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Parenting and Religion, a Philosophical Question

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posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 01:16 PM
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reply to post by grapesofraft
 


I think these days it would be better to get kids to do things because it's the right thing to do.

Perhaps religion is used as the answer when kids do say "Why should I?" "It's the right thing to do." "WHY?!" "Because *insert religious statement*"

Another issue with religion at a young age is that many religions are linked to other beliefs in terms of lifestyle or whatever. And if a person grows up thinking that something is wrong because their religion as a child said so, and they adjusted their beliefs to that... something is not right there. Because that probably won't ever change, even if their religion changes. The beliefs set in place by the original one, be them positive or negative, may not.




posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 01:24 PM
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reply to post by ravenshadow13

My only concern is the religious customs that parents may expose their children to at an early age which are irreversible.


You know, I am told that my "letter" is still "registered" at a Baptist church I have not attended in 25 years. If memory serves, I was baptized even earlier at yet another Baptist church. Yet, since my children seem to prefer a local Church of God, I go there when I go. Silly paperwork that I didn't understand at the time notwithstanding.


The point is that, with the one exception of the 'Mark of the Beast' (which is not presently an issue), there is nothing (in the Christian religion anyway) that is 'irreversible'. Without faith and belief, baptism alone is just a convenient way to get wet in public. Circumcision, yes, now that is essentially irreversible, but it is also harmless (for men) and means nothing spiritually without some inner devotion of belief system accompanying it.

Perhaps I am not reading your position accurately; care to expand a bit on your concern?

TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 01:24 PM
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Hi Raven.. thought I'd poke my head in.


Originally posted by ravenshadow13

Another issue with religion at a young age is that many religions are linked to other beliefs in terms of lifestyle or whatever. And if a person grows up thinking that something is wrong because their religion as a child said so, and they adjusted their beliefs to that... something is not right there. Because that probably won't ever change, even if their religion changes. The beliefs set in place by the original one, be them positive or negative, may not.


But can't this be said of anything we teach our children?

I think the following quotes are so true and they are the reason why we have to strive to understand as much as possible about anything, and not just religion, that we teach our children.

"For the sins of your fathers you, though guiltless, must suffer." - Horace, Odes," III, 6, l. 1.

"The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children." - Shakespeare, "The Merchant of Venice," act III, sc. V, l. 1

This is not just talking about bad things as "sins" but ALL things.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 01:26 PM
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reply to post by ravenshadow13
 


This brings up an interesting point that kind of bothers me. I wonder if there is such a thing as absolute right or wrong without a God.

Who defines right and wrong without it being something that is more knowing than humans? Even each culture has a different understanding of right and wrong.

For instance in some cultures in history it was right to have human sacrifice or in Arab countries it is alright for a 50 year old man to marry a 10 year old girl. Now we find that disgusting or stupid, but it is just a cultural thing really even outside of religion. So its right in some cultures and wrong in others.

Plus there are some good things about being told things are wrong. Just think how much more fun it is to do something sexually taboo. So in a way it just being "wrong" makes it better sometimes.

[edit on 13-7-2009 by grapesofraft]



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 01:33 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Well, I'm kind of torn. I was referring to circumscision and Baptism, really. In the religion's eyes it is not reversible. In the religion's eyes, you're born what you are... or after a certain ceremony you're set for life. In the person's eyes, clearly it's what they believe that counts. It's not like you're totally locked in. It's just not something that goes away though. I don't like the thought that the religion you're born into is YOUR religion. I think there are two minds on that issue.

But it's the same for conversion. If you really believe something, why do you need to convert? Isn't your spirituality what counts? What you believe is what you are, it shouldn't be any other way.

But think about switching religions. Say you switch when you're in your 20s. You give up your membership, find a new place, shop around, become a member there, make all new friends, convert (sometimes). It's hard. It's not something you can just do easily, although I'm just speaking of very organized religions and people who go to services and things.

For me, like, I'm not religious at all and I really don't like to be categorized into a religion. But my parents were both born one religion, and even though my mom really doesn't follow it, I'm a member of that religion. I am. There's nothing I can do about it. I went through the ceremonies, it's done. So when I say, you know, I'm an evolutionist or whatever... people tell me "No, you're not. You're that." I was locked into it. My best friend is an athiest but was born Catholic and Baptized, and went to Catholic school. Her parents are Catholic. Even though her beliefs are not Catholic, she is Catholic according to many people.

