No! Not Church!

  • #51
Dembadon
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The only thing we do not agree on is at what age the child is mature enough to make certain decisions for himself.
Are 22 year old suicide bombers considered mature and able to make their own decisions?
I believe "certain" is an important element in Dave's claim. He did not suggest all decisions made by an individual are wise.

Would a +30 years old always make wiser/more mature decisions than a 3 years old?

Again, what kind of decisions?
 
  • #52
DaveC426913
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I disagree somewhat. Firstly there is no universal age where a child is mature. Age does not measure maturity

Woah, woah woah. I never said anything about any unilateral age. That will of course, be the next thing under discussion.


I am simply trying to establish that we all concede that, at some point in a child's life, its parents make all its decisions for it, and that these decisions are downloaded* one-by-one to the child at some appropriate time.

The only issue in contention here then, is at what point any given decision is handed to the child.


*downloaded like financial budget responsibilities, not like software. We get that a lot here in Ontario.
 
  • #53
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I have to say I disagree with you Dave, it's not the parents job to instill any such values into their children. It's the parents job to help the children make their own INFORMED DECISIONS.

That's at least what being a parent means to me. Sure parents do make decisions for children at a young level of maturity but this is not the same as saying that the parents are merely MAKING the decisions for the children. Hopefully they are fully explaining such decisions and the consequences etc. such that as the child grows they can continue to make their own personal informed decisions on the matter, regardless of if it is in line with what the parents would have done in the same situation.

Religion in MY opinion does not fall under this category. (of needing parents telling children what to do) Most religious scripture forbids forcing religion on to any person and they also agree that the religion finds the person not the other way around. It is not the duty of the parents to force the child to attend church as this really has no impact on the childs life. This is not at all the same as the stove example that has been given...

As well saying that religion is all about the morals etc. is a rediculous way to justify forcing your children to attend religious studies or anything of the sort. I can assure you, I never really went to church however I have studied many of religions on my own time. My step-father is an athiest and my mother is a Catholic. My morals are grounded on my personal philosophy of life I've developed and that's that. Nothing religious about it and I do not need to hear it come from someone older than myself to know it's ok for me to have those morals, or to hear them come out of a book or off a page. I've had these views on life since I was a young teen, I'm now 21. It's safe to say that if I saw you struggling with something on the street that I would offer to help you.
 
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  • #54
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Woah, woah woah. I never said anything about any unilateral age. That will of course, be the next thing under discussion.
Maybe I misunderstood you, but you wrote:
"The only thing we do not agree on is at what age the child is mature enough to make certain decisions for himself."
This to me seems to implicitly assume that we can find a universal such age (or at least close to). Otherwise I would be inclined to answer the question with 1day old - 150 years, depending on the individual and the decision to be made. Sorry if I misunderstood you.

I am simply trying to establish that we all concede that, at some point in a child's life, its parents make all its decisions for it, and that these decisions are downloaded* one-by-one to the child at some appropriate time.
Of course at some age parents make all decisions about beliefs. For instance a 3 minute old baby will not decide a whole lot by itself.

The only issue in contention here then, is at what point any given decision is handed to the child.
Well yes, but honestly I don't see the relevance of this. Especially since it would be a case-by-case decision. Remember we're talking about a 16-year old person having opinions and beliefs, not a 3-year old being taught about stoves. In my opinion as soon as you're able to form your own opinions you're mature enough to have your own opinions. Your parents may comment on your opinions and try to provide the perspective that you may lack, but they should never force opinions on you.
 
  • #55
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I can only speak from personal experience, but I think the reason some religious parents will "force" their views onto their children is because they're genuinely afraid that their children will not be "saved," "go to hell," etc.

I brought my mother to tears when I was 15 or 16 and decided to tell her that I was a non-believer. My mom is an absolute sweetheart, and she never told me I was wrong, but I still hurt her pretty badly.

These days, I'll go to church with my parents every once in a while since my school happens to be in my hometown and I live only a couple miles away. It really doesn't bother me, and I know it means a lot to them if I'm there.
 
  • #56
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I can only speak from personal experience, but I think the reason some religious parents will "force" their views onto their children is because they're genuinely afraid that their children will not be "saved," "go to hell," etc.

This is true but it must also be understood by your parents that this is only a belief, and it's not some phenomena on Earth which has direct implications.

Teaching your child not to touch boiling water or opening the oven is vastly different that teaching them to fear/love a god. If they don't understand this then that's a true shame.
 
  • #57
DaveC426913
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In my opinion as soon as you're able to form your own opinions you're mature enough to have your own opinions. Your parents may comment on your opinions and try to provide the perspective that you may lack, but they should never force opinions on you.
Not forcing opinions on you, but keeping you learning until your opinions are informed.

