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Indoctrination

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Posts

  • trentsteeltrentsteel Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Although I definitely agree that it's wrong to indoctrinate children, I can't imagine there is every anything we could do about it. Imagine a law being passed that bans parents from taking their children to church. Even if a law like that was passed; there's no way to prevent them from teaching them at home.

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  • CalciumCalcium Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Except it has been repeatedly said that people shouldn't be teaching their children to believe their religion at all, because it constitutes indoctrination. Which is, I think, influenced people believing that theirs are the only rational conclusions so if people would just stop teaching their children to be religious then everyone would agree with them and the world would be a better place. Which is what I find hypocritical.
    This is a bullshit argument which amounts to "atheism is religion".

    Explain how.

  • trentsteeltrentsteel Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Except it has been repeatedly said that people shouldn't be teaching their children to believe their religion at all, because it constitutes indoctrination. Which is, I think, influenced people believing that theirs are the only rational conclusions so if people would just stop teaching their children to be religious then everyone would agree with them and the world would be a better place. Which is what I find hypocritical.

    I don't think everyone is saying that. I think most people are trying to say that children should be of a certain age before they start to choose what to believe in. Then it's fine for them to choose Christianity or Atheism or whatever.

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  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    trentsteel wrote: »
    Except it has been repeatedly said that people shouldn't be teaching their children to believe their religion at all, because it constitutes indoctrination. Which is, I think, influenced people believing that theirs are the only rational conclusions so if people would just stop teaching their children to be religious then everyone would agree with them and the world would be a better place. Which is what I find hypocritical.

    I don't think everyone is saying that. I think most people are trying to say that children should be of a certain age before they start to choose what to believe in. Then it's fine for them to choose Christianity or Atheism or whatever.

    Moreoever, how is not teaching religion irrational? If anything, it's more rational. The mind of a child is already beset with imagination and fictitious stories. If you're going to add religion to the concoction, better to open with "Once upon a time."

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Fallingman wrote: »
    we were talking about far more heavy-handed indoctrination methods. Like, for example, Jesus Camp.
    Purely speaking from the outside looking in, some relatively common practices leave me cold. I.e as I understand it, Baptisms are necessary because all babies go to hell otherwise. ALL BABIES GO TO HELL? Whether or not that can be considered abuse or not, I'm not sure. But the whole premise seems pretty horrible to me.

    Not even the Catholics believed this before they changed the doctrine.

    Also, I have yet to see someone suggest how we go about not teaching children religion.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    No, I'm saying that it's disingeuous to say people shouldn't teach their children religion; if it's based on the idea that that will cause everyone to agree with you. It's not based on there being something wrong with teaching children religion except that you don't think people should be religious.

    Hmm. How about this, then?

    It is wrong to, exploiting the youth and impressionability of a child, to indoctrinate them in any belief to the degree that it would be impossible for them to be rational with respect to that belief later in life, unless this is absolutely necessary for that child's behavior in society.

    In that sense, there's nothing wrong with teaching religion, if you are teaching religion in the same way you'd teach science or history. But there is something wrong with teaching religion as something to be unthinkingly devoted to.

  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I agree completely Phobos.

    trentsteel we don't give children the choice of what to believe in. We teach them. We teach them religion just like we teach them tolerence, logic, rational thinking, and morality. Whether they like it or not. As they grow older and gain in understanding we allow them to make their own choices, but that doesn't mean we stay hush on these subjects before then. No one would ever suggest to not teach their children racism is wrong until they are old enough to decide for themselves.

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    No, I'm saying that it's disingeuous to say people shouldn't teach their children religion; if it's based on the idea that that will cause everyone to agree with you. It's not based on there being something wrong with teaching children religion except that you don't think people should be religious.

    Hmm. How about this, then?

    It is wrong to, exploiting the youth and impressionability of a child, to indoctrinate them in any belief to the degree that it would be impossible for them to be rational with respect to that belief later in life, unless this is absolutely necessary for that child's behavior in society.

