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Study: Religion Doesn’t Make Kids More Moral

Children who grow up in nonreligious homes are more generous and altruistic than children from observant families, according to a new study. Researchers examined 1,170 kids from a variety of religious backgrounds and looked at how religious children would share stickers given to them and how harsh of a punishment they prescribe to other kids who push or shove them. When the researchers examined the three biggest groups of kids, they found that the generosity scores for Christians and Muslims were essentially the same, and that the scores for nonreligious children were 23 to 28 percent higher. Muslim kids judged the offenders most harshly, followed by Christian kids and then secular kids. Of course, researchers are quick to point out that these results appear to contradict the idea that religion leads to moral action. But, still, these are kids.

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