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Brainwashing children.

Discussion in 'Perspectives' started by Nybarius, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. Nybarius Ennui Bores Me

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    It seems obvious to me that children are born atheists.

    Unfortunately, these atheistic children are often born into religious households. In these households, they are indoctrinated into religious ways of thinking. Their rational thinking processes are disrupted. They are taught that "magical thinking" is the answer to everything. Furthermore, they are taught a system of morals based on a man in the sky, leading to ridiculous and hurtful (not to mention insane) conclusions like "eating pork means I am going to rot in hell for eternity."

    I propose to you all that it is unethical to a high degree to force any religion on a child. It is brainwashing, plain and simple. If you wish your child to be religious, you should wait until they are old enough to form a rational opinion about it.
     
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  2. Scorpio3.14 mmmmm....pi

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    It seems to me that all children are born, theives, liers, violent, etc...

    Unfortunatly, all these children are born into households where parents dont value these things (crazy enough). They teach them crazy things like dont hurt others, steal, lie, etc.. If you really want your kids to not do these things, you should wait for them to form their own opinion about these things. It is sooooo unethical to teach your kids about morals, YOUR morals.

    Listen, ANYTHING you tell kids is brainwashing. You do realize that every kids show is propaganda in some form. Wheiter it be "Sharing is caring" or "kill all jews" it is still propaganda because their is a message dilivered through things kids relate to (giant puppets, cute songs and dances, etc...). Whether it be a religious moral code or a secular moral code. The whole brainwashing thing needs to be put to rest, anything you tell a child is gunna be brainwashing, the only differece is whether or not YOU see it as a good thing or not. And if you dont see it as a good thing, who are you to push your belief on others? :p

    I do think that children should ultimatly make up their own minds about religion but there is nothing wrong with teaching your religious tradition and beliefs to your children. However I am against the focus on "do this or YOUR GOING TO HELL!!!", then again Im against that on anyone, not just children lol
     
  3. Raistlin-sama Have you been naughty or nice?

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    Well the thing is, that being completely neutral in your raising of a child is impossible. Should one always hide his own opinions, to not influence the child in anyway? I believe such a practice would be impossible, and not at all for the better of the kid.

    However I agree that you should never indoctrinate anything, or force it upon your kids. Give them the choice - yes. However I do not believe that it is possible for a child not to be influenced by their parents, which is why you will never get children with a truly neutral upbringing.

    Besides, for the not eating pork part... I have always found such notions laughable. If a god exists (which I kind of believe, although not sure at all), I doubt your eating-habits have much to do with his opinion of you...
     
  4. Aruarian Well-Known Member

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    Educating is all about indoctrination, but I still think it's better to open your child up to religions, and letting it choose for itself which of the various it wants, rather than forcing your own upon it.
     
  5. Nybarius Ennui Bores Me

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    This is a silly argument. We all agree that teaching morality / ethics to a certain extent is justified -- even if you don't teach your children, they'll learn it through socialization -- however, we don't all agree that teaching religion is a good thing.

    Agreed, however the discussion is about the TYPE of brainwashing. You never justify teaching a religion. You even seem to agree with me that teaching religion is wrong... (see next point)

    How are they supposed to make up their own minds if they've been indoctrinated at an early age? Among other things, it's wrong because it blocks off free thought. Now tell me: why is it RIGHT?
     
  6. Grrblt Banned

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    Man! I was going to say that! :(
    Well, not really, I was going to say "everyone's brainwashed but some are brainwashed differently".


    And, on topic, I sorta believed in God when I was little but I don't anymore. I never worshipped him or anything but though along the lines that, OK, there's a God and he created everything, that's good for him. And I don't even live in a religious country (Sweden).
    This was in kindergarten. Couldn't possibly tell you if I were atheist before that.
     
  7. Nybarius Ennui Bores Me

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    Right, and my point is that being brainwashed so you are in favor of free inquiry is preferable to being brainwashed into superstition.
     
  8. Gunners .

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    Yeh but if you did that, they would be influenced by people who are athies. If you have a child and you bring him up to be a christian that your dos.

