According to a new study published in Current biology, children that live in a household that promotes religion, be it Muslim or Christian, are more likely to be more self-absorbed than others. Religious kids tend to be selfish and even more judgmental with others.
There may be some truth in apothegms like “Do onto others as you have them do”, but is seems that children who grow up in a nonreligious household tend to better understand the wisdom behind these words.
The study conducted on over a thousand children, each of them belonging to different religions or religious denominations, pointed out that nonreligious children and their family are more likely to be more altruistic and capable of giving the proverbial helping hand to others than those brought up in the purest Christian or Muslim tradition.
Researchers pointed out in their paper that children coming from religious households are likely to be more judgmental and less likely to be generous with someone in need. It seems also that another apothegm took a lot of beating. In Matthew 5:39 we are taught a valuable lessons in being compassionate about the wrongdoers. Do not resist an evil person, so reads the psalm. And if someone slaps you on the cheek, do no view this as a preamble to vengeance, but rather turn the other cheek, granting indulgence to your adversary.
According to the paper, it seems that cheek-turning no longer qualifies as a viable mean of expressing yourself. A person who has a strong religious education seems to be less inclined to help those in need. Piety may very well come hand in hand with generosity, but one of them doesn’t automatically imply the other.
Religious kids tend to be selfish than those brought up in nonreligious household and the difference doesn’t end here. In another part of the study, scientists were able to uncover additional facts regarding behavior exhibited by both groups. According to a statistic, a person who is either agnostic or simply prefers atheism, will be more inclined to do everything in his power in order to stem a conflict.
On the other hand, a person with a solid religious education will no doubt be more vengeful and inclined to take a certain course of action when he or she feels threaten.
No doubts the study has certain aspects worthy to be taken into consideration from a sociological point of view. The number of pro’ and con’ seem to be evenly matched: some viewers tend to agree with the outcome of the study while others accuse the said study as being vague and unreliable.
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