In the University of Chicago, There was a study conducted that had proven that children who grew up in non-religious environments are more empathetic and peaceful. Kids that grew up without religion are in fact kinder and they even showed more sympathy towards others.
Most of us believe that religion makes people have better morals but this study has proven this stereotype wrong. This study was led by Professor Jean Decety and it had a look at many children located in different areas of the world, with different religions. It focused on their behavior and their likeliness to share, along with their ways of judging others.
The authors of The Negative Association Between Religiousness and Children’s Altruism Across the World said: “Overall, our findings … contradict the commonsense and popular assumption that children from religious households are more altruistic and kind towards others,”
“More generally, they call into question whether religion is vital for moral development, supporting the idea that secularization of moral discourse will not reduce human kindness – in fact, it will do just the opposite.”
When they asked the children about those stickers and after telling them that there was not enough to be shared, the researchers found which children have shared theirs. After, they showed them films of other kids behaving badly just to see their reactions.
They found out that “religiosity affects children’s punitive tendencies”. Long story short, religious children “frequently appear to be more judgmental of others’ actions,” said the study.
As defined by the Oxford English dictionary, Altruism is a ‘disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.’ Yet these behaviors of altruism were defined as selfless has frustrated researchers and scientists for many years. As said in “The Selfish Gene”, which is a book published in 1976, altruism is genetically selfish.
However, this study has proven that altruism and religion are two sides of a single coin.
“It would be interesting to see further research in this area, but we hope this goes some way to undoing the idea that religious ethics are innately superior to the secular outlook. We suspect that people of all faiths and none share similar ethical principles in their day to day lives, albeit may express them differently depending on their worldview.”