Indoctrination of the Young and Belief System Retention

page: 1
3
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join

posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 11:39 AM
link   
I ran across a video, along the lines of this one, a week or so ago that struck me as being a bit odd.



After seeing that, I looked around, and, sure enough, there are now a number of "Atheist Summer Camps" sprouting up. Which seems kind of weird, because this is the sort of "indoctrination" that religious types are denounced for (getting kids to hang around and have bonding experiences with like minded sorts, teaching core tenets of whatever you're preaching in that setting, and associating "fun activity" with said tenets.)

After all, there are loads of Science Summer camps, I went to one when I was a kid 35 years ago, so saying that it has nothing to do with atheism isn't a valid point. Why did these people see the need to insulate their children from others interested in science, but whom were not atheists? However, apart from being kind of bizarre, I didn't really see any point to it, so I just let it drift off as one of those "I don't think atheism is a religion, but some of them sure act like it" points.

Well, this morning, I stumbled across a study that I found rather enlightening. Conducted by the Pew Forum, it looked at the retention rates of various major belief systems -- retention being defined as someone who was raised in a faith, and remained in it later in life. Not surprisingly, faiths that have a significant family and/or societal connections show the highest retention rates. The highest Christian religion, at 68%, is the Catholic Church, meaning that over 2/3 of people raised Catholics remained Catholics later in life.



The most interesting statistic, though, is the last one on the list. Atheists, according to the study, only have a 30% retention rate, meaning that less than 1/3 of those raised as atheists remain so later in life, the vast majority switching to be agnostics, theists or the "spiritual but not religious." Note that this isn't a matter of miscategorization -- the respondents had to select both what they were raised as and what they currently were, so these were people who said that they were raised as atheists, but no longer viewed themselves as such.

It seems to me that this might well represent a reason for these Atheist Summer Camps -- people, like Dawkins, who look at the success of other systems compared to their own at retaining numbers, and figure to use the same techniques to turn the tide. They insulate their kids from those who disagree with them, expose them to "safe" teachers and counsellors that will only teach the atheist perspective, and they try and associate "fun" with "atheism". That they are simultaneously decrying that behaviour in others is a whole other matter, of course.

How long before they are telling their kids that they should only marry fellow atheists?

Lest anyone respond with a pithy "atheism isn't a religion, it's just a lack of belief", I will again point out that, while I agree with that statement, it is clear that, in some instances, there are those who are turning it into a religion, despite itself.


Sources:

The Reverts: Catholics who left and came back (Commentary + posted chart)
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life (survey data)




posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 11:45 AM
link   
Seems more like a gimmick by the camp owners, Sort of making a niche product in an otherwise overcrowded market.

I am waiting for the agnostic camp myself. All the kids will sit around and say that we don't have enough information to know if god exists or not and will instead focus on making neat macaroni pictures.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 11:51 AM
link   
reply to post by Kaploink
 


lol.

Well, the video says that Dawkins had his hand in it, so I'm guessing it's a little more than a niche thing.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 12:02 PM
link   
reply to post by adjensen
 


Honestly,why do you people care so much about this stuff? Summer camps and retention rates are byproducts of the truth.

I want the truth.

And the truth is snakes don't talk, men don't live in whales' stomachs for three days, and a group of refugees can't walk through a parted sea.

Seek the truth. Unless that isn't what you want.
edit on 9-7-2012 by lives because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 12:08 PM
link   

Originally posted by lives
Seek the truth. Unless that isn't what you want.


According to the atheists, indoctrination of kids isn't seeking the truth. I'm just curious why it appears that they're doing the same thing now, and wondering if the failure of their system to engage 2/3 of those raised to "seek the truth in science and in hard evidence" doesn't play a role in that.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 01:01 PM
link   
reply to post by adjensen
 


Maybe Atheist parents also want to dump their kids off to camp for $150 a week in the summer?




posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 02:30 PM
link   
Welcome back, adj.

Thanks for the link to Jesusless Camp
. Learning "cooperation, tolerance and empathy" from Richard Dawkins must be a real trip.

