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Studies show young children's exposure to religion causes difficulties

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    Rad Manposted 2 years ago

    "Young children who are exposed to religion have a hard time differentiating between fact and fiction, according to a new study published in the July issue of Cognitive Science."

    Does anyone think this is a problem?

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 … 8/abstract

    1. Disappearinghead profile image90
      Disappearingheadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I think it's overblown and tries to make an issue out of something that isn't an issue. It's kind of irrelevant whether a child aged 5 or 6 thinks a character in a story is real or not,  and neither is it a big deal that some at that age may have difficulty separating fact from fiction. Stories are part of growing up and as a child grows and learns how to reason they naturally come to understand what is real and what isn't. To suggest that children brought up in a religious setting are somehow harmed here is just trying to make a case of of nothing.

      Are children psychologically damaged because they believe in Father Christmas? Today my 6 year old daughter was asking me whether it true or not that the moon is made of cream cheese. My 10 year old son still thinks the tooth fairy is real!!  Are my kids somehow going to be disadvantaged in some way? Of course not.

      Under UK law all state funded schools must hold a religious assembly at least once per week which must include prayer and be predominantly Christian. It's a tiny miniscule minority of parents who have a problem with this. Last Christmas I was talking to an Islamic colleague about the school nativity play, and his daughters loved taking part. He has no issues either as he recognises this is all part of UK culture. So with all this going on does anyone seriously think the entire UK population are a bunch of psychologically damaged retards that cannot discern fact from fiction?

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        Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Very valid points… but does it lead to adults who can't tell fact from fiction?

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          Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I'll ask you something similar to your question to Beth in another thread. We have many children who have displayed violent aggression mimicking actions in their video games. Studies have been done showing there is a sharp difference in levels of compassion in adults when they are told images of violence are news, as opposed to entertainment.

          These studies show that there are many things which allow a person to blur the lines between reality and fantasy; and that perception alters their behavior patterns.

          Would you say religion is more of a problem, similar in nature or completely different? Does religious education in children equate to violence in their behavior patterns or a sharp decline in their ability to display compassion? If not, what are the negative effects (to society)brought on by the differences?

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            Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Well, like the studies show, children have a harder time differentiating fantasy from reality. What I see in these forums are some adults also have a difficult time differentiating fantasy from reality.

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              Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Hmm. You draw that conclusion due to disagreement. Your conclusion does not necessarily equate to reality. You do understand this?

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                Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Did you read the study?

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                  Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Of course. Unlike some (who shall remain unnamed) I do read the links before commenting. smile Or, clearly state that I haven't.

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                    Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    We see people talking about demons and Satan as if they were real. They are as real as unicorns. Yet they are unable to see the difference between reality and fiction. Sound familiar?

      2. lone77star profile image91
        lone77starposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Beautiful points, DH. Far more logical.

        And there's a big difference between "belief" and "faith."

        Belief can be wrong. Faith never is. Faith is outside the realm of physical reality at the point of creation. Been there; done that. Most believers don't know what faith is, because they've never been there.

        So many of the blind are creating such a stir about all the talk of "color" being fantasy. (I'm using physical blindness and "color" as an analogy, if you haven't already guessed.)

        Most people do a fairly poor job of critical thinking. I do okay, but until about 3 years ago, I believed the Bush "conspiracy theory" of 9/11. Oh, boy! I was wrong!

        The current media, the corporations which fund scientific studies and the government are all controlled by people who have unsavory intentions about our well being.

        Take for instance the Climate Gate scientists who fudged numbers to try to sell the "climate change" scam. Climate changes; it always has. But they're trying to tie it to carbon dioxide and sell $Trillion$ in carbon tax to enslave the planet.

        Take for instance the NIST scientists of the American government who wrote up a report on the 3rd building to collapse on 9/11 -- WTC7. They try to sell us on the notion that solid steel could ever offer ZERO RESISTANCE! I'd like to see them try to punch their fist through solid steel. Maybe they'll get lucky after a few million tries, if their fists are bloody stubs.

        Our young children will be exposed to a lot. And then they grow up. What I'm afraid of is adults with lousy critical thinking skills buying what the news media is selling them. Like the poverty-stricken Germans did in the 1930s, Americans have more easily swallowed their own tyranny and watched as their nation has attacked, without provocation, other nations and occupied them. With Syria, Obama moved us to the brink of WW3. The elite power brokers don't care how many people die. They lust for power, and wars always bring shifts of power.

        So, be more critical. Be restrained on accepting what even scientists say, because some scientists are unethical opportunists. And skepticism is chock full of bias -- the potent bias of "doubt." And that's pretty unscientific.

        1. Quilligrapher profile image90
          Quilligrapherposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Greetings LoneStar.

          In as much as you feel compelled to go off topic to sell us your own versions of history, I feel compelled respond against the unsupported innuendo. On the other hand, your comments may not really be so far off topic if one considers your obvious willingness to treat highly improbable scenarios as if they really happened.

          NYFD officers at the scene evaluated the integrity of WTC7 early in the afternoon of 9/11. They ordered an evacuation of all personnel after considering the damage to the structure. Most believe they made a good call that saved a lot of lives. Nevertheless, some agenda driven members of his forum keep accusing those fire fighters of lying to cover up a controlled demolition ordered by President Bush. roll

          WTC7 did not collapse in its own footprint but fell to the South East around 5 p.m. A perfect free fall collapse of WTC7 is inconclusive speculation that relies on hypothetical conjecture and assumes (???) hundreds of your fellow Americans, including the Mayor, NYC firefighters, policemen, journalists, and eyewitnesses, are all members of a colossal conspiracy to cover up the mass murder of thousands of other Americans

          Some excerpts from firefighter commentaries:
          “Building 7 had fires raging out of control, had a huge gaping hole plus a gash more than 20 floors high on the south face, and a the massive load of 40 stories above it. [ED.: Underscore added for educational purposes.]

