“Speaking as a social scientist, there are so many things wrong in this article that I have to disagree…quantifying meanness is just ridiculous. Comparing mean children accross cultures near impossible. Abstracting from children’s attitudes to stickers to religious morality would be ludicrous if it wasn’t worrying. And before you start, I’m an atheist and have never believed religion to be necessary for morality, but this is just bad science. It’s meaningless.” (Comment left on related TheGuardian.com article, 8/11/15, 12:15)
I’ve been reading references to this study about how children from faith backgrounds are more selfish than others. On closer inspection the findings don’t hold up. I’ve met a lot of children and adults in my time, from all kinds of backgrounds all over the world, and I haven’t seen trends that support the conclusion of this study. People from faith backgrounds (as in Jewish, Christian, Hindu etc.) haven’t cornered the market on being selfish people
“A common sense notion and a theoretical assertion from religious metaphysics is that religiosity has a causal connection and a positive association with moral behaviors . This view is so deeply embedded that individuals who are not religious can be considered morally suspect [9, 10].” (Link to research study)
There are people from faith-backgrounds AND non-faith backgrounds worldwide who believe all kinds of unfounded rubbish about “the other”. They will always find like-minded people to be on their team and applaud their world views. The cacophony of noise from both sides cancels each other out.
I know judgmental people from non-faith backgrounds who are vocal critics of people from faith backgrounds. This doesn’t mean all people who are from non-faith backgrounds act this way. But isn’t it ironic that some of them are judgemental while they point their fingers at the ways of “the other”?
One of my favourite guiding principles is a saying that comes from Costa Rica.
When we point a finger at others we need to look at ourselves first. We all live in glass houses. Deep self reflection is always a good idea before throwing a stone.
In my travels across Canada, the United States and around the world, I’ve found that people from different faith backgrounds than my own share many similar ideas about life. But there are also subtle differences in perspective and there can be emphases placed on topics that aren’t at the forefront of my own faith background. You can learn a lot from others when you sit back, open your ears and listen.
Love is the most important message in my own faith and it appears as a top priority in other faiths too.
We don’t talk about this focus enough. Other than romantic love, how else is love expressed in our world?
People from non-faith backgrounds also share a commitment to the notion that love is the answer. This is why we all have a common goal in our lives and a common sense of purpose. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
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Daily Dish Archives: Pamela Chan, BCfamily.ca
I Believe (That Love is the Answer), Blessed Union of Souls