The God Delusion - Chapter 9

Debate specific books

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
otseng
Savant
Posts: 18629
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
Has thanked: 147 times
Been thanked: 228 times
Contact:

The God Delusion - Chapter 9

Post #1

Post by otseng »

Is it a form of child abuse to label children as possessors of beliefs when they are too young to have thought about it?

Should the Bible be a part of public education?

McCulloch's question:
Is the indoctrination of children into religious beliefs morally justified?

User avatar
Confused
Site Supporter
Posts: 7308
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:55 am
Location: Alaska

Post #41

Post by Confused »

otseng wrote:
Confused wrote:Your free speech shouldn't be inserted where it isn't asked for.
But if someone is not allowed to speak unless it's asked for, then it's not free speech.

Personally, what I believe is the missing element is respect. People should be free to speak their minds on whatever they want, as long as it's presented respectfully. Shouting "Baby killers!" at women entering abortion clinics is not respectful. Holding up a sign "Choose life" at abortion clinics would be respectful.

Of course the ideal situation would be what you're saying. In that information is given when it's requested for. But, sometimes one has to do what one thinks is right, even without getting permission for it.

Now, trying to steer this back to the OP.

In the case of children, we don't ask children permission before we give them information. But there is a fine balance between "forcing" a child to believe something and teaching a child something. Suppose a child doesn't want to learn to read. We know it's important for a child to read. So, somehow we need to think of a way to get the child to read.

Religious people think it's important for their child to believe in the same religion. Most do all they can to ensure this. But, would this be considered wrong? I don't think so. But, it would only become wrong if the belief was forced onto a child against his will. Especially if it is an older child.

So, the indoctrination of children into a religious belief is morally acceptable. Forcing children into a religious belief is not.
I have to agree with the respect element.

I think you have a point in regards to indoctrination of a child being morally acceptable and forcing not. But I have to ask, if you raise your child as Christian, then as that child ages and learns to form opinions other than those he was raised with, suppose those opinions are not the same as yours any longer. Would you accept your child if he converted to Islam? Would you accept his choice and not tell him he was condemning himself to hell or try to convince him of the errors of his ways?
What we do for ourselves dies with us,
What we do for others and the world remains
and is immortal.

-Albert Pine
Never be bullied into silence.
Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
Accept no one persons definition of your life; define yourself.

-Harvey Fierstein

User avatar
otseng
Savant
Posts: 18629
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
Has thanked: 147 times
Been thanked: 228 times
Contact:

Post #42

Post by otseng »

Confused wrote:Would you accept your child if he converted to Islam? Would you accept his choice and not tell him he was condemning himself to hell or try to convince him of the errors of his ways?
There is always that risk. All I can do is try to influence my children to what I believe is the right thing (and not only just religion). They ultimately will have to decide what they choose to believe and how they act. And I though I might not agree with their decisions, I would accept it.

I would also say that this is the same situation with God. Though Adam was created by God, He allowed Adam to have a free choice to disobey God. God wasn't happy about it, but God never violated Adam's freewill.

User avatar
McCulloch
Site Supporter
Posts: 24068
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 9:10 pm
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Been thanked: 2 times

Post #43

Post by McCulloch »

Confused wrote:Would you accept your child if he converted to Islam? Would you accept his choice and not tell him he was condemning himself to hell or try to convince him of the errors of his ways?
otseng wrote:There is always that risk. All I can do is try to influence my children to what I believe is the right thing (and not only just religion). They ultimately will have to decide what they choose to believe and how they act. And I though I might not agree with their decisions, I would accept it.

