Christianity Johnson on 21 Aug 2008 12:25 am
People who participate in social activities benefit from those activities. For example, there is a measurable benefit seen in the grade point averages of teens who attend church:
The article puts it this way:
The study does not suggest God is smiling on the students, per se. Rather, it identifies several reasons the students do better:
* They have regular contact with adults from various generations who serve as role models.
* Their parents are more likely to communicate with their friends’ parents.
* They develop friendships with peers who have similar norms and values.
* They’re more likely to participate in extracurricular activities.
Those factors account for only half the predicted effect, Glanville and colleagues say.
“There are two directions you can go with this research,” she said. “Some might say this suggests that parents should have their kids attend places of worship. Or, if we use it to help explain why religious participation has a positive effect on academics, parents who aren’t interested in attending church can consider how to structure their kids’ time to allow access to the same beneficial social networks and opportunities religious institutions provide.”
“Surprisingly, the importance of religion to teens had very little impact on their educational outcomes,” Glanville said. “That suggests that the act of attending church — the structure and the social aspects associated with it — could be more important to educational outcomes than the actual religion.”
The second quote is especially important, and begs a question. If we want to maximize the benefit for teens, we would be asking ourselves, “How can we create community-based social organizations that have the beneficial social aspects of churches, without the delusion associated with churches?” Once we eliminate the Imaginary being, the beneficial effects would probably be even stronger.