It's true that all that matters is what you think. But it can also come back to bite you. I guess I drew the short stick because if you're Christian and switch sect, it's less of a big deal. I totally threw away religion and I'm stuck with it because people just ... want to find reasons to feel certain ways about certain religions. I'm sure other religions have the same deal.

There should be a way to erase your religious background. Some sort of paperwork. It would solve everything, haha.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 01:36 PM
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reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
 


You're right. I guess my point is that religion -shouldn't- be that way like other things. It's very personal. You can't explain all your beliefs perfectly to someone else, it's just internal. Emotional. It's not something that can be taught, really. You can teach the history, and what's written in the books, but can you teach someone what to believe?

I think some individuals resist it. Some cannot. I agree with you. Parents need to be careful what they say. Even intonations when speaking about other religions... if all the parents in the world were careful and respectful, all these religious wars would be non-existant.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 01:39 PM
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reply to post by grapesofraft
 


I think that America has developed so many sub-cultures that it's becoming a problem though. And conflicting cultures around the world. I remember a thread on like a 50 year old man marrying a girl and everyone thought it was awful and I was basically alone in saying "Hey this is how they do things. We can't tell them it's wrong. It's not what they believe."

Beliefs are touchy things. They're very personal.

You know, you make a good point about people liking to do things that are wrong. I think that many religions don't allow much space for people to learn from mistakes and experience. I think that is the wrong approach.

Because everyone is different, of course.

[edit on 7/13/2009 by ravenshadow13]



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 01:43 PM
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reply to post by ravenshadow13
 


Well you could go as far to say that the confines of religion almost drive its members to "experiment". You know it is like when you are a kid and your parents say dont touch that, and from that moment you HAVE to touch it. I think it is the guilt that religion creates that keeps some of their members in a mental loop of slightly "dirty" sex, guilt, a little "dirtier", guilt... its like a loop that drives them down a path. Then of course when the person gets caught everyone is like oh i would never even think of that... burn her at the stake. It is almost funny.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 01:51 PM
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reply to post by grapesofraft
 


Maybe. But I don't think that they do it on purpose.

I love the Amish. Rumspringa. They let their kids out into the world to discover things. Then they either stay out in the world, or becomes baptized and stay in the community. It must be hard to leave your family, but I like that approach.

I think that also people who are very harsh against sinning are covering up for something they've done. Have you ever seen that movie... um... Little Big Man? That woman is so religious and talks about how awful sin is, but she's got these awful cravings to sin and ends up as a hooker. Not that I'm generalizing for anyone, but I think it's pretty symbolic.

I think it should be a social learning experience, regarding how to act and what not to do. I don't think how you act or what you do should be religious at all...



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 02:12 PM
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You know, I come from a home where my father was Roman Catholic and my mother was Pentecostal. I am neither, nor did they try to force a religion on me.

My father was ex-communicated from the Roman Catholic faith after he got a divorce. My mother, to my knowledge, never even went to church past childhood.

With that being said, I have sort of been left to my own devices as to what I believe and honestly, I think I have a fairly firm set of beliefs. Although, I will say this, even though I believe in God, if I lived back during the times of the inquisition, I'd be burned at the stake as a "heretic."


As far as a parent "pushing their religion onto their children" is concerned, yeah, I think it happens. All too often children are not encouraged to study for themselves. They are told, "Now you just listen to what I say and accept it!!."



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 02:16 PM
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reply to post by SpeakerofTruth
 


I think that's the way to go, being left to your own devices.

There's something I didn't think about. Divorce. Do Catholic kids know that divorce is wrong according to the Church? Do they feel more animosity towards their parents if a divorce does happen? There are just so many factors to take into account.

As I've said, I think religion is so personal. Even if you would be called a "heretic," that's probably the way to go. The people who came up with the guidelines for most major religions felt a certain way, but the people who that system works for probably only form a tiny percentage of the population, you know?



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 02:28 PM
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Originally posted by ravenshadow13
There's something I didn't think about. Divorce. Do Catholic kids know that divorce is wrong according to the Church? Do they feel more animosity towards their parents if a divorce does happen? There are just so many factors to take into account.



Well, I am not sure that Catholic children know that it's against church policy. However, I will say this, I do understand the church's stance on divorce.

I am going to say something that is beyond the scope of this thread, but I think it is important to realize. Divorce almost invariably, destroys a child's life. It does so particularly if they are at an age where they can reason.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by SpeakerofTruth
 


In many cases, yes. But my best friend's parents divorced when she was young and she's really okay. But her parents don't have animosity towards one another and her mother is close friends with her father's parents.