          “NYFD using a transit saw the building was beginning to lean to the South and by mid-afternoon ordered all firefighters and rescue teams away from the building.”

          A video of the collapsing building shows the seriously damaged southeast corner of the building buckled, and as the forty stories above it began to descend, they pulled the rest of the structure down with it. Watch the water tower on the southeast corner of the roof collapse first and the North side of the building follows seconds later.

          http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/117041#post2469139

          My apologies to the OP for also responding off topic.
          http://s2.hubimg.com/u/6919429.jpg

    2. tsmog profile image85
      tsmogposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      At first I was ready to not comment conceding agreement with the study until reading the following:

      http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/arti … l-thinking

      After reading that article I think the study is inclusive and fruitless. Obviously it is published seeking peer review. Like a thesis in scholastic ventures there will be challenges made to it with both deductive and inductive reasoning. The data and conclusions will have to defend the thesis, which is not shared with the abstract. I do not think the narrow stroke of the brush can be used for a generality (inductive reasoning) with this study. It is specific to parameters of learning theory and too narrow of a specific concluded.

      Yes, it does offer one to ponder, however mainline thinking with magical thinking for a 5 - 6 year old seems much more broad than three stories could conclude. We do not even know how they interviewed the children - individual or groups. That children's age group simply has a predisposition for magical thinking to explain phenomena. One's 'magic' is different than another.

      However, I could believe that children without a religious upbringing 'may' adapt to logical thinking (normal ages 7 - 12 http://www.learningrx.com/4-cognitive-s … nt-faq.htm) sooner . . . maybe. Most likely that may be parenting, social, and the individual with the ability or capacity to 'learn' rather than religious influence. Yet, that is a different study all together.

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        Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        From your link.
        "This is a perfectly normal part of the process of figuring out reality from fantasy. It is better to allow children the time and space to create their own understanding, rather than try to convince them of the "truth."



        Thanks for the thoughtful post. It seems to me that some adults never obtain the ability to be able to effectively distinguish the difference. I think we can see this when they start to talking about things that haven't been shown to exist in a way and insist they are reality. Are we supposed to assume that all Muslims and Hindus are misguided by their imaginations while Christians are actually experiencing God in some way?

        1. tsmog profile image85
          tsmogposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I agree with "It seems to me that some adults never obtain the ability to be able to effectively distinguish the difference." However, I fall into that category as well. I ponder if the experiences of learning . . . how learning occurs does not ever change. Those phases from that article I referenced are always a part of our repertoire. Some simply process through those phases with a problem seeking a solution or resolve much faster than another. Maybe that is simply from practice or using that process daily. We may see it more easily with science and mathematics as components of logic (philosophy) and much less easily with metaphysics or ontology (philosophy). It simply is beyond most, beyond average, and beyond common. Is there fault with that? Isn't that what leadership and education is about? Isn't that what wishful parents desire for their children to 'know' more than they themselves - the parents?

          Ponder scientific method. I have begun watching a series on WGN-TV 'Manhattan' about the development of the atomic bomb (a common method of learning today - watching TV). TV kinda' is nothing but wishful thinking. Are we being socialized and held back at the stage of wishful thinking as a populous to the extent our news broadcast are wishful thinking?

          Anyway . . . It showed there were two teams working on what they termed a 'gadget'. Both had two different theories for the solution. One may ponder if they both did use basic learning skills beginning with wishful thinking learned as a 5 - 6 year old. It is the next step of scientific method that leads away from wishful thinking seeking to 'prove' without a doubt it is not wishful . . . it is real thus reality. Yet, it began simply as wishful thinking no matter how much it was founded on their 'known' knowledge. One or the other would be wishful thinking not ever reaching being fruitful or actual.

          Many . . . many simply do not understand scientific thought and method. They never learned it or were not capable of learning it. Some place great weight on science and mathematics. Their higher power or authority are those two. Their faith simply says if unexplained today, well, science will explain one day. There faith and trust is in science, even though science may not explain such and such. Bare bones that is pretty similar to attributing to 'God' as the authority or higher power. Both cannot be touched. The protocol, procedures, and products of science can be touched, but science in purity cannot be touched. Thus, we are fortunate to have wishful thinking leading toward or as a cause seeking the effect or knowledge something is as so. The architect (of thought?) for a structure concrete or abstract thrives on wishful thinking

          Isn't that what StarTrek is all about? Wishful thinking? The science in that series is believable to some and others it simply is beyond their comprehension. And, many simply do not really care until it is real to the extent it can be touched (sensed or experienced). For example the StarTrek communicator and the cell phone. Wishful thinking of the audience eventually became real. Yet, how many understand how the whole concept of a cell phone works or is? Does that lead toward the credibility of the wishful thinking of 'Warp Drive' . . . wishful thinking for space travel? Possibly it is only differences in learning and processing what is learned combined with acceptance, faith, and trust.

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            Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Wishful thinking and creativity and StarTrek? You are talking about reality with those, something tangible. Sure we have to suspend our belief while watching, however we do know that it's not factual and these transporters do not yet exist and may never. I was talking about telling a child that things exist as fact that cannot be proven. We don't watch StarWars and think that those events and people lived in a galaxy far far away.

            1. Chris Neal profile image84
              Chris Nealposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Ironically, it is theoretically possible to travel light years but not faster than light.

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                Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Although they are looking into the warp drive thing.

                1. Chris Neal profile image84
                  Chris Nealposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  But the warp drive will literally warp space, not cause objects to move faster than the speed of light. At least that's my understanding of it.

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                    Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Right, but somehow will get from A to B faster than light. I read about it a few times now and I'm not able to contain it's complexity for long.

