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A bit young for religion?

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posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:04 AM
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It is entirely possible to teach a child right from wrong, and how to be a good person without teaching them about religion. My son is four, has never set foot in a church, and yet he knows that he shouldn't be mean to other people, and he knows that he shouldn't lie. He knows right from wrong without the aid of a book or religion. My husband and I have very different ideas about religion, but we have agreed to wait until he's old enough to understand and think for himself before teaching him about any of them. If he ever asks questions, I'll tell him what I know. But for right now, he is too young to understand in my opinion.

I grew up in a hypocritical Christian home. Church every Sunday, but do whatever you want during the week. Once I got old enough to question what I was being taught and didn't believe everything they said unquestioningly I very quickly stopped going. As a child I didn't understand why God would love me no matter what I did, as long as I asked for forgiveness and got baptized, but someone who didn't believe in my God could be a good person but by merely not believing in him and being baptized would go to hell. Yes, I was taught this.

Personally, I think the world would be much better off if parents just taught their children how to be a good person and didn't try to rely on church to do it for them, or blame the rest of society when their kid doesn't turn out to be a decent moral human being. If you are teaching them right from wrong at home, you don't need a book and threats of hell to get them to behave.




posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:10 AM
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Originally posted by Corum

Originally posted by theindependentjournal
Interesting concept, I would like to ask the original Poster if they feel the same abut the theory of evolyution. It is taught from kindergarden on and I am wondering if you would agree that it too should be withheld until a chil can think reasonably like you said?




That's an unreasonable comparison in that the theory of evolution has a minimal impact upon society, where as religion's impact is huge.


Yes, religion's impact is huge, and good....

It tells us:

don't kill
don't steal
don't lie
forgive others
help others
do not judge others

Tell me....where is the harm in eating some bread, drinking some wine, kneeling while praying to a statue, singing while holding hands, eating fish on friday, confessing your sins once a month, etc, when this comes along with the messages listed above?

How is observing these simple traditions and rituals damaging to a child or anyone else?

I say all this as a bad Catholic who goes to church only on Easter and for baptisms, and never recites prayers out loud, never sings, never takes communion. Doing, or not doing these things is my choice, just as it will be the choice of any child who grows into adult hood.

Where's the harm? The positive messages promoted by all religions far outwiegh the feelings of uneasiness brought on by some of the traditions and practices IMO.




[edit on 7/27/2007 by darkbluesky]



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:17 AM
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Maybe it's just me, but there's harm in teaching them that they have to pray to statues, sing certain songs, take communion, and confess in order to be right with God. Why do they have to do that? Can't they just not lie, kill, or steal, and just be a good person?



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:35 AM
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Here's my take on organized religion. It's a mechanism to govern and temper cultural behaivior. As I said earlier, I identify myself as a Catholic. I was brought up as a catholic, religious ed, confirmation, etc.

Here's the shocker...I don't believe in the God the Church worships. An ever present supreme being who listens to all our prayers, judges us by our deeds, and grants us admission into paradise or dispatches us to hell. I don't know many rational thinking, educated adults who do.

But I still like The Church, and think it serves a purpose.



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:36 AM
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Originally posted by darkbluesky


Yes, religion's impact is huge, and good....

It tells us:

don't kill
don't steal
don't lie
forgive others
help others
do not judge others

Tell me....where is the harm in eating some bread, drinking some wine, kneeling while praying to a statue, singing while holding hands, eating fish on friday, confessing your sins once a month, etc, when this comes along with the messages listed above?



it also talks about revenge and killing and other things like that..
sure, the bible says those things but you do NOT HAVE TO read the bible or be religious to have those morals or teach those morals to your kid....they are NOT exclusive to religion...

as far as where is the harm argument? first, thats not all that goes on...what if you child does not want to go do all that crap? gonna make him?

i will go on record as saying the harm in doing it is flat out lying to your kids....none of that stuff will matter....

i agree with the above poster too.

the religious folk i see are really only religious on sunday morning, easter, and christmas....

you know, go to church and eat bread and drink wine on sunday, and then come home and knock the wife and kid around and discriminate against homosexuals........way to go religion!!!!!!



the funniest one in your list though is the 'do not judge others'

bwuahahahaahahahahahahahah.....religious folk NEVER do that do they?


never been any killing, stealing, or judging by the religious folk huh?



