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Parenting, not religion, makes us into moral agents

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 December 2006

Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi*
Department of Psychology, University of Haifa, Haifa31905, Israel


The universal early experience of all humans, which means being totally dependent on caretakers who attempt to inculcate impulse control, should be considered as the psychological framework for the creation of significant supernatural agents. The same early experiences put us at the center of a moral universe, but there is no necessary connection between the two processes. We do not need disgruntled ancestors to make us behave; disgruntled parents will do.

Open Peer Commentary
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2006

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