            2. tsmog profile image85
              tsmogposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              You are correct. The example I attempted to share was not the story and plot. It was the products of the science of the series 'StarTrek' (not StarWars) I eluded to. Top 10 'Star Trek' Technologies That Actually Came True http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/10 … htm#page=0 It was wishful thinking when I first saw the series in the 60's that I would have a communicator. Today I have a smartphone, yet I really do not understand how the technology of it works.

              The main point I attempted to share was in regard to 'wishful thinking'. Wishful thinking is a means of learning a person first experiences at ages 5 - 6. It is abstract thinking. It is later with learning mathematics and grammar structure that logic is introduced to solve problems and make sense of this or that.

              I tend to think wishful thinking remains as a problem solving technique and a means of learning even for scientist today. That type of thinking is the beginning of scientific method. It is the original idea . . . a creative thought or wishful thought something can be so (created) or is so (exists). The next step of scientific method is to do background research followed by so on and so on or apply rational thinking. That is the difference between rational and empirical supporting the original 'idea of wishful thinking'. Each of those steps are steps of learning and they are progressive. One 'proves' as your comment alludes to with both rational and empirical. Some are happy with the rational and others require empirical.

              The point being many never progress beyond a certain stage of learning especially within metaphysics and ontology within it. They simply accept what they have been told or read and never venture with learning through the next steps. Instead they 'live' with the means of learning and knowledge they have procured and accept what they have been told. Even if they arrive upon the same 'personal' conclusion seeking more of least they sought 'one step beyond'. That is where understanding from learning comes from. Understanding both sides of an argumentative discussion leads 'with' learning. Captain Kirk ended each episode answering a question, "Where to now Captain?" He replied, "Out there somewhere . . . Just go." 

              If you would like to read something that is well written and goes a step beyond try this article on the Theory of Reciprocity.  It is a questioning process of a product of 'wishful' thinking' - How was the Universe created? When did it begin? For enticement here is the link followed by a copy/paste of its introduction:

              The Nature of Being: Science vs Sense http://www.theory-of-reciprocity.com

              "The following thesis is the product of a common sense perspective that rationally explains the enigma of existence without invoking undetectable extra dimensions, supernatural deities or spontaneous singularities. Derived from simple reasoning and critical thinking, it reveals how 'Existence Ex Nihilo' is logical while 'Creation Ex Nihilo' is not. It does not conflict with accepted scientific data, but it does explicitly refute the conventional interpretation of that data. Once you understand the phenomenon of existence, the nature of life and the rest of the physical world logically falls into place - almost as an afterthought. In any case, I do hope you find the deductions and speculations herein to be an engaging and thought provoking mental exercise worthy of your participation whether or not you ultimately agree with my conclusions.

              In order to understand the nature of the cosmos, it is necessary to begin with the basics and study its two most fundamental phenomina: existence and change. This thesis examines the relationship between those two criteria and it results in conclusions that contradict the contemporary models offered by academia. All I ask of you is to keep an open mind and consider the possibility that the pundits may be wrong and the Universe may not really be flat."

              I of least discovered possibly how fruitless discussions are of how the universe is created. It is the discussion of 'existence' that I now find more intriguing offering pondering.

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                Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Thanks for that, however the logic is flawed in my opinion. I don't have time to get past the first page, but I will.

                Here is the problem.
                "To create something is to cause it to exist. But if being is necessary in order for change to occur, then cause and effect is, itself, derived from (thus subordinate to) the more basic phenomenon of being. Simply put, existence is the source of cause and effect not the result of it and no phenomenon can be the product of its own subordinate derivative."

                Starting with the assumption that the universe was created. Example, bubbles of gas exist without someone blowing through holes. They may have a cause, but the cause had no plan.

                1. tsmog profile image85
                  tsmogposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Doesn't the axiom follow the question?

                  So, why does something exist rather than nothing?

                  Axiom: Before something can change, before something can act or be acted upon, it must exist.

                  Is the question wishful thinking? What follows is the rationale of conventional thought 'that' something exists. The article states seemingly the same as yourself or I may be incorrect. The article states further along;

                  "If existence is the source of cause and effect and cause and effect is governed by fundamental laws of nature called principles, doesn't it logically follow that the key which unlocks the enigma of existence should be a principle instead of a process?"

                  Within that question is the questioning of 'creation' as that is a 'process' and not a principle. Again, a question to be pursued further along with rationale in the article. Again, was wishful thinking at the head of the pathway now traversing through thought seeking logical explanations.

                  I am only suggesting with the beginning OP that children's wishful thinking at age 5 - 6 is answering 'their' questions of the unknown. The process of solving or resolving is IMHO what should be addressed and evaluated at that age and has importance. I tend to think it more important that a child at that age is "processing information" and arriving upon an answer that is important.

                  Take a peek at Amazon for books for children at that age. A vast majority are animism. With a story book or story maybe they may say 'No a dog does not talk', but I bet they will say the dog in the story told them the answer. Does that mean the dog was real?

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                    Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Starting with the assumption that the universe was created rather than happened is the error. What existed before our universe happened is unknown. We only know the universe happened, that's all.

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      SirDentposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Read the short version, can't view the full article because I am not a member.

      Children's upbringing was also related to their judgment about the protagonist in fantastical stories that included ordinarily impossible events whether brought about by magic (Study 1) or without reference to magic

      What do they consider magic?  Many atheists use that term loosely in these forums to put down believers in Christ.  They use trigger words and terms to try to get a rise out of believers. 

      (Study 2). Secular children were more likely than religious children to judge the protagonist in such fantastical stories to be fictional.

      Those children who are taught that we live then we die with nothing coming after death do not see or know that these things are possible, (speaking of what they consider magic).

      The results suggest that exposure to religious ideas has a powerful impact on children's differentiation between reality and fiction, not just for religious stories but also for fantastical stories.

      The findings are tainted, IMO.  Controlled to make sure that the children of believers fail, in their own minds.