    At least if he brought up christian he would have a certain set of rules to follow i supose im bias i am a jehovas witness. But growing up i dont regret my mums choice.

    If the people who were brought up to be christians had a problem they would change, i have seen enough people who are like that.
     
  9. Nybarius Ennui Bores Me

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    I'm sorry but I find this very insulting. Atheists can have rules, ethics, heck, even morals, too. Furthermore many of the rules of christianity make no sense in a modern context. See: Leviticus.

    The question isn't, "who is renouncing their faith," but, "who would take on the faith were they not raised into that religion?"
     
  10. Gunners .

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    Nybarius i agree with you, but if you had a beleif it is natural to raise you ofspring with the same opinion.

    Im a jehovas witness i wouldnt raise my children to celebrate xmas ( birthdays yeh coz i dont agree with that part).

    so yeh it is like that, if you didnt raise you child beleiving that they could be influenced by something else, they would probably pick up a beleif early in life depending on what they are exposed to, so it is necessary to influence them in what you feel is best.
     
  11. Aruarian Well-Known Member

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    Just inform them about religions through out their childhood, with out forcing them into one, and just let them choose a religion if they desire one.
     
  12. CrazyMoronX Old Man

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    If we stop parents from teaching religion to protect the childs free thought, where does it end?

    Are they allowed to be taught evolution? A child that was indonctrinated with evolution is less likely to open minded to religion. So we should not teach them evolution at all.

    Should we not teach them about sex? A child indonctrinated with the belief that sex is a natural thing that you can do anytime is less likely to open minded to chastity, and religious beliefs on sex before marraige.

    What about homosexuality? Should homosexual parents not have the right to adopt children younger than say, 13? Otherwise they won't be open minded to rejecting homosexuality as immoral under certain religious beliefs.

    Should they even be exposed to the public? Specifically women dressed scantily, and accepting it as normal. That would close them off to various religious beliefs that women should cover themselves.

    What about food? If the grow up eating pork, and other non-kosher foods, surely they are indoctrinated into the belief that it is ok, and that Jews are crazy.

    Or maybe you just have a problem with religion and other secular ideology being indoctrined into young minds is just fine by you.
     
  13. Grrblt Banned

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    I know plenty of people who have abandoned their "brainwashing", and I know people who have turned religious despite not being raised into such beliefs. We don't lose the ability to question just because we're initially taught something that is [may be] wrong.

    At least, that's what I think you were talking about. I'm not sure I understood your post right.
     
  14. Toby <b>Detective Dollars</b>

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    Kids stand back, I will now release my bankai:

    I was raised a Catholic but because I was interested in religion, not because my father is one. I am no longer a Catholic because I didnt fancy their attitude regarding the Jewish religion and such as obortion.

    I know a lot of religious people, but they dont have the slightest intent of making their children practice their parents' ideologies or whatever. Because those who truly understand what religion is, know that it comes down to faith. If you cant believe in God, then it doesnt mean Jack Shit if you're called a christian, because you are not.

    In regards to self-realisation it bubbles down to the tiny pot of one's mind, how critical you are to information you are taught. Personally I dont mind taking in alot of info in Maths class, but I still verify it just in case. Those who cant protect their own views need to be taught how to do so, I dont try to convince people that their religion isnt good enough to believe in. You have to be tolerant and simply introduce a different point of view, critical assessment is the most important skill required to relate your faith to your mind.
     
  15. Nybarius Ennui Bores Me

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    Being open-minded is about expanding horizons, not narrowing them. Allow me to parody your examples: "Should we let them outside? If we do they might not be open minded about never leaving the house." And who said anything about stopping parents? I asked if it was ethical. I didn't say anything about forcibly stopping people. So you've set up a strawmen and countered it ineffectively.

    I don't have a problem with religion. Or rather, I do, but that's not the point of this post. I have a problem with a certain religion being foisted upon kids since before they can even talk. I think that, in all things, they should be raised with the capability to choose.

    Give me an example that doesn't involve limiting ones range of choice and you might have a credible argument.
     