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:38 AM
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Originally posted by Jenna
Maybe it's just me, but there's harm in teaching them that they have to pray to statues, sing certain songs, take communion, and confess in order to be right with God. Why do they have to do that? Can't they just not lie, kill, or steal, and just be a good person?


exactly....the whole church angle with the bread and the commandments and such is just the fear tactic.....
sure, they sing in church but they also learn about *gasp* HELL

the kids also learn that if they are homosexual or they sin they are going to go to *gasp* the hot place with the brimstone......

everyone has their own set of morals and they do not have to come from the bible.....in my experience, some of the most, vile, immoral people are bible pushers/religious folk......



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:44 AM
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Originally posted by Boondock78the funniest one in your list though is the 'do not judge others'

bwuahahahaahahahahahahahah.....religious folk NEVER do that do they?


never been any killing, stealing, or judging by the religious folk huh?



Of course, some people (religious and non-religious) do all these things, many do some of these things, but most people rarely or never do any of them. Why? Because they were taught by the church or by their parents who were taught by the church or their parents, etc. Some parents will teach these things, some will not, but the church always will.

Your argumment seems to be that religion is hypocritical. Maybe so, but it's message and mission are good IMO.



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by darkbluesky
Yeah great idea...don't do anything to instill the moral concepts of truth, compassion, respect, fairness, forgiveness, right and wrong, until a child is 10.

That rotten bible....sheesh!


So, we need the bible to teach us these things? We are not intelligent enough to know these things without the bible? Those darn untruthful, imcompassionate, unrespectful, unfair, unforgiving, wrong doers called Hindus. Man I wish they'd just read the bible so that they could learn how to behave in a society.



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:50 AM
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Originally posted by darkbluesky
Because they were taught by the church or by their parents who were taught by the church or their parents, etc. Some parents will teach these things, some will not, but the church always will.

Your argumment seems to be that religion is hypocritical. Maybe so, but it's message and mission are good IMO.


OR their parents...OR their parents....

you DO NOT need the bible/religion to be tought those things....

imo, it's message and mission is crap....we are both equally entitled to our opinion yes?
thank you



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:55 AM
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Originally posted by Griff
So, we need the bible to teach us these things? We are not intelligent enough to know these things without the bible? Those darn untruthful, imcompassionate, unrespectful, unfair, unforgiving, wrong doers called Hindus. Man I wish they'd just read the bible so that they could learn how to behave in a society.


Griff, That's unfair. I never said, or intimated that those moral concepts were the sole property of the Bible or Christians. I simply used the bible reference because

a) The OP identified it becuase he/she seems to have a distaste especially for Christianity vs. religion in general, and

b) I'm Catholic and used my religion's operating manual as the example.

I'm fully aware that all the worlds major religions are based on the same concepts of compassion, respect, forgiveness, etc. and assumed everyone else here did as well.

[edit on 7/27/2007 by darkbluesky]



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 11:26 AM
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Our morals come from our biology. Period. We are social animals. Our "morality" has developed from before we were human and developed religion, in order for us to live in social groupings.

Religion has taken credit for morality, but it is not the originator of it, nor is it the only way to be moral.

I am an atheist. I am more moral than most of the Christians I know, though I prefer the term "ethics" because "morality" has been besmirched, IMO, by religion's taking credit for it.

We have morals because we have emotions and the ability to think about how someone or some other animal would feel if we did something to it, and then apply the understanding to our actions.

Religion has nothing to do with it, other than taking credit where none is due.

Animals can be altruistic and they don't have god.

We don't need church to be good people. In fact, many of the churchiest people I know are the biggest hypocrites, being liars, cheaters and thieves, all of which I am not, even without a belief in a higher power.

Spare me the BS that we only have morals because we have religion because it's not true. It's like when I clean the bathroom and my four year old takes credit for it because she hung up her towel.