    4. AshtonFirefly profile image82
      AshtonFireflyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Although I understand what is attempting to be conveyed here, the study which was presented seemed to be somewhat biased or restrictive for a few reasons:
        The criteria upon which the abilities of these children was based, was a story (stories) with protagonists in 'realistic' or 'unrealistic' scenarios. The determination of what is considered realistic or not is already determined by those who made the test, and we are not given specifics about what they considered to be real or not, and if it would in fact be universally accepted. In order for this study to work, all would have to agree on what constitutes reality. We do not, and that is the whole point being discussed. For all we know, the "unrealistic" scenarios could be something that the "religious" (if you will) adults would find true, in which case the author is attempting to prove a point using the very point he/she's trying to prove, making it a circular and useless argument. More details are needed for me, personally, regarding this study in order for it to be useful to its intended audience.
        I see the point being made, however, regardless of the credibility of the test. I have heard it argued that children introduced to religious teachings (depending on which one it is) tend to take less of a critical thought approach towards concepts and ideas, and that they have been taught (in most cases, due to the nature of most religions) to rely on faith WITHOUT questioning. I think that this only applies towards religious concepts which are taught in such a way as not to be questioned, and therefore the responsibility lies solely in the one doing the teaching. It is possible for children to be introduced to religious concepts (regardless of which one it is) without being encouraged to be mindless in their beliefs or even, in some extreme cases, have disdain of science or logic (as was in my case.) Although it is not explicitly stated,this seems to be the underlying message of the study (that children believe things that do not stand under logic, critique, or evidence, if highly exposed to religion.)
        Some might argue that the nature of most religions themselves is to promote the unnatural, miraculous, or impossible, but this would be circular reasoning, for it is only those who do not believe in that religion which would find it fantastical. For those who adhere to it, it is very real indeed. It always comes back to that never-ending question of "what is reality?"
        I personally was brought up in a very restrictive, religious environment which taught me never to question, never to use logic, and never to ask why, at a young age. This is, of course, an extreme example. For me, this produced the opposite effect. I was homeschooled in a religious home and I fought against what was taught me. However, it made it extremely difficult to approach the world in this way and to me, was definitely a hindrance. At the same time, the frustration with being taught so narrow-mindedly was also just the push I needed to REALLY think for myself. I guess I could call it rebellion. So in the end, the religious brainwashing I received was counter-productive, but I would never repeat it on my own children. Again, my case was an extreme one and I'm not suggesting all cases are like this.

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        Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, your case was extreme, and you kind of make my point when you say...

        "The determination of what is considered realistic or not is already determined by those who made the test, and we are not given specifics about what they considered to be real or not, and if it would in fact be universally accepted."

        Because we do in fact know fact from fiction, we know dogs don't talk and we know there are no unicorns roaming around forests.

        1. Chris Neal profile image84
          Chris Nealposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Which is true as far as it goes, but there are still some unanswered questions:

          1) Do religious adults understand what a miracle is?

          2) Do they expect this on a regular basis in their own lives?

          3) Do adults without religion understand that adults with religion understand what a miracle is?

          I think the tendency to blame religion for a lot of stuff is still overblown. I see magical thinking all the time in the form of "if Obama were only allowed to do what he should" or "if everyone would only practice conservatism." It isn't that different. And the assertion that religious kids tend to be more dullards is also, IMO, a bit overblown. A lot of times, when you think you're teaching kids to be critical thinkers what you end up with are smart-asses who simply find slightly more clever ways of doing what they want regardless of how it affects everyone else (which is human in general, to be sure.) I'm not a big fan of "don't ask questions" but from my experience "question everything" doesn't usually produce better results. "Ask the right questions" is what we should be teaching them.

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            Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            You mean, ask the questions I want you to ask right? Kids can be taught respect and to question at the same time. For instance one would never openly question someone's faith without understand that their is a dialogue. I don't show up in front of a place of worship handing out pamphlets and asking questions and I certainly don't knock on people doors. I've never even talked to my own kids about what I don't believe until they came to me with questions. One never has and remains tight lipped, the other two discuss it all the time.

            It's important to question everything otherwise when the JW's or the Mormons knock on the door one doesn't blindly follow what they say that one should be doing.

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            Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Further,

            1. That's open for debate, but according to the RCC miracles happen all the time and they get to decide when they happen. St. Kateri Tekakwitha was recently Sainted for what the churched called a miracle which was in my opinion silly. Some poor child had been infected with the flesh eating decease on his face. He was in the hospital and was being given the best treatment possible, but was still struggling, when the parents prayed to Tekakwitha because she was thought to have had a skin problem. The kid survived and Tekakwitha was sainted because of the miracle, the poor kid had will never look the same so I just don't see the miracle.

            Do you?

            2. Some do and become angry when things don't go their way.

            3. See number 1.

            1. Chris Neal profile image84
              Chris Nealposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I don't keep tabs on the RCC or what it does or does not deem a miracle. I'm still unclear on what, other than popularity, is fueling the drive to saint John Paul II.

              You're right, some do. And yes, they become angry when things don't go their way. Guess what? There are people who aren't religious who still believe that things should go their way and get angry when they don't. This is where the urge to blame religion is a red herring. However, just to keep the record clear, I don't subscribe to what could be called "Course In Miracles" thinking. I believe miracles do happen but: a) they don't happen all the time, and b) we can't just expect them or summon them up. That's magic, not faith.

              As for "ask the question I you want them too" you are correct. I want them to learn how to ask the questions and to actually ask the questions which will really get to the heart of the matter. And when properly taught, religion does not undermine this. When improperly taught, skepticism most certainly does. But, again, to be clear, I don't want kids to ask a certain pre-set number of questions that will lead them by the nose to the answer I want them to have. I want them to learn how to ask probing and intelligent questions.

