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Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby Battery9 » 01 Jun 2012, 10:26

For me, the thing is that you can't choose a religion, it chooses you. You can't be something if you don't feel it.
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Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby zender » 01 Jun 2012, 13:23

E04teacherlin wrote:... In the scientific world you are quite correct that the burden of proof lies with those making the claim, but religion isn't science. It would be a great exercise in education for many to learn about science as science and religion as religion. The general impression the OP is creating with this thread is that those who do educate their kids to be religious are doing so to the detriment of science and scientific proof. That is utter rubbish. ...

There are many sharp people who feel that one has nothing to do with the other (Stephen Jay Gould's Non-Overrlapping Magesteria). I'm not one of those sharp people.

I think that unless I read the Bible whilst bending over backward on my apologist's stand, I see many areas in which religion tresspasses on Science's (yeah, I'm gonna capitalize it) realm.

Both Science and most religions have a view on how the Earth and people came to be. They sound very different to me.
When some religious groups want to "teach the controversy" in Science class, it is an example of Religion stepping on Science's toes.

The Bible has so many miracles (suspensions of natural laws) that conflict with our Scientific views. Can people come back to life? And remember it wasn't just Jesus who rose from the dead; many people crawled out of the grave at that same time as Jesus.

"and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many."

Can prayer work? I certainly think a fair reading of the Bible says, "Yes!"

"Jesus said to them, "... for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. "However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."

When the best studies are done on petitionary or intercessory prayer in a scientific manner, (by Christian groups hoping to prove what they believe) they fail miserably. It doesn't work. (See Templeton Foundation's study on intercessory prayer)

When the Pope, who is the only infallible human at this moment (according to the people behind the billion-strong Roman Catholic Church), fails to support condom use in Africa, he is at odds with the Scientific community. Now, I'm all for abstinence (for others), and faithfulness (for my spouse), but condoms are clearly a "lesser evil" than risking AIDS. Science says so. :lol:

For me, James Randi's Million Dollar Challenge is the nail in the coffin for anyone that claims that magic is real. You think you can tell the future? You think your guru can instantly heal the sick or talk to the dead? There's been a million dollars waiting for years for the first person to prove them wrong, and no one has passed the prelims.

So for those who believe that 2000+ years ago, magic was happening all over the place (not just by Jesus), what do you consider the world's most recent miracle or intervention by God? Do you think he has done anything in the last 1969 years? This is an honest question.

There must be a reason only 7% of National Academy of Sciences members express a personal belief in God, and this is in a strongly religious country (USA). I think these top scientists are used to judging claims based on evidence, and they are unimpressed by the evidence for religion, (and some may be tired of religion getting in the way of scientific research on stem cells etc.)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To Battery9,
I guess there is more movement these days within different types of Christianity, with people moving from one Christian church to another that suits them better.
As for the idea that, "you can't choose a religion; it chooses you" that should be true if the religion has any real power. What I still see is a strong correlation between Parental Beliefs + Place of Birth and Choice of Religion. For example, almost nobody in Latin America born to Christian parents chooses (or is chosen by) Islam. I like the idea that you should be chosen by a religion that you really are moved by and convinced by. In an answer to Pascal's Wager, I don't feel that you should, or even CAN, choose what you believe.

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Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby Vay » 01 Jun 2012, 15:14

Steelersman wrote:
No, I'm not making that assumption - I'm not saying they want to do it, merely that they should do it.


Maybe I agree that they should. However if society doesn't want to do something or it is not natural. It will be almost impossible to get people to act counter to their hard wiring.


Yes, I don't disagree with that. And yet, change does seem to be happening. Skepticism and science run totally contrary to our hard-wiring, and yet their impact upon the world has been incomparable. Human slavery - at least as a socially acceptable institution - is a thing of the past, and the rights of the less powerful or powerless are being more and more widely recognized. So perhaps change isn't impossible - it's just takes a time frame longer than our very limited perspectives here in what Dawkins calls "middle world".

Theramintrees gets at this point quite movingly here:

Why live?

Zender wrote:In an answer to Pascal's Wager, I don't feel that you should, or even CAN, choose what you believe.


Here's a great video-response to Pasqual's wager, also by Theramintrees:

Betting On Infinity
"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
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Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby TheGingerMan » 01 Jun 2012, 20:24

Tigerman wrote:
SillyWilly wrote: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.


I don't think that a child left to chose his own way (with respect to religion) necessarily equates a lack of guidance, nor do I think a child without religious guidance will necessarily become an undisciplined immoral criminal.