    In that sense, there's nothing wrong with teaching religion, if you are teaching religion in the same way you'd teach science or history. But there is something wrong with teaching religion as something to be unthinkingly devoted to.

    There's a problem with putting it even on the same plane as science or history. Especially when the subjects contradict on some fundamental ideas. Which perspective takes precedence? Teach them morals, yes. In the context of faith, perhaps. But the more mythological aspects of a religion should remain strictly in the realm of fiction, attributed no more credibility than one would grant Snow White, Huckleberry Finn or Glenn Beck.

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Seriously, I want to hear this argument on a practical level. How exactly do we stop all discussion of religion altogether? Or is some level okay? What level does it stop being okay at?

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I didn't mean to say that they were on the same plane, just that you'd teach them using the same methods- as something to learn, rather than something to Believe. You know, treat religion academically.

    Instead of saying, "Believe this, my son!" say, "Well, my son, a lot of people believe this...and some people believe this, and others believe this...now I happen to believe this, but I encourage you to make up your own mind."

    I'm all in favor of comparative religion classes (and logic classes!) for kids as early as possible.
    What level does it stop being okay at?

    I would propose two benchmarks for, "No, that's not fucking okay! That's creepy cult shit!"

    1. When you start hurting people for your faith, or justifying harm to others based on faith. There can be no compromise on this- intolerance and religious bigotry are never fucking acceptable, I don't care if you've got a two-thousand year old pedigree for hating Jews, you can't hate Jews or teach hating Jews. Or Gays. Or Catholics. Or Protestants. Or Sunnis. Or Shiites. Or Pagans....

    Well, obviously you can, but you damn well should not.

    2. When you start programming, rather than educating. It's a fine line, difficult to spot, but you basically have to refrain from installing a belief that is defined as being immune to rational analysis ,skepticism, or doubt. If at any point you teach your child that it is okay to question X and Y but not Z, you've run into trouble. Ideas should be accepted or discarded because of their merit or lack thereof, not because they are regarded as unquestionable.

    Neither of these conditions is all that onerous, since the majority of people I've ever met were either raised under or raised their kids based on these basic ideas.

  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Seriously, I want to hear this argument on a practical level. How exactly do we stop all discussion of religion altogether? Or is some level okay? What level does it stop being okay at?

    Where the more dubious elements are concerned.

    Phobos, the belief that we should teach religion alongside science seems eerily on par with teaching creationism and evolution, which is alright as long as you keep the realms separate. You wouldn't introduce a Biblical perspective into a science class any more than you would bring a biology textbook into church.

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Glyph wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Seriously, I want to hear this argument on a practical level. How exactly do we stop all discussion of religion altogether? Or is some level okay? What level does it stop being okay at?

    Where the more dubious elements are concerned.

    Phobos, the belief that we should teach religion alongside science seems eerily on par with teaching creationism and evolution, which is alright as long as you keep the realms separate. You wouldn't introduce a Biblical perspective into a science class any more than you would bring a biology textbook into church.

    I wasn't talking about schools. Or at least, everyone is implying that it's not really schools that are a problem. (Currently, schools are not the problem.)

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Glyph wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Seriously, I want to hear this argument on a practical level. How exactly do we stop all discussion of religion altogether? Or is some level okay? What level does it stop being okay at?

    Where the more dubious elements are concerned.

    Phobos, the belief that we should teach religion alongside science seems eerily on par with teaching creationism and evolution, which is alright as long as you keep the realms separate. You wouldn't introduce a Biblical perspective into a science class any more than you would bring a biology textbook into church.

    I wasn't talking about schools. Or at least, everyone is implying that it's not really schools that are a problem.

    If we're talking about a stage in a child's development prior to scholastic education, we're looking at ages 2-3. At this stage, why would you teach them either science or religion or history or anything too complex for their minds to comprehend in the first place?