        2. AshtonFirefly profile image82
          AshtonFireflyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Very true.
          However, we do not know that this is the type of scenarios specific to that study. I questioned the credibility of the study because the information was very vague as to what constitutes reality and fiction.
          We all agree on SOME aspects, but not all. The case of animals talking in human language, etc. would be an isolated situation upon which we all agree. But we do not know if it is this type of scenario that was depicted by "real" or "fiction" in the study. As a whole, humankind does not agree. In specific situations, it can.

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            Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            It seems to me they read stories to the children and asked the children if individuals in the story were real. Some of the stories contained magical or impossible things which would be an indication that the stories were fictitious like Harry Potter would be. However the children who were being indoctrinated had a more difficult time distinguishing fact from fiction. I wonder why?

            1. AshtonFirefly profile image82
              AshtonFireflyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Perhaps I'm being too nit-picky, but what one defines as "magical" is what makes the problem for me.
              I would like to know what sort of things the test-makers determined as magical, because this is the basis for the test. If it is something which a religious adult would find factual, then the test is not very helpful in making an objective study on children highly exposed to religion. It would be self-serving and not helpful to anyone except those already perceiving religion as fantastical. For example, a lot of "religious" (I hate calling them that) folks believe in the possibility of the "magical" happenings of Harry Potter involving witchcraft, etc. There was, in fact, a whole huge controversy about it in the churches. That the books were teaching children REAL witchcraft. But I begin to think I'm being nit-picky at the expense of clarity.

              I think I should note that I agree to most extent with the concept being put forth, but I question the credibility of the test itself based on the lack of information I have about the variables.

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I don't know about nit-picky, but it sounds like you're saying that adults, too, have difficulty distinguishing reality from fiction - it can be seen in that they believe things that violate natural law do, in fact, occur and that they are unable to differentiate between imagination, or opinion, and reality or truth.

                1. AshtonFirefly profile image82
                  AshtonFireflyposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Well that's kind of illustrating what I mean.
                    I speak from the position of determining whether or not such a study is even useful, as it's presented. If one uses their own ideas about what is factual to devise a test to determine if someone is factual and then presents it as proof, then there is an issue of circular reasoning.
                    If one already assumes that a religious statement is not factual, then the whole point of the study is pointless in an objective sense because it proves itself by its own argument.
                    I think Adults do have a difficulty doing that, at least some. And not necessarily in a religious context. I feel that the findings of the sciences helps to enlighten us to our world so that we may be better educated about reality and truth, but I feel that one ultimately believes what they want to believe or what fits their own needs. I prefer truth over comfort, personally.

            2. Quilligrapher profile image90
              Quilligrapherposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Hey there, Rad Man. Thank you for an interesting topic.

              Do you really wonder why? I believe, based on this study, you think you already know why. However, the study has limitations of which you are either unaware or choose to deny.

              I suggest it would be intellectually naïve to draw any opinions based solely on reading the abstract (summary). The link in the OP statement points just to the abstract, so I hope you accessed and read the entire study before starting this thread.

              First, the authors themselves recognized the uncertainty of their results with this observation in the body of the paper: “A second concern is that even if the group differences observed in both studies are correlated with differential exposure to religion, other family factors may have been as important if not more important in bringing about the observed differences.”[Ed. Underline added to emphasis my point.] {1}

              Since the researchers acknowledge other family factors may be more important than the different levels of religious exposures, I find their data establish a correlation with a religious environment but do not establish causation.

              In addition, the study was conducted on 5-6 year old children. I found nothing to suggest the resulting data can or should be extended to include mature adults. Researchers Corriveau, Chen, and Harris conclude their study by saying, “By implication, the environment in which children are raised has an important influence on the way they process and categorize the narratives that they encounter.” {2}

              The study does not mention nor does it justify your obvious desire to establish a link between early religious exposure and "adults who can't tell fact from fiction." Most adults who say they believe in God also know Harry Potter is a fictional character. It may be convenient for validating a preconceived notion but it is otherwise inconclusive for your implied purposes.

              An interesting topic, Rad Man. I thank you for posting.
              http://s2.hubimg.com/u/6919429.jpg
              {1} http://www.bu.edu/learninglab/files/201 … -press.pdf  p.22
              {2} Ibid. p.25

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                Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Thanks for the thought provoking post. I'm rather impressed, however while the adults seem to underhand that Harry Potter is fiction as it's stated in the description of the book "fiction", many people think it's acceptable to think a person can be is both God and human, which seems equally ridiculous to me. We call one fiction and the other not? They seem both absurd to me.

                1. 0
                  Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Anything can be considered absurd when viewed from the appropriate angle. I see nothing absurd in the possibility of being part human, part God. But, I think we all possess a spark of the Divine, so someone with much more than a spark is entirely plausible.

                  1. 0
                    Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Never seen or heard one, but you see nothing absurd about the possibility? Does it seem absurd to you that Joseph Smith would we equal to God? Does it seem absurd that you may need a secret handshake to get into heaven? Does it seem absurd that Mohammad rose to heaven on a horse?

    5. LailaK profile image78
      LailaKposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I think that this is a very interesting study, though I couldn't access the full article sad You know, coming from a person who was born and raised in a religious family, I was forced to do lots of stuff I didn't want to do as a kid. I always wonder how I would've turned out if my parents weren't religious. So I see the point why sometimes enforcing a religion on kids can cause difficulties. During my early teenage years, I entered an atheist stage and stopped believing in anything. Now, fortunately, I am thankful to come to terms with a religion and reconnect with God again. Honestly, I am now at inner peace within myself. I think that religion isn't the one that causes difficulties. I think it's the way parents enforce it on their kids. Does anyone relate?

      1. 0
        Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Ding, ding, ding, ding. We have a winner here folks.

        I'm very glad you are at peace and wish you nothing but the best.

        I certainly relate.

        1. LailaK profile image78
          LailaKposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Lol... Your comment drew a huge smile on my face! Thank you!

