crispybits wrote:Isn't everyone still on a learning quest? Well, everyone rational anyway. Anyone who knows they don't know everything is always looking to learn more, it's human nature.
Actually, no. Some people don't really question for a variety of reasons-- maybe they are afraid to question, having learned very early that its best to just listen and obey. OR, they may be one of those few individuals who truly does seem to speak from a point of truth... (the few I know like this are not folks you would recognize, but I am told Ghandi had this aspect, as did Billy Graham and Pope John Paul). Then there are people who plain become fanatics, and simply don't allow any kind of real criticism to enter their brain.
crispybits wrote:If your God ends up sticking a bible in front of me again in a way he knows I would be receptive to I'll probably look at it, but without denying the possibility of there being something there I missed, I've been down that road many times and found nothing. I would need something to give me reason to believe I missed something in there to convince me to go back and look again. Recently (as in since I turned away from christianity) I've seen nothing that either surprises me or reveals anything new from that philosophy.
What you referred to either, the definitely revealed truth without question is what I was discussing. Giving you a guide that you can take or leave, read or not... that is free will. Going into your heart and specifically finding a way to connect to you.. that is not. However, there are a lot of subtleties here. LIke I said before, it could be that there is something you are supposed to do or discover that you could not if you were more sure of your thinking.
crispybits wrote:You can teach kids right and wrong without ever needing to resort to theology lessons. Until they are old enough to understand what a god concept actually entails then they don't need that concept being put in their heads.
You are defining a specific kind of religion. My definition is broader. Religion is basically any set, firm guidelines and belief.. not just those including belief in God. You can teach the basics without God, but it is difficult.
Per that last sentence, though, no. Children need to be exposed to ideas before they can become able to understand. To go back to the math bit, it takes time for kids to learn.. but if you wait until they are "ready", then the time when they become ready is later. I involved all of "my" kids (my own and those I watched) in various math-type excercises from the time they were very young. ALL are doing far better than average. Similarly, while I made sure I was understood, I did not limit my language. If I really needed them to "obey", it was short and quick "No!", "STOP!", etc. But... I would refer to a dish, a bowl, etc. I would use a wrench, and adjustable ended wrench, a Crescent wrench and a monkey wrench..... And the kids
crispybits wrote:We don't teach kids about sex until they are old enough to actually understand the concepts involved, and we start them out slow, with fairy tales about storks and birds and bees and only later, when they have learned a lot more about the universe and everything in it, do we actually talk about penises and vaginas and all that the reality entails.
Now you are talking about something very different indeed, but I would argue that a lot of traditional American thinking on this is just plain wrong, too.
Kids need to learn about their own bodies very early. They need to learn that bodies have different kinds of feelings and that they are not bad, but that some actions and things are private. I never teach a child that his private areas are "bad" or anything of the sort, but they ARE very private. Haivng young boys and girls all potty training, for example, I walked a line between making sure that they all got to "go" when needed, but also respected each other. Sure, they would notice that boys and girls were different. It was just a fact, nothing big.. like one person has brown hair, another blonde. Boys look one way, girls another. As soon as the "emergency rush" bit was over, and they could "hold it" a tad, then I emphasized privacy more. But, it wasn't that this was "nasty" or anything, just private.
Per the rest... sure. You have to wait. I tell a story of growing up on a farm, having helped to birth cows, inseminate them... and still found it as something of a shock when (at school) we got the "this is our bodies" (or whatever it was called) film. BUT... here is the thing. If you have not, LONG before you get to that point already instilled a sense of respect for other human beings, of consquences to actions, etc... then the biology lesson will do nothing more than give them yet another idea of "bad behavior". Its when that biology lesson is combined with a decent background that it becomes just a biology lesson and not an Earth-shattering entry into a world the child is not ready for yet.
crispybits wrote:But when it comes to religion it's somehow fully acceptable to jump straight to eternal heaven and hell and absolute power and all that.
I don't believe that is what I said at all
. A very young child has no real understanding even of death, never mind heaven and hell. I said consequences have actions, think of other people, etc. IN my church, we begin some "rote" learning of the 10 commandments around 6-7, but that's like teaching a child to count, knowing that they don't really and truly "get" numbers for some time. Mostly, they "get" the idea "don't steal" and sometimes "don't take the Lord's name in vain". Ther rest is pretty fuzzy, if we even go over it at that point.
crispybits wrote:I saw a TV clip of a 5 year old in bible belt America not so long ago, talking with very advanced terms about how he had felt he needed "more" in his life and he was thankful that god's grace had saved him and he was going to heaven after he died. That kid is an extreme case, but by inserting those kinds of concepts before their intellect has reached maturity to be able to properly process and critically assess those concepts that's not education, it's brainwashing.
Yeah, and I find a lot of that repugnant as well.
crispybits wrote:I have seen many times (in real life or on TV) kids of religious people who can't yet properly address the concepts of justice or happiness or pain intellectually (as in they couldn't give you an adult definition of what they are or talk about different aspects of these concepts), but are already completely indoctrinated to the parent's own brand of religious ideology. Until you can process and understand things like justice, happiness and pain then you cannot realistically make a decision about theology based on proper critical thinking and free will. You say that God allowing us all a revelation in our hearts would be violating free will, but these parents are violating it far more effectively like this. They are feeding these kids these concepts before they can ever hope to rationalise them, and then cementing this brainwashing by years of performing rituals (church on Sunday for example).
Again, I believe you are thinking of Roman Catholicism.. and an old style distortion of the church, at that. My son goes to a Roman Catholic school, but he is not learning what you describe. He is learning that Christ died on the Cross, and rose on the 3rd day, yes, but again, its sort of "rote" at this point. His real understanding is that God represents love. He is given real examples of foregiveness and helpfullness in class. Kids are taught to respect each other, nad to do good things for each other, in part because that is what God wants. I don't consider that bad. If you consider it indoctrination.. so be it.
There are a lot of subtleties involved here. I cannot possibly get into proper child rearing in this thread, nor do I really want to , since I don't consider myself an expert. However, I get back to what I have said before. What you are describing is not representative of MY faith, nor that of many folks, including many here.
crispybits wrote:I consider myself very lucky. Both my parents are some sort of mostly christian theist, though they aren't the church going bible thumping variety. But they never used God as a stick or carrot to try and teach me right and wrong. They simply taught me right and wrong. Many times during my childhood I heard "because I said so" when I asked a question, and now I'm all grown up I know full well they could have explained it so easily by resorting to the god card, but they didn't. When I went out and found religion they were there to explain things and help me out, but they never forced whatever they believe (I'm still not exactly sure to this day) onto me. They let me work it out for myself.
Sounds a lot like my upbringing. God came up in few specific cases, but not often --- regarding what happens after we die, things like that.
crispybits wrote:This is another of the many reasons I find that religion fails. Are the religious so insecure in god's power and wisdom and love that they have to remove free will from their own children in this way? If they truly believed in what they were preaching then wouldn't they trust god to do what is necessary to reveal himself effectively to the adult that their kid becomes?
I sort of think you are instead describing why religion succeeds. Just because your parents did not harp on God with you doesn't mean they did not pass on their values and religion.
crispybits wrote:God doesn't need religion to connect to us. We don't need religion to connect to him. Seems to me it's pointless for doing what it's nominally designed for. It does seem very effective for doing a whole bunch of things it's not meant to be able to do, but then I contend in those ways it's actually doing exactly what it was really designed to do.
I already said that any particular religion can be both a hindrance or a help. However, the truth is that what you refer to.. relating directly to God actually IS religion. You may not like the organized religions you have found so far, the churches and bodies you have visited, but your very ideas are your religion.