Spirituality, Not Religion, Makes Kids Happy, Say Psychologists
    By News Staff | January 9th 2009 12:00 AM | 35 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    To make children happier, we may need to encourage them to develop a strong sense of 'personal worth', according to Dr. Mark Holder, Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia,  Visiting Assistant Professor Dr. Ben Coleman and graduate student Judi Wallace.   Their research says that children who feel that their lives have meaning and value and who develop deep, quality relationships – what they term measures of spirituality – are happier.

    But according to their paper in the Journal of Happiness Studies, actual religious practices have little effect on that happiness.

    Both spirituality, what they call an inner belief system that a person relies on for strength and comfort,  and religiousness, what they term institutional religious rituals, practices and beliefs, have been linked to increased happiness in adults and adolescents.  Fewer studies have been done on younger children.

    In an effort to identify strategies to increase children's happiness, Holder and colleagues set out to better understand the nature of the relationship between spirituality, religiousness and happiness in children aged 8 to 12 years. A total of 320 children, from four public schools and two faith-based schools, completed six different questionnaires to rate their happiness, their spirituality, their religiousness and their temperament. Parents were also asked to rate their child's happiness and temperament.

    The authors found that those children who rated themselves according to their spiritual definition were happier. In particular, the personal (i.e. meaning and value in one's own life) and communal (i.e. quality and depth of inter-personal relationships) aspects  were strong predictors of children's happiness. They determined that 'spirituality' explained up to 27 percent of the differences in happiness levels amongst children.

    A child's temperament was also an important predictor of happiness. In particular, happier children were more sociable and less shy. The relationship between spirituality and happiness remained strong, even when the authors took temperament into account. However, religious practices – including attending church, praying and meditating – had little effect on a child's happiness.

    According to the authors, "enhancing personal meaning may be a key factor in the relation between spirituality and happiness." They suggest that strategies aimed at increasing personal meaning in children - such as expressing kindness towards others and recording these acts of kindness, as well as acts of altruism and volunteering – may help to make children happier. 

    Article: Holder MD, Coleman B,&Wallace J (2008). Spirituality, religiousness, and happiness in children aged 8-12 years. Journal of Happiness Studies DOI 10.1007/s10902-008-9126-1


    Seems like spirituality is pretty much being defined in terms of good mental health....

    I do think they are using emotionally loaded terms.  That's why they are spelled out.   Something like 'spirituality ie better than religion' is too convenient but defining one as 'institutional religious rituals' and then one as 'inner belief system' tells us a lot about the intent of the researchers.  Obviously religion is an institutional ritual but spirituality means whatever you want it to, so it may not be apples:apples.
    Gerhard Adam
    I would agree that the terms aren't well considered, but I think (at least from my interpretation), that part of what they are trying to say is that regardless of what we may "know" in some sort of impirical way, there is still an element that is personal which constitutes our "belief".

    In this regard, "belief" doesn't need to be formalized as it is in religion, but rather it comes about as a personal interpretation of how we fit into the world and how we cope.  Most beliefs wouldn't stand up to scientific scrutiny, yet they are still important because they provide an emotional coping mechanism that "facts" and "logic" can't.  The problem with a formalized belief system is precisely that it isn't personal.

    In addition, a belief system provides us a behaviorial framework that we can use when there simply may not be enough time to assess data before action is required. 

    To me, this article was simply indicating that it was more important that people take ownership of their own personal beliefs, rather than relying on something that is externally provided.  Anecdotally, that has been my experience, where people think that they can apply religion (like the ten commandments) as some sort of "rule book" where if one follows them then everything is going to work out.  A well thought out personal belief system can help one cope when things don't work out.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Paul is confused that "spirituality is ... being defined in terms of good mental health"; in fact spirituality is being defined as an 'inner belief systemn that a person relies on for strength.'

    I do not see that any claims are being made at all with regard to good mental health in children; this study is about improving their happiness (which you may infer might contribute to good mental health, but that is not implicit here in the article).

