Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby steelersman » 29 May 2012, 18:54

Confuzius wrote:Is the atheist indoctrination of children unethical?

Or the scientific indoctrination?

Capitalist indoctrination?

Democratic/Republican indoctrination?

I guess that all depends on whether you are an atheist, believer in science, democrat, republican, capitalist or religious person.


Other common indoctrinations


One should become internationalized?/ becoming a global citizen is a good thing

One should have a career (40 boring hours a week for 30 years).

Formal education is superior to educating yourself?
Going to college is a must.
Your country is the best/superior. ex. China is the best country in the world.
steelersman
Wild Chicken Bus Driver (yě jī chē sī jī)
Wild Chicken Bus Driver (yě jī chē sī jī)
 
Posts: 1997
Joined: 30 Aug 2007, 03:58
10 Recommends(s)
24 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby E04teacherlin » 30 May 2012, 01:49

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.

Beautifully put. Now practice what you preach.
E04teacherlin
Scooter Commuter (qí jī chē shàng xià bān)
Scooter Commuter (qí jī chē shàng xià bān)
 
Posts: 615
Joined: 22 Feb 2012, 01:54
85 Recommends(s)
50 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby Vay » 30 May 2012, 02:46

Beautifully put. Now practice what you preach.


Being opposed to certain practices or beliefs doesn't necessarily mean one is considering oneself superior to others. I think the practice of female circumcision is bloody horrific. Doesn't mean I'm better than people who don't think that, but, try as I might, it's pretty hard for me not to think I'm not "righter" in the context of the modern world and human condition than they are on that particular issue. Same goes for people who are willing to exterminate rhinos for medicine (placebo medicine at that). Or folks that bomb abortion clinics, protest the funerals of gay soldiers, etc.
"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
Time to Marry a Local (gāi qǔ tái wān lǎo pó jià tái wān lǎo gōng liǎo)
Time to Marry a Local (gāi qǔ tái wān lǎo pó jià tái wān lǎo gōng liǎo)
 
Posts: 2241
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 01 Nov 2001, 17:01
Location: still in the Matrix
27 Recommends(s)
51 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby John » 30 May 2012, 23:32

I know the Bible’s right, somebody’s wrong
I know the Bible’s right, somebody’s wrong

Aint no homos going to make it to heaven




Putting aside the ridiculous fairy tale concept of a special place where some people might go and others might not, I do wonder what kind of adults these kids will turn out to be?
Forumosan avatar
John
Scooter Commuter (qí jī chē shàng xià bān)
Scooter Commuter (qí jī chē shàng xià bān)
 
Posts: 617
Joined: 24 Apr 2005, 12:19
Location: Keelung
27 Recommends(s)
22 Recognized(s)
In Taiwan since: 08 Nov 1999



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby E04teacherlin » 31 May 2012, 01:40

Vay wrote:
Beautifully put. Now practice what you preach.


Being opposed to certain practices or beliefs doesn't necessarily mean one is considering oneself superior to others. I think the practice of female circumcision is bloody horrific. Doesn't mean I'm better than people who don't think that, but, try as I might, it's pretty hard for me not to think I'm not "righter" in the context of the modern world and human condition than they are on that particular issue. Same goes for people who are willing to exterminate rhinos for medicine (placebo medicine at that). Or folks that bomb abortion clinics, protest the funerals of gay soldiers, etc.

I seem to have lost a post so I will repost.
Everything you mentioned is violent in nature and doesn't really reflect the issue of teaching your kids about religion. Granted some very violent things are religious but that does not mean religion is bad. I have sympathy for your situation with your mother in law and being catholic but do you really think bashing those who are trying to educate their kids with religious concepts are the correct target for your aggression and disgust. You need to find a way to deal with them not the rest of the people who are happy with the lives they lead.
My first post was better than this one and I really feel for you, but I am not sure if it got deleted or lost in the system maintenance.
E04teacherlin
Scooter Commuter (qí jī chē shàng xià bān)
Scooter Commuter (qí jī chē shàng xià bān)
 
Posts: 615
Joined: 22 Feb 2012, 01:54
85 Recommends(s)
50 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby Vay » 31 May 2012, 02:25

Teacherlin I apologize in advance - this is going to be a tad long, so please bear with me. First of all, just want to say I really appreciate what you're saying here and feel bad about getting nasty the other day (was that yesterday?) regarding the shark fin thing

E04teacherlin wrote:I seem to have lost a post so I will repost.