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  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Glyph wrote: »
    Phobos, the belief that we should teach religion alongside science seems eerily on par with teaching creationism and evolution, which is alright as long as you keep the realms separate. You wouldn't introduce a Biblical perspective into a science class any more than you would bring a biology textbook into church.

    Oh, I'm sorry if I wasn't clear, but I definitely oppose teaching religion alongside science. Teach it like we teach it in college, you know, not as if it was indisputable fact, but that it was and is an element of our culture and society that is very important, for better or for worse.

  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Glyph wrote: »
    Phobos, the belief that we should teach religion alongside science seems eerily on par with teaching creationism and evolution, which is alright as long as you keep the realms separate. You wouldn't introduce a Biblical perspective into a science class any more than you would bring a biology textbook into church.

    Oh, I'm sorry if I wasn't clear, but I definitely oppose teaching religion alongside science. Teach it like we teach it in college, you know, not as if it was indisputable fact, but that it was and is an element of our culture and society that is very important, for better or for worse.

    Then there is no debate, at least from me. Religions are absolutely an integral part of our history and cultural identity, and should be taught accordingly. Refusing to educate our children about their very existence would not only be irresponsible, but seems rather impossible given the breadth of their influence on societies past and present.

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  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    but you can teach religioin both as something to be believed and something to be questioned. There is no reason you would teach it as something some people believe any more than you would teach them tolerance is something some people believe. We teach our children the things that have helped us to live as we believe people should live. Including religion. We teach them to question, but we also provide them with the answers that we have found.

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    but you can teach religioin both as something to be believed and something to be questioned. There is no reason you would teach it as something some people believe any more than you would teach them tolerance is something some people believe. We teach our children the things that have helped us to live as we believe people should live. Including religion. We teach them to question, but we also provide them with the answers that we have found.

    As long as you confine it to areas of ethical and philosophical discourse.

    Teaching that Christ taught empathy, peace and tolerance - Green Light.

    Teaching that Christ was the son of God who died on a crucifix for the sins of humanity - Yellow Light.

    Teaching that God created all life instantaneously, that evolution is no more credible than creationism or "intelligent design" and that all other faiths got it wrong - No One Escapes the Spanish Inquisition.

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  • MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    trentsteel wrote: »
    Although I definitely agree that it's wrong to indoctrinate children, I can't imagine there is every anything we could do about it. Imagine a law being passed that bans parents from taking their children to church. Even if a law like that was passed; there's no way to prevent them from teaching them at home.

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  • FerrusFerrus Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    but you can teach religioin both as something to be believed and something to be questioned. There is no reason you would teach it as something some people believe any more than you would teach them tolerance is something some people believe. We teach our children the things that have helped us to live as we believe people should live. Including religion. We teach them to question, but we also provide them with the answers that we have found.

    Now see, most parents don't. It all depends on the social environment. More "faithful" people will not, in any way, teach their children to question, mostly because they weren't taught to question either.
    Thats the whole basis of sects and those hardcore christian churches.

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  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Glyph wrote: »
    but you can teach religioin both as something to be believed and something to be questioned. There is no reason you would teach it as something some people believe any more than you would teach them tolerance is something some people believe. We teach our children the things that have helped us to live as we believe people should live. Including religion. We teach them to question, but we also provide them with the answers that we have found.

    As long as you confine it to areas of ethical and philosophical discourse.

    Teaching that Christ taught empathy, peace and tolerance - Green Light.

    Teaching that Christ was the son of God who died on a crucifix for the sins of humanity - Yellow Light.

    Teaching that God created all life instantaneously, that evolution is no more credible than creationism or "intelligent design" and that all other faiths got it wrong - No One Escapes the Spanish Inquisition.

    Why on God's green earth would you confine it to areas of ethical and philosophical discoure, except of course for the fact that Glyph doesn't believe these things, and wishes no one else would either?

    edit: Yes Ferrus, but that doesn't mean you get to attribute the flaws of religious people to religion itself, just because you disagree with it. Otherwise I could lay the actions of communism at the door of every atheist I meet. Which would be really really silly.

