Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds


Yet more evidence that religion isn't required to teach morality, and now it seems it in fact correlates with lower levels of morality.

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Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds

Religious belief appears to have negative influence on children’s altruism and judgments of others’ actions even as parents see them as ‘more empathetic’

Children from religious families are less kind and more punitive than those from non-religious households, according to a new study.

Academics from seven universities across the world studied Christian, Muslim and non-religious children to test the relationship between religion and morality.

They found that religious belief is a negative influence on children’s altruism.

“Overall, our findings ... contradict the commonsense and popular assumption that children from religious households are more altruistic and kind towards others,” said the authors of The Negative Association Between Religiousness and Children’s Altruism Across the World, published this week in Current Biology.

“More generally, they call into question whether religion is vital for moral development, supporting the idea that secularisation of moral discourse will not reduce human kindness – in fact, it will do just the opposite.”

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gojira View Post
I believe it. I know some of some home schooled born agains that are a bunch of party animals
What does enjoying parties have to do with mortality?

Due to the oppression the likes of home schooled children suffer and may well feel, it's natural some will enjoy the freedom of a party.

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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Well, these particulars in mind, think the cool kids that gave you swirlies and wedgies in high school

Not party folk in general, you cheeky mountebank
I have no idea what you are trying to say. What do "swirlies and wedgies in high school" have to do with partying?

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gojira View Post
A. Holes.

Not kids from religious homes in general.

These kids of mine that liked partying and being weiners.

Pure A. Holery.
OK so you are talking about a few home schooled kids who liked partying but where a.holes, but you don't think that kids of religious homes in general are?

OK, but this study shows that it is typically kids from religious homes who aren't as moral as those that aren't.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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I agree with your overall thesis that children raised from a religious background have looser moral standards, in part due to a rebellion from their strict upbringing.
Actually the study shows that's it's nothing to do with rebellion from a strict upbringing. It's in fact often an inherent part of their religious indoctrination.

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I also am of the opinion that religion can bestow you with a "holier than thow" attitude, wherein combined with said looser moral values, creates a situation where one does not judge their shadier actions as morally questionable practices, but merely as good, or at least not wrong - simply because they believe THEMSELVES to be good, due to their religious upbringing.

Hmm. A moment of lucidity.

You are closer to the mark there. As the study shows, it makes them more judgemental and as a result less willing to help others.

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 02:19 AM
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I believe it. Young children are always ready to start fights and be little ****s when their parents are close by to defend them if things go bad. With religion they have the sky daddy watching over them all the time.

What's wrong with running away from reality if it sucks?

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 02:24 AM
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I believe it. Young children are always ready to start fights and be little ****s when their parents are close by to defend them if things go bad. With religion they have the sky daddy watching over them all the time.
Not only that but they have in the back of their head that no matter what they do, they can ask for forgiveness afterwards and it will be granted. Bet you they'd behave if they thought that mistreating others would put them on the fast track to Hell regardless of regrets. Of course, after a couple of outbursts, they'd go to ''eh, I'm going to Hell anyway' mode and just lose faith entirely. Yeah, I can now see why it's smart to base your religion on forgiveness.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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I would imagine rebelling plays some component.
More as the become teens, but that rebellion could also take the shape of choosing to become more moral than their parents. (i.e. less judgemental, not adhering to immoral religious doctrine etc)

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 03:38 PM
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This study seems extremely flawed; there are too many variables here. I'm wary of all sorts of social science stuff like this because the sample size is usually extremely small (not even 1,200 kids in this study) and they seem to just ignore so many potential variables.

The most obvious flaw to me is that this study only looks at children from 6 countries. USA, Canada, South Africa, Jordan, Turkey, and China. They completely ignored Central and South America, not to mention Europe.

The two most economically well off (in terms of standard of living) countries here: USA and Canada would be ones where I expect altruistic behavior to be higher than average irrespective of religiosity. This is because I would expect that in countries that have fewer children living in poverty and fewer children living in a constant state of want there would be more children who are more comfortable with parting with objects as common as stickers. On the other hand if you are studying children from countries that are poorer, and they don't have access to the consumer goods we have in the West, I wouldn't be surprised if they are more reluctant to part with items like these.

And in regards to the punishment aspect of the study, first world countries generally take a more lenient attitude towards crime than third world countries. So if you have only 2 first world countries in the study, and presumably most of the non-religious sample comes from these countries, I wouldn't be surprised if these people were more lenient when it came to crime. China is a curious case here because while they are officially a non-religious state, many individual Chinese are religious, and the non-religious character of the state doesn't prevent their brutality when it comes to people who get out of line.

Also don't discount the education aspect, here in the US sharing is one of the foundational things drilled into students' heads beginning in pre-school regardless of religious belief. Do we know what the situation is like in other countries? This is very significant and I didn't see it addressed.

The whole thing seems full of holes and I don't see how you can draw any conclusions from it.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Gavroche View Post
This study seems extremely flawed; there are too many variables here. I'm wary of all sorts of social science stuff like this because the sample size is usually extremely small (not even 1,200 kids in this study) and they seem to just ignore so many potential variables.

The most obvious flaw to me is that this study only looks at children from 6 countries. USA, Canada, South Africa, Jordan, Turkey, and China. They completely ignored Central and South America, not to mention Europe.

The two most economically well off (in terms of standard of living) countries here: USA and Canada would be ones where I expect altruistic behavior to be higher than average irrespective of religiosity. This is because I would expect that in countries that have fewer children living in poverty and fewer children living in a constant state of want there would be more children who are more comfortable with parting with objects as common as stickers. On the other hand if you are studying children from countries that are poorer, and they don't have access to the consumer goods we have in the West, I wouldn't be surprised if they are more reluctant to part with items like these.

And in regards to the punishment aspect of the study, first world countries generally take a more lenient attitude towards crime than third world countries. So if you have only 2 first world countries in the study, and presumably most of the non-religious sample comes from these countries, I wouldn't be surprised if these people were more lenient when it came to crime. China is a curious case here because while they are officially a non-religious state, many individual Chinese are religious, and the non-religious character of the state doesn't prevent their brutality when it comes to people who get out of line.

Also don't discount the education aspect, here in the US sharing is one of the foundational things drilled into students' heads beginning in pre-school regardless of religious belief. Do we know what the situation is like in other countries? This is very significant and I didn't see it addressed.

The whole thing seems full of holes and I don't see how you can draw any conclusions from it.
I completely agree.

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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gavroche View Post
This study seems extremely flawed; there are too many variables here. I'm wary of all sorts of social science stuff like this because the sample size is usually extremely small (not even 1,200 kids in this study) and they seem to just ignore so many potential variables.

The most obvious flaw to me is that this study only looks at children from 6 countries. USA, Canada, South Africa, Jordan, Turkey, and China. They completely ignored Central and South America, not to mention Europe.
Erm, Turkey is in Europe you know. I think it's actually a pretty good range of countries with a mixture of religious and non-religious populace for them all, other than Jordan which is predominately religious, but is at least secular.

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The two most economically well off (in terms of standard of living) countries here: USA and Canada would be ones where I expect altruistic behavior to be higher than average irrespective of religiosity. This is because I would expect that in countries that have fewer children living in poverty and fewer children living in a constant state of want there would be more children who are more comfortable with parting with objects as common as stickers.

On the other hand if you are studying children from countries that are poorer, and they don't have access to the consumer goods we have in the West, I wouldn't be surprised if they are more reluctant to part with items like these.
Why do you think they only tested kids not living in poverty in the US/Canada but tested kids who were in poverty in the rest of the countries? All but one of the countries have similar levels of poverty to the US and Canada. These aren't poor countries.

Percentage of populace living below the poverty line:
South Africa - 35.9%
Turkey - 16.9%
Jordan - 14.5%
US - 15.1%
Canada - 9.4%
China - 6.1%

Source

I think you believing these countries are far more poverty stricken than the US and Canada just shows your ignorance of these countries and their typical living standards.

Do you think most people from Turkey/Jordan/South Africa/China are living in huts or something?