    In the United States, the government has long had a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacoo and Firearms. All adult vices. The combination can be deadly. For a related post. , read

    How very irrelevant.

    this study is a waste of the Public funds...trying to gather a sense of happiness from an age group that only requires a loving set of parents to be happy has little understanding/desire/need for things of a "religious" nature. That is not to say that "training a child in the way that he should go" is not to be honored. Gerhard your statement in regards to the 10 Commandments is self serving because you are Agnostic...but the truth to what is "commanded" is a Universal benefit to Society as a whole and if nothing more than a clear directive to it's content were offered to young people then the liberal Judge who decided for all of the youth that they (the 10 commandments) must be removed from sight because:..."if young people were to read them they might believe them and follow them" how on Earth would that be detrimental to our Society....we are reaping the trouble of what was sown by that idiot Judge.

    Aside from opining that this study is a waste of funds, how does this rant relate to the subject of this discussion? really nailed me with that one. I didn't see that one coming Just Davy. If you have to ask the question in regards to my "rant"...then any further explanation will more than likely be considered more "ranting". About how much credibility do you place in a study that has 320 participants?? Along with that was the inclusion of "temperament" as an additional measure of a childs "happiness" but no mention or perceived observation as to the kind of morning this child might be having or if any of these children are on medication or not which is a favorite means of "calming" many of the Public School kids of this age. So if tax dollars are being used for this kind of asinine study, then maybe next time they might consider a "Bible Club" to see if more positive results are delivered.

    Your ignorance AMAZES me. How many studies have you actually ever read? Because I am pretty sure that here in the real world a sample size of 320 actually gives a study a lot of power. Also, does it say anywhere here that your tax dollars went to this study? Does it say that this study was government funded? NO? INTERESTING ISN'T IT! and actually if you looked at other research before deciding this one was not credible or even chose to understand the measures used in this study you would see that "bible club" is not part of spirituality and that temperament is a stable trait. In case you don't understand the word "stable" in this context, it means that the measure has been tested over time and across situations and research has found that the child's morning DOES NOT significantly change their responses on this measure. Imagine that? people who know what they are doing are using measures that are reliable and valid. NO WAY! Maybe you should get a little more informed before you start spewing your opinion to the world.

    PerryV you are SO misinformed. First of all the fact that you think this was a "waste of Public fund" shows just how ignorant you really are. Children are the future. WHY would you not want to know what makes them happier? Maybe the ideas behind the 10 commandments are well intentioned but research has shown that religiosity is actually NEGATIVELY related to happiness.
    As for the idiot judge comment, the reason religious views are not to be pushed onto other people is because of this whole thing called freedom of choice. Just because you think there is a god and that your way is right does not mean the rest of the world has to feel that way... or even that you are actually right. Perhaps it is not that this study was a waste of money that really concerns you but that it does not support religious systems which offends you. If you do not agree with the research that is your opinion. But this study was well done and there is no denying the results.

    ...aaah now there's the tolerance I expected from one such as you. Your platitudes focus the light on you not me. Do you not realize where this survey was taken?? Do you know what kind of Government exists in this Country?? Your statement that "Children are the future" is almost too asinine to even respond to. Your statement that Religion is "actually negatively related to happiness" is wrong according to this very survey, maybe you should have actually "looked" at the results before making that claim. You call me misinformed and ignorant, just admit that you hate Christians as pagans are apt to do. The results mean nothing to me as they are bogus from the onset, they only gain a preference from those who look to "anything" that puts a faith based standard in a bad or diminished light. The idiot judge is just that, and he was pandering to those who appointed him to office and gave no thought to the parents who made up the majority that desired the display of the commandments to remain...Nationwide. You reside in the "minority" but because good people get lazy and do not investigate character issues by electing liars that claim one thing before elected then break the faith with the very people who put them in office and vote their own way, this is why some people find stupid surveys like the "happiness list" that you think is so great.