But in most cases you're right.

But more on topic- I think kids understand more about the repricussions of the religion they are being raised with, either from hearing things on TV or from friends or whatever. But I could be wrong.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 02:39 PM
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Originally posted by ravenshadow13

But more on topic- I think kids understand more about the repricussions of the religion they are being raised with, either from hearing things on TV or from friends or whatever. But I could be wrong.


Yeah. Well, some religions carry a stigma with them. I mean, can you imagine being a 12-13 year old child telling a class full of other students that you come from a home of scientologists!!! I mean, you would never hear the end of it.

Of course, we're all accustomed to the catch phrases of "Jesus freak," et cetera. I think it's sad that there are children who are being persecuted for their religion when it may not be their choice at all.

Whenever you force a child to participate in religious activities and you know they really don't want to, I think that is wrong. You know, if they are really into it, fine. However, I have seen too many situation where the child didn't want to attend a service at all and his/her parents would say, "Oh, yes, you are!!!" To me, that is wrong.

[edit on 13-7-2009 by SpeakerofTruth]

[edit on 13-7-2009 by SpeakerofTruth]



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 02:54 PM
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My thoughts on the matter....



Do children feel an attraction to a religion, or religion in general, because they grew up with their parents feeling the same way? Or is there some genetic component?


I tend to think it is probably both, with the parent factor being a major influence as the child would be learned to believe that at the critical age where we do things we see and experience for no reason other than other people do it, especially our parents which are our most beloved attachments.

But later in life, in some cases regardless of the strength of religious conditioning (ie; heavy religious family that goes to church 5 times week), a person will start to look at things and experiences in the world, especially the unexplained and unanswerable ones. When doing so they will probably tend to create their own form of a higher power to account for these things. Now I think there is something out there and it is likely deep within our genetic code and soul matrix, so I think most individuals will always gravitate towards a 'god entity' or force.


If two parents have different religious beliefs, why might a child feel a preference to one towards another if they are raised equally with both?


I guess that would depend on ultimately which parent the child is more attached to, as well how the parents radiate this towards the child. But ultimately in most cases I think the ultimate decision of faith in a higher power is the childs.


If a child is brought up in a household that is religious but does not attend religious services, is the child more or less likely to seek such services in their adulthood?


It will probably be low on that childs priority list but events that may have happened in said childs life may influence him or her. IMO it is all dependent on the variables that occur in a humans main development yeas (ie;13-25).


Do parents who provide more religious options for their children ultimately have better relationships with them?


I think this also depends on the parents emotional and social states as well, it could either way.



I know that the general trend is for a child to follow the same religious path as their parents. Personally, I do not agree with this philosophy. I don't know why it came about, but probably to ensure future generations of the religion to sustain the beliefs, and also to prevent the negative things that are stated to happen in some ancient religious texts regarding intermarriage and lack of faith.


Yes it is wrong to interject this into a human mind as it takes away their own free will. It should always be up to the child to believe whatever he or she wants after they reach an age of understanding (ie;around 12 or 13). Before that I can't say really, as long as the religious aspect of his or hers life is not fanatically dictated then I see no harm in it as religion teaches great morals and values, something sadly lacking in todays society.




With the widespread internet and more world travel, is it appropriate to allow a child to investigate and try other religions before choosing one? Or traditionally should the child follow what their parents follow.


The child should be allowed to make up his or hers own mind when of the appropriate age (ie;12-13) in my humble opinion.


Is there a conspiracy regarding parenting and religion which ensures the continuation of specific religions in the future? AKA- "We believe it is wrong for you to be any religion but x and raise your child as such" which, over time and throughout the world, cements that religion in place for that sole traditional reason?


I wouldn't call it a conspiracy but sure there is a bias in a percentage of the population. It is not right but what are you going to do? Until we as a race evolve past forced indoctrination this among other things wil always be a problem.
 



Good thread Raven, well presented, neutrally and scientifically presented. These are the types of religious threads that I do not mind responding to.



BTW: I think this thread could have been placed in either this forum or the other one.



[edit on 7/13/2009 by jkrog08]



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 02:58 PM
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Also, I was raised Catholic but have denounced that faith for many reasons, the main one is I do not agree with the majority of their practices and ideology. My mother wants me to remain Catholic and still calls me one, but does not force anything upon me. I am not Atheist, I believe in God and Jesus Christ, just not in the same manner as most organized religions.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 03:26 PM
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reply to post by ravenshadow13

Ah, I do believe I see where we differ.