Here's what I think about the last line on the chart. There are damned few atheists (1.8% in the sample, or 630 individuals). The denominator population for the retention figure is current adults who grew up in overtly atheist families (not mixed marriages, presumably - and as you know, if a Catholic married an atheist, he or she would agree to raise the children in the Church... so even if they revert to atheism, they're not in the "raised atheist" grouping). Besides, according to our atheist freinds, the persecution of atheists was second only to the burning times as recently as a few decades ago. Perhaps it was a religion that dared not speak its name.

So, how many overtly and truly atheist familes were there, long enough ago to contribute adults to the survey in 2007? Small sample size alone suggests the error band on that puppy is enormous. Since it is a multiple rate estimation problem, you can bet that the actual extremes are closer to the average than they were measured anyway.

I notice also that three of the four groups on the high end are oversampled, because they are such small populations, and the fourth is Judaiam, which doesn't have a belief-based test for membership in the first place.

I wouldn't take that chart as evidence that today's godless will be less successful in shaping their offspring's views than the typical godly have been in days gone by.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 03:10 PM
link   

Originally posted by eight bits
Welcome back, adj.


Thank you, kind sir



So, how many overtly and truly atheist familes were there, long enough ago to contribute adults to the survey in 2007? Small sample size alone suggests the error band on that puppy is enormous.


I agree that the data size is a bit problematic, as is the ability to self define. If I had grown up in a household that never went to church, and parents that never talked about God, would I define that as growing up atheist? Or would I have to grow up as Christopher Hitchens' son (God help me, lol) before I'd make that distinction? I suspect that it would tend to lean in the direction of Hitch, particularly among those who "slid" -- it might be easier to say that, in the absence of pro or con talk, my upbringing was non-religious, but not non-spiritual.

But, as these are rates, and not numbers, I'd have to say that there might be something in them, and, like I said, it dovetailed into the weirdness of discovering the "Jesusless Camps" (that's a good, I'm going to co-opt it
) as being one possible response to it. I suspect that there is a reason that all the shouting of "our numbers are growing" is backed up by statistics that oddly end at age 29. Maybe it's due to the evangelism of the New Atheists, or maybe it's due to the fact that disaffected youth tends to wind itself down in the late 20s, so to sustain growth, they need to get that retention rate up.

I have watched, with no small amount of bemusement, the rancor in the Atheist blogs on Patheos in the past month as there have been a few instances of atheists behaving badly (turning Catholic in one case, saying that they wouldn't vote for an atheist for President in another.) In both cases, the individual in question has been thrown under the bus, belittled and labelled "never a true atheist".

Good to know that, "holier than thou" attitude not-withstanding, they fall victims to the same behaviour they accuse others of, when it suits them.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 03:23 PM
link   

Originally posted by adjensen
I ran across a video, along the lines of this one, a week or so ago that struck me as being a bit odd.



After seeing that, I looked around, and, sure enough, there are now a number of "Atheist Summer Camps" sprouting up. Which seems kind of weird, because this is the sort of "indoctrination" that religious types are denounced for (getting kids to hang around and have bonding experiences with like minded sorts, teaching core tenets of whatever you're preaching in that setting, and associating "fun activity" with said tenets.)

After all, there are loads of Science Summer camps, I went to one when I was a kid 35 years ago, so saying that it has nothing to do with atheism isn't a valid point. Why did these people see the need to insulate their children from others interested in science, but whom were not atheists? However, apart from being kind of bizarre, I didn't really see any point to it, so I just let it drift off as one of those "I don't think atheism is a religion, but some of them sure act like it" points.

Well, this morning, I stumbled across a study that I found rather enlightening. Conducted by the Pew Forum, it looked at the retention rates of various major belief systems -- retention being defined as someone who was raised in a faith, and remained in it later in life. Not surprisingly, faiths that have a significant family and/or societal connections show the highest retention rates. The highest Christian religion, at 68%, is the Catholic Church, meaning that over 2/3 of people raised Catholics remained Catholics later in life.



The most interesting statistic, though, is the last one on the list. Atheists, according to the study, only have a 30% retention rate, meaning that less than 1/3 of those raised as atheists remain so later in life, the vast majority switching to be agnostics, theists or the "spiritual but not religious." Note that this isn't a matter of miscategorization -- the respondents had to select both what they were raised as and what they currently were, so these were people who said that they were raised as atheists, but no longer viewed themselves as such.

