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Religion, God, and Theology Discussion of God, religion, faith, theology, and spirituality.

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Old 05-19-2017, 07:36 AM   #26
mariad
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Re: Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds

I do not agree completely with the study, i think it is more about the parents upbringing that children behave in a certain way. If a parent tells the child finish your lunch at school don't just give it to your friends, the child is being developed that way from a very early stage which will be with him or her towards adulthood.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:50 AM   #27
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Re: Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds

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Originally Posted by tame_deuces View Post
Well, let's assume we make no leap in moral judgment and just keep it in the descriptive.

Then I say that accepting certain punitive tendencies is pro-social, because it benefits society as a whole (serving to deter anti-social behavior) and I apply this study's data. Now I have shown a positive correlation between religiosity and pro-social behavior using the same data-set, and that the children reared in irreligious homes are less prone to engage in pro-social behavior.

So yes, pro-social is more strictly defined, but if kept strictly in the descriptive it won't say much.
If only we had more of your reasoning around. I mean this is obvious (but well put), but it goes over the head of 90+% of people reading these studies, including the educated.

Conclusions drawn not at all warranted from the data.
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Old Yesterday, 11:06 AM   #28
uke_master
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Re: Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds

I don't think things like punitive tendencies are generally considered pro-social, are they? Wikipedia cites a list of "such as helping, sharing, donating, co-operating, and volunteering". My impression was it was behaviours leaning more to you trying to help people, not ones where you hurt people directly but indirectly that harm might be argued to have some other societal benefit. Things like revenge and social shaming and threats may all be argued to have some type of social benefit along the lines but I don't think are what is meant by "pro-social".

It just seems to me your criticism is misplaced. I agree with criticizing people who confuse "pro-social" and "morally good", that just hand wave irreligious moral superiority because of this study. But your claim was that the "people" making this mistake are the authors, and that the authors are intentionally "cleverly disguising" this. I don't see that from your arguments thus far.
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Old Yesterday, 02:54 PM   #29
Aaron W.
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Re: Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds

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Originally Posted by uke_master View Post
I don't think things like punitive tendencies are generally considered pro-social, are they? Wikipedia cites a list of "such as helping, sharing, donating, co-operating, and volunteering". My impression was it was behaviours leaning more to you trying to help people, not ones where you hurt people directly but indirectly that harm might be argued to have some other societal benefit. Things like revenge and social shaming and threats may all be argued to have some type of social benefit along the lines but I don't think are what is meant by "pro-social".
It's one thing for a parent to say that they're punishing their child for an error, and it's quite another to say that they're taking revenge on them, even if the action is the same. And this is why pro-social is such a difficult term to use effectively. The action itself is not the thing being measured, but the intention behind it. We have to do the classification of the activity ourselves, as external beings to the one actually performing the behavior.

Also, the thing that you've quoted comes from an article called "Prosocial Organizational Behaviors" (in a management journal) which is quite a different context than anything related to childhood development.

Prosocial behaviors are intended to benefit others. Whether it does or not is a much different question.
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Old Yesterday, 04:41 PM   #30
carlo
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Re: Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds

Thirty(30) stickers ??? c'mon boys ; do you really think that this study is saying anything? The only mean spirited individuals in this study are the academic ogres who have no shame and should be subject to the same test.

I have a bridge I'd like to sell to each and every one of you who somehow justify this as a proper study (statically speaking notwithstanding.

Funded by John Tempelton, too, amazing; isn't he dead ?

These guys (academics) are nothing more than a group of fifth columnists or saboteurs acting under the guise of "academic whatever".

How about it, real scientists on this forum, disavow this group of malicious malcontents who claim "science" ; the downward spiral of the "social scientist"; a contradiction in terms.

End of rant.

Last edited by carlo; Yesterday at 04:53 PM.
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Old Today, 04:24 AM   #31
tame_deuces
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Re: Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds

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Originally Posted by carlo View Post
Thirty(30) stickers ??? c'mon boys ; do you really think that this study is saying anything? The only mean spirited individuals in this study are the academic ogres who have no shame and should be subject to the same test.

I have a bridge I'd like to sell to each and every one of you who somehow justify this as a proper study (statically speaking notwithstanding.

Funded by John Tempelton, too, amazing; isn't he dead ?

These guys (academics) are nothing more than a group of fifth columnists or saboteurs acting under the guise of "academic whatever".

How about it, real scientists on this forum, disavow this group of malicious malcontents who claim "science" ; the downward spiral of the "social scientist"; a contradiction in terms.

End of rant.
It's funded by the Templeton Foundation, not by the ghost of John Templeton. The study is also fine and I'll explain why.

