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Harris, and Eva E. Chen How does exposure to religion influence young children's learning? We asked this question in a study published this month in the journal Cognitive Science.
In the paper, my colleagues Eva Chen, Paul Harris and I report the results of two studies we conducted at Boston University's Social Learning Laboratory that explored how exposure to religion -- via attending church, school, or both -- would influence children's reality judgments of novel characters.
We were interested in this question as part of a larger body of research examining how children need to look beyond their first-hand experience in order to learn about the world.
In an earlier studywe found that by the age of 5 or 6 children seem to separate stories into two types -- factual or true stories and make-believe or fictional stories.
When we gave children a story they had not heard before, we found that they listened for magical events -- the type of impossible event common in fairy tales. If the story included, for example, seeds that made you invisible or a sword that protected you in any battle, children decided that the central character was not a real person.
On the other hand, if the story included only plausible events, children were much more likely to say that the main character was a real person.
When asked why they had decided the main character was real or pretend, children justified their answer by appealing to the story events -- the impossible events in pretend stories, as well as the realistic events in true stories.
But this type of strategy only goes so far. Indeed, it suggests that children would struggle to appropriately categorize characters from fictional stories that did not include impossible events Tom Sawyer, for example.
Similarly, children might struggle to categorize figures in religious narratives, which often include miracles. In our first study, we found that children's judgments about characters in biblical narratives were strongly affected by their upbringing. Children who had had some form of religious education - via church, parochial school or both -- generally judged the central character to be a real person.
Children who did not have religious education -- who did not go to church and went to a secular school -- largely judged the central character to be fictional. In a follow-up study, we obtained a similar pattern for what we might call quasi-biblical stories -- stories that included miraculous events but not ones that children would read about in the Bible.
For example, we told children a story about the parting of the mountains. Religious children were more likely than non-religious children to think that the main character was real.
Some media reports about our research have said, on the basis of these results, that religious children cannot tell fact from fiction.
We doubt such a conclusion is warranted. Our interpretation is different.
Religious children are encouraged to think that miracles are possible -- and so for them, a story that includes a miracle is not obviously fictional.His aim in giving this definition was then to show that it would never make sense to believe in miracles, but his definition is one that many people, religious and non-religious would agree with, though it is not of course the only possible one.
Q2 A belief in miracles leads to the concept of a God who favours some but not of all of his creation.
Discuss. Q1 Critically assess the philosophical problems raised by belief that God is omniscient. Evidence is based upon our apparent memories, the testimony of others and the physical traces left by the events in question. If this is not enough evidence to prove that an event is a miracle then it's also not enough evidence to prove that there is a natural law that has been broken.
In Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay, "Self-Reliance," I am uncertain if you are referring to organized religion or a belief in God. Emerson mentions God in this outstanding essay. Free Essay: Critically assess the view that a concept of miracles is inconsistent with a belief in a benevolent God.
(35 marks) Before one is able to debate. Religious leaders like to claim that we need more religion in order to solve our problems, but with most problems we could probably benefit from more science instead. Continue Reading Technology vs Religion, Technology as Religion.