Yeah I think they did a site maintenance - couldn't get on earlier. Sorry you had to make the extra effort to re-post.

Everything you mentioned is violent in nature and doesn't really reflect the issue of teaching your kids about religion. Granted some very violent things are religious but that does not mean religion is bad.


I agree. My point was just that we just have to be careful about equating "feeling superior to people" and "feeling reasonably justified in thinking that a particular behavior is wrong - and saying so". My problem in this case wasn't really with religion, but with what I consider the force-feeding of religion to little ones who aren't intellectually prepared to be skeptical about what they are taught.

I have sympathy for your situation with your mother in law and being catholic but do you really think bashing those who are trying to educate their kids with religious concepts are the correct target for your aggression and disgust. You need to find a way to deal with them not the rest of the people who are happy with the lives they lead.


Thank you for your suggestion and sympathy with my situation. Actually it's not a huge problem (the MIL issue); really more of an annoyance, but believe me, I'm very glad I have her in my daughter's life, no question about that!

However I must point out that in my recollection, I never "bashed" or expressed "aggression and disgust" for religious believers. My post in the parents forum never name-called (unlike some who responded to me) or expressed any opinion at all except that the visitor to that thread might also want to take a look at the certain other references.

Some folks have said they thought that was still very rude - and I'm still open to opinion on that - but seriously, I'm not convinced that "Bible stories for children" thread belonged in the parenting forum to begin with. Quite frankly, if it had been in the religious forum, I'd never have seen it or felt motivated to respond. But to me, it seemed to be sitting there in the parents' forum where it was ostensibly safe from criticism, innocently, saying:

"Yep, teaching children about the Bible (specifically the Bible, and not religious texts in general) is just a normal part of parenting"

...and I just had to say something.

People are herd animals and tend to follow along with whatever seems perceived as "normal". I haven't visited Forumosa much in years and don't know the OP, so maybe I'm totally off-base in questioning her intentions, but anyone, at least I didn't try to censor her or or suggest that she be censored. I just made what I felt (perhaps wrongly) was a polite suggestion - although admittedly my real intention was protest and "consciousness raising", as I realize the OP almost definitely wouldn't be interested in the information I offered.

As far as the main issue here, honestly after these discussions I'm less convinced than I had been that religious indoctrination of children is harmful. To sum up some conclusions I've made, I'd say:

1) Dawkins is probably unfair in over-emphasizing religious indoctrination over other forms of indoctrination that children are inevitably subjected to.

2) That said, religious indoctrination can sometimes be more blatant than other forms - you don't hear most Republicans telling their children that they are God's chosen people, that only they are qualified to enter paradise or that Democrats are condemned to burn for eternity, for example.

3) Regardless of what we ideology or religion we might be attached to, we ought to seriously consider whether it's better to teach our children something simply because it's how we were raised and what we have always believed, or if we shouldn't try to help give them the tools to evaluate opinions and acquire information themselves.

Hope that clears some things up somewhat, and again, sorry for my verbal diarrhea!
"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
Time to Marry a Local (gāi qǔ tái wān lǎo pó jià tái wān lǎo gōng liǎo)
Time to Marry a Local (gāi qǔ tái wān lǎo pó jià tái wān lǎo gōng liǎo)
 
Posts: 2241
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 01 Nov 2001, 17:01
Location: still in the Matrix
27 Recommends(s)
51 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby steelersman » 31 May 2012, 03:47

3) Regardless of what we ideology or religion we might be attached to, we ought to seriously consider whether it's better to teach our children something simply because it's how we were raised and what we have always believed, or if we shouldn't try to help give them the tools to evaluate opinions and acquire information themselves.


