I had posted something a long the lines of this on a random site asking questions about religion... and well lets say it was picked apart by um well everyone... but...

I think it is 100% wrong for children to be baptized and forced in to a religion when they cant even sit up on their own.

Choosing a religion is something that should mean something to the person choosing entering which religion they choose.

I was baptized in the Catholic Church because my Mother was afraid I was going to randomly die and end up purgatory. Thanks mom...

But with that said. Brainwashing a child to believe in what you believe in isn't faith, at all. If that same child were to have been adopted by another family and that family was another religion... how is that faith? How is anything that anyone was brought up in faith? You were forced in to a religion, that you didn't at the time even know existed, you barely knew who your parents were you didn't know that when you looked in a mirror that it was a reflection, you were a baby.

When I was about 4 or 5 years old I was in day care before kindergarten and in the afternoons i was at school. The kindergarten was a Catholic Institution, I came home one day after school and asked my father why he was not my father that they lady who was teaching us spelling told me that Jesus was my father. My dad was beyond irritated and I never went back.

So many people are afraid of what is going to happen after they die, myself included. I do not believe in an afterlife, I believe in the first law of thermodynamics - an expression of the principle of conservation of energy, states that energy can be transformed (changed from one form to another), but it can neither be created nor destroyed. With that said, I will die and in turn I will decompose and contribute to the soil, though I do plan on being cremated.

I do not believe in a soul, I think that the individual that I am is significant and the chemical make up that is in my brain is what makes me who I am. My brain chemistry is different from yours, and from everyone else for that matter. Which is why I am an individual and why if I had a twin she would be a completely different person than I am.

Each individual has different fears, one is always death, we don't know what happens after until we experience it and even then I strongly believe that nothing happens. think of all of the history that happened before my birth, all the years that I wouldn't be aware of if not for books and school.

Being scared shouldn't be why you enter a religion, nor should it be why you force your children in to one.

You should be for all of their "ideals" their doctrines, it shouldn't be about power, or control, which we all know was one of the fundamental reasons for monotheistic religions that we see today.

Controlling the populous? That's why God was invented?

I enjoy Pagan religions MUCH more, teaching rather than forcing, well pagans now at least. I wasn't around in ancient Greece to know, but I do enjoy the idea of Apollo carrying the Sun across the Sky in his Chariot. Poetic explanations, for when we didn't have the tech to know the Sun was a flaming ball of gas suspended in a vacuum (well as close to a vacuum as one can get - gotta love the "quantum foam") Then again that sounds like crazy talk, a ball of gas in a vacuum?

Science what a great religion ;) It's the one I chose.

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Tags: Fear, Pagans, Physics, Religion, Science, children, choice, death, faith

Comment by Jin-oh Choi on June 6, 2009 at 10:48pm
Thank you for posting, I enjoyed reading what you said. See you around.
Comment by Killarny on June 6, 2009 at 11:44pm
Whenever I see my father's wife, she insists on asking me if I'm going to teach my son (nearly 3 years old) about god. And always I have to tell her basically the same thing: I am not going to tell him anything that I think is untrue or does not have any evidence. I'll teach him facts about every religion, but I am not going to indoctrinate him; if he determines to be religious, then that is his choice, not mine.
Comment by fixedentropy on June 6, 2009 at 11:51pm
And that's how all children should grow up. I'm fortunate to have had a father who wasn't a follower of the crowd in his generation. He's 56 and has always firmly believed in allowing people to make their own decisions on everything including religion. Its my mom who was the one who tried to baptize me without my dad knowing. How lame is that? lol
Comment by James on June 7, 2009 at 12:14am
I agree 100%. Indoctrination of children that simply don't know any better is just wrong. I'm sure any sane person would agree that if a child's parents are Klan members, than teaching a small child to be a Klansman from the start wold be a horrible and unfair thing to do. Well, I feel that doing so with religion is also and unfair and unethical practice. I too was baptized catholic and sent to CCD school. Fortunately I am one of the lucky ones who saw through the sham an embraced logic and critical thinking.

I also don't believe in an afterlife or soul. Who we are is due to chemical/electrical reactions in the brain, not a soul. Just look at cases of head trauma, where the person is never quite the same anymore. Now, is that due to the brain damage causing those reactions to not quite be the same. Or is is the persons soul just broken? lol
Comment by Paul Perry on June 7, 2009 at 7:04am
great post, thank you.

when my son was little my dad constantly pestered me about having him christened (despite the fact that i was never confirmed so am not actually a Catholic anyway), and always got the same answer: if Michael wants to join a religion when he's an adult that's his choice, although I would try and talk him out of it. One day my father got dirty: "But just supposed something terrible happened, you wouldn't want Michael not to go to heaven?"

I don't think i have ever been so angry in my entire life. "If your god would condemn an innocent child because his parents hadn't seen fit to splash water in his face then i think i'm right to want nothing to do with the evil bastard. Fuck you and fuck your god." Oddly, the issue was never raised again.

To an extent we can't help but indoctrinate our children; it's called socialisation. I think all we can do is try to lie as little as possible, show that words and deeds are both important and admit that it's okay not to have all the answers. I was always passionate about science, and my son is now 17 and in the middle of three science A levels, but if that's indoctrination too then so be it.
Comment by Reggie on June 7, 2009 at 12:49pm
Good post. My "religion" is science and it is far more fascinating, complex, and wonderful than any unimiginative bronze aged myth.

I also find solace in the comments which seem to all mirror an aversion towards indoctrination as opposed to simply religion. Many theist would happily assume the indoctrination of atheism in an atheist's child.

Richard Dawkins likens indoctrination as a form of child abuse and I have to agree. The wording may seem a bit strong, but intellectually we know that child abuse does not merely consist of physical or sexual. However, the latter two are what we think of usually when we hear "child abuse", perhaps due to the visceral reaction that the they have on us. Psychological abuse can have long term effects on a child no matter how well intentioned the abuse is. I certainly view raising a child, divorcing his perception from reality, enslaving him to a god, and devaluing his life by emphasizing an afterlife as abuse.

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