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Featured Children should be permitted to make up their own minds about religion

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by JJ50, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. JJ50

    JJ50 Active Member

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    Both my husband and I were non believers by the time we married in 1969 when I was 19 and he was 22. Our first daughter arrived 10 months later, our birth family was completed by the time I was 26. (We later went on to adopt two boys with special educational needs, the younger one has Down's Syndrome.)

    Although our children were of course aware of our attitude towards religion, we never tried to force them to take on our point of view. Both of us had the experience of having our fundamentalist parents faith forced down our throats as kids, which was not a pleasant experience! We explained to the children it was important that they made up their own minds about matters of faith. The three girls, as I have mentioned before, are Christians, they are moderate in their beliefs, not Biblical literalists, we are proud of them. :)
     
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  2. Hawkins

    Hawkins Well-Known Member

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    Secularism itself is a "religion". Everything starts with an assumption. Our secular education has indoctrinate us with the religious assumption that "spirituality doesn't exist" ever since our childhood. In contrary, religious influence is a minimal in comparing to our systematic secular education indoctrination since everyone's childhood, to an extent that we don't actually have a true choice!

    The worst part here is, you don't have the same awareness about such an indoctrination as you do with a religion.
     
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  3. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Good for you. :thumbsup: Although I only see this working for parents who are nonbelievers. All others believe they have an obligation to bring up their children in what they have come to conclude is the "truth."

    .
     
  4. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    I don't see these sorts of things mentioned enough, so thanks for this. It isn't technically possible to raise children in a culturally neutral environment. I don't quite follow why that would be desirable anyway - culture and tradition are important. It's part of who makes us who we are, and the peoples who follow various cultures and traditions have every right to pass those on to future generations. It makes for spectacular human diversity, even if it causes some ruffled feathers and conflicts every now and again.

    It's also important to bear in mind that children really aren't in a place of cognitive development to be making up their own minds about a lot of things. I'm not really knowledgable on developmental psychology, but I'm aware that there are differences and children just aren't capable of processing information in the same ways that adults do. In other words, they need to be told sometimes. When they become adults, they can (and often do) sort things out for themselves anyway.

    All that said, there's certainly a difference between teaching and passing down traditions and "forcing." I'm not sure there's clear lines there, and folks seem to have different ideas of what teaching consists of and where it becomes objectionable. Unless we want an authoritarian state that polices what children are taught, though, I'm not sure that line of thinking goes anywhere useful. We already have laws that protect against child abuse, as well as protections for teachers and dissemination of cultural values. It's not perfect, but nothing ever is, yeah?
     
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  5. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    Of course everything starts with an assumption. You don't get away from this no matter which way you turn. You have to assume that the reality you experience is "real." It's all you've got to stand on.

    But so what? Does that mean it is a good idea to compound the confusion of the world around you by MAKING STUFF UP? This is something that secularism DOES NOT promote or prescribe, but that religions do by the truckload.

    And "spirituality" is, quite frankly, one of those garbage-dump words, where a whole host of anything fluffy and ambiguous can be lumped in as "spiritual." And you propose what? That the word has some ultimate utility and we're doomed without it? Please.
     
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  6. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Why are you bothering to put "religion" in quotation marks if you don't see some relevant connection? So the question is, in what way is secularism religious?

    Again, calling the secular position, one that has no religious or spiritual basis, a religious assumption, itself assumes facts not put in evidence. In what way does secularism indoctrinate people? Secularism is merely a position, or stance. Indoctrination indicates a goal to get people follow a particular set of beliefs (or a doctrine), rather than being able to think independently. Now, it's obvious that people have opposing views on issues, and often go out of their way to convince others that these views are credible, but this is far from an attempt to indoctrinate. I know you're throwing these words, "religion" and "Indoctrinate" around because they have the power to mislead people into believing secularism is an enemy of religion, but the fact is, it merely shows your inability to meet it head on on a level playing ground.

    So just what is it you would like in our educational system? Would like Christianity taught instead of ________ name your secularist teaching______ ? How about Buddhism, or maybe Satanism? Or how about Jainism, which rejects the idea of a creator deity responsible for the manifestation, creation, or maintenance of this universe?

    However, if our complaint doesn't revolve around the lack of teaching religion, just what aspects of secular education do you object to?


    .
     
  7. Baladas

    Baladas Págánacht

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    I couldn't agree with you more.

    My wife and I were both Christians when we met. After a couple years of being married, my beliefs began to change.
    She is still a Christian but is no longer a Biblical literalist. I am no longer a Christian, and I hold many views that are best described as Pagan.

    Our daughter knows that we disagree, but she also knows that we agree in the most important areas of life - that we love her and each other very much. We are teaching her that what she believes is her own choice and that we will both always love her.

    She goes to Sunday school occasionally, and my wife tells her what she believes.
    I take her on walks and talk with her about history, and science and old myths.
    Not in too much detail though, she's only 5 (although she is very bright and loves to learn!).
     
    #7 Baladas, Jan 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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  8. Woberts

    Woberts The Perfumed Seneschal

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    Eh, let's just dump them into a reeducation facility.
    That'll take care of the religious folk.
    And while we're at it, let's put conservatives in there too.
     
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  9. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    At some stage children get around to making up their own mind, whatevr their parent chose for them..
    Unfortunately they often act to please their parents, whilst holding quite different beliefs.
     
