PDA

View Full Version : Is indoctrination of children child abuse?


Chloe Ze ▄bermensch
03-10-2011, 08:38 AM
I had a few thoughts recently, regarding religious indoctrination of children. It's a fairly controversial topic so I suspect there will be a large amount of negative commentary on this thread, but I really would like views from all sides.

I personally think that bombarding an uninformed mind with religious dogma is a form of abuse.

Dictionary.com defines Child Abuse as:

Mistreatment of a child by a parent or guardian, including neglect, psychological bullying, beating, and sexual molestation.

Most rational and intelligent people would agree that hitting a child is abuse. But though many places call spanking abuse, many parents believe it's not. Burning a child with cigarettes is also (obviously) considered abuse, but smoking around children - even though it is known second-hand smoke causes cancer - is not so clear. Other grey areas, such as shouting (a normal action in many households) is not abuse, but carried to extremes it can be. Calling children names or threatening them (even if the threat is not carried out), can be classed as abuse, depending on who you listen to.

But the grayest of grey areas is the teaching of children. Can religious education of children be abusive? Teaching is clearly valuable, as it prepares children for life, more so when it teaches them how to think, derive answers from evidence and make decisions, but less so when it teaches them what to think.

I've come to the conclusion that indoctrinating children with religion is abuse. Of course, it depends on what you teach them, but if you say 'Now Jimmy, the Bible says 'do X' and if you don't, 'Y' will happen.' What Jimmy is being told may be good, but he's being threatened with x, and that was the only reason given for doing what he was told.

Most parents believe that they should teach their children what they believe. In a never ending cycle, parents who were brainwashed with religious dogma in turn brainwash their own children, whether it has been helpful or harmful. Rather than teaching children that some behaviours are harmful, religion teaches that their very natures are evil, their thoughts are impure and that they are so vile they deserve to be tortured for all eternity, unless they continually beg for forgiveness. They're told that an implacable god is watching them at all times, and he knows what they're doing constantly and will punish them for it (like a Santa-esque bully).

While many adults resent the proliferation of surveillance cameras, they teach their children that a being who can see through walls is constantly watching them. It's a wonder that most people given that type of upbringing aren't schizophrenic!

Stuffing immature minds with religion when they haven't the means to sort through it critically damages the developing psyche. No amount of post-adult reasoning completely frees the subconscious from all the ecclesiastical baggage. I believe that indoctrination discourages reasoning and damages critical thought; furthermore, it fosters guilt which is NEVER a good thing.

However, while some teachings may be damaging, it doesn't constitute abuse in that the parent or teacher intends to harm the child, or is indifferent to the consequences. The end result is the finale of a cycle. Unfortunately, most adults never reason with what they've been taught, which means it carries on from generation to generation. Indeed, the whole idea of faith is to discourage thinking and foster acceptance. Anything that makes the mind worse or causes emotional pain may be characterized as harm, and its' inclusion as abuse.

I'll be very interested to hear your comments.

Jae Onasi
03-10-2011, 09:02 AM
You're making the incorrect assumption that religion is entirely negative, and that therefore teaching children religion is therefore harmful. Your conclusion follows from a false premise and is therefore invalid.

Let's put aside for the moment the obvious atheist bias here.

I'd love to know where teaching children the major themes of loving their neighbors and contributing positively to their families and society (themes in virtually every major religion) is a bad thing. I'd love to know where promoting peace and positive moral values is bad. I'd love to know where religions that encouraged the study of medicine, science, and mathematics, particularly Astronomy (Islam), developed hospitals (Christianity), schools (Christianity), encouraged literacy (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), basic food safety and sanitation (Judaism), inspired major art movements (Hinduism, Christianity), and advances in philosophical thought (Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, etc.) are bad.

Sabretooth
03-10-2011, 10:08 AM
*Hot Topics senses tingling*

but less so when it teaches them what to think.
The line between the phrases 'how to think' and 'what to think' is very thin. Studying mathematics clearly tells us 'what' to think when we see two objects together - it instructs to believe in the existence of an entity called 'TWO'. Similarly, learning addition teaches us to believe that adding 'TWO' to 'TWO' invariably creates 'FOUR'. If you break every logical process down, you will find that all thought and communication is based on a system of agreement to believe in certain non-concrete ideas. (Cue our local Wittgenstein-quoter)

Rather than teaching children that some behaviours are harmful, religion teaches that their very natures are evil, their thoughts are impure and that they are so vile they deserve to be tortured for all eternity, unless they continually beg for forgiveness. They're told that an implacable god is watching them at all times, and he knows what they're doing constantly and will punish them for it (like a Santa-esque bully).
While it must no doubt make sense in your context, I should let you know that you're thinking of religion in a very Christian sense (well, Abrahamic sense). Buddhism for example, does not talk about any voyeuristic, punishing god and does not require its followers beg for forgiveness. Besides, the hell sentence in Hinduism and Buddhism isn't even eternal.
just several million years long

In the Christian context, you have to remember that this is something the parents themselves likely believe. They may be trying to scare their kids, but this is probably something they believe in too. So how can it be said to be damaging the psyche, if you have no "normal" frame of mind to compare against? We know a schizophrenic by comparison to a normal person, so who is the "normal" person to contrast against (the very wide-ranging) crowd of people afflicted by religion? And how is the religious person's psyche affected compared to Mr. Normale?

While many adults resent the proliferation of surveillance cameras, they teach their children that a being who can see through walls is constantly watching them. It's a wonder that most people given that type of upbringing aren't schizophrenic!
Neat observation, but God isn't human and won't be jacking off watching someone naked, or laughing at someone while, they, erm, ahem.

Stuffing immature minds with religion when they haven't the means to sort through it critically damages the developing psyche. No amount of post-adult reasoning completely frees the subconscious from all the ecclesiastical baggage.
Doubtful, there's plenty of people around who've turned atheist after growing up in religion while they were adults.

I believe that indoctrination discourages reasoning and damages critical thought; furthermore, it fosters guilt which is NEVER a good thing.
Again, this is a very Christian thing. Besides, indoctrination without critique is actually discouraged many religions (and not just the Buddha, whom I'd be quoting right about now if it weren't for Tysy's thread earlier). Islam for example, developed a highly sophisticated science of inquiry, criticism and information verification that the West embraced so tightly in the Reformation.

Religious teaching is different from religious indoctrination. It's about as different as a person converting of his own free will to a person being forced to convert. Whether parents are teaching kids their religion, or indoctrinating them is not something the State can dive into and inspect.

Indeed, the whole idea of faith is to discourage thinking and foster acceptance.
I disagree, I think the 'whole idea' of faith, as it were, is to instil hope where there would otherwise be none. It isn't about discouraging thinking at all. Scientists throughout history have held faith, and yet never given up on their work.

Anything that makes the mind worse or causes emotional pain may be characterized as harm, and its' inclusion as abuse.
Emotional pain can only occur if one chooses to be emotionally pained. If that isn't true, then by god, I'd have jailed a bazillion people by now. ;)

...here be words...
Jae, she's talking about religious indoctrination specifically. We're talking fundies and Wahabbis here.

march on atheist brigade chairman mao stands by you

Jae Onasi
03-10-2011, 10:39 AM
Jae, she's talking about religious indoctrination specifically. We're talking fundies and Wahabbis here.

Right, but her premise appears to be that religious teaching of any kind=indoctrination. Taking my kids to church, reading the Bible, instilling faith in them to better their lives and give them hope in a hopeless world, and discussing religion (including questions about other religions, which I try to answer as accurately as possible) in order to help them develop a moral and religious framework for their lives and learn to love their neighbors and develop some healthy morals is hardly abuse.

Chloe Ze ▄bermensch
03-10-2011, 10:52 AM
Right, but her premise appears to be that religious teaching of any kind=indoctrination. Taking my kids to church, reading the Bible, instilling faith in them to better their lives and give them hope in a hopeless world, and discussing religion (including questions about other religions, which I try to answer as accurately as possible) in order to help them develop a moral and religious framework for their lives and learn to love their neighbors and develop some healthy morals is hardly abuse.

I didn't mean to imply that all religious teaching is bad - sorry if it did - I meant that if you're going to back up your Christian morals with threats (and that is what they are) of eternal damnation, rather than an explanation of the consequences - that is abuse.

Sabretooth
03-10-2011, 11:03 AM
I meant that if you're going to back up your Christian morals with threats (and that is what they are) of eternal damnation, rather than an explanation of the consequences - that is abuse.

But then this eternal damnation will only occur post-death, and hence does not constitute any mortal threat. It's about the equivalent of someone threatening to hex someone else. I'd probably chuckle if someone did that me, but if they threatened to cut every vein in my body with a rusty knife, then I'd probably be spooked.

Chloe Ze ▄bermensch
03-10-2011, 11:14 AM
But then this eternal damnation will only occur post-death, and hence does not constitute any mortal threat. It's about the equivalent of someone threatening to hex someone else. I'd probably chuckle if someone did that me, but if they threatened to cut every vein in my body with a rusty knife, then I'd probably be spooked.

That may be, but Matthew 10:28 says "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell."

Assuming the child has been taught that the soul lives on after death, I'd still be pretty scared.

Pho3nix
03-10-2011, 11:16 AM
There are no religious children, only religious parents.

Ctrl Alt Del
03-10-2011, 02:38 PM
I like to think that parents are allowed to teach them whatever they feel right as long as they don't violate a set of rules established where they live. Children are in formation and don't have the means to assess what they really want to do. When they mature enough to think for themselves they may either embrace of shun what they were taught. Religious teaching is not indocrination as long as it respects children and teenagers regulations (whih here include religious freedom).

urluckyday
03-10-2011, 04:40 PM
There are no religious children, only religious parents.

So at what age do these children become "religious" to you?

Tommycat
03-10-2011, 05:36 PM
I didn't mean to imply that all religious teaching is bad - sorry if it did - I meant that if you're going to back up your Christian morals with threats (and that is what they are) of eternal damnation, rather than an explanation of the consequences - that is abuse.

You seem to make the assumption that the religion is false. You assume that belief in eternal damnation is incorrect. As there is no way of knowing whether that damnation is true or not(religion being about faith instead of provable fact) then you cannot determine that such beliefs are harmful. In fact it may be viewed as abuse to not teach about the failures to follow the religious doctrine should such damnation exist.

Oh and if trying to instill guilt guilt is a form of abuse, then I'm suing a few dozen advertisers for abuse.

Working Class Hero
03-10-2011, 06:01 PM
In fact it may be viewed as abuse to not teach about the failures to follow the religious doctrine should such damnation exist. So I should teach my children the consequences of not giving any money to Ron Hubbard once Lord Xenu returns?

Tommycat
03-10-2011, 06:12 PM
So I should teach my children the consequences of not giving any money to Ron Hubbard once Lord Xenu returns?

I make no claims that any religion is correct. In fact I believe most to have no real logic involved. However, if your beliefs are such that you believe in damnation of some form or another, then how can I tell you not to teach your children how to avoid such damnation. There is no evidence to the contrary(because it's purely faith, and as such cannot be proved to be false any more than it can be proven true). So we cannot tell people not to practice their religious beliefs any more than they should be able to force you to believe in theirs.

Det. Bart Lasiter
03-10-2011, 06:15 PM
But then this eternal damnation will only occur post-death, and hence does not constitute any mortal threat. It's about the equivalent of someone threatening to hex someone else. I'd probably chuckle if someone did that me, but if they threatened to cut every vein in my body with a rusty knife, then I'd probably be spooked.
Yes, but, irregardless of the validity of that threat of eternal damnation, telling a child that they may burn for eternity unless they do this, this, and that is most definitely psychological abuse when taken to the extremes it sometimes is.

It's one thing to tell a child your religious views and how to live right according to those views, but it's an entirely different situation when you are exposing a young person to the often draconian punishments espoused in many religious texts. In the same way that I wouldn't show a young child an explicitly violent or pornographic movie or story, I also wouldn't expose them to the more extreme and blatantly immoral passages of some religious texts. The fact that these stories are religious in nature is no reason to differentiate them from secular displays of violence, especially if you are implying these acts of violence may one day happen to them.

In short, I fully support the right of parents to teach their children their religion and protect them from any sort of divine punishment they may perceive, however, just as anything else, this can be done to a degree which may cause serious psychological trauma. This is especially true in the long term, such as one's entire childhood.

VeniVidiVicous
03-10-2011, 07:11 PM
I'd love to know where promoting peace and positive moral values is bad.

Peace? You do realise that there have been many wars started in the past over which religion was praising God the right way right?
When you say positive moral values which bible are you referring to? If (for example) you think what the old testament was proposing was good moral values then i'd strongly disagree. But I keep forgetting that the church can review their "Papal infallibility" and change their views to keep up with society whenever it suits them.

@ Topic: Yes, it is child abuse. If you're religious the decent thing to do would be to not poison your childs mind.

Alexrd
03-10-2011, 07:25 PM
Peace? You do realise that there have been many wars started in the past over which religion was praising God the right way right?

Wars are made by men. Not religion.

@ Topic: Yes, it is child abuse. If you're religious the decent thing to do would be to not poison your childs mind.

What poison is that, may I ask?

Qui-Gon Glenn
03-10-2011, 07:58 PM
You're making the incorrect assumption that religion is entirely negative, and that therefore teaching children religion is therefore harmful. Your conclusion follows from a false premise and is therefore invalid.

Let's put aside for the moment the obvious atheist bias here.

I'd love to know where teaching children the major themes of loving their neighbors and contributing positively to their families and society (themes in virtually every major religion) is a bad thing. I'd love to know where promoting peace and positive moral values is bad. I'd love to know where religions that encouraged the study of medicine, science, and mathematics, particularly Astronomy (Islam), developed hospitals (Christianity), schools (Christianity), encouraged literacy (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), basic food safety and sanitation (Judaism), inspired major art movements (Hinduism, Christianity), and advances in philosophical thought (Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, etc.) are bad.
And, can we please put aside your obviously Christian bias? Just being fair Jae, but please, let's call an apple an apple.

I was raised Christian, Lutheran to be precise, and although I learned a great number of valuable morals from that upbringing, I also had an irrational fear of doing evil due to the repercussions of an angry God.

I wouldn't go so far as the OP and say that any religious "indoctrination" is irresponsible or abusive, but I would agree with much of the original post. A good parent teaches concrete things concretely: 2+2=4. A good parent teaches things that are not absolute or certain with a grain or two of salt: No daughter, all Muslims are not bad and are not destined for Hell for believing in a different version of the same God that we(sic) do. No son, President Reagan is not trying to blow up the planet or start world war, he is trying to draw a hard line.

The second example is an actual discussion I had with my Dad as a child: my grandmother and mother were staunch Democrats and had planted that seed in my head, that Reagan was sending us to Armageddon with his policies. My Dad was and is a staunch republican, but for one time in his life he treated me like a young intelligent mind rather than the idiot he has generally assumed me to be, and gave me a good answer.

Parents more than anyone else need to be critical thinkers, and be accutely aware of the difference between what they know for fact, and what they believe, and also be aware of the great divide between those two places.

Det. Bart Lasiter
03-10-2011, 08:07 PM
Wars are made by men. Not religion.Would you not agree, though, that men act on their beliefs?

Alexrd
03-10-2011, 08:37 PM
Would you not agree, though, that men act on their beliefs?

I would. Science brought us the study of nuclear energy, and men made nuclear weapons which brought death to many people. Is science to blame? I wouldn't say so. Same with religion.

Pavlos
03-11-2011, 06:46 AM
Peace? You do realise that there have been many wars started in the past over which religion was praising God the right way right?
I imagine something in mankind's baser substance would find many things in even an eggshell to war over.

I would. Science brought us the study of nuclear energy, and men made nuclear weapons which brought death to many people. Is science to blame? I wouldn't say so. Same with religion.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jl2w3xYFHQ

Drunkside
03-11-2011, 06:55 AM
Wars are made by men. Not religion.


Religion was made by men, not god(s), to advance whatever the founders thought was important. I won´t go as far as to say that there definetely are no gods or such, but those possible beings had nothing to do with the birth of any religion. Religions were born from man´s curiosity and will to explain what was around him, and to teach others their views.

I see indoctrinating children with religion as a form of abuse because the parents teach the child to limit their thinking. But religious indoctrination is different from religious upbringing, which teaches the child to treat others the way the religion sees fit, and familiarises the child with the theory of the religion. Most people taking part in this conversation don´t seem to separate these two...

Liverandbacon
03-11-2011, 07:23 AM
You seem to make the assumption that the religion is false. You assume that belief in eternal damnation is incorrect. As there is no way of knowing whether that damnation is true or not(religion being about faith instead of provable fact) then you cannot determine that such beliefs are harmful. In fact it may be viewed as abuse to not teach about the failures to follow the religious doctrine should such damnation exist.

