Let’s put it this way. According to you, there is the idea of faith, which must be taught without option.. or the idea that there is no faith, which means options. See the problem?
No, because you have constructed a false dichotomy where the only way to teach the idea of faith to someone is to teach them your specific belief in faith. It is entirely possible to teach the historical importance of faith to a child by describing the various things people have done and thought, based on those beliefs. You would then let the child decide whether they want to hold faith in whatever things you've described.
No, teaching about faith is not the same as teaching faith... and that you fail to grasp that is pretty much my point.
Metsfanmax wrote: This is no different from describing to a child the various things people have done and thought that led them to believe in evolution, and letting them decide based on what you have told them. It is acceptable to say "this is the result we get from the scientific method" and then let the child decide whether the scientific method is an appealing way for them to live his or her life. It must also be acceptable to say "this is what happens when we hold (religious) faith" and let them decide whether a life of faith is an appealing way for them to live his or her life. Appropriate parenting involves giving your child the tools to be successful in life and make his or her own path; you cannot do this if you teach them that X or Y is true without question.
No, because science and religion, faith are fundamentally different. Science is based on evidence.
Faith is based on belief, where the evidence ends.
Science actually uses both, as does religion, but not in the way you describe. For science to advance requires someone to have the imagination to think up new ideas and then the faith to follow through and see if the result is as they imagine.
You and Viceroy actually make a similar error. He assumes that because a particular scientist is stuck on an idea, then it must reflect all of science and all of science refuses to accept opposition. In fact, the opposite is true. Similarly, you have somehow convinced yourself that once people have faith, they basically stop thinking and analyzing and comparing. Neither is really true.
You ASSUME that there is a dichotomy, that it is possible to teach kids without imparting information that goes beyond what we truly know and into that which we believe. The truth is that is not possible. Instead, what all people do is a combination. We teach our kids to think and reason.. and lay out those things that we consider “not solved” or “open” to discussion, those things that are “not proven by evidence, but believed” , those things that are firmly proven, and those things that lie somewhere in between. Offhand, how to fix a car would be “firmly proven” (essentially.. I don’t do cars). How photosynthesis works is generally “proven”. How to drive a car, what to eat are somewhere in between… partially proven, partially beliefs and partially things that a child might decide to do differently. Which political party one adheres to is closer to something not proven by evidence, just believed. However, every one has some points of just plain, pure, faith.
You're using semantics to try and prove a point that is much more fundamental. There's a difference between fundamentally believing
that the human senses can lead us to fundamental truths about the universe (this is obviously a deep metaphysical question), and pragmatically knowing empirical relationships that help one understand the universe better on a day to day level. If knowing that F = ma is going to be true tomorrow just as it was true yesterday is an article of "faith," it's such a trivial article of faith from a pragmatic point of view that everyone shares it.
No. It was not the best of examples, but the point is real. The line you draw is not real, it is a one you have found convenient. The real line is that there are some things that have been proven, some things that might be proven and other things that likely will never be proven. At the intersection of the two, things that might be proven, that is where science and religion both can be useful, as long as one understands the limits of each. In the things that likely never will be proven, that is where faith takes over. Science’s “answer” is just to leave it open, but that is not a real answer and in many cases people need/want real answers.
Atheists (not saying that’s you.. cannot remember right now) often think they are getting around this by saying things like “I cannot prove god, so there is just nothing”. However, that is actually a faith statement. If it cannot be proven, it is a statement of faith. In built into that idea is that anything that existed should have proof that is fully evidenced. If you look at most atheistic arguments they tend to go.. either “if god were real, then….[there would be this piece of evidence]” OR “if god were real, then xyz would not happen”. In either case, they have constructed a world and decided that God does not fit. Those with faith do the same thing, but reach a different conclusion.
There is no such thing as just teaching options when it comes to faith. The foundation required to fully understand, like many kinds of understanding requires beginning early. This IS true for science. Science teaching is so heavily infused into our society now that we don’t think much about it, but math, knowing certain names, etc… then on to chemistry, biology, etc, etc, none of that just happens. Once a child understands, then there can be choice, but not until. Once a child understands the basics of science, chemistry, geology and biology, then they are able to challenge things, perhaps even challenge things they were taught was quite true.
You want to criticize faith in the same way that Viceroy tries to criticize evolution.. without first understanding.
The key to ANY teaching is to understand where the lines draw. What you are basically saying is that you think that people with faith should leave more questions open, but you say that because of your personal beliefs. You do not say that because of purely objective facts (if you want to discuss that, make it another thread.. maybe the “proof of God” one? ) You say that because your experience, things you feel lead you to think that. Per your earlier statements, it seems you were led to reject much of what your parents’ taught you (or am I confusing you with someone else… for this, really doesn’t matter).
No, I am saying that whenever you teach anyone anything, the point is not to force them to believe the conclusion you draw, but rather to teach them how to make their own conclusions. Those who indoctrinate their children into their own religion actually tend to do the opposite of good teaching, by forcing the conclusions and never showing the child how to make a critical assessment of the issue.
That you think this is the best proof that you were not really taught well, just like Viceroy’s arguments are proof that he/she was never taught science well.