    "Your statement that Religion is "actually negatively related to happiness" is wrong according to this very survey, maybe you should have actually "looked" at the results before making that claim."
    - Perhaps YOU should look at the results from this and previous studies before telling me I am wrong. In fact, if you DID look at the results or even read the article above you would notice that religion is NEGATIVELY correlated to happiness. Not to get this confused with spirituality which has been clearly shown to be a different construct.

    You state this is the tolerance you expect from someone such as me? well this is exactly the uneducated opinion I would expect from someone like you. Someone who likes to take credible work and spew their bull about how it should be ignored. Also, the fact that you have to tell me I am a Christian Hater in order to have anything to argue back to me just proves how ignorant you really are. and I actually am not a Christian hater. Just because I recognize credible research and understand their results doesn't make me so either. In fact, it makes me well informed which is something I don't think you can say for yourself.
    I would like to draw attention to the fact that you didn't mention all of the other things I commented on that were valid... such as the measures being used and the sample size. Its funny as well that someone who pretends to know as much as you makes such ridiculous statements about research that has been supported world wide. And I am not just talking about Canada where this study was done but other countries like India and the USA (to name a couple). In fact, this study alone has been viewed by MILLIONS of people and has had thousands of publications. As well, this is a PEER reviewed article. Since you obviously know NOTHING about academic research that means EXPERTS in this field of research as well as other fields from all over the world look at this article and agree the results are valid. This would include people who are in the field of religion (and just so you dont go on about how they are all religion haters, this includes people who do research supporting religion as well). I find it interesting that people who are well informed and considered experts in these fields dont agree with you that this research is not credible.
    The fact that you obviously have some issue with how the political system works has NOTHING to do with this study what so ever. And again you draw attention to your ignorance with the "happiness list" since you obviously have NO CLUE what these researchers actually did in this paper. Maybe its lazy people like yourself that like to use empty arguments to support ignorant views that are the problem. I am pretty sure people who think Happiness research is
    "so great" as you put it are people who understand that the measures used for happiness and the other factors in the research are again VALID and RELIABLE. Since you didn't seem to get it the first time I will tell you again. This means they have been tested and validated in numerous settings. They are credible tests.
    Once again I think you need to educated yourself about this research before you decide to share your opinion. At this point you are only making your self look bad.
    I sincerely hope your future responses are more informed and don't point to you being so ignorant. Using big words doesn't mean you know what you are talking about. You can fight me all you want but I can already tell (as well as everyone else reading this I am sure) that I know more about this study and the research behind it than you do. You can always point to the fact that you think I am a Christian hater because that works so well in your favor. I think it's a very strong argument..... or perhaps you could just admit you have no idea what you are talking about and stop putting down credible research.

    you are not only Anonymous but boring as well...the study would only have remote credibility in the region that it was administered. The numbers are so small as to highlight a "community" rather than to give "World wide" insight. This is basically a "poll" and a poll can be given anywhere and to any certain group of citizens and depending upon where it is given can be highly skewed or elevated to reflect a particular belief prior to the poll being given or relative to what the pollsters might be expecting. Unless we did not look at the same survey the religious portion was "slightly" positive whereas the Spiritual portion was about double to the negative than was the religious was positive. Peer review only means that in truth there is a far more limited interest group than the general populous as the surveyers are reaching out to those who have a scientific interest in what "they" were doing. Whatever you may think of me is irrelevant. If you think I am ignorant I'm fine with that, as for those who "might" read all of this can make and draw their own conclusions based upon what they read. I have more than a clue to what these researchers are doing as I read 4 articles that basically all said the same thing...the reading and research is simple and hardly advanced...face it want to make a mountain out of this molehill. You cling to the idea that, oooh Religion is wack and "Spirituality" is a positive thing, you are transparent as glass. Read again this report and tell me how many schools were surveyed? Not only would this "not" qualify for small town America, it barely qualifys for small town Canada. Heck even ABC and NBC polls will at least have 4-5000 surveyed and they are about the worst when it comes to self serving "pulse of the Nation" polls... your age and inexperience are showing. I don't "have" to say you are a Christian hater....this isn't the first time I have seen you post in this forum. It is evident by other things you have said in the past. I'm ok with that as well, it's a free Country and forum as long as Hank says so...have at it.