Oh and if trying to instill guilt guilt is a form of abuse, then I'm suing a few dozen advertisers for abuse.

Full disclosure: I'm what I suppose is an apathetist. Not an agnostic, they wonder, but are indecisive; I've come to the conclusion that whether or not there is a god, my actions would be the same, and thus due to a complete lack of any effect on my life, I simply don't care. (Cue Kreia: Apathy is death)


Ok, with that out of the way. I agree with Tommycat. Let us consider a world where God does exist, as does the Christian conception of Hell.

In that world, telling a child that bad actions will send them to Hell might scare them, or even cause a bit of psychological harm. However, it would be irresponsible to not warn the child of the dangers in such a situation, as that would be risking their eternal torment. It would be like living in a world where eating chicken would get you summarily executed, and not telling your child not to eat chicken. In fact, not 'indoctrinating' the children would be the most abusive act possible in this case.

One must recognize that the world where God and Hell exist is the world that the truly religious (not to be confused with those exploiting religion for their own gain) believe this world to be. From their perspective, they would be abusing their child if they did not 'indoctrinate' them.

One might claim "Well, they're delusional, and delusions are no excuse to abuse children.". However, that would be making the judgment that your understanding of the universe is inherently superior to theirs, based on very little factual evidence. That sounds like the action of a zealot.

Note: I'm using the word 'indoctrination' here as the thread has defined it; a synonym for any upbringing portraying religion as truth. I place it in quotes because I'm not convinced that this is the true definition.

Pho3nix
03-11-2011, 08:57 AM
So at what age do these children become "religious" to you?
Tough question, It is very individual. And some never grow up. But if I'd have to give you an age - then probably 16-18.

Tommycat
03-11-2011, 09:14 AM
@ Topic: Yes, it is child abuse. If you're religious the decent thing to do would be to not poison your childs mind.

What if their religion is correct then? Not saying any religion is correct, BUT to them it is. To the parents the religion is the truth. A failure to teach your kids that playing on the freeway will get them killed would be borderline abusive behavior. Would it be wise to tell your kids never to listen to what a cop tells them?

Full disclosure: I'm what I suppose is an apathetist. Not an agnostic, they wonder, but are indecisive; I've come to the conclusion that whether or not there is a god, my actions would be the same, and thus due to a complete lack of any effect on my life, I simply don't care. (Cue Kreia: Apathy is death)
We're probably close to the same page. Though my belief is there is a god(or gods), but that the belief structures we have created are most likely incorrect. I still try to live my life as I want though as I feel that if he(they) does(do) exist, chances are he(they) want me to live as I have, otherwise I would be struck down somehow.

Det. Bart Lasiter
03-11-2011, 11:07 AM
I would. Science brought us the study of nuclear energy, and men made nuclear weapons which brought death to many people. Is science to blame? I wouldn't say so. Same with religion.
Sorry, but the two cannot be equated, as any modern, reputable scientific text doesn't contain commandments related to who should be put to death for what. Science simply is; it is the amalgamation of facts based on what we as a species can perceive about our universe. Religion is a doctrine based, not on fact, but faith, that, in certain cases, calls for the deaths of people who by modern ethical and legal standards are completely innocent.

I agree with Pavlos that man is inherently prone to conflict, however it cannot be denied that religion -- or any other belief system that commands acts of violence be committed -- can incite violence.

What if their religion is correct then? Not saying any religion is correct, BUT to them it is. To the parents the religion is the truth. A failure to teach your kids that playing on the freeway will get them killed would be borderline abusive behavior. Would it be wise to tell your kids never to listen to what a cop tells them?
There is a difference, however, between telling a child that if they play on the freeway they'll get hurt and telling a child if they play on the freeway they'll die in a fiery wreck and suffer for all eternity.

In addition, if a schizophrenic raised their child to believe that everyone was out to get them and shirts were demons, and that child ending up having some "issues", the parent's belief in those things is no excuse.

Alexrd
03-11-2011, 11:29 AM
however it cannot be denied that religion -- or any other belief system that commands acts of violence be committed -- can incite violence.

That's placing every religion on the same bag.

Sabretooth
03-11-2011, 12:13 PM
That's placing every religion on the same bag.

He's referring to religion as a general concept, and not as specific religions taken as a whole.

There is a difference, however, between telling a child that if they play on the freeway they'll get hurt and telling a child if they play on the freeway they'll die in a fiery wreck and suffer for all eternity.
The first case is a consequence of an action, the second is a punishment tied to an action. If John Smith deals drugs, he may not suffer any direct consequences himself, but there is still a strong punishment for his act.

Taking religion to be a rudimentary constitution/rule book, wouldn't it then be reasonable to believe that modern penal codes are frightfully scary for children as well? Being told that killing someone will cause you to be locked up in a dank prison cell for the rest of your life doesn't sound like it's all that different from suffering in hell. And that's if you're in the First World - Third World prisons can be as good as hell...

But instead of driving us crazy with fear, these laws only help us bounce away from illegal behaviour and stay in the legal zone. Religion does more or less the same thing, but exaggerates a bit.

Det. Bart Lasiter
03-11-2011, 01:12 PM
That's placing every religion on the same bag.
No, it's placing religions that advocate violence into one group of 'things with the potential to incite violence' and religions that don't into another group of 'things that have less potential to incite violence'. Both of these groups fall under the category of 'things that divide people', however, and this, by nature, is prone to cause violence.

The first case is a consequence of an action, the second is a punishment tied to an action. If John Smith deals drugs, he may not suffer any direct consequences himself, but there is still a strong punishment for his act.The point I was trying to make is that teaching caution is one thing, but teaching fear is quite another. However, I'm okay with debating semantics if you are.

Taking religion to be a rudimentary constitution/rule book, wouldn't it then be reasonable to believe that modern penal codes are frightfully scary for children as well? Being told that killing someone will cause you to be locked up in a dank prison cell for the rest of your life doesn't sound like it's all that different from suffering in hell. And that's if you're in the First World - Third World prisons can be as good as hell...
In the case of the legal system, I'd be against telling a child about the specifics of being in prison, and last I checked, society agrees with me. Feel free to walk up to a child and talk them about the awful conditions in jail, prison rape, and beatings if you'd like, however, I wouldn't recommend it.

But instead of driving us crazy with fear, these laws only help us bounce away from illegal behaviour and stay in the legal zone.
That's debatable, as labeling something as illegal or taboo can draw some to it.

To sum up: I'm opposed to the entire idea of morality and law being enforced by threats. Education and rehabilitation are far more effective and humane tactics.

Samuel Dravis
03-11-2011, 03:26 PM
It's probably helpful to acknowledge that not everyone divides up morality and reality into separate areas of inquiry. Eg. Thomism, which acquired this idea from Aristotle. Hence the idea of punishment in some religious views is seen rather as the natural, unavoidable consequence of certain behaviors.

In this case, one would have to show that the parents are being remiss in their duty to protect and nurture their children. But to do that, one has to have a moral theory which at once makes it a duty to behave toward the children in that manner and also means that certain acts like indoctrination are incompatible with itself. But I don't know how it is possible to have morality without a social structure that includes something akin to indoctrination, even if it doesn't happen to be about any gods. In fact, I would suggest that such a "morality" would merely be a disguised emotivism, a social fiction masquerading as a moral system.

Personally I really don't feel like having the state decide who has the monopoly on "good" indoctrination.

jonathan7
03-11-2011, 05:43 PM
I personally think that bombarding an uninformed mind with religious dogma is a form of abuse.

To take an entirely different line to everyone else, I shall reveal what I spent my day doing. I am currently privileged to be in Turkey touring with one of Yales Philosophy Professors, who is giving lectures and seminars on several aspects of Kant's philosophy. I was in discussion with an atheist philosopher at one of these events when I posed the following question;

"One of the main reasons Sir Anthony Flew lists for having recanted his atheism and taken up theism is the failure for the former theory to adequately answer the following question; Do you think their a logicically coherent explanation for morality from an atheistic point of view?"

The professor I was having this discussion with answered that it is meaningless to ask if their is rationality behind our ethics as they are derived from the evolution, as such ethics are arbitrary.

I returned with with the question, "Is killing babies, in the grand scale, removed from your personal opinion actually evil?" - His response was honest, in that he answered "No".

Do not mis-understand me, I am not saying that their are no moral atheists (as in individuals who are atheist and behave in a "good" way), just pointing out that in reality they have no logical reason for their morality, nor do I think do they have a rational argument for why humans should behave morally, and as such cannot compel others to act in a "moral" way.

All that is to point out, that as an atheist its meaningless for you to moan about "Religious Doctrination" being a form of child abuse, given that you have no rational explanation as to why child abuse is wrong.

With regards child abuse it seems to me religion doesn't really pay much a part in it, as some people are good parents and others bad... Some atheists are good parents others bad, ditto Muslims, Agnostics etc etc. Furthermore, this paranoia over religious indoctrination seems greatly over stated given there is no psychological evidence that individuals can be brainwashed, and generally from my observance often children rebel against strict religious parenting (at least in the west).

Det. Bart Lasiter
03-11-2011, 06:16 PM
But to do that, one has to have a moral theory which at once makes it a duty to behave toward the children in that manner and also means that certain acts like indoctrination are incompatible with itself.
Not necessarily. As I mentioned before, indoctrination always carries with it the possibility of negative effects on the child if taken too far. However, in the area between a detrimental level of indoctrination and none whatsoever, there lies a point at which indoctrination becomes both protective and nurturing by way of allowing the child to survive in both society and the world. In this way, a moral code that dictates both the protection and indoctrination of children is in no way at odds with itself.

Personally I really don't feel like having the state decide who has the monopoly on "good" indoctrination.
So then, who should draw that line between 'good' and 'bad' indoctrination and enforce it? In addition, if a society is the sum of its individuals, why shouldn't society have the right to ensure that the indoctrination of the individual doesn't become detrimental to the society as a whole?

All that is to point out, that as an atheist its meaningless for you to moan about "Religious Doctrination" being a form of child abuse, given that you have no rational explanation as to why child abuse is wrong.
On the other hand, the atheist is free to choose his own moral code, and it's been made clear that question assumes child abuse is immoral, so while your circle of friends is impressive, your argument is, at best, irrelevant.

Samuel Dravis
03-11-2011, 06:41 PM
To take an entirely different line to everyone else, I shall reveal what I spent my day doing. I am currently privileged to be in Turkey touring with one of Yales Philosophy Professors, who is giving lectures and seminars on several aspects of Kant's philosophy. I was in discussion with an atheist philosopher at one of these events when I posed the following question;

"One of the main reasons Sir Anthony Flew lists for having recanted his atheism and taken up theism is the failure for the former theory to adequately answer the following question; Do you think their a logicically coherent explanation for morality from an atheistic point of view?"

The professor I was having this discussion with answered that it is meaningless to ask if their is rationality behind our ethics as they are derived from the evolution, as such ethics are arbitrary.

I returned with with the question, "Is killing babies, in the grand scale, removed from your personal opinion actually evil?" - His response was honest, in that he answered "No".

Do not mis-understand me, I am not saying that their are no moral atheists (as in individuals who are atheist and behave in a "good" way), just pointing out that in reality they have no logical reason for their morality, nor do I think do they have a rational argument for why humans should behave morally, and as such cannot compel others to act in a "moral" way.

All that is to point out, that as an atheist its meaningless for you to moan about "Religious Doctrination" being a form of child abuse, given that you have no rational explanation as to why child abuse is wrong.An interesting parallel is the discussion between Socrates, Polus and Callicles in Plato's Gorgias. Polus maintains a fragmented idea of what constitutes goodness, and hence Socrates is able to trap him into realizing he was inconsistent. But Callicles divorces his ideas completely from recieved notions of justice, etc, and Socrates is unable to force him to find fault with his system (Callicles being the counterpart of the atheist you met).

Not necessarily. As I mentioned before, indoctrination always carries with it the possibility of negative effects on the child if taken too far. However, in the area between a detrimental level of indoctrination and none whatsoever, there lies a point at which indoctrination becomes both protective and nurturing by way of allowing the child to survive in both society and the world. In this way, a moral code that dictates both the protection and indoctrination of children is in no way at odds with itself.


So then, who should draw that line between 'good' and 'bad' indoctrination and enforce it? In addition, if a society is the sum of its individuals, why shouldn't society have the right to ensure that the indoctrination of the individual doesn't become detrimental to the society as a whole?As you may note, I am not against indoctrination as such, and I even suggested that it is a necessary part of morality. I simply object to the idea that the state (or any other entity) presenting one type of indoctrination as "the truth"-- when in fact there can be no such determination. Hence I tend to object to any heavy-handed approaches like the original post, where one type of indoctrination is replaced by another wholesale and it is presumed that by doing so moral advancement has been achieved. This can hardly be so when it suffers from exactly the same problem that supposedly precipitated the previous system's removal (that it "indoctrinates"). As free individuals we shouldn't have to deal with that sort of thing.

In this case there is probably something else which makes the offending system unappealing. For example, if you're not religious you're unlikely to think much of religious explanations. But there are plenty of other ways to argue against raising children religiously than that there is some type of indoctrination going on.

Det. Bart Lasiter
03-11-2011, 06:59 PM
As you may note, I am not against indoctrination as such, and I even suggested that it is a necessary part of morality. I simply object to the idea that the state (or any other entity) presenting one type of indoctrination as "the truth"-- when in fact there can be no such determination. Hence I tend to object to any heavy-handed approaches like the original post, where one type of indoctrination is replaced by another wholesale and it is presumed that by doing so moral advancement has been achieved. This can hardly be so when it suffers from exactly the same problem that supposedly precipitated the previous system's removal (that it "indoctrinates"). As free individuals we shouldn't have to deal with that sort of thing.

In this case there is probably something else which makes the offending system unappealing. For example, if you're not religious you're unlikely to think much of religious explanations. But there are plenty of other ways to argue against raising children religiously than that there is some type of indoctrination going on.I'm not suggesting that 'good' indoctrination instills morality x and 'bad' indoctrination instills morality y. What I asked was who decides whether either x or y is harmful to the child given the intensity or method of indoctrination.

Pho3nix
03-11-2011, 07:09 PM
All that is to point out, that as an atheist its meaningless for you to moan about "Religious Doctrination" being a form of child abuse, given that you have no rational explanation as to why child abuse is wrong.
I'm sorry, but it seems to me you're one of those people who instigate that there would be no morals without religion... my rational explanation as to why child abuse is wrong is, well, common sense. And I know you can counter that with some clever Einstein quotes or pseudo-intellectual pretentious philosophical terms, but I think it's extremely ignorant to assume a person is void of any decency without religion.

And yes I'm aware that you will probably accuse me of misinterpreting your words, but the fact is there's a clear divide between people in this thread;

those who are religious and cling to whichever denomination they've chosen or been chosen for by their parents, and those who see past the bull**** and can actually look at this issue without any (for example) christian bias.

Therefore, I don't think this discussion will lead anywhere, just a bunch of words thrown at each other.

Tommycat
03-11-2011, 07:22 PM
...there's a clear divide between people in this thread;

those who are religious and cling to whichever denomination they've chosen or been chosen for by their parents, and those who see past the bull**** and can actually look at this issue without any (for example) christian bias.
No, there's a clear divide between people who believe all religion is inherently wrong and therefore bad, and those who see past the BS and acknowledge that there may be a god and that we cannot say for certain that such teaching is wrong.

Therefore, I don't think this discussion will lead anywhere, just a bunch of words thrown at each other.
And yet you posted here.

Det. Bart Lasiter
03-11-2011, 07:39 PM
I'm sorry, but it seems to me you're one of those people who instigate that there would be no morals without religion... my rational explanation as to why child abuse is wrong is, well, common sense. And I know you can counter that with some clever Einstein quotes or pseudo-intellectual pretentious philosophical terms, but I think it's extremely ignorant to assume a person is void of any decency without religion.

And yes I'm aware that you will probably accuse me of misinterpreting your words, but the fact is there's a clear divide between people in this thread;

those who are religious and cling to whichever denomination they've chosen or been chosen for by their parents, and those who see past the bull**** and can actually look at this issue without any (for example) christian bias.

Therefore, I don't think this discussion will lead anywhere, just a bunch of words thrown at each other.I'd also like to point out that religion and/or faith doesn't necessarily dictate a moral code, for example, Kierkegaard's views on Abraham and a teleological suspension of the ethical demonstrates that faith can be downright immoral.

