Important Announcement

See here for an important message regarding the community which has become a read-only site as of October 31.

 
Post Reply
Page 1 of 34  •  1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 34 Next
Switch to Forum Live View Is Teaching Religion Child Abuse?
4 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2013 - 2:33AM #1
JCarlin
Posts: 8,225

Dec 20, 2013 -- 9:58PM, teilhard wrote:


The "New Atheists" (e.g., Rick Dawkins) contend that "teaching Religion to Children" is actually a Form of CHILD ABUSE, and should be illegal ... !!! Children should decide for themselves when they come of Age at, say, 18 or so, right ... ???


So ... How and why COULD "Atheist" Parents properly teach their Children ANYTHING about "The 'God' Question" ... ???


Very easily.  I was brought up as an atheist, not taught it, it never came up in conversations at home.  When I noticed a good friend went to Sunday School I asked my parents about it and they said go and find out.  He asked his parents if I could go and they said sure.  I lasted about a month give or take a week, when I was asked to leave for asking disruptive questions.  I learned from that experience and just listened after that when I went to Sunday School and Church with friends.  I started singing religious music as a Freshman in High School and had to study the Mass and the common prayers to learn how to sing them.  Which is why I know more about Catholicism than most Catholics.  None of the above made any real difference except to make me a more thoughtful atheist.   


By the way Dr. Dawkins does contend that teaching religion to children and tacking a religious label on them is abuse, but he did not advocate making it illegal.  He just condemned it and tried to educate people that they shouldn't do it.  Personally I thought that was a dumb hobby horse.   Intelligent children make their own choices in their teens particularly if they go away to college.  Those that can't see beyond the dogma probably are better off in the church perambulator.  Somebody has to think for them. 


J'Carlin
If the shoe doesn't fit, don't cram your foot in it and complain.
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2013 - 6:07AM #2
Blü
Posts: 26,191

JCarlin


Intelligent children make their own choices in their teens particularly if they go away to college.


And it doesn't hurt to teach them to understand by asking questions and considering answers from as soon as they can handle it - say ten to twelve.

Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2013 - 6:15AM #3
Blü
Posts: 26,191

teilhard


So ... How and why COULD "Atheist" Parents properly teach their Children ANYTHING about "The 'God' Question" ... ???


To my observation, most atheist parents raise their children to be moral, thoughtful and interrogative.


But to my further observation children whose religious education is liberal and inclusive tend to turn out just fine anyway.


The problem, as ever, tends to be the fundies and the rigidity, judgmentalism and exclusion that their fears and uncertainties generate.


Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2013 - 6:43AM #4
JCarlin
Posts: 8,225

UUs, a non-dogmatic religion, think it is important that their children are exposed to other religious traditions.  They have a two year curriculum entitled "The Church Across the Street."  About once a month they visit a local church, attending Sunday School and then come back and discuss what they learned.  I enjoyed teaching the curriculum and found it valuable and interesting for the kids.  And good continuing education for me.   

J'Carlin
If the shoe doesn't fit, don't cram your foot in it and complain.
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2013 - 6:43AM #5
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,839

Dec 22, 2013 -- 6:07AM, Blü wrote:


JCarlin


Intelligent children make their own choices in their teens particularly if they go away to college.


And it doesn't hurt to teach them to understand by asking questions and considering answers from as soon as they can handle it - say ten to twelve.




My father's hardcore Catholic relatives blamed my getting into debate as a high school freshman and "thinking too much" for why I asked too many disconcerting questions. They were wrong, although the critical thinking I learned in debate furthered a process of questioning anything that didn't make sense to me begun by my mother when I was much younger. 


The irony of that is that once my parents figured out that I never went to Mass once when away at college, it was Mom who was vehement in applying guilt trips as well as threats.  


Didn't work but eventually led me to tell them that as an adult I was going to believe and do as I liked, which was none of their business. It was a rocky and uncomfortable road to that point, something no parent should do to a child they profess to love. But then, that's what an essentially fundamentalist mindset will produce. In such circumstances, religious coercion can indeed constitute abuse, IMO. 

Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2013 - 10:28AM #6
JCarlin
Posts: 8,225

Dec 22, 2013 -- 6:43AM, DotNotInOz wrote:

Dec 22, 2013 -- 6:07AM, Blü wrote:

JCarlin


Intelligent children make their own choices in their teens particularly if they go away to college.


And it doesn't hurt to teach them to understand by asking questions and considering answers from as soon as they can handle it - say ten to twelve.


My father's hardcore Catholic relatives blamed my getting into debate as a high school freshman and "thinking too much" for why I asked too many disconcerting questions.


Those disconcerting questions must be answered by someone with good answers if the child is going remain Catholic.  There are good answers out there, some Catholic schools seem to be able to handle them.  A good friend was given Aquinas and told all answers are there.  She read the whole damned thing and is one of the best defenders of Catholicism I know.  She ended up as a single corporate lawyer.  And could even defend those choices. 

J'Carlin
If the shoe doesn't fit, don't cram your foot in it and complain.
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2013 - 10:46AM #7
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,839
Oh, I agree that it's possible to defend Catholic doctrines with relevant backing. I'm just not so sure that doing so can be reconciled with contemporary attitudes on the hot button issues.

Probably I'm incapable of seeing how anyone sincerely can remain a staunch defender of Catholicism because it seems dishonest to me to think that birth control, abortion, etc. can be reconciled at all with the dogma on the hot button issues. Sure, a Catholic can think, analyze and argue as the Jesuit-run schools have long encouraged, but to consider oneself a good Catholic although divorced and remarried without an official annulment, using contraception and supporting reproductive choice as John Kerry did? I don't think so.
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2013 - 1:23PM #8
ctcss
Posts: 693

Dec 22, 2013 -- 10:28AM, JCarlin wrote:

Those disconcerting questions must be answered by someone with good answers if the child is going remain ...



Amen to that! As a Sunday School teacher, I have often been dismayed by the various experiences that some people have related as to how and what they were taught. If religious instructors aren't going to spend time honestly delving into the tougher questions that exist, they really shouldn't be attempting to teach at all. I still remember reading Carl Sagan's "Contact" and being dismayed by the lame Sunday School experience of Ellie Arroway (who I assume was standing in for Carl). Even if a young person decides that religion isn't for them, they should at least go away realizing that there is more to religious belief and practice than the merely superficial, ritualistic, or dogmatic aspects that often get passed off for the actual deep subject area that it should be known as.


Dawkins, I feel, is clueless when it comes to religious instruction. He only seems to view the subject as something evil, which, to me, says he really doesn't know anything other than the negative side of things. There is more than one side of the story out there.

Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2013 - 2:28PM #9
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,839
"The actual deep subject area"? What does that mean?
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2013 - 2:51PM #10
christine3
Posts: 9,274

Dec 22, 2013 -- 1:23PM, ctcss wrote:


Dawkins, I feel, is clueless when it comes to religious instruction. He only seems to view the subject as something evil, which, to me, says he really doesn't know anything other than the negative side of things. There is more than one side of the story out there.




Dawkins is fine for now.  He's on the right track, i.e., that religion has nothing to offer that secular schools of thought can't deliver as far as morals or ethics.


The two big points that religion claims to have the corner on, are healing and prophesy, or the promise thereof.  As far as getting to those really deep issues which religions lead others to believe they have the methods for achieving, religion only gives lip service.  I don't agree with you that religion has any kind of answers that secular instruction cannot tackle.  No IMO, if you profess that there is more than one side of the story, religion doesn't have it.


Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 1 of 34  •  1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 34 Next
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook