Life at № 42
Study: Religious Kids Are Jerks
A study published in the journal Current Biology testing the behavior of Christian, Muslim, and atheist children has found that religious kids are meaner and less generous.
Source: Study: Religious Kids Are Jerks – The Daily Beast
Makes me wonder if the girl’s praying for the smiting of enemies, or that her parents will get her something good for Christmas.
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The prayers for smiting of your enemies are imprecatory prayers.
Imprecatory prayers are when you pray to God to destroy your enemy.
I first learned about this from anti gay Christian Leaders. I think Bryan Fischer at American Family Assocoation, but it might have been Scott Lively.
I learned about it because they were praying imprecatory prayers for God to destroy
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But what I would like to know, and I’m not expecting you to have the answer, I just would like to know…Does having religion necessarily make one a jerk, or do people who are already are jerks gravitate towards religion because they see it as a way to justify their behavior?
Maybe religion helps give expression to those traits.
It’s like our cops, most of them are jerks. Were they born that way or is it the job that makes them so
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Another good point
Born that way and they gravitate to a profession where they can be the big boss over everybody.
The cops in that Houston suburb and those young black teens using the subdivision pool because they were INVITED by a homeowner for an end of school year celebration. What those cops did to those kids, and especially the young black girls, I’ll never forget.
We used to have Police Departments, now we have the Police FORCE.
Ours has always been the police force and now they are trying to change it to police service. But I think it is too late. It has so many officers who are impossible to reason with
Difficult to answer that of course. The study involves children, but if their parents are jerks the kids are more likely to turn out as jerks, too. Logically speaking, correlation does not imply causation.
I think that in general lots of people don’t need too much encouragement to be jerks. If someone is part of what they see as a superior social group (a religion, a football club, a Facebook group) they think that status allows them to treat others as inferior, it’s just that religion is really good at justifying that kind of behaviour!
The moral licencing aspect is very interesting, and there is probably something to it among adults, though I’m not sure how it applies to children. Anyway, we’ve all seen clergy behave in a shocking manner from time to time, or hear a self-proclaimed feminist call women horrible names, etc.
What was not included was a breakdown by culture, or the education or income levels of the parents. I’d think that a wealthy and highly educated family in the U.S or Canada would be less religious, but more apt to train their children in good manners, because that is what higher-class people do. A poor family would tend to be more religious, but less structured and disciplined at home, and cling more to resources.
Then again in the U.S. poorer, more religious people give more of their income to charity than wealthier people, even though they don’t get as much of a tax credit for it.
So there probably isn’t so much a conclusion here but a question raised.
So explain to me how and why in the world someone with your education and intellect pushes religion?
I don’t get it.
Do you think I push it? I don’t feel like much of an apostle. I argue religion all the time because I see an unfair caricature and get annoyed, which is probably not the best motive for arguing such things, and probably why I say things I later regret.
But sometimes the arguments are educational, and help me clarify what I myself think.
As for my education and intellect, meh. I think one of the reasons I blog is because I am afraid of forgetting stuff I studied.
For me, I pursue religion because it helps me see reality better. I would not push it beyond explaining the benefits I find in it.
Good point, I think you nailed it, “I’d think that a wealthy and highly educated family in the U.S or Canada would be less religious, but more apt to train their children in good manners, because that is what higher-class people do. “
“Then again in the U.S. poorer, more religious people give more of their income to charity than wealthier people, even though they don’t get as much of a tax credit for it.”
Really? Or do you mean that poor, more religious people give more of their income to a church, which can vary widely if they do any kind of actual charity work? If all churches were true charities, my local mission wouldn’t have to beg for money from anyone, since there are 10 pages of churches in quite small print in my city’s yellow pages.
I don’t know what percentage of poor people’s charitable donations are given to churches but I don’t see how it matters, the question is whether or not they are generous with their money.
If one donates to something one benefits from and no one else does, that does not make someone generous.
No, the church community benefits, at the very least by having a place to meet. And most churches are part of larger networks, have missionaries and charities come through and shake the can, etc.
I can tell you have no idea how important the church is to poor communities, especially blacks and pentacostal Hispanics. Tell me, why does your ideology make you need to piss all over poor people’s generosity?
Thank you for pointing out that the church community benefits from member donations. That is again, not charity, that is nothing more than buying yourself something. Yep, church member donations can get a church. There are some quite fabulous churches around my area. Tens of thousands of square feet, great sports facilities, coffee bars, state of the art sound systems. I’m sure the congregants enjoy it a lot.