  16. Asmodeus Hiding in plain sight

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    Plleeeaaassseeeee don't use Leviticus as an example. It takes all the wind out of your sails. Levticus was a book written by the Jewish community after Moses's decension from Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments in order for the Jewish religious hierarchy to establish a form of control over its people. None of the quotes in Leviticus were things heralded to them by God, they were laws that the Jews themselves created (homosexuality, however, was also disapproved in the New Testament in Corinthians *I think that was the book*, but that is a whooole different beast). Books like Leviticus are still used in Judaisim, but most of the Old Testament has a lot of its meaning rewritten by the acts of Christ and his disciples.

    You provide your own point of view quite well, but completely ignore the other side of the coin. A Christian parent doesn't raise a child Christian b/c that's just a set of beliefs they want them to have. Christian parents have the belief the only way that their child will be able to live in Paradise after there time on Earth is over, they will have to have accepted Jesus Christ in their hearts as their savior, and accepted the beliefs and lived a live that God would see fit. It is an "option" to them; for parents who are truly Christian, letting a 3 year old child pick not to follow religion because they don't like the extra rules is as good as feeding them to a pack of wolves.

    You're twenty years old, right? You can't concieve the reason for a parent wanting to introduce their children to a religious and moral lifestyle early? That makes less sense than the point you're trying to denounce. My personal experience with most athiests I have encountered have a resilience to religion not because of the concept, but because of the outside authority involved. The idea of being forced to live a certain way and being judged pisses them off, and they don't like it. I'm not ringing all athiests into that catergory, but the majority I have met give off that vibe (not that you are, although I get that vibe as well).

    Don't get me wrong; when kids come of age, religion is their choice, and their realm to explore or shut off. But I'm not going to listen the rantings of someone who thinks infants should be able to have complete control of the elements introduced into their lives, or who thinks they should provide the control for them.
     
  17. baconbits SSL or nothing Retired Staff

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    The point is that it is literally impossible to not indoctrinate your kids. If you don't teach them about God you have a bias towards atheism or agnostism.

    I think that you have to take advantage of the time you have to teach your children. If I don't teach my kid's the basis of intelligent design, they will be indoctrinated by evolution. If I don't try to pass down my conservative principles, the teacher's union will slowly twist them to the left (ex: teacher forces class to write anti-war letters, not to mention that the teachers union is strongly on the left). Choosing not to teach your kids things is only allowing someone else to teach your kids.

    Teaching your kids about God does not make them closeminded anymore than teaching them that God doesn't matter does. They are both closeminded positions, since to believe in one necessarily excludes the other. There is no possible way for intelligent people to be completely openminded or closeminded. When facts are presented we have to be closeminded to the non-factual evidence attempting to contradict that. Sometimes being "closeminded" is a sign of intelligence or reaching a truth.

    There is no such example but not forcing your kids to go to church is telling them "church is not something you have to go to" just as much as forcing them to go to church is saying "church is something you have to go to". Everything you do or don't do limits the range of choice for the children, but at the same time, when they reach the age of freedom from your rules they still get to choose whatever it is they want to believe.
     
  18. Nybarius Ennui Bores Me

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    Re: Leviticus -- it's just one small example. I'm sure you could provide many good ones as well. It's sort of odd that you see Leviticus as something contrived by the Jews within historical reality, but seemingly fail to realize that the rest of the Bible was made up for much the same purposes.

    I don't buy this. If people REALLY believed that they had an eternity of heaven / hell to follow this life, nobody would ever sin. It's as simple as that. Eternity makes our mortal lives look vanishingly small. Since people still sin, the only conclusion is that the whole fire-and-brimstone thing is something that's oft-repeated but seldom-believed.


    Saying it doesn't make sense doesn't mean it doesn't make sense. You're 19, right? And you haven't learned to construct a decent argument? That makes even less sense than your post, which turns into a hectoring tirade here:


    Isn't outside authority part of the concept? Furthermore, can't people dislike both the concept, and outside authority, if indeed outside authority isn't part of the concept?

    My PERSONAL experience with atheists is that they think the idea of a wildly inefficacious God who revealed himself preferentially to some Israelites / Mohammud / whatever thousands of years ago is absurd.

    Right, how generous of you. When kids come of age they're free to undertake the mentally costly process of choosing whether they want to keep their indoctrination. But my whole point is that being indoctrinated into a religion negatively affects peoples power to choose.

    Apparently you're as bad at reading as you are at writing, since this isn't what I said. I merely said children shouldn't have religion foisted upon them. It's telling that you feel the need to resort to strawman arguments.
     
  19. CrazyMoronX Old Man

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    For the child to have a choice, it must be presented with both sides.

    Evolution should not be provided, without the reverse side, creationism. Erradicating either would be narrowing their horizons. I don't know how it is now, but when I was in school we weren't given a choice. Evolution was taught as fact.

    Sexual education would need to be reformed to offer both views as well. One being sex before marraige is immoral, and the other being sex before marraige is natural, and it goes even further in some religions that sex for pleasure (even after marraige) is wrong. If all sides aren't presented fairly, how is this a choice for children?

    Homosexuality is being taught as acceptable in school systems as well. The children are taught from the getgo that it's natural. When do they get to decide if it is wrong or right, if they are being taught that's it is right at such young ages?

    In your ideal system children would only be presented facts. Some people are homosexual, and it is not presented as either right or wrong, and they are left to decide for themselves. Otherwise they are being brainwashed into thinking homosexuality is fine and dandy.

    Either we offer children cold hard facts, or offer them a nearly endless amount of choices.

    I'll agree to an extent that we should let the child decide, and not be brainwashed either way.
     
  20. Nybarius Ennui Bores Me

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    Once again, I find this is a ridiculous position. I've already granted that it's impossible not to indoctrinate kids. Your argument, though, takes the form of "if you don't teach your sons to suck your dick, you're biasing them against man-boy love for life." Objectionable? I'd say so.

    Once more, the point is: what sort of 'indoctrination' do we want kids to have? I say it should be as light as possible, and aimed at raising free-thinking children.


    Maybe you should teach your kids to think for themselves, then you wouldn't have to worry about shielding them from the world, they could look out for themselves.

    I didn't say one should teach kids God doesn't matter, I said one shouldn't foist religious opinions upon them early on. Thus, one wouldn't say anything about it either way. If my contention that children are born agnostic/atheistic is correct (and I believe it is), then that leaves them room to develop into any religion that best suits THEM, without interference from social conditioning.


    Hahahahaha, right, not forcing kids to go to church limits their range of choice, because they can't decide they need to go to church on their own. That's rich.

    Try again.
     
  21. Nybarius Ennui Bores Me

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    I find it really creepy how you keep calling children "it". Just a bit of OT'ness.

    Creationism / ID isn't the reverse of evolution. Neither creationism nor ID are scientific theories. They're non-falsifiable, make no predictions, and so on, and so forth. In a secular state, public school science classes are concerned with teaching kids science. Creationism / ID aren't science.

    Forms of ID are compatible with evolution.

    Once again, these aren't true opposites, in this case because natural doesn't equate to good -- and furthermore, abstinence is still taught as being the best way to stave off STDs and pregnancy, last I checked. However, in principle I have no objection to "sex before marriage is immoral" being taught in schools, if you can come up with a non-religious (remember that secular state thing?) reason why it is immoral.

    Oh, heavens, what will we do, tolerance is being taught in school.

    Honestly I am opposed to much of the indoctrination that goes on in schools, I don't really feel it's the place of public schools to promote "social consciousness" or somesuch--it always comes off as treacly and is resented by the students, anyway.

    Actually, in my ideal system children would be taught a rational method of thought. They would be taught basic logic, informal fallacies, and so on, and so forth. An emphasis on epistemes, not knowledge. They could then decide which arguments held water on their own.

    The children are going to get the nearly endless amount of choices eventually. I say we give them the tools to make these choices instead of making the choices for them, and thus hobbling their intellectual development.
     
  22. baconbits SSL or nothing Retired Staff

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    For a person who objectss to the countering of strawman arguments you seem to set the strawman up quite well. The point of the statement is that any action teaches your children to do something. I'll adress this point in more detail later.