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And in regards to the punishment aspect of the study, first world countries generally take a more lenient attitude towards crime than third world countries. So if you have only 2 first world countries in the study, and presumably most of the non-religious sample comes from these countries, I wouldn't be surprised if these people were more lenient when it came to crime. China is a curious case here because while they are officially a non-religious state, many individual Chinese are religious, and the non-religious character of the state doesn't prevent their brutality when it comes to people who get out of line.
Erm, Turkey and South Africa are first world countries, and many consider China to unofficially be now, or very close to it since it's had such a huge increase in living standards for most of it's populace along with it's huge wealth/GDP. You're just highlighting your ignorance again claiming it's only the US and Canada that are first world countries.

You probably don't know this but the US is the most harsh when it comes to incarceration rates. So, your claim that the other countries are less lenient on crime is demonstrably false.

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Also don't discount the education aspect, here in the US sharing is one of the foundational things drilled into students' heads beginning in pre-school regardless of religious belief. Do we know what the situation is like in other countries? This is very significant and I didn't see it addressed.
Wow, again it's clear you know little about these other countries. They all have high levels of education, and a culture of sharing is far more inherent to the likes of China for example with it's collectivist rather than capitalist nature. People in such societies often see the capitalist western populace as generally being more selfish, and it's true. We generally are taught to think in a more selfish/capitalist way as individuals rather than the social group being primary.

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The whole thing seems full of holes and I don't see how you can draw any conclusions from it.
Well I'd say I've just shown that it's holes in your knowledge that seems to be the problem.

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ugh1979 View Post
Erm, Turkey is in Europe you know. I think it's actually a pretty good range of countries with a mixture of religious and non-religious populace for them all, other than Jordan which is predominately religious, but is at least secular.
No, Turkey isn't a European country. Historically no one would ever consider Turkey to be part of European cultural heritage. Yes a tiny bit of Turkey geographically exists in Europe, but then again a tiny bit of Russia geographically exists in the Western Hemisphere, it doesn't mean we associate them primarily with these regions, their cultures, or their histories. Geographically, historically, culturally, ethnically, Turkey is a Middle-Eastern country.

You think SIX countries from only three continents is a good range? I can hardly imagine what you think a bad range of countries would be.


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Why do you think they only tested kids not living in poverty in the US/Canada but tested kids who were in poverty in the rest of the countries? All but one of the countries have similar levels of poverty to the US and Canada. These aren't poor countries.
I didn't say who they tested. I'm raising the question because the text of the study I saw simply didn't say who they specifically selected from these populations. I think this is something that is important to know.

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Percentage of populace living below the poverty line:
South Africa - 35.9%
Turkey - 16.9%
Jordan - 14.5%
US - 15.1%
Canada - 9.4%
China - 6.1%

Source

I think you believing these countries are far more poverty stricken than the US and Canada just shows your ignorance of these countries and their typical living standards.
I think you are showing your ignorance of these countries by looking at only one isolated statistic. There's more to a nation being impoverished than simplistically counting individual incomes; there's infrastructure or a lack thereof, education or lack thereof, there is what a government is capable or incapable of providing for its people to compensate for low personal incomes and so on.

Judging by this one statistic you cite, it would seem better to live in Tunisia or Kazakhstan than Norway or Sweden! The poor in America or Canada or other advanced nations are far better off than the poor living in other, less developed countries and this can have a large effect on things like this study we are talking about.

But let's look at more statistics shall we?

How about HDI (2013) for these countries; only the US and Canada crack the top 50 from those surveyed in this study (Ranking 5th and 8th respectively) while Turkey, Jordan, China, and South Africa rank 69th, 77th, 91st, 118th respectively.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...elopment_Index

How about GDP per capita, US ranks 15th, Canada 20th, Turkey 90th, South Africa 108th, China 121st, Jordan 150th.

http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?t=0&v=67&l=en

How about literacy rate? Canada is 36th, US 45th, Jordan 89th, China 99th, Turkey 108th, South Africa 120th

http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?t=0&v=39&l=en


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Originally Posted by ugh1979 View Post
Erm, Turkey and South Africa are first world countries, and many consider China to unofficially be now, or very close to it since it's had such a huge increase in living standards for most of it's populace along with it's huge wealth/GDP. You're just highlighting your ignorance again claiming it's only the US and Canada that are first world countries.
South Africa isn't a first world country. Turkey and China are borderline but not there yet. The only two countries from the six in this study that are undisputedly in the first world are the US and Canada.