I would also say that this is the same situation with God. Though Adam was created by God, He allowed Adam to have a free choice to disobey God. God wasn't happy about it, but God never violated Adam's freewill.
Our children choose their careers as well. If I had a young daughter who decided that she would like to go into the sex trade, I might try to influence her decision. If you actually believe that choosing the wrong religion brings the risk of eternal torment (an absurd and unsupportable belief IMO) then it would be a rational and logical thing to try to influence your children into the right belief system. And I doubt in either case you or I would be able to avoid any bias.
Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
First Epistle to the Church of the Thessalonians
The truth will make you free.
Gospel of John

bunyip
Student
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Post #44

Post by bunyip »

> "I would also say that this is the same situation with God. Though Adam was created by God, He allowed Adam to have a free choice to disobey God. God wasn't happy about it, but God never violated Adam's freewill. "

Having read some of the exchanges here on these and other chapters, i'm more than a bit depressed that Richard's efforts have been cast to the winds. Although he has demonstrated successfully that there is no basis for accepting the dogmas promulgated by the monotheists, we still have an "Adam": instead of Australopithecus, we have "free will" instead of the complexities of cognitive science" and we have a deity expressing human emotions [even if only metaphorically].

Just what does it take to pry open the dogma-driven mind?

the bunyip

User avatar
otseng
Savant
Posts: 18629
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
Has thanked: 147 times
Been thanked: 228 times
Contact:

Post #45

Post by otseng »

bunyip wrote:Just what does it take to pry open the dogma-driven mind?
It's going to take more than what Dawkins has presented. And judging from the participants of the book debate, I don't sense that many non-Christians have been overly impressed with Dawkins' arguments in his book. And certainly no Christians have been impressed at all.

bunyip
Student
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Post #46

Post by bunyip »

[/quote]
It's going to take more than what Dawkins has presented. And judging from the participants of the book debate, I don't sense that many non-Christians have been overly impressed with Dawkins' arguments in his book. And certainly no Christians have been impressed at all.[/quote]

Is that a significant surprise?? Much of what Dawkins writes about the brain-washing of children, the adherence to the idea that a given set of books has a monopoly on what defines "morality" without any reference to the roots of our behaviour, the presumption to sit in judgement of outsiders and to exercise that power without justification or accountibility, what other result would you expect?

But, if we can reach beyond Dawkins, to look at what research has found and is finding about ourselves, even without further reference to the validity [or otherwise] of the texts justifying "Christian" philosophy, some modification of views might actually occur.

I've raised the issue of Dennett's book before, only to be reprimanded for going "off-topic", but he asks the two questions that reading Dawkins should generate:

"What do you believe?"

"Why do you believe it?"

the bunyip

User avatar
otseng
Savant
Posts: 18629
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
Has thanked: 147 times
Been thanked: 228 times
Contact:

Post #47

Post by otseng »

bunyip wrote:
It's going to take more than what Dawkins has presented. And judging from the participants of the book debate, I don't sense that many non-Christians have been overly impressed with Dawkins' arguments in his book. And certainly no Christians have been impressed at all.
Is that a significant surprise??
Judging from all the media coverage, the accolades from atheists of the book, the popularity of the book, and the book's own claims, I expected more from it.
I've raised the issue of Dennett's book before, only to be reprimanded for going "off-topic"
I wouldn't mind having a book debate with any book of your choosing. Though this could not happen in the short term future, I'd be willing to put it in the queue. After this book debate ends, I've scheduled debating another person one-on-one. After that, I was thinking of doing another book debate with a theist (or neutral) leaning. Then we can go back to a book with a nontheist leaning.

bunyip
Student
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Post #48

Post by bunyip »

> " I'd be willing to put it in the queue. After this book debate ends, I've scheduled debating another person one-on-one. After that, I was thinking of doing another book debate with a theist (or neutral) leaning. Then we can go back to a book with a nontheist leaning.

Whell, then how about McGrath or Plantinga? Both have addressed Dawkins and Dennett from theist stances.

the bunyip

User avatar
otseng
Savant
Posts: 18629
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
Has thanked: 147 times
Been thanked: 228 times
Contact:

Post #49

Post by otseng »

bunyip wrote: Whell, then how about McGrath or Plantinga? Both have addressed Dawkins and Dennett from theist stances.
I'm open to anything. I was thinking it would best be selected by majority vote to get the most number of participants possible. Even in The God Delusion debate, we had a lot of people who signed up, but not a lot participated.

Locked