Again, why is it that my local mission has to beg for money constantly, when it is ostensibly religious, named the Bethesda Mission with a big ol’ green neon cross out front, and there are ten pages of churches in my local yellow pages? Why do all supposedly theistic based shelters, organizations that provide food and help to children, etc, all must request help from everyone? Christians claim to be a huge religion in the world, benefiting from worshipping the “right” god. Seems like there’s a bit of a disconnect here.
Churches do indeed do mission work. Most of it is in countries that are already Christian, just not the “right” type. Churches like the Salvation Army does raise money but only helps if someone is willing to listen to their pitch, like most church missions to other countries. There are indeed some that do not require this but they are in the minority.
How important the church is to poor communities? Well, there’s quite a poor community here in my city, and indeed it is mostly African Americans and folks of Hispanic decent. It may be important in that they get some solace by telling themselves things will get better, but actual help given? Doesn’t seem to be much when people still must go to secular food banks, must require state-sponsored assistance, live in decaying structures, etc. The pastors never seem to be needing this though. Lots of money sent overseas to convert other Christians, but not much to help those at home, is there? We do have Habitat for Humanity and that isn’t solely the religious at all.
You’ve made many claims but you have yet to show data to support those claims. I am asking for that.
My ideology doesn’t make me “piss” all over poor people’s generosity. Poor people can be very generous. Donating to a church isn’t indicative of this most of the time. I am pointing out the claims of a Christian, yourself, are to be doubted, as are the claims of many Christians when they claim how generous they are.
Belonging to a church and supporting it is not like paying club membership. I suppose one does benefit from the giving, but the primary benefit is to the community. An analogous case would be me giving money to my local library: yes, I do derive a benefit from having a nice library in my town, but the donation does not benefit me so much as the community, including hundreds individuals who give nothing to the library but still use it. The same dynamic goes on in a church community. People are trying to build something that benefits everyone who needs it, not just the givers. By your logic, any charitable deed designed to benefit the community is fake charity. I suppose conservation groups are fake charities, since the givers benefit from their donations with cleaner water or more trees?
I originally brought up the example of lower class people giving more to charity as a possible disproof of my own idea that class divisions could be the cause of the imbalance in the study. I was offering a critique of my own hypothesis (some people are able to do that you know). Then you come along and claim that the charity of lower class people is religious, and therefore fake. Calling the generosity of the poor a fake generosity is a rather shitty thing to do.
As for offering proof: I am simply accepting the commonplace assertions that 1) poorer, less educated people tend to be more religious and 2) tend to give proportionally more to charity. These assertions are so commonplace that I would think the burden is on you to disprove them.
You ask why, if Christians are generous, are there still poor people in the world? I guess poverty is such an easy problem to solve, right?
About ten years ago some friends and I were trying to help out a very poor church in a poor city. It was about half Puerto Rican and half black. All I did was run some errands for the poor overwhelmed pastor, nothing heroic. Those poor people were going through great lengths to save their church, and you say they were not really generous? If it isn’t your ideology making you say this stuff, are you just naturally a snot? Hey, I can be a real booger too, but at least I can admit it.
Feel free to take the last word, I shouldn’t be wasting any more time on this discussion.
But are you coming from a Catholic perspective? I ask because the modern Catholic church doesn’t squeeze money out of people in the way a number of protestant denominations do. The figure/concept of the Catholic priest is quite different to the figure/concept of the north-american-preacher-man.
Yeah, but there are good and bad clergy everywhere. Most clergy I’ve known, and I’ve known hundreds, of any denomination are decent people, and I’ve known a couple of thieving bastards who were catholic priests.
Really? It seems to me there’s a difference in signing up to be a priest and part of a pre-existing cultural system or signing up to be the “one true messenger of god”, which is how people like Falwell presented themselves.
Ok, I get what you are driving at. I’m sure there are thousands of decent men and women lead evangelical churches but the guys you see on TV are creepy. A Catholic priest is a functionary. Until Vatican 2 a parishioner rarely even saw the priests face during Mass and confession, while a preacher has to be an enterainer. So it requires a different psychology. Maybe the evangelical model draws more sociopaths? I don’t know, I don’t think there is any way of quantifying it. But as a personal rule, I stay away from celebrity clergy whatever the denomination.
You only suppose one gets benefits from giving to a church? No, DP, you do get benefits from the giving, there is no question about that at all.