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  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2007
    Glyph wrote: »
    but you can teach religioin both as something to be believed and something to be questioned. There is no reason you would teach it as something some people believe any more than you would teach them tolerance is something some people believe. We teach our children the things that have helped us to live as we believe people should live. Including religion. We teach them to question, but we also provide them with the answers that we have found.

    As long as you confine it to areas of ethical and philosophical discourse.

    Teaching that Christ taught empathy, peace and tolerance - Green Light.

    Teaching that Christ was the son of God who died on a crucifix for the sins of humanity - Yellow Light.

    Teaching that God created all life instantaneously, that evolution is no more credible than creationism or "intelligent design" and that all other faiths got it wrong - No One Escapes the Spanish Inquisition.

    Why on God's green earth would you confine it to areas of ethical and philosophical discoure, except of course for the fact that Glyph doesn't believe these things, and wishes no one else would either?

    You're right. They should also apply it on physics and chemistry exams. That'll be great for them, and I'm sure they'll get top marks.

    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • GregerGreger Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Glyph wrote: »
    Greger wrote: »
    Glyph wrote: »
    Church was alright. But confusing. In one seminar, they were discussing how Americans needed to reach out to the world and understand their fellow human beings, learn to embrace other languages and cultures. In another, they were bad-mouthing Buddhism as religion of superstition and godless bestial and idol worshipping.

    On another note, In what way is buddism more superstituous than christianity and why is it bestial and idol worhsipping in comparsion to christianity? I think they got it all wrong.

    I'm sure in their mind they had it right. Nevermind that Buddha was a teacher, to them he's one of those "other gods" that man isn't meant to have before The One.
    Actually I would guess it's because most people that consider themselves Buddhist go to animist temples and leave offerings for spirits. Less so in places with denser populations and more education like big cities. Which is not to say that makes it OK to be hating on those people, but y'know... some people think everyone else should be taught to think just like they do.

    Christianity thinks everyone else should be taught what they believe. Buddists dont go out and mission. Its higly against their interests.

    To me, it smacks very much of hypocrisy for someone to say children should only be taught critical thinking and logic

    Whats wrong with that? It makes you think for yourself, thats all. But you dont like that now do you.

    if you think that the only possible conclusions on life are your conclusions. It implies to me you disaprove of indoctrination simply because without it everyone would agree with you, not because there are good reasons against it. Apart from the fact that I think you're wrong about the conclusions thing.
    and logic

    If indoctrination is required for religious belief then its still wrong.
    edit: and no I don't think that there are no good arguments against indoctrination. I just suspect they aren't at the core of the reason most of the people here don't like it.

    You do seem to think its a positive thing in general though.
    Personally, if I did believe in God, the God I would believe in wouldn't be such a dick that he'd demand unthinking devotion.

    good said.

  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    What are you babbling about? I'm talking about how you would no more teach religion on strictly hypothetical grounds than you would morality. I wouldn't teach my children some people beleive racism is bad any more than I would teach them some people beleive in God. I would teach them I beleive racism is bad and I beleive in God. And that they should also. I would also explain to them why. On both counts. That has nothing to do with teaching them to talk about their faith in science class.

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • GregerGreger Registered User
    edited April 2007
    What are you babbling about? I'm talking about how you would no more teach religion on strictly hypothetical grounds than you would morality. I wouldn't teach my children some people beleive racism is bad any more than I would teach them some people beleive in God. I would teach them I beleive racism is bad and I beleive in God. And that they should also. I would also explain to them why. On both counts. That has nothing to do with teaching them to talk about their faith in science class.

    What are you babbling about? Tolerance is not the same thing as believing in a religion.

    And you dont need to be indoctrinated to believe racism is bad.

  • GregerGreger Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Ferrus wrote: »
    but you can teach religioin both as something to be believed and something to be questioned. There is no reason you would teach it as something some people believe any more than you would teach them tolerance is something some people believe. We teach our children the things that have helped us to live as we believe people should live. Including religion. We teach them to question, but we also provide them with the answers that we have found.

