The OP mentioned a Jehovah's Witness coming to their door and trying to convert them. It sounds like the OP did a good job respectfully debating the solicitor. One of the comments to the blog mentioned religious solicitors bringing their children with them as they go door-to-door. The author stated that they won't get involved in conversation [regarding religion] with the person's child there. I understand this completely. It would seem kind of wrong to have a child witness you telling their parents that you utterly disagree with them. But is there a moral case here for arguing for reason even when the child is there? Or, even more so, because the child is there? Here's the two comments from the original blog on the religious solicitor...
Explaining the logical fallacies theists make when arguing for their faith becomes tiresome after a while. Unfortunately, they've started bringing their children with them to my door and I wont engage them in conversation with children around... I feel like it's telling them Santa doesn't exist and it's not for me to do. haha.
Delete CommentI don't know, Jason. That's one heck of a thought provoker. Is it not your place to guide someone else's children in relation to what is real and what's not in this world? The answer seems obvious, but what if the parent has decided to get their child involved?
Is there a certain moral duty to educating children, regardless of who's children they are? And, obviously, is that overstepping a boundary that we've built up in society? If so, does that boundary exist just so that people with religious viewpoints can avoid hearing something opposing what the preacher's had to say? In America, we count a child as being under their parents' rule until they are 18 years of age or have been otherwise emancipated from their parents via court of law. Is it not appropriate to discuss your views with or in proximity of someone else's child? What if the child is truly interested and wants to know what you think? I think most of us would say that if we knew that a child's parents expressly did not want their child to know our viewpoints that we would keep those viewpoints to ourselves out of respect for the parents and for the role they take in their children's lives.
But what if the parents are religious and are taking their children door-to-door to attempt to convert others to their religion? I think I would feel almost obligated to maintain my character and my willingness to argue against religion in the presence of the child, especially since their parents have already chosen to get the child involved. I think if the parents want their children to witness how they feel about their beliefs, then they have to understand that there are people who disagree with their beliefs and they should be willing to argue their case.
I mean, I wouldn't walk up to a kid I don't know and yell, "santa's not real!". It's nice to see children using their imagination and asking themselves what's possible and what's just imaginary, that's how we grow to become rational thinkers in the first place. At the same time though, the fact that these parents are dragging their children into their religious conversion practices almost begs for the children to hear how there are many of us who aren't interested. The parents chose in the first place to get their child involved. Seems like a thin line there, but honestly, I don't think the parents should use their children as a means to safely hide within their religious beliefs.