Religious belief appears to have negative influence on children’s altruism and judgments of others’ actions even as parents see them as ‘more empathetic’

Only furthers my belief that it should be a criminal offense to indoctrinate children with religious belief of any kind. Teach it all as history, plain and simple history until they are teenagers. THEN they take comparative religion/history of religion THEN give the men of the cloth their chance to convert them.

    Train up a child in the way he should go,

    And when he is old he will not depart from it.


This article hides the ball a lot. It gives 0 information on methodology, nor does it link to the study. I'm suspicious of looking at social attitudes from different countries -- how did they control for cultural differences? What about the fact that they used kids from 5-12 years old? Things like empathy and just general personality change a lot during that time.

    Muslim children judged “interpersonal harm as more mean” than children from Christian families, with non-religious children the least judgmental.

So, religious kids were harsher critics of someone causing harm, and this is used as a conclusion that they're meaner?

This is one of the big problems with studies like this: they're incredibly reductionist, and all they really do is measure the extent to which people appear, if you squint hard enough (i.e. massage the data enough), to conform to the authors' chosen ideas of what something like "meanness" actually means.

posted by OftenBen: 273 days ago