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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. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    They absolutely should... unfortunately there's little chance that will happen. Most religions are dependent upon early indoctrination for their survival.
     
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  2. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    Please provide a definition of what spirituality means and then provide verifiable evidence that such a thing exists.
     
  3. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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  4. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    It all sounds very positive. Thank you for sharing.

    I'm married with two teenage sons. My wife is a nominal Buddhist and I am a Baha'i. Our children attended Baha'i classes from age 5 years of age where the focus has been on learning skills to critically consider questions of a religious and spiritual nature, learn about the main world religions and of course learn about the Baha'i Faith. My sons are free to choose whether or not they want to become Baha'is. To date neither have which is totally fine though both boys and my wife continue to attend and enjoy Baha'i activities. I'm currently teaching my oldest son how to drive. Both boys aged 14 and 16 are well behaved teenagers who do well at school, get on with a wide range of people and have good friends.
     
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  5. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    And you can't claim to know for sure that there is anything that lies outside our space and time.

    So we're agreed that you can't confirm ANY truth about the supernatural. Not quite sure how you think that obvious fact strengthens your claim at all.

    And... ? What are we expected to take away from that? Sounds a lot like people MAKING STUFF UP before they had good, sound methods of investigation.

    Isn't that the post where you equate people trying to find evidence for things before they believe them with Satan? Yeah... that sure seems like an entirely rational and justified position (sarcasm here, obviously - hopefully completely obvious, even to you). What in the hell?

    By the way, your "meals" example is meaningless due to the non-importance of the subject matter. As in - it does not matter at all what I ate at any of my meals - so it ends up being entirely trivial whether one believes any sort of "meal claim" I may have or not. As an example of this difference, imagine we're engaging in small talk and you ask me "So what did you end up doing Thursday night?" No matter what I say, you can believe or not believe, or engage with me about the details as if it were truth, etc... and nothing untoward will happen. There's no risk, so why demand evidence? Now imagine that a murder happened on Thursday night and the person killed was my neighbor who I had been seen arguing with several times throughout the week. When the police ask me "What were you doing Thursday night?", there now IS risk, and they ARE looking for evidence from me to back up my claims. These two things are worlds apart, and if you don't see that then I don't know what to tell you.
     
    #45 A Vestigial Mote, Jan 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  6. Prestor John

    Prestor John Well-Known Member

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    All children, while still children and living at home, should do what their parents instruct them to do.

    Easy peasy.
     
  7. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Please provide the textbook section that says spirituality does not exist.
    On the contrary, I am pretty sure the history textbooks of school have glowing accounts of founders of various religions or how faith helped great people to overcome their hard struggles (against slavery etc. etc.)
     
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  8. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    In the uk they can refuse medical treatment for them selves, but not for their family.
    If you refused treatment for a child, the courts would decide.
    Children and a spouse are not your property.
     
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  9. Shia Islam

    Shia Islam Quran and Ahlul-Bayt a.s.
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    This is my own view on the matter,

    Once a person is true with himself\herself, this whole issue about how to talk with children about religion won't exist. I mean whatever your stance from religion is. If your conclusions regarding religion are based on clear, and true premises, you will be able to convene this view to anybody, whether your children , your teachers or whoever it might be..

    The problem is that many religious as well as atheist people are taking positions from religion based on emotion and non-logical thinking..

    A family with all of its members sharing the same love, interest and belief in religion is a lucky family..

    Good luck to all
     
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  10. dianaiad

    dianaiad Well-Known Member

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    I am a retired teacher...and since I got my formal degrees and teaching education rather later than most (i was 55 when I got my teaching credential to teach in California) I am in the rather odd position of being as old as the 'traditionalists,' but getting all the new bells and whistles the new group got, as far as educational theory goes.

    .....and I do not like where it's going. The problem, of course, is that year-wise I'm of the generation that worked hard to see to it that all those new theories got put in place. Educationally, I'm of the group that got indoctrinated into them and taught that they were Truth.