My boy decided he hated math in Grade 4. Should he have had the right to decide to stop learning math?
 
  • #58
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Not forcing opinions on you, but keeping you learning until your opinions are informed.

My boy decided he hated math in Grade 4. Should he have had the right to decide to stop learning math?

You don't believe in math, you utilize it and it's a very usefull tool. As well the person in question is not in grade 4 he's 16 years old. In fact in some areas of the world they WOULD respect their childs point of view that math isn't worth the time because there are more important and usefull things for them to pursue.
 
  • #59
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Not forcing opinions on you, but keeping you learning until your opinions are informed.

My boy decided he hated math in Grade 4. Should he have had the right to decide to stop learning math?

Oh, well he is old enough to make a decision on whether he doesn't like religion or not, so he must be old enough to not take any more math classes! It makes all the sense in the world. /sarcasm


Little kids need decisions made for them. When I was younger, if my parents gave me the opportunity to decide for myself, I darn near always made the wrong decision.

My parents let me dress myself when I was little. I would walk down wearing shorts every day of winter. I was then told to go put pants on. You see, I was giving the opportunity to make my own decision, but I was not informed enough to make a smart decision, and would have been better off if my parents made that decision in the beginning.
 
  • #60
DaveC426913
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You don't believe in math, you utilize it and it's a very usefull tool.
Tell that to a child.

This is precisely the issue we are talking about: I don't see the point in this therefore I will stop learning it. And that's that.

Unless the child has wise, firm and patient parents.
 
  • #61
DaveC426913
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Oh, well he is old enough to make a decision on whether he doesn't like religion or not, so he must be old enough to not take any more math classes! It makes all the sense in the world. /sarcasm
Sorry, how do you get that from what I said???

Did you not get the point that we don't allow children to just willy nilly decide what they should learn?
 
  • #62
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Sorry, how do you get that from what I said???

Did you not get the point that we don't allow children to just willy nilly decide what they should learn?

I was backing up your point, although it was rather weak.
 
  • #63
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Also the problem of coming out as atheist/agnostic is vastly different than just switching to a different religion. As far as I know, most Christians perceive atheism as immoral.

They think that morality comes from the bible, or any other source of religion. That's why it's ok to be religious.

It then follows if you are atheist/agnostic you are immoral, and so have a potential to do bad deeds.

That's why to many teens coming out as an atheist is comparable as if coming out gay. It's very painful in most cases. It's painful because of the parent's flawed perception, and lack of understanding.

Parents must realize that morality does NOT come from the bible, nor from any other source of religions. Sure there stories, and allegories, but that's not why we act morally.
 
  • #64
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This is true but it must also be understood by your parents that this is only a belief, and it's not some phenomena on Earth which has direct implications.

But, they do believe that. That's my whole point. What I do in this life does have a direct affect on my "afterlife." From this comes the fear mentioned in my first post.
 
  • #65
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Tell that to a child.

This is precisely the issue we are talking about: I don't see the point in this therefore I will stop learning it. And that's that.

Unless the child has wise, firm and patient parents.

Yes, I understand your point. My point is that this is NOT comparable to religion and neither is MotoH's point about wearing shorts in winter. A better comparison would be of a father forcing his child to accept that there is a dragon living in all the garages and they sometimes randomly kill people who don't believe it exists. Would the parent be right in forcing the child to believe this against their will? People tend to consider this as 'extreme' but in my opinion it is no more extreme. If you want to discuss about specific beliefs that morals come out of would it be ok to attempt to force a child to believe in the Flying Spaghetti monster? NO.

People seem to take it easy on the 'mainstream' 'big' religions of the world. WHY?

None of this relates to the OP however sooo maybe time for a new thread huh?
 
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  • #66
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But, they do believe that. That's my whole point. What I do in this life does have a direct affect on my "afterlife." From this comes the fear mentioned in my first post.

Exactly my point. They BELIEVE that.

Believe:
accept as true; take to be true.

Your PARENTS take it to be true and they should respect the choice of their child to NOT believe as well... or believe in something else for that matter.

Parenting has no place in enforcing BELIEFS in children.

In short, they can be scared for you all they want and they can try to preach to you but they MUST respect your belief and they should never try to force it down your throat because you do not accept it.
 
  • #67
DaveC426913
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Yes, I understand your point. My point is that this is NOT comparable to religion and neither is MotoH's point about wearing shorts in winter.
Why do you think it's not the same? A minor cannot make an informed decision until he's learned enough to do so. The parents are the only oens (not to mention the designated ones) to decide how much.

None of this relates to the OP however sooo maybe time for a new thread huh?
Sure it does. Don't see how it's not directly related.
 
  • #68
DaveC426913
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Your PARENTS take it to be true and they should respect the choice of their child to NOT believe as well... or believe in something else for that matter.