I don't even get where you are coming from when you say South Africa is a first world country, what is your standard? Their literacy rate is in the bottom half of the globe, and the human development index has them at 118th in the world as of 2013, In a world where the UN recognizes not even 200 countries this isn't good and nowhere near first world material.


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Originally Posted by ugh1979 View Post
http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?t=0&v=39&l=enYou probably don't know this but the US is the most harsh when it comes to incarceration rates. So, your claim that the other countries are less lenient on crime is demonstrably false.
We aren't addressing incarceration policy, we are addressing the attitudes of the people towards punishment (when I said country I meant the people in first world countries and their attitudes). Yes we have a disproportionately high incarceration rate in America, but this doesn't mean the people agree that we should be punishing people the way we do, in fact there is a lot of opposition to how we handle criminal justice here in America. Attitudes are not synonymous with what the law happens to prescribe.

But let's look at attitudes!

Jordan and Turkey are surveyed in the study we are talking about here. Jordan and Turkey were also surveyed by the Pew Research Center on issues related to this topic of punishment. In terms of those surveyed, Pew found that 71% of Jordanians and 12% of Turks want Sharia to be law of the land of these percentages, 57% of Jordanians and 35% of Turks favor corporal punishment for theft, 67% of Jordanians and 29% of Turks supported stoning for adultery, and 82% of Jordanians and 17% of Turks favor the death penalty for apostasy.

http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/30/t...-about-sharia/

Now in the study this thread is dedicated to, around 50% of those surveyed were Muslim. Is it so outrageous to think that most of the Muslims in the survey came from Jordan and Turkey and that these people possibly influenced the survey to make the religious children look harsher than the non-religious? Imagine if we replaced Jordan with India or Thailand and a bunch of Jainist or Buddhist children were studied instead, I think things would look quite different.


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Originally Posted by ugh1979 View Post
Wow, again it's clear you know little about these other countries. They all have high levels of education, and a culture of sharing is far more inherent to the likes of China for example with it's collectivist rather than capitalist nature. People in such societies often see the capitalist western populace as generally being more selfish, and it's true. We generally are taught to think in a more selfish/capitalist way as individuals rather than the social group being primary.
I didn't say that other countries were anti-sharing. I came out and said I didn't know how such things are handled in these countries at a young age, but that I do know that in America from an extremely young age we are institutionally taught to share and reprimanded when we don't. Keep in mind those surveyed here were young, so I'm curious to know how such values are handled in other cultures. Yes the Chinese are more collectivist than capitalist America, but is this notion drilled into them at such a young age that they would respond accordingly on a survey as children? I'd like to find out if this is the case.



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Originally Posted by ugh1979 View Post
Well I'd say I've just shown that it's holes in your knowledge that seems to be the problem.
What you've shown is that you seem to really want to believe this study in spite of its obvious flaws. If this study had the opposite conclusion I'd consider it suspect for the same reasons.

You never addressed the sample size, somehow you think the six country selection represents a "good range" for the survey (a survey that has a wide sweeping conclusion, all from studying fewer than 1,200 kids in only 6 countries). I just don't see how you have any confidence in this study, it looks like something an undergraduate student slaps together for an end of term assignment.
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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No, Turkey isn't a European country. Historically no one would ever consider Turkey to be part of European cultural heritage. Yes a tiny bit of Turkey geographically exists in Europe, but then again a tiny bit of Russia geographically exists in the Western Hemisphere, it doesn't mean we associate them primarily with these regions, their cultures, or their histories. Geographically, historically, culturally, ethnically, Turkey is a Middle-Eastern country.
I'll admit it can be considered Middle Eastern as well, but it's widely seen as being more European than it is Middle Eastern, hence why they are allowed to apply for EU membership and be a member of of various European organisations. Look here for example to see how many European organisations Turkey is part of, and note the absence of any full Middle Eastern countries.

My underpinning point still stands in that it's a good example of a country in that area to use, as it has many European elements as well as Middle Eastern, and mixture of religious and non-religious populace. It's actually the best example you could pick with regards to measuring how much Islam has an impact.

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You think SIX countries from only three continents is a good range? I can hardly imagine what you think a bad range of countries would be.
Well as I say Turkey is part European, and Canada and to a lot of extents the US are like European countries culturally, as is South America since they are pretty recent European ex-colonies.

In terms of cultural history it's a decent selection. Do you really think including a Western European country and a South American country would have made a difference to the conclusion?

I think you'll just desperately trying to say it's not valid since a couple of areas aren't included even though areas very like that are, and the countries chosen were well picked due to most having a good mix of religious and non-religious populace.

Quote:
I didn't say who they tested. I'm raising the question because the text of the study I saw simply didn't say who they specifically selected from these populations. I think this is something that is important to know.
So you're just going to assume the only chose kids living in poverty in the non North American countries? Regardless though, it's irrelevant as each countries results speak for themselves, and hat across countries the trend is seen.

Quote:
I think you are showing your ignorance of these countries by looking at only one isolated statistic. There's more to a nation being impoverished than simplistically counting individual incomes; there's infrastructure or a lack thereof, education or lack thereof, there is what a government is capable or incapable of providing for its people to compensate for low personal incomes and so on.

Judging by this one statistic you cite, it would seem better to live in Tunisia or Kazakhstan than Norway or Sweden! The poor in America or Canada or other advanced nations are far better off than the poor living in other, less developed countries and this can have a large effect on things like this study we are talking about.
Of course there is a wide range of factors, and I'm not going to cite a tons of different figures for them. I just gave one example regarding poverty since you brought up the issue of poverty specifically. Did you forget?

The inference I get from you is that you seem to think these countries are somehow much worse places to live than the US/Canada, when in fact they aren't that bad at all, potentially no worse than the US/Canada, or possibly even better depending on the standard of living for the specific families. There are affluent areas in these countries just as there are in the US/Canada. I really hope you're not one of these people who thinks the US of A is the best country in the world.

Regardless though, and you seem to be missing this key point, is that the study shows the trend was seen across countries all the countries as I say, so the differences between them just further backs that up.

Quote:
South Africa isn't a first world country. Turkey and China are borderline but not there yet. The only two countries from the six in this study that are undisputedly in the first world are the US and Canada.

I don't even get where you are coming from when you say South Africa is a first world country, what is your standard? Their literacy rate is in the bottom half of the globe, and the human development index has them at 118th in the world as of 2013, In a world where the UN recognizes not even 200 countries this isn't good and nowhere near first world material.
See below. It has many features of a first world country.

Quote:
List of Countries of the First World
The term First World originally refers to the capitalist, industrialized countries, within the Western European and United States' sphere of influence, (e.g. member states of the NATO). The term also includes other industrialized countries such as Japan and some of the former British colonies, particularly Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Source
I'll concede this is a contentious status with some parties saying it's first and some saying it's third.

Quote:
We aren't addressing incarceration policy, we are addressing the attitudes of the people towards punishment (when I said country I meant the people in first world countries and their attitudes). Yes we have a disproportionately high incarceration rate in America, but this doesn't mean the people agree that we should be punishing people the way we do, in fact there is a lot of opposition to how we handle criminal justice here in America. Attitudes are not synonymous with what the law happens to prescribe.

But let's look at attitudes!

Jordan and Turkey are surveyed in the study we are talking about here. Jordan and Turkey were also surveyed by the Pew Research Center on issues related to this topic of punishment. In terms of those surveyed, Pew found that 71% of Jordanians and 12% of Turks want Sharia to be law of the land of these percentages, 57% of Jordanians and 35% of Turks favor corporal punishment for theft, 67% of Jordanians and 29% of Turks supported stoning for adultery, and 82% of Jordanians and 17% of Turks favor the death penalty for apostasy.

http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/30/t...-about-sharia/

Now in the study this thread is dedicated to, around 50% of those surveyed were Muslim. Is it so outrageous to think that most of the Muslims in the survey came from Jordan and Turkey and that these people possibly influenced the survey to make the religious children look harsher than the non-religious? Imagine if we replaced Jordan with India or Thailand and a bunch of Jainist or Buddhist children were studied instead, I think things would look quite different.
Obviously the Sharia law supporters are the Muslim ones in the sample set, so it's to be expected that they will more judgemental since they typically adhere to a strict doctrine.