Seconded.
I must have been feeling especially light-hearted when I first read that part of SillyWilly's quote.
:eh:
As far as religion goes, there has been no trickle on down in my family for at least 4 generations, on both sides. We have always taken religion more for its cultural element, rather than any ideology. We have always left our kids to choose their own way. We have the intellect to comprehend the angle of everyday guidance when dealing with the everday good & evil of humanity in action, and all the gods & devils that can be invented by ugly bags of mostly water. So far none of us moral criminals have yet turned out to be undisciplined.
Go figure.
:ponder:
I respect religion enough to know that it has much more than mere morality, which more often is projected by twisted disciples of forked tongue.
Philosophy?
Without a doubt!
:thumbsup:
Forcefed some religious "guidance", aka indoctrination?
I've had sufficient!
:evil:
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Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby Deuce Dropper » 02 Jun 2012, 12:29

Short answer: NO.

I grew up Roman Catholic, and after confirmation (grade 8) my parents said going to church was now my decision. I think this was fair.

Obviously 'indoctrinating' kids into a something that puts them at immediate risk is wrong, but parents do have a right to raise children in their own way (please avoid extremes and slippery slope arguments).

I think this is fairly logical.

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Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby superking » 02 Jun 2012, 15:41

Is the religious indoctrination of adults ethical?
There are millions of people in the world. And none of those people is an extra. They're all leads in their own stories.

If you lose one sense, your other senses are enhanced. That's why people with no sense of humour have an increased sense of self-importance.
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Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby E04teacherlin » 02 Jun 2012, 19:38

Deuce Dropper wrote:Short answer: NO.

I grew up Roman Catholic, and after confirmation (grade 8) my parents said going to church was now my decision. I think this was fair.

Obviously 'indoctrinating' kids into a something that puts them at immediate risk is wrong, but parents do have a right to raise children in their own way (please avoid extremes and slippery slope arguments).

I think this is fairly logical.

A very well put answer and I think a good summary of what I was trying to say, but linguistically unable to. Zender made some good points but again that is in contrast to what I was saying. Because the Bible says the earth was created in 6 days doesn't mean all Christians believe that as Scientific fact. Those parents who teach their kids about Christianity for example certainly don't do so to the detriment of scientific knowledge. Extremes and slippery slope arguments obviously disproves my point.
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Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby steelersman » 03 Jun 2012, 07:16

Deuce Dropper wrote:Short answer: NO.

I grew up Roman Catholic, and after confirmation (grade 8) my parents said going to church was now my decision. I think this was fair.

Obviously 'indoctrinating' kids into a something that puts them at immediate risk is wrong, but parents do have a right to raise children in their own way (please avoid extremes and slippery slope arguments).

I think this is fairly logical.


It is somewhat of a moot point how parents raise their children unless we look at extreme cases. After children go to school they learn more from their peers than their parents. Unless we are talking about extreme cases, children usually pick up the accent of their friends rather than their parents. Eventually as people grow up they will do what they want regardless of what their parents teach them or the indoctrination used. I am talking about normal cases, not situations were the parents don't allow their children out other than to go to school.

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Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby Pingdong » 30 Jul 2012, 04:22

Read some Jeremy Narby. Its interesting because he simply draws parallels between science and religion, its interesting. Unless one is actively oppressing another being, I have no problem with providing one route to follow. Ideally the parents will offer a few, or at least suggest an open mind and the right for them to choose.

In a perfect world.
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Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby headhonchoII » 30 Jul 2012, 07:13

steelersman wrote:
finley wrote:
Battery9 wrote:I think it's immoral to have children.

I like this!

The general assumption in some of the above is that, if you don't bring up your child within some set of religious conventions, he/she will be irreligious. Seems unlikely. Organised religions are just social conventions that enforce some sort of preferred behaviour. You think such things don't exist outside of churches? I know plenty of people who have unshakeable blind faith in the economic, political and social memes that have been put into their heads by their elders and betters: GDP growth is good, you must go to work so that you can have a mortgage and buy a car, you must vote for a political party every five years, your government knows what's best ... and they faithfully dedicate their life to doing what they're told, because if they don't, they'll go to hell (or become social outcasts, which is similar). What's that if not a religion?


The fear of becoming a social outcast is probably stronger than religion. Additionally, people often follow religion since it is a strong force where they live. If they don' go to church they will be seen as an outcast, a heathen. In many ways organized religion is not about any Jesus or Mohammad. It is about conformity and believing that you are better than other people who don't have the same beliefs as you.


Yes. In some communities if you don't go to church you are going to be a type of outcast. You will also have a hard time meeting people. I can imagine this is very much the case in the US bible belt and the South. It is the case in some rural communities where I am from, where the best place to meet and greet and talk about recent events was after the local weekly mass.
In fact it was so important, that my uncle, a guy who visited the Soviet Union when it properly Communist and had a bust of Lenin in his bedroom, used to stand outside church every Sunday ;) . Somehow it all made sense.
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