Alex Pietrowski, Staff
In a study to find out if kids who grow up with a strong religious background are nicer, more compassionate and more kind than secular children, it was revealed that religious kids are simply more mean, less-tolerant, more-punitive, and less-forgiving than kids who don’t grow up in a religious household.
Looking at mostly Christian, Muslim and secular children, researchers from a number of different universities around the world coordinated to compare the behavior and attitudes a group of around 1200 children from many backggorounds. The study conducted social experiments to determine how the children reacted in differing scenarios involving concepts like sharing, as well as their reactions to scenarios where bullying occurred. Included were four key tests:
According to the report the conclusions,“robustly demonstrate that children from households identifying as either of the two major world religions (Christianity and Islam) were less altruistic than children from non-religious households.”
The 3 key conclusions of the study are:
Over half of the world’s population self-identifies with either Islam or Christianity:
“As of 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31 percent) of all 6.9 billion people on Earth… Islam was second, with 1.6 billion adherents, or 23 percent of the global population.” [Source]
The interesting question that this study raises is, ‘does religion help people to become more moral and virtuous? The answer appears to be no, it does not. However, in 2014 a worldwide Pew research suvey found that most people around the world believe that religion is essential to morality. The recent study contradicts this commonly held belief.
“While it is generally accepted that religion contours people’s moral judgments and pro-social behaviour, the relation between religion and morality is a contentious one.’ [Source]
At at time when the world is looking down the barrel of a global holy war between Islam and Christianity, many people are asking if religion is vital for moral development, and it appears that it may in fact not be.
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