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Religion has taken credit for morality, but it is not the originator of it, nor is it the only way to be moral.


I agree with that point, although I think this is rather specific to "Christianity". There are plenty of religions that pre date christianity and promote good morals, they don't claim they invented the morals, rather that people would lead a happier and more peaceful life if they try to be the best person they can be.


Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
We don't need church to be good people. In fact, many of the churchiest people I know are the biggest hypocrites, being liars, cheaters and thieves, all of which I am not, even without a belief in a higher power.


To be honest I don't care if someone is an Atheist, Agnostic or Religious. If they are a good, kind, honest person then they're alright by me. But I admit that I've never actually sat down and considered if I am morally "superior" to a Churchgoing Christian or whoever. Seems a bit of a strange thing to think about really.



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 12:12 PM
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Originally posted by darkbluesky
Griff, That's unfair.


Sorry for the sarcasm. I jumped the gun before I read your other posts and then went to lunch before I could read them.



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 12:50 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Our morals come from our biology. Period. We are social animals. Our "morality" has developed from before we were human and developed religion, in order for us to live in social groupings.

that always gets left out though...people have developed their own morals through the ages..religion has developed their own and decided that the world over should live by them....i don't subscribe to this myself.....


I am an atheist. I am more moral than most of the Christians I know, though I prefer the term "ethics" because "morality" has been besmirched, IMO, by religion's taking credit for it.

personally, i don't too much think about who is more moral, who has this or that....i live MY life by MY own set of morals....of course i think it's wrong to kill. i don't fel that way cause the bible says so though..i make my choices and i deal with the consequences or lack of....does this person think it is morally wrong to smoke grass? don't care...for me, it's morally fine....see what i mean..EVERYONE has a different set of values. i damn sure am not going to follow the specific set laid down by some work of fiction....


We have morals because we have emotions and the ability to think about how someone or some other animal would feel if we did something to it, and then apply the understanding to our actions.

yeah, it all goes back to the discovering fire, being able to eat meat and digest it which gave us the protein we needed to grow these large, fantastic brains we have....

We don't need church to be good people. In fact, many of the churchiest people I know are the biggest hypocrites, being liars, cheaters and thieves, all of which I am not, even without a belief in a higher power.

totally agreed with the above....everyone out here in reality land knows that the churchies are not all high and mighty, holier than thou like they try to come...just the way it is..they break laws, speed, yell at their wives, hit their kids, etc etc.....thats what i have personally witnessed in my life





to be fair, in my whole life i have met ONE lady who i think is a 'true christian' or whatever the term of the day is.
she is the sec for my pain doc and we got to talking and kind of made friends. she invited my wife and i out to eat with her and her hubby and we went. i went to her house and hooked up a wireless network for them...i am covered in tattoos and she didn't mind me being around her 2 young kids.....in her house, there was not a single cross, crucifix or any religious symbol or anything like that.
she has never tried to 'preach' to me let alone even mention god.....i assumed she was atheist or agnostic.

boy was i wrong...she told me she was not gonna be at the office for 2 weeks and i asked her what was up.


she was going(not with her family....her and a few other lady friends) on a 'MISSION' to indonesia....she went there for 2 weeks to help these orphans. they live like out in the rain forest or some damn thing...she packed up a TON of stuff. foodstuffs, toys, clothes, etc etc.....
they can't get things like cheerios over there or crayola crayons so she and the ladies went over there and hooked them up.

THAT is what religion/religious folk should be like IMO....you keep your beliefs quiet or at the least, if someone don't want to hear it then hush it...just get it done and thats what she did/does.
no preaching and worshiping and acting all high and mighty....she just gets it done.....



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 04:05 PM
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Imo its up to the parents to what religion they lead the child into but once the child comes of age or at least of thinking age (high school) they should be able to know what they want and whether they think that is what they believe in and makes them happy.



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 06:29 PM
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I disagree. Children have a period in their lives when they are very young, that is ruled by magical thinking. Children begin to (mostly) grow out of this when they hit the age of reason, which is more or less when they begin to think rationally instead of magically.

If very young children are exposed to religion, and see adults acting as if all this pomp and display were to be taken seriously, they have no logical or rational defenses to protect them until such a time as they can think about it for themselves. This is why some churches say to get them young and raise them up right in the way of the lord.

A child who is exposed to religion after attaining the age of reason is much less likely to fall for the religious line of patter. I went looking into church on my own recognizance at around age 8. It took me a year or so to decide that it didn't make any sense and that I couldn't follow this stuff. For a while, it swept me up, I studied my bible, went weekly to church and Sunday school, cried during a particularly moving sermon, all that stuff. But in the end, the contradictions far outweighed the facade being presented.

No child is born religious. It is taught to them. And in the opinion of myself and other people who have shaken free of a need for an all-powerful, wish-granting invisible friend, taking small children and indoctrinating them in religion is brainwashing.

If children didn't go to church, mosque, temple or whatever until they asked to go once they'd begun to think for themselves, religion would start to die out on this planet.



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 07:03 PM
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MMF,
I teach my children the supernatural. Before they just think of themselves as "smart animals", thier dad and I have tried to make sure that they know that not only we love them, but Father God does,too.
They have seen him work. Everytime we needed something from god, we had it. Not nessesarily frivolous things, like the newest, best "stuff". We have what we need. We love each other.
As society gets more degenerate,complicated and selfish, God never renigs on his promise to keep us. If only you would ASK him, he would SHOW you. Don't rely on your 8 year old memories of God. I wasn't raised in church, but came around at 23.
" A fool says in his heart there is no God".



posted on Jul, 29 2007 @ 09:37 AM
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Originally posted by Clearskies
MMF,
I teach my children the supernatural. Before they just think of themselves as "smart animals", thier dad and I have tried to make sure that they know that not only we love them, but Father God does,too.
They have seen him work. Everytime we needed something from god, we had it.



wow...father god.....
you're kids and you're right to teach them what you want but, w o w.

my son has been pumped with this stuff from kindergarden till now. he is just entering 5th grade, about to turn 11 and is seriously starting to question all this fantasy stuff.
i think it is great.

finally. my son is using his brain and forming his own opinions instead of just following what his mom and the church school pumps him with.

father god.....i still can't get over that one.



posted on Aug, 3 2007 @ 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by Boondock78

finally. my son is using his brain and forming his own opinions instead of just following what his mom and the church school pumps him with.


I think it's great too. It sounds to me like you are playing a large role in your son's maturation too, judging by your above descriptions. As for what I just quoted you on, it brings to mind two of my favorite philosophers:


"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle

"The unexamined life is unworth living." ~Socrates



As for the OP:

My father had my sister and I in church, Sunday school, evening 'bible study' etc. when we were young (I think I stopped going when I was 11 or 12.) However, upon reaching adulthood (I'm 28 now), I too was able to understand that it is entirely possible to live an ethical existence without positing any unnecessary extras (deities, etc). I have no qualms about having been exposed to the Catholic church in my younger years. It didn't infringe on my ability to make my own choices in my own best interest.

As with anything else in the world, the danger in exposing young children to a topic such as religion emerges when the parents are are either

1.) overbearing in their efforts to mold the child in a certain image (excess)

Or

2.) when the parents are unable or unwilling to teach the child about a certain topic (deficiency), be it religious or otherwise , and they send the child to an institution to receive that education. I recall a recent experience in which my fiance and I were grocery shopping and we heard a mother tell her inquisitive (4 yr old or so) daughter "we gotta get you to school so you can learn to read."

Other than in these two cases, I see no reason why a child should not learn about religion (and anything else they can) when they are young. Where I draw the line is with parents who force children to subscribe to their own (the parent's) beliefs, or with parents who won't take the initiative to educate their children in the first place.





[edit on 3-8-2007 by mmmuuuumy]



posted on Aug, 3 2007 @ 04:55 PM
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I personally believe in waiting for children to make their own decisions, when they are truely ready. I know this is slightly different to what the op was talking about, but I was baptised a Catholic, and yet I have no inclination toward the catholic church whatsoever and I therefore feel children should not be baptised into any religion by their parents, the decision to do so should be up to the child alone.



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