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Children Exposed To Religion Have Difficulty Distinguishing Fact From Fiction

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huffingtonpost. com


Young children who are exposed to religion have a hard time differentiating between fact and fiction, according to a new study published in the July issue of Cognitive Science.


Researchers presented 5- and 6-year-old children from both public and parochial schools with three different types of stories -- religious, fantastical and realistic –- in an effort to gauge how well they could identify narratives with impossible elements as fictional.


The study found that, of the 66 participants, children who went to church or were enrolled in a parochial school were significantly less able than secular children to identify supernatural elements, such as talking animals, as fictional.

IMO this is no surprise, and the mental damage seems irreversible.

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Not being able to understand but just accept on faith is a basic tenet of most religions. Importance is placed on believing above all. Belief above all is how one is closet to god in many religions.

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I wonder what lasting effect this as on Muslim children who pray 5 times a day,

It seems like you would not be able to think on anything else except thinking of your next prayer session.

Perhaps in more enlightened times, We will give our children a chance to be themselves before we push our beliefs upon them, Often dividing by religion.


I Think true belief can only come with age, When you are ready to find your truth, Whichever religion/truth that may be.

Kids believe most all what "adults" tell them, so is that belief or brain washing?

Edited by sunshaker
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I'm not that keen on faith education. I'd rather children were taught to be rational, to think and to question.


But I have to say that fundamentalist secularists worry me too. I'd rather live in a society that was tolerant of different ways of life, which includes parental freedom to choose how their children are educated.

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It dosn't look like they controlled for exposure to stories in general, and the "suspension of disbelief" they require (at least, the good ones).


I equated the "fantastical" stories with a good story that requires varying degrees of suspension of disbelief. I thought that's what they were using as a baseline to determine whether the child had good reasoning skills, whether he could discern between what is possible and what is impossible. And perhaps what is merely improbable, though I'm not sure 5-6 year olds are that sophisticated.


Ultimately, I suppose the concern is that a religious upbringing might lead one to accept implausible explanations on a regular basis. I can see that, but what about kids who were raised watching action thriller movies that defy natural physical principles? Are they more likely to believe they could survive jumping from one train to another, or that their kitchen table will stop bullets if they hide behind it?

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I did not grow up religious. My exposure to it can from my peers and media. My family are not atheists they just didn't attend church or take time out of their busy days to talk about God. As an adult I was actually surprise to find that both of my parents believe in God. Because I did not grow up believing in or being taught religious parables I found them silly when I learned of them. I believe religion is something a person must be conditioned for. It is of no coincidence that God just so happened to make what ever religion you happen to be born into the true one.

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