Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby Vay » 26 May 2012, 23:34

I got criticized pretty heavily for a little protest post in the "Bible stories for children" parenting thread -

[post edited by moderator to remove comments in reference to a specific individual]

...so I thought I'd start this here. Maybe these would be a good jumping-off point:





Let me say right off the bat that I don't completely agree with Dawkins in his general assessment, although I do strongly support his moral stance on this issue.

Basically, my position is "Teach a child about one religion and you indoctrinate her; teach her about many religions and you inoculate her." (Of course I realize in reality it's not that simple - plenty of people who are educated on "comparative religion", in the absence of accompanying lessons in skepticism, nevertheless latch onto vague New Age spiritualism, "surrogate religions" such as conspiracy theories or the like.)

Image

(Coincidentally, my month-old baby girl was 3.5 kg!)
"So given that we all agree that the world is warming, would it be unlikely to have heat waves outpace cold fronts by 3:1? Where's the Gotcha! in that?" - Fred Smith
Forumosan avatar
Vay
Mahjong Maniac (májiàng mí)
Mahjong Maniac (májiàng mí)
 
Posts: 2186
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 01 Nov 2001, 17:01
Location: still in the Matrix
27 Recommends(s)
50 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby Fortigurn » 27 May 2012, 09:21

Thanks to TempoGain for cleaning up the thread; I'm currently in the Glorious Communist Republic of Awesome, and my internet access is about what you'd expect it to be.
Hiking gear.
________________________
一閃一閃亮晶晶晶晶 我的項鍊到底在哪裡 滿天都是小星星星星 我要瞬間變成大明星!
一閃一閃眨眨眼眼眼 氣球飛來飛去的樂園 比太陽還耀眼眼眼眼 鑽石都讓到一邊!
我就是shining shining 大小姐 快大聲喊一遍! 我就是shining shining 大小姐 加滿元氣衝上天!
Forumosan avatar
Fortigurn
Former City Mayor (qiánrèn shìzhǎng)
Former City Mayor (qiánrèn shìzhǎng)
 
Posts: 4854
Joined: 16 Jan 2004, 17:59
Location: Wanfang
13 Recommends(s)
33 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby Battery9 » 27 May 2012, 09:22

I wish I knew the answer to this, but it's such a difficult thing to answer. What makes things ethical? And there are soooo many different types of worshippers in each section...it's hard to know.
Battery9
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
 
Posts: 3083
Joined: 22 Nov 2004, 18:19
Location: Xindian County
26 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby SillyWilly » 27 May 2012, 10:06

How about I raise my kids the way I see fit, and you do the same with yours? If I want to raise my child a Muslim, who are you to tell me it's unethical? Are you a higher authority on ethical behavior? Is the government? Is the majority? Please.

If teaching your child the doctrines of a certain religion is unethical, what is the alternative? Leaving him to choose his own way? If you have ever raised a child you would know that's a ludicrous thought. Without guidance a child will become an undisciplined immoral criminal.

And for all those out there who think teaching their children that there is no God is somehow "ethical," think again. You're only indoctrinating your child with your own "religion," which is no religion at all.

So, no, teaching your own child the doctrines of your religion is not unethical, in my opinion.

This post was recommended by thirdstring (11 Jun 2012, 02:07)
Rating: 5.88%
Forumosan avatar
SillyWilly
Shoe-wielding Legislator (huīwǔ xiézi de lìfǎ wěiyuán)
Shoe-wielding Legislator (huīwǔ xiézi de lìfǎ wěiyuán)
 
Posts: 272
Joined: 12 Jan 2012, 12:29
1 Recommends(s)
5 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby ThreadKiller » 27 May 2012, 10:16

SillyWilly wrote: ... what is the alternative? Leaving him to choose his own way?


Yes. Any child raised in a loving and stable home is probably going to turn out alright.

The alternative to religion is not an unabashed atheist orgy. Morality exists outside of religion.
"Sell crazy someplace else. We're all stocked up here." (Melvin Udall)

"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." (Denis Diderot)

"I believe there's nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for people." (Katharine Hepburn)

This post was recommended by 2 Forumosans: urodacus (28 May 2012, 13:36), Vay (27 May 2012, 13:16)
Rating: 11.76%
Forumosan avatar
ThreadKiller
Betelnut Beauty (bīnglang Xī Shī)
Betelnut Beauty (bīnglang Xī Shī)
 
Posts: 1537
Joined: 13 Feb 2010, 23:53
Location: Taipei County
99 Recommends(s)
45 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby TheGingerMan » 27 May 2012, 12:19

Children should experience religion from a cultural aspect, not as any kind of dogma.

I personally think the prime time for a young person to experiment with religion is during the teenage years. Anything earlier, and exposure is either too much or too little.
As with any school of thought, it should not be taught until the children are old enough to ask poignant questions.
"Turne ye to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope,
even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee:"

~~~ZECHARIAH 9:12

"Or fill high hawkfell of my hand,
with skalds reward for skilled word?"