          1. 0
            Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            As did yours. You are most certainly welcome.

    6. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Religion also induces fear and guilt into children also.  How many people have deep psychological problems as adults because they were strongly inculcated by negative religious principles as children?  However, many religious parents strongly insist that children should be taught religion instead of letting the children decide for themselves whether they wish to be religious or not.  It is totally implausible really.

      1. 0
        Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        You reminded me of when as a young child my grandmother passed away and my parents tried to comfort me by telling me she will be watching over me all the time now. That kind of creeped me out.

    7. cjhunsinger profile image69
      cjhunsingerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      At first I saw this as another attempt to vilify Christianity and theism in general, but after some thought, I think there may be some merit here. The merit does not come in the testing of the children. I say that because the teaching of Santa Clause to children would necessarily come  under  the same heading, I do not think that harmful.
      The difference here, is that at the age of about 7 the child begins to move away from   the Santa belief and is allowed to do so by parent and society. Theistic belief however, is a much different matter and the child is held to a specific religious dogma, by parents and society. Even that the child begins to question this belief, he is rebuffed with a reminder that unbelievers are punished. This assertion is held by both parent, the church, of course, and society in general.This then is where the waters turn murky and the child begins to accept a guilt for the simple reason that he is alive. Not only a sense of guilt, but fear enters into the child for possible sins and transgressions already committed. The child now is burdened with a constant thought of punishment. I would think that the degree that this is ingrained into the child depends on the zeal with, which it is taught and supporting outside influences.
      Does such indoctrination start a child out on a positive footing?
      Can the guilt and fear lead to crippling inhibitions resulting in antisocial behavior?
      Do we create, within the child, a bias and a narrow view of life that shuns contradictory views or even condemns such views.? It would seem that we see a great deal of this today.
      Does such an indoctrination create a society that is capable of growth, with reference to a political concept of Individual Freedom?
      Does such a concept, as Individual Freedom, contradict such religious indoctrination. And is it inevitable that the two will clash and one will fade away?

  2. Barend Dippenaar profile image59
    Barend Dippenaarposted 2 years ago

    Children educated in religion are better balanced than those without. They can differentiate between good and evil, this world's finite stuff and that which is eternal. You are just trying to pursue Satan's agenda. Write about something else, please.

    1. 0
      Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Did you purposely try to make my point?

  3. TheRSTeacher profile image84
    TheRSTeacherposted 2 years ago

    Can I ask, does this mean being brought up religious as opposed to being taught objectively about religions?

    1. 0
      Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Does anyone teach objectively about religions to young children. Most (religious) people have an opinion and will only teach their specific opinion to their children. Melissa seems to be the exception to the rule, although I'm not sure she teaches her children about religions, as it's probably not necessary at young ages.

      1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
        MelissaBarrettposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Bah, sometimes in the more advanced history lessons it's unavoidable to acknowledge that religion played a part in this, that or another. When they ask specific questions I point them towards the library (That large building with actual books in it, not the internet). Most of the time they can't be arsed with it. One read up on the Mormons at one point during an Oregon trail lesson, but he got distracted when people started eating other people. So that aspect took his attention. I've found that without an active force pushing religion on kids, they don't really go looking into it themselves until that "existentialism" phase hits in late teens/early twenties.

        1. 0
          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Existentialism, early teens for me. Not much sleep for me at that time.

      2. TheRSTeacher profile image84
        TheRSTeacherposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Are you in the US? In the UK it is law for all children in non-denominational state schools to learn about religion from the ages of 4-19. We teach religion in an academic way looking at Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism as these are the six major world religions. We also look at ethics and philosophy as well as the atheist worldview. In theory then as long as the subject is being taught well then yes religion should and can be taught objectively. This is why, obviously i'm biased, it is so vitally important to have academic religious education so children learn about religion- and many religions and non-religious world views in an open and critical way and not just from their parents or religious organisation.

        It's not uncommon in the UK for RS teachers to be atheists but the subject still has a lot of misunderstanding around it as in the olden days it used to be more like religious instruction of Christianity. Some people are against teaching it but I think the only people who should really be uneasy about it are those who have fundamental beliefs about their own religion and are wanting to indoctrinate their own children in a similar way.

        So I am assuming the quote refers to children growing up in a specific religious tradition and being taught that the religion is true. That I can believe.

        1. 0
          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, we are talking about indoctrination here and not simple looking at what certain religions believe.

          I'm in Canada, I don't think there is a need to teach 4 year olds world religions, that being said my kids and my self when through (or are going through) what is called here in Ontario the separate school board (Catholic). It's heavily regulated as it public so they are not really able to successfully indoctrinate anyone really. The funny thing is in high school they legally have to take everyone so there is a large percentage of Muslims, Hindus and Sikh's which makes grade 11 world religion rather fun.

          I've had fun learning about other religions lately, what some people don't seem to understand is how silly the religion they believe in sounds because they are immersed in it. But when one looks at what others believe for the first time as an adult it's fascinating as one hopefully will then look at their own religion in the same light. Perhaps that a good reason not to teach children what others believe as it becomes the norm?

          1. Chris Neal profile image84
            Chris Nealposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            People like you, me and Julie are not the norm. Most people who are not taught their religion as children tend to become adults with no religion.

            1. 0
              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              That's a really important statement.

        2. MelissaBarrett profile image60
          MelissaBarrettposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I can kind of see the point in that. There are two ways I could have chosen to go, no religion or all religions. The problems I had with "all" religion is 1) There is no way possible to teach all religions to my children and 2) The time I would spend teaching them about religion could be spent actually learning about something useful.

          Even if it is only a one hour class once a week, basically you are saying that UK schools devote 540 hours of instructional time to religious instruction over a child's academic career. If you think that is insignificant, that is the equivalent in hours to my entire freshman year and the first half of my sophomore year in college combined. It is essentially the hours required for an Associate Degree.

