A group of researchers from the University of Chicago asked themselves the following question: is religion making us worse? There are many battles that are being fought for religion and many innocent people that fall victim to them, but is religion’s influence on us really negative?
Researchers have looked at children’s behavior because they are the only ones who can provide us genuine answers to this question. Moreover, it is the younger generations that we are trying to protect when asking ourselves such questions. For this purpose, investigators have observed the behavior of 1,000 children of 5 to 12 years old and different nations and devotions.
The surveys that the parents of the children have answered, as well as the behavioral conduct that children have evinced during certain experiments have proven that the more religious the kid’s background is, the less generous he is. Indeed, children from the United States, who have been formed in a religious family rarely share things with other children.
Atheist kids, on the other hand are more generous and forgiving. They rarely consider that people should be severely punished when they make a mistake, as it has been observed during a recent experiment with cartoon characters.
Still the question remains: is religion making us worse? In keeping with Christian Research Association Reverend Dr. Philip Hughes’ declaration I’d say it is not religion that is making people worse, but rather the interpretation that people give to it. Dr. Hughes has reminded scientists that similar studies have shown Australian children coming from religious families are much more altruistic than atheist ones.
The findings of the current study are valid mainly for the American society as the majority of the participants lived in the United States. It is, therefore, wrong to generalize this find and turn it into a rule that is valid for all countries, namely, that religious children are egoistic. Adults, in general and parents, in particular, play an important part in the way children interpret religious and political systems.
Hughes further recalled scientists that there are two types of religious people. Intrinsic believers, who like to keep their religious beliefs for themselves and extrinsic practitioners, who consider religious rules have to be obeyed by the entire society. As a result, religion is harmful only if people don’t know how to use it, was the Reverend’s final statement.
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