Study Finds Children In Atheist Environment May Benefit From Lack Of Faith
One of the more common arguments for the necessity of religion in the life of a child is that it helps them develop a moral compass. A study was recently undertaken by Vern Bengston, a professor at USC, and determined that atheist parents have the ability to raise children with a strong sense of ethical principles. This unforeseen result of test has left many people to go so far as to say that atheist parents are better suited for raising children than religious ones.
A 2012 study by Pew Research suggests that there is a growing group of individuals called “The Nones”. These individuals are people who do not have any specific religious preference or affiliation, and right now they make up about 23 percent of all Americans. This figure has grown from a mere four percent in the 1950s. This suggests that the numbers of “The Nones” are swelling.
The study that was completed by Vern Bengston is ongoing, titled “Longitudinal Study of Generations.” It looked at the shifting climate of religions in the United States. The study has found that there have been many more emerging households without a religious affiliation. Upon interviewing many of these secular individuals, Bengston found that the atheist families tend to live their lives according to empathetic reciprocity. In short, this involves treating one another the same way that they would like to be treated. Moreover, they have oriented their lives around their goals more than anything else.
Sociologist Phil Zuckerman recently published an article on the study that came to an interesting conclusion about the data presented by Bengston. Zuckerman found that the atheists were not directionless or devoid of familial solidarity. Instead, he found that atheist families tended to be close to their families with powerful standards of morals which were being passed to their families through the generations.
"Study: Atheist parents do better parenting, than religious parents" So u think u need religion to be good, eh? http://t.co/1PWyTtpjgy
— Fanny Rofalina (@frofalina) February 5, 2015
Another interesting point made through this conclusion was that the atheist individuals tended to exhibit fewer racist tendencies and were less likely to go to prison. In fact, the study found that less than one percent of the overall prison population was made up of religious individuals.
As the study continues to delve deeper into the concept of raising children without religion, the benefits and drawbacks, if any, will become more apparent. The initial results of the study are certainly interesting, and provide an interesting commentary on the notion that one has to believe in a higher power in order to be a good person.