    Now see, most parents don't. It all depends on the social environment. More "faithful" people will not, in any way, teach their children to question, mostly because they weren't taught to question either.
    Thats the whole basis of sects and those hardcore christian churches.

    Indeed. I cant imagine an average believing christian do that.


    Meanwhile, an agnostics life-wiew is pretty much based on the fact that he cant prove that god exists, or doesent exist.

    To question is pretty much what he believes in.

  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Oh my Lord you idiot. I'm not sure I have the words... but I'll try.
    Greger wrote: »
    Glyph wrote: »
    Greger wrote: »
    Glyph wrote: »
    Church was alright. But confusing. In one seminar, they were discussing how Americans needed to reach out to the world and understand their fellow human beings, learn to embrace other languages and cultures. In another, they were bad-mouthing Buddhism as religion of superstition and godless bestial and idol worshipping.

    On another note, In what way is buddism more superstituous than christianity and why is it bestial and idol worhsipping in comparsion to christianity? I think they got it all wrong.

    I'm sure in their mind they had it right. Nevermind that Buddha was a teacher, to them he's one of those "other gods" that man isn't meant to have before The One.
    Actually I would guess it's because most people that consider themselves Buddhist go to animist temples and leave offerings for spirits. Less so in places with denser populations and more education like big cities. Which is not to say that makes it OK to be hating on those people, but y'know... some people think everyone else should be taught to think just like they do.
    Greger wrote: »

    Christianity thinks everyone else should be taught what they believe. Buddists dont go out and mission. Its higly against their interests.
    Yes, everyone should beleive in christianity. By their own personal choice. Not by force. Idiot.
    Greger wrote: »
    To me, it smacks very much of hypocrisy for someone to say children should only be taught critical thinking and logic

    Whats wrong with that? It makes you think for yourself, thats all. But you dont like that now do you.
    I don't have a problem with teaching children critical thinking and logic. I encourage it. Idiot.
    Greger wrote: »
    if you think that the only possible conclusions on life are your conclusions. It implies to me you disaprove of indoctrination simply because without it everyone would agree with you, not because there are good reasons against it. Apart from the fact that I think you're wrong about the conclusions thing.
    and logic

    If indoctrination is required for religious belief then its still wrong.
    Religious belief doesn't require indoctrination. That doesn't mean we would choose to not teach our children our religion. Science doesn't require indoctrination either, but we still begin to teach our children about it at a very young age.
    Greger wrote: »
    edit: and no I don't think that there are no good arguments against indoctrination. I just suspect they aren't at the core of the reason most of the people here don't like it.

    You do seem to think its a positive thing in general though.

    That kind of depends on how you define the word. If you mean that I thinks it's a positive thing to teach your child not to question, then no I do not think it's a good thing in general. If however you mean I think you should start to teach your child the things you beleive, both about religion and many other subjects such as morality, from a young age then yes I do think it's a good thing. You teach your children to behave the way you think people should. And as they get older you allow them to choose their own way.

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2007
    I think a large part of this argument comes from MentalExercise's failure to correctly understand the phrase "ethical and philosophical discourse".

    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Oh, so you meant to say that it's Ok to teach your child your religion is true as long as you also teach them logic and critical thinking?

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2007
    Oh, so you meant to say that it's Ok to teach your child your religion is true as long as you also teach them logic and critical thinking?

    That's what I got from that post. That and that religion isn't justification to force people into submission (i.e; it's for ethical and philosophical discourse, for you to think about the truth and the best way to treat others and to discuss it with other people, it should not be taught as having force of law outside of the spiritual realms of being, thought and discussion).