:parrot:

Alkonium
03-11-2011, 07:45 PM
I'm sorry, but it seems to me you're one of those people who instigate that there would be no morals without religion... my rational explanation as to why child abuse is wrong is, well, common sense. And I know you can counter that with some clever Einstein quotes or pseudo-intellectual pretentious philosophical terms, but I think it's extremely ignorant to assume a person is void of any decency without religion.

And yes I'm aware that you will probably accuse me of misinterpreting your words, but the fact is there's a clear divide between people in this thread;

those who are religious and cling to whichever denomination they've chosen or been chosen for by their parents, and those who see past the bull**** and can actually look at this issue without any (for example) christian bias.

Therefore, I don't think this discussion will lead anywhere, just a bunch of words thrown at each other.

And to me, his point suggests an inability to perceive of a morality based on anything beyond fear of punishment, which is hardly morality at all, and more just greedy self-preservation without regard for others. Without this fear, any reason to behave is also gone. But, in place of fear, morality should be based on empathy and an understanding of the external ramifications of any immoral or unethical act.

Det. Bart Lasiter
03-11-2011, 07:53 PM
And to me, his point suggests an inability to perceive of a morality based on anything beyond fear of punishment, which is hardly morality at all, and more just greedy self-preservation without regard for others. Without this fear, any reason to behave is also gone. But, in place of fear, morality should be based on empathy and an understanding of the external ramifications of any immoral or unethical act.

So how is that any different from a morality based on religion? Religion offers rewards for obeying certain rules and punishment for those who don't comply.

Alkonium
03-11-2011, 08:00 PM
So how is that any different from a morality based on religion? Religion offers rewards for obeying certain rules and punishment for those who don't comply.

It isn't. That's my point. I was referring to J7's post, which as an atheist with a good sense of right and wrong, I have to disagree with. I don't concern myself with how I might be punished or rewarded for what I do. What I concern myself with is how my actions affect others.

Det. Bart Lasiter
03-11-2011, 08:12 PM
It isn't. That's my point. I was referring to J7's post, which as an atheist with a good sense of right and wrong, I have to disagree with. I don't concern myself with how I might be punished or rewarded for what I do. What I concern myself with is how my actions affect others.Oho. Apologies for the misunderstanding, my eyes and head hurt from perusing this thread for too long.

Q
03-11-2011, 09:45 PM
Yes, I believe that indoctrination of children is abuse, be it religious indoctrination by parents or conformist indoctrination by the "education" system.

Both are equally destructive.

Liverandbacon
03-12-2011, 03:51 AM
there's a clear divide between people in this thread;

those who are religious and cling to whichever denomination they've chosen or been chosen for by their parents, and those who see past the bull**** and can actually look at this issue without any (for example) christian bias.

Therefore, I don't think this discussion will lead anywhere, just a bunch of words thrown at each other.

Probably the right conclusion (though that's pretty much the nature of any internet debate).

However, do you seriously not see the irony in criticizing 'bias' when you're dividing the thread between people 'clinging' to beliefs that don't align with yours, and those who 'see past the bull****' (agree with you).

I'm not even saying you're wrong, just saying that everyone should admit that they're biased as **** when it comes to morality. Despite the fact that the philosophy portion of my PPE degree convinced me that there is no objective, universal code of morality, I'm perfectly happy to live by my subjective moral code, and convince/force others to follow it to the best of my ability. I just acknowledge that I'm arrogant, biased, and have no universally acceptable 'right' to do so.

Totenkopf
03-12-2011, 06:18 AM
in·doc·tri·nate 
–verb (used with object), -nat·ed, -nat·ing.
1. to instruct in a doctrine, principle, ideology, etc., especially to imbue with a specific partisan or biased belief or point of view.
2. to teach or inculcate.
3. to imbue with learning.

So, is it any less abusive to teach one's children to look down their noses at people who believe in a god/s......lest they be labled irrational, delusional and/or infantile for entertaining the idea? Atheists are just as likely to engage in indoctrinating their children as religious folks. And as Q points out, schools engage in it all the time to achieve some type of conformity (currently in things like man-made global warming etc....). Fact is, theist or atheist, none of us has cornered the market on knowledge about why we came to be (ie not simply the mechanics of how...ie evolution or "adam's rib"). Since absence of evidence doesn't equal evidence of absence, neither side can claim victory in this battle of ideas.

Samuel Dravis
03-12-2011, 08:43 AM
I'm not suggesting that 'good' indoctrination instills morality x and 'bad' indoctrination instills morality y. What I asked was who decides whether either x or y is harmful to the child given the intensity or method of indoctrination.Since there's no single overarching moral narrative that people agree to, various incommensurable values obtained from different moral systems can be used to justify different positions. For example, the idea that harm must be minimized could lead some people to say that any actions which may lead to depression are crimes. Others who value autonomy more will be more inclined to allow some harms but not others. This is what in fact happens, with parents being considered competent to raise their children unless they commit some fairly serious violation of our expectations. The fact that no one is capable of winning an argument on this one way or another should surprise no one who has paid any attention to abortion debates before. Approaching a debate from different premises will always lead to different conclusions.

I personally believe that parents are generally capable of raising their children without having anyone interfere. There are certain actions which are unacceptable (like training children to violate the law) but causing psychological trauma through teaching people religion doesn't seem like it is all that harmful given everyone I know who was raised religious-- at least not harmful enough to justify violating everyone's personal liberty wholesale. I experienced that "trauma" myself but anyone who rearranges their belief systems will experience the same thing. This is usually called growing up.

Maybe everyone should be forced to keep believing what they started out with and thus prevent harm that way. :p

Tommycat
03-12-2011, 11:33 AM
I have found that people who have forced a belief down their child's throat generally tend to have children who believe the opposite of their parents. Where those who have taught and left it open to their child to decide have tended to follow in their parent's footsteps.

As for the threat of eternal damnation, since we're not talking about the validity of claims, I guess we can now go after all those global warming supporting teachers for abuse as well. They teach that if you don't follow the new doctrine of global warming, we'll all die in a global catastrophe. And worse, that they MUST convert everyone to their way, or EVERYONE dies.

If it's just the fear we're talking about as abuse, then any parent who lets their child watch the news channels is now an abusive parent.

And having raised children, I must say that sometimes the only way to end the "Why?" is to keep going to the extreme.

As to the morality... Well different cultures place their morals in different places. For instance, murder while it is wrong in mostly Christian cultures it is not wrong in cultures that do not share our beliefs(honor killings, cannibalism, and even, depending on your position, abortion). Suicide is also another one which is only bad in certain cultures. While in others it was a method of regaining your family's honor(seppuku for example).

VeniVidiVicous
03-12-2011, 01:18 PM
What if their religion is correct then? Not saying any religion is correct, BUT to them it is.

I'm sure there are a few who totally 100% believe in christianity, the westboro baptist church are the only ones I can think of who fully follow the old testament though.

To the parents the religion is the truth. A failure to teach your kids that playing on the freeway will get them killed would be borderline abusive behavior. Would it be wise to tell your kids never to listen to what a cop tells them?

That's incomparable imo.
You could be a religous (or atheist) parent and still fail to teach your kids not to play on the freeway/tell them to ignore cops.

Working Class Hero
03-13-2011, 04:11 AM
Since absence of evidence doesn't equal evidence of absence, neither side can claim victory in this battle of ideas. I got a BIG problem with this statement, one that I've often heard from religious folks.

I can believe that rabbits communicate by sending their thoughts each other by a so-far undiscovered form of communication and will eventually take over human's brains through telepathy, and you can't prove that I'm wrong. But as there's absolutely no ****ing evidence this occurs, you'd be justified in saying that I'm abusing my children by telling them to collect rabbits in the house and help them achieve their ascendancy over the human race. :detective:

And yet parents teach their children there's an invisible man watching whom they must do their utmost not to offend.

I'm sure there are a few who totally 100% believe in christianity, the westboro baptist church are the only ones I can think of who fully follow the old testament though. The WBC doesn't follow the old testament. They have yet to actually stone any gays.

Totenkopf
03-13-2011, 12:34 PM
I got a BIG problem with this statement, one that I've often heard from religious folks.

I can believe that rabbits communicate by sending their thoughts each other by a so-far undiscovered form of communication and will eventually take over human's brains through telepathy, and you can't prove that I'm wrong. But as there's absolutely no ****ing evidence this occurs, you'd be justified in saying that I'm abusing my children by telling them to collect rabbits in the house and help them achieve their ascendancy over the human race. :detective:

And yet parents teach their children there's an invisible man watching whom they must do their utmost not to offend.


As usual misses the point. Neither side can conclusively prove or disprove the existence of a "God", so all are free to believe whatever they like..... As Tommy and others have pointed out here in various ways, the term "child abuse" is very elastic in scope and not inherently universal.

Working Class Hero
03-13-2011, 12:59 PM
Yeah, you're correct that nobody can disprove a god's existence per se, but my point was that religion is the only field of study that I can think of where people can believe really crazy **** without any need to have positive proof for their beliefs.

Teaching your children to think without logic or reason seems abusive to me.

VeniVidiVicous
03-13-2011, 01:31 PM
The WBC doesn't follow the old testament. They have yet to actually stone any gays.

This is true, I suppose none of the practising christians practice it in it's original form, still though you "have" to respect their belief system. :indif:

purifier
03-13-2011, 05:11 PM
Yeah, you're correct that nobody can disprove a god's existence per se, but my point was that religion is the only field of study that I can think of where people can believe really crazy **** without any need to have positive proof for their beliefs.

Teaching your children to think without logic or reason seems abusive to me.



What is so abusive about having faith in something, while living in/on a world of pain and suffering like this? Having a belief in something outside the norm, gives some individuals a ray of hope in their lives who want it. To totally deny them mentally of any religious thoughts or beliefs is just as abusive to me. And besides you may introduce a child to a religious or spiritual belief until adulthood, or until they are able to make decisions on their own, but once a child reaches the ability to think on their own, it doesn't matter what a child's parents has taught them over the years. Because the child eventually picks or makes a choice in what he or she wants to believe in, there are also outside world influence that plays a part in that individuals thoughts as well.

So no one on this planet can really force an individual deep down in their own mind to believe in anything that the individual doesn't want to believe in, as long as that individual has doubts in the back of his/her mind. Not even through verbal threats of hellfire and brimstone. I've seen many individuals here on LF and in real life who have demonstrated perfect examples of this. Some were told by their parents they should believe in this or that concerning their family's religion, but later rebuked those beliefs as soon as they felt they were old enough to separate from their parents and make their own decisions concerning what part of any religion pertained to them.

I never heard anybody say they were abused by their parents mentally, because their parents tryed to teach them about the morals of religion. Of course if they were physically abused by the parent because the child said he/she didn't believe in a god or rebuked the family religion, that is definitly child abuse.

If we are to consider teaching a child about the morals of religion and it's consequences because it's not obeyed as abusive, then we should consider teaching a child about public rules, saftey and laws that are not obeyed and the consequences from it as abusive as well. A influential threat is a threat, whether it's real or unreal, regardless of what it may pertain to.

Totenkopf
03-13-2011, 08:32 PM
....still though you "have" to respect their belief system. :indif:

Actually, no, at least not in "free societies". All you "have" to respect is their right to have a belief system, not the beliefs themselves. What you do have to deal with is that they have as much right as you to try to influence how their society operates as you do.

Yeah, you're correct that nobody can disprove a god's existence per se, but my point was that religion is the only field of study that I can think of where people can believe really crazy **** without any need to have positive proof for their beliefs.

What, you mean like the almost pantheistic "man-made, the polar bears are dying, etc.. global warming" theory? :xp: Yeah, stuff like that never happens in "rational society". :rolleyes:

VeniVidiVicous
03-13-2011, 09:37 PM
Actually, no, at least not in "free societies". All you "have" to respect is their right to have a belief system, not the beliefs themselves. What you do have to deal with is that they have as much right as you to try to influence how their society operates as you do.

With that logic let me put a theory foward.

If science teachers in schools where told they had to change to content of what they are teaching as to appease to certain religous groups is that respecting their right to a belief system or the belief itself?

Q
03-13-2011, 11:27 PM
But they're not.

Point?

Totenkopf
03-14-2011, 03:19 AM
With that logic let me put a theory foward.

If science teachers in schools where told they had to change to content of what they are teaching as to appease to certain religous groups is that respecting their right to a belief system or the belief itself?

Well, given that the anthropological global warming theory is a current example of that....which "religion" is being appeased? ;) Fact is, it's not a matter of "respecting" a belief system (afterall, people are still allowed to vociferously oppose such moves in a free society) but the democratic process that allowed any such group the upper hand in achieving their goal, which can always be overturned in the end using the same process. In self-proclaimed free societies, I'm not remotely obligated to respect your point of view, just your right to hold it w/o fear of govt persecution.

Alexrd
03-14-2011, 06:32 AM
But they're not.

Point?

This post with your avatar is priceless. :lol:

VeniVidiVicous
03-14-2011, 08:09 AM
But they're not.

Point?

But they are.

In America for example there have been a few attempts by certain christians
to have science classes changed to teach intelligent design.
I don't keep fully up to date with it since i'm not from the U.S. though.

Well, given that the anthropological global warming theory is a current example of that....which "religion" is being appeased? ;) Fact is, it's not a matter of "respecting" a belief system (afterall, people are still allowed to vociferously oppose such moves in a free society) but the democratic process that allowed any such group the upper hand in achieving their goal, which can always be overturned in the end using the same process. In self-proclaimed free societies, I'm not remotely obligated to respect your point of view, just your right to hold it w/o fear of govt persecution.

The global warming's a tricky one. That's been used (and abused) by everything from conspiracy theorist groups to politicians all using it to their own ends. Personally i'm not worried about it.
So I suppose in nswering your question that those peoples religion are being appeased. If you want to assign the term "religion" to something that a few of them may be fanatical about, I know you probably know this already but I still feel obliged to point out that those people who are into global warming in a big way has nothing to do with a god or gods so it's not really a religion.
At the same time I understand your point they take it seriously and all that.

Totenkopf
03-14-2011, 09:09 AM
But they are.

In America for example there have been a few attempts by certain christians
to have science classes changed to teach intelligent design.
I don't keep fully up to date with it since i'm not from the U.S. though.



The global warming's a tricky one. That's been used (and abused) by everything from conspiracy theorist groups to politicians all using it to their own ends. Personally i'm not worried about it.
So I suppose in nswering your question that those peoples religion are being appeased. If you want to assign the term "religion" to something that a few of them may be fanatical about, I know you probably know this already but I still feel obliged to point out that those people who are into global warming in a big way has nothing to do with a god or gods so it's not really a religion.
At the same time I understand your point they take it seriously and all that.

Funny thing is, I'm not worried about the other either. Even if you put intelligent design into a science curriculum, you could virtually deal with that approach in one class or less and then concentrate on evolution for the rest of the school year/s. I figure by the time you break for summer, most of the kids will have forgotten it anyway. Those that hew strongly to "God did it" likely aren't necessarily interested in the how part anyway. Hell, you could probably dispense with the intelligent design in the first few minutes of the first class for that matter. Evolution is not an inherently secular concept and thus not incompatible with a god-centered belief system in principle. For instance, the Catholic Church isn't opposed to evolution as an explanation for how life developed on earth/in the universe. It does believe that God is the prime mover behind such phenomenon, but atheists have no proof either that we just sprung, essentially, out of nowhere. I figure that as long as science class is used to explain our understanding of how life developed...and stays away from the more controversial "where did it all come from?"....it's no real big deal.

mur'phon
03-14-2011, 09:43 AM
Come on Tot, I know you aren't a fan of climate change, but unlike a religious belief it's something that (at least in principle) can be disproven. You know the drill, theory gets made, people try to disprove it (as science can never prove), theory is modified/replaced by a new one, people try to disprove it etc. This is somewhat different from a religious belief which by default can't be disproven.

Q
03-14-2011, 01:48 PM
But they are.

In America for example there have been a few attempts by certain christians
to have science classes changed to teach intelligent design.
I don't keep fully up to date with it since i'm not from the U.S. though.
Attempting != succeeding, and they did not succeed.

So, no, they're not. Red herring.

Totenkopf
03-14-2011, 02:12 PM
Come on Tot, I know you aren't a fan of climate change, but unlike a religious belief it's something that (at least in principle) can be disproven. You know the drill, theory gets made, people try to disprove it (as science can never prove), theory is modified/replaced by a new one, people try to disprove it etc. This is somewhat different from a religious belief which by default can't be disproven.