    I completely agree that people should be able to make their own decisions based on fact. However your comment about this study being a waste of money is bull. I am thankful it is not YOU who decides what research gets funding since it would only consist of christian approved results. While you pretend to have advanced knowledge in the area of research, your bull is shinning through everything you are saying. 320 people is a large sample size without inflating results.
    Also, you are misinformed on what peer reviewed is. The author doesn't take his or her work and send it to a group of people within their field. The article is sent to a third party who then sends it to other people in the fields that are relevant to the study. As I said before, this includes people who would question the results not just people who benefit from them. By doing this people who actually have an education and understand how credible research should be conducted can look at the methods and agree or disagree with them.
    And if you have read four other studies which have all said pretty much the same thing wouldn't you start to think there is maybe some truth behind it? Or you do you still insist that this research is just merely christian bashing and not based on any credible premises? I believe your support for this view is that the methods are primitive. Again, if you were educated in the field of research or in research in general you would understand that these measures are not primitive but are well formed and valid and reliable. Part of the issue with the polls that you are talking about are that the questions are leading. This is one of the issues the leg work done prior to this study has dealt with. I will however agree that this sample is homogeneous and that there are issues because of this. I don't think this means the research doesn't have credibility. I do think this is something that needs to be addressed and has been. Not only it is mentioned as a limitation in the paper, but it is also being addressed currently in India. In fact this exact study is being conducted in India to see how results compare.
    You say that my age and inexperience show by my comments but I really feel it is you that looks uninformed. I believe I have supported my views quite well with fact and not my personal beliefs. You are the one who has been complaining about this research's credibility based on empty arguments. I would say your ignorance is showing.
    As for past posts, unless they were within this article I can guarantee it wasn't me since I have not responded to any other posts before this one. However, it would not surprise me that other people who find you as pretentious and ignorant as I do and feel compelled to tell you so. I also don't really care what you think about me, but it really irritates me when people discredit research when they are not justified in doing so.

    Do you think that the word Peer is an abbreviation for four other words? Pick whatever process you think necessary to explain your view but nothing is changed by it. I stated that the publishing of their results was not intended for the masses at it's release, but once others read the results then it was disseminated to the Public. Your view of only "well intentioned" folks putting this out for consideration is niave because "everyone" has bias as is evident in capsule by just the two of us. Whether a survey or a poll there is always room for manipulation that is self-serving, and again the scope of this is so limited as to be circumstantial and localized. Understand that this kind of surface level study is first a reason to "use" the money that at some point was solicited so that additional money can be forthcoming. These people do not do this out of the goodness of their heart...this is the way that they earn a living, just as you and I do. Now whether this was privately funded or the use of Public funds was used is not clear but considering the government structure of Canada it is most likely that it was funded by a government grant. That is taking money that belongs to "others" and applying it to a study that even many atheists would find little value in. I would be willing to bet that as long as there is a two parent home (ie: a father and mother) who love each other this child will have a positive "happiness" quotient. Where things get sticky is when the study is kept to a number that is not representative of a much larger dynamic. Rural Canada simply will not qualify for a World wide understanding, not to mention the cultural hurdles in some regions that would simply sink and totally skew this survey. As this survey is being attempted in India with a population that is three times the size of ours even if they surveyed 3 times the kids, say 1000 kids, considering the actual numbers how reflective do you think it really will be. I am not commenting to insult you or call you names, apparently that is your job. But everyone has an and I included, and when it comes to things that take money that possibly belongs to a private citizen then a light must be cast on it to see if it is a worthy use of it. If these scientists would like to reach down into their "OWN" pockets and pay for this themselves then I would pat them on the back and say "have at it"....ok?