    I don't think you understand the nature of children. They accept and trust adults in whatever they say. You teach a kid about Santa Clause and they just believe it, just like that. They don't really question things. You can teach a kid to think for themselves, which is what I think you should do otherwise their own belief system is easily destroyed because they don't challenge their own philosophy, but you still need to give them a basis of thought and how to question those beliefs.

    My dad taught me the bible but then challenged me to find errors or to find things wrong. I challenged what I believed but because it withstood strong challenges my beliefs became that much stronger.

    You seem to forget the wise saying "actions speak louder than words". If you don't say "church doesn't matter" but you act as if church doesn't matter you are indeed teaching your children that church doesn't matter. Its not a matter of not "saying anything about it either way", its just that fact that how you do things affects belief just as much as how you say things.




    Forcing or not forcing shows the strength of your own belief. Forcing them to go shows strong belief. Giving them a stern advice to go shows moderate belief. It keeps progressing until the point where if you don't care whether they go or not you then have a weak belief. The bible itself says to "bring up you kids in the way they should go" and instructs us to not "forsake the coming together of yourselves" so by not bringing your children to church you are actually undermining belief in God's Word.
     
  23. Gunners .

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    Nyb

    You are trying to brainwash people into raising their kids so they can be influenced to what ever.

    The fact is, if you beleive something you will pass it on to people that are likely to take it on, children being children would take it on. I dont know what your relegion is but are you telling me you would say to your child, yeh my relegion is ????? and then tell him about all other relegion in the same light so he beleives them to be real????

    I dont think you would be able to pull it of, instinctivly you would promote your beleif onto your child.
     
  24. Nybarius Ennui Bores Me

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    bacon -- re: strawmen, I apologize, but I think you are missing the main thrust of my argument here. I don't disagree that children are going to be indoctrinated somehow.

    In my opinion, children are capable of a lot more than we give them credit for. In this society they are infantilized, and so it is natural for them to believe in stuff like Santa Clause, however if they were raised as free-thinkers from the get-go, lying to them wouldn't be so easy

    Where does it say this? I don't doubt you but I'd like to see the reference. In any case, other Gods say other things; further, I really don't think this argument holds water, since just about nobody follows everything that is said in the Bible, however they don't seem to think they are undermining God's word.
     
  25. Nybarius Ennui Bores Me

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    Correct, I am trying to influence people to my system of beliefs. I am flattered you find my persuasion so powerful you term it "brainwashing," but clearly the choice is up to everybody to make for themselves. If nothing else, I hope to get people to think about this issue, as I think it's important, and shouldn't be dealt with reflexively.

    Yep, that's what I mean to tell you. Actually, not quite: I simply wouldn't broach the subject of religion with my kids. If they want to know about religion in general, or any particular religion, I'd tell them. If they ask me if it's all true, I'd say I don't know, but I'd probably mention that, barring divine intervention, it's impossible to tell whether it's true or not; non-falsifiable.

    I'd have no problem with doing this.

    Oh yeah? I think I would pull it off :amuse
     
  26. Gunners .

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    ^^^^ not telling them of other beleifs is influencing them, by telling them of one thing and not another they become more familiar with your beleif and think it is truth.

    Further more if you talk about your beleif they would take it on, a child would not take on the beleif of a random man over the beleif of his farther, someone they would trust and love.
     
  27. Nybarius Ennui Bores Me

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    I agree, but when do I say people should do that? It seems to me that that's what you're advocating, not me.


    Just to clear it up, in my earlier response I said if children ask about a religion, not my religion.
     
  28. CrazyMoronX Old Man

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    Well despite being wrong or right, we can't force parents to raise their children a certain way, so I suppose the argument is a moot point. Then again most arguments are, since people "indoctrinated" to one belief aren't so easily persuaded.

    Anyway, my solution: we should do them in the butt? Well it seemed to work for that dating thread.
     
  29. Dimezanime88 Tha Blak Demen

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    May I just say that the first post was very point breaking to me.:D
     
  30. Nybarius Ennui Bores Me

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    Agreed! The butt it is!

     
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