always back away when someone uses the phrase “studies have shown”. It seems to me that a lot of those studies were intended to advance a particular viewpoint from the beginning. It is always easy to gerrymander a study. I’ve seen a lot of religious people do things that weren’t kosher, but I have also seen a lot of nonreligious people do things that were bad. I wouldn’t put too much faith in this study.

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Here is what I find problematic in this study, just my poor opinion based on common sense.
Children are naturally self centered, they ‘share’ because someone thought them they should - it is not like they’ve been deeply thinking about ethics of humanity or something.
Kids are developing as persons throughout years, even after they reach adult years, they are not final products but in process of becoming ( according to some, endless process per se) and owning their identities…so what’s the point of ‘capturing’ them at certain year of their development?
Really, what is the point?

Finally, seems like it is assumed that there is some kind of petrified ‘religious upbringing’ when there are actually shades and differences between more fundamental and more liberal/secular religious views - and it really only depends on parenting style more than anything.

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My daughter has been sharing when she shouldn’t, but it’s a matter of craving acceptance on her part. She was in an extremely toxic small rural school for a number of years where you had to ‘buy’ acceptance. We’ve gotten her out of there, but we’re still trying to break some of the habits she developed there.

Pixel.

Religions generally support outdated dogmatic moral systems. They are rigid and do not encourage independent analysis. These results should not be surprising unless you buy into that religion = morality crap.

(Notice how I did not say religious people are less moral. In my experience, adults can usually think independently regardless of their religiosity. At least to a certain point…)

The point is that as more of this kind of research pops up you can begin to answer certain questions regarding (normal) psychological development.

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A bit of a religious upbringing never hurt me or my siblings. None of us have ever been in jail, and we can all play the piano! :wink:

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I’m not what you’d call very religious (I avoid churches out of a fear of spontaneous human combustion), but I’d have to say that thou shalt not kill, and thou shalt not steal, both seem pretty current to me.

Pixel.

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How about… Thou shalt not kill unless thou needst to defend thyself or others
And… Thou shalt not steal unless thou needst to do so in order to survive or help others survive
Or something like that? I would agree if you agree that they need a few additional clauses like these ones.

That seems to be covered by common sense. I think it’s prohibited as a recreational activity.

Pixel.

Those are questions that ethics is trying to answer for a long time now.
Not religious questions in my understanding

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:smile: lol

It seems we are in agreement then. Not everything is outdated, sorry for overgeneralizing.

I’m not a philosopher but I remember learning about this in university. Ethics is really interesting. I favor deontology over utilitarianism, but both are quite flawed if you take them to the extreme.

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Yeah, I favour kantian ethics over utilitiarism. It’s a personal thing, out of respect.
I’m studying ethics and deontology now, in college

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The commandments I live by:

http://www.peace.ca/kindergarten.htm

Pixel.

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Indeed. The only absolute is that there are no absolutes. :wink:

Pixel.

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