          I think that time could definitely be better spent.

  4. MelissaBarrett profile image60
    MelissaBarrettposted 2 years ago

    From my experience children who are educated with religion are, quite honestly, duller. They don't question anything, don't go looking for explanations to things they find odd, and lack basic problem solving skills. They automatically fold to authority and ask "Why?" far less than their secular educated counterparts.

    That is from years of seeing religiously homeschooled children verses secular homeschooled children. The religious children just strike me as... well... dumb.

    1. 0
      Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      You know, I was thinking of you specifically when I was reading the studies.

      1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
        MelissaBarrettposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Well, you know my inability to separate fact from fiction is legendary. So I can see the connection wink
        But yeah, the biggest problem I can see is that educating kids that can differentiate the two HAS to be difficult, especially with the hard sciences. I can see the tendency to fall back on a simple magical answer when the real answer is difficult to grasp. And yes, I believe that would likely carry over into the adult world if not nipped in the bud as children.

        People, children included, have a tendency to take the easy road. If you go out of your way to introduce an easy road, then the results are going to be fairly predictable. Unfortunately that leads to an intellectual laziness and a lack of curiosity to drive learning.

        If I asked one of my children why something happened in a certain way and the answer was "Because God wants it that way." I might possibly hang up my lesson plans. I would certainly cry myself to sleep that night.

        /ramblings.

  5. Cat333 profile image81
    Cat333posted 2 years ago

    Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight! Isaiah 5:20-21

    Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6

    Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Luke 18:15-16

    1. Link10103 profile image79
      Link10103posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Your personal thoughts on the matter, as in your own words, would be more appreciated rather than quoting scripture. Of course thats just my take on things...

      1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
        MelissaBarrettposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        She can't give her own words because it would be considered a personal attack, so the first verse is an attempt to chastise those who don't agree with specific dogma by using random, irrelevant bible verses.

        The second verse is also irrelevant and like most of psalms is a general statement of common sense... teach your children the correct way when they are young so they know it when they are older. Water is wet too. It doesn't say teach your children Christianity... that would be amazing as if it was specifically speaking of religion, it would have been the Jewish faith... Making every Christian in violation of the verse they quote ever so often.

        Amazingly, the one relevant verse (Luke 18:15-16) is the verse that Christian parents who chose not to indoctrinate use most often to support their view. We believe that our interference in the possible future relationship between Christ and our children is a hindrance. We believe that if/when they go to Christ, it should be without any preconceived notions and completely of their own free will.

      2. Cat333 profile image81
        Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Sure, here are my thoughts related to each verse (and hopefully they won't be considered personal attacks as Melissa says).

        "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!" (Isaiah 5:20-21) - Looks like a lot of people have decided to define that which is good (teaching a child about God) as something evil; It's just a sad and sickening thing to witness.

        "Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it." (Proverbs 22:6) - The "right path" is the path of righteousness, the path of light, the path of faith. Jesus Christ himself (who existed and was with God in the beginning) is that right path - he is our righteousness and he is our light and we live by faith in him. In OT times God had revealed himself to a degree through his Word / the prophets and the Holy Spirit. God has since revealed himself more fully through Jesus Christ - the Word and God in the flesh. We direct our children onto the right path, though ultimately it is God through his Holy Spirit who truly reveals himself to them and seals them in him (and takes them beyond second hand faith).

        "Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God." (Luke 18:15-16) - Children are ready to receive the Lord. Forbid it that any should hinder them.

        Far more important than teaching children about God (important as it is) is GIVING our children to God. My children have been given to him from the womb. They are here with me as my children for a little while, and I honor my role, but ultimately they are the Lord's, not mine. They have been committed to him and he is fully able to keep that which is committed to him (2 Timothy 1:12), and I trust that is what he'll do. Therefore, if I die and no one else brings them up in the Lord, he himself will ensure that they come to him through the Holy Spirit.

        1. Link10103 profile image79
          Link10103posted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Would you care to point out where anyone said teaching a child about god is evil in this forum? I was fairly certain i read most comments on this thread, yet I have not seen anything of the sort. What some of us are declaring as WRONG (not evil), is forcing your own religion onto a child that is not capable of thinking for themselves or even saying no to their parent. If you are so sure that your religion and your god are right, over the thousands of other religions that claim the same thing mind you, then what is the harm in waiting until your child is of a proper age to freely choose what to believe in rather than growing up and accepting everything you say as fact because they had next to no choice in the matter?

          Answer: Absolutely no harm whatsoever if you "know" you are right. If you think otherwise, I cant help but believe that you would find it easier to spread the good word to your kid when they are young enough not to be able to say no rather than when they are old enough to tune you out due to insufficient evidence of your claims, which isn't guaranteed to happen, but has a significantly higher chance to than if they were a youngster.

          1. Cat333 profile image81
            Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Wrong, evil... If you don't like my choice of word, then substitute wrong for evil.

            Wait to tell people the TRUTH? Your line of reasoning only makes sense if God is not real and true. Because he is, such a line of reasoning is of no value.

            If we should wait to teach children about God, then why not wait to teach them about all things outside the concrete, physical realm? Why not wait to teach them morality so that they can form their own ideas on morality? Why not let them decide for themselves if they want to be violent, perverse, classist, racist, sexist, judgmental, hypocritical, dishonest, gossipers, unfaithful, and on and on? I mean who are you or I to say these things are absolutes and one way is better than another? Or if we recognize the ludicrous nature of teaching children only what is in the physical realm, and we decide that we should bring them up in truth and goodness, then why would we fail to introduce them to God while we introduce them to goodness?

            1. Link10103 profile image79
              Link10103posted 2 years ago in reply to this

              You question our individual rights to teach one way being right over another, yet you have absolutely no problem teaching your kids unfounded "facts" and that all other versions of those "facts" are incorrect with nothing to back up either side of the claim.