    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Oh my Lord you idiot. I'm not sure I have the words... but I'll try.
    Greger wrote: »
    Glyph wrote: »
    Greger wrote: »
    Glyph wrote: »
    Church was alright. But confusing. In one seminar, they were discussing how Americans needed to reach out to the world and understand their fellow human beings, learn to embrace other languages and cultures. In another, they were bad-mouthing Buddhism as religion of superstition and godless bestial and idol worshipping.

    On another note, In what way is buddism more superstituous than christianity and why is it bestial and idol worhsipping in comparsion to christianity? I think they got it all wrong.

    I'm sure in their mind they had it right. Nevermind that Buddha was a teacher, to them he's one of those "other gods" that man isn't meant to have before The One.
    Actually I would guess it's because most people that consider themselves Buddhist go to animist temples and leave offerings for spirits. Less so in places with denser populations and more education like big cities. Which is not to say that makes it OK to be hating on those people, but y'know... some people think everyone else should be taught to think just like they do.
    Greger wrote: »

    Christianity thinks everyone else should be taught what they believe. Buddists dont go out and mission. Its higly against their interests.
    Yes, everyone should beleive in christianity. By their own personal choice. Not by force. Idiot.
    Greger wrote: »
    To me, it smacks very much of hypocrisy for someone to say children should only be taught critical thinking and logic

    Whats wrong with that? It makes you think for yourself, thats all. But you dont like that now do you.
    I don't have a problem with teaching children critical thinking and logic. I encourage it. Idiot.
    Greger wrote: »
    if you think that the only possible conclusions on life are your conclusions. It implies to me you disaprove of indoctrination simply because without it everyone would agree with you, not because there are good reasons against it. Apart from the fact that I think you're wrong about the conclusions thing.
    and logic

    If indoctrination is required for religious belief then its still wrong.
    Religious belief doesn't require indoctrination. That doesn't mean we would choose to not teach our children our religion. Science doesn't require indoctrination either, but we still begin to teach our children about it at a very young age.
    Greger wrote: »
    edit: and no I don't think that there are no good arguments against indoctrination. I just suspect they aren't at the core of the reason most of the people here don't like it.

    You do seem to think its a positive thing in general though.

    That kind of depends on how you define the word. If you mean that I thinks it's a positive thing to teach your child not to question, then no I do not think it's a good thing in general. If however you mean I think you should start to teach your child the things you beleive, both about religion and many other subjects such as morality, from a young age then yes I do think it's a good thing. You teach your children to behave the way you think people should. And as they get older you allow them to choose their own way.

    And you don't see any potential problems with the older children/adults finding it difficult, if not nearly impossible to shed their indoctrination in favor of "choosing their own way"? Because I can happily share plenty of (anecdotal, sure) examples of people who despite being free to "choose" as adults have found it incredibly difficult to rid themselves of these beliefs that were pounded into their heads as children.

  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    No. Because I would never build in that same idiotic self-doubt into my teachings on tolerance, equality, freedom, or responsibility. The fact that you know people who's parents chose to scare or guilt their children into beleif has absolutely no bearing on me. Examples of how people have taught their children religion badly have nothing to do with whether it is Ok to teach a child religious belief in general.

    And no that's not what Glyph was saying. He was saying it is Ok to have a conversation with your child about religion, as long as you don't teach them your particular religion is the what they should beleive. Which is stupid. I think I'm done here. I can't take this specious crap anymore.

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    edit: Yes Ferrus, but that doesn't mean you get to attribute the flaws of religious people to religion itself, just because you disagree with it. Otherwise I could lay the actions of communism at the door of every atheist I meet. Which would be really really silly.

    I don't know about that. Religion doesn't do anything divorced from people; it's not an independent actor. You can talk about how people have handled the idea of religion as a critique of the idea of religion itself, since the two are not distinguishable.

    Likewise, you'd be perfectly in your right to talk about the flaws of Communism in principle by illustrating how Communism worked in practice, because how it actually works out when people try to put it into practice is the only time it is actually "real."