I don't think we should teach children something simply because it was how we were raised. However the second part "if we shouldn't try to help give them the tools to evaluate opinions and acquire information themselves" is highly problematic.

First young children don't rationalize and evaluate options. They will likely be indoctrinated before they rationalize things for themselves. Until a certain age, they will acquire the beliefs that people around them give them. Even if they are subliminal. One doesn't have to directly tell children something is right or wrong for them to follow along. Furthermore I am not so sure that even adults really evaluate many things they do. As I said the fear of become a social outcast is probably stronger than religion. Some people may not follow what society does, however plenty do. They don't necessarily evaluate their options or what they do.

For example many people busy their children in the US in sports more than school. What is more likely to lead to a good job? People push their children in sports because it is what other people are doing. Not necessarily what is the best.

People are highly irrational beings. Including myself, so I don't really think that one can just teach children to evaluate the options. Even if you could, we run into the problem with their ability to evaluate the options in front of them being tainted because of the believes they hold to be true. The evaluation of options may be highly influenced by other underlying beliefs they hold or that their parents hold.
steelersman
Wild Chicken Bus Driver (yě jī chē sī jī)
Wild Chicken Bus Driver (yě jī chē sī jī)
 
Posts: 1997
Joined: 30 Aug 2007, 03:58
10 Recommends(s)
24 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby Chris » 31 May 2012, 06:38

John wrote:Putting aside the ridiculous fairy tale concept of a special place where some people might go and others might not, I do wonder what kind of adults these kids will turn out to be?

Regarding the idea of heaven: I wouldn't want to live in a place that wouldn't let me in.
Forumosan avatar
Chris
Maitreya Buddha (Mílèfó)
 
Posts: 14939
Joined: 08 Jun 2004, 15:51
Location: Type-A, Tie-one-on
88 Recommends(s)
196 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby Formosa Fitness » 31 May 2012, 09:09

Nevermind.
We are a foreign owned and operated full service gym in Taipei specializing in serious fitness. Check us out: http://formosafitness.com/
Forumosan avatar
Formosa Fitness
Fried Chicken-Parts Vendor (yán sū jī xiǎofàn)
Fried Chicken-Parts Vendor (yán sū jī xiǎofàn)
 
Posts: 971
Joined: 16 May 2009, 15:37
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
99 Recommends(s)
33 Recognized(s)



Re: Is the religious indoctrination of children unethical?

Postby finley » 31 May 2012, 10:44

I think it was zender who recommended "The Year of Living Biblically". I just bought this, and regardless of your beliefs, it's a good read (the author normally writes for Esquire magazine). He's ethnically Jewish but not religious, so for amusement value, and to produce a book, his aim is to adhere to all the rules, daft or otherwise, in Leviticus, Numbers, and ... whatever the others are. He does address the Christian viewpoint, but only as an afterthought; and incidentally he does also address the point I made earlier, viz., that the NT doesn't really contain any "rules" as such, although of course certain Churches have their own.

I highly recommend this book to the OP. The author approaches his topic thoughtfully, enthusiastically, intelligently, and without taking the piss out of anyone (even the radical creationists and the JW's). He poses a lot of the questions discussed in this thread and tries to propose some sensible answers, generally with the help of rabbis, pastors, and other experts. I think it'll be especially interesting to the OP because the author is about as non-religious as you can get. It's also pretty funny in places.
"Global warming is happening and we KNOW that man is 100 percent responsible!!!"
- Fred Smith
Forumosan avatar
finley
Retired President (tuì xiū de zǒng tǒng)
Retired President (tuì xiū de zǒng tǒng)
 
Posts: 5947
Joined: 20 Jan 2011, 23:34
858 Recommends(s)
657 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.
PreviousNext




Proceed to Religion & Spirituality



Who is online

Forumosans browsing this forum: No Forumosans and 3 visitors

You can switch from one open program to the next by pressing Alt+Tab (Windows) or Command-Tab (Mac).
More tips from David Pogue