Problem, murph, is that it isn't often presented as a theory but drilled into kids like any other form of indoctrination. If AGW were merely presented as a theory and not a forgone conclusion, you might have a stronger point. Even evolution is presented as fact, not theory. Science can often be as doctrinaire as religion......until the doctrines/dogmas change at some later date. But before you (or anyone) says I'm vs evolution.....I'm not. It's currently the best theory we have to explain how we came to be.

VeniVidiVicous
03-14-2011, 03:58 PM
I figure that as long as science class is used to explain our understanding of how life developed...and stays away from the more controversial "where did it all come from?"....it's no real big deal.

I can agree to that actually.

Attempting != succeeding, and they did not succeed.

So, no, they're not. Red herring.

atĚtempt (-tmpt)
tr.v. atĚtemptĚed, atĚtemptĚing, atĚtempts
1. To try to perform, make, or achieve: attempted to read the novel in one sitting; attempted a difficult dive.
2. Archaic To tempt.
3. Archaic To attack with the intention of subduing.
n.
1. An effort or a try.
2. An attack; an assault: an attempt on someone's life.

Attempting to do something is not the same as succeeding in doing something there is a difference.

Why don't you go lick a herring or something? :xp:

purifier
03-14-2011, 06:03 PM
This is somewhat different from a religious belief which by default can't be disproven.


Not according to Al Gore, he believes Global Warming is "An Inconvenient Truth" to us nonbelievers. And makes threats or puts out fears of impending DOOM if we all don't change our polluting/sinful ways.

I have yet to see anyone disprove or convince Al Gore and his followers that Global Warming is not real. As long as they believe in it, it is real to them. So there is nothing you can say or do that would sway them from their beliefs, kinda like religion.

Tommycat
03-14-2011, 08:19 PM
Honestly the Global Warming alarmists can be a religion. A religion does not require there to be a god/supreme being(s). In fact some sects of Wicca do not have a god(per se.. as in they worship nature itself). But they are a religion none the less.

I was trying to move the argument away from the factuality of religions. More leaning towards finding the trigger that one would find to call it abusive to teach without evidence that the person is somehow completely wrong. Nobody can truly know whether any religion is right or wrong. So the firm belief that teaching it or instilling the fears of what may come after cannot be called abuse. The examples of the freeway were from the standpoint that IF the afterlife DOES exist and IS how their religious doctrine specifies it, it may be in fact harmful NOT to teach them the consequences of their actions.

With teaching religion or any number of widely held beliefs(such as AGW), it should not be considered abuse unless it crosses well defined lines. For instance, teaching a kid to stay away from playing on the freeway(something we can pretty well all accept as something they shouldn't do) with a lead pipe is abuse. Telling them they could end up broken paralyzed or even dead in many painful ways, I don't see as abusive. Anyone who's raised kids would recognize that sometimes kids just won't listen unless you tell them a consequence that hits home.

And honestly if we're going to say that teaching kids about something that is(as far as we know) non-existant is abuse, then there's a whole bunch of stuff that parents would not be allowed to teach their kids about...

Q
03-14-2011, 08:32 PM
Attempting to do something is not the same as succeeding in doing something there is a difference.
Um, duh? "!=" means "does not equal".
Why don't you go lick a herring or something? :xp:
Why don't you grow up? :dozey:

VeniVidiVicous
03-14-2011, 08:48 PM
"!=" means "does not equal".

Well I didn't know that.

Why don't you grow up? :dozey:

Why don't you get a sense of humour?

Qui-Gon Glenn
03-14-2011, 10:50 PM
^^^ Why don't you recognize that Kavar's is a "place for serious discussion", VVV?

A Google search could have illuminated the abbreviation for "!=" == "does not equal".

I was trying to move the argument away from the factuality of religions. More leaning towards finding the trigger that one would find to call it abusive to teach without evidence that the person is somehow completely wrong. Nobody can truly know whether any religion is right or wrong. So the firm belief that teaching it or instilling the fears of what may come after cannot be called abuse.Your first premise is sound. There can be no facts regarding religion, it is an unjustified belief. Your conclusion does not follow from your premise in the least, it actually is a bit absurd, IMO. Your choice of the words "firm belief that teaching..." is a nice qualifier that does provide you some safety, but it also means to me that you don't really have a strong argument.

Say, for example, I believe the sun will rise tomorrow. However, I also want my child to understand that for the sun to rise tomorrow, he will have to behave in a certain way, or the sun will not rise! By inductive reasoning we all conclude (and have a "firm belief") that the sun will rise tomorrow, and we have witnessed that the sun rises every day of our lives. It is not necessary that this be the case, however, it is a somewhat justified, but not completely, belief, that could be wrong at any time. It would be awfully scary to a child to think that the fate of the world hinged on their behavior. Abusive, really. This is an extreme, perhaps absurd example, but it is analogous.

That the sun rises the next day despite the child's behavior, good or bad, can potentially send a mixed message. If the child is headstrong and says screw you Dad, I will behave how I want and the sun can go to hell.... it still rises! Now you have a rebel with a cause.... created by a parent placing a silly belief in a child's mind.

Totenkopf
03-15-2011, 01:29 AM
That the sun rises the next day despite the child's behavior, good or bad, can potentially send a mixed message. If the child is headstrong and says screw you Dad, I will behave how I want and the sun can go to hell.... it still rises! Now you have a rebel with a cause.... created by a parent placing a silly belief in a child's mind.

---now only if it were that easy to prove/disprove the existence of "God". :p

Tommycat
03-15-2011, 12:45 PM
Your first premise is sound. There can be no facts regarding religion, it is an unjustified belief. Your conclusion does not follow from your premise in the least, it actually is a bit absurd, IMO. Your choice of the words "firm belief that teaching..." is a nice qualifier that does provide you some safety, but it also means to me that you don't really have a strong argument.

Say, for example, I believe the sun will rise tomorrow. However, I also want my child to understand that for the sun to rise tomorrow, he will have to behave in a certain way, or the sun will not rise! By inductive reasoning we all conclude (and have a "firm belief") that the sun will rise tomorrow, and we have witnessed that the sun rises every day of our lives. It is not necessary that this be the case, however, it is a somewhat justified, but not completely, belief, that could be wrong at any time. It would be awfully scary to a child to think that the fate of the world hinged on their behavior. Abusive, really. This is an extreme, perhaps absurd example, but it is analogous.

That the sun rises the next day despite the child's behavior, good or bad, can potentially send a mixed message. If the child is headstrong and says screw you Dad, I will behave how I want and the sun can go to hell.... it still rises! Now you have a rebel with a cause.... created by a parent placing a silly belief in a child's mind.
The problem is that there can not be a proof/disproof of the factuality of an afterlife. Since we cannot prove there is no afterlife, we cannot say that whatever extreme a religion concocts for the afterlife is real or not. Your example is flawed because of your use of something visible and tangible(sorta), with results that can be seen and verified, is not analogous to the teaching of something that may or may not be true(even if the likelihood is that it isn't).

Lets use something that should hit more home, rather than Christian as the example. According to most books in the series, Dark Side Force users cannot become force ghosts(I know... some exceptions... Just follow with me). Following the path of the light side you can learn a technique that allows you to live on beyond your life, or become one with the force. The portion that cannot be verified would be what happens to dark siders. IF the expected end for darksiders is that their spirit would be in pain and suffer rather than the peaceful Light Siders, would it not be in the best interest of the students(padawans) to warn them of that danger?

Whoops... bad example... Fear is an emotion of the dark side...

Wookiee Rrudolf
03-15-2011, 01:44 PM
Lets use something that should hit more home, rather than Christian as the example. (...) Following the path of the light side you can learn a technique that allows you to live on beyond your life (...) IF the expected end for darksiders is that their spirit would be in pain and suffer rather than the peaceful Light Siders, would it not be in the best interest of the students(padawans) to warn them of that danger?

Come on! That's exactly Christian doctrine! Good people (following the rules of religion) go to heaven, evil ones (the rest) suffer in hell.

Another example in the same spirit.
Invisible Pink Unicorn showed herself to me in my dream and said that Christianity is a false and evil* religion. Everyone should convert to Invisible Pink Unicornism or suffer the consequences: bad children will get eaten by their teddy bears and reincarnated as platypuses (who'd want that?!) so they could convert later without their parents' biases. Adults will get stick on the IPU's horn and suffer for eternity.
I think that it's in everyone's best interest to convert right now! And start teaching children about it in schools.
That is of course unless you can PROVE that there are no unicorns. Because it's not my role to prove existence of IPU ;) Anyone who don't agree with me should first prove that what I wrote is false (starting with IPU showing in my dream).

*I really think Christianity is evil, but most followers think otherwise because they never read the Bible. These people tend to think that Islam is evil, but they don't see that it has almost the same rules.

Tommycat
03-15-2011, 02:48 PM
Come on! That's exactly Christian doctrine! Good people (following the rules of religion) go to heaven, evil ones (the rest) suffer in hell.

Another example in the same spirit.
Invisible Pink Unicorn showed herself to me in my dream and said that Christianity is a false and evil* religion. Everyone should convert to Invisible Pink Unicornism or suffer the consequences: bad children will get eaten by their teddy bears and reincarnated as platypuses (who'd want that?!) so they could convert later without their parents' biases. Adults will get stick on the IPU's horn and suffer for eternity.
I think that it's in everyone's best interest to convert right now! And start teaching children about it in schools.
That is of course unless you can PROVE that there are no unicorns. Because it's not my role to prove existence of IPU ;) Anyone who don't agree with me should first prove that what I wrote is false (starting with IPU showing in my dream).

*I really think Christianity is evil, but most followers think otherwise because they never read the Bible. These people tend to think that Islam is evil, but they don't see that it has almost the same rules.
The point of it is not whether the religion is true or false. I could call it "Monkey toed man-god" religion. What I'm talking about is post life consequences. Something that nobody has been able to verify the existence of. Many who have had "Near Death Experiences" CLAIM that they felt something, but there are many explanations for why they may have felt that. Many religions have similar rules. Even Native American religions have similar rules to Christianity.

Simplified rules of a religion:
Don't Kill(at least not the faithful)
Don't steal
Don't be a jerk.
Simplified consequences:
You get sent to a bad place
Simplified benefit:
You get to live on in a happy place.

That's pretty well most religions. It also tends to pretty well coincide with our legal system. The bad place is prison, the good place is anywhere, BUT prison. The difference is that with religion, there would be no "getting away with it" because the omnipotent/omnipresent being(s) is(are) watching you.

Det. Bart Lasiter
03-15-2011, 03:33 PM
A Google search could have illuminated the abbreviation for "!=" == "does not equal".and that "==" != "="/":=" as the former implies xnor and not assignment :max:

Tommycat
03-15-2011, 03:54 PM
Actually, a Google search would yield neither revelation. Since the mathematical operators confuse the database back end, you get no results.

However you COULD go to the urban dictionary and get that answer, and that == is the correct usage for equals... or rather is equal to anything in the range... Programming... ugh...

Wookiee Rrudolf
03-15-2011, 04:12 PM
Yes, the simplified rules are OK (except for the brackets in first one). They are also known as common sense and propriety. The problem is with the 'advanced rules' which mostly concern absurd rituals and denial of the basic ones for everyone different than followers of said religion (like "Don't kill" and "Stone the unfaithful" or even "Stone the faithful if he's gay").
Is it really worth... well worth what? The fear that punishment will be inevitable? There is a conviction in society that there is no perfect crime and sooner or later any criminal will be caught. Besides what is the difference between prison and hell? Infinity. Why do we people release prisoners and not hold them for ever (until death or just kill for any crime) like God in hell? Because prison is not only punishment but also place of reclamation, changing prisoners attitude to make them useful to society (at least in it ought to). Religions don't care about reclamation, if you don't follow the rules you'll suffer for ever, and ever, and ever and even longer without hope for second chance (maybe with exception of Hindu, you'll just get bad karma and will suffer one more life).
And since any religion is just as good as any other which should be thought to children and why?

Tommycat
03-15-2011, 04:41 PM
Yes, the simplified rules are OK (except for the brackets in first one). They are also known as common sense and propriety. The problem is with the 'advanced rules' which mostly concern absurd rituals and denial of the basic ones for everyone different than followers of said religion (like "Don't kill" and "Stone the unfaithful" or even "Stone the faithful if he's gay").
Is it really worth... well worth what? The fear that punishment will be inevitable? There is a conviction in society that there is no perfect crime and sooner or later any criminal will be caught. Besides what is the difference between prison and hell? Infinity. Why do we people release prisoners and not hold them for ever (until death or just kill for any crime) like God in hell? Because prison is not only punishment but also place of reclamation, changing prisoners attitude to make them useful to society (at least in it ought to). Religions don't care about reclamation, if you don't follow the rules you'll suffer for ever, and ever, and ever and even longer without hope for second chance (maybe with exception of Hindu, you'll just get bad karma and will suffer one more life).
And since any religion is just as good as any other which should be thought to children and why?

Actually many religions aside from Christianity allow for the ones sentenced to "hell" to embrace the good ways and go to "heaven" post life.

As for which religion: I'm not picking any. They all have their merits, and their flaws(see my earlier post about believing they are all in some way wrong). But that's my point. I cannot choose which religion is right to teach a child, if you even teach them at all(again, note how I have REPEATEDLY said, I'm not claiming any religion is right). Religion is the parent's choice, as is morality they wish to impart on their children(obviously so long as it does not interfere with others' rights to freedom of religion, and not violating any local laws).

Darth Avlectus
03-16-2011, 07:38 PM
@ OP: While I see what you're getting at I'm going to say "it depends". Where something like sexual abuse can't EVER be good, religiousness needn't always be bad though it has been pointed out by others here that the level of religiosity varies.

If you mean indoctrination as in the extreme detriment (which you seem to be going for), then obviously this is of great disservice to the child presently and in the future and I'll agree in these specific cases it's abusive; conversely if it is not to extreme detriment and no appreciable harm is done, then it isn't really abuse.

Just my thoughts.

Tysyacha
03-17-2011, 12:21 AM
I can only speak for myself here, but I cannot begin to count the ways in which religious indoctrination has harmed me. As a very young child, I was spanked. Even though the spankings didn't really hurt physically, they made me think that I was a bad little girl and Mommy and Daddy didn't love me when I did bad things. They only loved me when I did good things.

So I believed, and internalized, almost as soon as I could talk.

Enter the preacher, and a Sunday School teacher who tried to bring the concept of Hell down to the level of us kids: "It's like an eternal spanking."

You cannot imagine how that terrified me. I wanted to avoid Hell at all costs, and that left me incredibly vulnerable to the doctrine that I would lose my eternal salvation if I kept doing bad things after asking Jesus into my heart.

I believed it, wholeheartedly, and tried never to sin. Naturally, I failed.

As for (Christ's) forgiveness, that was entirely dependent upon whether you kept repenting and repenting after each sin. I even went through a phase where I thought getting bad grades and doing math problems wrong were sins. If I were truly living a Christian life, I wouldn't be doing so badly in either Math or P.E. I'd understand them better, and perform better despite my disability. Every time I failed to please someone or obey them, I believed that was a sin. Sexual thoughts? Sins. Having silly crushes on guys? Sins. Thinking about committing a sin was exactly the same as committing it.

There was no escape, especially in my mind. I tried to suppress my sinful emotions (anger, lust, wanting revenge, competitiveness) while always trying to display the positive ones (love, kindness, not burdening other people).

Eventually, my "sinful emotions" got too hard to handle and I tried to commit suicide. I barely ate, slept, and went out in subzero weather. For 9 days.

Straight.

I tried to deny myself utterly, even unto death, so I'd finally be like Jesus.

Another case in point: I'm itching to buy this one computer game, even though I know it's not in my budget and probably won't be for a while. I feel so guilty because a) I want to buy that game and I know I'm not supposed to want it and b) if I were a good person, I'd immediately scoff and not give the purchase another thought. It's a computer game, for crying out loud, and yet it's got me all tied up in knots. The threat of Hell-hell is abstract, but disobeying my budget rules and "catching all hell" for it? That I understand.

I feel like I'd be sinning if I bought that game, because God wouldn't want me to. THAT is the kind of messed-up, psychotic, completely irrational fear and guilt that religious indoctrination has instilled in me. Now you know why going to church makes me feel sick to my stomach and I even cringe when I hear certain people say Jesus' name. I find it harder than climbing Mount Everest, trying to get rid of all this guilt, fear and shame. It's almost impossible.

If I ever have children, I'll let them decide whether they want to go to any kind of church or not, but I will NEVER force them to go. I don't want them to go through the same kind of living hell I'm going through due to religion.

Tommycat
03-17-2011, 07:19 PM
No offense, Tysyacha, but it seems more like you had a fairly normal childhood, but created your own mental problems. Quite frankly I know many people who have had worse than you have described, and were not emotionally scarred by it. Perhaps there's something I'm missing. And if there really is some emotional scarring, I apologize, but it sounds more like you are affected by sources outside the religion. Of course, I'm no mental health professional though, but it doesn't seem that the religious side was as much the problem as possibly another source.

Jae Onasi
03-18-2011, 12:29 AM
Peace? You do realise that there have been many wars started in the past over which religion was praising God the right way right?
When you say positive moral values which bible are you referring to? If (for example) you think what the old testament was proposing was good moral values then i'd strongly disagree. But I keep forgetting that the church can review their "Papal infallibility" and change their views to keep up with society whenever it suits them.

@ Topic: Yes, it is child abuse. If you're religious the decent thing to do would be to not poison your childs mind.
Yes, yes, and Mao and Stalin killed more in the name of their 'infallible Communism and atheism' than all other religious wars combined. I don't buy that argument about religious wars one bit.

Tysyacha
03-18-2011, 12:41 AM
Tommycat,

You're right. I do have mental health issues, and probably have had them since I was a child (although it wasn't cool to have them diagnosed early--or at all--in the 1980's). However, religious indoctrination didn't ameliorate these problems. It exacerbated them.

Working Class Hero
03-18-2011, 01:21 AM
Yes, yes, and Mao and Stalin killed more in the name of their 'infallible Communism and atheism' than all other religious wars combined. I don't buy that argument about religious wars one bit.Er, except Mao and Stalin didn't kill more people than all other religious wars combined. I recommend doing some research into Old Testament Genocide, the Roman Christian's suppression of paganism, the Irish/English religious wars, the Crusades, 15th century Poland, the genocide of Native Americans, the Spanish Inquisition, French Huguenots, Croatian extermination camps, and the Rwanda massacres...that should give you a nice general overview.

If you're feeling particularly adventurous, read Mein Kempf; it gives a nice Luther-esque motivation for Aryan supremacy.

{Snipped for space}............If I ever have children, I'll let them decide whether they want to go to any kind of church or not, but I will NEVER force them to go. I don't want them to go through the same kind of living hell I'm going through due to religion. This may sound cold, but why don't you....do something about it? There's absolutely nothing keeping you chained to your childhood.
If God is giving you so much agony, give it up. If you feel you have mental health issues, then get them checked out.

Qui-Gon Glenn
03-18-2011, 01:33 AM
Det. Bart Lasiter - I was going by programming rules, as Tommycat noted, and I thought you would be on the same page, as you were once upon a time a bit of a scripter yourself, at least I remember some tools you made that many found useful, although I for one struck my own path on the local road of KotOR programming. "=" is assignment, as Tommycat noted, and "==" is equivalence. Sentential logic uses several different symbols that cannot easily be reproduced with a common keyboard, but that is another story altogether.

@Totenkopf: I, for one, would love to see proof or disproof of God's existence. I would also like to say that Sun will always rise. I will mostlikely never live to see either proven or disproved, although science does tell us that someday the sun will rise too much, and then we will be crispy. Proof of an angry God perhaps?

@Tommycat: Not sure where you were going with that response, as it kind of ignores my analogy. Perhaps you were thinking that the sun will definitely not rise someday, due to your education. If that is the case, then my analogy is a failure. If you are saying that you can prove the sun will rise tomorrow, you are wrong.
Yes, yes, and Mao and Stalin killed more in the name of their 'infallible Communism and atheism' than all other religious wars combined. I don't buy that argument about religious wars one bit.
Uh... ummm... are you serious? Really? Really?

Really?

In terms of gross numbers, it is possible that you are right. In terms of percentage of population at the time of occurrence, you are ignoring the history of the world as if it never happened. I can hear Mel Brooks, singing.... "The Inquisition (what a show)
The Inquisition (here we go)
We know you're wishin' that we'd go away.
But the Inquisition's here and it's here to-
"Hey Toquemada, walk this way."

Tysyacha
03-18-2011, 01:50 AM
Working Class Hero,

In terms of my mental health issues, I have indeed gotten them checked out, but I'm still finding it incredibly hard to break free of the fundamentalist thought patterns that have been drilled into me ever since I started going to church (at about 6 years old). You're absolutely right that there's absolutely nothing chaining me to my childhood...

...but at least for me, breaking free is an uphill battle.

Tommycat
03-18-2011, 10:53 AM
Working Class Hero,

In terms of my mental health issues, I have indeed gotten them checked out, but I'm still finding it incredibly hard to break free of the fundamentalist thought patterns that have been drilled into me ever since I started going to church (at about 6 years old). You're absolutely right that there's absolutely nothing chaining me to my childhood...

...but at least for me, breaking free is an uphill battle.
Cool, thanks for not taking offense at my response. I understand that mental issues can be exacerbated by religion, but the same can be said about other fear based teachings. Imagine a child being brought up thinking about the global warming debate. Being told that the world's population must change or they are doomed. They wouldn't even have the level of control over their fate you have in faith...

VVV: Um it's easy to point to religion and say "See they did bad things in the name of religion" and ignore the Atheists who did bad things because they didn't do it specifically IN the name of Atheism... But I can also point to how churches and religions have fed the poor. Christian Monks were the ones who created the first hospitals. And to this day many hospitals are run by churches(keeping costs down, and providing some essentially free services). What good has been done in the name of Atheism? It's easy not to do anything bad if you don't do anything at all.

QGG: The "rising of the sun" is an observable fact. The rotation of the Earth has been an observable fact. As for one day it not rising, it is in theory possible one day it may not rise. But we have an actual observable fact versus something that cannot be observed until our demise, and at that point you cannot publish the results. Though as stated many people who have had near death experiences have said they felt something... Not to mention the number of incidents where there are reported ghosts(which implies existence beyond death, but does not prove it as there are many explanations as to what they might be, and there has not been conclusive proof that ghosts do exist).

Qui-Gon Glenn
03-19-2011, 02:54 AM
QGG: The "rising of the sun" is an observable fact. The rotation of the Earth has been an observable fact. As for one day it not rising, it is in theory possible one day it may not rise. But we have an actual observable fact versus something that cannot be observed until our demise, and at that point you cannot publish the results. Though as stated many people who have had near death experiences have said they felt something... Not to mention the number of incidents where there are reported ghosts(which implies existence beyond death, but does not prove it as there are many explanations as to what they might be, and there has not been conclusive proof that ghosts do exist).Yes, my analogy was not strong enough. I concede, although I wish I had a better analogy to make my point. The whole "sun will rise" concept is 101 philosophy, Epistemology specifically, as you may know. Inductive reasoning can be helpful, but does not provide "knowledge", as you cannot know events or things until they happen, if at all.

I am not claiming in the least that Christians or Jews or Muslims or any other religious folk are de facto abusing their children by raising them in those particular ways. I think many take it too far, and I have seen the results in my own family... The most restrictive and religious families end up having the wildest children, because the must rebel and revolt at some point, stifled too long from getting to be, a, kid.

Det. Bart Lasiter
03-19-2011, 02:30 PM
Det. Bart Lasiter - I was going by programming rules, as Tommycat noted, and I thought you would be on the same page, as you were once upon a time a bit of a scripter yourself, at least I remember some tools you made that many found useful, although I for one struck my own path on the local road of KotOR programming. "=" is assignment, as Tommycat noted, and "==" is equivalence. Sentential logic uses several different symbols that cannot easily be reproduced with a common keyboard, but that is another story altogether.'==' means you're asking if the things on either side are equivalent in (c-like) programming notation and several other notations. 'x == y' is the same as saying 'if x is equal to y', or 'if x = y'.

oh god, look at how neurotic childhood religiosity made me :max:

Jae Onasi
03-19-2011, 08:03 PM
Working Class Hero,

In terms of my mental health issues, I have indeed gotten them checked out, but I'm still finding it incredibly hard to break free of the fundamentalist thought patterns that have been drilled into me ever since I started going to church (at about 6 years old). You're absolutely right that there's absolutely nothing chaining me to my childhood...

...but at least for me, breaking free is an uphill battle.
I'm a recovered fundamentalist :D and lived to tell about it.
Even managed to keep faith in God, though it required a great deal of soul-searching and study to reach that point.

And at the risk of sounding trite, God/Christ love you more than you're letting you love yourself right now. :)

Tommycat
03-19-2011, 08:39 PM
'==' means you're asking if the things on either side are equivalent in (c-like) programming notation and several other notations. 'x == y' is the same as saying 'if x is equal to y', or 'if x = y'.

oh god, look at how neurotic childhood religiosity made me :max:

I was using shell scripting as my base. "==" is usually used for "roughly equal to, but not exact"

Quist
03-19-2011, 09:27 PM
When I was a child, my mother used to pray with with me and my siblings. She would pray that we would not be "free-thinkers." One day when I mustered up the courage to ask why we shouldn't think freely for ourselves, I was rebuffed quite sternly and told, "You're only supposed to think what God wants you to think and nothing else. Free-thinkers have never done the world any good."

When I was a little older, I asked my mother if my Aunt Rita was going to heaven. My Aunt Rita is an excellent trauma surgeon and a participant in Doctors Without Borders. When not deployed, she regularly spends time at a local orphanage to counsel the children there. She is a kind and loving mother to my cousins and the perfect wife to my uncle (to whom I am related). She is nominally Muslim, though she does not practice Islam to any degree, to the point of being agnostic/atheist. I have never heard her say anything bad about anyone. She's pretty much my heroine.

My mother said that my Aunt Rita is not going to heaven because she "has not accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She is not living as Jesus would have lived."

I have never forgotten those words. Fortunately, my children will never have to remember them because they will be raised in a loving environment free of Christian hypocrisy.

Alexrd
03-20-2011, 08:12 AM
When I was a child, my mother used to pray with with me and my siblings. She would pray that we would not be "free-thinkers." One day when I mustered up the courage to ask why we shouldn't think freely for ourselves, I was rebuffed quite sternly and told, "You're only supposed to think what God wants you to think and nothing else. Free-thinkers have never done the world any good."

My mother said that my Aunt Rita is not going to heaven because she "has not accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She is not living as Jesus would have lived."

That's not very christian.

Quist
03-20-2011, 10:24 AM
I disagree. It's very Christian. If you don't accept Jesus as your "Lord and Savior", then you don't get to go to heaven, no matter how good you've been. This is the fundamental truth behind Christianity. And it is sickening.

Totenkopf
03-20-2011, 10:43 AM
^Don't know about you or how you were raised, buy most Christians I know have never spouted any belief that non-Christians could never get into Heaven. Doubt there are even that many here that think that Jews and others can't get there by living a "good life". Besides, in the end, God makes His own decisions about who makes the cut.

purifier
03-20-2011, 12:51 PM
^Don't know about you or how you were raised, buy most Christians I know have never spouted any belief that non-Christians could never get into Heaven. Doubt there are even that many here that think that Jews and others can't get there by living a "good life". Besides, in the end, God makes His own decisions about who makes the cut.

Makes sense to me and your last sentence Totenkopf reminds me of something Gandhi said....

"God has no religion."

Funny how us humans never stop to consider that. I believe God, The Creator, Lord, Jehovah, Jesus, Muhammad, or whatever name the entity goes by, doesn't care what you claim to be and what you believe in, as long as you follow the main rule in life - "The Golden Rule"

Quist
03-20-2011, 05:22 PM
^Don't know about you or how you were raised, buy most Christians I know have never spouted any belief that non-Christians could never get into Heaven.

This is how I was raised. (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+14:6&version=NIV)

Doubt there are even that many here that think that Jews and others can't get there by living a "good life". Besides, in the end, God makes His own decisions about who makes the cut.
Most Christians I know would be upset or angry at this sort of sentiment towards God's judgment, as it would invalidate their very reason for being Christian. Christianity is very much like an elitist club. You're either in or you're not.

Totenkopf
03-20-2011, 05:42 PM
Not sure it invalidates anything beyond an absolutist interpretation that effectively straightjackets God's ability to do as He choose fit. Perhaps it's a difference between certain sects of Christianity. Not everyone on earth has been exposed to God through Jesus, so to speak over the last 2000 +/- years. I seriously doubt many of those people went to hell.

Det. Bart Lasiter
03-21-2011, 02:31 PM
That's not very christian.

^Don't know about you or how you were raised, buy most Christians I know have never spouted any belief that non-Christians could never get into Heaven. Doubt there are even that many here that think that Jews and others can't get there by living a "good life". Besides, in the end, God makes His own decisions about who makes the cut.

Makes sense to me and your last sentence Totenkopf reminds me of something Gandhi said....

"God has no religion."

Funny how us humans never stop to consider that. I believe God, The Creator, Lord, Jehovah, Jesus, Muhammad, or whatever name the entity goes by, doesn't care what you claim to be and what you believe in, as long as you follow the main rule in life - "The Golden Rule"

Not sure it invalidates anything beyond an absolutist interpretation that effectively straightjackets God's ability to do as He choose fit. Perhaps it's a difference between certain sects of Christianity. Not everyone on earth has been exposed to God through Jesus, so to speak over the last 2000 +/- years. I seriously doubt many of those people went to hell.

Sorry, but until we can get God down here to confirm y'all's ideas on the matter, we're gonna have to go by religious texts and not any of your revised editions.

Also, isn't it a bit blasphemous for any of you to speak for God or make judgments of what's right and what ain't just to suit your own arguments? I'm pretty sure it's been made clear that the knowledge of good and evil resides within the realm of the divine.

Tommycat
03-21-2011, 02:46 PM
Sorry, but until we can get God down here to confirm y'all's ideas on the matter, we're gonna have to go by religious texts and not any of your revised editions.

Also, isn't it a bit blasphemous for any of you to speak for God or make judgments of what's right and what ain't just to suit your own arguments? I'm pretty sure it's been made clear that the knowledge of good and evil resides within the realm of the divine.

Yes, but the texts have many interpretations. And also many different translations. For instance, we can take the passages, "Judge not lest ye be judged" or "Vengence is mine sayeth the Lord" and "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" seem to imply that it is not our place to say who goes where. God gets to choose.

Det. Bart Lasiter
03-21-2011, 03:07 PM
Yes, but the texts have many interpretations. And also many different translations. For instance, we can take the passages, "Judge not lest ye be judged" or "Vengence is mine sayeth the Lord" and "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" seem to imply that it is not our place to say who goes where. God gets to choose.Yeah, that's exactly what I said. Except we supposedly have books originally thought of by God which dictate moral codes we have to follow. You listing instructions that say passing judgment is a task for God and God alone does nothing to disprove what I said. Which is, essentially, that none of you are in a position to pick and choose which parts of a religion are part of said religion when God has supposedly dictated every part of that religion and that in doing so you are, in fact, blaspheming by overstepping your bounds. You can feel free to do so, but in doing so you are warping your own religion into something that it isn't.

Tommycat
03-21-2011, 05:02 PM
Yeah, that's exactly what I said. Except we supposedly have books originally thought of by God which dictate moral codes we have to follow. You listing instructions that say passing judgment is a task for God and God alone does nothing to disprove what I said. Which is, essentially, that none of you are in a position to pick and choose which parts of a religion are part of said religion when God has supposedly dictated every part of that religion and that in doing so you are, in fact, blaspheming by overstepping your bounds. You can feel free to do so, but in doing so you are warping your own religion into something that it isn't.
My mistake. Essentially what you were saying was that they cannot use the "no true Scottsman" argument. Sadly I can agree with your observation, that they cannot just say, "Well they're not REAL Christians" because in order to do that you would have to prove that they are not following some Christian sect(even if they are a twisted sect)

Det. Bart Lasiter
03-21-2011, 05:52 PM
My mistake. Essentially what you were saying was that they cannot use the "no true Scottsman" argument. Sadly I can agree with your observation, that they cannot just say, "Well they're not REAL Christians" because in order to do that you would have to prove that they are not following some Christian sect(even if they are a twisted sect)

Pretty much. I'd be willing to concede this point the day I can tell people I'm a vegetarian except for chicken, fish, and red meat and not be glared at like an idiot. Tailoring your religion so that believing in it doesn't make you look like a draconian ******* whose sense of morality stopped progressing thousands of years ago is illogical from the non-believer's standpoint and blasphemous from the believer's.

If you don't have the faith to stone gays and adulterers to death, accept that maybe none of the Judeo-Christian religions is for you. At least then you might be able to find a deity that won't damn you for eternity for not having the faith to kill an innocent.

Tommycat
03-21-2011, 06:30 PM
No. now you've gone off the deep end. Since belief is all about... well beliefs, then you can tailor your beliefs how you want to. That's the whole point of the protestant movement(being able to believe something other than what the Catholic Church decrees). As for which one is correct, that's a crap shoot. But Christianity has gone through a reformation and has splintered into wholly different sects. It's more like the vegetarians who eat eggs, or fish. There are things that can be excepted(yes, not accepted) based on what your brand of Christianity believes. So really, one is not more Christian than the other.