It seems to me that this might well represent a reason for these Atheist Summer Camps -- people, like Dawkins, who look at the success of other systems compared to their own at retaining numbers, and figure to use the same techniques to turn the tide. They insulate their kids from those who disagree with them, expose them to "safe" teachers and counsellors that will only teach the atheist perspective, and they try and associate "fun" with "atheism". That they are simultaneously decrying that behaviour in others is a whole other matter, of course.

How long before they are telling their kids that they should only marry fellow atheists?

Lest anyone respond with a pithy "atheism isn't a religion, it's just a lack of belief", I will again point out that, while I agree with that statement, it is clear that, in some instances, there are those who are turning it into a religion, despite itself.


I agree. I was driving down a road and saw a billboard that said "Stop indoctrinating your kids," which can be argued is a human rights issue, but directly below the tagline was a website atheism.org (or something like that) underneath, which makes it not void of indoctrination itself and sort of hypocritical. Why do the exact same thing that that most atheists have left religion for?
edit on 9-7-2012 by TheSubversiveOne because: spelling



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 03:28 PM
link   
reply to post by adjensen
 


from your site


U.S. Religious Landscape Survey finds that religious affiliation in the U.S. is both very diverse and extremely fluid


So this situation might be true in the US but what about other places in the world – I suspect this report would look very different if it where done in the UK or Sweden for example



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 04:03 PM
link   

Originally posted by racasan
reply to post by adjensen
 


from your site


U.S. Religious Landscape Survey finds that religious affiliation in the U.S. is both very diverse and extremely fluid


So this situation might be true in the US but what about other places in the world – I suspect this report would look very different if it where done in the UK or Sweden for example


Quite possibly, yes. But if this is all the data that we have now, it's what we have to work with, and if the numbers in those countries come out differently, we'd need to sort out what accounts for the differences.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 04:24 PM
link   
I think that whatever children do as children and what they do as adults should have no basis for any religious/non-religious affiliations whether good or bad. I personally have noticed many adults that say (if asked in anonymity) if they were still religious and out of fear of hell will say yes, and completely live outside of their actual religious beliefs.

I would be more inclined to try to understand a chart of religious and non-religious persons feelings based on fear and indoctrination, as opposed to what camp or church they went to as kids. You never know whats inside a persons mind!! Never!

Maybe in 20 yrs when we are all forced to use a brain wave lie detector test, these charts would be more accurate.


Peace, NRE.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 05:29 PM
link   

Originally posted by NoRegretsEver
I would be more inclined to try to understand a chart of religious and non-religious persons feelings based on fear and indoctrination, as opposed to what camp or church they went to as kids.


Well, there is definitely an aspect of fear for some people, though it's mostly limited to Evangelicals. Though Hell is an accepted doctrine in almost all Christian faiths (I wanna say that the Quakers don't buy it, and I know Rob Bell doesn't
) it isn't considered an effective motivator for most.

The indoctrination piece, though, is what the post is about. There are two parts -- one is demonstrated in the chart above, in a fashion -- indoctrination through tradition. If one is raised Catholic, one stands a 2/3 chance of remaining so. If one is raised atheist, one stands a 1/3 chance of remaining so. That could mean a lot of things, of course. Could mean that atheist parents don't ride their kids, and, without any input, 2/3 of them choose something else. It could mean that atheism is an uncomfortable position to hold in our society, so if you're not all that excited about it, you're likely to switch. It could mean it's just a weak position for a lot of people, and the numbers just work out this way.

It could mean that Calvin is right, and 2/3 is the percentage of the Elect


Okay, just joking about that last bit, but the other side of indoctrination is the societal, rather than parental, form, which is what I view the Atheist Summer Camps to be. If you watch through that video, you'll see that they seem to talk the good talk, but though they claim they "just want children to have a chance to decide for themselves," if you put a kid in a group with a lot of other kids and have an adult make a ridiculous proposition and dare them to refute it, not one of them will "decide for themselves."

Peer pressure, forced thinking and herd mentality, delivered with your s'more, campfire and wiener on a stick, from the "we don't have any agenda" crowd.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 09:50 PM
link   
reply to post by adjensen
 


FYI Calvin didn't teach Calvinism. 2nd generation Calvinists invented Calvinism to refute Arminianism.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 10:20 PM
link   

Originally posted by NOTurTypical
reply to post by adjensen
 


FYI Calvin didn't teach Calvinism. 2nd generation Calvinists invented Calvinism to refute Arminianism.


