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Children and Indoctrination

by JaredJames
Tags: children, indoctrination
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JaredJames
#1
Sep18-10, 10:34 PM
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I'm starting this thread as I would prefer not to keep posting comments regarding the above subject in the French Burqa thread.

Throughout a child's life they are subject to various cultural and possibly religious doctrines and they can have a significant impact on the way that child thinks and lives in later adulthood.

So what are your views on indoctrination of children?

I understand we can't shield children from everything, and the local culture where you live is going to have an effect on them whether you like it or not. But what about other influences in their life?

Personally, I don't think children should be subjected to any form of religion (or specific beliefs) until they are old enough to make the decision themselves. But as someone in the other thread pointed out, you then face losing the parents culture / religion / belief. For me this isn't a good argument, the way I see it, if a religion truly has good ideas and views on life they will attract new people and so nothing is lost. If they do not, then yes they could be lost, but at least it would be because people chose not to accept them because they didn't accept their views / ideas.

Now I don't want this to be some religious bashing thread, I would simply like to know what people think of parents imposing their view on their children (particularly when their minds are so young and vulnerable)?

(I'm not speaking of only religious, this goes for all influences they may face and it would be nice to see other items, non-religious being discussed.)

And perhaps we could expand to discuss what effect it can have on people in later life.
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Proton Soup
#2
Sep18-10, 11:10 PM
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well, i live in the US, and religious freedom is central here. i think it has served us well.

the soviets, the chinese... they have tried revolutionary means to redefine their cultures, and the results were tragic.

i prefer the social evolutionary model, myself.
JaredJames
#3
Sep18-10, 11:24 PM
P: 3,387
I agree, people will only move on when they are ready or when something has a major impact on their lives. I wouldn't want to enforce my beliefs on anyone, and I would like to be shown the same respect back.

I'm just curious why people feel the need to impose their beliefs / culture on their children? Is it because they feel closer to the child, that they want to include the child in their life? When put like that it doesn't sound too bad.
I don't like the way people will refuse to allow their children to be taught any other system (much like creationists arguing it should be taught as fact in schools instead of evolution). If you expose your child to as much different culture and teachings as possible, it surely serves to help develop the child into a more open and accepting person of other cultures, or am I way off? I don't understand why the need for closing off children from other cultures and religions.

Going to a public school, I was exposed to a variety of beliefs and cultures, I feel it helped me become more accepting. If my parents had made me go to a Catholic school, I don't know how much interaction I would have with other cultures and don't know whether or not I'd hold the same views I do now.

I was never forced into any clubs / groups and was to allowed to make all my choices in life by myself, from school subject choices to university. So my parents have never had much influence in my education / extra-curicular life, although they always encouraged me in everything I have done.

Proton Soup
#4
Sep18-10, 11:38 PM
P: 1,070
Children and Indoctrination

YES! of course they feel closer to their children. their children are their legacy. their child's survival is their own survival, their own genes (tho they don't think of it quite this way, but it is instinct, yes?) persevering. and it is not simply their child's "spiritual" welfare that they are concerned about. they believe that by teaching them in their faith, they will make fewer mistakes (sins) in life. they believe that in doing so, they will be more productive, healthy members of society that will go on to provide an even better life for their own children.

they fully realize that kids will grow up one day and make decisions on their own. and some (can't remember if it's amish or mennonite) even send their kids out to discover the world on their own for a while when they're grown.
BobG
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Sep20-10, 02:19 PM
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Quote Quote by jarednjames View Post
I'm starting this thread as I would prefer not to keep posting comments regarding the above subject in the French Burqa thread.

Throughout a child's life they are subject to various cultural and possibly religious doctrines and they can have a significant impact on the way that child thinks and lives in later adulthood.

So what are your views on indoctrination of children?
Once my kids are 18, they're free to screw up their life however they please. Until they turn 18, it's my job as a parent to screw up their life for them, using whatever resources my limited intelligence, limited education, and limited experiences give me.

Seriously.

What else would you consider raising a kid except indoctrination?

A parent should indoctrinate their children to the best of their ability. And, yes, often the parent's background is very limited and that will have a profound affect on what that parent imparts to his/her children.