    Secularism, (or humanism...secularism is a political idea that simply stays out of religion, allowing all religions and belief systems to exist, ideally) shouldn't have anything at all to do with religion. The problem, of course, that people being people, all have a view on deity. It is not possible for them to be open minded about the issue, since of course their opinions are, if they are going to live a fairly sane life, to be considered at least as good as anybody else's, and better than most. If they didn't, they'd change their opinions to different ones...and those might well be theistic, or outright atheistic. "Secularism' is a political party.

    One I happen to 'belong' to, even as I am a True Believer in a theistic system. In fact, my own system happens to depend upon secularism to exist. So much so that unlike most, if not all, religious beliefs, we have secularism encoded in our articles of faith. "We claim “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” —Articles of Faith 1:11

    the problem with the whole thing is that even as everybody around us preaches the separation of church and state, that is the furthest thing from the minds of...anybody. Today, it is 'state without church.' The state is going the wrong way here. Right now, it's about indoctrinating children into the notion that religion is 'bad.' and individual cultures are 'bad.' If they were not, why are they not spoken of, with any respect, in school?

    It SHOULD be...if a child has a religion or religious culture held to at home, then that culture, including the religion, should be spoken of, celebrated and respected in school. Children should be taught that 11th Article of Faith, and it should be lived by. Even in school. Political correctness (a phrase that gives me the chills, since the first time I ever heard it, the woman was seriously advocating the idea, and advocating it's forced enforcement by government) should be thrown out.

    Rambling here, I know. Sorry.

    Education...public education...should be about science, objective and unbiased history, the use of language, literacy, (and there should be no 'banned' books...Huckleberry Finn keeps getting banned by everybody) Religion...all religions or 'religious like' cultures and opinions should be, not taught by the teachers, but absolutely allowed. Christmas. Hannukah. the Festival of Lights from Hinduism. Ramadan. Easter. Jewish High Holy Days. If a student follows it, it should be welcomed in all areas outside the immediate topic of the classroom. There should be classes in comparative religions where students should be taught a little bit about every faith represented by the students or the larger community around them. Not the doctrines, so much as the culture and practices that go with them, so that they can understand each other. They should be separate classes, perhaps taught by, and certainly monitored by, the leaders of the faiths represented.

    And that should happen in early grade school. Right now we have sympathy in the schools towards LBGT groups and issues. Why are we shoving religion into the closet those folks are breaking out of? Right now, the schools are enforcing the idea that religion, and religious belief, are BAD. ....and as another poster has pointed out, children are not adults. They are indoctrinated by everything around them, and children spend an ungodly amount of time in school. Pun intended.

    It's one thing to teach science in science class. It's quite another to enforce the 'no religion allowed around our precious students' at recess, at lunch, at band or football practice, at assemblies. School is for teaching, and schools teach, even if the students are not at desks texting each other instead of paying attention.

    And schools are teaching that 'religion is bad.'

    That is NOT secularism.
     
  11. JJ50

    JJ50 Active Member

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    Children should be taught about the world's religions as a matter of general knowledge, but it is very wrong to proselytise in schools.
     
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  12. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    Not easy, nor necessarily good practice.
    Children should be taught to think for themselves, and how to make choices.
    These will not necessarily coincide with Parents "wishes or instructions"
    Children should of course keep the "House Rules" even when they disagree with them.
    However they should be given the opportunity to discuss them or anything they wish, and provide input for their parents to consider.
    After all most parents are still learning what it means to be a parent.
     
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  13. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    That’s never been the difficult aspect (beyond getting children to do what they’re told :) ). The more significant question here is what parents should tell their children – especially older children - to do (or not do) in the context of religion and belief.
     
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  14. Shad

    Shad Well-Known Member

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    Agreed in principle. Although I think it is impossible to be religion-neutral completely. Too many variables outside the parent(s) control. Best to prepare children to think about religion rather than react to it.
     