We know from descriptive statistics that current secular cultures tend to be more civil and less brutal (which is the trend, not an absolute) than their religious counterparts, but it's very hard (if not impossible) to use inference on those data because the societies often differ in far more ways than religiosity. It's therefore very healthy that this study use experiment and observation as method. It gives us a better basis for potential insight.

"Meaner" and "less kind" (the words used in the press interviews) are obviously sensationalist terms, but they are not completely unwarranted. What is perhaps questionable is that it isn't explicitly stated that this doesn't translate to "less moral", which is pretty much the basis for the criticism I have voiced in this thread. Accepting harsher punishments is meaner and being less inclusive towards strangers is less kind, but neither translates to "less moral". A more reasonable conclusion is that those behaviors are a result of moral values, not the lack of them.

The study's most interesting finding is the conflict between the parents' view of their children and the children's actual behavior, which is a very interesting finding. It also mimics a discourse we often see in everyday life, the claim that loss of religion leads to loss of morals. That is a very important thing to question, because it's not a claim that seems warranted. What we instead see in studies like this is that a better phrasing would be that loss of religion leads to different morals, and perhaps even (as this study finds) that those moral values might be more accepting and inclusive in nature.

Now whether you think one of these moral values is preferable is a moral debate and not a scientific one, which my main beef with the term "pro-social behavior". It by its very name seems to indicate that one type of behavior is best, but that is actually not a part of its definition.

Last edited by tame_deuces; Today at 04:34 AM.
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Old Today, 08:25 AM   #32
carlo
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Re: Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds

I get it, and am not convinced. We are talking of 5-12 year olds; the age span, in and of itself, is a developmental and characterlogical mine field.

In so far as moral tone is concerned the human soul enters this realm at puberty and though some character traits can be seen previously it is also obvious that work is being done , by the child in his growth into manhood, to alleviate untoward behavior.

Really, I can go on but its not worth the effort for the socialistic bean counters are continuing their aberrant fight against the religious/spirit and are using children to promote their ill gotten manners.

You're telling me that this study was done properly, with some exceptions, which in turn should make it ok or plausible to the unwashed but I'm saying that its no more than a fluff piece meant to harm or hurt those who read and importantly those involved, the objects of this "science".

The aesthetics of this situation is ill will and not meant to ennoble the fellow human being . It is destructive , judgmental, and meant to harm.

The other and most important part is that the thought process of modern science are for the inorganic and when you or I decide to "study" human beings ala "social science" the methodology is specious (did I use it right here ?) for one must consider that knowledge of man or the human being is the first order of concern for a real study of the human soul, not some statistical misfit.

If someone wishes to discuss "altruism" and "egoism" it would be a good thread, as the exposure of these terms would be ennobling and even enlightening.

30 stickers to classify the child ? This alone should send the "study" into the trash bin. You can't use a "study" to know the world any more than one should wait for "science" to "prove"we digest before we eat ; of course we would then die of starvation in order to "prove" this "science", fitting. LOL

Last edited by carlo; Today at 08:31 AM.
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Old Today, 08:42 AM   #33
tame_deuces
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Re: Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds

Well, it is perhaps a bit disingenuous in the sense that they knew very well what they would find. All the traits explored here are behaviors that are fairly well known from religiosity studies beforehand. And the phrasing should have been clearer on it not translating to "less moral" but that it could also imply "different morals". I'll also note that I only read the report, I haven't read a full paper. I'd expect the full paper to contain a stronger listing of methodological weaknesses.

I'm no expert on religiosity studies but I did (or rather it is why I did) research all the names involved in the paper and they seem like well-credentialed names with relatively prestigious postings and little history of controversy.

I have seen nothing that indicates that it is somehow a "hit piece" or an attack. People imparting these behaviors on their children is no fault of the researchers, and it is certainly an interesting topic. The approach is certainly a bit pop-sciencey, intended most likely more for books, articles, press clippings and conferences than anything else - but it doesn't look like they slacked on rigor.

In short, your strong characterization seems unwarranted. Yes, there are things that likely could have been done better - but I see no conspiracy here. I can't really imagine the Templeton foundation funding such an attack anyway, it is (as I understand it) a religious organization.
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Old Today, 09:22 AM   #34
carlo
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Re: Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds

John Templeton was a famous fund manager (Templeton Fund) who was "knighted" and the foundation, in its mission piece, speaks to science, philosophy and religion.

Words like "conspiracy" are explosive which obfuscate the inner nature of the work; they live in the water and only know one type of water, let alone perceive the air.

https://www.templeton.org/about/vision-mission-impact
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Old Today, 12:44 PM   #35
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Re: Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds

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Originally Posted by tame_deuces View Post
Well, it is perhaps a bit disingenuous in the sense that they knew very well what they would find. All the traits explored here are behaviors that are fairly well known from religiosity studies beforehand.
From my brief reading, previous studies show the opposite to this study.
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