I'm really curious as what kind of solution you'd suggest for situations where you feel the parent is just too stupid to raise kids. And I'm not being facetious, either. At the extremes, there's a lot of controversy about whether the mentally impaired (Down's syndrome, etc) should be allowed to reproduce when they lack the mental faculties to care for themselves, let alone children. The idea of taking children away from people that teach their children 'undesirable beliefs' is just taking that further (although about a giant leap, 17 skips, 30 steps, and 57 stone's throws, and even about 23 ballparks further).

There's almost nothing that would motivate me to social violence, but some external organization telling me what beliefs to teach my kids would probably be the one.
Gokul43201
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Sep20-10, 02:39 PM
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Quote Quote by BobG View Post
What else would you consider raising a kid except indoctrination?
Do you think the only way to raise kids is to teach them that your personal tastes are the only correct ones? (that's basically what I think of as indoctrination)
Ivan Seeking
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Sep20-10, 02:51 PM
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Quote Quote by Gokul43201 View Post
Do you think the only way to raise kids is to teach them that your personal tastes are the only correct ones? (that's basically what I think of as indoctrination)
So you would leave it up to a five-year-old to make the distinction between right and wrong?
lisab
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Sep20-10, 03:06 PM
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Perhaps the degree of homogenation of the culture has an influence on the importance of 'indoctrination'.

Here in the US, we have a lot of variation in our populace, like a cultural quilt - lots of subcultures. There's everything from Silicon Valley code monkeys to those who eschew modern life; young-Earth creationists to atheists; Rastafarians to Mormons...you name it. So if you're in one of these 'patches' in the American quilt, you would certainly want your children to be in that patch with you.

Indoctrination wouldn't be as big of a factor in a smaller, more homogenous society.
drankin
#9
Sep20-10, 03:07 PM
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Quote Quote by jarednjames View Post
I'm starting this thread as I would prefer not to keep posting comments regarding the above subject in the French Burqa thread.

Throughout a child's life they are subject to various cultural and possibly religious doctrines and they can have a significant impact on the way that child thinks and lives in later adulthood.

So what are your views on indoctrination of children?

I understand we can't shield children from everything, and the local culture where you live is going to have an effect on them whether you like it or not. But what about other influences in their life?

Personally, I don't think children should be subjected to any form of religion (or specific beliefs) until they are old enough to make the decision themselves. But as someone in the other thread pointed out, you then face losing the parents culture / religion / belief. For me this isn't a good argument, the way I see it, if a religion truly has good ideas and views on life they will attract new people and so nothing is lost. If they do not, then yes they could be lost, but at least it would be because people chose not to accept them because they didn't accept their views / ideas.

Now I don't want this to be some religious bashing thread, I would simply like to know what people think of parents imposing their view on their children (particularly when their minds are so young and vulnerable)?

(I'm not speaking of only religious, this goes for all influences they may face and it would be nice to see other items, non-religious being discussed.)

And perhaps we could expand to discuss what effect it can have on people in later life.
Obviously, you do not have any children. Raise a few and get back to us. :)
JaredJames
#10
Sep20-10, 03:10 PM
P: 3,387
Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
So you would leave it up to a five-year-old to make the distinction between right and wrong?
Teaching a child what is right and wrong does come down to personal views. My problem is when people teach their children that their view of what is right and wrong is the only view and it is the correct one.

Once into adulthood, a person should be able to make their own decisions about what is right and wrong and amend the views they were brought up with as they see fit. But there are people who teach their children that everything else is wrong, no matter what evidence they are shown.

Bring your children up to be open minded and sceptical. Teach them how to make their own decisions and judgements on their own and not to blindly believe what they are told. You may call that indoctrination, but the difference is you're putting them in a position to decide for themselves how they live, you are not forcing them into one belief system and thought path.
Astronuc
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Sep20-10, 03:15 PM
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Quote Quote by jarednjames View Post
Personally, I don't think children should be subjected to any form of religion (or specific beliefs) until they are old enough to make the decision themselves.
It is and has been for millenia for parents to provide ideas and values, including beliefs, to their own children. Those ideas are then supplemented by others from the community.