              Have a nice day Cat.

              1. Cat333 profile image81
                Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                No, Link, I do NOT "question our individual rights to teach one way being right over another". We not only have the right, but we have an obligation to teach that all the things I mentioned (violence, perversion, classism, racism, sexism, judgment, hypocrisy, dishonesty and so on) are WRONG and we have an obligation to introduce children to goodness. This is so obvious, I assumed you'd get the sarcasm and comparison. The point was that if you think God should not be introduced to children, then why say morality should, rather than letting kids make up their own minds. In other words, if we of course should teach kids morality, then we of course should teach them about God. Just as we have an obligation to teach goodness because we KNOW it's right and good, we who KNOW the Lord have an obligation to introduce children to Truth - that is, the Lord.

                1. Link10103 profile image79
                  Link10103posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Either read my comments before replying to them, or clarify your wording. I never said children should not be taught religion, I consider anything under the age of 18 to be a "child". What I said, a number of times by now, is that religion should be with held from a child until they are of an age to properly understand what is being taught to them and determine whether or not they wish to follow it.

                  If someone determines that they want to be violent, a racist, or a sexist, there is no guarantee they will not be any of those things regardless if you attempt to teach them otherwise. Fact of the matter is, they chose to be that way, they are not the best choices but they are the choices they personally made and were not forced into. As hard as it is for you, please try and stay on topic. Religion does not absolutely equate to good morals in the slightest.

                  And please, explain how this was you not questioning our rights to teach one thing over another

                  1. Cat333 profile image81
                    Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    I read your comment and interpreted it as "children" should not be taught religion, but rather it should await "adolescence". In one way we may call those under 18 children or juveniles (depending on how it's defined by location), but in another way we consider childhood and adolescence as distinct from one another.

                    Rather than equating morals and religion, I was really making the point that if we don't consider ALL things that lie outside of the naturally concrete (and may be decided upon ourselves) to be better off avoided and not taught prior to a child or youth's age of deciding for themselves, then why is this being suggested for teaching about God. If a child (under 14 and not yet able to decide for themselves) is taught to be loving rather than violent and selfish, why do you NOT consider them to have been "forced" into this, yet you consider a child taught about God to be "forced" into this belief? I'm really attempting to show you inconsistencies and hypocrisy that lie within your reasoning on this.   

                    And this statement, "I mean who are you or I to say these things are absolutes and one way is better than another?" was intended to reveal exactly that inconsistency and hypocrisy in your reasoning, NOT to say I myself believe that there are no absolutes and one way is not better. I believe God is an absolute; I likewise believe there is absolute right and wrong. I further believe we as parents have not only the right but also an obligation to teach all that is true and right and absolute, while encouraging personal styles and preferences regarding all else.

  6. bBerean profile image59
    bBereanposted 2 years ago

    Wow.

    Unfounded rants of victim hood by people who are usually the most aggressive, (and claim others are always painting themselves a victms).  Repeated insistence that a hubber refrain from responding to what is posted in a public forum or else face relentless false reporting even though anyone within TOS has every right to respond to any post they see fit. 

    Takes two to tango.  Folks could do as they keep saying they will, and ignore anyone they want, but instead threaten a "report" campaign?  Imagining harassment when they don't need to engage.  Personal attacks from those usually the quickest to hit the report button, (surprise) yikes.

    I really don't need to add commentary, as recounting what has transpired speaks for itself, however I did see one hubber respond to someone they perceived as feeling victimized  with this:
    http://s2.hubimg.com/u/9155767_f248.jpg

    Just a reminder folks, there are those who would bait you to respond so that they might find a legitimate report to attempt to ban you with.  Don't fall for it. 

    To other folks, you don't get to decide who can and can't respond to your posts in a public forum, (trust me, I know)  wink

    1. Cat333 profile image81
      Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you for your insights, bBerean. As always, well said.

  7. LeslieAdrienne profile image80
    LeslieAdrienneposted 2 years ago

    Society shows that young children's lack of exposure to religion causes difficulties... 6 in one hand, half a dozen in the other....

    1. 0
      Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Where? Where are the studies? Where is the evidence?

      1. 0
        Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        http://www.livescience.com/1465-study-r … -kids.html

        http://www.heritage.org/research/report … -stability

        By providing these links I am not, in any way, supporting the findings contained. I am simply attempting to point out that studies differ in their conclusions and there is no 'smoking gun' available which clinches any opinion on the matter.

        1. 0
          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          You put your disclaimer in there for good reason. It prevents me from discussing the studies and or research. Oh well.

          1. 0
            Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            No. It doesn't prohibit you from reading it and coming to any conclusions you choose. Personal bias will, of course, lead you in a different direction than I was pointing. That was the reason for the disclaimer.

            1. 0
              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Personal bias? Did you read the bottom of the first one where it lists problems with the study?

          2. 0
            Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            The one saying parents with poorly behaved children might be embarrassed to take them to church? Do you not see why that might make sense?

            1. 0
              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Actually I know someone who did just that, couldn't bring their problemed child to mass anymore. That would be one wrinkle wouldn't it? What about a control group, say parents that regularly spend time with their children and don't fight?

              1. 0
                Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I would certainly think that group could raise well behaved kids. But, one problem i see with some is that although they do spend time with their kids, the values they teach don't result in well behaved children. You see obnoxious twits who feel not only entitled, but are very disrespectful. They are taught they command respect, but have no obligation to give it.

                1. 0
                  Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Really, so you assume that if people don't go to church they can't raise well behaved children? They won't teach children to be respectful? Come on! More than half of Jewish people outside Israel don't believe in God or attend worship. Are they filling up our prisons? Are atheists filling up our prisons?

                  1. 0
                    Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    I didn't say that. Methinks thou hast a heavy chip on one's shoulder. So big, it is blocking your view.

 
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