Parenting has no place in enforcing BELIEFS in children.
It's not about belief; it's about education.

It is the parents' job to educate until the children are informed enough.
 
  • #69
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It's not about belief; it's about education.

It is the parents' job to educate until the children are informed enough.

Education does not mean enforcing a particular dogma. Not in my vocabulary. Neither does helping to make informed decisions in life. This seems more like Propaganda and I think I'm coming close to falling victim to Godwin's Law.
 
  • #70
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Sure it does. Don't see how it's not directly related.

So if the OP had instead posted that he's a 16 year old and his parents attend the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster but he doesn't want to attend and he doesn't believe such a thing exist in real life, as his parents do, then you would be enforcing the same sort of 'YOUR PARENTS TELL YOU WHAT TO DO AND YOU LISTEN BOY! ITS FOR YA OWN GOOD!' attitude??? As though this teen is not eligible to make their own decision on their own personal beliefs on whether or not such a thing exist?

And you would think that the OPs decision not to believe in the FSM is the same as your grade 4 child thinking math is useless? That's rediculous.

EDIT: and this isn't to show an example of what your attitude toward the OP actually is, only to show that this thread has swerved off topic and I think it should be discussed in a ne thread. As well I editted my earlier post did you read what I had added? I think it happened while you were posting.

Second EDIT: I think your point of view is that the parents can decide to instill whatever beliefs they want in their children? I do not believe in this at all and I feel as though I can criticize how other people raise their children all I want. In fact I feel that if a child is in such a situation it is borderline abuse and I would have no problem helping them out.
 
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  • #71
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Exactly my point. They BELIEVE that.

Believe:
accept as true; take to be true.

Your PARENTS take it to be true and they should respect the choice of their child to NOT believe as well... or believe in something else for that matter.

Parenting has no place in enforcing BELIEFS in children.

In short, they can be scared for you all they want and they can try to preach to you but they MUST respect your belief.

I did not want to portray my parents as a set of iron-fisted dictators that -- judging by the tone of your posts -- is what I think you think all conservative Christian parents are.

I was merely trying to point out that the "forcing" of beliefs may not always come from the parents' intolerance of other views or their desire to futher some evil dogma. Rather, it may come from a sincere worry about their child's well-being.

Can you take the taste of your own medicine? Would you be cool if your child grew up and accepted Christianity?
 
  • #72
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Do you know what a straw man is? It is an attempt to shift a weak argument to a stronger argument. If you have an argument about religion, argue it. If you wish instead to argue about homosexuality, start a new thread.

My argument is there is no real difference between the two scenarios I just mentioned. A straw man is when I set up a weak argument and claim that it is my opponent's actual argument, then destroy the "straw man."

That is NOT what I did in that case. I asked why it is more acceptable to "come out" as gay than it is to come out as atheist. Why should an atheist teenager not have the right to be atheist, but a gay teenager should be respected?

You're the one that points out that I'd have a "stronger argument" if the OP was considering coming out as gay instead of atheist. Why should that be a stronger argument? Shouldn't they be the same?

It's not about belief; it's about education.

RELIGION IS ABOUT BELIEF, BY DEFINITION. Unless we can use the same definitions for the same words, we can't talk.

Can you take the taste of your own medicine? Would you be cool if your child grew up and accepted Christianity?

I know this wasn't directed at me, but I'll answer: I'd be cool with it. I'd hope it's a phase they grow out of, but I don't see how that would affect me in any way whatsoever.
 
  • #73
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I'm surprised that there's this many religious people on a technical forum, but I guess religiosity is prevalent among all humans.
 
  • #74
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I'm surprised that there's this many religious people on a technical forum, but I guess religiosity is prevalent among all humans.

What, are we supposed to believe that the world is flat, and the stars are on a giant sphere? I cant think of anything more enlightening than finding the secrets of Gods awesome universe. (but that is a different discussion for a different day)

I would be very disappointed in my child if he/she decided to not believe in God, and I would pray for them to find the light. But I wouldn't force them to go to church. That would make them view the church in disdain because it is the place "my parents make me go and I hate it"
 
  • #75
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I did not want to portray my parents as a set of iron-fisted dictators that -- judging by the tone of your posts -- is what I think you think all conservative Christian parents are.
Are you putting words into my mouth? Yes, I think you are. I never said anything about your parents being iron-fisted dictators and I never said anything about conservative Christians. :rofl: Go back and read ALL the posts (apparently this will be the first time) if you think that I'm portraying your parents specifically as 'iron-fisted dictators'.
Can you take the taste of your own medicine? Would you be cool if your child grew up and accepted Christianity?

No, I wouldn't care. In fact my girlfriend of 2 years decided to accept Christianity about a year ago. I don't understand how this is 'my own medicine' though.
 

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