Again, both science and faith begin by teaching fundamentals. In both cases, there is a combination of leading the child to understand.. that should be the bulk, and teaching “this is so”. We tell kids that 1 is one, 2 is two objects, etc…. no debate. It is a matter of definition. People who believe in God teach that God is there. No option, it is a matter of definition. When it comes to addition, we take out blocks, point to fingers or other objects and show why 2 + 2 = 4, but it has to start with the definition of 2. Similarly, when kids get older we get into why God did this or that, etc. At some point, most kids truly question God and have more complicated questions. In most cases, for most people the “there is God” gets shifted a tad into various complexities, just like at some point we realize that 2+2=4 can really mean anything from 1.49999999 (etc) to 2.499999999, and a few other caveats. BUT, it all starts with the definite.
The basic point is that if you were truly “not given an option”, then you would not be able to reach a conclusion that differed from your parents. Yet, you did.
I was indeed given an option. My parents never required my undivided allegiance to their respective religions (perhaps you are confusing me with someone else in this thread?). So I was raised with some religious background but when I was old enough to seriously think about the issue, I was able to make the choice for myself. My point is that many people never get this option. People who are raised by strictly religious parents, and indoctrinated into their beliefs, do not often successfully break away. Those who do are the exception, not the rule.
Sorry, but your understanding of how faith really works is as poor as Viceroy’s understanding of evolution…and it shows.
The other point is what option is a parent really going to offer when they believe, with all their heart and sole and logic, that certain actions lead to “being saved” and other actions lead to “heaven” ( grossly simplifying.. let’s not get bogged down in a discussion of those terms, just look at the basic idea). Also, remember that the parents would have come to this thinking through their own process of analyzing and thinking.
It requires humility and strength to not force your child to believe the same things as you. Nevertheless it is the appropriate thing to do, since your child is not the same person as you. If you strongly believe that the only way for your child to be saved is through belief in your religion, then you should share that with your child and attempt to convince them of your point of view. But you should not do it before the child is old enough to be able to seriously consider the issue.
This is the difference between having faith and thinking everything is just optional. I grew up in CA, I am certainly familiar with that concept, but it has little to do with real faith. Your failure to understand that is not such a big deal. Your failure to grasp that you don’t understand it is why you are adding to the fight instead of detracting or solving it. You feed directly into the thinking of folks’ like Viceroy because you start from the fundamental idea that faith is just wrong. No matter how you want to paint it up, that is what you think. Its OK for someone to adopt various ideas, like they would different clothing or a political party, but true faith is something you just don’t get.
The thing is that there IS no “alternative”. I want my child to understand what I know, but to say that belief in God is optional is like saying that belief in the number 2 is optional. It really is not.
Again… this claim that one set of ideas is restrictive and that another is not is just wrong and is exactly what feeds into the fight. I have said this many times before and I will say it again.. challenge someone’s faith, make them defend their faith against science and many will choose faith. That is EXACTLY what young earth distorters do. Notice how few of Vice’s arguments actually address real points that evolutionists think? Notice how he skirts and avoids any mention of real evidence and proof with declarations that its all just fake (but neglects to give any similar analysis to his “evidence”). I have already said that Viceroy does this a bit too patly, but peruse the IRC documents, various creationist-young earth websites and you find that same pattern. Their ideas depend upon declaring this a war AGAINST faith. When you make statements like above, when you allow yourself to become that kind of thinker, then you are very much feeding into their arguments.
It is absurd to suggest that we atheists/scientists are the reason
why people choose faith.
I did not say that it is the reason people choose faith. Read it again. I say that your disdain for faith is the reason that people won’t listen to what you call logic. If you wish to talk to someone, don’t challenge their faith. You will lose. You will lose because faith is not, as you think, an option. You can disagree or agree, but understand that or you will, as I said, create more of the divide, create more people who decide that your disdain is reason enough to reject what you say in favor of what people they trust, namely pastors and other “experts” put forward by their church or belief set.
You show them disdain, they show you disdain. NO understanding and the world loses.
And, sadly, you enter down a similar path. That you have, for now, reached similar conclusions to my own does not mean it is a good path. It means we simply happen to each understand that 2 + 2 = 4. But see, I also understand that this only applies in the real world. In the quantum world, just to give an example, that is not necessarily true.
...yes, even in the 'quantum world', 2 + 2 = 4.
Now, certainly, I expect you understand or at least accept quantum physics (at least accept its possible, that it’s a fact based set of ideas, etc.). However, here is the thing….don’t you agree that teaching kids that 2+2=4 is a good thing, a necessary thing without adding in “but in the quantum area” immediately?
Of course. Good teaching always involves teaching half-truths. I fail to see how this bears on the question of whether you should teach a child to believe the same thing as you, because in religion, there are no half-truths, by construction. You can't believe in God "just a little bit."
As I said above, 2+2=4…… but it can also mean that 1.5000000000000 + 2.49999999999999 = anywhere from 3.5 to 4.49999999999
And yes, there are MANY variables in religion… true religion as opposed to the fiction so many atheists and non believers of other stripes try to pretend faith is.
Just like you cannot rely on evolution deniers to give the honest truth about evolution, you cannot rely upon those who have rejected faith to honestly define what it is, not fully.