    Of course, you can't really talk about atheism or atheists by talking about Communism, for obvious reasons. The two are significantly disconnected in practice and in principle. (Communists are typically atheists, but their atheism is a byproduct of Communism, so the causative factor is Communism, not atheism)

    Likewise, it'd be foolish to blame Imperialism on Religion- Imperialists used religious justification for what they did, but the causative factor was imperialist ambition.


    Mental Exercise, I'm sorry you've left the thread, because I think that last flamey exchange was mostly people talking past each other, rather than legitimate disagreement.

  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    You I'll talk to. I like you much better. I agree on the general principle, but it has to be demonstrated that the behavior people are exhibiting is caused by religious belief. Which is extremely difficult because there has never been a culture that taught atheism on a macro scale. Some religious people don't let their children to question them, but having been raised in a religious environment where I was continually encouraged to question I don't personally have any reason to beleive that that is a factor of religios beleif itself. Off the top of my head there is also the the Jewish factor. There is a strong tradition in many Jewish communities of asking difficult questions about faith.

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    You I'll talk to. I like you much better. I agree on the general principle, but it has to be demonstrated that the behavior people are exhibiting is caused by religious belief.

    By "behavior", you mean the abusive indoctrination techniques like Jesus Camp? I'd not be opposed to a psychological explanation, perhaps the parents desire to "control" something as significant in their lives as their children manifests itself through religious indoctrination. That's entirely possible, at least in some cases.

    But I think it'd be a stretch to argue that religious belief does not in some way contribute, since in the absence of that belief there would exist no justification for extreme measures.


    Which is extremely difficult because there has never been a culture that taught atheism on a macro scale.

    There probably never will be. There might be societies that are predominantly atheist emerging in the future, but I think religious faith fills a niche in the human psyche that is too potent a survival strategy to die out.
    Some religious people don't let their children to question them, but having been raised in a religious environment where I was continually encouraged to question I don't personally have any reason to beleive that that is a factor of religios beleif itself. Off the top of my head there is also the the Jewish factor. There is a strong tradition in many Jewish communities of asking difficult questions about faith.

    Indeed, as with certain modern Catholic communities and practices. I think we must make a distinction we haven't made yet- the difference between religious belief and religious...practice? Community awareness? I can't think of a good word to describe the idea of religions being a way of bringing people together. One argument in favor of going to church is that in small communities, it was a way of maintaining and strengthening group bonds. There are "Jewish Atheists", in that they do not believe in God but associate with the Jewish cultural identity.

    So long as these communities, or group identities, do not declare themselves in opposition to others, I have no qualm with them, or raising one's children as part of them. That's pretty normal and a vital element of socialization. It's not really any different from sending them to the Boy or Girl Scouts.

    The trouble is some of the negative effects of certain religious dogmas get transmitted through this sort of gathering. Depending on the troop, the Boy Scouts might transmit homophobia. Conservative Jews might transmit the idea that it is somehow unacceptable to marry a non-Jew (which, while not "evil", is...silly. Marry whom you love!). This is fairly easily prevented by making sure a child is part of several communities at once- I had non-Catholic friends as a child, had other clubs and activities, and was otherwise exposed to a world outside of Catholicism.

    I don't really begrudge being a part of my local Catholic community, because I met people there, did enjoyable things (though more often very boring things). What I disliked was the efforts at reinforcing or exaggerating my beliefs, which usually came from the more bigoted and extreme members of the group.

    I still don't like the idea of identifying with J.Random Catholic more so than I might identify with J. Random Anyone Else, but people need a way of narrowing down their social lives, meeting others in situations of common interest and experience, and religious groups are a fine way to do that, if they are more interested in that social experience than they are with indoctrination.

    In fact, most people of faith I've ever met were reasonable people. I mean, of course they were wrong about the God thing, but then again I really liked the "Hulk" movie, so we're all wrong about something. There is something different about the fanatic, whose faith is the some totality of their reason for existence, and the moderate, whose faith is tempered by reason, compassion and other interests. So you are correct- this discussion should perhaps move towards figuring out what sets apart "poisonous faith" with "healthy faith."

