Should You Raise Your Kids Religious? Here’s What the Science Says

Parents who decide to raise their kids without a religion shouldn’t worry that they’re dooming them to lives of unbridled debauchery. “Many people assume that religion is the root of morality, and that religious instruction makes moral kids,” says Will Gervais, a psychology professor at the University of Kentucky who studies atheism in the United States. But “our best evidence suggests that moral instincts arise on their own in kids.” Studies have shown that there is no moral difference between children who are raised as religious and those raised secular or non-believing. Moral intuitions arise on their own in children, independently of religious understanding.

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