    I am just curious what your background in research is. Do you actually have any experience other than reading postings or even other people`s papers and then giving them feedback? I just want to know what you think gives you the authority to say that this study is not cedible. And what makes you think acedemic research and polls are in the same field. Do you actually know anything about the people who did this study? Probably not. So how can you justify calling into question not only this study but the motives of the people who are doing it. I dont think you can say that these researchers are purely motivated by a paycheque. And that is what pisses me off about you; that you are attacking the character of the people who did this study and justifying it with empty arguments about the methods. Since you seem to think I am just a name caller and you are not (which is bull cause you have already called me a christian hater- based on nothing else than the fact that I believe this study is credibile) I can tell you that I really think you're an arrogant idiot. I know you dont care but I am glad that I have had the chance to show anyone else reading these that you really dont know what you are talking about.
    Oh and for the record, this was not done in a "rural" area in Canada. Again you need to look into the facts before you just make sweeping statements.

    ...well there you have the way, "Christian hater" is not a "name" it is an emotion but is anyone surprised at your display of it?'s odd your wholesale defense of this innocuous study that you seem to think will bring hope to the World. Your limited understanding at the basic "size" of this World is amazing. You are a quandary (not a name) because I thought that you sing the praises of being an atheist, but from all appearances through this exchange you give credence to "spiritual" awareness. No solid atheist is going to do that...have you ever been to Canada? As for motivation for this study and others, even if it is something that they "love" to do try taking a printed copy of this precious study down to your local grocery and see how much stuff you can get through the pay out line with it. Do you think that these guys just tell the funders of this study "hey, just pay me a little...enough to buy food and pay the rent and we will be just fine"...the outcome of this survey is not the end game, it is a the way, don't confuse arrogance with confidence. There's a difference.

    Gerhard Adam

    I think you know that this doesn't have anything to do with "following the 10 commandments", but rather whether it is the place of government to advance any particular religion's beliefs.

    In truth, some of the 10 commandments are intuitive (not killing, stealing, etc.), so it isn't exactly a major revelation when one considers the content.  However, aside from the obvious one's about killing, stealing, and "bearing false witness" (i.e. perjury), why does everyone think that the rest of the commandments are other than religious guidelines?  While some might be good advice, they're hardly helpful coming from the government (or most of the religious leaders for that matter).

    The first three commandments relating to how God is to be treated, while the last two relate to attitudes towards your neighbor's property.  That's half of them.

    One relates to treating one's parents well, which leaves three that are well known crimes in our society and one moral commandment about committing adultery.  So out of 10 commandments, we have four(4) that explicitly relate to social behavior.

    So despite the claims that the problems in society are due to such legislative matters as denying the ten commandments, in truth they say little about our behavior that we don't all already know ad nauseum.

    Mundus vult decipi
    I will have to ask you then "what" kind of Government are we talking about here then because last I checked this was a Republic not a Democracy? The notion the the Government is "of the people", "by the people", and "for the people", would preclude that Government should take presedence "over" the people when the majority believe in not only the 10 Commandments but in the Creator of them as well. I did manage to get a positive out of you though Gerhard...I did get you to closely examine the 10 Commandments, possibly for the first time in the way the Commandment against "killing" is more specific than forbids "murder" not killing, significant difference. The removal of the Commandments from the Public sector has succeeded in also removing an ever present reminder that "pricks" our conscience. By the way it would be ok for "this" Country to advance the Religion that it was founded upon and also interacted with for the first 150+ years before the godless started crying...

    Gerhard Adam
    We are also supposed to be fundamentally protected from a "tyranny of the majority".  The government has not now or ever had the role of advancing any particular religious belief or theological view.

    Regarding my looking at the 10 commandments, you might be surprised at what I'm quite familiar with.   In addition, the commandment against "killing" was always taught in that fashion, and it was only after the issue of translation surfaced that it became to be accepted to reference murder rather than killing in general (since that would be an absurd position).  BTW, that's still what KJV Exodus 20:13 says, so I suppose we're acknowledging that the printed word is incorrect?
    Mundus vult decipi
    The idea is that there should be freedom "of" Religion not freedome "from" Religion. Christ and Christianity are the bedrock of this Nation so it didn't "need" to be promoted as it was woven into the fabric of the Country.