    I firmly believe that if there was a God, he'd want more out of his creations than constant devotion, prayer, etc. He wouldn't want Monks or flagellants or even priests, necessarily- he'd want people to do stuff. Just like a good parent wants their kids to be happy, to have interests and passions and independent thoughts. Hell, I don't think a benevolent God would want to be worshiped; that strikes me as remarkably egotistical for a higher being.

  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    If Loren reads that he's going to disagree vehemently.

    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    If Loren reads that he's going to disagree vehemently.

    If I were going to refuse compromise, then sure, taking your kid to a Catholic after-school dinner is just as bad as beating him with a flail if he masturbates. But, honestly, not even Dawkins is that extreme. (EDIT: I' not saying Loren is, either, since I have no idea where he stands on these things, coming into the discussion late.)

    What matters, really, is the pressure involved. If you're trying to force religion on someone, punishing them for it, pressuring them into it, deceiving them or abusing them into it...you have a problem. A religion should be something a person comes into freely, and you can't really have that if you shove it down the throat of a child.

  • 3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    What matters, really, is the pressure involved. If you're trying to force religion on someone, punishing them for it, pressuring them into it, deceiving them or abusing them into it...you have a problem. A religion should be something a person comes into freely, and you can't really have that if you shove it down the throat of a child.

    Some of your more fanatical indviduals could honestly give a shit. And it's easy to pick on stuff like Jesus Camp (way fucked up still) , but I know kids who were raised to be anti-semetic and go to KKK rallies. Kids are unmolded clay, you can turn them into anything if you're smart about it.

    I think Pringles original intention was to make tennis balls... but on the day the rubber was supposed to show up a truckload of potatoes came. Pringles is a laid-back company, so they just said, "Fuck it, cut em up!".
  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    Some of your more fanatical indviduals could honestly give a shit. And it's easy to pick on stuff like Jesus Camp (way fucked up still) , but I know kids who were raised to be anti-semetic and go to KKK rallies. Kids are unmolded clay, you can turn them into anything if you're smart about it.

    Exactly, which is why I'd consider it immoral to turn them into fanatics of any sort. Mold them into rational, compassionate human beings who can in turn mold themselves...not weapons for your favorite memeplex.

  • 3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    Some of your more fanatical indviduals could honestly give a shit. And it's easy to pick on stuff like Jesus Camp (way fucked up still) , but I know kids who were raised to be anti-semetic and go to KKK rallies. Kids are unmolded clay, you can turn them into anything if you're smart about it.

    Exactly, which is why I'd consider it immoral to turn them into fanatics of any sort. Mold them into rational, compassionate human beings who can in turn mold themselves...not weapons for your favorite memeplex.

    Of course, i've seen exceptions to this rule. I know kids who were Jesus Camp attendee's every year, and devoted their younger years to religon. They grew up into lawyers, bankers, heroin addicts. Some stayed true to their upbringing, but not all. I wish I had a percentage I could use, but I guess i'm saying that it's not all absolutes.

    I think Pringles original intention was to make tennis balls... but on the day the rubber was supposed to show up a truckload of potatoes came. Pringles is a laid-back company, so they just said, "Fuck it, cut em up!".
  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    Of course, i've seen exceptions to this rule. I know kids who were Jesus Camp attendee's every year, and devoted their younger years to religon. They grew up into lawyers, bankers, heroin addicts. Some stayed true to their upbringing, but not all. I wish I had a percentage I could use, but I guess i'm saying that it's not all absolutes.

    No, definitely not, but Jesus Camp (and other cult indoctrination techniques) work, to at least a sizable percentage of victims. Sizable enough to be useful.

    Luckily, the human brain is more resistant than we've perhaps given it credit for on this thread- you might traumatize a 5 year old into shakin' with the Holy Spirit, but he's still 5, and lacks the understanding and context for what he's doing. He might as well just be shakin' so he can go home and eat cookies.

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