VeniVidiVicous
03-21-2011, 08:42 PM
VVV: Um it's easy to point to religion and say "See they did bad things in the name of religion" and ignore the Atheists who did bad things because they didn't do it specifically IN the name of Atheism... But I can also point to how churches and religions have fed the poor. Christian Monks were the ones who created the first hospitals. And to this day many hospitals are run by churches(keeping costs down, and providing some essentially free services). What good has been done in the name of Atheism? It's easy not to do anything bad if you don't do anything at all.

Yes, yes, and Mao and Stalin killed more in the name of their 'infallible Communism and atheism' than all other religious wars combined. I don't buy that argument about religious wars one bit.

The amount of times Stalin's name comes up is unbelievable.

Look, Stalin was a brutal dictator with no morality whatsoever. You could argue that he was "Fighting a war in the name of atheism" but that's not seeing the real picture.
The fact of the matter is that this guy had a vison of an ideal communist society and religion was an obstacle to his vision hence he did his best to remove it from Russian society.

@Tommycat

I'm afraid if you want to play the balance game there's much more going against religion then there is for it but I get your point.

Totenkopf
03-21-2011, 08:49 PM
No. now you've gone off the deep end. Since belief is all about... well beliefs, then you can tailor your beliefs how you want to. That's the whole point of the protestant movement(being able to believe something other than what the Catholic Church decrees). As for which one is correct, that's a crap shoot. But Christianity has gone through a reformation and has splintered into wholly different sects. It's more like the vegetarians who eat eggs, or fish. There are things that can be excepted(yes, not accepted) based on what your brand of Christianity believes. So really, one is not more Christian than the other.

Yeah, I pretty much concur. You tip your own hand, bart, by essentially condemning all of christianity (judaism and islam too apparently) as a bunch of gay hating murderers. :rolleyes: Btw, nothing blasphemous in in stating that God reserves the right to judge people in the end by His own will and not our claim to understanding it. I don't recall it written anywhere that people that never even heard of God or Jesus were going to go to hell.

Working Class Hero
03-21-2011, 11:25 PM
I don't follow these arguments at all. If "god" reserves the right to damn people to hell or allow them into heaven by ways we can't understand, why did he give us a supposedly holy book that describes exactly how to get into heaven?

I mean...why bother? If god is going to do what he wants regardless, why should we even try?

Primogen
03-22-2011, 12:54 AM
Because that's not how it works, it's just wishful thinking. Consider that Heaven is literally the Kingdom of God, and as it is a Kingdom ruled directly by God, are you really surprised he wants a pledge of loyalty from you before he's going to allow you in?

Totenkopf
03-22-2011, 09:33 AM
I don't follow these arguments at all. If "god" reserves the right to damn people to hell or allow them into heaven by ways we can't understand, why did he give us a supposedly holy book that describes exactly how to get into heaven?

I mean...why bother? If god is going to do what he wants regardless, why should we even try?

Not a whole lot different from having a death penalty for murder, but then leaving it up to a judge to decide if it will be applied in the end. The question doesn't seem to be one of punishment (which we arbitrarily visit upon ourselves), but rather of the severity and/or finality. If you look at the story of the people who wanted to stone the woman for adultery in the NT, Jesus tells them "let he w/o sin....". What is so hard to understand about a god who has rules, but is also willing to forgive. People do that too. Hell, how many grudges do people have b/c someone refused or just didn't bother to apologize for an offense..... As to following rules in general, why should we even hold ourselves to any human rules when they can change multiple times over the course of one's life or even by as simply as crossing into another's country. Just do what you want and try not to get caught. Anarchy ftw. :rolleyes:

Tommycat
03-22-2011, 10:37 AM
I'm afraid if you want to play the balance game there's much more going against religion then there is for it but I get your point.
Really? I don't think so. Keep in mind that when using the nebulous "religion" you also include the likes of Gandhi, as well as Mother Theresa. Then there are the local churches that feed the poor. How many of those people would have starved to death without them? Quite a few homeless shelters are run by religious groups. How many people have been saved by hospitals? How about the Red Cross/Red Crescent? Look at the things they have done. How many people would have drank themselves to death without Alchoholics Anonymous(yep a religious organization)? I still say religion comes out on top. And these examples are mostly from the Christian faith. There are other examples from Buddhism. Some of it is so ingrained into us that we forget that it's religious.

VeniVidiVicous
03-22-2011, 12:05 PM
Really? I don't think so. Keep in mind that when using the nebulous "religion" you also include the likes of Gandhi, as well as Mother Theresa. Then there are the local churches that feed the poor. How many of those people would have starved to death without them? Quite a few homeless shelters are run by religious groups. How many people have been saved by hospitals? How about the Red Cross/Red Crescent? Look at the things they have done. How many people would have drank themselves to death without Alchoholics Anonymous(yep a religious organization)? I still say religion comes out on top. And these examples are mostly from the Christian faith. There are other examples from Buddhism. Some of it is so ingrained into us that we forget that it's religious.

Keep in mind you have to also include Islam and Judaism as well as Christianity. Hitler was a roman-catholic as well btw.

"Okay so there are local churches that feed the poor," how about all the priests that have raped children? I mean when they were starting to look suspect in certain areas the vatican would just move them around so that they wouldn't get caught and they'd have to get involved. This of course just allowed these priests to rape children in different areas.

"How many people have been saved by hospitals?" Another fair point (even though in the modern day first world there's not as many religous hospitals as there are simply hospitals) but i'd counter this with how many people are dying in Africa as we speak due to disinformation by the catholic church. I mean a lot of these people in the third world who didn't get the same standard of education you and I did have been told that condoms are a crime against god. They've also been told that using a condom makes it more likely to get aids. On another note, what about doctors who happen to perform abortions? I mean plenty of them have been targetted in America for commiting a sin against god right?

"How many people would have drank themselves to death without Alchoholics Anonymous(yep a religious organization)?"
I know of quite a few people that turned away from AA for that very reason, they didn't want a holy joe trying to convert them.

Now this is before we get into all the religous wars but i'll leave that off for now, i'm looking foward to your reply, this a good discussion. :)

Wookiee Rrudolf
03-22-2011, 02:31 PM
Keep in mind that when using the nebulous "religion" you also include the likes of Gandhi, as well as Mother Theresa.
That's the problem. I mean "the nebulous religion".
We should be more concrete in discussion. The concept of religion is often idealized and so it has aspects that no real religion has. It's like composing puzzles from different sets. Placing aspects of different religions that are positive side by side and ignoring their negative aspects. It just can't give you the whole picture.

Then there are the local churches that feed the poor. How many of those people would have starved to death without them? Quite a few homeless shelters are run by religious groups. How many people have been saved by hospitals? How about the Red Cross/Red Crescent? Look at the things they have done. How many people would have drank themselves to death without Alchoholics Anonymous(yep a religious organization)?
When talking about the bad aspect of religions there are often examples given of single people who were good and religious or religious charity organizations. But the real question is would these people not help others if not for their belief? Would they not help if they were atheists or believed in other god/gods? Was the religion the real impulse for "do-gooders"?

Tommycat
03-22-2011, 03:08 PM
Keep in mind you have to also include Islam and Judaism as well as Christianity. Hitler was a roman-catholic as well btw.Yes, and Stalin was an Atheist. Both did their stuff for themselves not for a cause. Remember that that same church also kept many people SAFE during that terrible time. Nice bringing Islam into it. Are you saying that we should equate all Muslims with the terrorists? Then why oppose Gitmo?

"Okay so there are local churches that feed the poor," how about all the priests that have raped children? I mean when they were starting to look suspect in certain areas the vatican would just move them around so that they wouldn't get caught and they'd have to get involved. This of course just allowed these priests to rape children in different areas.
Same thing happens in schools. I don't see people condemning all public schools for the actions of a few teachers...

"How many people have been saved by hospitals?" Another fair point (even though in the modern day first world there's not as many religous hospitals as there are simply hospitals) but i'd counter this with how many people are dying in Africa as we speak due to disinformation by the catholic church. I mean a lot of these people in the third world who didn't get the same standard of education you and I did have been told that condoms are a crime against god. They've also been told that using a condom makes it more likely to get aids. On another note, what about doctors who happen to perform abortions? I mean plenty of them have been targetted in America for commiting a sin against god right?
Depends on your point of view. Some see the killing of the unborn as murder. Soooo I'm willing to call a draw on this even though the number of people killed by Christian attacks is significantly lower than the number of unborn were killed.
"How many people would have drank themselves to death without Alchoholics Anonymous(yep a religious organization)?"
I know of quite a few people that turned away from AA for that very reason, they didn't want a holy joe trying to convert them.
I know quite a few more who have gotten straight after going to AA. For obvious reasons I cannot name names(see the Anonymous part). But there's the combination of AA, NA, and OA that are helped by the groups.

Now this is before we get into all the religous wars but i'll leave that off for now, i'm looking foward to your reply, this a good discussion. :)
The largest wars are about power. Political wars, with "goals" of "religion" but in reality all about keeping or extending the power of those in charge. Religion is a passenger that they keep on just for some air of legitimacy among the masses.

That's the problem. I mean "the nebulous religion".
We should be more concrete in discussion. The concept of religion is often idealized and so it has aspects that no real religion has. It's like composing puzzles from different sets. Placing aspects of different religions that are positive side by side and ignoring their negative aspects. It just can't give you the whole picture.
Well the topic is attacking religion in general. So unless we narrow it down to specifically one religion which has only one sect, we're stuck speaking nebulously.

When talking about the bad aspect of religions there are often examples given of single people who were good and religious or religious charity organizations. But the real question is would these people not help others if not for their belief? Would they not help if they were atheists or believed in other god/gods? Was the religion the real impulse for "do-gooders"?
I have yet to see a single person doing good for atheists sake. Many of these people are encouraged to do good by their faiths. An atheist might do good. But the religious are encouraged by the groups to do the good deeds. Banding together as a group to do good.

Primogen
03-22-2011, 03:41 PM
The largest wars are about power. Political wars, with "goals" of "religion" but in reality all about keeping or extending the power of those in charge. Religion is a passenger that they keep on just for some air of legitimacy among the masses.

This. You look at history, and for a long time the Catholic Church was less a religious organization and more a political one. Wars like the Crusades on Eastern Europe and the Middle-East only used religion as a pretense, the real goal was conquest. Those wars and others like it would have taken place, whether they were being done openly as 'God's work' or as just the power-hungry ravings of a lunatic.

Wookiee Rrudolf
03-22-2011, 05:05 PM
Same thing happens in schools. I don't see people condemning all public schools for the actions of a few teachers... I wouldn't say so. If principal of school know about child abuse by one of teachers then it's hard time for this teacher - looses job (never again can work as teacher), goes to jail and is stigmatized for the rest of life. Now a priest is being transferred to another church. But you are right in one thing - it's not a matter of religion itself, rather than people connected to it.

Depends on your point of view. Some see the killing of the unborn as murder. Soooo I'm willing to call a draw on this even though the number of people killed by Christian attacks is significantly lower than the number of unborn were killed.
(Christian) God never had problems with killing children. Abraham was supposed to sacrifice his son. OK, he was stopped. But Jephthah wasn't and God was pleased with sacrifice of his daughter. Not enough? What about slaughter of children? I can't give you exact quote (I don't have English version of Bible) but in Book of Repeated Law (did I mistranslate?) there is a part where God tells to kill every living being if a city doesn't surrender (or kill only men, women and children becoming slaves this way if they do surrender).

Well the topic is attacking religion in general. So unless we narrow it down to specifically one religion which has only one sect, we're stuck speaking nebulously. What I meant was that flaws of one religion shouldn't be justified by another religion's quality in the same field.

I have yet to see a single person doing good for atheists sake. Many of these people are encouraged to do good by their faiths. An atheist might do good. But the religious are encouraged by the groups to do the good deeds. Banding together as a group to do good. I saw a statistic material about level of charity and crime-rate among atheists and religious people. Too bad I can't find it any more... (you can easily guess why I'm not happy that I can't find it)

EDIT: It's not it, but it's better than nothing:
http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-121066.0.html
http://atheism.about.com/b/2004/12/26/atheism-theism-and-violence.htm

Tommycat
03-22-2011, 06:14 PM
Ugh... those articles use supposition and a whole heck of a lot of apples and oranges comparisons. They fail to take into account other factors for crime. Such as the cultural ideals of Japan. Oh and countries with Sharia Law have the lowest crime. Does that mean we should all convert to Islam? NO, because religion/atheism is not why those nations are less violent. Correlation does not imply causation. The cause of crime has more to do with economics than faith. For example

Louisiana, with America's highest church attendance rate, has twice the national average murder rate.
The answer is simple. It also has a disproportionately poor population.

I mean Japan also has the highest suicide rate... Does that mean that Atheism leads to suicides? NO. Correlation does not imply causation.

Let me explain just how meaningless those statistics are with something else.
Japan has very few Black people. Louisiana has a much higher black population. Therefore the way to cut crime is to get blacks out of the neighborhoods. See how ridiculous that sounds when you just change it around a bit. It's still true, but it is bending the statistics to fit your need.

As for schools, that only happens when the situation hits the news. If you check the history of the teachers caught doing things, generally they have had at least another incident with another student. They may have even had to move to another state to avoid prosecution. Yet, there is not a condemnation of the school system as there is with religious leaders.

And God(the Christian one in this case) had specific reasons for the killing. And you missed the deaths of the first born... Again, though some were tests of faith. And you forgot about the story of Jonah. Where god commanded him to warn the people before his wrath fell on them, his refusal wreaked havoc on all around him until he did as he was told. Not to mention, that as of the New Testament, God seemed to become a bit more laid back and nice to everyone. He even offered up his only son to save those who could not keep from sinning.

If you want to be specific to a religion, you have to only condemn the one religion(or in the cases of modern religions, the specific sect... or in the case of WBC the specific church)

Wookiee Rrudolf
03-23-2011, 07:15 AM
Ugh... those articles use supposition and a whole heck of a lot of apples and oranges comparisons. They fail to take into account other factors for crime. Such as the cultural ideals of Japan.
No, they don't. There is comparison of atheists and religious people in one country. So the cultural aspect is out. Still there is much, much less atheists in prison than in general population.

Oh and countries with Sharia Law have the lowest crime. Does that mean we should all convert to Islam?
I fail to see it here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Homicide-world.png
Japan and Western Europe are still on top.

Correlation does not imply causation.
Yes, correlation is not always causation. But even when it isn't it can provide a bigger picture.
The cause of crime has more to do with economics than faith. For example
Louisiana, with America's highest church attendance rate, has twice the national average murder rate.

The answer is simple. It also has a disproportionately poor population.
Another interesting observation :) Is society becoming more atheist as it is getting more wealthy or is the wealth growing as percentage of atheists in society increases? I'd be very interested in some serious studies to check it.

I mean Japan also has the highest suicide rate... Does that mean that Atheism leads to suicides? NO. Correlation does not imply causation.
In this case we should consider if it's a cultural or religious cause for this. For example do atheists suicide (or attempt to suicide) more often than religious people? How does it look in other countries? I don't have any data on the subject :(

As for schools, that only happens when the situation hits the news. If you check the history of the teachers caught doing things, generally they have had at least another incident with another student. They may have even had to move to another state to avoid prosecution. Yet, there is not a condemnation of the school system as there is with religious leaders.
Yes, and the situation hits the news when it's discovered by the teacher's superior or anybody else. While when priest's superior finds out about child abusing he stays quiet and only moves him elsewhere.

And God(the Christian one in this case) had specific reasons for the killing.
Sure he does :) It's called rationalization.

And you missed the deaths of the first born... (...) And you forgot about the story of Jonah. Where god commanded him to warn the people before his wrath fell on them, his refusal wreaked havoc on all around him until he did as he was told.
If I were to quote every senseless act of violence in the name of God or commanded by him I'd have to quote half the Bible ;) I think that few examples of "Infinitely good God" doing or commanding something utterly evil should be enough for my point.