    Being "familiar" with the commandments doesn't mean much, I am familiar with any number of things but it doesn't mean that I can speak authoritatively about it. You can understand that for sure as we are both here in this forum... from the beginning the intent of the command has always noted not "to do murder" so while what you smugly see as an error would be a translation choice made in 1611 when the "Kings English" was a lot different than it is today. Can you not appreciate that the Bible has "evolved" over the years Gerhard??...surely you can ;-)

    I disagree that Christianity is the bedrock of the nation.  It is a facet of the settlers but even the Christians who were the early founders didn't agree with each other on most anything and formed their own communities because of it.  Mennonites, Quakers, etc. felt like theirs was the path and everyone else was wrong.

    Freedom no matter which flavor of religion they had, and whether they had land or not, was the bedrock of the nation, not the religion itself.  The constitution forbids a national,endorsed church, including Christianity, an unlikely move if it were the 'bedrock' of the country.

    This notion of a common Christianity in America is in the last 50 years - ask your relatives what their parents would have thought if they were Lutheran and chose to marry a Presbyterian, much less a Catholic.   That's why no national church could be allowed, or a national religion, including Christianity.   

    Imagine what people here would say if Bush got to approve the Bishop of Minnesota, like he would in places where there is a national church, i.e., England.
    ...I love ya Hank but your wrong. Have you ever toured the Capital Building? The issue was that the Government would not endorse a National "denomination" not Christianity as Christianity was the accepted faith throughout the Country already. The differences between the denominations is liturgical as at the heart of each is the full faith in Jesus as Christ and the Bible inerrent. Good God man...ever read Pilgrims progress? Your "notion" of a recent "notion" for Christianity coming together in the last 50 years is really quite the opposite in the Public sector as no group or organization has been lambasted/scorned/disregarded as Christians have. By the way didn't the Christian leave England to come to these shores? What did they do?...leave their faith on the shores? Hardly...The issue is not what former President Bush got to do. The problem is that the majority of people in this Country are Christians but have the "least" say in how the Country is operated for the good of the people...

    you're an idiot

    ...see what I mean? How should I respond to this statement?

    Chris Rollins
    The problem is that the majority of people in this Country are
    Christians but have the "least" say in how the Country is operated for
    the good of the people...
    I hate to break it to you, dude, but Christians hardly have the least say in how the country is run. The incoming Congress has 2 Muslims, 2 Buddhists, and 45 Jews, out of 534 total - the rest are Protestant or Catholic. In fact, Christians are overrepresented in Congress: 54.7% of Congress is Protestant, as opposed to 51.3% of America; 30.1% are Catholic as opposed to 23.9% of American citizens. Those in this country who actually have the least say are the unaffiliated citizens - the 16.1% of Americans unaffiliated with any church is represented by exactly zero members of Congress. So if you'd like to talk about a group of people who've been "lambasted/scorned/disregarded," why don't we talk about atheists?

    If there's one thing Christians are not, it's underrepresented.

    Congressional Religion Data by Pew
    ...well dude...there is only "one" group that is louder and complains more than the atheists, and we know who they are (or maybe you don't) but while your percentages "show" a better than half representation I would remind you that what a person "may" fill out on a form that declares he/she is a Christian the proof is in the pudding in how they actually "vote". Because the Nation is vastly Christian is not up for debate, but...those who seek public office are a different breed of cat and many like to "play the percentages" when it comes to the campaign trail. The general public "wants" to believe that the person that is going to represent their views is a person of character and moral value...Christian moral value. This would explain why these "alpha" types might pander to the ones who are looking for just what their offering. In the end it's all in how the votes are isn't it? Lets not talk about the might hurt their feelings...

    Gerhard Adam
    "Can you not appreciate that the Bible has "evolved" over the years Gerhard??...surely you can ;-)"

    Interesting position to take. If the Bible is "evolving", then it is "changing".  Therefore it is not the infallabile word of god since it can clearly adapt as circumtances change.  So I take it that you are in complete agreement that people that take the Bible literally are viewing it incorrectly?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    "from the beginning the intent of the command has always noted not "to do murder" so while what you smugly see as an error would be a translation choice made in 1611 when the "Kings English" was a lot different than it is today."

