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Why are children in the Abrahamic faiths initiated into the religion before they can make an informed choice?


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Showing 1-25 of 119 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Aug 2014 15:18:49 BDT
Spin says:
Myself and my wife decided not to 'Baptise' our kids, preferring to let them, in later life, after the experience of life, decide for themselves...Surely all religious initiation should be a matter of informed choice.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 13:53:06 BDT
That is the anabaptist viewpoint also and all denominations that follow that line of reasoning.

Of course making an informed choice implies at the very least exposure to more than one way of looking at the world.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 14:25:07 BDT
Snowyflake says:
Yes that's true, WD. You can view the world and make conclusions based on evidence and live your life based on that evidence or you can believe in fantasy and fiction because it makes you feel better when you know that one day you are going to die. On the one hand you have knowledge that is observable or deductible and on the other hand you have a comfy blanket called religion. :)

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 14:37:32 BDT
Spin says:
WD: Indeed. But impartiality and objectivity are not generally displayed by parents, be they theist or atheist. When it comes to politics and religion I have always explained all 'sides if the story' to my kids. One cannot educate a child by promoting one view to the exclusion of others. The problem is that a parents views are promoted unintentionally upon the birth of the child resulting in the child being conditioned to a certain way of reasoning even before it has the ability to question such reasoning. To eliminate such conditioning it is necessary to inform ones child of all the views and lifestyles it may not be aware of even if one opposes those lifestyles and beliefs. Only by explaining both sides of an argument can a parent hope to explain why he/she personally objects to one or the other. Just as I teach my kids not to discriminate against other people, so I taught them not to discriminate against other beliefs or ideologies. If any of mu kids decide to convert to a religious belief or faith, I will not oppose their decision because I know that myself and my wife have ensured that they have made an informed choice.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 14:47:58 BDT
Snowyflake says:
When it comes to politics and religion I have always explained all 'sides if the story' to my kids.

I doubt this since you likely don't know all sides to a situation so unintentionally place your own viewpoint on it no matter how impartial you may attempt to be. And the evidence of your posts indicate that you are regularly grossly misinformed in any case so I can only imagine what kind of knowledge your children have gained from you.

Things are real or they are not. It is commendable that you attempt to show 'all sides' even if you 'object' to things but when it comes to religion, the belief systems in place are rightfully questioned and challenged. If someone chooses to believe in it, it is their choice, but for those that don't believe in it, they have a right to question it when it is shoved in their faces from all aspects of society.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 14:59:47 BDT
I'm not sure why you put a smiley face at the end is it because you are characaturing the religious beliefs and know it or is it becuase you think it funny?

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 15:07:55 BDT
Snowyflake says:
I think you're funny WD :)

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 15:11:27 BDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 15:23:07 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 5 Aug 2014 15:23:29 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 15:27:57 BDT
Spin says:
WS; Have you ever encountered a very young child who is as fanatical about a football team as his Dad is? That child is simply following his Dad, doing as his Dad does. There is no informed choice involved. The same thing occurs in terms of morality, politics, religion, culture etc. But these things are not as apparant to the parent or to observers because they are a subtle, not blatant like fanaticism of any kind. Any child, at an early age, who agrees with his/her parents has been conditioned, not educated. My kids disagree with me on a number of issues, but only because I made sure they had both sides of the argument, even if one side was not 'popular', part of the current 'trend' or indeed something they may not agree with. There are many aspects in life one might disagree with or object to, but one cannot formulate an opposition if one has no idea what it is one is opposing...

Posted on 5 Aug 2014 15:48:37 BDT
Spin says:
If this world is to develop into a peaceful, liveable place then we must stop conditioning our youth in the beliefs and lifestyles that are currently causing conflict locally, nationally and internationally. It seems however, from the experiences of WWI and II that only all-out war and destruction can result in such a radical change of beliefs...It is only when we lose our generation of youth that we realise the mistakes we made in educating them...

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 15:55:08 BDT
But a very young child fanatical about a particular football team might switch allegience based on (for example) peer pressure - which does not make their allegience any more informed.

It is only when that child reaches an age where they can reason for themselves (which varies from child to child) that they could possibly be said to have made an informed choice.

I also have to disagree with your "Any child, at an early age, who agrees with his/her parents has been conditioned, not educated." since it implies that the parents are necessarily wrong in their views.

I have rejected my parents political views and religious views, though I appreciate both of them. I have rejected my dad's taste for football or any sports for that matter, except snooker.

On the other hand there are many kinds of things that I have not rejected that my parents taught me, including the ability to think for myself, does that make me conditioned (as you imply) or educated (as I imply)?

Posted on 5 Aug 2014 16:02:25 BDT
Dr HotFXMan says:
I drop into the forum after months of not reading it and what do I discover? Spin talking sense!!!!

Wonder of wonders.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 16:18:44 BDT
Spin says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 5 Aug 2014 16:21:34 BDT
Dr HotFXMan says:
However, as I read further, I see W. D. Burchell still making himself look foolish at every opportunity - so not everything has changed.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 17:29:09 BDT
Spin,

the alternative to the conditioning you are suggesting however seems daft, e.g.

Father to Son: "You can't support Liverpool as that is MY team and if you support it you are just following what I do and not thinking for yourself"

I don't believe that we should be be trying to avoid this kind of conditioning. What we should be doing is providing the tools for children to break out of it and make their own decision, even if it were the same as their parents. What we cannot do is automatically assume that if they hold the same views as their parents it is because they have been conditioned to.

You also have the problem I mentioned earlier with parents who may not be intelligent/educated/motivated enough to ensure their kids are informed of both sides (this in itself assumes only two options, which may be limited as in the case of football teams).

And even if a child becoming an adult makes different choices it doesn't make their choice right: a child might be brought up to understand that all life is sacred - does breaking their conditioning become a good thing when they go on a killing spree?

Surely in the end this is the whole purpose of schools. I was talking to a teacher at the weekend who had been trying to point out to some of her students the differences in lifestyle in other parts of the world or even within our own history that makes things that they take for granted and easily dispose of, so valuable to somebody else. She struggled because unless you go and actually experience the depravity first hand (as she has done) or research it (as I have done) it is difficult to understand why someone lives their life differently.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 17:30:30 BDT
Since you have changed your name, I have no idea who you are.

Rather than actually calling me names, perhaps you'd like to point out what you think was making me look foolish?

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 18:28:04 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Aug 2014 21:49:18 BDT
Spin says:
Anything the forum mafia do not understand they consider to be 'foolish'... For some, quite a few in fact, these threads are not for the purpose of 'conversation', but for the purpose of their own personal entertainment...

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 21:18:29 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Aug 2014 21:20:09 BDT
Dr HotFXMan says:
I didn't call you any names - I said you were making yourself look foolish. I am referring to a discussion I randomly dropped into in which you were evidently attempting to support the idea that the Biblical Flood was a historical event. I think the actual comment you made was that having two domestic cats on the ark would be sufficient for the post-flood re-population of every member of the cat family (lions, tigers, leopards etc. etc).

Knowing you as I do from your years of posting here, I have little hope that such an inane comment was tongue-in-cheek.

As for who I am. It isn't difficult for you to work it out.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 21:45:58 BDT
Withnail says:
Voting for yourself? Kind of lacking in self worth Jack?

Posted on 5 Aug 2014 21:51:02 BDT
Spin says:
Jeez, you guys really do not give a s***, do you?

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 21:57:41 BDT
Dr HotFXMan says:
Sorry, Withnail, you've lost me. And who is Jack?

Posted on 5 Aug 2014 22:03:48 BDT
An unpopular ex-poster here with a short fuse, obsessive character, and multiple user accounts. Gets his kicks by stacking up neg votes on whoever he's currently fixated on.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 22:04:03 BDT
Anita says:
What makes you think it's Jack? I half remember this person posting as Ian Mac-something, my apologies, I honestly don't remember better than that, my memory doesn't keep all the names of posters I haven't even talked to.

And what the heck of difference does it make?

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2014 22:05:00 BDT
Withnail says:
I might be wrong, but there is somebody playing silly games at the minute.
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  13
Total posts:  119
Initial post:  2 Aug 2014
Latest post:  10 Aug 2014

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