Theists often try to claim that their giving to their church benefits the community, but again, that is not the case since that money only occasionally touches anyone beyond the church. You analogy about the library fails because everyone can use the library, not everyone can use the church or its benefits. I will guess that you would claim that they can if they only would believe, but that is a stipulation of use that the library does not have. Your church is indeed like a club with membership required and dues to be paid.
Nice try to twist my words but you’ve failed. My actual logic does not at all say that any charitable deed is “fake charity”. Charity is to benefit others; donating to your church does not fulfill this in most cases. You are spending money to benefit yourself directly, the nice building, the sound system, etc. Charity is given not expecting anything to benefit one directly. If I give to the library, I do not benefit directly. If I give to a homeless shelter, I do not benefit directly. If I give to a conservation group, I do not benefit directly. Everyone benefits, not just a select group like a church.
Poor people can be very charitable; they also can be quite the nasty people. I grew up in the northern tail of Appalachia, and many folks try to help each other get through life and there are plenty of people who will steal from their neighbor. I asked you to specify what you mean by poor people giving charity; did you mean actually giving to help others or just giving to a church. I’m not sure if you ever answered that. Do you consider giving to what amounts to a private club charity in the same sense that giving to a homeless shelter is giving to charity? It appears that you do. My point is that giving to yourself or only your group is not charity: “generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also : aid given to those in need” – Merriam-webster.com A commonplace assertion isn’t the truth,
I would like for you to support your claim that “Belonging to a church and supporting it is not like paying club membership.
Poverty should be an easy problem to solve for people who claim that their god is omnipotent and if the claims of loaves and fishes, literal and figurative, are true. If those claims aren’t true, then the world would pretty much be as we see it, with humans having to solve those problems.
Why does a church need “saving”? What is generous about saving something that they wanted for themselves?
Thanks for trying to insult me in order to avoid answering question.
And the relevance of self-proclaimed feminists calling women horrible names is?
An example of moral licensing.
Not really. One of pointing out ignorance about feminism. Matters little whether the people concerned are men or women.
I can’t say I’m surprised by this. In the end, the only thing that REALLY matters (for Christians anyway) is accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord & savior. Any other transgressions can simply be prayed away. Moral behavior isn’t actually required.
Help me out here, I’m having a senior’s moment, but…I vaguely remember that one of the Protestant faiths believe it doesn’t matter what you ‘do’ because you’re either saved or you aren’t? So you would pray for salvation while doing whatever you felt like doing?
Some go that far. See “The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner” for a satire on that. However, we are “justified, sanctified, glorified” according to Paul, so if ones life is not changing perhaps it is evidence one is not Saved.
I remember quite clearly that the preachers’ kids in school were real nasty characters. I have observed that many strong theists are quite sure that their god approves of anything they do, because well wouldn’t their god stop them if it were unhappy?
if it existed…
If predestination is what is claimed by many protestants(many are variants on Calvinism), then yes, one can do what one wants because one is saved already, nothing will change that.
Conversation this morning in class at a Christian school:
Students, laughing at another student: That’s really gay! You’re so gay!
Me: There’s nothing wrong with being gay.
S: But this is a Christian school.
Me: Doesn’t matter. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.
S: This is a Christian school! We hate gays here! Let’s cut all their gay heads off!
I’m pretty sure he was being sarcastic, but still.
Love how journalists substitute words to get a reaction to the article and give it a political twist. The easiest way to get people’s reaction is to make them angry. Works like a charm.
From Wally Fry’s blog. A recent post.
The child in question is a 9th grader. ( 14 or 15 years old)
Today at school we started talking about how we thought abortion was wrong. I was thinking after that how many people could have lied and how many people were telling the truth. I don’t think abortion is right because it kills a person and you never know what they could have done. They could heal cancer or change the world. Then a boy in the group was asking if we believed in God. I said of course. He saved me and has helped me through so much. I said do you and he said no. I said well why? He says why should I. I said he has done wonderful things to you and he will do many more. He said like what. I told him he made you, saved you, and died for you. He said well it doesn’t matter what he does I will never believe. I said you say that now but when you are in hell burning and stop drop and roll doesn’t work in hell and everyone else is roaming the streets of gold in heaven you will see you messed up big time. I just wanted to share this story. Maybe a few people that see it will change how they see God to. I’m praying for him and many more.
The Christian commenters on the blog in question think this is marvelous and seem beside themselves the child has the boldness to stand up and defend this..
Pretty much says it all I believe.
Well you know what they say, Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company :-‘)
How am I not surprised?
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