In my eyes, a religion and a faith are not necessarily different. One's religion is simply an earthly specification of what is believed or not. For example (if I may be so bold as to get 'religious' in a religion thread
), I consider myself a Christian. Not a Baptist, although I was raised in a Baptist household and as previously mentioned, have some sort of tie with the Baptist Association. Not a member of the Association of Church of God, although as previously mentioned, I do attend there on a semi-regular basis. Not a follower of Kenneth Copeland, although he opened my eyes to my present beliefs.

No, I am a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph and Mary, immaculately conceived by the Holy Spirit to be the Christ (Messiah) foretold by prophets through the ages. Now, exactly what does that mean? It means that I accept the fact that He was immaculately conceived and that He died for the sins of the world, to bring all peoples to virtue and righteousness. Do I have proof? Yes, but it cannot be seen by any eyes but mine. I accept this, and so will not attempt to 'prove' His existence to anyone. That includes you. I will happily, if asked, tell you about Jesus and explain what little I know about Him, but I cannot prove anything to you, and therefore will not try. If you really seek proof, He will provide that. If you do not truly seek proof, then none will be found for you.

It means I attempt in my life to follow the words that he left with us in the form of the Bible. I also understand that I must be very cautious to be sure those words are not being twisted and perverted by time and the translations of men. So I do more than read a verse once a day; I study the Bible, and when something doesn't sound right, I study it harder until it does. I have found that such usually means part of the meaning was twisted through translation and custom.

It means I pray, not daily, but more continuously. I don't sit and scream meaningless words from some semi-forgotten dialect that say the same thing over and over; I rather talk to God using Jesus' name. He talks back a little, not so much in words, but in thoughts that seem to materialize in my head. Usually, I don't even get to finish the sentence.
I pray alone, when I am driving, when I am taking a break, or whenever I have a few moments to myself. My favorite place to pray? Outside, sitting in the side of this mountain I call home, surrounded by the majesty of His creation.

It means I try to live my life the way Jesus lived His. No, I don't wander through the wilderness breaking loaves and fishes to feed multitudes, but that overasked question "What would Jesus do?" is always on my mind. Boss being a total jerk-weed? I figure Jesus would forgive him and keep doing his job. So that's what I do.

Is it easy? No. Do I always get it right? No. But I am already forgiven when I mess up, because I have learned to forgive others. And that's not a "license to sin", by many means. When you know Jesus like I know Jesus, there is no desire to sin. So any such license is a moot point (sort of like having a license to jump into an erupting volcano
).

Now, I just recanted practically everything about my religion, and never once did I use the words "church", "preacher', or "congregation". because all those things are are earthly tools some use to try and better find their way. Sure, I love a good sermon, but I won't forget Jesus if I miss hearing one this Sunday. Some people will, and those are the ones for whom church is critically important. For those who have faith as a mustard seed (to borrow a quote), church is nothing more than a reunion. Fun, but not something to plan one's entire week around.

So since baptism and circumcision are both physical acts, they do not control what you believe. They are nothing but a sign to others that you have accepted something, and a focal point to those struggling to grow their faith. Public acceptance can change (marriage undone by divorce, for example), and a focal point is only useful to someone who focuses on it.

What you believe is totally up to you. No one else's opinion matters. No ritual that you may or may not have engaged in earlier matters. All that matters is what you believe and why.

Otherwise I would be worried about that silly "letter" sitting at a Baptist church.


TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 04:16 PM
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Telling your children what religion they are is a form of child abuse. You should educate them on different religions and let them pick which one they want.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 04:33 PM
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I actually wait for the day when a child takes his Jewish family to court for the child abuse that is "circumcision". I find it bizarre that so many religions thinks that God made man perfect except for a piece oif skin on the end of their manhood. This is serious and the hygenie debate simply doesn't wash.

It is barbaric and physical child abuse that we all tolerate because of the religious overtones (and don't forget some tribes allow for female circumcision as well).



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 04:48 PM
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reply to post by templar knight
 


They used to do it for hygenic and health reasons. There are tons of studies about it... I think right now the jury is out. But most Americans, even non-Jews, circumcise their kids.

The issue with that is what if you aren't circumcised but later on you decide you want to? As an adult, the procedure is much more risky. But if you ARE circumcised but you decide later that you wish you weren't, that's an issue.

[edit on 7/13/2009 by ravenshadow13]



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