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  15. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Wisely said.
     
  16. JJ50

    JJ50 Active Member

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    I agree.
     
  17. BilliardsBall

    BilliardsBall Well-Known Member

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    We made our kids clean behind their ears, brush their teeth, eat vegetables, and study/enjoy the Bible with us, without "shoving it down their throats". It is a parents' privilege to protect and nurture. And Jesus called for radical love, not "moderate" anything, to be honest.
     
  18. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    My mother took religion seriously. So seriously, she did not believe -- as most parents do -- that children should be permitted to form fixed and solid opinions about religious matters, for after all, how can a child's opinions be anything but childish?

    Consequently, she forbade us to reach any fixed and solid conclusions until we had at least reached what she called "the age of reason" -- by which she meant 18 at a minimum. In the meantime, she made sure we were exposed to different religious views.

    She was a devout Christian -- but very, very old school. Her views on religion and children were much more popular around 1920, when she was born, than in the 60s and 70s, when she was raising us.
     
  19. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    On the surface, I can see how that might be attractive... but it is really quite terrible advice. I personally know and have heard many stories of parents that I believe wholeheartedly were consistently interacting with their kids in all the wrong ways. A "good Christian woman" who had two step-daughters and openly talked about their behavior, and the problems she had with them right in front of them to other people in her church's congregation. Openly denouncing them, embarrassing them, and doing no end of disservice to their self-esteem. With a situation like that you just know it is even worse behind closed doors. Explicitly, the parent isn't really asking them to do anything except conform... but in my heart I feel for that kid, and feel that their only hope with a parent like that is a keen and powerful rebellion. Perhaps not outward rebellion, but they should take to heart how horrible their parent is, know that they absolutely abhor that parent's behavior and want better for themselves and anyone they interact with. They should strive to make sure they never take any of that parent's advice that doesn't sit well, reject their advances to make peace if their behavior is consistently poor, and get out of that situation as quickly as they are able with as much of their self-respect intact as possible.

    And even just out and about - seeing parents who roar profanity at 3 year olds at the grocery store for some mundane thing. Again, some conformity issue at the heart of it. That parent destroying their child's ideas of normal, human-to-human interaction. That is not a parent that should be followed, or looked up to. That's a parent who needs to be walked away from, back turned on - quarantined from the rest of their life for the sake of their own mental health. And yet these kids, most of them, have no choice. They're never going to get what they need. And their parent honestly needs a good, stiff smacking around. The kids themselves have the chance to do that emotionally or mentally, and granted, most of them won't do it "correctly" - without becoming somewhat monstrous themselves, but I am all for their standing up to the abuse, as long as they are up to it. And who are we to say our children shouldn't question what we do? Are we the ambassadors of perfection? That's a hearty laugh to even think about, that is. We're all... ALL idiots. The only hope we have is to realize it and be honest and humble in our interactions with our kids. Always give them good, sound reasons for our demands on their time and efforts. And if we ever find ourselves expecting something of them "just because" and they take issue with it - giving them the chance to question, and ourselves a chance to reflect and perhaps come to better conclusions TOGETHER.

    Based on your simplistic statement (which I can only imagine lies at the heart of a very simple-minded view of the situation) I can imagine what I have said is what sounds terrible to you. All I can say to that is good luck to you then. Kids are humans first and foremost, just like us. Sure they have less experience, and need some molding and shaping... but such should never be lorded over them by a tyrant. Ever. And all you have to do is ask yourself how much YOU like being in those types of situations to understand why. It's really a no-brainer... and yet we all get it wrong at times, and some of us nearly all the time.
     
  20. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    But can he ever hope to inderstand the Iliad or the Odyssey?

    I do not think children who are raised without religion suffer as much as your anecdote implies. I can acknowledge many social or cultural benefits of being raised within a religion, but I do not agree that there are any intellectual benefits.
     
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