Regardless though, as i'll keep saying, is that the conclusion is valid because they tested religious kids and non-religious kids in each country and the trend was found in each.

Quote:
I didn't say that other countries were anti-sharing. I came out and said I didn't know how such things are handled in these countries at a young age, but that I do know that in America from an extremely young age we are institutionally taught to share and reprimanded when we don't. Keep in mind those surveyed here were young, so I'm curious to know how such values are handled in other cultures. Yes the Chinese are more collectivist than capitalist America, but is this notion drilled into them at such a young age that they would respond accordingly on a survey as children? I'd like to find out if this is the case.
Yes it's taught from a very early age in China. It's a fundamental part of their culture, and China also regularly beats the US in education.

Quote:
What you've shown is that you seem to really want to believe this study in spite of its obvious flaws. If this study had the opposite conclusion I'd consider it suspect for the same reasons.

You never addressed the sample size, somehow you think the six country selection represents a "good range" for the survey (a survey that has a wide sweeping conclusion, all from studying fewer than 1,200 kids in only 6 countries). I just don't see how you have any confidence in this study, it looks like something an undergraduate student slaps together for an end of term assignment.
To the contrary it seems you just don't want to accept it's findings so are desperately grasping at straws to try and counter it by saying it's not valid since it didn't include a European and South American country, (even though that's actually irrelevant, as it's clear the trends spans all these different cultures), and that the number of test subjects was too low, even though 1,170 is an acceptable number for a social sciences study like this.

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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 01:27 PM
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I posted this a week ago in S&C. People just outright dismissed. However, if you look at the methodology, it seems convincing to me.
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Well, I was raised Catholic and I have been horribly mean to myself. Does that count?

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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 01:29 PM
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That's what religion does to people. It ****s them up for life.
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 03:04 PM
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All of my bullies went to church and declared "Christ is my saviour!" so of course, it makes sense.
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 03:45 PM
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Well growing up in a religious far right young earth creationist christian fundamentalist household, I was taught to hate everyone and everything that was not my parent's specific religion, skin colour, sexuality, even other Christians from other sects, hell even other christians from the same sect including other family members(we always talk **** about each other behind our backs, learned that from a young age) so I can personally atest to the problems it causes as it relates to children and bullying.




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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ugh1979 View Post

Erm, Turkey and South Africa are first world countries, and many consider China to unofficially be now
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noca View Post
Well growing up in a religious far right young earth creationist christian fundamentalist household, I was taught to hate everyone and everything that was not my parent's specific religion, skin colour, sexuality, even other Christians from other sects, hell even other christians from the same sect including other family members(we always talk **** about each other behind our backs, learned that from a young age) so I can personally atest to the problems it causes as it relates to children and bullying.
Wow - I haven't seen the word "sect" in years.
I think it depends on the environment of the church.
My bad church (I am still recovering from that 11 years later) was pretty sick. The leaders were not held accountable for anything - they were not in any denomination, so they could do what they pleased - not reporting taxes, etc. They also used gossip in the church to fuel their sermons. That's how I found out I was being "kicked out" (it turns out they didn't do it right either time, the first incident was EASTER SUNDAY!) without completely checking the signs. I ended up leaving that Sunday in June 2004 nearly having a nervous breakdown, and they were blaming ME for it. I didn't get a phone call from anyone for TWO MONTHS after I left! I told the guy (he was cool) that I would never be back. They sent me applications to rejoin in March, 2005, and I was like "NO WAY!" I was near the most frightened of my entire life and they were trying to welcome me back.

Yes, the kids in that church were MEAN - they would even cuss each other out in the hallways right outside of the sanctuary!

The leaders would ALWAYS pick "yes" men and women to run their ministries because they knew there would be no issue of subversion.

It was definitely the culture of the church - they would always preach about getting people saved, but they never did anything in the community and even shunned paupers who obviously had issues because they made their church look bad.

I found another church and they are a lot nicer than what I had.
I got saved and baptized in that bad church; the rest is like an abusive marriage.

God did take care of things in that place the next seven years after I left, that's for sure. Their son runs that church and it's not as popular as it was.

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