BREAKING NEWS: Religious children don’t share stickers

Kids playing with toy trainsMany people believe that religion teaches children to be just and moral. Even if adherents dispense with the unscientific dogma, there’s a lingering sense that religious tradition is necessary to hold society together. Jean Decety disagrees. The distinguished neuroscientist recently led a worldwide study which, according to his team, shows the opposite is true: kids brought up outside the faith are more “prosocial” because they are more generous and less punitive than those raised in religious households. Therefore, the authors assert, a secular society will produce kinder people. Cue group hug and drop the needle on John Lennon’s “Imagine.” But what if Decety’s entire approach is skewed by faulty definitions of “prosociality”?

Read the rest at Science on Religion

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