How would children form ideas or beliefs without the assistance of their parents? Hopefully parents teach children to thoughtful (and objective), kind, considerate, honest, and otherwise basically decent human beings. Sadly that is not universally the case.
drankin
#12
Sep20-10, 03:17 PM
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Quote Quote by jarednjames View Post
Teaching a child what is right and wrong does come down to personal views. My problem is when people teach their children that their view of what is right and wrong is the only view and it is the correct one.

Once into adulthood, a person should be able to make their own decisions about what is right and wrong and amend the views they were brought up with as they see fit. But there are people who teach their children that everything else is wrong, no matter what evidence they are shown.

Bring your children up to be open minded and sceptical. Teach them how to make their own decisions and judgements on their own and not to blindly believe what they are told. You may call that indoctrination, but the difference is you're putting them in a position to decide for themselves how they live, you are not forcing them into one belief system and thought path.
Let a child grow up creating their own belief system is simply uncaring and destructive. For some reason evolutionary forces made it necessary to "love" our children which causes us to pass on what has worked for us as parents to our children for the sake of their survival and the survival of our genes. As humans without a moral framework and self discipline will follow the path of least resistance.
Gokul43201
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Sep20-10, 03:36 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
So you would leave it up to a five-year-old to make the distinction between right and wrong?
Of course not. Did I imply that in my post?
JaredJames
#14
Sep20-10, 04:01 PM
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Quote Quote by drankin View Post
Let a child grow up creating their own belief system is simply uncaring and destructive. For some reason evolutionary forces made it necessary to "love" our children which causes us to pass on what has worked for us as parents to our children for the sake of their survival and the survival of our genes. As humans without a moral framework and self discipline will follow the path of least resistance.
Like I said, you should try to bring them up in a way which teaches them to be open minded. Obviously parents will influence their children, but the key is not to put your child into a mindset that only those views are correct. Only the views of the parents are the right ones and everything else should be dismissed. That is what I don't like.

Children should be taught right and wrong by their parents (as Astonuc said), but they should be taught not to maintain a closed frame of mind, they need to be able to evolve their beliefs. To bring a child up to believe A is right, B is wrong no matter what you are told otherwise, is just plain wrong.

It's like bringing up your child to be racist. You teach them all your life that white people are better than anyone else, and they will firmly believe that. They won't be able to tell you why they believe that, at least not without some form of irrational justification that has been drilled into them. They won't accept telling that racism is wrong.
drankin
#15
Sep20-10, 04:21 PM
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Quote Quote by jarednjames View Post
Like I said, you should try to bring them up in a way which teaches them to be open minded. Obviously parents will influence their children, but the key is not to put your child into a mindset that only those views are correct. Only the views of the parents are the right ones and everything else should be dismissed. That is what I don't like.

Children should be taught right and wrong by their parents (as Astonuc said), but they should be taught not to maintain a closed frame of mind, they need to be able to evolve their beliefs. To bring a child up to believe A is right, B is wrong no matter what you are told otherwise, is just plain wrong.

It's like bringing up your child to be racist. You teach them all your life that white people are better than anyone else, and they will firmly believe that. They won't be able to tell you why they believe that, at least not without some form of irrational justification that has been drilled into them. They won't accept telling that racism is wrong.
Your opinion is all well and good but is simply not practical to enforce. Nor would we want it so. Provided the children are not neglected or in an abusive environment, parents are free to impart their value systems. It's an integral part of parenting. It is unenforceable to dictate to parents to teach their children to have your version of an "open mind". It could be argued that your version of open mindedness is close minded.
Gokul43201
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Sep20-10, 04:26 PM
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Quote Quote by drankin View Post
It could be argued that your version of open mindedness is close minded.
I'd like to see that argument!
JaredJames
#17
Sep20-10, 04:29 PM
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Quote Quote by Gokul43201 View Post
I'd like to see that argument!
So would I.
drankin
#18
Sep20-10, 04:34 PM
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This is a political and world affairs forum, not a philosophy forum. :)


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