Again, though some were tests of faith.
A "test" you say? Why would God test anything? He's supposed to be omniscient. He should know the result from the beginning. Before the creation of the universe. Than why bother with testing? Well never mind. He has to have some reason otherwise it would be absurd. Wouldn't it? (I like rationalization a lot :) )

Not to mention, that as of the New Testament, God seemed to become a bit more laid back and nice to everyone. He even offered up his only son to save those who could not keep from sinning.
Yes, you're right. But why stop at New Testament. Apart from what's written in the Bible God is presented more and more "laid back" as you said and good-natured, forgiving etc. etc. as our society gets less violent, more humanised and, I'd say, civilized. (Yeah, sure correlation doesn't imply causation)
The death of Jesus... bloody sacrifice made by God to himself by himself to please his own anger caused by one act of disobedience that condemned thousands generations which had nothing to do with it. How nice of him... :thmbup1:

If you want to be specific to a religion, you have to only condemn the one religion(or in the cases of modern religions, the specific sect... or in the case of WBC the specific church)
What I dream of would be to rate every single one religion with simple equations.
Does religion A satisfies the inequality:
good done to society/humanity/world, positive aspects > bad done to society/humanity/world, negative aspects
if not, then remove it and take another religion into consideration. I think not one of the "great" religions would pass the test (well maybe Buddhism).

Primogen
03-23-2011, 07:27 AM
Yeah, because after Adam and Eve ate the apple, Humanity never did anything wrong ever again and were always good and righteous.

And I'd say Christianity -does- qualify there. But you seem to be holding religions to an interesting standard, saying that anything committed by someone who claims to be of a certain religion makes it that religion's fault, which is patently absurd. Yes, the Christian religion has been manipulated and abused by it's leaders, many, many times in the past. But there are two core Christian teachings.

1: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

2: Embrace Christ in both your heart and your actions.

If today, Beijing was nuked and millions died, and a group claimed responsibility saying it was the will of Buddha, would you blame Buddhism? I think we'd all say 'No, those guys are off their bloody gourd.' Or something of the kind. Evil doesn't need religion to exist.

Wookiee Rrudolf
03-23-2011, 08:04 AM
If today, Beijing was nuked and millions died, and a group claimed responsibility saying it was the will of Buddha, would you blame Buddhism? I think we'd all say 'No, those guys are off their bloody gourd.' Or something of the kind. Evil doesn't need religion to exist.

Does any of Buddhism sacred texts or teaching imply killing unfaithful or any other group? I don't know, but I don't think so.

Yeah, because after Adam and Eve ate the apple, Humanity never did anything wrong ever again and were always good and righteous.
What are you referring to? To Jesus crucifixion? God had other punishments for people doing wrong. Like the flood for whole humanity, nuking Sodom and Gomorrah for sins of it's citizens. I was raised to believe that Christ died for the original sin so that people can baptise and be purged of it. Either way human sacrifice to please a loving and forgiving God is absurd.

But you seem to be holding religions to an interesting standard, saying that anything committed by someone who claims to be of a certain religion makes it that religion's fault, which is patently absurd.
Anything committed in the name of particular religion or it's God is fault of that religion. Especially if it's religious texts and teachings imply to do so.

Yes, the Christian religion has been manipulated and abused by it's leaders, many, many times in the past. But there are two core Christian teachings.

1: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

2: Embrace Christ in both your heart and your actions.
These two "core" rules are only mask, a nice package to hide a real purpose of religion - control, power and totalitarianism in every aspect. Luckily modern people moved away from extreme rules and absurd commands and are happy with only facade that suits their world view.

Totenkopf
03-23-2011, 08:45 AM
These two "core" rules are only mask, a nice package to hide a real purpose of religion - control, power and totalitarianism in every aspect. Luckily modern people moved away from extreme rules and absurd commands and are happy with only facade that suits their world view.

Riiight, b/c man so needs religion to fall into the trap of wanting absolute control of those around him. :rolleyes:

Tommycat
03-23-2011, 11:02 AM
Interesting map Wookiee... Strange how the lowest crime in the US happens to be in Utah... Mormon country... Kinda throws a wrench in the whole religion as the catalyst argument don't ya think? When you look at facts to find what you want, while ignoring facts that DON'T show what you want, you tend to get inaccurate results. It also supports my argument as Saudi Arabia has a pretty low murder rate... Also, I thought Russia was predominantly Atheist... So your correlation shows an inaccurate causation as again, it's about economy and cultural differences all together.

And when speaking of the Japanese culture, you should really know the Japanese culture. There was relatively little crime in Japan even when they were very heavily into Shinto. So your source is essentially full of bovine fecal matter.

As for the "test" as it were: It wasn't to show Him that his faithful would follow his commands, but to show others... Not to mention, we have free will. See Jonah in the belly of the whale(or fish depending on the interpretation).

I speak to the New Testament, because that's when God had some sort of change of heart. He went from a vengeful wrathful god to a forgiving and loving god. As to why, that's not something I can answer because I think it's all a bunch of malarkey(maybe hell was getting some kind of overpopulation problem). But the Old Testament is about god before he decided to forgive. I mean we don't have to eat unleavened bread and we can eat pork. Things have changed from the old testament to the new. The reason he sacrificed his son was so that we would no longer have to sacrifice a lamb to appease God for our sins, hence why Jesus is known as the Lamb of God(someone didn't pay attention in their religion classes apparently).

Again, I tend to believe the good of Christianity tends to outweigh the bad done in it's name. YMMV

Sabretooth
03-23-2011, 12:02 PM
If today, Beijing was nuked and millions died, and a group claimed responsibility saying it was the will of Buddha, would you blame Buddhism?