Do you mean TULIP? Five points Calvinism? Or that they forged his writings? I think that the Five Points are things that Calvin would agree with, and the basis of Reformed Theology is Zwingli and Calvin's writing, not the Synod of Dort. That was just the codification of it.

Calvin is largely, in my mind, a radical extension of Augustine, but I don't think it's unfair to hang an awful lot of Dort on his heels.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 10:25 PM
link   
reply to post by adjensen
 



My background:

I was raised Lutheran, attended a Presbyterian church in my teen years (best friends dad was the youth group leader and church pastor), and haven't gone to church except weddings and funerals since. In my late teens/early 20's i declared myself an atheist. I eschewed the tenets of my youth, seeking to rebel and find my own answers. I still heartily recommend everyone do the same.

As I grew older i realized that atheism was not quite what I believed. I believed in SOMETHING, but didn't know what. So I declared myself an agnostic.

I thought further on the matter, and studied religions of all manner. I acquainted myself with various shamanistic beliefs, as well as the other "majors" (Hindu, Islam, Judaism). I studied buddhism believing it to be a religion (it is actually a modifier to religion, enhancing whatever belief system you are a part of).

I am currently what you what call a "deist". I don't explain more than that very often.

I tell you that to say this: While i commend the average young atheist, I also believe that atheism amounts to a thought that is incomplete. Eschewing organized faith is the first step. But to TRULY know, it takes years of reflection, study, meditation, and experience. I doubt I will ever achieve knowing, as few have.

And this is the problem with atheism in general. It is practiced by a segment of societies more smug egotists. They spit when you mention Christianity without considering how it enriches the lives of its practitioners. Its value, like the value of anything, is in the eye of the beholder.

Richard Dawkins is a brilliant mind. But he got hung up on his ego, I think. The critical failure of atheism is that it not only fails to encourage, but actually discourages inner reflection. It applies the logical thought process of science while embracing the philosophical queries of existentialism.
edit on 9-7-2012 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 10:33 PM
link   

Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
And this is the problem with atheism in general. It is practiced by a segment of societies more smug egotists. They spit when you mention Christianity without considering how it enriches the lives of its practitioners. Its value, like the value of anything, is in the eye of the beholder.

Richard Dawkins is a brilliant mind. But he got hung up on his ego, I think. The critical failure of atheism is that it not only fails to encourage, but actually discourages inner reflection. It applies the logical thought process of science while embracing the philosophical queries of existentialism.


I agree with this 100%, you're spot on, I think. The New Atheists are dominated by narcissists run amok, and I think that's ultimately to everyone's detriment. Even not taking into account questions of allegiance to God, it is difficult to see society itself headed in a good direction at the behest of these dispassionate egoists.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 10:40 PM
link   

Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by NOTurTypical
reply to post by adjensen
 


FYI Calvin didn't teach Calvinism. 2nd generation Calvinists invented Calvinism to refute Arminianism.


Do you mean TULIP? Five points Calvinism? Or that they forged his writings? I think that the Five Points are things that Calvin would agree with, and the basis of Reformed Theology is Zwingli and Calvin's writing, not the Synod of Dort. That was just the codification of it.

Calvin is largely, in my mind, a radical extension of Augustine, but I don't think it's unfair to hang an awful lot of Dort on his heels.


I'm a recovering Reformed Christian my friend. Yes, TULIP doctrine wasnt an invention of Calvin, but of 2nd generation Calvinists in response to the 5 pts of Arminianism. And even Jacobus didn't agree with the conditional security point and was added later. Arminius was a huge fan of Calvin and made his students read the theologians works.

There is a big difference between being a "Calvinist" and a CALVIN. Haha

edit on 9-7-2012 by NOTurTypical because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 10:51 PM
link   

Originally posted by NOTurTypical
Arminius was a huge fan of Calvin and made his students read the theologians works.


I didn't know that, thanks for a new avenue of research!



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 10:56 PM
link   

Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by NOTurTypical
Arminius was a huge fan of Calvin and made his students read the theologians works.


I didn't know that, thanks for a new avenue of research!


Oh yes. The war erupted after both men were dancing on golden streets. Calvin had nothing to do with TULIP.






top topics



 
3
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join