~~~Egill Skallagrimssøn, c.974


"Opinion is underrated since it is too difficult for most and not understood by the rest."
~~~elektronisk

This post was recommended by Vay (27 May 2012, 13:16)
Rating: 5.88%
Forumosan avatar
TheGingerMan
Bureaucrat of the Underworld (cóng dìyù lái de guānliáo)
Bureaucrat of the Underworld (cóng dìyù lái de guānliáo)
 
Posts: 7738
Joined: 29 Aug 2005, 00:38
Location: The Thin Edge Of The Wedge
4 Recommends(s)
219 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby Vay » 27 May 2012, 13:15

SillyWilly wrote:How about I raise my kids the way I see fit, and you do the same with yours? If I want to raise my child a Muslim, who are you to tell me it's unethical? Are you a higher authority on ethical behavior? Is the government? Is the majority? Please.


I can "tell" you I think it's unethical, give you my reasons and hope to influence you without imposing any standard on you. People these days seem to be confused about this, thinking they should be able live in their little emotional comfort zones and not even have to be exposed to contradictory opinions or information. I think it's why young people these days can't constructively accept criticism (according to numerous articles).

And I don't think I'm required to be an expert on ethics to raise an opinion or question in a forum.

If teaching your child the doctrines of a certain religion is unethical, what is the alternative? Leaving him to choose his own way? If you have ever raised a child you would know that's a ludicrous thought. Without guidance a child will become an undisciplined immoral criminal.


The alternative is to try to raise him/her to have the tools to make their own evaluation when they reach adulthood, after the point where their credulity makes them easy targets for beliefs practically no thinking adult would accept without having been indoctrinated in them at an early age. Admittedly, I haven't yet done this successfully, but it seems to me a worthy goal.

Here is a resource I've been interested to read on that topic:

Parenting Beyond Belief

As for the part about undisciplined immoral criminal, who said anything about "no guidance"? Teaching morals and ethical conduct doesn't require religion. Look at the Scandinavian countries. Their crime rates are ridiculously low, and they are about as apathetic when it comes to religion as a place can get.

In fact, when it comes to moral guidance, I think even what religious people give their children is basically a heavy dose of what's socially acceptable with a smattering of very carefully cherry-picked items from their preferred religious text.

And for all those out there who think teaching their children that there is no God is somehow "ethical," think again. You're only indoctrinating your child with your own "religion," which is no religion at all.


How about not telling the child "There is/isn't/are/aren't any god/s", but simply waiting until the question is raised, and then answering it honestly with "I can't be certain, but I don't think so. What do you think?"
"So given that we all agree that the world is warming, would it be unlikely to have heat waves outpace cold fronts by 3:1? Where's the Gotcha! in that?" - Fred Smith

This post was recommended by Super Hans (27 May 2012, 13:49)
Rating: 5.88%
Forumosan avatar
Vay
Mahjong Maniac (májiàng mí)
Mahjong Maniac (májiàng mí)
 
Posts: 2186
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 01 Nov 2001, 17:01
Location: still in the Matrix
27 Recommends(s)
50 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby Super Hans » 27 May 2012, 13:47

If teaching your child the doctrines of a certain religion is unethical, what is the alternative? Leaving him to choose his own way? If you have ever raised a child you would know that's a ludicrous thought. Without guidance a child will become an undisciplined immoral criminal.


It alarms me that time and again, the rudest, most condescending and patronising of all people tend to be those who favour the forcing and entrenchment of religion upon others.
The bones got the wrong detail I hoped it would have for you
Safe for a shin bone or even a hand
It's such a lonely ride...
Forumosan avatar
Super Hans
Street Dog Chaser (zhuīgǎn liúlàng gǒu)
Street Dog Chaser (zhuīgǎn liúlàng gǒu)
 
Posts: 1299
Joined: 05 Mar 2011, 13:07
Location: Localiser Established
42 Recommends(s)
149 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby Battery9 » 27 May 2012, 13:57

I think it's immoral to have children.
Battery9
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
 
Posts: 3083
Joined: 22 Nov 2004, 18:19
Location: Xindian County
26 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby sandman » 27 May 2012, 14:08

I'm not in any way a religious type, but I know a fair bit about many of them gods, goddesses, jesuses, mohammeds and all of them others, too, to an extent. My kid will know about them all, too, as best I can impart. What he does with that information is up to him. Am I about to hide his head in the sand from all those wierdoes, or should I try to show him what its about? Am I about to send him to CHURCH? God forbid! I want him to KNOW.
sandman
Manjusri (Wénshū)
 
Posts: 30176
Joined: 04 Jun 2001, 16:01
28 Recommends(s)
199 Recognized(s)



FRIENDLY REMINDER
   Please remember that Forumosa is not responsible for the content that appears on the other side of links that Forumosans post on our forums. As a discussion website, we encourage open and frank debate. We have learned that the most effective way to address questionable claims or accusations on Forumosa is by engaging in a sincere and constructive conversation. To make this website work, we must all feel safe in expressing our opinions, this also means backing up any claims with hard facts, including links to other websites.
   Please also remember that one should not believe everything one reads on the Internet, particularly from websites whose content cannot be easily verified or substantiated. Use your common sense and do not hesitate to ask for proof.
Next




Proceed to Religion & Spirituality



Who is online

Forumosans browsing this forum: No Forumosans and 1 visitor

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time -- MARK TWAIN