Anything committed in the name of particular religion or it's God is fault of that religion.

~~~

These two "core" rules are only mask, a nice package to hide a real purpose of religion - control, power and totalitarianism in every aspect.
Look, can we please stop using Religion as a synonym for Christianity. It's really bugging me. I wanted to make a snarky comment about Jains being totalitarian, but it isn't even worth it.

mimartin
03-23-2011, 12:47 PM
Anything committed in the name of particular religion or it's God is fault of that religion. Especially if it's religious texts and teachings imply to do so.So does that apply to non-religion too? Are all Americans at fault because one American commits a crime? After all isn’t capitalism an American religion?

If you cannot tell I completely and utterly disagree with your baseless theory. All people are responsible for their own behavior. We should not blame religion, family or society for our own shortcomings. That is merely a copout.

Alexrd
03-23-2011, 12:50 PM
If you cannot tell I completely and utterly disagree with your baseless theory. All people are responsible for their own behavior. We should not blame religion, family or society for our own shortcomings. That is merely a copout.

This.

Tommycat
03-23-2011, 02:45 PM
Heh not to mention that the studies he references leave off the country with the lowest crime rate. Lichtenstein, which has a national religion... Roman Catholic to be precise. Sooo I guess we should all be Roman Catholic?

mimartin
03-23-2011, 02:52 PM
Sooo I guess we should all be Roman Catholic?
Well they can drink....but the birth control thing ruins that for me. One mimartin in this world is one too many.

Tommycat
03-23-2011, 04:55 PM
Well they can drink....but the birth control thing ruins that for me. One mimartin in this world is one too many.

Yes, but you can still use it, you just have to remember to confess it on Sunday like all the other Catholics do. You just have to build up your speed with saying "our father's" and "hail Mary's" lol

Primogen
03-23-2011, 05:48 PM
What's your point, Wookiee? Christian texts don't teach or imply killing or anything to other people. Christ teaches to love your enemy, and when he strikes you to turn the other cheek. But you don't have a problem blaming the religion for the actions of it's false followers, so why does Buddhism get a free pass? Because it's your personal philosophy?

Please.

Anyway, my understanding of the dichotomy between the Old Testament and the New Testament is that - The Father is not present in the New Testament openly, only the Son. You might say that the Father is the Judge of Humanity while Jesus is our advocate. You complain about how God is supposed to be loving, merciful, and forgiving, but is harsh to Humanity. You seem to be assuming that he's obligated to forgive those who have no contrition. I'd say he's pretty forgiving when literally all you have to do to be forgiven is admit your sins and ask them to be forgiven.

That said, we're getting a -wee- bit off topic here, I think.

Tommycat
03-23-2011, 06:42 PM
That said, we're getting a -wee- bit off topic here, I think.
Like how Charlie Sheen is a -wee- bit crazy?

Actually it's not too far off topic, as it shows that some people are so biased against religion that they believe teaching it at all is abuse(see how I brought it right back)...

Primogen
03-23-2011, 06:47 PM
Of course, by that logic teaching your child just about anything could be construed as abusive. Obviously, you can't ever display any sign of religious, political, or moral views in the presence of a child to prevent contaminating his/her mind.

Sabretooth
03-23-2011, 11:43 PM
Yesss.... uncontaminated minds... are the most luscious... yes...

Wookiee Rrudolf
03-24-2011, 11:24 AM
Uff... a lot of replies. I'll try to sort it out somehow...

1. Buddhism and nuking Beijing.
If there is any single quote of Buddha to his students that they should spread the religion and kill infidels and those who don't want to convert I'd find Buddhism responsible for such an attack. (@Primogen Buddhism is not my personal philosophy, I used it as an example because I don't know of any act of violence, religious war etc. connected to Buddhism, well I know about one or two but the Buddhists were never the attackers)

2. @Sbretooth
Look, can we please stop using Religion as a synonym for Christianity. It's really bugging me.
I'll try my best. It's just because I live in a Catholic country (some statistics say it has 98% Catholic...) so Christianity is religion I have most contact with. Besides in the quote you gave I meant not only Christianity but all religions.

3. @mimartin
Are all Americans at fault because one American commits a crime? (...) All people are responsible for their own behavior.
I don't blame a group for act of unit. I blame religions for acts of masses in the name of religions (not only Christianity). Also people in big groups tend to lose their identity as individuals and act literally like ants or sheep. Especially when these big groups are indoctrinated (or brainwashed if you like) with strict doctrines where group is the most important.

4.
Christian texts don't teach or imply killing or anything to other people. Christ teaches to love your enemy, and when he strikes you to turn the other cheek.
The problem is that there is a lot of contradictions. On one occasion there is plenty about loving your enemy on the other there is a lot about killing those who don't follow strict religious rules. Typical double-thinking. And double-thinking and applying double standards to people is not a good thing to teach children. The thing is you won't hear about it during Sunday mass

5. Change of God's heart in The New Testament
God is changing because progress of society requires it. As people got more civilized and less violent they described God as more civilized and less violent. The problem is that instead of using sacred texts as a fictional stories with moral and proof of how society evolved, people still teach children that it is literal truth and words of perfect God.
Also
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
there is no change of heart in the Bible. Only people look the other way.

JediMaster12
03-24-2011, 01:06 PM
The problem is that there is a lot of contradictions. On one occasion there is plenty about loving your enemy on the other there is a lot about killing those who don't follow strict religious rules. Typical double-thinking. And double-thinking and applying double standards to people is not a good thing to teach children. The thing is you won't hear about it during Sunday mass

Part of the reason that there are so many contradictions is that 1) The Council of Nicea practically excluded about 40 or generations of people and text from the Bible and 2) the writers of the books had an agenda in mind at least with some of the old Testament texts. The earliest known texts are written roughly around the time the Jews were prisoners of Babylon so reading between the lines, the writers were attempting to forge a history that had strenght in a time of crisis which in effect supported a patrilineal geneology and completely disregards females that were culturally important.

As to the topic, indocrination, as it means here is not child abuse. If you look at it from a cultural anthropological perspective, it makes sense to the point that like culture, religion is a series of values and beliefs that are shared and learned. If you want to argue that teaching is abuse then what about the skills that are taken for granted every day say like tying your shoe. You had to learn it from someone. Is that abuse? I think we are pulling hairs on this one.

mimartin
03-24-2011, 02:29 PM
I don't blame a group for act of unit. Except when you can lump everyone in a easily defined category such as religion.
I blame religions for acts of masses in the name of religions (not only Christianity). Again if I killed in the name of America you don’t blame America, but if I kill in the name of the great spaghetti monster, you blame my religion. That seems perfectly logical if you suspend all logic. :)

Also people in big groups tend to lose their identity as individuals and act literally like ants or sheep.Exactly what groups are we discussing here? I’ve been a part of a big group most of my life and I have never acted like ants nor sheep. Are you speaking less about mainstream religion and more towards the outer fringe bordering on cults? If so I could agree with you there, otherwise I believe you are using too broad of a brush.
Especially when these big groups are indoctrinated (or brainwashed if you like) with strict doctrines where group is the most important.Again without knowing what groups you are implying doing this, I have no real way to response. I could agree with you if you are speaking of certain fringe religious groups, but at least in America I have not seen cases of mainstream religious groups doing such in public churches and I have attended many different churches and different denomination both within the Christian community and outside of it. I have seen a mild form of this type of behavior in what I consider a fringe religion.


***why oh why am I posting in a religious thread***:(

Tommycat
03-24-2011, 04:47 PM
there is no change of heart in the Bible. Only people look the other way.
Actually, the quote was about the 10 commandments.

and strangely enough in the same chapter
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

And the previous verse was about turning the other cheek.
38“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’g 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Now who's picking and choosing what to believe? You picked a specific line from the text to support your position without context to show how Christianity didn't change, yet ignored the others that showed how it had.

JediMaster12
03-25-2011, 11:26 AM
Now who's picking and choosing what to believe? You picked a specific line from the text to support your position without context to show how Christianity didn't change, yet ignored the others that showed how it had.

It's part of debate by supporting the argument with facts. However, even I could say that there are things in the Bible that I don't agree with and many it is the Old Testament and my thoughts on that can be read in a previous post. For me I try to live by the Golden Rule of teating people how I want to be treated. Is that indocrination and abuse from childhood? Methinks not.

Wookiee Rrudolf
03-25-2011, 12:08 PM
@mimartin
Again... when you kill someone in the name of America or in the name of Spaghetti Monster you are just one madman. I can't blame whole nation or "Spaghetti Monsterians" for something like this.
BUT try to imagine a hypothetical America with more imperial approach. Children in classrooms are taught about their nation's supremacy over others, people live in xenophobia, always awaiting attack of "jealous foreigners". After years of indoctrination (rising from child to adult in such convictions would be indoctrination, wouldn't it?) national survey shows that over 95% of nation is for the use of nuclear weapon against their imaginary enemies and World War III starts. It's no longer one individual madmen. It's the whole sick system. And this situation is not so hypothetical as I'd like it to be. Things like this happened before religious wars started (but not only religious wars, Nazi Germany had similar system before WWII).

The most obvious brainwash tactic would be those preaching shows with hysterical responses from audience, people crying and rolling on the floor with convulsions. I don't know how to describe it better, I just hope you know what I mean. The thing is that mainstream religions may not be as spectacular but are using exactly the same mechanism.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PF6O9g6kYE (here's the type of preaching I mean - about 4 min., indoctrinating children is by the way)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whUWxJrPE2s (another child indoctrination just to stay on topic)

@Tommycat
Some very nice quotes. And here's another. Just after saying about healing the ill and some other nice stuff.
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man's enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Didn't I say about contradictions? I don't say that there is no do-good in the Bible or Christian philosophy. But just after it there is hate-speech. And you wouldn't teach a child about bits of different religions ("OK, the Christianity got it all wrong in this matter but Hindu has a good way to solve it. And that part that's wrong in Hindu? Come on, Taoism has the answer!"). I can bet that any religious person would teach one and only one religion straight from start to the end.

PS.Oh, so he meant The Ten Commandments (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkCJ8rb8Grw)?

mimartin
03-25-2011, 12:17 PM
Is that indocrination and abuse from childhood? Methinks not.I agree with your point by no means does it meet my definition of child abuse. However, if I am completely honest and look at the definition of indoctrination; to teach somebody a belief, doctrine, or ideology thoroughly and systematically, especially with the goal of discouraging independent thought or the acceptance of other opinions. Then I believe you can reasonability believe even teaching the golden rule as some form of indoctrination. I’m pretty sure “most parents” goal is not to stifle independent thought, but preparing children to enter society independently, parents will teach children their beliefs and ideology. However, that it is not a form of child abuse. Right or wrong that is a symptom of society.

I just fail to see how this is a religious only phenomenon. Couldn’t non-religious parents indoctrinate their children with their own ideology and biases?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PF6O9g6kYE (here's the type of preaching I mean - about 4 min., indoctrinating children is by the way)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whUWxJrPE2s (another child indoctrination just to stay on topic) I do not dispute that some religious people are idiots. I’m just stating that not all that believe in a maker are idiots. I’m a Christian, yet I do not dispute the FACT of evolution. Like I wrote before you are using too broad a brush.

Tommycat
03-25-2011, 05:35 PM
@Tommycat
Some very nice quotes. And here's another. Just after saying about healing the ill and some other nice stuff.

Didn't I say about contradictions? I don't say that there is no do-good in the Bible or Christian philosophy. But just after it there is hate-speech. And you wouldn't teach a child about bits of different religions ("OK, the Christianity got it all wrong in this matter but Hindu has a good way to solve it. And that part that's wrong in Hindu? Come on, Taoism has the answer!"). I can bet that any religious person would teach one and only one religion straight from start to the end.


That's nice... I never said that Christianity didn't have contradictions in it. And that isn't hate. It sounds a lot like "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" only an extrapolation of "no worshiping family above God." At least in the full context of the quote. It was specific to teaching others about Him. That those who did turn to Him would face hardship because they would not be following the faiths of their family.

And quite frankly, Christianity has already done a lot of borrowing from other cultures and religions. Christmas for example is darn close to the Winter Solstice(where as Christ was more likely born in the fall). Actually the date the Solstice was recognized on at the time Christianity started really getting a foot hold, was December 25th... If you also notice, there are very few fir trees in Bethlehem. Christianity has grown and evolved(if you'll excuse the metaphor) over the years. It has taken parts of other religions, and has so many different flavors, it could literally be the Baskin Robin's of religions.

PS.Oh, so he meant The Ten Commandments (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkCJ8rb8Grw)?
Sorry, I don't click video links. Please explain it.

JediMaster12
03-25-2011, 06:17 PM
@ mimartin: You are right in that parents will teach their ideology, what culture in general doesn't? The greatest gift of that is to be taught that you can think on your own and find things out for yourself.

@ Tommycat: Yeap Christianity has a nyriad of symbols that are as old as the ancient civilizations. Heck the Israelites that came out of Egypt had heavy influence from that civilization. The Christians at the time of the Apostles were WAY different than they are today.

Jae Onasi
03-26-2011, 06:23 PM
*Jae reads Wookiee RRudolf's comments. Jae notices striking similarities to Dawkins' works and other neo-atheism "OMG Religion is EVIL!!!!!!!111!!eleventy-one!!111!!" writers.*

*Jae notices WR's notable refusal to give credit to religion for positive things like hospitals, education, feeding and housing poor, supporting homeless shelters*

*Jae realizes WR has no interest in doing anything other than promoting his atheist agenda, and refers everyone actually interested in discussing it in any serious way to www.rzim.org, who counters this silly indoctrination argument better than anything else she can say.*

Working Class Hero
03-27-2011, 09:23 AM
*Jae notices WR's notable refusal to give credit to religion for positive things like hospitals, education, feeding and housing poor, supporting homeless shelters*If you really want to see indoctrination in action, volunteer at a religious homeless shelter. I did it a few times last year, and it's truly sad to see people be told that their problems are the fault of sins from thousands of years ago. :(

Primogen
03-27-2011, 09:28 AM
Yeah, eff those religions for not leaving their religion at the door of the building they're sheltering you in.

Jae Onasi
03-27-2011, 10:51 AM
If you really want to see indoctrination in action, volunteer at a religious homeless shelter. I did it a few times last year, and it's truly sad to see people be told that their problems are the fault of sins from thousands of years ago. :(

Uh, wrong.

I've been to two homeless shelters run by churches. Pacific Garden Missions in Chicago (one of the biggest and longest running ones), and the one our church helps run in cooperation with six other churches in the rest of the city during the summer when the number of homeless people is high enough that the city's homeless shelter is over capacity. Our church never tells people their problems are the fault of sins from thousands of years ago. We feed them and house them for the night, listen to them when they tell us their problems, give them practical advice on finding needed services if they want it, and go from there. You know what? A lot of times, the homeless ask US questions about God and Christ, first. Why? Because they're trying to meet their spiritual needs with alcohol and sometimes drugs, and they WANT to meet that need some other way. However, the church recognizes that basic physical needs have to be met first. Religion discussion is useless for someone who hasn't eaten or slept in 24 hours.

Pacific Garden missions does have a service between dinner and bed time, but it's optional to attend, and having listened to the services, I can tell you they don't say that kind of stuff, either.

Qui-Gon Glenn
03-27-2011, 12:21 PM
Uh, wrong.
Glenn notices that Jae thinks she can invalidate WCH's personal experience because hers is different :indif:

I have a post brewing on our other place of disagreement Ms. Jae, and I do not want to be repeatedly singling you out, but your last post denies WCH's experience in place of your own, ?superior? experience.

To me, that is just overly presumptuous, a little pompous, and no less biased than any other opinion out there. Your voice holds considerable weight here as you have that 'Super Moderator' label, so I would think you might be a little less heavy-handed saying that you know 'x' is wrong because of YOUR experience 'y'.

The answer to the question of the OP, is, uh, sometimes.

Samuel Dravis
03-27-2011, 02:13 PM
Qui-Gon, I don't think it's plausible that Jae meant it's impossible for WCH to have had that experience with a shelter. A more charitable interpretation is that she's just pointing out that it is wrong for WCH to generalize about what all shelters do or don't do based on the "few times" he spent volunteering. Which is, I think, the same thing you're advocating about her opinion.

Totenkopf
03-27-2011, 02:36 PM
@QGG---I'd tend to agree w/Sam. WCH wrote: "If you really want to see indoctrination in action, volunteer at a religious homeless shelter." He clearly set his example up as being illustrative of religious homeless shelters in general (or was sufficiently vague enough to forgive someone for coming to that conclusion).

Qui-Gon Glenn
03-27-2011, 02:48 PM
Fair enough, Sam and Totenkopf.

I was not claiming that Jae's experience was not valid, just that it was no more or less valid than anyone elses. Her wording was no less presumptuous than WCH's: I should have pointed that out equally in being potentially flawed.

In logic speak, "in all universes 'x' there exists a 'y'" for both of their observations. That invalidates neither, and certainly weakens the strength of both.

Totenkopf
03-27-2011, 03:02 PM
I'd agree that if either was actually saying that all did "x" or avoided doing "x", that you'd be spot on. Was somewhat under the (probably mistaken) impression that people who went to outfits like tha Salvation Army for assistance probably got hit w/some preaching, many of them accepting it as the "price" of relying on others help meet their basic needs (treating it like a form of background noise while focusing on eating their meal, whatever assistance they were receiving).

Qui-Gon Glenn
03-27-2011, 03:12 PM
^^^ Yes. I would agree with your impression, although I would not be speaking from experience. That puts me out of the voice of one who knows anything about the actual situation in such a place and time; I was simply pointing out that nobody KNOWS the real truth in ALL of these situations, as each case is different and therefore needs to be taken and dealt with on a case-by-case investigation.

My feathers are rumpled easily by grand assumptions, although I have certainly made a great many of them myself. I thank you for your criticism of my argument and that I have had a chance to clarify it.

This is a hot topic, there are strong feelings all the way around on any topic regarding religion. I have debated such things all of my life, and see no end in sight....

yet, "the unexplored life is not worth living". Any chance to quote that kooky Socrates....

Tommycat
03-27-2011, 08:26 PM
I look at it this way. When I needed to go to my parents for a loan, I had to listen to them blather on about my failings. In the end they did give me the loan, and the price of admission was listening to the rant. Most functions I have attended or helped out in that were put on by the church, were:
The needy show up.
We gave them food.
They usually said, "Thank you, and God bless"
I said, "You're welcome, and come back any time you need"
They left.

Now, it may have been that only the faithful thought about going to the church for help, but it seemed to me at least that the ones who came were the ones mentioning god. There was an optional prayer service that people could attend, but it was always off to the side. I'm sure there are some of those places that say that you must attend the service for the free food and clothing. Maybe it's because the functions I attended were from a church that truly did not mind if we did or did not get recognition. All we cared about was feeding those that needed it.

Are there any atheist groups that do this in the name of atheism?

Primogen
03-27-2011, 08:41 PM
Nobody does anything in the name of Atheism. Atheism isn't a belief system, it's just a belief. That's a bit of a weak argument. There are plenty of secular humanitarian organizations.

Quist
03-27-2011, 11:40 PM
Atheism is really a lack of belief. I find it incredibly silly when people categorize atheism as another belief system, equal to Christianity or Islam or Buddhism, etc, because it is completely improper to do so.

And yes, Primogen is correct. There are several secular humanitarian charities that do a lot of good around the world without promoting some hokey supernatural agenda along with their goodwill. You can give a starving child some bread and water without polluting their mind with ideas about a supernatural being who will judge them.

Totenkopf
03-28-2011, 12:43 AM
Atheism is a lack of belief in gods in general, but still a belief that none actually exist (ie they don't actually know it to be the case one way or the other). In that sense it is an incredibly simple "belief system".

And, while the whole charity as indoctrination thing has deviated from the OP, it might be interesting to get an actual statistic about how many said charities are actually "forcing" religion on the people they help, rather than merely speculating in an overly general way about all of them. On top of which....perhaps someone can explain how indoctrination is actually applicable in these cases, as I'm not aware of anyone being turned away from these charities b/c they choose not to except their views as a precondition to actually receiving any aid.

Qui-Gon Glenn
03-28-2011, 01:18 AM
Atheism is a lack of belief in gods in general, but still a belief that none actually exist (ie they don't actually know it to be the case one way or the other). In that sense it is an incredibly simple "belief system".

And, while the whole charity as indoctrination thing has deviated from the OP, it might be interesting to get an actual statistic about how many said charities are actually "forcing" religion on the people they help, rather than merely speculating in an overly general way about all of them. On top of which....perhaps someone can explain how indoctrination is actually applicable in these cases, as I'm not aware of anyone being turned away from these charities b/c they choose not to except their views as a precondition to actually receiving any aid.
Well said, and a good question raised.

It could be said that Atheism is not a belief system at all, rather the absence of belief.

As for the indoctrination part of it... I like to think that most shelters are similar to Edith Keeler's friendly home for wayward souls. A shame Kirk had to stop McCoy from saving her, but thus we have a future.

In that mythical Trek setting, the shelter was a warm and dry place that offered food and help to those less fortunate, as long as they followed the rules of the place. This jives with my admittedly limited experience in helping out the homeless and destitute. People get in line, are glad to get what they can, and behave themselves as best they know how because they are being treated like human beings, even if a little belief system is being thrown at them from signage on the walls or a brief sermon. I know that there are cases like WCH mentioned, but I think that those are a minority. That being said, they definitely exist, and cannot be thrown out as if ridiculous - it is not.

This question, "Is indoctrination of children child abuse?" has no definitive answer to the positive or negative, although the term "indoctrination" certainly has negative connotations, especially in light of many people on this forum being familiar with the word due to their playing of Mass Effect :p

Primogen
03-28-2011, 07:54 AM
Well, I would consider Atheism to be a belief - it's the belief that God's absolutely do not exist. The only 'belief system' that is really no belief at all would be agnosticism as I see it. Not saying Atheism is a religion, but it is a belief. It's just more akin to say, Pacifism or Egalitarianism than it is to Christianity or Judaism. It's really irrelevant whether you call it a belief or a lack of beliefs, you get the idea.

Also, Sovereign raising children is a -hilarious- mental image.

Qui-Gon Glenn
03-28-2011, 11:07 PM
Belief: See Merriam-Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/belief)
Atheism is not a belief. It may be wrong, but it is not based on any belief. It is usually reached by finding it unable to believe.

Not to duel in semantics, but belief and Epistemology in particular are my pet studies, and I think I can argue this point convincingly, although it may be overly scholastic in form.

Agnosticism is also not a belief, but is a more willingly open doubt. So I grant you that point.

I do not see how you can compare Atheism to Pacifism or Egalitarianism... perhaps you can express that more fully. They may be akin in some ways.

purifier
03-29-2011, 01:21 AM
Athesim can be considered as a belief, because atheists do believe in some things. Atheists, as well as materialists, skeptics, nearly all believe in some kind of superhuman power manifesting in the world of nature. You'll often hear this power called destiny, fate, luck, chance, or an act of nature from their perspective.

Of course athesim may not owe these beliefs unto any god or specific religious creed, but as I said before, athesim can be considered a belief because of the atheist belief in these particular things.

Primogen
03-29-2011, 02:51 AM
I have -never- heard a typical atheist express belief in 'Fate' or 'Destiny'. Luck is another word for Chance, and Chance is just random crap.

Anyway, I would say Atheism -is- a belief - any atheist is definitively -believing- that there is No God. An agnostic is someone without a belief, as they are uncertain, but an atheist firmly believes in the absolute nonexistence of deities.

At any rate, my perspective that atheism is more akin to pacifism and egalitarianism as opposed to Christianity or Judaism is that Pacifism and Egalitarianism are, like Atheism, beliefs but not belief systems, whereas Christianity and Judaism are belief systems.

Sabretooth
03-29-2011, 05:39 AM
Of course athesim may not owe these beliefs unto any god or specific religious creed, but as I said before, athesim can be considered a belief because of the atheist belief in these particular things.

The atheist is defined by his or her lack of belief in the existence of gods, that is absolutely all. Even if 'most' atheists believe in something, that particular belief does not change the definition of an atheist.

Totenkopf
03-29-2011, 10:44 AM
Belief: Definition of BELIEF
1: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
2: something believed; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group
3: conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence
(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/belief)


Atheism fits the second and third definitions of belief, b/c atheists believe (remember that absence of incontrovertible evidence for their position) the existence of God/gods is nothing but the thing of fables. They have come to the conclusion that they can find no evidence of said entities existence and thus believe none such exist. Still, this whole topic--despite how frequently it crops up in these forums--is tangential to the OP.

Tommycat
03-29-2011, 11:06 AM
Still, this whole topic--despite how frequently it crops up in these forums--is tangential to the OP.

Hi. Welcome to the internet. You must be new here :D

Still the topic was about religious indoctrination. It should be no surprise that a debate on the legitimacy of religion came up. I was trying to deflect it a bit, because the reality is that IF their religion is right, it may be more abusive NOT to teach it. I don't claim any religion is right or wrong, merely that should it prove to be then warning of foretold consequences should not be labeled as abusive any more than warning of global warming's possible consequences(which happens at the education institutions around the world) should be considered abuse.

mimartin
03-29-2011, 11:15 AM
I look at it like this... If I gave my child a candy bar, that would not be child abuse. However should I only give my child candy bars and nothing else to eat, then that could be considered child abuse. Nothing wrong with a candy bar once in awhile, the problem comes from excess. Do I consider teaching a child the values of the parents child abuse? Not normally for the average family, but that does not mean that when they take anything, including religion, to the extreme it is not child abuse.

Totenkopf
03-29-2011, 01:36 PM
Hi. Welcome to the internet. You must be new here :D

Still the topic was about religious indoctrination. It should be no surprise that a debate on the legitimacy of religion came up. I was trying to deflect it a bit, because the reality is that IF their religion is right, it may be more abusive NOT to teach it. I don't claim any religion is right or wrong, merely that should it prove to be then warning of foretold consequences should not be labeled as abusive any more than warning of global warming's possible consequences(which happens at the education institutions around the world) should be considered abuse.

Hi. Thanks for that friendly and sincere welcome, TC. :xp:

Seriously, I just sensed we were looking to get bogged down...yet again...in the perenial age old LF spat about the existence of god, hence why I said tangential. ;)

Jaevyn
04-07-2011, 06:50 AM
Peace? You do realise that there have been many wars started in the past over which religion was praising God the right way right?
When you say positive moral values which bible are you referring to? If (for example) you think what the old testament was proposing was good moral values then i'd strongly disagree. But I keep forgetting that the church can review their "Papal infallibility" and change their views to keep up with society whenever it suits them.

@ Topic: Yes, it is child abuse. If you're religious the decent thing to do would be to not poison your childs mind.

Are you aware that many wars were started by ambitious individuals who cared little for religion, and used it merely as an excuse to get what they wanted? And what is this about warning children about hell being child abuse? If I remember, a few years ago I was taught about the supposed "stranger danger", is that child abuse too?

Sabretooth
04-07-2011, 10:44 AM
And what is this about warning children about hell being child abuse? If I remember, a few years ago I was taught about the supposed "stranger danger", is that child abuse too?

It can be scientifically proven that the number of strangers you talk to as a child has a direct correlation with your chances of getting abducted and sold off into the flesh trade, or worse. Hell, not so much.

Tyvark
07-09-2012, 06:00 AM
I have no problem with children growing up with religion.(Apart from baptism at birth). When people enter the adolescent stage of their lives they begin to think more critically about these sorts of things anyway. Some turn it away and some stick by it. It makes no difference in my eyes.

Q
07-09-2012, 07:30 AM
It most certainly makes a difference if the child is sent to a religious indoctrination center that is thinly disguised as a psychiatric facility and deliberately brainwashed into questioning their own sanity simply because they've begun to doubt the existence of the almighty sky fairy. :carms:

TWINKEYRUNAWAY
08-02-2012, 03:34 PM
Our wonderful civil dispute is forfeit. Well no use into getting on the bad sad of others right? Peace is now, may forever be.