Tom Gilson

Further Effects of “Child Abuse:” Spirituality Is Major Contributor to Children’s Happiness

Richard Dawkins is famously trying to convince the world that it’s abusive to raise children in a religious tradition–any religious tradition. It’s an ironically unscientific opinion, not just unsupported but actually contradicted by research. Mike Gene points to yet another instance of that:

Spirituality — defined as an inner belief system — accounted for eight to 17 per cent of the average child’s sense of happiness, the study showed.
By contrast, money, the marital status of parents and the child’s gender didn’t even register one per cent.
“It’s a whopping big effect…”

[From Calgary Herald, Finding out what makes kids happy]

This adds to an ongoing store of articles on spirituality and life outcomes. Please see that page for perspectives on interpreting such research.

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7 thoughts on “Further Effects of “Child Abuse:” Spirituality Is Major Contributor to Children’s Happiness

  1. Okay, I\’ll play.

    Preschoolers are known for not thinking logically. It is referred to as \”preoperational\” thinking by Piaget. It is also called \”magical thinking.\”

    It is something we grow out of. It\’s a phase. Whether or not it makes the child happy is not equivalent with usefulness to the child. Kids like sugar too, but was as adults restrict the sugar intake of our kids out of concern for their welfare. I\’m really happy as an adult that my dad didn\’t let me smoke as a kid, no matter how happy it would have made me at the time.

  2. Yes, I seek in vain to find \”parent threatens child with eternal, burning torture if the child fails to comply with parent beliefs\” in the study\’s definition of spirituality. They even say that spirituality is different from religion.

  3. Preston, follow the \”life outcomes\” link for more on how spirituality affects adults. doctor(logic), that\’s the same kind of thinking that led Dawkins to his unscientific conclusions. If you define religion in a certain unrealistic way, you can imagine all kinds of horrible outcomes. If you deal with it as it exists in reality, you find it helps people.

  4. Tom, if a parent raises a child in a religion that is false, would that be detrimental to the child? If so, then Dawkin\’s crime is using \”abusive\” instead of \”detrimental.\”

  5. Actually, Dawkins says that labeling children according to the beliefs of their parents is what’s abusive, not raising them with religion. He has never said that raising your children in your religion is abusive. He’s had to correct people like you who mischaracterize him, over, and over, and over again, but you just aren’t very interested in listening to facts, now, are you?

    Can you actually open your mouth just one time to say something ACCURATE about the views of science? From blaming Darwin for the holocaust to attributing things to Dawkins which he plainly didn’t say, you sure are good at opening it to say things that are laughably inaccurate.

  6. Barry, the distinction you make is a very fine one, and hardly in keeping with what Dawkins has said. Consider this statement:

    Odious as the physical abuse of children by priests undoubtedly is, I suspect that it may do them less lasting damage than the mental abuse of bringing them up Catholic in the first place.

    Meanwhile, since we’re checking facts, I have not anywhere on this blog blamed Darwin for the Holocaust. I have discussed the possible connections there, and I have mentioned that I’m doing work on the issue for presentation at a later time; but I have not blamed Darwin for the Holocaust. You have, to paraphrase your statement just made, attributed things to me which I plainly did not say; and have not (unlike Dawkins in the matter cited) even come close to saying.

    Your comment, in which you take me strongly to task for writing inaccuracies, contains two itself. I think perhaps you are stereotyping me–that’s my guess, at any rate, because the statements you made are common stereotypes–and I both invite you and challenge you to examine carefully what you are saying. Please respond to reality!

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