    Perry, you can't simply make things up as you go.  The "King's English" never mistranslated killing for murdering.  If you allow for changes in language usage, then you must also allow for the possibility that they simply got it wrong.

    However, despite these "errors" nobody seems to feel compelled to correct these translational problems, so therefore they must be generally agreed upon.  After all, we are no longer compelled to use the "King's English".

    I also find it curious that you don't think familiarity with the commandments means much, since you earlier indicated that it was precisely such passing familiarity that would have such a profound effect on the behavior of individuals in a society.  .... are you perhaps thinking that besides posting the 10 commandments, the government should also be responsible for "teaching" them?

    You also neglected to address my point that the 10 commandments doesn't tell us anything except the obvious, so what deeper knowledge should I possess about them?
    Mundus vult decipi

    In regard to "killing" versus "murder"

    I'm with Perry V. on this one.  I have an analytical concordance which relates "King James" English words to their Hebrew / Greek originals.  It shows that the word in the commandment is a not-much-used Hebrew verb "ratsach", which mainly appears in the later commands about cities of refuge, to which the "manslayer" may flee. 
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Gerhard Adam

    I'm not rejecting the definition.  My only point is that if the Bible is incorrect, then why does the modern KJV still use the word "kill"?  Even a Wikipedia search of the 10 commandments, shows up "You shall not kill".

    Given that so much of the religious element in these debates is based on the idea of taking the Bible literally, then it seems presumptious to have the bible say something (mistranslated or not) and then suddenly start back-pedaling when it is called into question. 

    The other question that remains is why it isn't corrected if it is an error
    Mundus vult decipi
    well...with a tip of the cap to Rob...Gerhard you are circling like a tempest in a teapot (that's one for you Rob) no one has seen fit to make the correction because the translation stands fine as it is. But what I suggest is that you read the version that is in Hebrew in it's original form. So much is made of "straining gnats and swallowing camels" that folks want to pick apart the Bible in order to drag it cast doubt. This is how all this mess got started in the first place Gerhard...remember? ...who said "did God say"?? I have long ago stopped concerning myself with people who discount Gods's ok go ahead. In fact I "like" it that you are "cold" in regards to the existence of God the Lord appreciates it as well because there is no middle ground when it comes to these sort of things. Do you not claim that "evolution" has improved it's version of things that you declare as truth over the years. Then why can't you allow a similar understanding for "our" side? The 10 commandments that you say you are familiar with and so want me to justify why only 5 have any value according to you, ends up that you have missed the whole purpose of the commandments in the first place Gerhard. Even though the first 5 are related to God and a relationship with him, the second 5 relates to conduct among men, neighbors and while the value of a mans behavior in regards to his neighbor is at the forefront there is a deeper revelation to discover...(I'm not tellin, you don't care anyway)...if we were to agree on "5" commandments to be allowed in school that are only in regards to a mans behavior would you be in agreement with the idea?...

    Gerhard Adam

    Perry, I will concede that it isn't my intent to quibble over details, and that you are catching the brunt of this argument in lieu of those that demand "literal" interpretation of the bible.

    As I've told you before, I don't have a problem with personal beliefs and I happen to think that they are critical for an individual's psychological well-being (regardless of where they originate from). 

    I'm also not saying that the 10 commandments are worthless, only that they are so fundamentally obvious that I seriously doubt that they would alter the flavor of society regardless of how many times and places they were displayed.  That they aren't exactly revelatory was my point.

    I think we can both agree that improvements in society are going to come from parents and other adults that take the time to teach and mentor, and not from some poster sized display of a set of "rules".  My problem with the issue of the 10 commandments is that too many people view them as a sort of checklist where they can assess how "good" they are as people. 

    Even though your perspective can sometimes be infuriating, I don't have a quarrel with you Perry

    Mundus vult decipi
    Thanks for the article. Not enough attention is paid to the role of spirituality in people’s lives, especially in a child’s or teen’s life.