Raising Children Without Religion May Be A Better Alternative, Suggests New Research

Sep 15, 2015

By Catie Keck

Gone are the days of the unyielding God-fearing mother as the archetype of good parenting, suggests a recent article from the Los Angeles Times. According to multiple reports, research has shown that a secular upbringing may be healthier for children. According to a 2010 Duke University study, kids raised this way display less susceptibility to racism and peer pressure, and are “less vengeful, less nationalistic, less militaristic, less authoritarian, and more tolerant, on average, than religious adults.” But the list of benefits doesn’t stop there.

Citing Pew Research, the Times’ Phil Zuckerman notes that there’s been a recent spike in American households who categorize themselves as “Nones” — their religious affiliation being “nothing in particular.” According to Zuckerman, modern nonreligious adults account for 23 percent of Americans. As early as the ’50s, that figure was only four percent. And with godlessness on the rise, researchers have begun analyzing the benefits of nonreligious child rearing more closely.


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7 comments on “Raising Children Without Religion May Be A Better Alternative, Suggests New Research

  • Raising Children Without Religion May Be A Better Alternative, Suggests New Research

    Raising them without the indoctrinated dogmas and irrational fears, is certainly better, but some knowledge and exposure to build an immunity, is probably helpful in guarding against entrapment later in life.



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  • “less vengeful, less nationalistic, less militaristic, less authoritarian, and more tolerant, on average, than religious adults.”

    Can’t be bad.

    Raising children with a mind capable of making a rational assessment of available evidence free of any dogma’s or ideologies would be even better.

    “You want to do what…. What’s the evidence.”



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  • It follows that people raised in a religion – without the moderation of a secular upbringing – must be (on average) more racist, more susceptible to peer pressure, and more vengeful, nationalistic, militaristic, authoritarian, and intolerant.
    And how long did they take to work that out?



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  • I am pregnant and I was recently asked about baptizing the baby when it’s born. I replied what for? And you could hear a pin drop in that room.



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  • Karen, that post made me smile. Congrats. I don’t know you, so I don’t want to be presumptuous; perhaps you are not completely irreligious; but even if one is religious one should think about questioning infant baptism, which is the height of absurdity. It is a primitive ritual, does absolutely nothing. The child will not even remember it. It can’t even be called an experience.
    Even Kierkegaard, a great theologian (and there are some good ones), was against it.
    It just makes the parents feel like they’re doing the right thing. Pathetic really. Herd instinct – among other things.



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