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  10. loganonekenobi

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    In my view the line is drawn when the parent tries to make the child's life hell because said child won't fully embrace ideas of total cultural conformity.
    To put it in a simpler way.. I would be just as harsh to an atheist parent that kicked out thier kid because the kid wanted to be religious or heterosexual. That doesn't happen in america but put the shoe on the other foot.... the results can be chillingly horrendous.
     
  11. loganonekenobi

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    As tempting as that is even this atheist liberal would find that morally wrong.
     
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  12. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    Man, liberals these days. I don't even let my kids choose their own bed time.
     
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  13. Rival

    Rival Mondasian
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    I need to have kids first. If I can get that far I'll be happy, let alone getting them to make decisions about anything.
     
  14. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Similar story. My husband and i are both atheist, hubby always so, i was raised christian but took steps to disassociate myself with the faith in my early teens.

    We have encouraged our three children to discover for themselves (not just about religion).

    All spent time at a CofE sunday school, only one went on to church. He has stopped going regularly but does attend our local church on occasion.
     
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  15. Hawkins

    Hawkins Well-Known Member

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    The quotation mark means it is a religion as it is a common belief, however it's not a religion in terms of organized religions. If you fail to get this, re-read. I don't think the rest of comments are with any meaning without understand this first.
     
  16. Hawkins

    Hawkins Well-Known Member

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    Based on what you judge that things are made up? Simple because things don't fall into your knowledge? Are you omniscient?
     
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  17. Hawkins

    Hawkins Well-Known Member

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    More critically, a fallacy (a huge one) has been indoctrinated from the very start of our childhood. The term is "evidence". You had a million meals in your life time. Can you even evidence one out of them. The fallacy introduced throughout our secular education system is as if you can while you can't!

    Here the belief that "you can" not only is a religion but also a delusion. If such a delusion can fool even the most intelligent humans (basically it fooled all mankind), i do think that it's worth the speculation that such a delusion is introduced by someone more intelligent than humans, whose name is commonly called Satan.

    In reality, we can reach the truth or fact of what you ate in a particular meal if you or a reliable eyewitness recorded it down for the rest of human kind to believe with faith! This is usually the way works for humans to reach a truth/fact, of which evidence itself has no bearing (for the simple truth and fact that humans lack the basic capability to efficiently gather evidence not lying in our present time and space)!!!
     
    #17 Hawkins, Jan 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  18. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Sorry, just trying to sort the NONSENSE
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    I hope there is something out there that is smarter than me.
    Religion was presented to me as something to be angry and swear about. At times, my X-Amish stepfather used it to excuse his own anger and over the top abusiveness.

    As an adult, it seemed that there must be an explanation for what was around me. Over the years, I've found that most religious leadership lacks answers, and that our science was too undeveloped to explain enough. I came to religion late in my 20's and now see the uber religious as abusers if given the chance.

    Today, I stubbornly insist that my own private belief is my right, and I combine Science and Belief seamlessly. I make no demands on anyone, and try to avoid bruising those who demand of me.

    It seems profoundly sad to me that in an area that is the present day center of religious thought, the believers are often bent upon killing each other. Those who insist they have the answers are too egotistical to know better.

    Privately, I thank the Creator, and wonder about he who is said to be his Son. Did those who wrote the old documents have any understanding of the Creator at all? That is for eternity to reveal.
     
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  19. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    Because the items I am referring to cannot be demonstrated. No reliable evidence can be produced, and certainly nothing provided as anecdotal evidence can ever be reproduced reliably. The Bible is a collection of words that mean various things - none of which prove the extraordinary claims those words end up making. The fact that there are hundreds of religions past and present, all with their own mythologies, and the vast majority of which you, yourself reject. What makes your stories any more true? Absolutely nothing. Your chosen belief set has nothing over Norse mythology. Nothing over Greek mythology. Nothing over the recordings of Hinduism. Nothing over the canon of Islam. You only believe it does... and that is literally all you have. The items of extraordinary interest of your chosen religion are just as made up as all the rest. You and your religious brethren can't even agree on the details. Making things up as you go along the entire way. I have plenty of knowledge on the subject - more than I care to, and all I have ever seen is a complete and utter MESS.

    Can't produce. Can't reproduce. Can't verify. Can't measure. Can't see/hear/taste/touch/smell. And you want to say it isn't made up? What is it then? What if I told you there really are monsters under your bed at night? They're just un-perceivable. There's no good evidence for them except what I can tell you and what has been recorded in books and stories, but they are there, and it is all true. You just have to take my word for it. You wouldn't believe me... and for good reason. Yet this is exactly the scenario presented with a religion that makes supernatural, extraordinary or other-worldly claims.
     
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  20. Hawkins

    Hawkins Well-Known Member

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    That's your fault. Anything said to be lying outside of our space and time are not demonstratable!

    Our science is based off experiments. Experiments are based on that we can physically go to a location to do our speculations, to gather evidence, to form our theories and etc. The limitation of our science is thus we can't go outside of our own realm to do experiments to confirm any truth out there!

    On the other hand, even before the emergency of human science, spirituality was already defined as "something outside of our realm, that is, our time and space".

    Your line of reasoning is typical of what I pointed out in post #17 above.
     
    #20 Hawkins, Jan 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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